STATEWIDE – It’s getting chilly out there, and no one knows that more than diners eating outside of Jersey restaurants. That was obvious on Saturday night, as Jaffe Briefing writers observed people shivering at a Sea Bright bistro if they weren’t lucky enough to be seated near the limited number of propane heaters. The big, burning question: How much longer can restaurateurs survive this way? Yes, sure, eateries are allowed 25% inside occupancy, but all business owners will tell you it will be impossible to pull a profit when these outside tables close in the coming days and weeks. Other than turning downtown parking spaces into blazing fire pits, what is going to happen when October quickly flips to November? Sure, financial bailouts from the feds and the state can help, but with 100,000 restaurants nationally already out of business because of this damn pandemic, the prospects seem, well, cold.

STATEWIDE – Shhh? Even with $1.3 million raised to urge voters to pass the marijuana ballot question, NJ.com is wondering where the money is being spent. And, frankly, why isn’t more being spent? It has been pretty quiet out there on this burning issue, even though the issue of recreational marijuana will finally be settled by voters, now casting mail-in ballots. NJ.com reports that 17 previous weed ballot questions in other states cost an average of $8.3 million. As New Jersey tends to be bigger and bolder – especially when it comes to throwing money at political stuff – one must ask: Where’s the green?

BRIEFING BREATHER

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36% of Americans say that God has spoken directly to them.

STATEWIDE – Your local mall Santa has been busy at the North Pole for many months, figuring out ways to protect good, little boys and girls from catching coronavirus. So, when the holiday season approaches, he will kiss Mrs. Claus on the cheek, put masks on all the reindeer and fly down to a mall near you. There, he has implemented a “touchless” system to deal with the kiddies. There will be no lap-sitting, unfortunately, and Santa actually prefers to be behind a plastic protection shield as he assesses who has been naughty and who has been nice. While Santa will be socially distant, he will have a bench for the kids to briefly visit, and Santa will even remove his mask – just for a second or two – for quick photos. ($19.99 each. No returns or reuse without written approval from Claus Enterprises, LLC.) Santa still vows to be jolly – just from a distance.

PATERSON – We all learn not to speak ill of the dead, yet the Paterson Times is still posing an interesting question: Why did the City Council name a street after a deceased funeral director who was convicted of stealing tens of thousands of dollars earmarked to cover funeral expenses for poor families? We won’t mention the funeral director’s name, as he currently can’t defend himself. Councilman Luis Velez led the charge to convince his colleagues to pass the measure, involving the intersection of Market Street and 20th Avenue. The big honor marks the third anniversary of the funeral director’s demise and the 50th anniversary of him serving the people of Paterson. The councilman now says he was unaware the funeral director stole $56,150 that was supposed to pay for funerals for indigent families. No problem; conducting basic research is not a specific job description of a councilman.

CAMDEN – An “elite professional dinner" that turned tumultuous now has a councilwoman’s husband facing charges for allegedly using a cordless microphone to whack a guest speaker over the head. The county prosecutor tells TAPinto Camden that Councilwoman Felicia Reyes-Morton’s husband, Bryan, 49, faces aggravated assault and weapons charges for his role in this ruckus at an exclusive Oct. 11 dinner. The big brouhaha has event sponsor, NJ Working Families, asking Reyes-Morton to resign and her spouse to forfeit his Democratic committee seat. The victim, a 31-year-old former council candidate, reportedly made a few insulting public remarks about the councilwoman’s husband, sparking the “Assault by Microphone.”

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

AUSTIN, MN – Just when you thought that anything related to this global pandemic had to be bad, a purveyor of pork is introducing the “Black Label Breathable Bacon” mask, using “the latest in bacon-smell technology” to protect you from COVID.  Wearers of this very special mask will have the ongoing experience of smelling bacon whenever they don this all-important protection accessory. Sales will certainly sizzle. Or you can try to win one through a sweepstakes taking place through Oct. 28 at breathablebacon.com. The marketing team is gushing, describing the mask as “irresistibly breathable” with a “heavenly aroma that you can keep all to yourself.” Sales are limited to just one mask; don’t be piggish.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

George Steinbrenner was busy on this day in 1987: Woody Woodward “resigns” as Yankees’ GM, Lou Piniella replaces him and Billy Martin is hired as the team’s manager: for the fifth and final time.

WORD OF THE DAY

Homologate – [hot-MAH-luh-gayt] – verb

Definition: To approve or confirm officially

Example: Hey, has your football been homologated by the NCAA?

WIT OF THE DAY

“A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman thinks of the next generation.”

-James Freeman Clarke

TODAY'S TRUMPISM

“Joe Biden is a corrupt politician, and everybody knows it. Now you have the proof, perhaps like never was had before on a major politician.”

-Donald J. Trump

WEATHER IN A WORD

Autumnal