Friday, February 22, 2013

Two Hackensack stories for a change

In The Record today, North Jersey Media Group says its 20 acres in Hackensack are "for sale." A construction trailer was set up recently at the newspaper's old headquarters, above.

Staff Writer Hannan Adely appears to have been working overtime -- her byline is on three stories today, two about Hackensack, her main assignment.

In a story on the Local front about the New Jersey Naval Museum and the USS Ling -- which are on North Jersey Media Group property in Hackensack -- an NJMG official is quoted as saying the land is "for sale."

This apparently is the first time NJMG has discussed what will happen to its 20 acres since The Record abandoned Hackensack in 2009.

"We are evaluating several options for our property," said CFO Tom Heffernan, without addressing rumors a Walmart might replace the landmark newspaper building at 150 River St. (L-6).

The second Hackensack story today is about the $148,000 retirement payout for Tomas Padilla, the interim police chief, that was approved on Tuesday night by the City Council, a meeting The Record didn't cover (L-7).

The front page

The long, front-page story on an aging Hamburg Turnpike in Wayne is woefully incomplete when it discusses state funding (A-1).

Editor Marty Gottlieb, a New Yorker, apparently never heard of the state's bankrupt Transportation Trust Fund, which is used to rebuild roads and bridges.

Gottlieb also appears to be ignorant of the controversy over Governor Christie's refusal since 2010 to raise the state's low gasoline tax to refill the fund.

And the story doesn't explain why no mass-transit alternatives were put in place during the glacial reconstruction of the road.

Road Warrior John Cichowski writes so rarely about mass transit readers wonder why he did a second column on the Teterboro train station (L-1).

Face stuffers

It's bad enough the restaurant review in Better Living has been put on a diet and covers only half a tabloid page (BL-16).

Why waste it on the mediocre Limoncello in Waldwick? A few paragraphs of warning would suffice.

Free-lancer Jeffrey Page, who struggled with his weight for most of his career at The Record, actually ordered dessert at Yasou Mykonos, the Greek restaurant in Demarest he chose for Eating Out on $50 (BL-18).

The Record is cutting back in so many areas, including staff, so it's a mystery why it continues to throw money away on these useless reviews.

There are literally hundreds of restaurants in North Jersey where two people can eat out for $50. Readers don't need the paper to do these monthly appraisals.

More road kill

A concerned reader believes Staff Writer John Cichowski is defending -- not condemning -- red-light cameras in his column this past Wednesday:

"The Road Warrior's column, as did his previous column on Feb. 15, is clearly promoting red light cameras and their supposed benefits and not opposing them.

"The Road Warrior is opposed to many of the proposed reforms of the red light camera law.

"Most of his column is devoted to quoting a supposed traffic safety expert, who is a paid consultant to red light camera companies, about the supposed, but baseless, justifications for red light cameras.

"The headline for the column is:

"'Care Needed in Altering Red Light Cameras'"

"That headlines implies support for cameras.

"He does not quote any traffic safety experts  who are opposed to the N.J. red light camera laws and are working with the Assembly Transportation committee, whicis debating this camera law."

The reader's full e-mail to management can be found on the Facebook Page for Road Warrior Bloopers:

Does he or doesn't he like red-light cameras?

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