Friday, February 11, 2011

We want to hear North Jersey voices

Train arriving at Cairo's Sadat stationImage by modenadude via Flickr
Hosni Mubarak stepped down and ceded all power to the military today, The New York Times reported, adding that the Egyptian president left Cairo for his home in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik. Did he take the train from Sadat Station, above?

The uprising in Egypt has gripped the word for more than two weeks now, but Editor Francis Scandale keeps on bouncing the biggest story of 2011 onto and off of the front page as if it is a basketball. 

Even today, when it's the main element on Page 1 of The Record of Woodland Park, the voices of Egyptians in Clifton, Wayne and other parts of North Jersey are buried inside the paper.  

This failed editor just doesn't get it. Readers of the former Hackensack daily want to hear the voices of their neighbors in multicultural North Jersey.

Photo op

I recall a peace treaty signed many years ago. The Record's front page carried a dramatic photo of Arab leaders against the sky at the Sharm el-Sheik resort in Egypt. But Scandale felt the continuation page was good enough for sidebars by his own own staff in which North Jersey Arabs and Jews kept up a lively debate on the meaning of the pact.

Biblical flood

That complete waste of space on A-1 today -- a story on the umpteenth study of solutions to Passaic River flooding -- would have been a perfect spot for the sidebar on North Jersey Egyptians by Staff Writers Erik Shilling and Deena Yellin (A-19). That's how you package the drama in Egypt -- especially in view of how the main bar lags behind events in Cairo this morning.

President Hosni Mubarak reportedly left the capitol for his home in the Red Sea resort, setting off a frenzy of celebration. 

Fire and ice

Look at the cool photo of Clifton firefighters on A-3 -- their black gear set off against the white snow as they ski down a Vernon hillside as part of a fund-raiser for a burn center. Oh, that's a photo from The Star-Ledger. 

An editorial on A-22 today calls on Governor Christie and the Legislature to come up with new sources of revenue -- a millionaires' tax, a temporary tax on major purchases and an increase in the low gasoline tax -- but the request is buried so deeply, it loses its impact.

The editorial doesn't even mention how dead-set Christie is against raising taxes on his wealthy supporters.

Fat of the land

Editorial Page Editor Alfred P. Doblin loves to write about himself. In a column on A-23 today, we learn he's "a bit of fitness freak" and a fan of Michelle Obama's campaign to reduce obesity. 

Gee, Doblin, don't you have anything to say about Christie's obvious excesses or why he and his wife haven't launched their own war against obesity?

Just when we need Road Warrior John Cichowski to complain about all the potholes that have appeared over the last few weeks, he's ignoring us to answer more inane questions from drivers who are stopped and ticketed by police (L-1). 

I saw a pothole-repair crew on Commerce Way in Hackensack this morning, but Chick was nowhere to be found. He long ago gave up writing about commuting problems. He needs to get out more.

Bergen County roots

Just in time for Black History Month, Staff Writer Jay Levin has two local obituaries about African-Americans on L-6 today. 

Coverage of the blacks isn't a strong suit of head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes' Local section, especially in Englewood, where Staff Writer Giovanna Fabiano routinely ignores the Jamaican community and the heavily minority public schools.

Why has consumer reporter Kevin DeMarrais written two long columns this week on the debut of Verizon's iPhone (L-8 today)?
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