Sunday, April 3, 2011

Scamming taxpayers and readers

Republican Party (United States)Image via Wikipedia

Editor Francis Scandale and Staff Writer John Reitmeyer finally are telling readers Governor Christie's tax-cutting campaign pledge and his first 14 months in office have been one big scam on middle-class homeowners (A-1).

But don't hold your breath waiting for The Record to report how the Republican bully seems to be working in concert with conservative governors in Wisconsin, Connecticut, Maine and other states in an unprecedented assault on unions, public education and other middle-class values.

Union busting

Just take a look at the A-1 story at the bottom of Page 1 today and try to figure out whether the reporter is exposing E-ZPass cheaters, giving turnpike officials ammunition in their attempt to privatize toll collection or just justifying her existence.

The reporter, Staff Writer Karen Rouse, continues to carefully avoid laying out for the readers what a big hit unionized toll collectors would take if forced to work for a private firm. You have to get your calculator out to learn the average pay of $65,000 a year would be cut to $25,000, assuming $12 an hour and a 40-hour workweek.

Time to move

But Scandale apparently thinks the biggest A-1 news today is a long tale about "several homeowners" along the Ramapo River in Oakland whose land is being washed away, although photos show only one property.

Someone should tell homeowner Tara Farley to take a hike, if she thinks other taxpayers are going to finance stopping the erosion of her back yard. The sad truth, omitted from the story, is that ratables-hungry officials should have never allowed homes to be built there in the first place.

By calling red-light cameras "Big Brother" (L-1), are head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes and Road Warrior John Cichowski denying they are a win-win for everybody -- except maniacal drivers -- by cutting crash deaths and generating sorely needed money for cash-strapped towns and cities?

Corporate stupidity

How did Scandale, Publisher Stephen A. Borg and big sister and Vice President/General Counsel Jennifer A. Borg let the Q&A with a plaintiff's anti-discrimination lawyer get into the paper (B-6) -- given how poorly they've treated older workers in recent years?

Can anyone figure out what Margulies is trying to say with his cartoon today (O-2)?

Panera BreadImage via Wikipedia

Gobble, gobble

Restaurant Reviewer Elisa Ung devotes her column today to sampling "sensible options at local chains," but is silent on whether she will go back to stuffing as many desserts into her mouth as the paper's budget will allow.

An apparent production error sailed by the features copy desk: Only a crust is shown over text describing one of those sensible choices, a "breakfast power sandwich" at Panera Bread, called just "Panera" in the article. Maybe Ung ate the rest of the photo.

Walking foot in mouth

Award-winning Travel Editor Jill Schensul has earned a reputation of being a good writer, but you wouldn't know it from three clunkers in her cover story (F-1) on "Best Places to Walk: From New Jersey to New Zealand."

1. "... Cold enough to freeze your nose hairs." 2. "... Quivering wedge of cheddar." 3. "You're in the middle of a wow sandwich."

No. You're in the middle of a long story no one bothered to edit.

Schensul also writes about a walkway on an abandoned elevated railway in Paris, but ignores the same type of walkway in lower Manhattan.
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  1. That's easy. In Margulies' cartoon, the husband is saying that Christie's budget shows fiscal responsibility. The wife implies that yeah, compared to Christie, all his predecessors were fiscally responsible.
    And I don't know about Panera Bread's power breakfast sandwiches, but their breakfast souffles are the bomb.

  2. Thanks.

    As for the cartoon, it took too many minutes for a message that didn't get through to me. I thought it was the one you describe, but wasn't sure. He's been a lot more effective than that.

    I used to visit Panera Bread when I lived in Englewood, but it closed without explanation, presumably during Staff Writer Giovanna Fabiano's vacation, so readers got no explanation, which is the case with so many things about Englewood since she took over the beat.


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