|When it isn't bogged down in traffic, the New Jersey Turnpike is a playpen for high-speed tailgaters who cut in and out of traffic and terrorize other drivers.|
Eye on The Record and tens of thousands of readers are hoping that in 2013 Editor Marty Gottlieb finds fresh voices for The Record's news columns, now written by Staff Writers Mike Kelly and John Cichowski (A-1 and L-1 today).
And while he is at it, why doesn't he give one of the women in the newsroom a news column?
Kelly was on leave recovering from heart surgery when Superstorm Sandy hit on Oct. 29 and when 20 first graders and six adults were murdered in Newtown, Conn., 17 days ago.
So, what was the point of his Dec. 25 column last week on the "mystery" surrounding the identity of an elderly woman rescued from flood waters in Little Ferry?
Even his reporting in that Page 1 column was flawed.
He wrote she was rescued from "knee-high" water, but the Oct. 31 photo reproduced on A-1 clearly shows a lower level of water.
And what can he possibly add today on the massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut?
Kelly, whose started his column more than 20 years ago, has written persuasively about the need to control guns. Why didn't he do so again today?
Text, photos clash
And the editors continue to fail in coordinating the photos used with the text of news stories or columns, as the discrepancy in the water level in Kelly's Dec. 25 piece demonstrates.
Yank his license
Cichowski, also known as the "Road Warrior," long ago gave up doing the legwork of a good reporter, who spends most of his or her time out of the office on the beat.
In the more than 9 years he's written the Road Warrior column, he has totally perverted its mission to report on the commuting problems of drivers and mass-transit users.
In recent years, he sees everything through the unreliable eyes of readers, none of whom are trained observers, who send him countless e-mails complaining of this injustice or that confusing driving regulation.
Get a lawyer, Dave
Today, his column is based on a complaint from "Dave," the father of a 20-year-old driver who got a ticket for failing to keep right on the New Jersey Turnpike.
The woman didn't move over for a cruiser driven by a state trooper, "who stayed less than a dozen feet from her bumper."
Can anyone believe the explanation from "Dave" for why the woman didn't change lanes or anything else from a man who claims "entrapment," even though the trooper drove behind her for 3 miles?
Sounds like she deserved a ticket. Get a lawyer, Dave.
Still, the column is supposed to be about "a tailgater," whom Cichowski rightly calls a "highway terrorist" in the very first paragraph.
Is a state trooper a "highway terrorist"?
Of course, Cichowski could have compared tickets given to taligaters this year and in years past, and written a compelling argument for more enforcement.
But that would be too much work. He might actually have to leave the office, get on the turnpike and observe tailgaters. That's legwork, which Cichowski abhors.
And for the new year, Gottlieb should demote Bill Ervolino from humor columnist to food writer.
He excels at food writing and is a flop as a humorist, as his piece on today's Better Living front clearly shows (BL-1).