Garden State Observer New Jersey news Tue, 30 Jun 2020 14:12:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 169107835 Industry reacts to indoor dining delay Tue, 30 Jun 2020 14:12:11 +0000

New Jersey restaurants open outdoor dining to its customers

Asbury Park Press

One week ago, Gov. Phil Murphy announced indoor dining would resume with social distancing and other precautions on July 2.  

Amy Russo Harrigan ordered food. She hired staff to return to work. She prepared her Asbury Park, Red Bank and Montclair restaurants, all named Toast, for a service they had been unable to offer since the coronavirus pandemic closed dining room doors in March.

This step forward was especially important at the Montclair restaurant, which has minimal tables outdoors but could seat 30 diners at a time inside when following the state-mandated reduced capacity of 25%.

In a breakfast and lunch restaurant that turns tables every 45 minutes, that amounts to more than 200 diners during opening hours.

“This was literally going to save us,” Russo Harrigan said.

Coronavirus in NJ:  Reopening of NJ indoor dining is postponed, likely for weeks

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Amy Russo Harrigan, owner of Toast, prepares to open for outside dining in Asbury Park, NJ Monday, June 15, 2020.  (Photo: Tanya Breen)

But on Monday, several minutes into the governor’s daily news conference, it became clear that her preparation was for naught. Citing a spike in coronavirus cases in states that have reopened indoor dining, the governor indefinitely postponed its return in New Jersey.

“We must hit pause on the resumption of indoor dining, which was to resume this coming Thursday,” Murphy said. “Under our revised plan, indoor dining will now be reset to resume at a later date to be determined.

“It brings me no joy to do this, but we have no choice,” he said. 

The trusted place to find the best home service providers. Find local pros.

The governor said he does not anticipate allowing restaurants to reopen indoor dining for weeks.

“Twenty-five percent is basically throwing us a bone,” Russo Harrigan said. “I never expected it to just go away.”

She cited the fact that several New Jersey bars have drawn criticism for allowing unmasked crowds to gather, stating that since they encourage the gathering of crowds, such establishments should be last to reopen.

“Go pull the liquor licenses of (the establishments) that broke the rules and let the other places continue on with their business,” she said. 

Indoor dining: Health experts say it’s still too risky

Last week, crowds gathered at D’Jais Bar and Grill in Belmar. This past weekend, social media posts showed a large, unmasked crowd at Donovan’s Reef in Sea Bright.

Restaurants are different, Russo Harrigan said.

“Restaurants without liquor licenses, restaurants with liquor licenses, and bars should be treated like three different businesses right now,” she said. “Everybody that I’m involved with, we’re following the rules.”

NJ outdoor dining:  6 Shore waterfront restaurants to visit this summer


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Matthew Borowski, owner of  618 Restaurant in Freehold Borough, also is disappointed with the governor’s decision. 

“From the start, I said if I have to shut down for 14 days to stop people from dying, I would. But if I shut down, everyone else must shut down,” he said. “No picking and choosing. Every single business.

“Thousands of people were at Home Depot today. The young man at the gas station. a mask only covering his mouth, grabbed my credit card with no gloves on. How is their business safer then mine?” Borowski said. “I spent thousands on following protocols. I do the right thing. I’m still paying taxes and rent. Who’s going to make sure I can feed my family?”

Food innovation:  Chef Chris Mumford brings passion for food, gardening to new Sickles Market

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The dining room at 618 Restaurant in Freehold Borough. (Photo: DOUG HOOD/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)

Louise Cornick, who owns The Edge in Jackson with her husband, Phil, said they are devastated by the governor’s announcement.

“Restaurants are very capable of keeping their guests and employees safe by maintaining stringent sanitizing and distancing precautions,” she said. “This is a slap in the face to the restaurant industry.

“After announcing that restaurant can reopen indoors, restaurants made the necessary changes to reopen. We hired more employees, ordered and purchased food to service our guests, and now yet again we have wasted our limited resources creating more financial hardship,” Cornick said. “Unfortunately, this may be the last nail in the coffin for many restaurants in NJ.” 

Red Bank:  Outdoor dining plaza is a hit, but temporary. Should they keep it permanently?

For Toby Sweeney, however, the governor’s announcement was a blessing. 

The owner of The Terrace Tavern in Beach Haven, which earlier this month opened a large outdoor dining space, said she was losing sleep over how she would safely accommodate diners indoors.

“There was no way we were going to be able to do it. Too many variables I can’t control,” she said. “How many dollars does this bring? Is this worth it? We have to do so much to accomplish this.

“Let’s work on getting the outside part right before we introduce all the variables inside might bring,” she said.

A lifelong Jersey girl, Sarah Griesemer joined the USA TODAY NETWORK New Jersey more than 15 years ago. Send restaurant tips to and follow @jersey.shore.eats.

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Detroit PD vehicle drives through swarming crowd, flinging screaming protesters to the street Tue, 30 Jun 2020 14:09:56 +0000

A Detroit police officer who drove his SUV through a swarming mob of protesters Sunday night believed he was being fired at, according to Police Chief James Craig, as video of the incident went viral online.

“Detroit Police Department drove into 10-12 protesters including myself. Multiple people are going to the hospital,” a user named “Activist Ethan Ketner” wrote on Twitter, posting a video of the incident.

In the short clip, scores of people can be seen surrounding the police vehicle before it surges forward then stops quickly a couple of times, apparently in an effort to shed protesters who had clung to the vehicle’s hood, before speeding off.

Other users posted additional video of the incident.

While many on social media panned the incident as an abusive and dangerous act by the officer, during a press conference Monday Craig played a video from the police SUV’s dashcam showing protesters mobbing the vehicle, the Detroit News reported.

Craig told reporters that the officer believed “they were being fired upon.” He also described some of the people involved as “agitators” who were initiating violence against officers.

“What’s in the officer’s mind … of course in their mind… they believe they could be shot. Because of that, they had to take forth evasive action,” Craig said, adding that the rear back window of a police vehicle was “busted out.”

Some of those involved, however, were not satisfied with Craig’s explanation.

“I am angry,” Trendel Anderson, 23, who said he was nearly very seriously injured by the officer’s actions, told the Detroit News. “I want justice.”

The paper reported that more than 350 people had gathered to demonstrate Sunday evening.

On Monday, another 300 or so people met at the Detroit Police Department’s Fourth Precinct to listen to the stories of people who claimed to have been involved in the demonstrations the night before. They said that the protest was peaceful, despite video clearly showing protesters mobbing the police vehicle.

“We will not be intimidated,” Gabriela Alcazar, an organizer with the coalition of groups that marched Sunday, said. “We will not accept more life lost to police violence.”

Craig said the department had opened an investigation into the actions of the officer but also were looking into the actions of protesters on the scene, adding that the “aggressors were targeting” cops.

He added that the officer could not simply remain in place because about 20 to 30 protesters were demonstrating violent behavior and some of them were attempting to get into the vehicle.

The chief noted further that there were several reports of protesters being armed with hammers and that one point the back window of the vehicle in question was broken out with a skateboard.

“If it were serious enough where I thought the officer’s actions were improper, I would have made another type of decision … though it was a bad situation, it could have been a lot worse,” Craig noted.

The chief said that a few hours after the protest began, police attempted to get demonstrators to re-direct their march away from a busy highway. But they refused to follow officers’ instructions, and several then surrounded the lead police vehicle.

Scores of videos posted online since protests began following the death of George Floyd have shown rioters attacking police vehicles with hammers, skateboards, glass bottles, and other devices, putting officers inside at risk.

One Detroit city councilwoman, Raquel Castañeda-López, called on the police department to conduct a thorough review but appears to have already decided the officer’s action was wrong.

“If you see something like this happen, it’s egregious. It’s completely inappropriate,” she said. “Our right and our responsibility as council is to investigate, to call the departments to the table, to hold a public conversation so that there’s transparency and accountability. Our track record is to always call out injustice when we see it.”

She also criticized Chief Craig for describing some protesters as “agitators.”

“I found his language condescending and offensive to all the people out there to fight for systemic change and to fight for racial justice,” she said, according to the Detroit News.

During an appearance on WDET Monday morning, Mayor Mike Duggan would not condemn the officer’s actions. He said when cops are faced with situations were people are banging and climbing on their vehicles, “what are you supposed to do?”

Jon Dougherty

Staff Writer

Jon is a staff writer for BizPac Review with 30 years’ worth of reporting experience, as well as an author and U.S. Army veteran. He has a BA in political science from Ashford University and an MA in national security studies/intelligence analysis from American Military University.

Jon Dougherty

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]]> 0 47835 U.S. Stocks Waver, on Track for Big Quarterly Gains Tue, 30 Jun 2020 14:09:04 +0000

U.S. stocks swung between small gains and losses Tuesday, remaining on track to close out their best quarter in more than 20 years.

The S&P 500 rose 0.1% in early-morning trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped, shedding 74 points, or 0.3%, to 25526, and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.4%.

Tuesday’s moves did little to detract…

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Newton will elevate the Patriots’ game, but not enough to scare Chiefs, Ravens Tue, 30 Jun 2020 14:07:47 +0000

Unlike Andy Dalton or Jameis Winston, Cam Newton will have a chance to relaunch his career immediately rather than waiting for an injury to free up snaps. Newton’s one-year Patriots deal, after 3½ months in free agency, also transforms a confusing quarterback situation.

Based on name recognition, the Newton-to-New England transaction would give the former MVP an ideal place to reboot and provide Bill Belichick a way for his team to remain a Super Bowl contender. But Newton will face challenges on several fronts.

Adding the 31-year-old standout makes more competitive sense than the Patriots giving the keys to Jarrett Stidham, a 2019 fourth-round pick with four NFL pass attempts and zero 20-touchdown pass college seasons. Newton both stands to buy Stidham more development time, after the COVID-19 pandemic nixed a pivotal offseason for Tom Brady’s would-be successor, and aligns better with an aging Pats defense – one that will have six projected starters north of 30 by season’s end.

Newton’s profile qualifies this signing for the Randy Moss-Antonio Brown tier of Patriots gambles. The nine-year Panthers starter is a three-time Pro Bowler, the NFL’s all-time rushing-touchdown king among quarterbacks and he did not exactly have a Moss- or Rob Gronkowski-type presence when he won the 2015 MVP award and piloted the Panthers to Super Bowl 50. But the Patriots did not proceed like a team a quarterback away from a Super Bowl this offseason. They operated like one content with a transition year.

The Patriots ate eight figures of Brady dead money and did little to augment their skill-position situation. They drafted two third-round tight ends, but these prospects will arrive in a bleak year for rookie assimilation – due to the coronavirus-altered offseason. The same skill cadre that helped Brady’s QBR drop from sixth in 2018 to 17th last year largely remains.

Julian Edelman is the NFL’s fourth-oldest active receiver, at 34. N’Keal Harry missing this offseason stings after the 2019 first-rounder played 220 snaps in an injury-marred rookie year. The Pats ranked 15th in rushing DVOA last season, and famed offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia’s second retirement will not help. This situation, personnel-wise, may remind Newton of some of his past setups. And he is at a different stage of his career compared to when he took Carolina to a Super Bowl when a sizable gulf existed between Greg Olsen and his next-best target.

Since the Panthers’ Super Bowl loss, Newton’s cumulative QBR figure ranks 30th. He has undergone two shoulder surgeries and a foot operation, missing 16 of his past 18 games. Newton played well before his shoulder relapse in 2018, adjusting to then-new Carolina offensive coordinator Norv Turner’s offense and leading the Panthers to a 6-2 start. He had a full offseason to learn Turner’s system and work with teammates. Those luxuries/necessities are not available now.

Considering the uncertainty Josh Allen brings for the Bills, the Patriots’ odds at winning a 12th straight AFC East title received a boost Sunday. That would be a major win for this year’s team. New England’s 12-4 2019 showing came against mediocre competition — four wins over teams with 2020 top-five picks, five more against .500-or-worse opposition. The Pats also have a tougher schedule than usual. Their 2020 docket features an NFL-high .537 opponents’ win percentage (based on 2019 records).

This move does give the Patriots exclusive Newton negotiating rights, opening a window for a long-term partnership – depending on this season’s outcome. And it will give offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who received a head-coaching shot based on Matt Cassel’s 11-5 2008 season (with a better Pats roster), more to work with than the winner of a Stidham-Brian Hoyer competition.

But the current circumstances point to Newton elevating the Patriots to an upper-middle-class team — at best — rather than making them a serious threat to the Chiefs or Ravens in the conference.

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New swine flu with ‘pandemic potential’ discovered in China once more Tue, 30 Jun 2020 14:06:31 +0000

Researchers in China have discovered a brand-new type of swine flu that is able to infect humans.

What are the details?

A new study, released Monday and published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that the new mutation may be capable of causing a new pandemic. Researchers, however, say that the virus does not pose an immediate risk to global health.

The virus, referred to as the G4 virus, is a strain of H1N1 swine flu, and exhibits “all the essential hallmarks of a candidate pandemic virus.”

Researchers gained the information after studying pigs from 2011 to 2018. Scientists obtained nasal swab samples from more than 30,000 slaughterhouse pigs and veterinary teaching hospitals across 10 China provinces.

The samples rendered at least 179 different swine flu viruses.

Researchers said that seasonal influenza vaccines will not provide patients with immunity against the new strain.

Agence France-Presse reported Tuesday:

According to blood tests which showed up antibodies created by exposure to the virus, 10.4 percent of swine workers had already been infected.

The tests showed that as many as 4.4 percent of the general population also appeared to have been exposed.

The virus has therefore already passed from animals to humans but there is no evidence yet that it can be passed from human to human — the scientists’ main worry.

What are people saying about this?

CNN cites remarks from Dr. Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University’s school of public health.

“[T]he bottom line is that our understanding of what is a potential pandemic influenza strain is limited,” she wrote in a tweet. “Sure, this virus meets a lot of the basic criteria but it’s not for sure going to cause a hypothetical 2020 flu pandemic, or even be a dominant strain in humans.”

Carl Bergstrom, a biology professor at the University of Washington, tweeted, “There’s no evidence that G4 is circulating in humans, despite five years of extensive exposure. That’s the key context to keep in mind.”

]]> 0 47829 Connecticut GOP Calls on ‘Democratic Party’ to Change Name: ‘Years of Racial Oppression’ Tue, 30 Jun 2020 14:04:45 +0000

The Connecticut GOP called upon the “Democratic Party” to change its name Monday, issuing a resolution that asserts Democrats must address “the hundreds of years of racial oppression, violence, and multiple violations of human rights” associated with their party.

“We believe it is vital that every citizen know the truth about the so-called party of inclusion and acceptance,” said the state GOP Chairman J.R. Romano in a press release.

He continued:

If we are to hold Christopher Columbus accountable over 500 years after the fact, it is our duty and moral obligation to hold the Democratic Party accountable.

As recently as 1977, Joe Biden sought the support of segregationists. Biden has publicly stated that ‘you ain’t black’ unless you support the Democratic Nominee. Statements like this bring back the ugly imaginary of political cartoons like ‘Of Course He wants to vote Democrat Ticket.’”

The resolution states Connecticut Republicans “deem it necessary that the Democratic Party change its name due to the Party’s long tragic legacy denying Americans basic human rights,” including:

  • Democrats blocked the first attempt to ratify the 13th Amendment in 1863
  • Democrats unanimously voted against the 14th Amendment giving former slaves citizenship
  • Democrats unanimously voted against the 15th Amendment giving former slaves the right to vote
  • Democrats instituted Jim Crow laws across Democrat led states, preventing African Americans the right to vote.
  • Democrats held the longest filibuster in U.S Senate history to block the civil rights act 1957

“Democratic Parties around the country have been stripping buildings, monuments, and pictures from government halls, yet the atrocities rest with the Democratic Party as a whole,” Romano said. “To kill the serpent you need to strike at the head.”

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Trump Vows To Jail ‘Two Anarchists’ Who Vandalized George Washington Monument In NYC — ‘We Have Them On Tape’ Tue, 30 Jun 2020 14:02:00 +0000

President Donald Trump announced Tuesday morning his intent to prosecute two individuals who allegedly threw paint on a statue of George Washington in New York City on Monday.

“We are tracking down the two Anarchists who threw paint on the magnificent George Washington Statue in Manhattan. We have them on tape,” the president tweeted. “They will be prosecuted and face 10 years in Prison based on the Monuments and Statues Act. Turn yourselves in now!” (RELATED: George Washington Monument Defaced In New York City)

Trump signed an executive order on Friday that would direct Attorney General Bill Barr to prosecute any individual or group who “destroys, damages, vandalizes, or desecrates” any statues and monuments on government property.

Barr previously indicated that the Justice Department was investigating several individuals for defacing monuments in recent weeks.

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 28: U.S. President Donald Trump, with Attorney General William Barr, speaks in the Oval Office before signing an executive order related to regulating social media on May 28, 2020 in Washington, DC. Trump's executive order could lead to attempts to punish companies such as Twitter and Google for attempting to point out factual inconsistencies in social media posts by politicians. (Photo by Doug MIlls-Pool/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 28: U.S. President Donald Trump, with Attorney General William Barr, speaks in the Oval Office before signing an executive order related to regulating social media on May 28, 2020 in Washington, DC. Trump’s executive order could lead to attempts to punish companies such as Twitter and Google for attempting to point out factual inconsistencies in social media posts by politicians. (Photo by Doug MIlls-Pool/Getty Images)

The text of the order also directs executive agency heads to withhold any federal grants from being awarded to state and local jurisdictions that don’t take active measures to protect statues.

The president activated 400 National Guard troops to protect federal monuments in Washington, D.C. through July 8 after protesters attempted to topple a statue of former President Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square near the White House.


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5 Things to Know for Today Tue, 30 Jun 2020 11:58:04 +0000

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

1. AP SOURCES: WHITE HOUSE KNEW OF BOUNTIES IN 2019 Top Trump administration officials were aware in early 2019 of classified intelligence indicating Russia was secretly offering bounties to the Taliban for the deaths of Americans.

2. CHINA APPROVES HONG KONG NATIONAL SECURITY LAW Passage of the legislation comes amid warnings and criticism both in Hong Kong and the international community that it will be used to curb opposition voices in the Asian financial hub.

3. EU TO LIST WHICH CITIZENS CAN ENTER Americans are not likely to make the European Union’s list of countries whose citizens will be allowed back into 31 European nations.

4. ‘IT’S TIME TO END IT’ Moves by the state of Mississippi and NASCAR mean the Confederate battle flag is losing its place of official prominence in the South 155 years after the end of the Civil War.

5. ‘PUTINGRAD’ LOSES ITS LUSTER Workers in the Russian industrial city of Nizhny Tagil who once defended Vladimir Putin are speaking out against the constitutional changes that would allow him to stay in office until 2036.

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Shell Takes $22 Billion Write-Down, Expecting Lower Oil and Gas Prices Tue, 30 Jun 2020 11:44:42 +0000

LONDON—Royal Dutch Shell PLC is writing down the value of its assets by up to $22 billion because of lower energy prices caused by the demand-sapping coronavirus pandemic.

The write-down follows one by BP PLC on a similar scale earlier this month. Lower oil and gas prices brought on by the pandemic and uncertainty over the pace of the transition to lower carbon energy have caused major oil companies to question the value of their reserves.

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Who Says Emerging Economies Shouldn’t Print Money? Tue, 30 Jun 2020 11:33:06 +0000

Activist central banks aren’t just a rich-nation story anymore. Emerging markets are reclaiming their right to play with money too—and it is probably a good thing.

Traditionally, experimental central bankers were pictured as money printers who inevitably stoked inflation. While a decade of unconventional monetary policy and low inflation has taught investors that Federal Reserve announcements are a signal to buy stocks, this newfound love for stimulus hasn’t often extended to developing nations. There, the same policies still…

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