Jaffe Morning Briefing: May 30, 2014


EAST RUTHERFORD – The Meadowlands has hosted some of the loudest bands ever assembled, from “The Who” to “Motorhead,” a band that touts on its concert T-shirts it is “louder than everyone else.” So it is hard to imagine how loud last weekend’s Electric Daisy music festival must have been to spark complaints from the people of nearby Secaucus. The Record reports Secaucus police logged more than 100 complaints and issued noise summonses. East Rutherford Mayor James Cassella said he did not hear any complaints, but perhaps he can’t hear anything anymore.

CAMDEN – Give three cheers to Camden, which has finally seen a drop in crime after decades of being known as one of the most dangerous cities on the planet. While the daily rap sheet had been typically filled with murders and shootings, now police are reporting that someone stole the tip jar from the Market Street Pizzeria on Sunday. That’s the type of crime that could happen in the leafiest of suburbs…good job Camden!

NEWARK – Maybe one guy has an affinity for shaving kits, socks and wrinkled shirts. It could explain why Port Authority cops keep arresting a Newark man for stealing the luggage off the carousels at the airport, Fox News reports. Police noted the 37-year-old man grabbed two suitcases at Terminal C on Wednesday and tried to board a bus. He was charged with theft of “movable property,” as opposed, we guess, to “stationary property.”

NEW BRUNSWICK – The 59 members of the Rutgers Board of Trustees want Trenton to back off. They will hold an emergency meeting this afternoon in efforts to fight a bill by state Senate President Stephen Sweeney to increase the number of political appointees to the Rutgers Board of Governors, the Record reports. Sweeney’s plan would add four voting political appointments from Trenton, diluting the influence of the trustees, now with seven voting members on the Board of Governors. The trustees have legitimate concerns; Sweeney tried to abolish their board last year, calling it an unwieldy throwback. But the trustees – mostly comprising alumni – like their board nice and unwieldy, thank you very much.

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL – Even if you are the proudest member of the GOP – in the most respectable of Republican cloth – you may be unaware your party has a big primary next Tuesday for U.S. senator. Politicker wonders how bad the Republicans want to beat U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, offering up four no-name candidates collectively amassing $50,000 to take on a national celebrity with a $3 million war chest and Oprah’s cell phone number.

DOWN SOUTH – Gov. Chris Christie is set to headline the Tennessee Republican Party’s annual Statesmen’s Dinner in Nashville tonight. While the local media is ga-ga to have this national politician in their midst, the Star-Ledger isn’t joining in the raw enthusiasm. The newspaper reports Iowa’s Republican congressman, U.S. Rep. Andy Holt, wrote on his Facebook page that Christie’s appearance is “an absolutely terrible idea.” “Really, Tennessee GOP? Gov. Chris Christie? Why would we want to cloud Tennessee’s conservative Republican Party with this questionable political figure?” Holt wrote. “What about having a truly conservative Republican team-player come and speak to us and excite the ‘real’ base of the Republican Party in Tennessee? I’m willing to make suggestions if necessary.” The Democratic National Committee – always eager to pile on – is dubbing Christie’s whistle stops the 2014 “Summer Scandal Tour.”

DOWN SOUTH – “Somewhere else” seems to be a good place for the Governor to be today, after the Record reported that Christie handed out generous raises to his in-house image-makers in recent months. Wage hikes in his office over the past two months have averaged 23 percent, while Trenton grapples with a massive hole in the fiscal 2015 budget that must be balanced by June 30. Meanwhile, the Governor is holding back $2.4 billion in pension payments because, he says, the state is broke. The question is not about who deserves what; it is about perception, reality and really, really bad timing.

NEWARK – City officials want to tackle 50 ill-shaped vacant lots that are impossible to use. So instead of residents using these properties to illegally dump old mattresses, washing machines and other trash, the city is partnering on a project to create flower, vegetable and fruit gardens. Today, Newark Mayor Luis Quintana joins with others to hype a planned garden across from the James C. White Manor residential building expected to provide at least two tons of produce to 200 seniors.


DALLAS – Starbucks may have to reconsider its “free drink” policy, after a Texas coffee lover was able to use his customer loyalty card to order a 128-ounce drink, costing $54.75. The drink came with 60 espresso shots and was topped with gobs of whipped cream. Reuters reports it took him five days to drink the frozen mega-Frappuccino. Caffeine Informer estimates the monstrosity packed 4,500 mg of caffeine, way beyond what any sane person should consume. This caffeine-infused customer should finally drift off to sleep in, say, November.


It was this day in 1992 that Paul Simon married Edie Brickell, clearly blowing off me and Julio down by the school yard.

Want to read more Morning Briefing? Click here for back issues.