Friday, January 7, 2011

Money, money, money

Aerial view of the New Jersey Turnpike near Hi...Image via Wikipedia
The snow-clearing budget of the New Jersey Turnpike is front-page news today.

Editor Francis Scandale is so worried about our tax dollars that he put not one, not two, but three big stories about state and municipal finance on the front page today. 

Unfortunately, The Record's staff must have thrown them together. Major information is missing -- either deliberately or because Scandale and assignment and news copy editors are incompetent.

The lead story on Governor Christie's five-year plan for funding the state Transportation Trust Fund never mentions the gasoline tax that is supposed to pay for road and transit projects. Christie and his predecessors have refused to raise the low tax, fearing they'd be voted out of office. But raising the tax would avoid the need to borrow.

Did Staff Writers Karen Rouse and John Reitmeyer just slap their bylines on a news release from the Governor's Office? 

They quote the governor as saying his plan is more "fiscally sound" than previous plans. What else would he say? Inside, on the continuation page (A-8), critics say Christie's plan just means more debt for state residents. Shouldn't that have been near the top?

Sloppy reporting

Staff Writer Hannan Adely spoke with officials in three of the 90 or so communities in the Woodland Park daily's circulation area for the A-1 patch on towns losing money to people who swoop in and steal old appliances and other scrap residents put out on the curb.

So Adely, of course, completely misses towns such as Hackensack, which requires residents to pay $10 for a sticker before they discard hot water-heaters and other items. When such an item is taken by a scavenger, both the town and the resident lose.

And although Garfield and West Milford can hit scavengers with fines and jail, the story is silent on enforcement. Has anyone been fined or jailed?

Buried by dreck

Are readers really nervous about whether the New Jersey Turnpike Authority will have enough money in its snow-clearing budget to handle today's snowfall. What's this ponderous account doing on Page 1 or is it more of Scandale's sheer desperation as he marks a decade of failure at The Record this month?

In addition to three major stories today, A-1 has a brief that refers readers to Sports for another update on a paralyzed Rutgers football player, who has regained sensation "throughout his body." Undoubtedly, the next bulletin will tell readers whether Eric LeGrand can get an erection.

Going to bat for kids

Just when you think Editorial Page Editor Alfred P. Doblin is perpetually excited by Christie, he slams the governor's education policies in a column on the Opinion Page today (A-19):
 Students are the casualties of Christie's war. And it does not go unnoticed that the governor chooses to keep his own children out of the war zone. Parents who cannot afford private schools or Christmas vacations to Walt Disney World have little choice but to watch political weapons of mass destruction fall on their local districts while they listen to platitudes on how it will get better at some future date. None of that does a whit of good for children caught in the crossfire.  

Jewish readers rejoice

For the second day in a row, a six-column ad for a dealer of German luxury cars is smack in the middle of the front page of head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes' Local section. Maybe running this ad every day will ensure that Chairman Malcolm A. "Mac" Borg gets a good deal on his next Mercedes-Benz.  

On L-2, we learn the missing North Bergen woman from Thursday's paper was found unharmed. But there's no word on the whereabouts of Hackensack reporter Monsy Alvarado.

Death by dessert

In Better Living, Restaurant Reviewer Elisa Ung devotes three long paragraphs to Esty Street's desserts, which she tells readers were "drop your fork good." So I guess she ate them with her hands. She spent $42 on four desserts at two meals.

The chef, "by the way, really has a way with ice cream." What do you suppose that means?

In the data box for the Park Ridge restaurant, she reports the three-and-a half star, fine-dining venue "would be less appropriate for [a] rowdy meal," but she finds no room to tell readers whether the pork and chicken she sampled were naturally raised.
Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. If Ung continues at this pace with the dessert she will never be able to fit into another restaurant's door.

  2. She only goes to places that have renovated, and installed double doors.


If you want your comment to appear, refrain from personal attacks on the blogger. Anonymous comments are no longer accepted. Keep your racism to yourself.