By VICTOR E. SASSON
Readers who don't choke on the lead paragraph of the overplayed and overwritten turnpike story on Page 1 today are probably scratching their heads, trying to figure out what it says.
Is there something in the newsroom water at The Record or did Editor Marty Gottlieb rewrite Staff Writer Christopher Maag, exposing how out of touch the former Timesman really is (A-1)?
Anyone who has been caught in one of the region's massive traffic jams knows a wider turnpike isn't the "road to the future."
How does the new, 12-lane stretch of the New Jersey Turnpike below Exit 8 show the state remains "confident ... a place still unafraid to etch its belief in a brighter future into the contours of the land"?
A mass-transit corridor down the center of the 35-mile section, not more asphalt, really would have been forward looking.
Too little, too late
Where was Rep. Scott Garrett, R-Wantage, when Governor Christie killed the Hudson River rail tunnels in 2010, setting back for at least a decade expanded train travel between New Jersey and New York (A-1)?
The do-nothing six-termer seeking election on Nov. 4 from the 5th Congressional District -- which includes Bergen County -- is facing a formidable challenge from Roy Cho, a Hackensack attorney who has surged in the polls.
In a letter to the editor today, Bruce de Lyon of Dumont notes Garrett ducked debates, adding:
"As long as we allow Garrett to run a dismissive and underground campaign, he will continue to ignore issues crucial to the residents of northern New Jersey" (A-18).
Another Kelly error
Among the many embarrassing corrections published on A-2 this week is the one today trying to fix another Mike Kelly screw-up.
The burned-out columnist "misstated the year of a hazing incident at Holmdel High School" in his boring Page 1 piece last Sunday (A-2).
A desperate local editor must have written the headline over today's Road Warrior column -- "A commuter's tale" -- which reports the recollections of a 99-year-old man who took part in the 1931 ceremony opening the George Washington Bridge (L-1).
The rambling piece by Staff Writer John Cichowski has absolutely nothing to do with the ordeal of commuting, and is a colossal waste of readers' time.
Hackensack police should check hospital emergency rooms for two men who allegedly skipped out on a $100 restaurant bill (L-3).
The suspects, who spoke English and Hebrew, ignored Lotus Cafe and the fine-dining restaurants in The Shops at Riverside to rip off Applebee's on Tuesday night, police said.
They likely sought medical help for a huge case of indigestion.
Agita is in store for readers who bother with today's lukewarm, 2-star review of the 14-year-old Martini Grill in Wood-Ridge (BL-18).
Staff Writer Elisa Ung praises "the restaurant's focus on fish," but she chose poorly, "a thick fillet of swordfish flecked by capers and sun-dried tomatoes ($25.95)."
Swordfish contains a large amount of mercury, and isn't recommended for women of child-bearing age.