Sunday, March 24, 2013

Gottlieb bats only .500 on Page 1

A medical building at 5 Summit Ave. is in the running for the ugliest structure in Hackensack, above and below, especially after the ground-floor garage was declared unsafe and fenced off. A resident of Thompson Street complains valet parking attendants take up spaces on the block and endanger children. Now, the garage is being demolished.

The entrance and small lobby are in the middle section, above. The building is crammed into the corner of Summit Avenue and Essex Street, near Hackensack University Medical Center.
The building is open during "regular hrs.," according to a sign on the fence blocking access to the parking garage on the Summit Avenue side.

Marty Gottlieb, the New York Times veteran who took over The Record's newsroom more than a year ago, continues to disappoint with his selection of stories for the Sunday paper, and his mindless obsession with sports. 

Today, two out of four front-page stories don't belong anywhere near Page 1.

The best pieces are staff written -- John C. Ensslin's account of the events leading up to the suicide of the son of Freeholder David Ganz, and Scott Fallon's report on a move to cap pollution at Ford Motor Co.'s dumping ground in Ringwood. 

Not much else

The rest of today's paper is disappointing.

On the front of Local, Road Warrior John Cichowski continues to stray far afield from his commuting beat with a column on the Yellow Dot, a bird that targets the cars of seniors with a shower of droppings (L-1).

A story about the Englewood school board race has Hackensack residents wondering what happened to coverage of the city's school election (L-1).

Half a loaf

On the Better Living cover, is this the first story about the high-quality hot- and cold-food bars at Whole Foods Market since the Paramus store opened four years ago (BL-1)?

On the Opinion front, Mike Kelly asks three rhetorical questions in his first paragraph, completely turning readers off (O-1).

In more than 20 years of writing a column, Kelly still does not get that readers are looking for him to go out on a limb and express strong opinions, not to ask questions.

Second look

Head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes and her deputy, Dan Sforza, continue to fall flat on their faces in their struggle to find enough local news.

In Saturday's thin paper, the local-news editors and their minions needed a Dean's List (L-2) and three long wire-service obituaries to fill the Local section (L-5 and L-6).

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