Sunday, February 17, 2013

Isn't this just white flight in reverse?

Prospect Avenue high-rises are used as landmarks by pilots who guide noisy business jets into a landing at nearby Teterboro Airport. Hackensack residents say the jets clear rooftops by only about 200 feet, and the sight of a big plane appearing so close to the ground is startling. Many say the jets are a nuisance, but The Record has ignored their complaints.

The Record's front page today reports a seemingly dramatic flight of young North Jersey suburban couples with their children in tow.

But the lure of "middle- and upper-income areas of Manhattan and Brooklyn" appears evident only in the wealthier, mostly white towns of northern and western Bergen and Passaic counties, according to a map on A-12.

In Hackensack and other diverse communities, the number of children under the age of 5 is increasing -- not decreasing -- and schools are packed.

And judging from vehicles with New York plates, some of these children might be commuting from the Bronx and other working-class areas of New York City -- an aspect The Record ignores completely.

Check out the photo of a smiling Caitlin Sullivan-Pond, a photography editor who grew up in tony Montclair, and her 15-month-old son Dylan on the Upper West Side of Manhattan (A-12). 

She and her advertising director husband, whose name doesn't appear in the story, apparently have money to burn on a $2,800-a-month Manhattan apartment. Isn't life grand? 

Murder on readers 

Displayed next to this wildly exaggerated statistical analysis today is an overlong rehash of the murder conviction of Peter Shanley, who killed wife Debra in their Dumont home in 2010 (A-1).

Why is Editor Marty Gottlieb squandering all this space, not to mention the talents of Staff Writer Stephanie Akin, on this tortured tale?

The editing of Akin's story could have been better: "Three years passed between that April [2010] night and Shanley's murder conviction in January ...."

For one thing, the year of the murder appears in the photo caption, not in the A-1 text, and for another, the reporter is about three months short of "three years."

Testing our patience

Below the fold, readers learn The Valley Hospital is likely to seek approval for a scaled-down expansion -- a story The Record has beaten to death in recent years (A-1).

Is Publisher Stephen A. Borg still a member of the President's Council at the Ridgewood hospital? 

Contrast all the coverage of The Valley Hospital expansion plans with relatively little coverage of the impact of Hackensack University Medical Center's many expansions on its neighborhood and city services.

Corrected correction

In another sign of meltdown in the Woodland Park newsroom, check out today's A-2 correction of Saturday's A-2 correction of a wrong photo with the Friday obituary of South Hackensack Police Chief Frank Furbacher.

A second correction today fixes the misspelling of a name in Sports.

Chris and Sandy

On A-3, another Superstorm Sandy story reports the cozy relationship of the clean-up company, the taxpayers' monitor and Governor "Pay to Play" Christie, who is counting on Sandy to propell him to a second term.

Smoking out news

With Staff Writer Hannan Adely exploring the compelling "local issue" of smoking in public parks -- in the middle of winter, no less -- Hackensack residents are ignored for yet another day by head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes and her deputy, Dan Sforza (Local front).

Road Warrior John Cichowksi again turns his back on paralyzing traffic jams, overburdened mass transit and outrageous tolls to focus on drunk drivers in Ireland (L-1).

Cichowski may not be drinking and driving, but he is disoriented nonetheless. 

From hunger

In Better Living, food writers continue to write glowingly about chefs and little about restaurant customers who are seeking a decent meal at a reasonable price (BL-1 and BL-5).

On the Opinion front, Mike Kelly loses readers in the first few sentences of his "odd decisions" column about Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J. (O-1).

I guess Kelly thought he was being funny when he wrote the Dominican Republic isn't in New Jersey, but could that have been a disdainful reference to  all the Dominican-Americans who live in the state?

Hey, Kelly. It's time to retire to a sunny Caribbean island.

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