Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Why do editors continue to shaft older drivers?

The 14 acres of woodland that once served as Chairman Malcolm A. "Mac" Borg's playground, behind a columned white mansion on Summit Avenue, are one of the few instances where Hackensack residents defeated a development proposal. In this case,  68 town houses were to be built on the land.

I am sick and tired of reading The Record's endless reporting on teen deaths in automobile accidents -- as in today's Page 1 column -- while the challenges faced by older drivers are virtually ignored.

Seniors get behind the wheel, mistake the gas pedal for the brake pedal and kill themselves or someone else -- then become a photo op for head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes, who uses accident photos as filler in the Local news section (see L-3).

You'd think Editor Marty Gottlieb, who is in his mid-60s, or veteran reporter John Cichowski would care about this issue, and report on the challenges facing older drivers and the help available to them. 

Today's Road Warrior column cites a number of reason for fewer deaths among 16- to 20-year-old drivers, including red decals on license plates.

Of course, Cichowski doesn't tell readers how many hysterical parents he allowed to vent in his column in opposition to the decals when they were first proposed, just as he has done for lead-footed drivers trying to kill another life-saving measure, red-light cameras.

If past Road Warrior columns are any guide, the statistics cited in today's piece are probably reported incorrectly by Cichowski, but don't look for corrections on Wednesday.

Donovan v. Democrats

I am sure I wasn't the only lifelong Democrat repelled by the greed of Bergen County's Democratic Party who voted for county Executive Kathleen Donovan, a Republican.

Now, Donovan, who has been hospitalized for a month, has vowed to veto a pay-to-play ordinance -- proposed by majority Democrats -- that would allow special interests to contribute up to $20,000 a year to county political parties (A-1).

Dissing Hackensack

Sykes and her deputy, Dan Sforza, turn out another lame Local section today, with no Hackensack news.

A story on plunging gas prices (Business, L-7) includes photos from Vermont, suggesting that all of the gas stations near the Woodland Park newsroom have gone out of business.

The photo with the 15 Minute Chef, supplied by The Washington Post, makes Cumin-Cilantro Chicken Patties look like vomit (BL-2).

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