The Morning Briefing April 30, 2012
NEW YORK – Some mixed emotions as Port Authority officials today celebrate One World Trade Center becoming the tallest building in Manhattan. Construction costs are now at a startling $3.8 billion; it is considered the most expensive office building in the world. Security is a main reason, as the building is constructed with thick cores of concrete and steel. But while it is a great story to see the rebirth of the WTC site, one must wonder what company would lease the top floor of this international target, and what families would be comfortable to send loved ones there. It is a strange new world.
FLORHAM PARK – Jets QB Mark Sanchez probably has a little voodoo doll of Tim Tebow under his pillow. But stabbing that doll lately has been futile, as the back-up seems to get more and more attention. The latest: the NFL Network reports that Tebow is ranked among the top 100 football players in the league, coming in at a respectable 95. Sanchez's response: "There's a list?"
FREEHOLD – When you steal $400,000 from a condo association, it's just a matter of time before you are caught. First, folks notice the grass hasn't been cut, then Mrs. Jones has a leak in her kitchen skylight that has gone unrepaired, then Mr. Bean falls into the petunias when his deck rail collapses. A 60-year-old property manager at the Strickland Farms condos in Freehold was easily nabbed and now headed to prison for six years, where she likely won't be asked to hold the cash during the midnight dice games.
NEWARK – A city once with a thriving Jewish population will host its 25th-annual Holocaust remembrance event today at the Robert Treat Hotel. An interesting twist will be a speech from Robert Bielski, whose father, Tuvia, was part of a band of Jewish resisters who lived in underground bunkers in the forest for two years, ultimately saving 1,236 Jews (Thanks again, Wikipedia) from Nazis. A version of the story was made into the 2008 movie "Defiance."
CHERRY HILL – When you hear about a cat stuck in a tree, well, that's not news. But when you hear how the Cherry Hill Fire Department had to rescue a man stuck in a tree, we need to investigate. It happened Friday, when a man was looking for his pet bird and discovered it perched in a tree. He grabbed a ladder and climbed up, the Courier Post reports, but then ended up clinging to a branch – just like Sgt. Snorkel in "Beetle Bailey." Firefighters had to hack away at dozens of branches to save the man and his bird. Oh, and what does the bird do after this man risks life and limb? Bites him on the nose. Jeez, get a dog.
DELAWARE TOWNSHIP – It seems if you want a new lamp you have two choices: You can buy one in a store, or you can take an old anti-aircraft shell, drill holes in it for the wires and hope it doesn't explode in your face. A 73-year-old man opted for Option 2, and was sent to the hospital with injuries to his upper body when his new lamp went kablooey in his garage workshop, the Express Times reports.
CAMDEN – While alumni of Rutgers-Camden spent Saturday at "Rutgers Day" in New Brunswick ginning up support for the "Save RU Camden" campaign, George Norcross was predicting the end of Rutgers-Camden by July 1. Norcross told the Courier Post editorial board the Rowan take-over will happen - and that's no matter how many "Save RU Camden" buttons are distributed.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
"Pencil-necked geeks" in seventh grade hallways across America can thank "Classy" Freddy Blassie, a professional wrestler who always played the villain, for coming up with the phrase on this day in 1952.