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Jaffe Morning Briefing: Aug. 8, 2014

8-8-14


OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

HOBOKEN – The constant thump-thump-thump of helicopters often makes Hoboken sound more like Saigon than a hip town on the Hudson. And that is why Sen. Bob Menendez and local officials will be at Pier A Park at 11 a.m. to call for a ban of those annoying tourist choppers that fly low along the river all day. Let’s hope the senator’s PR people secured a decent sound system; otherwise no one will hear a darn thing over the thump-thump-thump.

SOUTH OF THE BORDER – Will they be shouting “Christie para el presidente!” when Gov. Chris Christie heads to Mexico right after Labor Day? The Governor is apparently heading south of the border to promote some trade links between Mexico and New Jersey and to experience the culture firsthand, according to his always upfront communications staff. Hmm. Unless Christie is heading down for a major political fundraiser, or hitching a ride with a busload of early primary voters from Iowa, we don’t see the motive for this trip on Sept. 3-5, when everyone else is returning to work.

WILLINGBORO – Once President Obama leaves office, there’s no question his name will adorn many, many public buildings to mark his distinction as the first African-American President. But one must question why Willingboro officials are deciding to name a building after him now and – more importantly – why they are replacing John F. Kennedy’s name. It seems if you are going to honor someone – like Kennedy – by naming a building after him, you do it in perpetuity – not until someone new and flashy comes along. Willingboro officials say we should all just chill, noting the public building is still on John F. Kennedy Way, or what we expect will soon be “Obama Boulevard.”

ON THE SCREEN – It may mean precious little to you, but the “Words with Friends” world is abuzz about the additions to “The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary,” to be released Monday. Imagine the magic of now using the word “te” as a variant of “ti,” the seventh tone on the musical scale. Or, just see what you can do with three more two-letter words allowed for the game. (Pant-pant) Drop a “da,” or a “gi” or a “po” and watch your competitors wither in the sun. Scrabble is also updating itself with such words as “texter, vlog, bromance, hashtag, dubstep and selfie,” among the 100,000 words now in play. What a great advantage over grandma, who still keeps playing the word “strumpet,” but refuses to say what it means.

ATLANTIC CITY – With casinos folding quicker than a pair of threes, this is the time to shore up the community – and fast. So how can the City Council jack municipal taxes by 29 percent? The Press of AC says the state backed the city into a corner. Here’s the apparent deal: Pass a budget with a whopping tax increase and get $20 million from the state. Or don’t pass the budget and watch taxes soar by 47 percent. The city is facing such calamity because the casinos are filing tax appeals left and right, and coffers are running dry. Meanwhile, one taxpayer tells the City Council her taxes are going from $7,400 to $12,000 a year. If she could sell her home, why stay in Atlantic City?

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL – Although his name doesn’t ring a bell with most voters, the GOP contender running this fall against Sen. Cory Booker is showing some life. A Quinnipiac University Poll says Jeff Bell is only behind Booker by 10 points – even though voters have no idea where Bell stands on anything. Bell appeared on NJTV to put a face to the name, saying one of his key concerns is the Federal Reserve interest rate policy: an unknown guy talking about an unknown policy. Meanwhile, his competitor gets 100,000 votes for tweeting about a lost cat.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

DORSET, Minn. – A 5-year-old boy has already experienced the glory of a political win – getting elected twice as mayor of some backwards town in northern Minnesota. And now he feels the agony of defeat, losing re-election to his third one-year term. Bobby Tufts was bounced to the curb – crayons and all – by a fed-up electorate seeking the strong experienced leadership of a teenager. That’s right, Little Bobby lost to Eric Mueller, age 16, who drew more names during the annual “Taste of Dorset” festival. “It was fun, but it’s time to pass on the vote,” Bobby told The Associated Press in his concession speech. People can vote as many times as they like in this sham “election” – for $1 a vote. Hey, it’s no different in New Jersey; just add more zeroes.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

Maybe it was just meant to be when the temperature hit 88 degrees in New Jersey on this day in 1988. 88 on 8/8/88.


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