Friday, January 21, 2011

Rare byline brings old news

The Bergen County courthouse in Bergen County,...Image via Wikipedia
A reporter is assigned full time to the Bergen County Courthouse.

Staff Writer Jean Rimbach probably writes fewer stories than any other reporter at The Record of Woodland Park. She's a favorite of head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes, and often gets to handle plum investigations and other long projects.

Today, her byline appears twice -- a rarity -- both on Editor Francis Scandale's Page 1 and on the front of Local, the section that once was Sykes' pride and joy. But her stories deliver old news -- an arrest "last month" (more than three weeks ago) and a lawsuit filed in September (four months ago).

Readers must wonder how the paper missed both of these earth-shaking stories. 

I, for one, am shaking in my boots knowing that illegal immigrants can buy fake digital driver's licenses at $6,000 a pop (Page 1). At that rate, there's nothing left for the slumlords, who operate with impunity in North Jersey knowing The Record's editors have ignored them for decades.  

Confusion reigns

"$2.5T" (for trillion) in an A-1 headline. I've never seen that before, and found it confusing. An A-1 photo clearly showing handcuffs on a seated suspect has a caption reading, "One of the suspects ... sitting handcuffed in Brooklyn." 

Local yokels

Today's 2011 PEOPLE TO WATCH on L-1 actually has a local official, the new mayor of Paterson, Jeffrey Jones. The Silk City is one of the poorest in the state, but the Jones profile is "brought to you by" a dealer of luxury German cars whose six-column ad stretches across the page above the fold.

How did Kibret Markos, the reporter assigned full time to the Bergen County Courthouse in Hackensack, miss the Sept. 1 filing of a lawsuit that alleges a cover-up (L-1, second Rimbach story)?

On L-3, readers learn that in addition to all the harm Governor Christie has done to the middle and working classes, he's bad for the environment. Jeff Tittel of the Sierra Club says Christie "may go down as the worst governor in history." Was this deliberately buried?

Back of her hand

Restaurant Reviewer Elisa Ung seems to like the food at Simply Vietnamese in Tenafly, but she insults Chef K.T. Tran with a review bestowing only a half-star more than her two-star rating of a faux-Caribbean chain restaurant in Wayne called Bahama Breeze, where the scallops she ordered were delivered raw or undercooked three times.

Bahama BreezeImage via Wikipedia

I guess she was upset dessert at the Vietnamese place "is entirely incidental and somewhat unpredictable." The poor thing. She was denied the 1,000-calorie concoctions she is in the habit of consuming with great gusto. She usually samples four.

The restaurant has 40 seats -- 16 more than its predecessor in Englewood -- but it's a "cramped space" to Ung. And it's "not a great value for anyone focused on atmosphere." Does anyone know what she means?
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