Thursday, August 30, 2012

Repeated front page elicits big yawns

Map of New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Pa...
When is The Record going to give readers news they can use, such as how much cheaper it is to drive the Garden State Parkway than the truck-choked New Jersey Turnpike?



Readers are doing a double-take at the front page of The Record today -- a virtual repeat of Wednesday's -- and trying to stifle loud yawns.

Page 1 brings continued coverage of the divisive rhetoric at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.; more about Governor Christie and a follow up on alleged fakery by Jay Alpert, a Christie crony at the high-flying Port Authority.

Is this the best Editor Marty Gottlieb can do?

Christie's embarrassing failure to lose weight has its parallel in his inability to cut the fat at the bistate transportation agency or control its outrageous toll and fare hikes.

Ruling class

The lead headline about "time to act running out" is correct in one sense: 

You'd better send your donation to President Obama's campaign and make time to vote on Election Day, if you want to thwart another attempt by the white ruling class to take over the White House. 

I caught a few minutes of convention coverage on Wednesday night -- in between watching the playback of a stock-car race in Bristol, Tenn., and "Royal Pains" -- and saw only one black and possibly one Latino face in the audience.

Lord Borg

Another member of the white ruling class is on the front of Local -- Chairman Malcolm A. "Mac" Borg.

That photo of a rotund Borg and a second photo of two overweight footballs fans, drinking beer, set a great example for readers who are trying to eat healthy and lose weight.

But if you've ever seen head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes and her tent dresses, you're not surprised. 

Local crash news

It must have been a rough day in the newsroom finding local news on Wednesday, judging by the filler, gee-whiz photo of an overturned car on L-2.

The big Hackensack news today is the indictment of a city resident -- apparently the only thing that happened at one of the busiest courthouses in the state (L-3).

Another L-3 story comparing traffic on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway fails to note it is far cheaper to drive an equivalent distance on the parkway than on the turnpike, and far more pleasant.

Warm up those E-ZPasses.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

An ugly speech from a truly ugly man

Governor of New Jersey at a town hall in Hills...
Governor Christie at a town hall meeting in Hillsborough on March 2, 2011. Has he gained more weight and gotten even uglier? (Wikipedia)



Editor's note: After I published this today, I had an OMG moment. If Editor Marty Gottlieb actually fired all of the people I listed, that would leave only Production Editor Liz Houlton in immediate charge of the newsroom. What a disaster that would be. See an addendum below.


'Make our country great again'


Have you ever heard any more outrageous B.S. from Governor Christie than this command, which The Record's editors used as the lead headline on Page 1 today?

Christie may be able to fool all of the gullible journalists who heard his keynote speech Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., but everybody else knows the GOP bully was just dealing in divisive politics as usual.

America is great -- has always been great -- and no crass politician like Christie can change that.

The Big Lie

In less than three years, Christie has cemented his reputation as the worst governor the Garden State has ever had:

He told and got away with The Big Lie about lowering New Jersey's high property taxes; the unemployment rate is the highest in 35 years; he killed the biggest expansion of rail transit in decades, then used mass transit money to fix roads; and at least three times, he vetoed a tax surcharge on millionaires despite a severe drop in state revenue.

And that's the short list.

What do the media do? They can't praise him enough, even though he is slowly dismantling the middle-class way of life in New Jersey.

Masturbating editor

Leave it to Editorial Page Editor Alfred P. Doblin to turn out another piece of masturbatory journalism on A-18, an editorial laughingly labeled, "Christie's vision."

Only the media and greedy conservatives could find inspiration in Christie's speech. 

As usual, dissenting voices were buried deep on the continuation pages today.

"Under the governor's policies, 'millionaires share in greater riches, while the middle class make all the sacrifices,'" said Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, D-Camden (A-9).

Barefoot and pregnant

The Record also makes a big deal about a speech by Ann Romney, who the GOP presidential pick kept barefoot and pregnant for most of her adult life, though she likely walked on mink rugs (A-1).

Maybe her speech was a veiled pitch to all those Orthodox Jewish women in North Jersey who have been relegated by their pious husbands to be little more than baby makers.

The only Page 1 story not related to the convention is about Jay Alpert, one of the dozens of Christie cronies who got high-paying jobs -- this after the then-U.S. attorney doled out hundreds of thousands of dollars in consulting fees to a former U.S. attorney general and to a former federal judge. 

Two ugly celebrities

My wife looked at Page 1 today, and said, "Your two favorite people," referring to Christie and Mitt Romney. 

Then, she turned to A-2 and saw a photo of an overweight Oprah Winfrey, and called her "ugly."

That reminded me of Oprah's TV interview with our obese governor, and how this severely dysfunctional eater never asked him about his food demons or whether he is doing anything about child obesity in New Jersey.

Christie is a truly ugly man with ugly ideas. He's just the opposite of the kind of leader we need.

Here is a link to a post I wrote at the end of 2011:

Guess how much Christie weighs 

The firing list

About seven months ago, Marty Gottlieb left his prestigious editing position at The New York Times and took over The Record's Woodland Park newsroom.

In that time, coverage of municipal affairs in Hackensack and many other communities has gotten even worse than under the failed editorship of Francis "Frank" Scandale.

The chief blame lies with head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes, Deputy Assignment Editor Dan Sforza and a third editor, Tim Nostrand.

Sykes' assignment desk has been so desperate to fill the Local news section it has resorted to Law & Order stories, and numerous photos of minor accidents and fires.

It doesn't look like Gottlieb is going to fire anyone. He likely took this job to fulfill the dream of many journalists to run their own papers before they retire.

If he suddenly develops a pair of balls, here's what he should do:

First, fire Sykes, Nostrand, Sforza and most of the other assignment editors.

Second, fire the editors of the so-called Business section, which has promoted friends of Chairman Malcolm A. "Mac" Borg one too many times, and has ignored the economic problems of Hackensack and other downtowns.

Third, diversify the columnists. 

That means firing Road Warrior John Cichowski, a supremely lazy reporter who rarely writes a column that isn't based on  readers e-mails and who has championed driving over mass transit -- a foolhardy position in one of the most congested regions of the world.

That means firing Mike Kelly, a homophobe who merely pushes around words and who is so afraid of stating his opinion, he fills his columns with rhetorical questions.

Fire Bill Ervolino, because readers are sick and tired of reading about his family, and want to see stories on the issues facing their families.

The Record once had Latino, African-American and a woman news columnist, and it's disgrace the newspaper never replaced them.

Fire Doblin, if for no other reason than to end the outrageous conflict of an editorial editor who also writes an opinion column that often praises Christie.

Fire Jean Rimbach and all of the other reporters whose bylines are few and far between, as they continue to trade on the friendship or unwavering support of Sykes, the powerful head of assignment.

Finally, fire Food Editor Susan Leigh Sherrill and her sidekick, Restaurant Reviewer Elisa Ung, for their relentless pursuit and promotion of unhealthy food.

Did I leave anyone out?

OMG

How did I forget Production Editor Liz Houlton, known far and wide as the "Queen of Errors"?

In the years she has been in charge of the news and feature copy desks, the quality and accuracy of headlines and photo captions have plummeted.

Houlton is chiefly responsible for allowing all of the errors that get into the paper every day. She must go.
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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

'Hurricane Chris' is full of hot air

This glass-repair company's motto reminds local readers of how editors of The Record treat them: They consider readers' "stand points," then reject them wholesale.



It doesn't look like the city of Tampa, Fla., has anything to worry about from Tropical Storm Isaac, but it should be on guard against all the hot air coming from Governor Christie.

Just imagine how our obese governor is sweating bullets going to and from appearances in connection with the Republican National Convention.

Talk about "the elephant in the room."

The Record's fawning editors are knocking themselves out to stay on his good side.

They continue to prostitute themselves with four straight days of front-page coverage, culminating in today's Page 1 story and column on Christie's keynote speech tonight.

No Jersey impact

This, after all, is a speech that has no impact on New Jersey and its residents. 

It's just divisive politics, the same kind of rhetoric that has paralyzed Congress, but the bored media can't get enough.

Bad journalism

I've been looking over the five editions since Friday, and can't find anything worthy of note. This is as bad as local journalism gets.

Today, Hackensack residents see really bad news -- a new date for the sentencing of their disgraced police chief, Ken Zisa (L-3). 

Hard to imagine Superior Court Judge Joseph S. Conte didn't realize he had "conflicts" in his schedule until Monday. 

He put off Thursday's hearing until Sept. 20. Let's hope that's the last delay, and that he remands Zisa rather than allowing him to remain free pending his appeal.

More on Zisaville

The Zisa coverage has been so intense there have been no stories  about anything else in Hackensack -- not even such basics as the budget, tax rate and so forth.

Head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes and her deputy, Dan Sforza, were so desperate to fill today's Local news section they had to resort to three non-fatal accident photos.

Desperate columnists

On Monday, Mike Kelly was so desperate for a column he wrote about stuff Zisa did in 2008 (L-1).

On Sunday, Road Warrior John Cichowski was so desperate for a column he wrote about people who bicycle across the George Washington Bridge (L-1).

Restaurant Reviewer Elisa Ung also was desperate for a Sunday column (BL-1).

She wrote about a New York organic bread bakery whose products are available in only a handful of supermarkets in North Jersey.

If the stuff is so good, why isn't any of it served in North Jersey restaurants?

Long live Mayor Cerbo

On Saturday's L-6 , an obituary of former Hackensack Mayor Fred Cerbo failed to mention one of his strongest assets is that his last name wasn't "Zisa."

Editor Marty Gottlieb must have been scraping the bottom of the barrel by leading Friday's paper with a rehash of Zisa's ex-wife seeking half of his $11,000 monthly pension.

The same, exact story ran a week earlier in the Local section (Aug. 17).

The only thing notable about Friday's story is that Staff Writer Karen Sudol actually interviewed seemingly ordinary residents about the issue, rather than quoting the usual gadflies and longtime city critics. 


Tomorrow: Who Marty should fire

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Christie grows fat at our expense

The red "GOP" logo used by the party...
Governor Christie won't tell the lie of "The Jersey Comeback" on Tuesday at the Republican National Convention in Florida.



It's all there in today's paper, but don't expect the editors of The Record to connect the dots and expose their favorite governor of all time.

Governor Christie has dropped all pretense of sparking "The Jersey Comeback" amid an unprecedented drop in middle-class incomes and concentration of wealth at the top, according to two of today's Page 1 stories.

To find out how the GOP bully feels about all of this just turn to the A-6 photo of an obese Christie laughing it up with Senate President Stephen Sweeney, who is about half of the governor's size.

High legal fees

In the only A-1 story not related to Christie, the editors give readers a rare glimpse of how lawyers always make out like champs in legal settlements -- this one for a former Little Leaguer from Wayne.

More than $4.7 million of the $14.3 million settlement will be going to lawyers for the man, who almost died when he was hit by a ball in 2006 and remains "nearly blind and in a wheelchair."

Bogota rules

In head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes' Local section, there are two major stories from Bogota (L-1 and L-2), but only one from Hackensack (L-2) -- the fourth straight day of coverage on legal fallout from Ken "I Am The Law" Zisa's years as police chief.

Staring out the windows of the Woodland Park newsroom, the assignment desk -- run by Sykes and her deputy, Dan Sforza -- appears to be at a loss on how to direct Hackensack reporter Stephanie Akin to cover anything but Zisa and the city's Police Department.
  
Related articles
 
Eye on The Record will return soon
 

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hackensack is behind rank-and-file cops

The Record's old building on River Street is a daily reminder of how Publisher Stephen A. Borg screwed Hackensack when he moved printing of two daily newspapers and then the entire staff to other communities in North Jersey.



The Record's coverage of the rot at the top of the Hackensack Police Department doesn't stop.

Stories about former Police Chief Ken "I Am The Law" Zisa and his brother, former Deputy Police Chief Frank Zisa Jr., dominate Page 1 and the Local-news front today -- the third straight day of breathless legal reports from Zisaville.

But the Woodland Park daily has been presenting a warped view of a Police Department that gets high marks from the vast majority of city residents and businesses.

Not once since this coverage began in 2009 has head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes commissioned a story on morale in the department or how residents feel about rank-and-file officers.

In fact, the coverage coincides with The Record and North Jersey Media Group completely abandoning Hackensack, scattering their staffs to Passaic County and other Bergen towns.

Zisa brothers

Today's front page story is about a $2.48 million settlement of a suit by Alessandra Viola, Frank Zisa Jr.'s ex-girlfriend, who alleged Frank and Ken Zisa hit on her after she broke it off with Frank (A-1).

Sykes' Local front is dominated by yet another rehashing of Ken Zisa's defense during his trial, which ended in May with guilty verdicts on five of eight counts, including official misconduct and insurance fraud.

A large L-1 photo shows Ken Zisa and defense attorney Patricia Prezioso smiling, though in view of how she blew the case, it's unclear why she is so happy.

Maybe the defense attorney with the annoyingly high voice is just happy to get her name in the paper again.

Silencing Kelly

Also in the L-1 Zisa package is a Mike Kelly column on Prezioso's "last-ditch plea" to the judge to get the verdicts thrown out before the Aug. 30 sentencing.

Kelly rails against Ken Zisa's "world of silence," prompting readers to wonder when the columnist is finally going to shut his own mouth and retire.

Local yokels

Inside Local today, as in the past, readers find stories about a park cleanup, affordable housing, unified police dispatching, development -- all about towns other than Hackensack.

Gee, how is it that Hackensack, the county seat and most populous community in Bergen County, has so little news to report outside of the Zisa family and related issues? 

Akin and Akin

Does anybody besides me wonder whether that moron, Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri, is related to Staff Writer Stephanie Akin, the Hackensack reporter? Both of their names are on Page 1 today.

Another moron gets Page 1 play today, publicity monger Shmuley Boteach, the Republican rabbi who is challenging Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. in the heavily Democratic 9th District.

I'm still waiting for a story -- any story -- about the campaign of Teaneck Deputy Mayor Adam Gussen, a Democrat who is running against Rep. Scott Garrett, R-Wantage, in the 5th District. 

More bad writing

The caption under the train-wreck photo on A-1 gives the impression two teenagers died in cars crushed by rail cars that fell off an elevated bridge.

But the story on A-7 couldn't be more clear. The 19-year-old women were sitting on the bridge as the train passed a few feet behind them.

On A-8, an editorial concludes, "Hackensack cannot sweep its past under the rug, particularly when its lying at the top of the stairs."

Huh? Who is responsible for that tortured image?


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Simply put, The Record can't deliver

Customer services
A sign on door of The Record's Circulation Department.



I am having trouble with my home delivery of The Record. There was a mix-up with the delivery the days I went on vacation. I received Sunday's paper, but not Monday's. The customer service rep. explained the carriers have been switched around in some areas. I know because I have a new carrier.

Anyone have any clue what's going on with home delivery? My neighbors are complaining about non-delivery...something about a change in distribution...


As you can see from these comment, The Record has trouble delivering the newspaper -- let alone delivering decent local-news coverage. 

Last week, subscribers received a letter from Bob Konig, one of the many highly paid vice presidents at North Jersey Media Group, about "some changes in our home delivery operation."

Are the changes related to the editors making a greater effort to bring local news to readers? Don't be silly.

Head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes can't break away from planning her next gargantuan meal. 

And Dan Sforza, her deputy yes man, is trying to figure out how he can assign a follow-up to all those stories he wrote years ago on "highways of the future."

Meanwhile, Editor Marty Gottlieb apparently still regrets leaving the The New York Times and his high life in Paris to take over the Woodland Park daily.

The changes are related not to more news or later sports scores, but to all those store circulars and fliers that present a recycling challenge to home-delivery customers.

"Many of these advertisers are targeting their inserts to specific ZIP codes and even smaller geographic areas," Konig wrote.
"To ensure delivery of the proper inserts, and to provide inserts and circulars to maximize your savings, we have made some changes in our home delivery operation.

"As carriers learn their new routes, your newspaper may have been placed in a slightly different place on your property, deliveries may be slightly later, or we may even have missed a delivery."
This past Thursday, my newspaper was delivered in an unusual white bag emblazoned with this message:

"LOOK INSIDE OF TODAY'S AND EVERY THURSDAY'S PAPER FOR THE CIRCULARS OF ..."

Below that, the logos of a dozen supermarkets and other food outlets were shown.

But I found only one flier, from A&P, and nothing from ShopRite, Fairway Market and other food stores I patronize.

There also was no explanation for why the supermarket inserts were being sent on Thursday and not on Wednesday, the traditional day for food sections and sales fliers.

The Record's dysfunctional Circulation Department long has been a thorn in readers' sides.

Since I moved to Hackensack in 2007 and began subscribing to the paper the following year, I've lost count of how many times the plastic bag was left open, despite pouring rain, and my paper was sopping wet.

I have to say a dry paper was delivered eventually in almost every case.

Today's paper

On A-1 today, a blurb paraphrases Governor Christie as saying "he remains confident the state's economy is inching forward."

But I don't see those words -- "inching forward" -- in the A-3 story on Christie defending his "Jersey Comback" long after it became a "Jersey Setback."

The GOP bully is so used to screwing middle class taxpayers that he may be measuring his "come" in inches or the reference may be to all those inches he has added to his waistline.

Zisaville stories

Hackensack news today and Monday continued to be about the city's Police Department (A-1 column on Monday and L-1 news story today).

Today's story on provisional Police Chief Tomas Padilla discusses his deposition testimony about incidents "dating as far back as two decades ago."

Putting on the ritz

On the front of Better Living, readers learn that what they really need is another expensive Italian-American restaurant (Starters on BL-1).

Northern Italian entrees are $15.95 to $33.95 at Zana D in Tenafly, the town multimillionaire Publisher Stephen A. Borg calls home.

What do you get for $15.95 to $33.95? The highly promotional story doesn't say a word about naturally raised meat and poultry.

Judging from the photo of the owner, Arben "Alberto" Dautaj, you'll get the usual conventional fare raised on harmful animal antibiotics and growth hormones, and he'll get more beautiful suits for his wardrobe.

Borg is flying high

What do you get if you sell a private jet to Chairman Malcolm A. "Mac" Borg of Englewood?

If you're Rebecca Posoli-Cilli, you get another lavishly promotional story about you and your company on The Record's first Business first page (A-10 0n Monday).

The woman, a wealthy dealer of $10 million to $50 million business jets, sold one to Borg and his best friend, real estate tycoon Jon Hanson.

In early 2011, a Your Money's Worth column about Posoli-Colli appeared in The Record. Here's a link to the Eye on The Record post:

 

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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Editors seem to be on vacation, too

New Jersey Route 12 in Hunterdon County.
The Record waxes poetic about grass-fed cheeses from sleepy Hunterdon County, above, but doesn't tell readers if any of them are served in Bergen County restaurants.



The Sunday edition of The Record reads as if all of the editors are on vacation -- along with hundreds of thousands of metropolitan area residents.

There is noticeably less traffic, though no fewer maniacs out there, and noticeably less news in today's Woodland Park daily.

Page 1 is filled with an endless he said/she said account of the July 14 death of Gabrielle Reuveni, the 2010 Paramus High School valedictorian.

The story never tells readers whether she used poor judgment by running with her back to traffic and the mentally unstable driver whose car ran her down.

Emergency room

The only news on A-1 is a round of layoffs at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center.

This account omits an important detail. As a non-profit, is the medical center under the same bottom-line pressures as a for-profit hospital?

Crystal-ball news

An A-1 blurb refers readers to more endless palaver on Governor Christie's keynote speech at the Republican National Mindfuck -- a news story on A-4, an Opinion front column and a Margulies cartoon showing our obese governor shoehorned into a "Jersey Comeback" race car that is going nowhere (O-2).

Neither story discuss whether voters would ever elect a candidate who can't control his many food demons or even if he is healthy enough to be president.

No local news

Readers looking for municipal news strike out again today in Local, the section under the lazy and incompetent direction of head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes and her deputy yes man, Dan Sforza.

Road Warrior John Cichowski hangs an entire column on a single intersection in Fair Lawn that he learned about from a reader's e-mail (L-1). 

Commuters can go back to sleep.

Home run for readers

The one L-1 story that shines is the obituary of Nancy Bays, a retired waitress from Elmwood Park who died last Sunday, six days shy of her 89th birthday.

Bays hated the Yankees. Don't miss the punchline at the end of the piece (L-7).

Say cheese

In Better Living, Restaurant Reviewer Elisa Ung writes an entire column about Bobolink Dairy in far-off Hunterdon County without telling readers whether its grass-fed cheeses are served in Bergen County restaurants (BL-1).

The Real Estate front celebrates the greed of investors who make huge profits off of the misery of people who lose their homes to foreclosure (R-1).

Reader beware. 

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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Christie's 'Jersey Comeback' goes belly up


The Record continues to peddle testimony in depositions as front-page news.




When it comes to Governor Christie, The Record's editors have abandoned all pretense of objectivity -- as readers clearly can see from coverage of July's state jobless rate, the highest in 35 years.


N.J. jobless rate at 9.8%


That was the headline over the lead Page 1 story on Friday, but inside, Editorial Page Editor Alfred P. Dublin did his best to polish the governor's battered image (A-21).

Doblin insisted it is "subjective opinion" to say "the state isn't improving." 

Yet, he asked Christie to discard the so-called Jersey Comeback he has been selling at every opportunity.

Doblin's opinion columns, especially his unabashed admiration for Christie, undermine the legitimacy of the paper's Editorials.

More rhetoric

Editor Marty Gottlieb and the Trenton reporters he directs have been careful to put all criticism of the the GOP bully into the mouths of Democrats, thereby making it part of the endless partisan rhetoric that has paralyzed the country and turned off readers.

Christie censored a report on state revenue -- hiding how it came out below budget projections -- but the only critic quoted in Friday's A-1 story is Sen. Barbara Buono, D-Middlesex, deep on the continuation page (A-10):

"Obviously, he [Christie] doesn't want the truth about New Jersey's revenues to come out before the Republican National Convention, because it will show his 'New Jersey Comeback' is a public relations fantasy."

Of course, Gottlieb gave Christie the last word through his spokesman and spin doctor, Michael Drewniak, who called Buono's incisive comment a "partisan" pot shot. 

No follow up

Another clear indication of how the editors have sold out is the lack of follow-up in today's paper of the clearest evidence so far of Christie's failure to boost the state economy with hundreds of millions of dollars in business tax breaks and low taxes for the multimillionaires who support him -- all at the expense of the middle class.

Zisaville coverage

Head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes kept the Hackensack reporter busy with two more stories about the city's convicted former police chief.

On Friday, an L-3 story reported Ken Zisa's ex-wife, Mary McMorrow, is asking a judge to award her half of his $11,000-a-month pension, which the ex-chief might lose after he is sentenced for official misconduct and insurance fraud.

Today, another story based on depositions in lawsuits filed against Zisa leads the front page, this one focusing on provisional Police Chief Tomas Padilla, identified as the disgraced chief's friend and political ally (A-1).

As astute reader noted the first version of the story to appear on North Jersey.com around 6 p.m. Friday was by Mark J. Bonamo, managing editor of the weekly Hackensack Chronicle. 

The Record's version, by Staff Writer Stephanie Akin, didn't show up until 11:30 p.m.

What remains unclear is what all of this intense coverage of Zisa -- which began in the summer of 2009 -- has to do with Police Department morale or how the city is being run. 

Ninja hero

The main element on A-1 today is a sensational story that tries to garner sympathy for the family of Emmanuel Devy of Wallington -- a father of five who died in a crash after fleeing from police on one of those insanely fast Ninja motorcycles.

The sad truth is people like Devy are a menace.

Gottlieb, who came to Woodland Park from The New York Times, will do anything to sell the paper.

Lowe's in lights?

On the Better Living front today, this headline confused readers:


After losing, Lowe's still set on showbiz


That's the first I've heard of the home improvement store chain shifting gears so significantly. 

Will all of the stores, including the new Paramus outlet, be converted into theaters?

Rogaine review

Readers of Friday's restaurant review got a good laugh from the large photo of customers at Pellegrino's in North Haledon (BL-16 and 17).

Is it something in the food? All four male patrons shown in the photo are bald or balding. 

Staff Writer Elisa Ung's rating was lukewarm. The sugar addict applied the kiss of death by saying the desserts "alone [were] worth the trip."

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Readers scream, Who the F cares?

The Record's former headquarters in Hackensack. The newsroom was on the 4th floor in the taller structure on the right, affording a view of an elevated section of the New Jersey Turnpike and the Manhattan skyline. On 9/11, news copy editors putting out an "extra" would glance up and see a column of black smoke rising from the ruins of the World Trade Center's twin towers.



Bewildered readers rubbed the sleep out of their eyes as they stared in disbelief at Editor Marty Gottlieb's choices for Page 1 of The Record today:

Politics, more politics, an athletic competition, and the feeding habits of crabs and fish in the polluted Hackensack River.

Who the F cares?

Governor Christie's heavily censored report on state revenue didn't raise an eyebrow in the Woodland Park newsroom, and the matter-of-fact story landed on the State News Page (A-3).

Where is the news for readers saddled with inefficient home-rule government, high property taxes, high unemployment and an overburdened mass-transit and road system? 

Get me rewrite 

Staff Writer John Cichowski's Road Warrior column on older pedestrians (L-1) reminds me of the time I saw him walking slowly and unsteadily through the corridors of Bergen Community College in Paramus.

Young students raced by Cichowski, who looked befuddled and lost. Later, he delivered an animated talk full of traffic statistics to a class of seniors enrolled in the Institute of Learning in Retirement.

Critical condition

Hackensack readers looking for news of their city or what will happen to the 20 River Street acres owned by North Jersey Media Group come up empty again -- thanks to head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes and her deputy, Dan Sforza.

Instead, there is a seemingly misplaced story on Wall Street's rating of Hackensack University Medical Center (L-3).

On L-2, the latest chapter of utility pole news comes in the form of a photo.
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