A 1997 New Jersey law allows telcoms companies to stop paying taxes while continuing their access to municipal infrastructure (poles, land, lines, etc) if they serve fewer than 51% of the people in a city; in 2008, Verizon started to claim this exemption, by 2015, it was paying no municipal taxes to 150 of New Jersey's 565 cities.
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I had no idea there was such a long and complicated debate over who owns Liberty Island and its crown jewel, the Statue of Liberty. Thank goodness CGP Grey is here to explain it all to us! Get a beverage and have a seat, it's quite a story. Read the rest
“What do you do with an old Texas rodeo cowboy when he marries a Jersey girl, he’s up in Jersey, and he has no place to keep a horse in Cranford? You make a mechanical horse!”
Steve Bacque, aka the Crazy Cranford Cowboy, is that Texan and he did indeed make himself an electric horse. Four golf cart batteries power his not-street-legal e-horse, which he calls "Charger."
According to NJ.com,
Charger can do up to 40 miles per hour (though he has a governor to rein him in to about 15 miles per hour) and can handle up to 600 pounds. Charger even has a wheelie bar in the back, which is “not just for show,” Bacque warns. Yes, this motorized horse can pop a (small) wheelie.
Charger turns left and right with the reins and even brakes when you pull back on them. A key turns him on, and a gas pedal sets him in motion.
Bacque first caught attention in town when he rode up on Charger to his bank's drive-thru window:
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When Mindy Weiss Affronti pulled up to the bank drive-thru two weeks ago and saw a man atop a robotic horse at the teller window, she did a double take.
Then she took his picture.
The friendly cowboy smiled, happy to oblige, before riding off. Left in the stupor of what she had seen, Affronti did what any other rational person would do: She posted the photo on social media...
After Affronti shared her photo and a video in a neighborhood Facebook group, there were others.
Five years after Oregon designated Saccharomyces cerevisia (AKA brewer's yeast) as its official state microbe, the New Jersey senate has unanimously passed S1729, which names Streptomyces griseus (which produces a powerful antibiotic and was discovered at Rutgers) to high state honor -- now the microbe bill goes to the state assembly and thence to the governor. (Image: Docwarhol, CC-BY-SA)
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Thwarting Darwinism, or, more likely, a pair of earbuds, a cop from the Perth Amboy Police Department in New Jersey, hauled ass to save a man from being smooshed by a train--and it was all caught on the officer's body camera. Why anyone, unless they were in some emotional distress, would decide that walking down a set of train tracks oblivious to an oncoming locomotive was a good idea is beyond me. Fortunate for the fella in the video, the police officer that came to his rescue was in good enough physical shape that he was able to sprint with the 20 pounds of gear that most cops wear, without slowing him down. Read the rest
Six Flags Great Adventure debuted their newest thrill ride Wednesday, the 7-story-high CYBORG Cyber Spin. The Jackson, New Jersey theme park claims their gyroscopic anti-gravity attraction is a first of its kind in the United States (Europe's had one since 2015.)
...you'll board a 24-seat gondola and prepare to take to the skies. As the ride raises off the ground, the ride begins to spin on all three axis independently as the movements grow larger and faster and you fly head-over-heels for an out-of-this-world ride like nothing you've ever experienced before. As the spinning slows, CYBORG brings the axis back together and lowers you back to earth.
(NJ.com) Read the rest
In New Jersey, four crosswalks have been permanently painted in rainbow stripes. The Maplewood Township is the first in its state to permanently honor its diverse community in this way.
The crosswalks will be at the intersection of Valley Street, a county road, and Oakview Road. Maplewood will become the first town in New Jersey to feature permanent rainbow crosswalks on a county road to celebrate and honor diversity and inclusion within the community, town officials said.
"We want to do something that would serve as a permanent marker or symbol of our commitment to inclusion," said Dean Dafis, the first openly LGBTQ Mapplewood Township Committee member.
"I wanted it to be something you can encounter every day. We want our youth in particular -- perhaps those struggling to find their way, those in need of empowerment and affirmation -- to proudly cross or walk over their fear and self doubt."
While it's a first for New Jersey, Maplewood isn't the first place in the U.S. to get colorful crosswalks in the name of Pride. Select streets in San Francisco, West Hollywood, Long Beach, Seattle, Key West, Miami Beach, and Philadelphia also sport rainbow stripes. Read the rest
Fact: The only thing that smells worse than your poop is tons of other people's poop. If you don't believe me, take a road trip to the town of Parrish, Alabama. They'll back me up on this one: According to the Associated Press, the citizens of Parrish were forced to endure the stench pouring off a train full of sewer sludge from New York and New Jersey for close to two months.
It's not unusual for trains full of human waste to pass through the town of 982 people: there's a landfill complex that treats and disposes of the excrement another 20 miles further down the track. Having the train stop in town to share its intoxicating perfume for two months? That's both unreasonable and unusual. It seems that another county in Alabama blocked the train's passage, making it impossible for it to reach its final destination. So, there it sat in Parrish: like a man in the bathroom after a large, questionable meal, full of poop, making everything terrible for everyone. NPR states that the train was stopped near a local park. The odor coming off of it was so bad that little league games had to be cancelled.
After two months of having to put up with the stench ruining the lives of everyone in the town, in mid-April, the Mayor of Parrish was finally able to tell her constituents that it was finally moving on. The town's administration will be looking into passing a series of by-laws to keep similar incidents from happening again. Read the rest
Taxi, Throw Momma From the Train, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, War of the Roses, Death to Smoochy: Danny DeVito has his wee fingers in so many of the movies and television pies that I've loved over the years. It seems that others feel the love for Troll Foot just as hard as I do. According to The New York Times, the actor, writing and – I'm just going to say it – 4' 10" cultural touchstone, will be by his former Ashbury Park stomping grounds with a day of his own.
DeVito's love of New Jersey is no secret. Born and raised in the state, he left in his teens to pursue an acting career in New York. With that panning out pretty well, DeVito kept on moving and made his way to the west coast, because of Hollywood. Despite this, his connection to his home state still runs deep.
From The New York Times
He named his production companies after New Jersey and paid for repairs to the Paramount Theater in Asbury Park so the premiere of “Throw Mamma From the Train,” which he directed and starred in, could be held there. He was the executive producer behind “Garden State,” and when his fellow Jersey icon, Bruce Springsteen, was inducted into the state Hall of Fame, Mr. DeVito gave the introduction.
So, Danny DeVito Day: It'll fall on the 73-year-old's birthday, November 17th. Those with the power to declare this day or that day to have been bestowed to someone will be announcing the honor, officially, at the Ashbury Park Music and Film Festival. Read the rest
New Jersey State Senator Jeff Van Drew wants to run for Congress as a Democrat; he visited 17-year-old Emily McGrath's school, Egg Harbor Township High, where McGrath questioned him about whether he'd taken money from the NRA; Van Drew said he hadn't, and he was lying.
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Connecting voting machines to the internet is a terrible idea: the machines are already notoriously insecure, and once they're online, anyone, anywhere in the world becomes a potential attacker.
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First it was Montana, then New York, then California -- and now New Jersey has become the latest state to enact state-level Net Neutrality rules in defiance of Trump FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who not only killed Net Neutrality despite the obvious fraud and deceit in the regulatory process, but also insists (as his Democratic predecessor, Tom Wheeler, did) that states do not have the right to override federal communications policy.
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Sick burn, EWR. The crooked as heck governor of New Jersey has barely been out of office for three whole days, and he gets escorted out by a cop when attempting to waddle his way into Newark International Airport's VIP entrance. Read the rest
As of Monday, there is a new kind of "DUI" in New Jersey: Droning Under the Influence.
On his final day of being New Jersey's (incredibly unpopular) governor, Chris Christie signed a law making it illegal to fly an unmanned drone aircraft drunk or under the influence of drugs.
The law prohibits flying a drone with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher, the same as for driving a vehicle, or while drugged. Violators face up to six months in jail, a $1,000 fine or both.
The measure, which passed the Democratic-controlled state legislature earlier this month, also bars flying a drone near a prison or in pursuit of wildlife.
The drone measure was among 109 bills that Christie signed into law on his last full day in office, spokesman Brian Murray said by email. Christie’s successor, Democrat Phil Murphy, is to be sworn in on Tuesday.
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In the department of "You can't make this stuff up," the president's second son, Eric, blew out the candles of his 34th birthday cake -- a Carvel "Fudgie the Whale" ice cream cake, no less -- on Saturday.
Watch this video posted on Facebook by Lynne Patton for proof. He's the one wearing a giant black sombrero:
(The Daily Meal) Read the rest
Trumpcare was dead on arrival (again) until Rep Tom MacArthur [R-NJ; Twitter: @RepTomMacArthur; DC: (202) 225-4765; Burlington County: (856) 267-5182; Ocean County: (732) 569-6495] introduced an amendment that allowed insurers to refuse to cover people with "pre-existing conditions" including surviving domestic violence and/or rape, living with PTSD, being born with a congenital defect, and so forth. Read the rest
Former NJ Port Authority Chairman David Samson -- a "staunch ally" of Chris Christie -- got United to schedule an extra, largely empty Friday night flight from Newark airport to Columbia, SC, where he had his weekend place (the flight returned early Monday in time for him to go back to the office). A court has now accepted his guilty plea for accepting bribes and sentenced him to one year of house arrest and four years of probation. Read the rest