Rain pounding down on my roof in Hackensack this morning made the sunny headline on Page 1 of The Record -- "THE SHORE IS OPEN" -- ring hollow.
And what do you make of the sub-headline -- "Jersey summer kicks off before eyes of nation"?
Editor Marty Gottlieb must be kidding. Hey, Marty, you're not at The Times anymore.
Are the people in Oklahoma or Texas or California really on the edge of their seats, wondering about the shore's recovery from Superstorm Sandy?
Gottlieb isn't the only one bamboozled by Governor Christie's campaign to win a second term on the backs of Sandy survivors.
Christie got the "Today" show to broadcast live from Seaside Heights on Friday, giving national exposure to his uniquely Jersey freak show.
Christie is hoping his massive P.R. campaign makes voters forget how badly he's mismanaged state finances and broken his promise to lower property taxes when they go to the polls in November.
Old home week
Staff Writer Shawn Boburg's photo-and-text package on A-1 and A-7 today appears to complete three days of reporting from his old neighborhood in Moore, Okla., devastated by Monday's tornado.
Boburg's accounts, including takeouts on Thursday's and Friday's front page, are way more than any reader wants to know about the survivors or the reporter's boyhood.
Boburg's beat at The Record is the Port Authority, but he's managed to ignore how the bistate agency's only strategy for keeping commuters' cars off the road is exorbitant toll increases, which were rubber-stamped by Christie.
Before I left The Record in 2008, Boburg dressed like a hayseed, recalling the old joke, "Why don't you throw a party and introduce your pants to your shoes."
That was in contrast to his stylish girlfriend, Staff Writer Stephanie Akin, who treated the newsroom carpet between her desk and the women's bathroom as if it were a Fashion Week runway.
The Port Authority reporter's failure is compounded by Road Warrior John Cichowski, whose obsession with potholes and MVC lines blinds him to commuting and mass-transit problems.
Cichowski's pothole-and-utility pole column on Wednesday was the 66th with problems since Sept. 12, 2012, according to a concerned reader, who e-mailed management yet again:
Friday's front-page story on the failure of Mary J. Blige of Cresskill and other prominent African-American entertainers to pay federal taxes seems incomplete (A-1).
Are they protesting how previous administrations treated minorities? Did they also evade state income taxes?
After years of neglect, head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes is paying more attention to Hackensack news outside of former Police Chief Ken Zisa's lingering legal problems.
Sykes has commissioned unprecedented coverage of municipal affairs since the May 14 victory of a slate of City Council reformers took her and other editors by surprise.
But on L-6 today, the reference to "the new council majority" in a transition-team story is puzzling.
Councilman John Labrosse and his four running-mates won all 5 seats. Isn't that more than a "majority"?
The story says state Sen. Loretta Weinberg, D-Teaneck, has finally gotten off her duff, and agreed to serve as "honorary chairwoman" of the transition team.
Before the election, Weinberg refused to endorse reform candidates in the crucial Hackensack contest.
More news of poles
Also today, Sykes advances her photo staff's coverage of downed and damaged utility poles with the image of damaged traffic-light pole (L-6).