NEW BRUNSWICK - OK, call us excited. Rutgers football is back! Yet we don't know the fall schedule, we don't know if any fans will be able to go to the “away” games, we don't know how, if and when the coronavirus will affect the season. Heck, we don't even know if Rutgers supports this, or if this team is even ready to play. We don't know if we can tailgate at the stadium even if we can’t go in, we don't know if other Big 10 teams will allow us anywhere nearby, we don't know if there will be coordinated "watch parties," even outdoors. But we know that Rutgers will be playing some other team in the Big 10 on October 23 or 24, somewhere, at some time. And we R darn excited, as long as these players can stay safe.

TRENTON – Ever since Gov. Phil Murphy took office, he has been banging the drum about the need for a millionaire’s tax. Unclear why it has been so controversial, as New Jersey loves to tax, tax, tax. But, finally, an itty-bitty pandemic has finally convinced revenue-hungry lawmakers to go along with the plan. New Jersey Globe reports a deal is close, finally, on this tax for the richest of the rich in New Jersey, as well as a small tax cut for 650,000 or so families on the lower rungs. Taxing the rich would bring in $390 million, and then, just like Robin Hood, giving a break to others could cost $325 million. At least there’s a net profit, it appears.

BRIEFING BREATHER

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Willard Scott was the original Ronald McDonald.

TRENTON – Maybe you’re one of those Garden State residents who gazes out the window at the tattered plastic bags blowing down the street and celebrates winter has arrived. Perhaps you step onto the porch and see the gaily colored carryout bags snared in the budding azalea as a welcoming confirmation of spring. Well, either way you’re out of luck. The virtual lawmakers in Trenton have turned their collective attention back to the plastic bag ban. Actually, the ban covers single-use carryout plastic and paper bags and may be extended to those polystyrene-foam food containers that have a half-life of a billion years. NJ Spotlight reports chances are good that the bill will go through, especially now that many business groups are behind it. They haven’t gone green, but they’d rather deal with one state law than the mélange of local laws that communities have enacted.  

STATEWIDE – Seems a little, well, cloudy? As NJ.com reports, New Jersey is losing out on the signature clear blue skies this September. We can blame those wildfires 3,000 miles to our west, which are somehow wafting this way. All that thick smoke is rising so high into the atmosphere that it is drifting across the entire county via the jet stream. All this haze is supposed to clear by the weekend. It serves as a chilling reminder to us lucky souls who are not dealing with the devastation in California.

WEST ORANGE – Christopher Columbus keeps finding himself in the New Jersey news cycle. Now he is at the center of a lawsuit in West Orange, where a local Italian American organization has sued the township in federal court, after a Columbus monument was taken down during all of the summer’s nationwide protests. NJ.com reports “The Italian American One Voice Coalition” claims West Orange is stripping people of their civil rights to honor Columbus as they see fit. The coalition is demanding, as well, that the Columbus statue be immediately re-erected at Valley and Kingsley streets. Columbus – dead since 1506 – is eager for his day in court.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

ST. JOSEPH, MO – Sure, you can drive around in your Honda Civic. But if you really, truly want to turn heads, consider purchasing a rusting 1982 Ford Econoline for just $2,500.  Besides the fact that this stalled vehicle may eventually run one day, there is another added benefit: it includes a large refrigeration unit on its back shaped like a six pack of Miller Lite cans. The Facebook ad sums it up well:  "One of a kind! Beer truck!"  No other information has been forthcoming, to date. But that shouldn’t stop you.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was this day in 1990 that the union voted overwhelmingly to keep the New York Post publishing, saving a tabloid that has been in print since 1801. (Thank you, Alexander Hamilton.)

WORD OF THE DAY

Limpid – [LIM-pid] – adjective

Definition: clear and simple in style

Example: I looked at her delicate face and into her pure, limpid eyes, and asked her to change the channel to the Rutgers game. 

WIT OF THE DAY

“We want to see football. I want to see Rutgers.”

-Phillip Murphy

TODAY'S TRUMPISM

“Great News: Big 10 Football is back…It is my great honor to have helped. We put a lot of pressure on, frankly.”

-Donald J. Trump

WEATHER IN A WORD

Cloudy