Thursday, July 21, 2011

North Jersey officials say: Merge this!

Downtown PatersonImage via Wikipedia
The Record's editors are upset the Passaic County Jail will remain in Paterson -- a city the paper has portrayed as a drug-and-prostitution center.

No one -- least of all Editor Francis Scandale -- should be surprised at the failure of a shared-services plan to close the Passaic County Jail in Paterson and lay off hundreds of employees.

In the past decade, Scandale and head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes have specialized in publishing stories on merger studies, merger grants and merger plans, but they've never reported any actual mergers, save for the sharing of some police-dispatching duties.

So why is the failed jail proposal the lead story on Page 1 of The Record today and what's with the outraged editorial on A-10? 

Scandale and Editorial Page Editor Alfred P. Doblin are putting on a big show only because the paper has talked up the plan in several earlier stories.

Drink up

At the bottom of A-1, readers learn former Bergen Community College President G. Jeremiah Ryan -- victim of a journalism witch hunt over his purchase of "top-shelf liquor" for donors -- is already pursuing job leads.

Staff Writer Leslie Brody is at the top of her craft, noting she interviewed Ryan "in a sitting room by the kitchen of his Edgewater home." Sitting room? 

With all the talented photographers on the staff, Scandale seems unable to come up with front-page photos of general interest. Today, a rock band apparently named for World War German submarines (U-boats) is featured.

The big news on the front of Sykes' Local section is a three-vehicle crash at the Fort Lee toll booths of the George Washington Bridge -- touched off by a commuter upset that Road Warrior John Cichowski refuses to write about mass transit (L-1).

Money, money, money

Tenafly Mayor Barry Honig seems unaware that some residents, including Publisher Stephen A. Borg, stay up all night counting their money and love having a new 24-hour 7-Eleven in town (L-3).

Honig is the same Neanderthal who opposes the extension of light-rail service to the wealthy community, asserting residents' constitutional right to drive cars into the city.

Bricks and mortar

The face lift of the Sears Roebuck and Co. building at Main and Anderson streets in Hackensack appears to be complete. The new black, brown and tan color scheme replaces a drab gray exterior.

No work on the interior is planned, a Sears spokeswoman said. The building was put up in 1932. It's one of 842 full-line Sears stores.

Meanwhile, preparations continue for the demolition of The Record's landmark building at 150 River Street to make way for a Walmart. The property has been surveyed in recent weeks.

At the N.J. Naval Museum, 78 River St., a board member said he didn't know if the new property owners will allow the U.S.S. Ling submarine to remain moored in the Hackensack River.

On River Street, two large stone markers have been stripped of The Record name as well as letters spelling out "North Jersey Media Group." Only the number "150" still appears on them.

They now look like tombstones marking the death of a great journalism tradition. The paper was founded in Hackensack in 1895.

I will return

Eye on The Record will return in a few days.

Please amuse yourself reading popular posts listed at the right, especially the comments on Tom Troncone throws his own going-away party.

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  1. What kind of abuse has the interior and exterior of that Sears building endured over the years to look the way it does. 1932, hell it looks like it was built in 1832.

  2. Yes. It was the pits, but now it jumps out at you, even from blocks away.


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