Sunday, December 15, 2013

A weird story leads an even weirder Sunday edition

NJ Transit's 8:59 a.m. local to Hoboken was about 12 minutes late arriving in Clifton on Friday, above, but the older rail car was warm, clean and had plenty of empty seats, below. The station also has a waiting room that allows commuters to stay out of sub-freezing weather.


After you say gee whiz or who cares, The Record's odd Page 1 story today on David Wildstein purchasing Internet domain addresses leaves you high and dry.

Readers won't find any explanation in all those words, photos, graphics and headlines of what that means to them or anyone else (A-1 and A-6).

Wildstein, the Port Authority official who resigned after ordering mysterious lane closures at the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, bought the domains of Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono, his boss at the Port Authority and others.

But none of them apparently tried later to create their own domains, so why is this news?

Wildstein, a high school buddy of Governor Christie's, comes off sounding weird, even for a Republican political appointee and political junkie.

Wrong words

In another front-page story today, the many state and federal versions of Joan's Law are referred to as a "cadre" -- a word usually reserved for people (A-1).

There are no corrections on A-2 today, despite all the errors in the paper every day. Last week, four corrections and one clarification were published.

Police story

On the Local front today, the untold story of trigger-happy America is the apparent lack of trust in the police to safeguard us in our homes and businesses (L-1).

At a vigil in Teaneck for the 26 killed in Newtown, Conn., gun-rights advocate Josh Levy accused state Sen. Loretta Weinberg of trying "to take away our guns" -- all in the earshot of five township police officers Levy has no confidence in.

Ice age

Today's column by Road Warrior John Cichowski is among the many he has written about "dangerous" snow and ice on the roofs of trucks, even though the last death of a driver hit by flying ice occurred in 1997 (L-1).

There have been far more pedestrian victims of NJ Transit trains, but Cichowski and the paper's other transportation reporters haven't taken the agency to task for poor safety measures at stations or for failing to deploy police officers to keep people off the tracks.

Funny money

On the Opinion front, Columnist Mike Kelly is back with breaking news: "Money talks."

That goes without saying at The Record, which lavishes coverage on big mall advertisers and stiffs Main Street merchants, as well as publishing flattering stories about Borg family friends  and business associates.

Whether big city police departments will be able to use purchasing power to persuade gun makers to be socially responsible remains to be seen.

But one thing is clear: Kelly and all other members of the nation's media have failed miserably to influence the debate.

Readers' letters

On O-3, August De Falco of Lodi defends the job performance of Hackensack City Manager Stephen L0 Iacono, who has agreed to resign under pressure from the City Council.

Several years ago, Lo Iacono was quoted in The Record as saying Hackensack has taken only "baby steps" on implementing solar power and other alternative energy.

Today, not a single public building or school in Hackensack has a working solar-panel installation -- in marked contrast to neighboring Teaneck.

Hackensack also operates inefficient police and parking enforcement fleets with not a single hybrid or electric car, and allows numerous employees to commute to and from work in city owned vehicles.

All of this makes property tax bills higher than they could be.

Walks on water

In a letter seemingly aimed at Record editors, reporters and columnists who idolize Christie, reader Sidney J. Goodman of Mahwah asks, "What kind of politician would make spending cuts while preserving tax breaks for the wealthy"?

"It is unbelievable that Christie remains popular," Goodman writes, despite cuts in women's health care, legal services to the poor, environmental programs, and so on and so forth (O-3).

Second look

In his Wednesday Road Warrior column on closure of Fort Lee access lanes to the George Washington Bridge, Cichowski misquotes a Port Authority official testifying in Trenton  and contradicts his own Sept. 13 piece on the controversy.

See: Road Warrior's reporting fiasco at the GWB

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