Saturday, February 19, 2011

Editors desperately fill holes

A bank painting of Tenafly.

Today's front page has four stories about New Jersey and North Jersey for a change, but a closer look reveals how desperate Editor Francis Scandale is to fill holes his lazy subeditors left open.

The lead story across the top of A-1 reports that Governor Christie vetoed a dozen job-creation bills, claiming Democrats offered no means to pay for $600 million in business tax credits and incentives.

Curiously, an estimated $600 million would be raised by a millionaires tax the governor vehemently opposes. That's not reported in the story, however.

Old news on Page 1

If a lawsuit over Power Balance bracelets is Page 1 news, how did a reporter covering  the Bergen County Courthouse in Hackensack full time miss it when it was filed "last month"?

The story also repeats a common error. A suit is not a class action until a judge approves that designation.

And does another in the seemingly endless stream of stories on Pascack Valley Hospital in Westwood really belong on A-1? Today's breathless news? The state again is inviting applications for a new general hospital "to serve Bergen County."

Better stories inside

Two stories on A-3 would have been better on Page 1 of The Record of Woodland Park.

Legislative leaders appear to have caved in to the newspaper industry by shelving a bill that would have allowed the posting of legal notices online. 

Newspaper executives claimed they would lose revenue of $20 million a year.

A second A-3 story reports Governor Christie is threatening to withhold aid after the Parsippany-Troy Hills school board voted to boost the pay of its superintendent to $216,000 a year -- far above the cap of $175,000, the same salary as the governor.

Police chiefs thrive

Why isn't The Record asking Christie about a cap on the salaries of police chiefs, many of whom make more than $200,000 a year?

Two letters to the editor on A-13 praise The Record for wrapping the front page and A-section in a four-page bank ad last Sunday. Both sound like they were written by pals of Publisher Stephen A. Borg.

Mark R. Gregorek of Ramsey calls the ad "creative thinking" to find the money needed to keep the presses rolling. But what would he say about the $3.65 million in company revenue Borg used to buy a huge new home in Tenafly?

Gregorek is a big fan of advertising, it seems. In 1994, The New York Times reported two officers of a company known as Quantum Systems Inc. of Ramsey, Mark R. Gregorek and Jeffrey C. Dillow, "this month patented a system for replacing telephone ringing sounds and busy signals with 15-second advertisements."

Parents scam minorities

An L-1 story reports the Englewood school district may have to add $704,000 to its budget next year to cover the tuition of students who attend a new Hebrew-language charter school in the city this fall. 

It's likely most of those students now attend private schools at a cost to their parents of $15,000 to $20,000 a year. The parents refuse to send their children to public schools filled almost completely with blacks and Hispanics, but pay school taxes anyway.

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