STATEWIDE – If little Joey falls off his bike, his parents want cops to tell them. If little Susie gets lost in the mall, same thing. So, why would the government think those same concerned parents wouldn’t want to know if little Joey and little Susie are nabbed with a joint behind the 7-Eleven? Some lawmakers and plenty of cops are questioning why the new weed law blocks law enforcement from informing parents when the little cherubs are caught with bud. Under the law, cops can only tattle beginning at the second offense. And that gives little Joey and little Susie a free pass to light up.

BRIDGEWATER – The mayor is being a real downer, man, after Gov. Phil Murphy finally signed the weed bill last week. Mayor Matt Moench fired off an indignant missive to the media last week calling the law “anti-child, anti-family and anti-police," saying it’s a “dangerous policy” that threatens police with criminal penalties for investigating underage drug use. The conservative Republican tells the Home News Tribune his town will now strictly enforce a 2018 ordinance outlawing marijuana dispensaries, pot farms or other cultivation facilities. (Medical marijuana dispensaries are exempt). Moench also plans to ban pot smoking in public and launch a publicity campaign against marijuana, drug abuse and alcoholism reaching to all four corners of Bridgewater. This mayor needs to take a hit.

SECAUCUS – There’s no question that New Jersey’s wealthy and other shrewd people will find their way to get the coronavirus vaccine – if they haven’t already done so. The big question – as we race toward herd immunity – is how to reach the down and out. One solution was announced yesterday – Riverside Medical Group is partnering with shelters across northern New Jersey, where the pandemic has quickly raged and spread.  The hospital is doing sign-ups at shelters and even plans to run shuttles, according to its press release. This initiative – and many, many more that are needed – is obviously a good thing. But reaching those untrusting souls who want to stay off the grid will prove the ultimate challenge.

BRIEFING BREATHER

Competitive art used to be an Olympic sport.

TRENTON – Just as Johnson & Johnson begins rolling out its one-dose vaccine, New Jersey will be opening up its vaccine, finally, to teachers and child care workers. It never really made sense that this group wasn’t among the most essential workers from the beginning, but, hey, let’s celebrate that they can all begin rolling up their sleeves on March 15. Gov. Phil Murphy broke the good news this morning on MSNBC, vowing that he’s “got a whole game plan” and it’s “an imperative” to have teachers, child care workers and transportation workers elevated to the highly-coveted “essential” status. More details to come at the governor’s 1 p.m. briefing. For the absolute latest – with all you need to know – rely on other news sources.

NEWARK – Hey, more good news! Tomorrow night – for the first time in a year – Devils fans will trickle into the downtown to grab a beer or some food before – get this – actually attending a live hockey game. Before you get all excited, we’re talking about a few thousand people will be watching the Devils take on the Islanders at 7 p.m. The Prudential Center will be able to admit up to 10% of its capacity, as the state slowly opens. But it is a huge first step for all these local businesses around Broad and Market, which have managed to stay alive, miraculously, over the past year, as well as beer vendors, ticket-takers and everyone else who tries to earn a living at the Rock.

CLIFTON – It continues to be a thing in New Jersey for our elected officials to sue one another. Just recently, it occurred in Parsippany, Englewood Cliffs and other towns that we are forgetting. Now, Clifton Councilwoman Mary Sadrakula is suing six city council colleagues, claiming they won’t let her see legal bills before she votes to pay them. Sadrakula’s lawyer tells The Record that a 6-1 council vote limiting public access to all sorts of important city documents is preventing Sadrakula from serving the public. She, or anyone else, must also give the city manager “a reasonable explanation” for requests to eyeball public documents, violating state OPRA laws. In response, the city attorney says Sadrakula is “free to view documents Mondays or Tuesdays,” but he says no other council members ever ask for the info. Wonder why.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

CLAYTON, NM – Extraterrestrials were flying the friendly skies above this New Mexico town, causing an airborne encounter with an American Airlines flight. Cockpit recordings from Flight 2922 have a veteran pilot describing a “long, cylindrical” UFO whisking above his aircraft on a Feb. 21 trip from New Mexico to Phoenix. NBC News aired tapes of the pilot telling air traffic controllers: “We just had something go right over top of us. I hate to say this, but it looks like a long cylindrical object … almost like a cruise missile type thing moving really fast.” American Airlines confirmed the transmission, but referred all UFO inquiries to the FBI. As usual, nothing is “confirmed” or “denied.”

WORD OF THE DAY

Slipshod – [SLIP-SHAHD] – adjective

Definition: Wearing loose shoes or slippers; shabby

Example: Working from home for 11 ½ months, my appearance is slipshod at best.

WIT OF THE DAY

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” 

-Calvin Coolidge

BIDEN BLURB

“We face an attack on our democracy and on truth. A raging virus, growing inequity, the sting of systemic racism, a climate in crisis. America′s role in the world. Any one of these would be enough to challenge us in profound ways. But the fact is, we face them all at once.”

-Joe Biden

WEATHER IN A WORD

Soggy