The Jaffe Briefing will be on vacation Monday, August 26, returning Tuesday, Sept. 3

NEWARK – City officials to downtown businesses: Stay away Monday. That’s the blunt message, as the city scrambles to host MTV’s Video Music Awards on Monday night at the Prudential Center. This is an unbelievable opportunity to show that the Brick City can accommodate a national spectacle, just like that other city across the Hudson River. City officials tell TAPInto Newark that the VMAs will be akin to a snow blizzard, which always turns the downtown into a gridlocked, stranded mess of cars and people. Road closures begin early Monday around the Pru Center, thus turning Broad Street and McCarter Highway into a parking lot, as motorists who did not read this all-important blurb sit and stew. NJ Transit is not adding any more trains at the moment, thus ensuring a complete rail mess as well. Instead, the agency suggests commuters “build in extra time.” Oh, boy. Here we go.

ATLANTIC CITY – If you want to eat food that doesn’t come from a casino kitchen or a local restaurant, you’re out of luck. That’s usually not an issue for convention attendees and vacationers. But what if you actually live in the city? High-priced, sketchy-looking bodegas appear to be the only option to buy laundry detergent, soup, etc. City and casino officials are well aware of the problem, which is why they have lured a $13.5 million Shop-Rite in quick walking distance to the casinos, NJ.com reports. It’ll sit right by the Atlantic City Convention Center, at Baltic and Indiana avenues, paying just a buck a year in property taxes. Great news for the locals; not-so-good news for the casinos who charge $5 for a bottle of water. Finally, you can squeeze melons that aren’t connected to a prostitute.

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PATERSON – “I always feel like somebody's watching me.” Nope, that’s not the wild rants of some guy in a tinfoil hat or even an ‘80s rocker. It’s a snippet from 20 pages of accusations that local Construction Official Jerry Lobozzo’s attorney just handed the city, gearing up for a potential $10 million lawsuit. The Paterson Press says Lobozzo’s “rambling letter” claims officials snooped, spied and secretly snapped photos of him; saddled him with “substandard” staffers; and badgered him since 2006. Lobozzo’s lawyer alleges it’s “common practice” for City Hall “to retaliate, intimidate, harass (and) discriminate against” workers who complain or “don’t play ball with the political players.” Well, it seems Lobozzo is up at bat.

TRENTON & ASBURY PARK – To get the lead out of older public housing, these cities are going to share nearly $2 million in federal HUD grants. They’re New Jersey’s only cities getting 2019 federal aid to eliminate lead paint hazards, for some reason. Asbury Park is in line for $1 million and Trenton will reap $925,000. Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora tells The Trentonian the sizable grants resulted from Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman’s persistence to help lower-income urban residents. Great, but what about all of our other 200-year-old cities? See: Newark, New Brunswick and Camden.

JEFFERSON – Turning other people’s tired, old t-shirts into reusable shopping bags is how a local woman is waging her fight against single-use plastic bags. Ina Braun, who dubs herself a “bagtivist,” does her clever handiwork for free. News 12 NJ says Braun, 56, regularly makes the rounds of farmer’s markets across Morris County with her sewing machine and, on the spot, reshapes shoppers unwanted t-shirts into sturdy reusable totes. With more than 30 towns prohibiting plastic bags and a statewide ban being considered, Braun says hopes her idea catches, inspiring other crafters to make t-shirt bags. Perhaps that battered “Disco Sucks” shirt from ’77 still has some life.

 

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

LAKE CHAMPLAIN, NY – If a trout wasn’t ugly enough, a woman actually snagged one with two mouths. A photo of the super-awful fish went viral; of course you will see it here. Says the fisherwoman: “I've had messages from all over the world, like people asking about this fish and it seems like everybody's got an opinion on what is the cause of this fish having two mouths.” Facebook posters – who we all know are experts on everything – assume the trout was the victim of genetic mutation or the second mouth was a freakish injury stemming from a swallowed hook. Or perhaps the fish was a real Trump fan and wanted to grow a second mouth that matches the one on the President. In any case, the fisherwoman released the two-mouthed trout back in the water, so expect us to report this story again in three weeks when someone else catches it.

 

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was this day in 1974 that John Lennon reports seeing a UFO over NYC. Yep, lots of LSD back in those days.

 

WORD OF THE DAY

Satiety – [suh-TYE-uh-tee] – noun

Definition: The state of being fed or gratified to or beyond capacity

Example: I try to eat an avocado before hitting the tailgate to increase my satiety.

 

WIT OF THE DAY

“If it wasn't for the coffee, I'd have no identifiable personality whatsoever.” 

-David Letterman

 

WEATHER IN A WORD

Cooler

 

THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun