POLITICS & GOVERNMENT

Jaffe Morning Briefing: Sept. 23, 2015

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JAFFE COMMUNICATIONS GIVES ITS TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
The content and opinions expressed herein are those of Jaffe Communications and do not necessarily reflect the views of NJTV.

STATEWIDE – It is the first day of fall, and that could only mean one thing: The explosion of pop-up Halloween stores on every major highway in New Jersey. Every foot of unleased commercial space in second-rate buildings will now become home to Disney characters, Donald Trump masks, Wild West prostitutes and thousands of other costumes that weren’t sold during last year’s Halloween rush. The National Retail Federation is out with its top five anticipated costumes, in order: a witch, an animal, Batman, a zombie and any “Star Wars” character. Seems like this list hasn’t changed since 1979.

NEWARK – Jeez, 350 years old already? Not looking a day over 150, the City of Newark will kick off its 350th anniversary with a free “family fun festival” at Military Park on October 17. The event, scheduled for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., will preview plans for a year-long celebration in 2016. Anchoring the day will be a parade, a series of live concerts and performances, arts and crafts, various demonstrations and global cuisine representing all the communities of Newark. The kickoff event is being hosted by the Military Park Partnership and the Newark Celebration 350 Committee (NC350), a broad coalition of arts, community, academic, business and government organization all based in Newark.

AT HOME – Feel free to belt out “Happy Birthday to You” without the fear of copyright lawyers descending on your house and destroying the party. A federal judge says a music publishing company no longer has a valid copyright on the song, sung every second of every minute of the day. The court says the basic tune of the song is from another children’s song, “Good Morning to All,” which has long been in the public domain. That means no more cash windfalls for the Clayton F. Summy Co., which shrewdly bought “Happy Birthday to You” from the original song’s writers. No one is enjoying cake over there today.

POPE WEEK – As giddy tourism officials in Philadelphia expect a $420 million boost from the Pope’s visit, you can only assume the Internet is filled with an outrageous array of stuff to mark this special moment. You can pick up your very own 2-by-4-inch Pope Francis holy card for just 19 cents, or, for the big spenders, spend $399.99 for a 14-karat gold “journey to the heart of New York” medal that is the size of a nickel. There’s also “official” merchandise, like a life-size pop-up standee of Pope Francis with his thumbs up for just $160. Check out some more exciting items at CatholictotheMax.com, where we can only hope some of this profit goes to charity.

MONTCLAIR – The most quoted line today will be “it ain’t over until it’s over,” as New Jersey has lost one of its most lasting treasures, Yogi Berra, who died yesterday at age 90.  We will leave it up to the sports writers and biographers who knew Berra to talk about his unmatched 10 World Series championships with the New York Yankees, as well as all those malapropisms that continually landed him in “Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations.” You can leave it to us to remind you that Yogi retired as a New York Met and helmed their run to the World Series in 1973. Yogi will be missed.

LINDEN – Environmentalists won’t let go in efforts to block the state’s infamous $225 million settlement with ExxonMobil and are now trying to appeal in the courts. This campaign, backed by State Sen. Ray Lesniak, claims the state dropped the ball by settling for just pennies on the dollar in this long-standing pollution case, compared to the $8.9 billion that was originally sought. The environmentalists argue the courts would not let them intervene with the settlement proceedings. But now that it is a done deal, they are demanding the right to appeal to a judge who already considers the settlement “a reasonable compromise.” The judge is set to rule by October 9. If environmentalists lose this round, hey, there’s always appellate court.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

BURBANK, Calif. – Sure, it can get a bit frenzied around the free samples at Costco, as shoppers jostle for the latest gourmet item from Kirkland. But police say that is no reason for a young man to punch a 78-year-old man who was just trying to taste the free Nutella waffle. Apparently, the 24-year-old suspect was gobbling up the waffles, one after the other in reckless abandon, until the senior citizen suggested that he just take one. In response, the young man punched the geezer in the eye, landing him in jail on “elder abuse” charges and $50,000 bail, the Los Angeles Times reports.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

“So, hey, (snicker) … Cheryl or Farrah?”

That was the big “battle of the hotties” among men on this day in 1977, when Cheryl Ladd replaced Farrah Fawcett on “Charlie’s Angels.”

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WORD OF THE DAY

Agelast – noun

Definition: A person who never laughs

Example: Every so often we hear from an agelast who asks, “So, what’s the purpose of this morning e-blast?”

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