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|A member of an East Hill group calling itself Englewood F.A.S.T., which seeks to cut city funding of the Englewood Public Library, is urging residents to attend fund-raisers to make up the difference.|
Another awful paper today. Reporters and columnists seem determined to fill as much space as possible, and despite all that type, readers always are left with questions. Where do you go when you want to know what's going on in North Jersey?
Certainly not The Record of Woodland Park under desperate Editors Francis Scandale, Deirdre Sykes, Tim Nostrand, Jim McGarvey, Barbara Jaeger, Liz Houlton, et. al.
"Why don't you cancel your subscription to The Record and read The Times," my wife suggested.
"I want to know what's going on in New Jersey," I said.
"Well, you're not going to get that in The Record."
We were screwed
On Page 1 today, is this the tenth, 11th or 12th major story in the past couple of years on DuPont's royal corporate screwing of Pompton Lakes and all the contaminated land residents still have to deal with?
Staff Writer James M. O'Neill relates history dating to 1886, but there is not a word on whether the company has ever been sued or whether the state and town are going to take it to court now.
"We were ripped off," one resident says of DuPont.
Now he knows how readers of The Record feel.
The other A-1 elements are a process story on the looming 2 percent property tax cap and a former nurse's whistle-blower lawsuit against Bergen Regional Medical Center -- the latter story carrying Staff Writer Jean Rimbach's oh-so-rare byline.
Rimbach, of course, is head Assignment Editor Sykes' pet and one of the least productive members of the news staff.
Why isn't the A-12 story on TV stations refusing to run ads on a product to enhance a woman's sexual desire on the front page? Because the Business staff has no depth, and if it gave up that story, it would have nothing else to run in its place.
I've lost count of how many times I've read a few paragraphs on the death of a pedestrian or a motorist in a single-car accident and have never seen a follow. People die in The Record and we never learn anything about them.
That was the case with Graciela Cruz, who was run down and killed Nov. 12 by a landscaping truck in Hillsdale -- until weeks later, clueless Columnist Mike Kelly found himself with nothing to write about, again. (He spells her name with two l's, then with one; I believe the latter is correct.)
So today, he really gets to fill a lot of space on the front and inside Sykes' Local section, even listing just about every store the woman walked by on the way to her fatal accident. After we plow through thousands of words, we learn she was wearing a hooded sweatshirt that blocked her peripheral vision while talking on her cellphone, and the driver was blinded by the sun.
But would the woman still be alive today if she took the bus? Is there a bus running along Broadway? And will her family be suing the driver of the landscaping truck and his employer for damages -- to salvage something from her meaningless death?
On these subjects, the columnist who pushes around words is silent.
There is just a little municipal news in Local, including three stories apparently written by reporters of weekly newspapers affiliated with the former Hackensack daily, yet they're still called "Staff Writers."
One, on L-3, reports "several" residents and Englewood Public Library workers asked the City Council at a "recent" meeting not to cut library funding again.
Mike Curley, the reporter, quotes Simeon Lifschitz -- a member of an East Hill group that has recommended cuts in the city budget -- as praising the library, which his children use, and urging everyone to attend library fund-raisers.
But Curley never tells readers Lifschitz's group -- Englewood F.A.S.T. or Fiscal Accountability Starts Today Coalition -- also has urged officials to cut library funding.
Editor's note: I've corrected the spelling of reporter Mike Curley's name.