Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Editors tilt at monster Port Authority

Weehawken's 9/11 memorial provides welcome respite from all of the construction noise along the Palisades south of the George Washington Bridge.

Today's front-page story on a U.S. senator scolding a senior Port Authority executive won't lessen the sting of scheduled Hudson River toll and fare hikes -- a year after they skyrocketed.

Commuters look to The Record for word on whether Governors Christie and Cuomo will stop the next round of hikes, but all they get is a lot of political theater, some of it rehashing an April hearing in Washington (A-1).

Tunnel vision

Am I the only one who thinks the Port's executive director, Bill Baroni, had a point when he accused U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., of taking decades of toll-free trips across the Hudson?

After all, the senior senator's name is emblazoned in huge letters all over that gazillion-dollar rail-transfer station in the Meadowlands, so why isn't Lautenberg using and promoting mass transit?

Page 1 today presents a "GOLDEN MOMENT ... "

On Monday, the main element on A-1 appeared under the words: "Golden opportunity."

One was a play on an Olympic gold medal, the other a play on New Jersey's Gold Coast. Enough already.

Taxing policies

On the front of head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes' Local section today, a story reports thousands of Orthodox Jews in North Jersey are burying their heads in the Talmud to help them forget the high property taxes they pay (L-1).

You can just hear them muttering during morning prayer, "Oy gevalt! Why do I have to pay taxes for lousy public schools I don't send my kids to?"

The Orthodox in Englewood and Teaneck are especially upset, because their attempt to open a Hebrew immersion charter school in September was shot down by the state, and those largely minority districts won't have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars toward its operation.

Today's Local also contains a rare Hackensack story that has nothing to do with former Police Chief Ken Zisa or the many lawsuits he still faces (L-3).

I got my property tax bill a few days ago, so I no longer have to wonder when The Record is going to report on approval of the Hackensack city budget and tax rate.

Monday's paper

Monday's Page 1 takeout on the tension between preservation and development on the Palisades south of the George Washington Bridge buries the lede.

The inefficient home-rule system of government's insatiable hunger for ratables has thwarted any regional consensus on saving the cliffs from greedy developers.

Today, most of the land south of the bridge is one big construction zone. 

The story doesn't even mention the costly duplication of town services that demand more and more tax money to support them.

Olympics in the news

If you're wondering why there is no local news in the paper, consider this:

The big element on Sykes' Local section on Monday reported a Pascack Valley memorial service for the 11 Israeli athletes killed by terrorists 40 years ago at the Munich Olympic Games.

Readers who thought they had seen that before were correct: The big element on Saturday's L-1 was Teaneck's service for the same athletes.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Food columnist spins out of control

http://fmp.cit.nih.gov/hi/ Title: Coronary art...
Readers who follow the dessert regimen of Restaurant Reviewer Elisa Ung may end up on the operating table for surgery to bypass their dangerously clogged arteries.

When Elisa Ung was hired by The Record in 2007, she was a walking contradiction -- an overweight Asian woman -- who had succumbed to the occupational hazards of food writing and restaurant reviewing.

I recall her walking past the news copy desk in Hackensack in late afternoon, talking obsessively about food to younger staffers.

I can't imagine what she looks like now after consuming hundreds of the sugary, artery clogging desserts she is addicted to, as her column on the Better Living front today so amply demonstrates (BL-1).

Just deserts

An entire column on tiramisu as "dessert perfection"? 

The continuation page even has a cookbook-promoting recipe for any fool who wants to try making this dessert at home.

Of course, a balanced approach would have included a sidebar on coronary artery bypass surgery or discuss the unhealthy minority who order dessert at every meal.

Ung's column, The Corner Table, is supposed to address such restaurant issues as the dysfunctional tipping system, restaurants' outrageous markup on wine or how few restaurants serve naturally raised food.

Last week, she did a column on ceviche. Just think: A discussion of one dish ad nauseam every Sunday.

Disappointing edition

Forgive my rant on Ung, but there is so little in the Woodland Park daily's disappointing Sunday edition from Editor Marty Gottlieb.

The front of  head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes' Local section is dominated by a "fireball" touched off when a tractor-trailer ran off Route 17 and into an office building's support columns (L-1).

This is an impressive job of reporting, but for some reason, the story never raises the possibility the driver had a heart attack or some other medical emergency.

Round and round

The entire Road Warrior column today is devoted to a "traffic risk management expert" from the Federal Highway Administration and roundabouts (L-1).

John Cichowski, who has written the column since the end of 2003, is single handedly responsible for North Jersey's traffic congestion by forever defending the right of drivers to clog the roads in their gas-guzzling cars and SUVs.

Local is missing any significant municipal news from Hackensack or anywhere else.

More fattening stuff

On the Business front, the paper promotes fattening, teeth-rotting soft drinks from Coke and Pepsi (B-1).

I haven't seen a word in The Record on Consumer Reports' campaign against harmful antibiotics in meat and poultry. 

Bell tolls for readers
In Opinion, the Editorial Page urges the Legislature to override Governor Christie's veto of a Port Authority reform bill (O-2). 

The GOP bully is telling North Jersey commuters they have nothing to look forward to but ever-higher tolls and overburdened mass-transit alternatives.

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Reporters line up for fat P.R. gigs

A taco al pastor at El Califa Restaurant in Mexico City. You can't rely on The Record to tell you a credible version is available at a year-old Mexican restaurant in Englewood.

When you read The Record stories on the New Jersey Turnpike Authority today (A-3) and the Port Authority on Friday's front page, just remember the long line of reporters and editors who now hold six-figure public relations jobs there and elsewhere.

Look at how gently The Record is treating Governor Christie, who vetoed a proposed law to reform the free-spending, toll-raising bi-state agency while arranging high-paying jobs for his two failed Supreme Court nominees.

Insult to readers

Assemblywoman Valerie Huttle, D-Englewood, called the governor's action "an insult to commuters who were hit with record toll hikes last year."

Of course, the comment was buried on the continuation of Friday's Page 1 (A-8).

No editor or reporter -- who are poorly paid relative to the public relations people at big agencies and in state government -- wants to jeopardize his or her chance of getting one of those easy gigs  manipulating compliant media as a prelude to retiring on a fat pension.

On Saturday, the Woodland Park daily called Phillip Kwon, a failed high-court nominee, one of Christie's "loyalists," but there is no mention of whether Kwon donated money to the governor's campaign and if so, how much (A-1).

Christie's 'contacts'

Later in Saturday's story, dozens of campaign donors and former administration officials who got Christie-endorsed jobs at the Port Authority are referred to -- bizarrely -- as "contacts" (A-8).

The paper doesn't mention all of Christie's former assistant U.S. attorneys who now are riding the public gravy train thanks to the GOP bully's own personal pay-to-play system.

On A-3 today, look at the glowing terms used by Christie's mouthpiece to describe the other failed high-court nominee, Bruce Harris, a lawyer who has no courtroom experience:

"Mr. Harris is an exceptional attorney with a remarkable educational and legal background," winks spin-doctor Michael Drewniak.

Harris is being considered for general counsel of the Turnpike Authority. 

Undisclosed salaries

The Record is careful to omit any mention of Kwon's and Harris' future salaries to avoid outraging readers any further than they are.

In head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes' Local section, the big Hackensack news today is another lawsuit -- this one filed against a critic by a city official who is "close" to former Police Chief Ken Zisa.

At the behest of Sykes and Deputy Assignment Editor Dan Sforza, Hackensack reporter Stephanie Akin writes almost exclusively about the city's legal problems.

Utility pole news

On Friday, the big Hackensack news was a dump truck knocking down three utility poles -- part of the section's occasional series on felled poles and trees.

Amid paralyzing traffic jams and standing-room only on rush-hour buses and trains, the so-called commuting columnist spun an entire Friday column out of one couple's MVC woes (Road Warrior, L-1).

Half a plate

In food news, Restaurant Reviewer Elisa Ung finally endorses Las Maravillas de Tulcingo 3, the go-to place in Englewood for inexpensive and authentic Mexican fare (BL 16 and 17).

It's a shame her appraisal on Friday didn't mention the restaurant's terrific taco al pastor, made with pork and fresh pineapple, or some of the other dishes I enjoyed with my family last September:

A large guacamole, crunchy with chopped onion ($8); a large bowl of chicken soup, enough for two ($7); shrimp with peppers, onions and melted cheese, served on a large platter with yellow rice and beans ($11); and a whole, farmed tilapia that was deep fried and served with rice, beans and tortillas so we could make our own fish tacos ($13).

Loosely translated, the restaurant's name means "The Wonders of Tulcingo," a town in the state of Puebla from where the owners hail.

I'm not sure why Ung refers to the restaurant as being on "the west side of Englewood's downtown."

Is that her code to readers who might be wary of venturing over the tracks to the ethnic, working-class side of a city known for its high-end boutiques and multimillion-dollar East Hill mansions?

Also, the center food photo with the review is out of focus and appears to have been mislabeled "cactus salad." 

Cancer on the menu?

Today, the Better Living cover celebrates unhealthy chili and hot dogs under the titles of "North Jersey Classics" and "LOCAL EATS."

As far as I know, Rutt's Hutt, Hiram's and the other places serve hot dogs filled with harmful antibiotics and preservatives.

The latter, including nitrates and nitrites, have been linked to cancer. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Today's Page 1 puzzle: Who is gay?

English: PA-5's in first day of service.
Everyone but The Record has noticed the Port Authority's refusal to expand the PATH rail system despite increased ridership and the region's paralyzing traffic congestion.

Today's puzzle appears on Page 1 of The Record as readers struggle to figure out whether the large photo of two women athletes embracing is related to the story on astronaut Sally Ride's 27-year-long lesbian relationship.

The A-1 story on Ride and two other public figures acknowledging they are homosexual has former employees wondering when some newsroom staffers are going to come out, especially when they write about such issues as same-sex marriage.

Readers have to guess what sport the women in the photo played to kick off the Olympics. This is called interactive print journalism.

Word missing

The word "soccer" wouldn't fit on A-1, because Editor Marty Gottlieb and Production Editor Liz Houlton ordered news copy editors to make sure to say one of the players is a New Jersey native, as if that localized the story.

If you think the A-1 photo has lesbian overtones, you can just hear the snickers on the sports copy desk over the S-6 photo, which shows one player with her face seemingly pressed against a second player's breasts.

Tax cuts for the wealthy

Another A-1 story on more business tax cuts for the so-called job creators doesn't explain why the state's economy continues to limp along with an unemployment rate higher than the nation's.

Far be it for editors of The Record to put Governor Christie on the spot and ask why he continues to cut taxes for the wealthy (A-1 and A-5).

Obese president?

The A-5 story reports Christie hasn't ruled out a run for the presidency in 2016, though if he keeps on eating the way he does, he won't be alive then.

Also on A-5, a rosy story about Christie and real estate mogul Jon F. Hanson doesn't mention Hanson is Chairman Malcolm A. "Mac" Borg's close friend nor that they co-own a business jet. 

Path to congestion

On A-3, The Record carefully avoids bringing up the question of why the Port Authority has no plans to expand the PATH train system, even after Christie killed the Hudson River rail tunnels.  

Head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes' Local section carries some good news about red-light cameras for a change after negative columns from Road Warrior John Cichowski, who reprinted complaining e-mails from rabid red-light runners.

Red-light cameras in 21 towns -- including Wayne, Englewood Cliffs and Palisades Park -- have been re-certified (L-1).

In view of all the maniacs on the road, residents of Hackensack, Teaneck and other towns can't wait for installation of red-light cameras, which cut down on accidents and save lives as well as providing towns with much-needed revenue.

Another lawsuit

The big Hackensack news today is another lawsuit, this one filed by Vice Principal Patricia Lozano against a school board member who alleged Lozano had ties to the Zisa family, onetime rulers of the city, known in some quarters as Zisaville (L-3).

The Record's Local section has had more stories about deposition, motions and other minutiae surrounding the many civil suits against former Police Chief Ken Zisa than law journals.

More cronyism

Christie has given another high-paying job to a former assistant U.S. attorney who worked for him when the governor was U.S. attorney (L-7).

Has The Record ever counted how many former assistant U.S. attorneys have gotten jobs in his administration and at the profligate Port Authority of New York and New Jersey?

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Don't worry, you can skip today's paper

Official portrait of United States Senator (D-NJ).
The Record reports Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., won't be smiling after the National Rifle Association gets through with him and a Democratic bill to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines like those used to kill 12 people in Colorado last week.

It took only five days for the horrific movie-theater shooting in Colorado to fall off the front page of The Record.

In its place, Editor Marty Gottlieb gives readers four major Page 1 stories today -- all yawners.

Don't look for North Jersey relevance in all but the "process story" on Governor Christie's grab for unspent affordable housing funds (bottom of A-1).

Here comes the judge

Next to it, the story on the state Supreme Court only reminds readers of how high legal fees prevent most of them from having any effective access to the courts -- an issue The Record won't touch.

It's an elaborate and intricate system enforced by judges, all of whom were themselves lawyers who got rich by representing people in criminal and civil matters as they slowly wound their way through the courts. 

The high court ruling cited constitutional protection of judicial salaries, stopping Christie from requiring hundreds of judges to pay more for pension and medical benefits.

But how independent is a judiciary whose members are appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Legislature? 

Bored with shooting

With the Colorado killings fresh in readers' minds, why doesn't Gottlieb's front page carry the story on Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., and other senators taking on the NRA (A-3)?

Out-of-touch journalist

On head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes' Local front, Road Warrior John Cichowski writes about "the great universe of parking tickets" and "our ... stellar driving careers" (L-1).

In other words, it's another totally irrelevant column from La La Land, ignoring the realities of commuting in North Jersey.

Blaming the victim

The major element on L-1 reports that a pedestrian apparently committed suicide on Tuesday by standing on the tracks in front of an NJ Transit train approaching the Broadway station in Fair Lawn.

The victim, Yelena Gorovits, 47, is called a "trespasser" in the story, but there is no mention of safety measures at the station to prevent such incidents or whether an NJ Transit cop patrols the tracks. 

Just chopped liver

Staff Photographer Tariq Zehawi got a terrific photo -- investigators lifting a sheet to look at the body, which presumably resembled bloody hamburger after being hit by the enormous locomotive.

Was Gorovits a mother, daughter or aunt? Was she married, employed? Sykes and Deputy Assignment Editor Dan Sforza don't care one bit about those questions.

The insensitive, lazy editors treat her as so much chopped liver.

As if often the case, Local is filled with lots of police and court news, and hardly any municipal news.

Hackensack readers, you can go back to sleep.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Editors turn tragedy into comedy

This is an article published first in the news...
This is an article published in The New York Times on Dec. 15, 1915, on the Armenian genocide. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The geniuses on The Record's night copy desk took their lead from The Associated Press, the news wire service widely known as The Associated Mess.

So, the line over today's Page 1 photo seems comical.


"Dazed"? The suspect is a madman who killed 12 people in a movie theater in Colorado.  Of course, he looks dazed.

The comedic aspect is emphasized by the use of five photos of the suspect's clown-colored hair (A-1 and A-5).

Localizing the news

Editor Marty Gottlieb tried to "localize" the Colorado story with two sidebars -- one on the Bergen County native who is running the Aurora, Colo., Police Department, and the other quoting Governor Christie, who shoots off his big mouth on gun control.

On A-1, the first story calls the shooting "the most extensive mass shooting in the nation's history." That can't be right. 

Did anyone on Editor Liz Houlton's news copy desk question the use of the words "mass" and "most extensive"?

If the Holocaust is a "mass" murder and the Armenian genocide is a "mass" killing, how can the murder of 12 people be called "mass"?

Unless this is typical newspaper hype. 

Hollywood crap

And shouldn't The Record and other media focus on how Hollywood spends obscene amounts of money churning out violent crap like the latest Batman movie?

Where are the movies about the people who own and edit newspapers?

Even such great newspapers as The New York Times and The Washington Post have employed editors and reporters who have simply made up stories and quotes under deadline pressure or in the pursuit of big journalism prizes.

Perversity of sports

For more laughs, take a look at another Page 1 story today on Pedophile State.

Leave it to the NCAA to put football in its place in State College, Pa., where the university has earned the title of Ped State, Penis State or Prick State.

When is The Record and other media going to put football and other sports where they belong -- in the Sports section?

Instead, the Woodland Park daily under Gottlieb and former Editor Francis "Frank" Scandale has glorified sports on the front page, ignoring the potential for abuse from all that male bonding.

More police news

In head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes' Local section, the big Hackensack news today is a terrific story about a woman who helped catch a suspect in her purse snatching after he returned to the scene of the crime (L-1).

But when Sykes virtually ignores municipal news from Hackensack in favor of police news and news about the former police chief, that's a real crime against readers.

Some readers wonder why a local obituary -- on a Clifton man who developed the first successful home treadmill -- didn't run on Page 1 in place of the Sally Ride obit (L-6).
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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Drought worsens for local-news readers

English: This is a photo I took myself of the ...
Hackensack officials are thinking of hiring a Town Crier to climb the steeple of Church On The Green and call out news to residents, who are suffering through a drought at the hands of The Record's editors, including head Assignment Honcho Deirdre Sykes.

I've scoured the Sunday edition of The Record for news that has meaning to me as a longtime resident of Bergen County who moved to Hackensack in 2007, and I've come up empty -- again.

Editor Marty Gottlieb's Page 1 is dominated for a second day by the shooting in trigger-happy Colorado. Three other elements on A-1 are putting me to sleep.

The Colorado story runs under the headline, "Day of mourning."

It's readers who are mourning the death of their local newspaper.

Get a load of the silly column on a woman tennis player's devoted mom. That's front-page news?

More tree news

Today's thin Local section from head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes leads with the "issue" of towns protecting trees.

We have plenty of trees in Hackensack's Fairmount section, so how come the city's municipal affairs are rarely reported in the Woodland Park daily?

Road Warrior John Cichowski discusses the commuting woes of a minority -- in this case, bicycle riders (L-1) -- as he continues to ignore overburdened mass transit and paralyzing traffic jams.  

Paving Mac's street

A long story about Englewood, where I lived for decades, involves the reconstruction of a single street on the wealthy East Hill (L-3).

It happens to be the street where Chairman Malcolm A. "Mac" Borg lives. What about the pock-marked Hackensack street where I live?

Sports is local?

There is so little local news today, Sykes and Deputy Assignment Editor Dan Sforza sent the Ridgewood reporter to cover a book signing by Paterson native Victor Cruz, who plays for the Giants (L-3). 

Out of gas

On July 4, Your Money's Worth Columnist Kevin DeMarrais explored whether a gallon of gasoline was headed "below $3."

I guess he hasn't noticed a recent spike in prices -- above $3.50 a gallon for regular at some stations -- nor that readers are looking to him for an explanation.

Kelly flops

On the Opinion front, readers confront a tedious, boring account of the demolition of a historic house once used by generations of former slaves (O-1).

Don't look for outrage from Columnist Mike Kelly, who prefers pushing around words and padding his column with useless background than calling the destruction of the Paramus house what it is: greed.

You'll find what should have been his first paragraph all the way at the end of the column (O-5): 

"I approached him [the unnamed developer] to ask his side of the story.

"'Please get off my property,' he said." 

From hunger

On the Better Living front today (BL-1), The Corner Table columnist, Elisa Ung, discusses another compelling issue facing restaurant goers: ceviche.

In Friday's Better Living tab, Ung reviewed and recommended Spuntino, a pricey small-plate restaurant in Clifton (Good to Excellent).

The concept is hardly original. In Manhattan and Brooklyn, Frankies Spuntino has been packing them in for years. 

And Frankies is dedicated to serving "fresh, healthy, local, humanely raised fare," according to its Web site. 

Ung doesn't even discuss the origin of any of the food she sampled at the Clifton pretender (BL-16-17).

But the data box with her review contains something new: a description of liquor and wine, and an unusually frank warning: "expect substantial markups." 

That's certainly welcome from her after many Sunday columns lavishly promoting wine service in restaurants.
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Saturday, July 21, 2012

12 more gun deaths won't matter

Paterson's Great Falls on Thursday. Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is praying to God to dry up the falls as a sign he will defeat Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-Paterson, in November.

In trigger-happy Colorado, at least 12 deaths at the hands of a maniac armed with assault rifles didn't move President Obama or the GOP pretender, Mitt Romney, to call for better gun control.

And those deaths probably won't change anything, fading into history along with all of the other massacres that have grabbed headlines in The Record and other media for a few days.

Good headlines

Today's coverage by more than 20 news and feature reporters (A-1, A-5, A-8 and A-11) completely dominated Page 1 under an unusually good set of headlines: 

Moviegoers caught
in real-life horror

Shooting spree rocks the nation yet again

As good as today's effort is, it doesn't make up for the clunky, awkward, confusing headlines on Friday's Page 1:

As man's dad dies,
a tragic twist at home

Son leaves hospital on news house is on fire 

If you think that's bad, the Web version was even worse:

As Passaic man's dad dies, a tragic twist engulfs their home

How does "a tragic twist" engulf anything?

The word "twist" comes up again today in a Star-Ledger story about a Newark fire that killed 5 (A-3):

"In a heart wrenching twist, their deaths came on the same day the children's mother was in a nearby hospital giving birth."

The news copy editors are either twisting and shouting in the quiet Woodland Park newsroom or the headlines come from the twisted mind of Production Editor Liz Houlton.

Six-figure editors

It's hard to understand what Houlton and head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes do for their six-figure salaries.

On Friday and today, Sykes' Local section ran no Hackensack news, but she found room for a photo of a tree hitting a Ridgewood house on Friday (L-2) and a fallen tree blocking a Ridgewood street on Saturday (L-3).

Maybe Hackensack can get into the paper by planting more trees and knocking them down.

A rabbi's rabbi

Sykes also made room today for another L-1 story on the campaign of Republican Shmuley Boteach to unseat Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. of Paterson -- which is as likely as the Great Falls drying up.

Boteach is a wealthy, publicity savvy rabbi who lives on Englewood's East Hill, not far from Chairman Malcolm A. "Mac" Borg's mansion.

The photo of Boteach on L-5 shows the rabbi in a Moses-like appeal to God for the Ten Commandments of Public Relations. 

What does he need them for? He already has Sykes and Deputy Assignment Editor Dan Sforza in his pocket.

Readers who are Democrats still haven't seen anything on the campaign of Teaneck Deputy Mayor Adam Gussen, who is challenging Rep. Scott Garrett, R-Wantage, in the Fifth District, which includes Hackensack and Fair Lawn.

Another Walmart

On today's Business page (A-10), a story about a Walmart supermarket planned for Hawthorne doesn't mention rumored plans for a Walmart Supercenter on 20 Hackensack acres owned by North Jersey Media Group. 

On today's Better Living front, harmful animal antibiotics, growth hormones and preservatives appear to be on the menu at Mack's American Bar & Grill in far-off Pompton Lakes (Starters, BL-1).

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Republicans set to attack obesity epidemic

The red "GOP" logo used by the party...
With an obese Governor Christie in the ascendancy, an elephant seems to be an appropriate symbol for the Republican Party.

If Governor Christie is going to deliver the keynote address at next month's Republican National Convention, his selection might signal a major GOP offensive against the obesity epidemic.

Who better to serve as a poster official for the epidemic than New Jersey's own GOP bully, whose out-of-control eating is on display in every photo The Record publishes?

Today's lead story on Page 1 of the Woodland Park daily cites "well-placed Republican sources." I can cite only "unusually tasty sauces."

Another big error

The major element on A-1 today is a surprisingly straightforward Mike Kelly column on the scheduled deployment to Afghanistan of a National Guard unit at the Teaneck Armory.

Kelly's effort is ruined by Editor Liz Houlton -- the Queen of Errors -- whose news copy editors wrote an incorrect A-1 photo caption: "They were leave for Afghanistan today."

But in the fifth paragraph on the front page, Kelly clearly says the unit is going to an Army base in Tennessee for two months of training before leaving the country.

That Army base must be in Kabul, Tenn. Even the headline is misleading; the unit won't "deploy" until late September.

Zisaville 'news'

Some readers welcomed Kelly's account on Wednesday of how then-Police Chief Ken Zisa ordered Hackensack cops to shoot at computer hard drives at a firing range in 2009.

But the columnist, the Hackensack reporter and their editors to continue to ignore what's going on in the city now, especially the calls for City Attorney Joseph Zisa to resign.

Zisa, cousin of the disgraced and convicted former police chief, has recused himself from defending the city against numerous civil suits.

That led the city to hire another lawyer and spend tens of thousands of extra dollars on legal fees -- with no end in sight.

Staff Writer Stephanie Akin covered the Hackensack City Council meeting on Tuesday night and came away with nothing more than a short story on street paving (L-3).

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