Wednesday, April 13, 2011

From a local garbage dump to your plate

Urban Wetland - NJ MeadowlandsImage by samenstelling via Flickr
Hunts Point in the Bronx is no garden spot, but does a wholesale food market belong anywhere near old garbage dumps in the New Jersey Meadowlands, above?

Laughing out loud.

The front page of The Record of Woodland Park today is filled with a couple of lousy Jersey Jokes from Brooklyn-born Editor Francis Scandale.

Eating garbage

The first whopper leads A-1, reporting that one of the world's biggest wholesale food markets might relocate to a contaminated former garbage dump in the Meadowlands from the Bronx. How appetizing is that notion?

Garbage dumps are where food goes to rot, not where North Jersey foodies who want to eat local go for their next meal. I suppose a big selling point is that methane gas vented from the old dumps would ripen the wholesalers' fruit and vegetables.

This sounds like another one of the bargaining chips the co-op has used over the years to get a better deal from New York City. There's zero chance Mayor Michael Bloomberg will allow the Hunts Point Market to pull up stakes.

And what about that clunky headline? "Market looks at EnCap." Is that the stock market? Housing market? 

Mob scenes

The second Jersey Joke is the A-1 refer and F-1 story about Englewood native John Travolta, who will play a dead crime boss, John Gotti Sr., in a feature film claiming the Gottis are "victims."  The producers aren't saying how many murders Travolta as Gotti will have to commit or order. 

Obituaries of judges, Hollywood stars, musicians and most murder victims hardly ever run on Page 1, so what is the photo of a funeral mass for a Bloomingdale barber doing here? Couldn't Scandale come up with anything better from his award-winning photo staff?

This is a strong North Jersey and New Jersey front page -- but the editor allows the paper to be used by Hollywood and Hunts Point.

How much is a consultant to Governor Christie's education czar being paid -- the $60,000 in the lead paragraph on A-1 or the "20 grand a month" in the quote from Assemblyman Louis Greenwald?

Hole in none

An A-12 editorial on a female sports writer for The Record being barred from a golf club locker room talks about the importance of "reporters trying to get to the truth." About golf? Does the writer expect readers to believe that's a reference to reporters at The Record? 

Dirt buster

In his third column in a row on highway litter, Road Warrior John Cichowski is taking credit for getting the mess cleaned up (L-1) -- just as he crowed about passage of the anti-roof snow law after he wrote dozens of columns about that.

Imagine what he could accomplish if he wrote about decrepit local buses or the need to hike the low gasoline tax a few cents to repair the state's bombed-out roads.

You won't find any municipal news today from Hackensack, Teaneck, Englewood, Ridgewood or many other towns. 

I heard the assignment editors who work under the micro-managing Deirdre Sykes took the day off to shop North Jersey's malls.

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  1. Mr. S,

    I'd be interested to read your assessment of the sports and entertinment sections their respective leadership if you were so inclined one day.

    Keep up the good work.

  2. I follow motor sports, especially Formula 1, and The Record's Sports section does a lousy job of "covering" it.

    When I worked at The Record, I was struck by how many names are used in headlines -- names familiar to sports fans but not to others.

    As for the sports columnist, they sound like hacks to me.

    As for entertainment, I comment regularly on the food coverage.

    The other day I was really interested in a story on North Jersey jazz clubs and a headline that said readers would be surprised at how many there are.

    But when I read it, I was disappointed that places with jazz musicians one or two nights a week were being lumped in with clubs, and most of the places weren't clubs at all.

    Another case where the head was designed to sell a story that didn't exist. Maybe the reporter snowed his editor and Features Director Barbara Jaeger, but, ultimately, readers see through such artifice.

  3. Better title for Road Warrior article would be Dirt Cluster due to dirty, sloppy, & misleading reporting or Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!

    At the new Center City Mall in Patterson, he commented about adjacent Smith St. where "Craters were deep enough to scrape my Honda's bumper as its tires sank beneath the road surface, then scraped their way back up." Based on that report, either the Road Warrior, who classifies himself as a transportation and driving expert, is either one of the MOST MORONIC people in NJ or one of the BIGGEST FAKER reporters.

    Moronic if he deliberately or accidentally drove his car into any "DEEP CRATER", which would just be waiting to cause hundreds if not thousands of dollars of car damage to many undercarriage car components, front bumper, & tires, and the loss of his car while it was being repaired. It would be almost impossible not to see any “craters” on this very short 3 block road since you cannot drive very fast.

    Faker if you believe his car could drive into a "crater" pothole that "was deep enough to scrape my Honda's bumper" but not deep enough to impact or cause any damage to his car's undercarriage, suspension, wheel axles, engine components, etc., which are typically lower than a car's bumper.

    He also indicated that "Smith Street's main function now is to provide entrance to the mall's parking garage". Actually, Smith St. also serves as one of the main pedestrian entrances into the mall.

    He also mistakenly indicated that Smith Street connects Main St. (which runs N/S) and Ward St. (which runs E/W). Sorry, but Smith St., which runs E/W and parallel to Ward St., connects Main St. to Clark St. Was the Road Warrior ever really driving on Smith St. since it would be next to impossible to make that reporting mistake??

    Are we becoming more and more doubtful that there are any real "deep craters" on Smith St. or that the Road Warrior was ever driving at this Patterson location; or did he simply start spinning this unbelievable and death defying adventure by simply starting to type at his computer???

  4. Victor,

    Off topic but I'm curious to know what you think of The Record's weekly newspaper staff. Have you ever read any of their stuff?

  5. The Hackensack Chronicle weekly is delivered with The Record on Fridays, and a second copy is tossed onto my driveway.

    Mark Bonamo of The Chronicle has done a far better job than Staff Writer Monsy Alvarado -- The Record's Hackensack reporter -- gauging the morale of the Police Department and adding up all the legal fees associated with the suspension of Police Chief Ken Zisa.

    The weekly also beats Alvarado on other stories, but just as often its deadlines means it misses story.

    I usually mention when the Chronicle beats The Record.

    The Record also runs stories from its weeklies, especially from Harrington Park, where The Record's head assignment editor lives.

    That means small towns get better coverage than bigger, more diverse towns.

  6. do you play any sports mr S?

  7. I am 66. I go to the gym 5 days a week. That's it.


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