Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A street named after Sarah Palin?

1927_153_howard_terrace_leonia.jpgImage by dsearls via Flickr
A Leonia street in 1927. There is no Palin Boulevard in town, despite what The Record says.

The news copy desk appears to be long past being embarrassed by inaccurate headlines, typos, errors and the ungrammatical writing it misses or introduces into stories published in The Record of Woodland Park. Many errors are never acknowledged or corrected the next day. 

With Editors Francis Scandale and Deirdre Sykes desperately scrambling to find just about anything to fill space, there seems to be no time to set the record straight.

Take a look at that non-fatal, accident-of-the-day photo on the front of Sykes' Local section today, the one where a woman trashed her new car, which, according to the caption, flipped and ended up leaning against a pole in Leonia.

The caption, written by a news copy editor, says the accident occurred at Fort Lee Road and Palin Boulevard -- as in GOP heroine Sarah Palin. But there is no Palin Boulevard in that stubbornly Democratic town -- it's Paulin Boulevard.

It gets even worse

But there's something more egregious on that same page. 

Has Staff Writer Matthew Van Dusen, who covers Ridgefield, started flacking for the mayor?

The lead story on L-1 is a thinly disguised trial balloon lofted by Mayor Anthony R. Suarez, who incurred hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees in winning an acquittal on federal bribery conspiracy charges in October. The first paragraph notes, "Victory didn't come cheap." The story continues:

"Now the question is, Who will pay his legal bills?"

But the only one who appears to be asking the question is Van Dusen, who couldn't find anything else about Ridgefield to report. There's not a word of comment from the mayor himself. 

It sounds like Suarez doesn't have the balls to propose, at a public meeting, getting reimbursed by the borough's insurer, so he has Van Dusen write a story to throw out the possibility taxpayers are going to get stuck for legal bills from Michael Critchley -- one of the best criminal defense attorneys money can buy.

Animal news

Sykes, the head assignment editor, couldn't come up with enough local news to fill the section today, so she runs another story about harness racing on L-1. That story and others about the Meadowlands belong in the A-section, but she's so desperate, she'll run anything that fills all that space her clueless minions leave empty.

L-3 today is filled not with municipal news, but with police and fire news, plus news about the police in Hackensack, where Staff Writer Monsy Alvarado is chronicling every burp, hiccup, fart and hacking cough of the disciplinary hearings for cops who sued suspended Police Chief Ken Zisa. 

The harness racing story on L-1 isn't the only animal news today. The bottom of the front page is filled with reporting about the first day of the black bear hunt after a five-year moratorium.

The story gives the weight of the biggest bear killed -- 661 pounds -- much like the signs giving the weight of a fighting bull entering the ring in Mexico City -- another venue for brutalizing animals. One hunter is even quoted as saying he is going to barbecue bear meat.

In view of how little Food Editor Susan Leigh Sherrill contributes to the Better Living section, readers will have to satisfy themselves with this morsel of "food news."

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