TRENTON – Here's your golden opportunity to buy land for less than the "value fries" at McDonald's. Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson wants to sell vacant lots for as little as a buck to those willing to fix them up. It is the latest effort to deal with the 6,300 vacant parcels plaguing Trenton, comprising almost 25 percent of all properties in the city. Jackson said there are some conditions in his proposal, such as people would need to build their homes on the land and live there for at least 10 years. People also would have to prove they have the cash to build, in exchange for the bargain-basement land.
NEWARK – In the all-important Hip-Hop world, a rapper named Chief Keef has an apparent problem with New Jersey because someone tried to steal his chain outside a bar near Newark, reports AllHipHop.com. Keef raps, "I'm riding through New York. Finna go and shoot New Jersey up. Tryna take my chain I ain't going through it. We gonna come and blow New Jersey up." In response, the "Grape Street Crips" are now officially banning Chief Keef from New Jersey. The Crips released their own video, saying "Jersey don't love you. You get no money in my state. F**k you Chief." And there is a lot more like this on Twitter, none of which makes any sense to us.
CAMDEN – Michael J. Fox's foundation is seething at a Camden research institute, which it claims left a freezer door open and ruined a bunch of scientific samples. The foundation is now in federal court, saying it contracted with the company to store specimens for research into Parkinson's, paying $3.5 million. But, in March, apparently someone left the freezer door open, causing these treasured samples to thaw. (Insert Duh here) The company denies wrongdoing. Wish there was an available DeLorean to go back in time.
STATEWIDE – Monmouth University's "Quality of Life Survey," which has been around for four years, is now reporting the lowest ratings in its short history, NJ.com reports. The survey asked 802 adults five questions about New Jersey, their hometowns, the environment, schools and safety. Patrick Murray, the pollster, thinks the dip is because people feel less safe, with the biggest drops in the state's rural areas among 18 to 34 year olds. Perhaps, he figures, that's because all the issues of suburban and urban towns are creeping in as the state continues to develop.
HARRISON – No doubt, the Red Bulls soccer franchise has been a boon to development in the city. But there is an epic battle over nearly $3 million in taxes the Red Bulls paid the city in 2010 and 2011, the Jersey Journal reports. The Red Bulls continue to argue the stadium was built on tax-exempt property the town owns, but the courts have declared Harrison the winner. Now, the ball has been kicked to the state Supreme Court.
NEW YAWK – The Jersey Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau will be on Broadway today to hold open auditions for the "Jersey Shore Karaoke Idol" competition, featuring a $10,000 grand prize. Nice way to promote the shore, but do we really want "NooYawkez" – who describe the land east of Queens as "Lawn Guyland" – to win this contest?
MONTCLAIR - After learning there was nothing like Women Entrepreneurship Week in the U.S., the Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship at Montclair State University decided to create the event on October 15 at the school. Featured will be top Garden State women leaders like Tracye McDaniel, Caren Franzini and Michelle Lee, plus leaders from Wall Street like NASDAQ OMX's Ellyn McColgan, Catalyst's Ilene H. Lang and Golden Seeds' Joan Zief. More than 30 speakers, and they're all women. But we're told men can attend too.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
BROOKYN – Come for the BBQ, stay for the free pig tattoo. The Daily News reports a new BBQ joint and beer garden in Brooklyn is offering free pig-themed tattoos as part of its grand opening today. The place is called "The Arrogant Swine," and will feature tattoos of Miss Piggy, Porky Pig and Piglet from "Winnie the Pooh." Or you can show your toughness with tattoos featuring slabs of meat and a hog cutting itself with a knife. Whatever you choose, you'll remember this grand opening forever.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It is actually, er, today in history, when Americans celebrate National Fluffernutter Day. Our research team was unable to discover when this national holiday began, but we learned plenty about the history of "fluff." In 1913, during World War I, Emma and Amory Curtis of Melrose, Mass.. invented Snowflake Marshmallow Creme and published a recipe for a peanut butter and marshmallow creme sandwich - the earliest known example of a Fluffernutter. It was in 1960 that the term "Fluffernutter" was created by the Mad Men at the advertising agency of Durkee-Mower, hired to market the sandwich.