The Morning Briefing July 19, 2012
PLAINFIELD – The spirit of volunteerism is taking a huge hit, as the state’s highest court has ruled that people can sue the local first aid squad for such issues as negligence and wrongful death. The Courier News reports a Plainfield couple can sue the volunteer rescue squad, after local first aiders opted to perform CPR on their son after his brother shot him, rather than just transport the victim to a nearby hospital. The son was pronounced dead about 30 minutes after arriving at the hospital in 2004. The court ruling is an awful precedent, prompting anyone to see dollar signs whenever the ambulance rolls up. Perhaps these volunteer squads will now need at least one paid employee: the staff attorney.
RUMSON – A local man is on the hunt for a new SUV, after a Manhattan parking garage attendant drove his Lexus RX350 into an empty elevator shaft on East 76th Street. The SUV plunged four stories, landing upside down. The New York Post travelled to Rumson to get comment from the former Lexus owner, who, it seemed, was in no mood to talk. Meanwhile, the parking attendant is being treated at NY Presbyterian Hospital for buffoonery.
TRENTON – Following some superb journalism in The New York Times about the many ills of New Jersey’s privately-run halfway houses, the state Senate is holding a hearing today to weigh fact vs. fiction. Reporters spent 10 months developing a scary series centered on the drugs, rape, gang warfare and easy escape from crammed places worse than third-world prisons. What makes this series even more alarming is the focus on a massive private company called Community Education Centers, which had none other than Gov. Chris Christie as its registered lobbyist in 2000 and 2001. As Governor, Christie has visited and praised his former client, calling its centers “the very best of the human spirit.” Read the series to understand the magnitude of all this.
TRENTON – The Governor is set to sign legislation today with far-reaching support throughout the State House – allowing nonviolent, drug-dependent offenders to receive treatment, rather than be forced to live 24/7 with the state’s leading psychopaths in our prisons. Because of the Governor’s urging, these down-and-out addicts can now get the help they really need, and – as an added bonus – steer clear of those halfway houses offering “the very best of the human spirit.”
STATEWIDE – It’s the year 2012, correct? We’ve got our hand-held smart phones that can pay the electric bill and turn on the living room lights from anywhere in the known galaxy. But, for some reason, whenever it rains in New Jersey, there are widespread power outages. It seems the weatherman should report, “There is a 70 percent chance of rain Friday, with a 50 percent chance of power outages Saturday.” Yesterday, it rained. Thousands of businesses are now without power. We know it rains. There can be high winds. Can’t we collectively figure out how to keep the power on?
NEW BRUNSWICK – You’ve got to hand it to Rutgers officials; they are no dummies. When it comes to raising tuition, call the vote during a July heat wave, when many of the students on campus are from other colleges, trying to squeeze in some summer credits. The Board of Governors approved a small hike of 2.2 percent yesterday. Not bad, but students are still suffering from years of cumulative increases. An in-state Rutgers education with room and board will now cost you $100,000 – prompting many cash-strapped kids to opt for a rewarding career in one of New Jersey’s superb halfway houses.
TAMPA – First, there was the buzz about how our Governor was going to be the keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention. But now, according to the Washington Post, the Romney folks are telling people to hold the horses. This all hooks in to the VP buzz. If Christie is the keynote, one would assume he is not the VP candidate. Stay tuned, says the Republican National Committee, eager to build the drama over all this into shear delirium.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1967 that New York City introduced its very first air conditioned subway car. So, let’s assume, it was July 20, 1967 when New York reported its first broken AC system on a subway car.