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The Jaffe Briefing - January 3, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
 
TRENTON - If you are thumbing through the calendar, be quick to note that there are just 13 days left in the Christie Administration. Yet the big guy isn't ready to fade away, as his anti-opioid commercials fill our airwaves, morning, noon and night. There's some other unfinished business, as Christie tries to reshape his legacy after vanishing from office for a couple of years or so. He still wants to get a couple of state office buildings constructed (now in litigation) and is now pushing for a marina to be built in Liberty State Park in Jersey City (also in litigation). Perhaps this is another great opportunity for our lame-duck governor to disappear.

STATEWIDE - See all those gleaming Maserati dealerships at a highway near you? That's because the state's richest are getting even richer and people like you, well, are not. NJ.com is reporting this morning about "income inequality," explaining that New Jersey ranks 12th highest in the nation in the gap between our rich and poor. The gap is most evident in Essex County, where you have the "haves" living in Millburn, with a median household income of $190,625. Then, just a few short miles to the east in Newark, the "have nots" are living on media incomes of $33,000 or so. That gives Essex County the distinction as the 19th highest in income inequality nationally, with absolutely no idea how to balance those scales.
 
STATEWIDE - Sick of this arctic weather? Well, stop complaining. New Jersey is nowhere near setting any records for cold spells. NJ 101.5 chatted up State Climatologist Dave Robinson, of Rutgers University, who noted we're now at seven days and counting of sub-freezing temperatures. Even if this freezing weather ran through Sunday, that would be 12 days for a frigid run, he notes, very unimpressed. That's because the state record is 21 days of sub-freezing temperatures, marked by the two or three people stuck living in Sussex County in 1893.

IN A CLOUD - Worried about New Jersey's financial situation? Well, the profitability of New Jersey's potential cannabis market has been estimated at around $1 billion annually, which would generate heaps of cash for the state treasury, NJBIZ reports. Some estimates have suggested the national market could balloon to a $25 billion industry by 2020, potentially mellowing the concerns of anxious taxpayers now squeezed for any vestige of disposable income. Any economic development plan involving cannabis has remained largely abstract, with concerns about enforcement filling in the absence of real details. Legislators are hoping Phil Murphy can clear up the haze. No estimates, as of yet, for our how the cannabis market will spark the state's pizza delivery industry.

STATEWIDE - Racing to the store to spend a ton of money? Good for you, but it's doubtful you have been waiting until the cut in sales tax that went into effect Jan. 1. Oh, you didn't know about the big sales tax break? Really? Yup, the sales tax dropped from 6.875 to 6.625 percent as part of a legislative horse trade last year to get a gas tax adopted. So, get out there and shop, knowing you could potentially be saving upwards of 85 cents on your latest spree.
 
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
 
OAKLAND, Calif. - Alaska Airlines is royally ticked that a rat boarded one of its Portland-bound planes at Oakland International Airport yesterday, forcing the flight to be cancelled. That's likely because the rat did not pay the mandatory upcharges for its carry-on bag, priority boarding, reserved seat, a printed ticket and the bag of pretzels it nibbled through. Total due from rodent: $743.22.
 
 
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
 
It's a safe bet you are reading this on an iPhone, iPad, Macbook or iMac, which is why you care about this day in 1977, when Apple Computer, Inc. was officially launched.
 
WORD OF THE DAY

Sacerdotal - [sass-er-DOH-tuhl] - adjective
 
Definition: Of or relating to the priesthood
 
Example: Perhaps priests can pray for 30-degree weather as part of their sacerdotal duties.
 
WEATHER IN AN IMAGE
 

Posted in Morning Briefing

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