The Morning Briefing August 17, 2012
JACKSON – Are you goofy, odd or just downright frightening to look at? Do you scare kids and old people easily? Well, Six Flags Great Adventure wants you. Stop by the auditions at 6 p.m. tonight, as organizers of the 21st-annual "Fright Fest Halloween" will be looking for actors to try out. The word around the haunted house is there's a special interest this year in zombies, so you may want to pull over on the New Jersey Turnpike to wrap yourself in toilet paper. Or not.
TRENTON – The spin-meisters are working overtime in their dank offices in the deep bowels of the Statehouse, trying to eek out a drop of good news for the boss upstairs, following news that the state's unemployment rate has hit a 35-year high. The numbers show New Jersey is now at 9.8 percent unemployment – 1.5 percent higher than the national rate. Guess that means dwellers of Kentucky-based trailer parks are relieved they don't live in New Jersey. Here's the official spin from the state: Labor Commissioner Hal Wirths says New Jersey has seen private-sector growth in nine of the past 12 months. OK; boy, we feel better now.
TRENTON – The "Jersey Comeback" lumbers along, with word that state revenue collections are $540 million below what the Christie Administration targeted for the fiscal year that ended June 30. This is according to the non-partisan Office of Legislative Services, which responded to a request from Sen. Barbara Buono, a potential gubernatorial opponent for the Governor, who is apparently building her arsenal of talking points.
MONMOUTH BEACH – Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno doesn't need to travel far for her scheduled 7 p.m. hometown appearance tonight at the borough's annual firemen's fair, where she can talk politics over $2 cups of Coors Light, clang the bell as the town's vintage fire truck tours through town or try her luck at a gambling wheel that gets more business than the Revel.
OCEAN CITY – Could it have the makings of a Jaws sequel titled "Jaws 5: Attack of the Boozeless Town"? A local TV station is reporting that a shark hunter hauled in a six-foot Thresher shark on Wednesday night off the shores of Ocean City, after he was out fishing with a bucket of chum and a dream. The shark was released back into the ocean, while sober husbands on the beach asked their wives yet again why they decided to vacation in the one shore town where they can't just buy one damn beer.
EAST RUTHERFORD – It's nearly impossible these days to get the media to show up for any event on a weekend – unless someone of stature is caught with a live boy or dead girl. But that is not deterring the state's AFL-CIO from coordinating a rally at the super-duper, mega-mall still under construction in the Meadowlands. These guys want jobs; and this behemoth can be a gravy train for years to come. The NJ Sports and Exposition Authority and the EPA still need to sign-off on the work for a massive addition, and the Jets and Giants are fighting it all the way.
ATLANTIC CITY – Not much is free in the city for tourists these days. But, luckily, casino execs don't yet own the skies, where a free airshow titled "Thunder Over the Boardwalk" is planned for 10:30 a.m. this morning, featuring the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds jet team. A special bonus will be the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team, which will land in front of Boardwalk Hall, and then likely be ushered to an awaiting slot machine.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 2000 that the Democrats nominated the man who would go on to win the Presidential election.