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.

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