|A driver from Pennsylvania gets a warm New Jersey welcome at a toll booth on the Garden State Parkway.|
By VICTOR E. SASSON
Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus -- often called the state's biggest mall -- appears well on its way to becoming the baddest.
The only story worth reading on Page 1 of The Record today is the heart-tugging account of how a Macy's escalator mangled the foot of an 11-year-old girl, and how a surgeon stepped in to prevent its amputation (A-1).
Westfield in the mall's name is for the Westfield Group, the Australian owner of Garden State Plaza and 90 other shopping centers in Australia, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom.
Garden State Plaza receives lavish news coverage in The Record -- payback for all of those full-page ads from Macy's and other mall retailers that are keeping the Woodland Park daily afloat.
Recently, a story in Business heralded the construction of a wing of luxury stores at the Paramus mall -- just what we need as North Jersey continues to struggle with high unemployment and low job creation.
The Aug. 16 accident that nearly killed Juliana Valdez of Bergenfield has sparked two lawsuits, including the family's federal action against Macy's and the company that maintained the escalator, ThyssenKrupp (A-10).
A second black mark against the mall -- and its apparent lack of security -- is the Nov. 4 invasion by gunman Richard Shoop, who committed suicide there, triggering panic among shoppers and a massive police response that proved completely ineffective.
For a change, The Record's copy desk did a nice job on the injured girl's story, especially the set of bright headlines.
However, Production Editor Liz Houlton missed a major discrepancy:
The story reports the girl is "getting around on crutches and a walker," but the big A-1 photo just above that shows her in a wheelchair, which isn't mentioned anywhere.
The 10th anniversary issue of (201) magazine landed with a thud on my doorstep.
As usual, the December 2013 issue is a celebration of the wealth and success of Bergen County's white residents.
OK. A few token blacks and other minorities appear in what Publisher Stephen A. Borg calls the pride and joy of all of his North Jersey Media Group publications.
In the current issue, a profile of Englewood stylist Rachel Johnson is the story of how an African-American woman succeeds by exploiting wealthy black athletes who don't have a clue about how to dress (Pages 76-77).