Morning Briefing - March 17, 2015
ON THE RAILS – As it is Tuesday morning and we need to go to work, we have a message for St. Patrick’s Day revelers: Take mass transit to NYC for the parade. Drink all you want, have a blast, whatever. Just stay out of our way. NJ Transit has extra buses set up for you, and the trains will be on regular schedule. There’s technically no booze allowed on any train to and from New York or Hoboken, but that’s probably why our creator created jackets with plenty of pockets. Enjoy. (But, again, stay out of our way.)
NEWARK – After a day of imbibing in Manhattan at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, make sure to wobble over to Newark City Hall at 6 p.m. for Mayor Ras Baraka’s "State of the City" address. Interesting timing for such a speech, but one would assume this is an “invite-only” without the green beer.
TRENTON – The era of the traditional car dealer is chugging toward extinction in New Jersey, with the state Senate passing a bill that would allow electric manufacturers to sell directly to consumers. You would be able to order your Tesla from a store in the mall, as opposed to visiting some mega-lot on the highway and dealing with greasy dealers and their mysterious mark-ups. If this generous bill to Tesla becomes law, expect other car manufacturers to ask: “Hey, what about us? We gotta compete, too.”
CAMDEN – The Associated Press is circulating a story today about Gov. Chris Christie’s generous tax incentives to keep businesses in New Jersey, with more than $2 billion in tax breaks since last year – more than the total amount handed out a decade before the governor took office. Christie has thrown all his chips at Camden, which reaped $630 million in future tax breaks just last year - nearly four times the city’s annual budget. The AP dug a bit deeper, finding:
- Most of the “new” jobs are given to existing employees working a few miles away.
- One tax break exceeded the total value of the company that received it.
- Another tax break went to an alleged deadbeat developer who owes New Jersey millions of dollars in unpaid loans.
- And, of course, nearly all benefactors boasted strong connections to the South Jersey political elite.
- We are not surprised by any of this.
FREEHOLD – Gov. Chris Christie will be in Freehold today. (Editor’s Note: Freehold is in Monmouth County, not Iowa.) The governor will be hosting his 131st town hall event, expected to highlight the state’s desperate need to control state pension and health benefit costs. A likely talking point will be his upcoming appeal of a court ruling requiring Christie to restore $1.57 billion stripped from the current state budget, which runs through June 30. Christie’s camp has dismissed the ruling as “liberal judicial activism” by a judge a former GOP governor appointed.
NUTLEY – Public school has changed drastically since our days wandering the halls, when an ethnic or sexual slur was the standard greeting for fellow classmates. This morning, Nutley High School will play host to Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle and representatives of bullying prevention, civil rights, gay rights and transgender rights organizations to announce a school outreach project. Such an initiative recognizes schools statewide that help support gender nonconforming and transgender children and the discussion of LGBT topics in health classes.
CAMDEN – Seems like an awesome place: a “ghost train station” in the Old City section of Philadelphia that was abandoned in 1979. The Delaware River Port Authority, which oversees the train runs from South Jersey to Philly, says it would cost more than $26 million to reopen the “Franklin Square” station to serve an estimated 1,300 passengers. The question is if it is really necessary. Ghost tours seem like more fun.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1997 that CNN launched a station geared toward Latinos, ensuring that Spanish-speaking households also have equal opportunity to ignore cable news.
WORD OF THE DAY
Callipygian – adjective
Definition: Having an attractive tush. The word is a combo of two ancient Greek words: “beauty” and “buttocks.” It was famously used to name a naked statue of the Greek Goddess of Love. For those writing love poems today, callipygian rhymes with cantabrigian, phrygian and stygian.
“Dang, it may be all this green beer I’ve been guzzling since 7 a.m., but check out all these callipygian people marching in the parade.”
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