Monday, October 3, 2011

Wheels of misfortune edition

Official photo of senator Frank Lautenberg(D-NJ)Image via Wikipedia
Sen. Frank Lautenberg doesn't mince words in describing Governor Christie.

What's with the front page of The Record today?

Did Editor Francis Scandale concoct a themed edition -- with car wheels, bus wheels and the wheels of a military Humvee, the only vehicle strong enough to carry Governor Christie, the state's Big Wheel?

And it's all bad news. Atlantic City developers are vowing to pull out, if Christie runs for president. Why do they need him here? Did they bribe him?

The off-lead A-1 story reports carefree suburbanites not only leave their luxury cars unlocked, they leave their electronic keys in the vehicles, so theft is easy. Why is this kind of moronic behavior front-page news?

Forced busing

The A-1 patch notes hundreds of buses are parked in New Jersey lots between rush hours, then driven into the city to pick up commuters bound for New Jersey, leading to big delays.

Now, the Port Authority has dropped plans to build a bus-parking garage in Manhattan, claiming even higher toll revenue won't cover the cost. 

The story seems to say this is catastrophic. That the mass-transit world is about to implode. 

But instead of regurgitating the views of the bi-state agency, transportation writers Shawn Boburg and Karen Rouse should be hammering away at the Port Authority for not adding a second, reverse bus lane into the Lincoln Tunnel and refusing to expand the PATH system.

An why not ask the bi-state agency for the logic of charging another public agency, NJ Transit, to use the tunnel? 

Or why all those parked buses aren't used during the day to replace the decades-old white buses that ply the No. 780 (Englewood/city of Passaic) and other local routes?

Newsroom idle

Some genius on Liz Houlton's news copy desk wrote the buses "idle" in the parking lot shown in the A-1 photo. Doesn't that suggest their motors are running, when, in fact, they are parked with their engines off between morning and evening rush hours?

With fire breathers like head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes, maybe the air quality in the Woodland Park newsroom is affecting the copy editors' judgment.

But what's the excuse for Houlton and other copy desk supervisors for headline, text and caption errors that appear in the paper every day?

Doblin loves Christie

Turn to Editorial Page Editor Alfred P. Doblin's A-11 column on Christie today. You can almost hear him sigh, "My Hero." 

Doblin finds Christie "intoxicating." (Others are nauseated by the governor.) Compare Doblin to what Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., had to say about Christie in Saturday's paper:

Christie is "a persistent liar," "abusive to women, "a bully" and "strictly a divider," Lautenberg said (A-6).

Same old news

Sykes, the head assignment editor, appears to have given the Hackensack beat to one of her best reporters, Stephanie Akin, but Akin seems mired in the ins and outs of Police Chief Ken Zisa's legal problems (Local front), as was her predecessor, Monsy Alvarado.

Police news appears on L-2, L-3, L-5 and L-6 today -- all of it involving motor vehicle mayhem of one kind or another. 

The message seems to be to stay away from your car or drunks, predators and bad drivers will kill, maim, injure or rob you.


If you dry age a steak, you'll win over Restaurant Reviewer Elisa Ung, who won't question whether the beef was raised with harmful additives.

I'm still trying to digest her description of the steaks she sampled at Wayne Steakhouse.

In her review this past Friday, Ung said "they lacked the distinctive mineral funk of other dry-aged steaks I’ve eaten at North Jersey’s top steakhouses." 

How informative.

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