Thursday, October 27, 2011

Front-page stories ask, 'What if ...?'

Quel ricco sfondato di Mark Zuckerberg, founde...Image via Wikipedia
One-third of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's
 money is going to pay politically connected consultants.

Life in North Jersey would be hunky dory if:

  1. Public-school teachers add on an extra year before they are granted tenure.
  2. Businesses finally got grants to help them repair damage from Hurricane Irene.
  3. The federal courts or Congress allow the state to legalize sports betting.

At least that's what Editor Francis Scandale of The Record seems to be saying with today's what-if front page.

With the economy tanking and people losing their homes, is sports betting really on the front burner with anyone besides jock-itching Scandale and his clueless reporter, John Brennan?

A correction on A-2 notes a story on Sunday "incorrectly identified Hawthorne's mayor." How embarrassing.

Face the music

On A-4, The Star-Ledger reports about a third of the first $13 million in education grants from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been paid to consultants with ties to Newark Mayor Cory Booker and acting state Education Commissioner Chris Cerf.

Gee, isn't that Page 1 news?

Meanwhile, on A-10, Governor Christie loses another round with the state judiciary, which has blocked his attempt to have judges pay more for pensions and health plans.

Gee, isn't that Page 1 news? It's certainly better than a sports-betting proposal that is going nowhere fast.

Formula writing

An editorial on A-20 opposes Formula One racing in Hudson County, noting incorrectly, "The race is coming to New Jersey, because the cameras can show Manhattan."

No. The race is coming here to tap into one of the world's biggest sports markets, the New York-New Jersey metro area, and fans from all over the world will pack North Jersey hotels, restaurants and malls. 

The race is sure to be sold out, despite ticket prices of up to $360 for a three-day grandstand pass, just as F1 races sell out every year in Belgium, Italy, England, Monte Carlo and many other places.

No news today

On head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes' Local front, Englewood reporter Melissa Hayes reports issues in the 37th Legislative District race -- in an election nobody cares about.

The L-1 story is one in a series that seems to have crowded out any local news. Readers will search in vain today for news from Hackensack, Teaneck, Englewood and many other towns.

On L-3, Columnist Mike Kelly -- the resident mouse -- also blasts the idea of a Grand Prix race in two of the "most densely populated towns in America."

Of course, most of the circuit will be laid out between the Palisades and the Hudson River -- an area that is relatively uncrowded. 

Also on L-3, why didn't The Record name the stupid man who left his $45,000 Mercedes-Benz unlocked at 2:30 in the morning -- with the keys in the ignition -- outside of his restaurant, Trovato's in Elmwood Park, only to find it gone when he returned?

The story also doesn't say why he went to his restaurant at that hour.

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