|Image via Wikipedia|
|With only one reverse bus lane into the Lincoln Tunnel, Bergen County commuters must stand in the aisles on buses that are slowed to a crawl by morning rush-hour traffic.|
Governor Christie refused to raise the low gasoline tax to improve roads and mass transit in New Jersey, but found the money for those projects at the Port Authority, greedily snatching $1.8 billion in agency funds -- equal to nearly four years of toll revenue.
Now, he's denying the $4.50 Hudson River toll hikes are a tax, one that will fall disproportionately on middle- and working-class residents, just as his recent budget cuts did.
"It's a user fee," the governor said Friday, as reported on Page 1 of The Record today. "If you look at a pig and call it a horse, and if a lot of people call it a horse ... is it a horse? No, it's a pig."
No one is calling Christie a horse, but many are calling him an enemy of mass transit. An audit of the Port Authority is fine, but he should insist those higher tolls pay for an expanded PATH system and a second bus lane into the Lincoln Tunnel.
If it's a user fee, not a tax, then commuters are the ones who feel used by the governor and by Editors Francis Scandale and Deirdre Sykes, who are clueless about the sad state of public transportation in the region.
Law and order news
The major A-1 story reports arrests in the murder of a 27-year-old mother in Boonton, but it's hard to believe six reporters working for Scandale and Sykes couldn't find out whether the suspects -- the husband and a "woman" -- were romantically involved.
Still, it seems improper to say in the photo caption, "Nazish Noorani, who was gunned down in Boonton on Tuesday, being buried Friday ...."
The dead woman is not in the photo, nor can you see her coffin, so it should have said, "Nazish Noorani ... was buried Friday ...."
Sykes' Local section catches up readers with telephone-pole news -- photos on L-1 and L-2 show two that were damaged by errant cars.
There isn't a lazier assignment desk in all of North America, Mexico and Central America.
Dig into all the police news and news about the police on L-1, L-2, L-3 and L-6. Two of those stories are from Hackensack (L-3).
The hard-luck story on Englewood Cliffs' understaffed department doesn't say whether the police chief makes more than Christie or whether residents feel safe (L-1).
Black and white
It's hard to believe a white woman would sue a hospital because her baby was mistakenly breast-fed by a black mother for 30 minutes (L-3), but even harder to believe Staff Writer Kibret Markos didn't put that in the lead paragraph.
Even the clunky headlines don't tell the whole story. The word "suit" appears in the main head and "complaint" in the drop headline -- an echo that would have never been allowed a few years ago.
Better Living has run out of food news, so readers get a cover article on how to choose a watermelon -- more than three months after they first appeared in the North Jersey market (F-1).
The wire-service article reports watermelon "may also prove to be very helpful for those who suffer from obesity and Type 2 diabetes (F-3)."
Are you listening, governor?