ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL – Who knows how testy things will soon become between Sens. Cory Booker and Bernie Sanders? Old pals have a way of becoming cold pals in the heat of hard campaigning for President. But for now, everything seems copacetic between the New Jerseyan and the Vermonter. Exhibit One: NJ Spotlight reports the two are announcing a joint proposal today for legislation that, if enacted, would transform the prescription drug market in the United States. It’s based on a Canadian model (shhh!) and would give the federal government direct power to control prices. Apparently, it faces an uphill battle. But it’s great to see politics put aside for the greater good, at least for the minute.

WESTFIELD – Westfield High School has its very own Marvel superhero. It happens to be Class of ‘91 alumni Kevin Feige, now president of the Marvel Studios empire. Feige just swooped in – no stretchy tights, no swishing cape – but with a mighty $500,000 donation to help his alma mater overhaul the school’s television production studio. TAPinto Westfield says Feige, 46, gave the high school’s 2013 commencement address. He was stunned to see the TV studio “looked essentially the same” as when he spent time there during the first Bush Administration. Studio renovations won’t be done faster than a speeding bullet. They may take several months.

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ASBURY PARK – It just opened in 2016, but the Asbury Hotel was just chosen as New Jersey’s “most famous” hotel, if that could be possible. Insider Inc. says this 110-room boutique hotel “mashes up Asbury Park's Victorian-era history, rock-n-roll present, and shiny future into a new kind of social hub.” Not bad for an old Salvation Army retirement home that sat derelict for a decade until the seven-story brick building got a chic $50 million makeover. The rooms (at least the rooms we’ve seen) are small, but you do get to feel nice and trendy just steps from the boardwalk. But “the most famous?” Call us skeptical...

BERNARDSVILLE – And there’s more hotel news with the historic Bernards Inn now named New Jersey’s “most exclusive” place to stay (but apparently not the “most famous”). Online romance site Love Exploring says the circa-1907 luxury hotel “screams exclusivity,” yet prices are only around $200 a night or so. Still, it earned the state’s top honor thanks to its elegant antique décor; the sumptuous cuisine its serves in four dining areas, and romantic specials like catered outdoor picnics for two (um … weather permitting) and a romantic champagne helicopter tour at sunset over the glorious Somerset Hills. 

FRANKLIN TWP –  The rug has been pulled out for a local man, nabbed for illegally buying a tiger-skin rug for his home’s “safari room.”  The purchase put the Somerset County man in federal prison for just a day. A federal judge in Philadelphia also ordered the 61-year-old radiology technician to pay a $1,500 fine and be on supervised release for two years for violating federal endangered species laws. The man, who the Philadelphia Inquirer describes as an “avid world traveler (and) antique collector,” paid $6,800 for the highly-illegal tiger-skin rug. The sellers were really federal agents running a sting. The man could have faced up to six months behind bars, but the judge said her main concern is deterring poachers and buyers who threaten endangered animals.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

NEW ROCHELLE, NY - Former Rutgers star Ray Rice is back in the news, going to bat for the New Rochelle High School football coach who was mysteriously told to hand in his whistle days before tomorrow’s big playoff game. Rice, who was a standout in the world of New Rochelle football, was in the front row of a crowded public meeting yesterday morning when the community was demanding answers in the case against Lou DiRienzo, who has taken the team to a 10-0 record this year, ranked No. 2 in the state. Boosters tried to shed some light on the controversy, saying “Coach D” helped a student in distress to leave school with her parent. They tweeted: “Instead of quietly investigating the issue, as has forever been the practice at NRHS, Superintendent Feijoo chose to defame our coach and suspend him from teaching and coaching — and announce that fact to the world as though he was a criminal.”

GARDEN CITY, NY – It is a course known as “Life Unplugged,” and some students at Adelphi University were willing to enroll. The requirement? To sacrifice their smartphones for a week. CBS reports the students just completed the ordeal and – it appears – everyone has survived generally unscathed. But the students told horror stories of having to use alarm clocks, write notes to themselves as – gasp – even ask for driving directions. It got worse. Students were instructed to set up “emergency protocols” in case people needed to reach them and were left in the dark about all the important, must-read happenings on social media. Students admitted to CBS that it was a great lesson, as they engaged in face-to-face conversations at meals, voluntarily said “hello” to others and even introduced themselves to their roommates.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

In an example of quiet life before the noise of 24-hour news networks, ABC-TV made the grand announcement on this day in 1979 that it would be produce brief nightly segments about the Iran hostage crisis.

WORD OF THE DAY

Quid Pro Quo – [kwid proh KWOH] – noun

Definition: Something given or received for something else

Example: Trust us, there has been absolutely no quid pro quo.

WIT OF THE DAY

“Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.” 

― John F. Kennedy

TODAY'S TRUMPISM

“There may be somebody with tomatoes in the audience. If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously. Okay? Just knock the hell—I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees.”

- Donald J. Trump

WEATHER IN A WORD

Delight

THE NEW 60
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