Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Same old flood photos are 'good enough'

The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, U.S. Rout...Image via Wikipedia
A road in Illinois during the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927.

Waters hit 100-year high

That dramatic headline on Page 1 of The Record today doesn't get much support from the same old photos Editor Francis Scandale has been running since flooding from Irene began on Sunday.

How many boats, dinghies and other rescue conveyances can readers take before their eyes glaze over (A-1)?

Flooding may have reached a 100-year high, but you can't say the same thing for the journalism practiced at the Woodland Park daily by Scandale, head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes and others.

Last night, I saw images on the TV news that took my breath away -- all of downtown Paterson under water, shot from a helicopter. I was looking for them in The Record today.

'Good enough'

Publisher Stephen A. Borg doesn't believe in renting a helicopter to provide readers with dramatic photos he claims they are going to look at for only "a few seconds."

The same old boats, dinghies and flooded streets are "good enough," according to his philosophy.

And everyone knows Borg needs the money to pay his $9,300-a-month company mortgage and annual property taxes of $73,000 on his $3.65 million mansion on Churchill Road in Tenafly.

Anyway, we're talking about Paterson, one of the poorest communities in North Jersey and the city Scandale loves to portray as a center for drugs and prostitution.

City is a prison

Take a look at the lead paragraph in the main flooding story on A-1. Paterson is described as "a city in virtual lockdown."

"Lockdown" is used most often to describe what authorities do when prison inmates riot. Or, they lock down a neighborhood when a gunman is holding hostages or an airport when terrorism is feared.

Why is "lockdown" being used to describe Paterson, when all that should be conveyed is that flood waters are blocking access to downtown? 

And I still haven't seen a photo of the magnificent, flood-swollen Great Falls. Scandale seems determined to ban any positive images of Silk City.

I guess Scandale also put Governor Christie's tour of Wayne and other communities on A-1, because the state's chief executive escaped stoning by flood-weary residents.

The story doesn't say why Christie bypassed Paterson, which was hardest hit.

Same old column

In Local, Road Warrior John Cichowski adds a twist to make a stale column on MVC offices seem fresh, but the layout editors are so sick of him, they demoted the piece to L-3.

The perennial flooding and closure of Willowbrook Mall in Wayne have been reported matter of factly amid a rumor the original builder skimped on the size of sewers to save money.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A plea for understanding

View of Manhattan from a helicopter, flying ov...Image via Wikipedia
The Twin Towers in May 2001.

With the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaching, here is a video that recalls the divisive debate over the mosque near Ground Zero in Manhattan.

Click on the link below:

A message of peace

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The real story: Failure of government

Walt Disney World ResortImage via Wikipedia
Today, a columnist praises Governor Christie for not going to Disney World.

Editors Francis Scandale and Deirdre Sykes had staffers at The Record knocking themselves out covering the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, yet all but one of them missed the real story.

The weekend storm exposed state and local governments' failure to fund a long-term solution to flooding or pay for the routine maintenance of roads, trains and even catch basins.

I've been quick to criticize Road Warrior John Cichowski for inaccurate reporting and advice -- and for neglecting his commuting beat -- but today, he's the only reporter to pinpoint the real legacy of Irene and all the other storms we've weathered (L-1).

You have to plow through Cichowski's florid writing and his lead paragraph comparing Irene to a World War II "pinup girl" -- an analogy so ridiculous the columnist felt a need to explain immediately who that was.

Enemies of transit

But if you read closely, he runs through the many failures of politicians, including Governor Christie, to expand mass transit and pay for road and rail maintenance.

Christie cancelled the Hudson River rail tunnels, then snatched $1.8 billion in tunnel funds away from the Port Authority to fund New Jersey's Transportation Trust Fund for roads and mass transit -- rather than raise the low gasoline tax.

Does anyone doubt Port Authority toll and fare hikes would have been lower, if the agency still had that $1.8 billion?

Road to ruin

Scandale came to his senses today, following Monday's tits-and-ass photo on Page 1 with a huge, overhead image of a flood-damaged Route 287.

A dramatic photo I don't see in the Woodland Park daily today would be the Great Falls in Paterson, swelled by Passaic River flood waters, with both a rainbow and an American flag highlighted by the sun.

In contrast to Cichowski, Political Stile Columnist Charles Stile delivers a vigorous blow job, praising Christie for not making a second, ill-timed visit to Disney World and for helping state residents get through the storm (A-9).

Also on A-9, a photo caption inexplicably has the borough of Oakland "knocked off its foundation by Ramapo River flooding and later deemed unsafe."

It's Liz Houlton's news copy desk that's unsafe and should be condemned.

Tunnel vision

The editorial on Irene gives state and local officials a pass (A-10) and ends lamely: "Hurricanes come and go. The water remains." 

So does Editorial Page Editor Alfred P. Doblin's view from a toilet seat.

You might recall The Record editorial opposing a tunnel that would safely funnel flood waters to Newark Bay, because it "would cost too much."

On the front of Better Living, Staff Writer Sachi Fujimori makes a game attempt to dissect Middle Eastern cuisines, but ignores history and geography in saying the food in Syria is "much like Lebanese food."

The two countries once were one, called Syria, ruled first by Ottoman Turks, then by the French.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Editors have an eye for young women

Milk SetImage by Mowie Kay via Flickr
A Better Living cover story has a hole big
enough to drive a milk truck through.

The Record's most dramatic photos from coverage of Tropical Storm Irene show rescues from floods, but why did an attractive young woman land on Page 1 while the best an octogenarian could do was the front of Local?

Critics say Editor Francis Scandale, Assistant Assignment Editor Rich Whitby and others have an eye for young women -- and it shows in today's coverage.

To cover the storm on Sunday, Scandale and head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes had less than half the number of reporters they threw at the recent earthquake, plus a handful of photographers and an unknown number of assignment, copy and layout editors.

Fifteen reporters are listed as contributing to the storm report, and they turned in an impressive amount of copy. 

Keystone Kopy Editors

But Liz Houlton continues to resist sending her news copy editors to boot camp for writing photo captions, and a couple I saw are embarrassing, to say the least. 

On Page A-4 today, the photo caption says, "Three men navigating a boat...." But it's clear from the photo one man is pulling the boat by a rope, a second is bailing water leaking into it and the third is smiling for the photographer.

On L-6, a photo shows two men in the foreground looking at a tractor-trailer partially submerged in flood water in front of Costco Wholesale in Hackensack. Why does the caption call them "spectators"?

Readers angry at the lack of local news coverage in North Jersey can relate to the residents of Fresno,Calif., where no media covered a Board of Education meeting at which the superintendent decided to give back $800,000 in compensation to the schools (A-8).

The Record didn't attempt to localize the story, and ask North Jersey school superintendents if they intend to do the same thing.

Spoiled reporters

As with past storm coverage, the paper says it will take up to a week to restore power to homes and businesses (L-1). 

But the stories  never explain why. Are the utilities short on staff? Why don't they hire more people to help ease the recession? And where are the reports of supermarkets and restaurants throwing out spoiled food?

Better Living's cover story on milk alternatives lists the nutritional contents of soy, almond, rice and other substitutes, but not cow's milk, so how are readers supposed to make an intelligent choice (F-1)?

See previous post on Web site comments

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NJMG restricts readers' comments

Facebook logoImage via Wikipedia
North Jersey Media Group, which publishes The Record and Herald News, is restricting comments on to readers who use social media and identify themselves.

The unannounced change was made last week. Before that, readers who registered with the online news site could comment using a pen name or other alias.

It's unclear whether readers without a Facebook account can comment on stories and columns.

Eye on The Record can only speculate on why the change was made.

In the past, criticism of Road Warrior Columnist John Cichowski has been withering. 

Critics have focused on his often inaccurate reporting and advice, and on how he has strayed far from his column's mission of going to bat for all commuters, not just drivers.

In general, comments on northjersey were civil, but there were a number of unhinged individuals who attacked each other viciously.

The Record of Woodland Park and other newspapers will only print letters from readers who provide their full name and town, and provide a telephone number for confirmation.

Eye on The Record received this comment last week:

Anonymous said...
What is the story with the site and it's new set-up for posting comments? Please let your readers know about the facts and your opinions of this issue in one of your future articles. It appears the old Comments posting system was eliminated this week sometime around Wednesday. It appears that all comments, which were posted with previous news articles, are no longer viewable. It appears that one can no longer log in to with their existing username, which typically was anonymous, in order to post comments. When clicking on the "Most Commented" tab, it no longer shows a list of articles. The "Most Read" and "Most E-mailed" tabs still bring up a list of articles. It appears that the new system requires you to have a Facebook account and log in to Facebook before you can post a comment. Currently, all comments appear to be only from Facebook users. Obviously, posting anonymously is much more difficult since most people with Facebook accounts use their own names, along with their pictures. It seems that the Record may have gotten tired of allowing some of the anonymous posted comments, which in some people's opinions may have been objectionable or controversial. While this new policy may be politically correct and an attempt to weed out the "controversial" anonymous individuals, who posted, I believe that it is a bad policy since it will restrict free speech and the free flow of information, will invade people's privacy by opening their Facebook accounts to unwanted public scrutiny by others, and force people, who have absolutely no interest in joining Facebook or any of the other social media sites due to concerns about privacy and identity theft. The number of posted comments with this new system has dramatically decreased. If you happen to find out anything that dramatically contradicts the facts that I have stated, I would appreciate an individual response to me. Otherwise, feel free to take the lead and alert your readers to this new situation.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Are newspapers obsolete?

The Counties of North JerseyImage via Wikipedia
The counties of North Jersey.

My copy of the The Record of Woodland Park wasn't delivered today, but when I looked at the e-Edition online, all I saw was stale news of Irene, the storm that soaked and flooded North Jersey and ended around 10 this morning.

North Jersey waits, wonders

What kind of Page 1 headline is that, Editor Francis Scandale? 

No. Absolutely not. North Jersey isn't waiting for Irene. The steady rain started around 5:30 Saturday evening.

By this morning, small branches littered my property. My kitchen ceiling sprung a leak in the middle of the night Saturday, and my garage was flooded with runoff from my garden around the same time.

Maybe, newspapers are obsolete, if this is the best they can do on a developing weather story. Should I forget the printed paper and the e-Edition, and go online to for the latest news?

But I've always hated the North Jersey Media Group Web site. It's difficult to navigate and looks like shit. I can never find anything on it.

Today's paper

On the front of Business, Your Money's Worth Columnist Kevin DeMarrais exposes friends of business owners and people who are paid to write peer reviews for and other sites (B-1).

On the front of Better Living, Staff Writer Elisa Ung reports on the Goffle Road Poultry Farm in Wyckoff, where the birds are raised naturally on a vegetarian diet and without antibiotics (F-1).

But isn't this a contradiction for Ung, a restaurant reviewer who rarely mentions whether the poultry and meat she samples have been raised naturally?

Kelly headed to D.C.?

On the front of Opinion, Columnist Mike Kelly is the latest reporter to  speculate on whether Governor Christie is going to run for president (O-1). 

Tens of thousands of readers are rooting for Christie to leave New Jersey and take Kelly with him as a mouthpiece.

Above the Kelly column, a huge piece on "Jersey Shore" makes you wonder who is hurting the state's image more: the moronic cast of the so-called reality show, the governor or the columnist.

Litter patrol

Desperate to avoid writing about commuting problems, Road Warrior John Cichowski reports on the littering of a footbridge between two malls (L-1).

Head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes managed to come up with major local news for L-2: the Dean's List.

L-3 today is filled with non-profit news, which usually appears on Monday.

What will appear in that space on Monday, a page of non-fatal accident photos?

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

From newspaper to fuel paper

Tulane University campus, New OrleansImage via Wikipedia
Tulane University in New Orleans.

Now that The Old Man is out of the way, the greedy Borg siblings are looking for the big score -- maybe abandoning journalism altogether.

Selling land for a Walmart on River Street in Hackensack is peanuts. 

Wait until Publisher Stephen A. Borg learns about new research showing how recycled newspapers can be turned into a biofuel that could replace gasoline.

Here is a link to an article by Tulane University in New Orleans:

Cars could run on recycled newspapers

Mexicans live here, too

North Jersey has a large Mexican-American population, especially in the city of Passaic, so the story at the bottom of Page 1 today makes you wonder if any of their relatives died in the horrific casino arson in Monterrey, Mexico, or in the war against the drug cartels.

At least 52 people died in the fire on Thursday, and two days later, there are no interviews with local Mexican residents in The Record.

I guess Editor Francis Scandale and head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes had all of their staff reporting on preparations for Hurricane Irene.

Just what we need

This isn't exactly a propitious time for a new outdoor recreation store in Paramus, but The Record's Business editors can turn even such bad timing into a hugely promotional story (A-10).

Is the story payback for ads that ran at the bottom of Page 1 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and on all of A-9 today? 

Maybe, the editors ran the story because today's full-page ad omits the new store's address.

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Prima donna peddles old news

Hurricane Irene (NASA, International Space Sta...Image by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center via Flickr
Hurricane Irene as seen from the International Space Station on
Wednesday. In 1999, another Hurricane Irene hit Florida hard.

As they make preparations for Hurricane Irene, readers looking for something else on  Page 1 of The Record today are blessed by the rare appearance of a story by the first lady of the newsroom.

Staff Writer Jean "Prima Donna" Rimbach -- part of a sisterhood blessed by newsroom Queen Deirdre Sykes -- tries to advance the nearly seven-month-old decision by Prosecutor John Molinelli against buying a $1.3 million surveillance plane with money confiscated from criminals.

Sykes allows Rimbach to work on stories for weeks, months or years, and publishes the results, even if they are flawed. In this case, the reporter invoked the Open Public Records Act to obtain a letter to Molinelli. 

But does anybody care that the state attorney general recommended against purchase of the plane, citing the tight economy? Is this really front-page news? Is this the best Editor Francis Scandale could come up with?

Hurricane head

I want to fault Editor Liz Houlton's news copy desk for using the word "brace" or "braces" in an A-1 headline for the millionth time, but at least the Keystone Kopy Editors avoided: "Irene is coming!"

Three embarrassing corrections appear on Page A-2 today.

Editorial Page Editor Alfred P. Doblin ignores the value of a nutritious, healthy breakfast for children of all incomes in blasting free school meals in Detroit and other parts of the country (A-21).

Gee, Doblin, why didn't you mention that Governor Christie went the other way, cutting school-breakfast programs for low-income children? Is that what you favor?

Parking for lovers

Readers can count on Road Warrior John Cichowski to uncover the obscure -- subjects appealing to a handful of readers -- such as a single parking lot in Fort Lee that takes cellphone payments (L-1).

Cichowski recommends this lot to drivers who don't want to "hastily" leave "a meeting, assignment or tryst to beat a meter maid's tickets." 

Is this the first time he's appealed to lovers who arrange trysts -- secret meetings? 

His column is of so little interest to the vast majority of readers, Cichowski has to hype its importance to create something from nothing:

The payment system works "even if you're far away knee-deep in joy or stress." It's great to have such a system in "the pressure-cooker work environment surrounding the George Washington Bridge."

Where the f--- is the man's assignment editor, who should be curbing this kind of editorial excess?

Local yokels

Elsewhere on L-1, Staff Writer Stephanie Akin has a rare story about ethnic tensions in Palisades Park, one of the towns that get little coverage from Sykes, who presides over the laziest assignment desk in North America, Central America and the Caribbean, South America, Antarctica and Africa.

There is no Hackensack news in Local today, but Staff Writer Monsy Alvarado had three stories on Thursday, including one on a city health program for seniors.

Unfortunately, the other two were filler -- state aid to schools and a federal grant to the Police Department.

From hunger

This week's restaurant review comes up short on a number of levels.

Staff Writer Elisa Ung appraises The Kitchen, an Englewood restaurant that tries to recreate American comfort food of the 1930s.

But in a region as diverse as North Jersey, the headline -- "A taste of home" -- rings hollow.

Ung continues to ignore whether the poultry and meat she samples are naturally raised or whether the salmon is wild-caught. Do readers have to call the restaurant?

And her reporting and writing continue to grate: 

"The same green-lined plates that are probably in millions of American households." Probably not anymore.

"Two entrees sang proudly." From the George Gershwin songbook, no doubt.

"Those old cocktail parties of yore."  Good, old Yore. Nice to see you again.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Racist editor points finger

Downtown PatersonImage via Wikipedia
A white Paterson teacher is being disciplined after a 6- or 7-year-old student hit her
and she referred to that boy and other disruptive students as "future criminals."

On Page 1 of The Record today, Editor Francis Scandale makes an example of a white teacher who was accused of being a racist after she said on Facebook: 
"[I]'m not a teacher -- [I]'m a warden for future criminals."

At a hearing, Jennifer O'Brien explained what prompted the comment: Six or seven unruly students disrupted her lessons in the Paterson classroom, one first-grader hit her and another pupil struck another student. Is that really racism?

And why doesn't Staff Writer Leslie Brody's teacher-performance stories ever discuss the role and responsibility of parents when their children misbehave in the classroom?

Racism editor

Scandale should know what racism is. After all, he dumped the paper's only black and Hispanic columnists, leaving the daily with only white columnists.

Even if you argue that's ancient history, why didn't Scandale ever replace Lawrence Aaron and Miguel Perez, especially after John Cichowski and other white columnists went off their rockers?

The top of A-1 today is devoted to a story on the "9/11 family" that has little general interest.

Let's hope this is not the first of an unbroken string of 9/11 stories in the run-up to the 10 anniversary next month. I'm sure the anniversary coverage will make readers sick of reading about the disaster and the families left behind.

Blow up that photo

The front-page photo today is a shot from The Associated Press of a non-fatal turnpike accident that caused a 7-mile backup way outside of the paper's circulation area.

Scandale and head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes continue the daily dissing of their talented photography staffers, who have been reduced to ambulance chasers, forced to capture minor accidents so Sykes can fill columns in the Local section.

Today, the front of Local carries a big photo of a non-fatal fire from firetruck chaser Tariq Zehawi. 

This is not breaking news. This is breaking down readers. This is breaking the spirit of the photographers. This is breaking wind.

Flag burner

Of course, Scandale will never live down relegating to a back page staffer Tom Franklin's incredible, exclusive, flag-raising photo on 9/11. The coming anniversary will only rub salt in Franklin's wounds.

Editor Liz Houlton continues to confound with photo captions from the news copy desk she supervises, like the one on Page A-4 today that introduces readers to a new species in Manhattan. The caption reads:

"Pedestrians starting their morning as surveillance cameras monitor the scene in Times Square."

At the end of the day, where do the "pedestrians" go? Into the manholes? Now, that's a story.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Less than earth-shaking news

East coast earthquakesImage by °Florian via Flickr
Map shows the epicenter of Tuesday's earthquake in Virginia.

I didn't feel the earthquake on Tuesday -- nor was I moved by the nearly three pages of coverage in The Record today. 

Editor Francis Scandale had more than 30 newsroom staffers -- including a photographer, a graphic artist, and an unknown number of assignment and copy editors -- working on the story, supplemented by The Associated Press.

The Record did manage to come up with one of the best quotes I heard on any media, the one from Bloomingdale's shopper Cheryl Alexander: "The mannequins were definitely moving .... I actually thought they were coming to life."

Staff infection

But two of the photos used -- of people standing around outside courthouses in Hackensack and Manhattan (A-1 and A-8) -- seemed redundant, and the long AP story on why the quake was felt from Georgia to Canada never actually answers the question.

Liz Houlton's news copy desk couldn't resist the cliche "shaken, not stirred" in the headline for a staff-written story on how the quake affected Washington, D.C.

Staff Writer Scott Fallon managed to find a seismograph near the Woodland Park newsroom (A-9). And I got a kick out of the tweet reporting "there's an earthquake in Hackensack ... so freaked out."

Of course, that was the second quake to hit Hackensack, the first coming when North Jersey Media Group and The Record pulled up stakes, leaving Main Street merchants high and dry, and depriving city residents of local news. 

The aftershock will be the demolition of that huge pile of bricks at 150 River St. to make way for a Walmart.

It so appropriate for the greedy Borg family that capitalism will trump journalism.

Road kill

The sad state of local news continues today with a story on the naming rights for the New Meadowlands Stadium on the front of Local.

In his L-1 column today, Road Warrior John Cichowski shoots himself in the foot and shows just how out of touch he is with commuting when he poses this question:

"Other than car-pooling, what are the options for avoiding" the Port Authority's Hudson River toll hikes?

The arrogant, office-bound columnist then answers his own question:

"How's your backstroke?" 

He goes on to mention swimming, taking a ferry, using PATH, driving out of the way to use the Tappan Zee Bridge or walking or bicycling across the GWB.

But the moron completely ignores NJ Transit trains and express buses that carry thousands of North Jersey commuters to Manhattan every day.

Who is to blame?

Karen Rouse, the transportation reporter I criticized on Tuesday, isn't fully to blame for the lack of meaningful reporting on mass transit. 

Most of the blame rests on Editor Deirdre Sykes' assignment desk, the laziest in North America, South America, the Caribbean and Antarctica.

When Rouse came to The Record several years ago, I read her brief bio, saw her photo on the bulletin board and introduced myself.

She had studied Spanish in Peru and had been assigned to the transportation beat, so I suggested she take NJ Transit's No. 780 bus from Hackensack to Passaic for lunch at one of that city's Peruvian restaurants.

In the process, she could develop a transportation story to answer this question: Why are the largely minority riders of local routes such as the 780 forced to rely on rickety, decades-old buses that are long overdue for replacement?

Rouse never took the bus to Passaic, and several weeks later explained her assignment editor wouldn't allow her to leave the building unless he was certain she would come back with a story.

"Nothing ventured, nothing gained" seems to be the motto of this dysfunctional news organization.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Transportation reporters are trippin'

Looking northwest from 38th street overpass, w...Image via Wikipedia
A commuter bus, followed by a private transit van, emerges from the Lincoln Tunnel in Manhattan. So-called Spanish buses take the overflow from NJ Transit's SRO buses.

Manhattan-bound trains are standing-room-only and packed buses inch into the Lincoln Tunnel every weekday morning, so what do transportation reporters at The Record of Woodland Park write about?

If you're Staff Writer Karen Rouse, you comb your e-mail for press releases on surveys, reports, studies and grants that you can shape into a "transportation" story with a few phone calls -- the better to ignore the agencies you're supposed to cover, NJ Transit and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

No news today

Today, Rouse reports on drivers who can't afford to fix their cars. What does this have to do with her beat, and why is someone who skipped repairing his car's air conditioner Page 1 news?

More relevant -- and a story on her beat she has never done -- are the largely minority North Jersey residents who can't afford to own a car and rely on decrepit NJ Transit local buses to get around.

Maybe Rouse gets a pass because she was hand-picked for The Record by Editor Francis Scandale from their old newspaper in Denver.

She moved into a Hackensack apartment next to the tracks, but that's the closest she has come to a real story on the sad state of public transportation in North Jersey.

A Will and a way

Get a load of Columnist George Will's fairy tale about Governor Christie and the millionaires tax he rejects (A-11).

Far better reading is the piece on the Great Falls by E.A. Smyk, the Passaic County historian (A-11).

Two sensational crime stories dominate the front of Editor Deirdre Sykes' Local section, which is put out by the laziest news assignment desk in North America, South America and the Caribbean.

A second major "transportation" story appears just below that -- on federal grants to repave streets in five towns -- by the hard-working Rouse. You just can't stop her.

Even with Rouse and a second reporter, Shawn Boburg, ignoring important public-transportation stories, the editors might argue Road Warrior Columnist John Cichowski is taking up the slack.

But Cichowski has been stuck in the same groove of writing about driving minutiae for years. Here's a comment from a reader of on a recent Road Warrior column:

  1. SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011, 4:56 PM
    wondering says:
    The Road Warrior situation has no clear exit strategy. This column continues to offer clueless advice and inaccurate info. UNBEKNOWNST TO THE ROAD WARRIOR, Pascack Valley�s dense population and crowded roads began their assault decades ago, and not just recently as was reported in today�s column. Traffic back-ups at GSP exit 168 at Washington Ave. have existed for more than 2 decades and certainly was not the last, as reported in today�s column, of many chronic Pascack Valley trouble spots. VANISHING INTELLIGENCE by clueless drivers and reporters seem to make them worried about the imminent end of driving safety, as we know it, if those missing white lines east of Route 4 and 208 junction are not immediately repainted. I have never been confused or saw any drivers confused or driving erratically due to any missing lines recently or in the many years of driving at that junction. MISSING SIGNS OF INTELLIGENCE seem to flourish for those concerned about that missing itty, bitty Route 4 sign well in advance on Route 20. I and thousands of drivers have had no problems exiting Route 20 on the left with the larger Route 4 exit sign nearer to the exit. WASTING TIME seems to be a frequent occurrence with the endless, inaccurate, and clueless reporting on MVC problems and long lines that continually conflict with MVC official quotes and claims that long lines are �much shorter�. Even with today's interesting tidbit of another MVC problem, the MVC situation is much worse than the Road Warrior ever reports.
    SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011, 1:15 PM

Bow wow

On Page L-11 today, two men are shown sitting in chairs facing the camera, and each has his hands folded, but the caption identifies them as American and Japanese auto executives "exchanging greetings" at a news conference on Monday.

On Saturday, months after watermelons appeared in the market, Better Living ran a cover story on how to choose one. Today, with fall in the air, the cover food story is on Asian cold-noodle dishes that refresh you in hot weather.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Where is the poll on Christie?

Republican Party (United States)Image via Wikipedia
The elephant is the Republican Party symbol, not the
 animal Governor Christie wants to be in his next life.

New Jersey voters are
angry -- at everyone

Today's front-page headline in The Record promises a lot, but for some strange reason the story leaves out Rutgers-Eagleton poll results for Governor Christie, focusing instead on President Obama and Congress.

Hey, Editor Francis Scandale, is it really news most people in the state blame Republicans for the recent debt-limit crisis? That's really stale.

Missing the story

Hey, Washington Correspondent Herb Jackson, why didn't you report this is the first Rutgers-Eagleton poll "to show feelings about Christie more negative than positive"?

That's right from the second paragraph of the press release from the Eagleton Institute of Politics, along with this from the third paragraph (link to full press release):

"Asked if they would vote to re-elect Gov. Christie or prefer someone else, 42 percent say they would vote for Christie while 49 percent say they would vote for someone else."

So Scandale and Jackson, don't you think a poll on Christie is more relevant to readers -- especially just three days after the governor's unpopular support for the Port Authority's toll-and-fare hikes to repair infrastructure? (The poll results were released Aug. 19, the same day the PA OK'd the hikes.)

Or are your heads up your asses, as usual?

Christie told a radio news reporter critics of his support for the hikes are "know-nothings and do-nothings," but I didn't see that in The Record, either.

More poor editing

Liz Houlton's news copy desk is at it again.

Why call a storm "wicked" in a photo overline when a single tree fell and totaled three gas-guzzling vehicles in the driveway of an Upper Saddle River home (A-1 and L-1)? 

That's not wicked; it's the revenge of Mother Nature for global warming.

Also, it's incorrect to say an SUV -- which is an inanimate object --  is "sitting" under a tree, and anyway, readers can see it is under the tree, so why waste space telling them that?

Page A-2 carries an embarrassing correction to fix the misspelling of the name of the acting head of the Hackensack Police Department, Capt. Tomas J. Padilla.

Listen to readers

As on many days, there is more interesting reading in letters to the editor on A-11 than on the front page or anywhere else, especially Local, put together by the laziest assignment desk in all of North and South America.

On L-1 today, non-profit reporter Harvy Lipman, a favorite of Publisher Stephen A. Borg, pens his one story for the week.

A day after The Record published a story on the first New Jersey Wine Festival at Demarest Farms in Hillsdale, where 10 wineries poured samples, Better Living promotes 11 wineries and vineyards in New York State.

That's not equal play from a North Jersey newspaper; that's a disservice to readers who want to support Garden State agriculture.

I can't recall a similar article about wineries in New Jersey.

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