Monday, April 29, 2013

Readers want less shore coverage, more local news

A former Korean bakery at 479 Main St. in Hackensack, opposite the Sears parking lot, is being converted into Daheen Wang Mandoo, which would be a branch of a popular Korean dumpling restaurant in Manhattan and the Flushing section of Queens. The renovations are being slowed by the owners' inability to get permits from the city's Building Department, and it's unclear what assistance they are receiving from the Upper Main Alliance, a public-private partnership that promotes shopping and dining out on Hackensack's struggling Main Street.

With big headlines, photos and a map, The Record's front page today reports on the slow pace of recovery at the shore from Superstorm Sandy.

But that takeout gets a lot more play than another story on the impact on Hackensack and other towns of a proposed 55-acre retail development in Teterboro being fueled by a $19 million state tax break.

And a third story on Page 1 doesn't even mention Governor Christie might have revenue to pay for new tax cuts, if he wasn't giving away hundreds of millions of dollars in such breaks to wealthy retailers and other businesses. 

This kind of coverage just plays into Christie's hands.

After mismanaging the state's economy for more than 3 years, Christie is trying to revive the shore and throwing tax breaks around like confetti in a desperate bid for a second term.

Shore is expensive 

North Jersey residents love the shore, but high property taxes here and high rents there mean most can only afford an annual two-week vacation by the sea.

And second homes are out of reach for anyone but multimillionaires like the Borgs, with shacks at the shore going for $500,000 or more. 

Give us a break

Why did The Record omit mention of the $19 million state tax break in last Thursday's front-page story on Walmart and, possibly, Costco Wholesale opening stores in the Teterboro development?

Was North Jersey Media Group and the Borg family wooing Walmart for the 20 acres they own along River Street, the former headquarters of The Record, and did they lose out because no such state incentive was offered? 

Today's story is silent on the Walmart rumors that swirled around the Borgs' property, and doesn't differentiate between the low-wage jobs at the low-price retailer and the unionized labor at Costco.

Kids and salad

On the front of today's Local section, a story on a program "aimed at curbing obesity through organic gardening" caught my eye (L-1).

Students in a Teaneck middle school and members of the Hackensack Boys & Girls Club grew lettuce "and learned to make their own sugar-free salad dressing."

Imagine that. Young people eating salad and growing lettuce in a greenhouse, of all places, to escape the vagaries of the weather. 

Why doesn't every Hackensack school have such a program? 

And why isn't the tax-exempt Hackensack University Medical Center offering to help the schools serve healthy meals, in return for not having to pay taxes on $130 million in property?


  1. Why should Walmart receive any tax breaks or incentives? The six members of the Walton family, heirs to the Walmart fortune, have wealth equal to the entire bottom 30% of Americans. And they don't have a unionized workforce, while Chris Christie continues to attack teacher's unions. If you want to talk about welfare, let's start with corporate welfare.

  2. I agree with you wholeheartedly. With Christie in office, the rich get richer ...


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