Sunday, April 14, 2013

Web site elects theft suspect to Hackensack Council

In a steady drizzle on Friday morning, the driver of a small SUV had his emergency flashers on as he tossed bagged copies of The Record out of the vehicle's passenger-side window along Passaic Street in Hackensack and Maywood.

The local-news editors at North continue to play catch up on delivering breaking news accurately, and on following up with a correction.

Late Saturday afternoon, Hackensack readers were greeted by this headline on the Web site of North Jersey Media Group, publisher of The Record:

"Hackensack judge to review complaint on city councilman stealing opponents campaign signs"

Former Detective Kenneth Martin of the Coalition for Open Government slate allegedly removed his opponents' campaign signs on Friday, but he is only a candidate for the City Council, not a member of that maligned body.

Of course, it wouldn't be the first time a member of Hackensack's City Council stood accused of betraying the trust of voters.

No fix today 

That was bad enough, but the error continues to run on North today, even though at least one resident e-mailed Staff Writer Hannan Adely about the mistake.

Candidate Leo Battaglia, a member of the Citizens for Change slate, filed a complaint against Martin, accusing him of "theft of movable property," according to today's story in The Record, which accurately describes Martin as a candidate (L-3).

Another boring paper

The rest of today's Sunday edition is equally dismal, from continuing coverage of Superstorm Sandy and Rutgers on Page 1 to yet another silly Mike Kelly column on the university's basketball scandal (O-1).

Kelly continues to resist writing about his heart problems -- which put him out of commission last year -- a subject sure to engage readers.

Mandatory voting 

The best piece in the paper is not by a journalist, but by Gerald Pomper, a political-science professor (emeritus) at Rutgers University (O-1).

"What if they gave an election and everyone voted?" is his first line in a persuasive essay on compulsory or universal voting.

Pomper notes that less than 15% of registered voters are expected to go to the polls in Tuesday's school board elections in Hackensack and other towns.

Apathetic voters have only themselves to blame for the lousy City Council and Board of Education in Hackensack, where the Zisa family and special interests have ruled for decades.

Those same special interests are at work today in the school board and City Council elections (Tuesday and May 14, respectively).

Martin, the former cop accused of removing opponents' signs, is on a slate backed by Lynne Hurwitz, the Democratic Party chairwoman in Hackensack who was the power behind Ken Zisa, the former assemblyman and disgraced police chief.

Under attack

Victor E. Sasson, the only independent Hackensack City Council candidate, is now under attack by "Etaylor," a member of Hackensack, a so-called community message board.

"Etaylor" objected to registering with OpenID after Sasson began disallowing "Anonymous" comments at Eye on The Record, noting he could continue to hide his identity on Hackensack Now.

He only registered with Hackesnack Now on April 9, and hasn't disclosed whom he is backing in the City Council election or whether he is doing his dirty work for one of the organized slates.

Is "Etaylor" a registered voter or resident of Hackensack? Does he work at the tax-exempt Hackensack University Medical Center or is he unemployed?

He doesn't say.

Stung by Road Warrior

Readers can only cheer that a Sunday column from the irrelevant Road Warrior, Staff Writer John Cichowski, is missing today -- the third such missed deadline recently.

Cichowski's wild exaggerations filled his column on Friday, the second about an exit on the Garden State Parkway.

A reader troubled by Cichowski's myth making fired off another e-mail to management:

"Regular readers and road warriors were outraged over John Cichowski's LOL nutty, misleading and overly exaggerated reporting about the prohibited right turn to Glen Road from Garden State Parkway Exit 171 in Woodcliff Lake in not one, but two time-wasting,incompetent columns on April 3 and 12.

"It doesn't take much to get road warriors buzzing furiously about the Road Warrior's annoyingly mistaken reporting.

"Readers would be wise to avoid Road Warrior columns since they too often make you feel like a lab rat caught in a maze with no exits -- except to Road Warrior hell.

"There is no question this parkway exit should allow right turns, but it doesn't take much for the Road Warrior to poke through a good story and misreport many items that don't resemble the truth.

"Road Warrior claims someone is traveling 3.9 mile out of their way in various loops, turning commuters' dizzying trip home into an odyssey worthy of ancient Greeks returning from Troy.

"However, intelligent drivers' trips are only less than o.4 to 0.6 miles longer and less than 4 minutes longer in order to find a place to turn around to go back in the same direction on Glen Road.

"This still represents time and mileage savings compared to taking Exits 168 or 172 to avoid this no-right-turn inconvenience.

"It would
NOT cost more than several hundred dollars to replace signs and road-direction stripes to allow right turns --  instead of the millions of dollarsfor a more complex solution suggested by the Road Warrior.

"Readers deserve a Road Warrior apology for more of his outlandish, mistaken reporting."

See the full e-mail on the Facebook page for Road Warrior Bloopers:

John Cichowski has nowhere to turn 


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