Sunday, July 31, 2011

Readers want fresh voices for old columns

NJ Transit Newark Light Rail #104 crossing Bro...Image via Wikipedia
North Jersey's future lies in transit -- not cars -- but The Record publishes negative stories or simply ignores problems facing bus and rail users.

Do columns in The Record have to go on forever, especially when the writers ran out of ideas months or years ago?

Staff Writer John Cichowski succeeded Jeff Page as the Road Warrior in late 2003, but he's no Jeff Page.

He soon became obsessed with the problems of drivers to the exclusion of all other commuters, especially those who use mass transit, and often his advice is inaccurate.

This incredibly lazy reporter fizzled out quickly, compared to Page, who wrote the column for 13 years.

His column today isn't even about drivers (L-1). 

Sign off, Chick

Editor Francis Scandale and head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes, who picked Cichowski to write the column, need to give him the heave-ho. 

Bust him back to reporter and get his ass out of the office.

Allow another writer to take over the column, especially one who will become an advocate for public-transit users in one of the most congested regions of the country.

The same goes for Columnists Mike Kelly (20 years), Bill Ervolino (10-plus years), Kevin DeMarrais (17 years) and Elisa Ung. 

Readers want to hear fresh voices that reflect their concerns.

Food for thought

DeMarrais is the only consumer columnist at the Woodland Park daily, and I've long admired his work, plus he's the only reporter who writes about food shopping.

But he is stuck in the past, refusing to add organic and naturally raised food to his monthly Marketbasket Survey of supermarket prices.

DeMarrais also destroyed his credibility with a February 2011 column about a wealthy woman who sells $10 million to $50 million business jets by omitting the name of one of her prominent customers: Chairman Malcolm A. "Mac" Borg.

Ung, the restaurant reviewer since 2007, also writes a Sunday column called The Corner Table, which is supposed to represent the customer's point of view.

But she ran out of ideas long ago, and seems reluctant to ask restaurant owners hard questions about the origin of the food they serve, the prices they charge and the slave wages they pay their servers.

In fact, Ung devotes too many of her columns to glorifying restaurant owners, chefs and food producers, such as today's piece on a Fort Lee man who produces pricey, controversial foie gras (F-1).

Kelly and Ervolino could be much more effective as reporters. Their columns are more annoying than all those business jets heading for Teterboro Airport.

Kelly has been pushing words around for years. Ervolino is what, in his 50s? His single lifestyle is pathetic, not funny.

Today's paper

Scandale's front page today is dreadful, especially for a Sunday paper.

A Page 1 photo of the Giants quarterback? Boy, I'm glad the world is safe again.

The two local A-1 stories -- one on high-tech 911 hoaxes and the other on public insurance adjusters -- couldn't be duller, and the assignment editors seem only to have spell-checked them before sending them on to the news copy desk.

The story on adjusters doesn't even answer an obvious question: If you have a good insurance company, do you even need a public adjuster?

Staff Writer Shawn Boburg doesn't discuss incompetent police work as a factor in the hoaxes.

In Sykes' Local section, you won't find any Hackensack, Englewood or Teaneck news.

See below: Bill Maher on Governor Christie

Native son lampoons Christie's weight

Bill Maher at the PETA screening of I Am An An...Image via Wikipedia
Satirist Bill Maher is proud of his New Jersey roots.

On his HBO show, satirist Bill Maher, who was born in New Jersey, riffed on Governor Christie's asthma attack and his brief hospitalization.

Recalling Christie had difficulty breathing on Thursday, Maher said, "He first noticed he had a problem when he had trouble inhaling a pizza."

On Friday night's "Real Time with Bill Maher," the satirist said the governor was in a supermarket and felt a tightness in his chest.

"And then he realized he got stuck in the dairy case."

The governor is OK, Maher noted, adding, "The hospital today upgraded his condition to gigantic." 

The doctors say he's up and about, "and taking helicopters to travel 20 feet."

One doctor told Christie, "You have to stop eating ice cream out of big, 5-gallon tubs.

"And he [Christie] said, 'Why.'

"And the doctor said, 'So I can examine you.'"

Clowning around

Admittedly, this kind of slapstick would pale in the face of a serious discussion in the media of the governor's health problems and obesity.

But Editor Francis Scandale and Editorial Page Editor Alfred P. Doblin at The Record of Woodland Park have no interest in making the governor feel uncomfortable about his obsessive eating -- just as Scandale has avoided confronting fellow employees and the paper's restaurant reviewer about the same behavior.

Scandale apparently doesn't know -- or likely doesn't care -- that such grossly overweight employees as head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes call in sick a lot more than employees of normal weight, and that drives up health insurance premiums for everyone.

Sykes has been the real power in the newsroom for years, and no one is going to tell her to get healthy.

Debt-ceiling disgrace

On the congressional stalemate over the debt ceiling, Maher likened the debate to a pissing match that had reached an awkward moment.

Everyone is "out of piss" and they're "standing there with their dick in their hand."

"One party has no brains," he went on, and the other party "has no balls."

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Editors fear saying the O-word

Jeff Vanderbeek presents Mary Pat Christie wit...Image by New Jersey State Library via Flickr
New Jersey first lady Mary Pat Christie hides behind a hockey jersey.

The Record's Page 1 story on Governor Christie's health problems and the editorial on Page A-11 are masterful writing jobs. 

Both avoid any mention of how the governor has become the poster adult for the obesity epidemic.

Today's story by Staff Writer Juliet Fletcher quotes Christie as saying he has "urged his staff ... to release a 'complete download of all the medical results'" from his hospital check-up after an asthma attack on Thursday.

Download from where? The story doesn't say, and the reporter includes absolutely no medical data, doesn't quote any doctors and doesn't tell readers how much Christie weighs.

Fletcher does reveal that Christie keeps Governor's Hours, showing up at work on Friday at 11:03 a.m.

Hungry for more

What did he have for breakfast? A half-dozen eggs, a stack of pancakes and a slab of bacon or low-fat yogurt and fruit, whole-grain toast and an egg-white omelet?

Your guess is as good as mine. 

We've read the governor is working with a personal trainer, but he won't lose any weight unless he makes real dietary changes, and that means giving up such favorites as beer and pizza.

The editorial ("Wake-up call, Christie's scare, a teachable moment") is a well-crafted exercise in avoiding any mention of the obesity epidemic, and even contains an inadvertently hilarious bit about a health program the governor should launch.

Vintage Doblin

Editorial Page Editor Alfred P. Doblin, who either wrote or edited and approved the editorial, concentrates on Christie's asthma, not his excessive weight.

He even drags in the state's poor, who are more prone to having asthma, and glosses over cuts in state funding to urban centers as "the fiscal reality of New Jersey under Christie's watch."

What a pussy. What a Christie apologist. What about the governor's refusal to hike taxes on millionaires or the hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks he is giving businesses?

When he finally turns to Christie's weight, he mentions New Jersey first lady Mary Pat Christie has "drawn attention to area food pantries and the need to donate to them," but doesn't note that first lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" campaign targets childhood obesity.

The photos I've seen of Mary Pat Christie and some of her children suggest obesity, not hunger, should be her chief concern.

In fact, in pulling the plug on Hudson River rail tunnels, the governor cited his wife's complaint that she would have to walk too far to connect to the subway in Manhattan. How lazy can you get?

'Put it in the can'

Then, the editorial urges the governor to launch a companion program to his wife's called "Put it in the can." 

People would save the money they normally use to buy unhealthy snacks, and donate it to a food pantry or buy food to donate, the editorial suggests.

All I could think of is that this editorial belongs in the shit can.

But there's more: "Christie should consider challenging New Jerseyans who are also struggling with weight issues to join in a long-term regimen of diet and exercise."

Elephants in the newsroom

Gee, what about all the obese editors at The Record? For years, they've consistently refused to launch a series on the obesity epidemic. 

Why didn't former Food Editor Bill Pitcher, head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes and Projects Editor Tim Nostrand put themselves up as examples to the reading public, try to lose weight and report the results as part of a series on obesity?

'Job creators'

Look at all the jobs the Bush tax cuts have created.

On A-3 today, the Associated Press reports the "job creators" who run New Jersey-based Merck & Co. plan to cut up to 13,000 more jobs -- bringing to 30,000 the number of positions shed since a November 2009 merger with another drug giant.

Is Merck losing money? No. In fact, second-quarter profits were higher than for the comparable period last year.

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Friday, July 29, 2011

NJMG Web site blocks 'Eye on The Record'

Fluticasone metered dose inhalerImage via Wikipedia
An inhaler for treating asthma symptoms.

Eye on The Record has been blocked from commenting on stories that appear on, the Web site of North Jersey Media Group, which includes The Record of Woodland Park.

When I looked at the site today, this appeared at the top of the page:

"Due to a Terms of Service violation originating from your IP address, 
article commenting has been disabled. 
While you can no longer leave comments on articles, 
your ability to browse the web site remains unaffected."

The "violation" apparently occurred when I included the Web address of Eye on the Record in my comment.

Today, I wanted to comment on the stories about Governor Christie's health problems, and ask why his weight wasn't included. 

It's interesting how the comments from readers are far more direct than any of the so-called experts or pundits quoted in The Record's stories and column today.

Here are two of the comments:

FRIDAY JULY 29, 2011, 12:15 PM
Mimimymy1 says:
Christie is in denial of his medical problems. Low blood pressure is common in pre-diabetics and diabetics because the damage that their elevated blood sugar does to their circulatory system and hearts causes the heart to be ineffective, lowering their pressure. An obese man with low blood pressure is also in greater danger of circulatory disease due to the long-term damage to organs caused by poor blood flow. Instead of bragging about it, he'd better be monitored for it and checked both for his asthma and the causes of the low BP. If he has an asthma attack with that low a BP, it could kill him by depriving his heart of oxygen.

FRIDAY JULY 29, 2011, 6:04 AM
cedup says:
He is a perfect example, of how not to be. Bloated, angry, and unhealthy. Hardly something of an example for us, mere citizens. We need a leader that impresses, not digests. And I am no better off since he has implemented his plans. And he is under 50, this guy is zero self discipline. Hardly an inspirational person to be put in a leadership job. Are we better off now, than we where a few years ago, I think not. Since the republicans think Reagan was a disciple, let's quote that guy on themselves. He needs to walk more and be driven around less, doesn't he know anything about exercise? Horrible example for the CHILDREN, doesn't he know they are our future, and they are very much influenced by our superb leadership in this country. Bloated is as Bloated does. Think of the children, they look at the bloated gov, and tell mommy, I want to be big and bloated like our gov, so I can become president!

How chief asthmatic manages the news

HAMMONTON, NJ  - MARCH 29:  New Jersey Governo...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Thanks to a compliant media in the state, Governor Christie never has to answer any embarrassing questions about his excessive weight or his diet.

Asthma? Inhalers? Where have I been?

The Record's front page today reports Governor Christie has "always spoken freely about his asthma and weight," but why haven't we seen that in the paper before now?

At the gym this morning, most of the people I asked didn't know the unpopular Christie had asthma until the media reported he was taken to the hospital on Thursday after suffering an asthma attack.

"They shouldn't have revived him," one personal trainer cracked. "No inhaler for you, Mr. Governor," another said.

Today, readers are bombarded with four stories starting on Page 1, a really unflattering A-1 photo of Christie after he spoke to reporters outside the hospital and upbeat, time-bending headlines that deliver far more than any of the text.

Christie back to work

scare puts 
on weight

Back to work? How could the copy editor writing this Thursday night possibly know he'd be back at work this morning? 

And would you look at the ridiculous caption under the photo of a flummoxed Christie: "Governor Christie leaving to go home and rest Thursday before returning to the State House today."

Huh? You mean he says he'll return to the State House today or he hopes to return to the State House, right?

And if the health scare "puts [a] spotlight on [his] weight," why do the thousands of words in the paper today omit the governor's weight, how much he may have lost and how much he wants to lose? 

What's up doc?

Why didn't the media question any of his doctors?

This is Christie continuing to manage the news -- just as he and his spin doctors have managed it since he took office in January 2010.

They do this knowing The Record employs pussies, including Editor Francis Scandale, head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes and reporters John Reitmeyer, Charles Stile, Mary Jo Layton and others.

Did anyone, God forbid, ask Christie how much he weighs or whether he still enjoys a steady diet of beer and pizza?

As if today's front page isn't embarrassing enough -- with everyone from Scandale on down trying to gloss over the governor's serious health problems -- two embarrassing corrections and a clarification appear on A-2 today.

Earth shaking

The big news on the front of Sykes' Local section is another detailed story on the 14 eighth-graders visiting Glen Rock -- Scandale's hometown -- from Japan (L-1). Two days in the country, two major stories.

The story about the sister-town exchange takes up so much space, there wasn't room for any Hackensack, Englewood or Teaneck municipal news. 

Just desserts

In Better Living, only three of the 11 paragraphs in Staff Writer Elisa Ung's three-star review of Velo in Nyack, N.Y., discuss the food.

If it weren't for all the space the restaurant reviewer gives to a travelogue and the owner's resume -- and a wasted paragraph on the four desserts she made room for -- she could have told readers if the pork tenderloin was raised naturally or whether the restaurant serves fish.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Earthquake victims are back in the news

County route shieldImage via Wikipedia
Japanese students visiting Glen Rock will have their first McDonald's Happy Meal, then see how a steady fast-food diet led to the growth of a 570-ton tumor. The tour guide will be Editor Francis Scandale of The Record.

After the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Japan in March, The Record's local assignment desk couldn't find the address of the Japanese-American Society in Fort Lee or the big Japanese supermarket in Edgewater.

One minion suggested sending a reporter and photographer to Newark Liberty International Airport to interview Japanese residents rushing home to find missing relatives.

But head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes feared the staffers would jump on a plane to escape incompetent junior editors who knew less than they do about covering news.

So six days after the March 11 disaster, Editor Francis Scandale discovered that Glen Rock, where he lives, has a sister city in Japan "just 22 miles southwest" of the stricken nuclear plant, and cleared the front page for the story -- the first of several that mined this relationship for all it was worth.

Staff Writer Evonne Coutros even went out of her way to include broken English in the e-mails Glen Rock residents received from Japan.

They're back 

Page 1 today reports 14 eighth-grade students from Onomachi, Japan, arrived on Wednesday for a nine-day visit. Stay tuned for more.

Rocks in their heads

On A-8, the continuation page, a 570-ton boulder -- not Scandale living there -- is listed as Gen Rock's "notable feature." 

"We're all just guessing," Governor Christie says in the lead A-1 story on the possible New Jersey impact of a government default.

"I don't want to add to the hysteria," he went on, referring to how state residents have reacted to his cutting programs for the poor, women and working families.

An editorial on A-20 notes Christie's energy plan is silent on mass transit. Come to think of it, the same can be said of the paper's transportation reporters, including Road Warrior John Cichowski.

Editorial Page Editor Alfred P. Doblin publishes yet another laudatory OpEd column about Christie by Carl Golden, former press aide to two Republican governors (A-21).

Crime pays for studies

In Sykes' Local section, the big news today is $1.4 million in new funding to study police consolidation in 16 Bergen County towns. Don't hold your breath for stories on actual mergers.

The breaking news from Englewood is a 12-inch story on two burglaries at the same  Carvel shop on Grand Avenue (L-6). Sweet.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Editor ignores the pain all around him

Passaic River in eastern Essex CountyImage via Wikipedia
Dioxins aren't evident in this photo of the Passaic River in Essex County.

Editor Francis Scandale is a lot more comfortable dramatizing events on the other side of the world than reporting on what his readers are experiencing every day.

Contrast the large photo of African famine on The Record's front page today with the lack of local reporting on the widening wealth gap between whites, blacks and Hispanics -- a shocking story he buried on Page L-7 on Tuesday.

Readers know Scandale gave the boot to the paper's only Hispanic and black columnists, and that the departure of Staff Writer Liz Llorente has meant fewer stories about North Jersey's Latino community.

But this well-off white guy -- who works for a filthy rich, white publisher -- has no shame in showing his true color when it comes to covering minorities.

And if he is going to put a famine photo on the front page, why would this editor or any editor shy away from the one of a 7-pound, 7-month-old near skeleton that was relegated to A-9 today? 

Why wasn't this photo on Page 1? Too shocking for your readers, Francis?

Freedom to pollute

The upbeat A-1 story on the cleanup of the Passaic River never explains why it took more than 40 years for the battle to reach Superior Court ("Company found liable for river cleanups"). 

Nor does it tell readers the suit likely will drag on in the courts for two or three more years before the polluters have to pay anything. 

And would you look at that nonsensical drop headline from Liz Houlton's news copy desk, "Dioxin bill could cost hundreds of millions." Does a bill "cost" money?


New Jersey officials have jumped through hoops for decades to subvert the state Supreme Court's Mount Laurel rulings and keep poor people out of their towns, but you wouldn't know that from James Ahearn's obit for the Council on Affordable Housing (A-11).

Stepping in where head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes refuses to go, another OpEd column today details the impact of Governor Christie's budget cuts on children and working families in Englewood, Teaneck, Hacensack and Fort Lee (A-11).

Three cheers for Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle, who wrote the column, and a chorus of boos for the clueless local assignment editors.

After a break to write about pets left in hot cars, Road Warrior Columnist John Cichowski returns today to beating the dead horse of long lines at MVC offices (L-1). 

You wouldn't know from his campaign that readers have to go to an MVC office only once every four years, and can conduct other business by mail.

Stuff your face

Just in time for the obesity epidemic, Food Editor Susan Leigh Sherrill devotes her single recipe of the week to mixed-berry streusel pie, which is made with a stick and a half of butter, cream cheese and sugar (F-1).

In his Sunday column on supermarket promotions and food shopping in North Jersey, Staff Writer Kevin DeMarrais completely ignores Korean supermarkets and such warehouse stores as Costco Wholesale in Bergen, Passaic and Morris counties.

The Korean markets are especially strong on produce and fresh fish, while Costco's balance of low prices, high quality and variety can't be matched by any other food store.

At least his Your Money's Worth column appears to contain the paper's first acknowledgement of a decision to sell land in Hackensack to Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Readers are the ones who need protection

Police car emergency lighting fixtures switche...Image via Wikipedia
The Record has long ignored safety problems in Ford police cruisers.

Don't bother trying to climb into the brain of Editor Francis Scandale: It's the size of a pea.

Don't bother trying to understand why he loves bonding with other males over sports or why he favors slapping fellow editors on the ass to signal a job well-done.

With the government on the brink of default and readers still trying to make some sense of the slaughter in Norway, Scandale thinks the most important story of the day for The Record of Woodland Park is the end of a football lockout.

Did he order the inane headline at the top of Page 1 today, seemingly an appeal to like-minded readers?

Strap on your helmets

What was the news copy desk thinking? Are readers literally going to go looking for a football helmet? Do even hardened fans wear helmets in front of the TV?

Maybe readers are being told to put on helmets as protection from Scandale, who continues to bombard them with distracting nonsense.

Or perhaps Scandale gives prominence to this story as recognition of how NFL owners are greedily grabbing for more money -- an issue he's familiar with since fellow jock Stephen A. Borg took over as publisher five years ago.

Ford gets a pass

The A-1 story on turnpike lawsuit settlements at the bottom of the page inadvertently highlights safety problems with the Ford Crown Victoria -- used by police departments across North Jersey -- a story the paper has avoided for years.

Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptors went out of control at high speeds, killing  Teaneck and Paramus officers. Twelve other officers were killed between 1983 and 2002 when cruisers were rear-ended and caught fire, according to CNN.

Today's A-1 story in The Record reports a 19-year-old fashion model was trapped and burned to death in 2006 after her 2003 Ford Crown Victoria taxi stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike, and was rear-ended by another vehicle traveling 45 mph to 50 mph.

Running in place

Scandale thought more of the football story than two pieces on A-3 today about Governor Christie's ambitions for national office, including his attempts to hide a meeting last year with the head of the conservative Fox News channel.

Head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes made sure she made room in Local for the burglary of eight unlocked cars in Tenafly, where Borg lives (L-3).

Sun stroke

Road Warrior Columnist John Cichowski must have been suffering from heat stroke when he wrote his Sunday L-1 column on leaving pets in cars during the heat wave.

What happened to his mission of writing about commuting problems?

The lead article in Local on Sunday -- how politics affect solar-power projects -- was well-researched, but the reporter erred on the location of Bergen County's major installations, as an A-2 correction notes today.

An editorial on O-2 Sunday praises first lady Michelle Obama's program to attack childhood obesity, but is strangely silent on what New Jersey first lady Mary Pat Christie is doing about the problem here.

Unfortunately, Staff Writer Scott Fallon's cover story in Travel on Sunday -- "36 Hours in Washington, D.C." -- adopts a format The New York Times has used for many, many years, and smacks of shameless copying.

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Do we need all these police departments?

The Bergen County courthouse in Bergen County,...Image via Wikipedia
A Page 1 story on jury trials lacks statistics to back up the lead paragraph.

If you need a good laugh, read The Record's front-page coverage today and Sunday on the 911 caller whose hoax led to a "tense standoff in a quiet Wyckoff neighborhood."

It seems a lone house cat held off 30 officers from two towns and the Bergen County SWAT team for three hours.

Tear-gar canisters were shot through two front windows, ending the crisis and souring the pet's milk.

I looked for an editorial on Page A-11 today questioning the need for 70 police departments in Bergen County alone or perhaps calling on Governor Christie to cap the ridiculous salaries and benefits of all those petty police chiefs, as he did for school superintendents. 


'More and more'

The lead paragraph of Staff Writer Kibret Markos' story on A-1 today reports "more and more mistrials are being declared in New Jersey, and throughout the country," because jurors improperly research their cases on the Web.

But on A-6, he lists only four cases since 2009 that ended that way for that reason.

Does Editor Francis Scandale ever read the stories he puts on A-1?

Religiously frugal

On the front of head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes' Local section, Orthodox Jewish parents will be prevented for at least another year from pulling off a scam on other taxpayers.

The Teaneck and Englewood parents had planned to open the Shalom Academy Charter School, which would be supported by school taxes they now pay to the two communities, even though they don't send their kids to public schools.

Now, they refuse to send their kids into minority classrooms. When the charter school opens, they'll actually be taking away funds from the public school children.

The black and Latino students are being taught to say "shalom" to programs that might be cut as a result.

Poor excuses

Hey, Columnist Mike Kelly, why should anyone sympathize with the commercial property tax problems of an antique-car dealer who can afford to live in Saddle River (L-1)?

Why isn't a story on a businessman who hopes to market a Turkish street food made from lamb intestines on the Business page (L-6)?

Oh, I guess Sykes' assignment editors couldn't find enough local news, from Hackensack and other communities, to fill the section. 

Local food

Today's Better Living cover story on "local" food is too narrowly focused.

Shoppers should be told organic strawberries flown in from Chile are far better for them -- because they aren't tainted with pesticide residue -- even though the locally grown strawberries may taste better.

See previous post: Second look at BCC stories

Second look at BCC stories

Logo of Bergen Community CollegeImage via Wikipedia
Eye on The Record received a comment from an employee of Bergen Community College, disagreeing with the July 20 post that called the firing of President G. Jeremiah Ryan a journalism "witch hunt."

The comment suggests The Record's reporting on Ryan's expense account and his purchase of alcohol for himself and donors was superficial, and that he was given too much credit for raising $3.8 million for the college foundation.

It's especially interesting that Ryan appears to have a bigger problem with alcohol than the stories reported.

The Woodland Park daily's editors should be intimately familiar with alcoholism from all the years they labored under Chairman and former Publisher Malcolm A. "Mac" Borg.

Here is the comment in full:

Anonymous said...
I worked at Bergen. It was not a "witch hunt" but the removal of an incompetant, usually half-soused sycophant who should never have been there in the first place. His "record" funraising was almost entirely done by someone else who was hired by the college foundation last year, under the guidance of Laurie Francis - not by Ryan - although his taking credit for it was typical. He literally came back in the kind of state that gets you pulled over if you aren't president of a college every day when he left the building for lunch. One of the reasons for the renovation of the executive parking lot two or three years ago was that he needed an over-sized space to manage to park after returning to campus. I used to see him in the obscure elevator to the third floor almost every day, trying to arrange himself to look presentable as he tried to chart a course to sneak down a usually deserted hallway to his office. He bought in people that had no idea how or what to do, from a CIO with a resume so obviously full of mistakes (a man working three full time jobs, all at the same time?) to a PR department head who was dedicated to promoting the President way ahead of students or programs on campus and paid posters (students) to promote a smear campaign against Donovan via comments in the Record. I worked there - as did many others - only to find myself sucked into a program preying on the bad economy by taking employee's desperation to keep their jobs to make them accept lies about all sorts of things to willingly continue to work for 1/2 or less of what they were baited with to take the position up front. Making $20 a hour? Three months later you are told your funding is gone, but you can keep your job for $11 or some similar nonsense. Want to be paid for your time? You have mandatory meetings, mandatory training classes, all of which are on your time and completely unpaid, but you have to be there anyway. People that were transferred to a contract company when the previous administration bought in the contractor to save money had taken cuts in pay to transfer to the contractor's employ. Then the contract was terminated (at a huge penalty to BCC) and the same people were "offered" to keep their jobs at 1/2 of their already cut salary and those that stayed are now working twice the hours to make up for the people that didn't take the bait. Some of these people had been working at the college for twenty or more years because they loved the environment but their loyalty meant nothing. I left when the stunt was pulled on me, promised by HR that they would find me another position (at less money) since I was such a good worker. Never heard a word from them. The Record did not report on 90% of what went on that got Ryan removed - think about what it takes to get people without tenure to make a public vote of no confidence against the man that can fire them in an instant before you imply that it was undeserved. The people of Bergen County deserve a lot better than a constant cult of political personality trying to override the practice of good management at school, bringing fired politicians to take the place of actual educators and bringing in people who were cronies who taught classes by demanding students buy their own book from them (not the school) to take the class. It was THAT bad and a lot of my friends who remain are breathing a sigh of relief that perhaps now the college can get it's focus back to education and promoting BCC instead.

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