By VICTOR E. SASSON
The incoming Port Authority chairman took a bus to midtown Manhattan, rating the antiquated terminal "unacceptable," but why is the story on Page 1 of The Record today?
Really groundbreaking news would be the paper's transportation reporters routinely riding public transit, and rating the service, which has deteriorated in the past decade.
That way problems wouldn't sneak up and bite them on their lazy asses -- as did several angry letters to the editor from bus riders The Record published late last year.
$90 million in repairs?
In the interview with Port Authority Chairman John Degnan, Staff Writer Shawn Boburg reports:
"Under pressure from commuters and several North Jersey legislators, the Port Authority is expected to consider directing $90 million for stopgap repairs of the aging bus terminal, a move that has Degnan's support" (A-1).
Of course, both Boburg and his clueless assignment editor have until recently completely ignored the bi-state agency's involvement in public transit, including the PATH commuter rail line and the reverse bus lane into the Lincoln Tunnel.
Ditto goes for Road Warrior John Cichowski, who appears to be too infirm to board an NJ Transit bus or train, and prefers to field e-mail complaints from drivers about road-construction delays (L-1).
Staff Writers Allison Pries and Emily Masters covered the procession that carried the body of Waldwick Police Officer Christopher Goodell to St. Luke's Church in Ho-Ho-Kus on Monday, and reported on Tuesday's church service and burial (A-1 today and Tuesday).
The detail in those overlong stories doesn't make up for all of the unanswered questions on exactly what happened when a J.B. Hunt tractor-trailer loaded with produce slammed into Goodell's unmarked cruiser parked on the shoulder of Route 17 south early last Thursday.
The 32-year-old officer and Iraq war veteran, who was manning a radar checkpoint, was killed.
Prosecutors say trucker Ryon Cumberbatch, who pleaded not guilty on Monday to second-degree vehicular homicide, crossed the shoulder and made no attempt to stop, but not whether he was speeding or asleep at 1:30 a.m. (L-1 on Tuesday).
The Record's reporters don't seem to have cultivated any law-enforcement news sources, forcing them to rely on press releases.
Nor has the Woodland Park daily urged police in Waldwick and other towns to start using traffic and speeding cameras to avoid putting officers like Goodell in harm's way.
Tuesday's front-page photo caption says Goodell "died Thursday morning," but just below that the text of the story notes the police officer died "early Thursday."
Tuesday's story predicted "roughly 6,000 mourners," but today's report says the ceremony was attended by "an estimated 3,500 people" (A-1).
And why in the lead paragraph today did the editors lump together Goodell with Jersey City Police Officer Melvin Santiago, 23, who died under completely different circumstances (A-1).
Lame food coverage
The Better Living cover today celebrates the avocado as one of nature's "superfoods."
Then, freelancer Rita Cookson negates its health benefits by recommending a salad made with avocados and bacon, which is filled with harmful animal antibiotics and hormones, as well as preservatives linked to cancer (BL-1 and BL-3).
The FYI column promotes a $40 three-course dinner at Due in Ridgewood when hundreds of Manhattan restaurants are serving $38 price-fixed dinners during Summer Restaurant Week (BL-2).
On Monday's Better Living cover, Food Editor Esther Davidowitz asked restaurant executive Grant Halliday what makes Roots Steakhouse in Ridgewood "different from all other steakhouse restaurants."
Unfortunately, Halliday claimed "our side offerings" are "unique," not that Roots serves naturally raised beef without harmful additives (a 24-ounce T-bone is $42.95).
Costco Wholesale sells cold-smoked wild Alaskan sockeye salmon year-round for under $19 a pound, but Staff Writer Elisa Ung promoted the cold-smoked artificially colored farmed salmon from Moveable Feast in Moonachie (BL-1 on Sunday).
Members of North Jersey motorcycle clubs modify their Harley-Davidsons to make them as noisy as possible -- annoying their neighbors to no end -- then find gullible reporters to write about their charitable giving.
I suppose Staff Writer Christopher Maag believes all the money raised by the Nam Knights Motorcycle Club in Carlstadt excuses the violation of every anti-noise ordinance on the books, as well as the lack of enforcement (Sunday's Local front).