Thursday, May 2, 2013

Editors allow Tenafly to demonize mass transit

Rush hour at the Lincoln Tunnel, above; Manhattan's Penn Station and the Port Authority Bus Terminal, below, show North Jersey needs more mass transit, not less.
NJ Transit rail waiting hall at Penn Station in Manhattan.
NJ Transit commuters slowly making their way to an escalator that takes them to upper-level platforms and buses to Hackensack, Cresskill and other North Jersey towns.


NJ Transit's fully electrified light-rail system takes cars off the road, eases traffic congestion, cuts pollution and saves gasoline. 

Yet, The Record has allowed Tenafly officials to turn those positives into negatives, culminating in NJ Transit's decision to scrap a plan to extend light rail to the wealthy community, which counts Publisher Stephen A. Borg as a resident (A-1 and L-1).

Mass transit can't catch a break in North Jersey, where two new Hudson River rail tunnels were scrapped by SUV-riding Governor Christie in October 2010.

NJ Transit Newark Light Rail #104 crossing Bro...
NJ Transit Newark Light Rail cars crossing Broad Street to enter the Newark-Broad St. Station. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) 

Tom Davis is remembered fondly by Hackensack residents as a muckraking journalist who wrote a series of hard-hitting stories when he covered the city.

But when Davis was promoted to transportation reporter, he wrote negative stories about the extension of light rail to Englewood and other towns.

That tradition was carried on after Davis left the paper, which this year and last reported the wild claims of Tenafly officials without rebuttal from NJ Transit and light-rail commuters.

One explanation is that the current deputy local-news assignment editor, Dan Sforza, wrote at least two "highways of the future" takeouts when he was a transportation reporter.

Sforza did his best to ignore mass transit, even refusing to report on defective NJ Transit buses with screeching rear brakes that ruined the sleep of people living along such bus routes as Grand Avenue in Englewood.

Today's Local section has no news from Hackensack or many other communities, but readers will find three more engaging local obituaries on L-6.

Alliance strikes back

A public-private partnership called the Hackensack Main Street Business Alliance, also known as the Upper Main Alliance, is striking back at Eye on The Record and Victor E. Sasson.

Sasson reported in Wednesday's post he could not find the names of any Main Street restaurants taking part in Sunday's food-centered fund-raiser at The Shops at Riverside.

Sasson checked again today, and no Main Street restaurants are listed on any Web site connected to the event nor are they mentioned on The Record's Second Helpings blog.

On Hackensack, Editor Albert H. Dib, a city employee who is the alliance's executive director, wrote:

"Vsasson stated very inaccurately that the Alliance was not participating in the upcoming "Taste of Hackensack" [The correct name is  "The Taste in Hackensack"].  He made no attempt to check with the Alliance about its participation. The Alliance is participating in the event.   
"Vsasson has clearly violated this site's Registration Agreement terms not to post false or inaccurate statements. As a result, all of vsasson's future posts will be screened. For the record: This is the practice he currently uses on his own blog, wherein he screens all posts for content. [Eye on The Record screens all comments for content, not 'posts.']
 "Also, this 'Eye on the Record' topic thread has overstayed its welcome on this site and will likely be deleted in the near future. I am closing posting for this thread now." 
Albert [H.] Dib

Dib says on Hackensack Now that "four eateries from the Business Improvement District" are participating in the fund-raiser for the Hackensack Blue & Gold Scholarship Fund, which benefits Hackensack High School students, but he does not name them.

The alliance represents only Main Street restaurants and businesses between Atlantic Street and Clinton Place in Hackensack, and apparently does nothing for eating places or businesses in other parts of the 4-square-mile city.

Its work and half of Dib's city salary of roughly $64,000 is funded through an assessment on property owners, who must pay a property tax surcharge to the city.

One businessman calls the assessment "a grand ripoff," arguing the alliance provides services that the city properly should be supplying to residents and property owners.

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  1. In reference to "Editor" Albert H. Dib screening my posts on Hackensack

    Censorship is the refuge of scoundrels.

  2. Al Dib is a Zisa butt licker.

  3. That's good. Have anything that rhymes?


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