|Hackensack officials are counting on new luxury apartments, such as these under construction at State and Bergen streets, to bring more customers to Main Street stores and restaurants, a strategy that has already failed in nearby Englewood.|
By VICTOR E. SASSON
Critics call the closing of Fort Lee access lanes to the George Washington Bridge political revenge exacted by Governor Christie's Port Authority appointees.
But Christie chooses to characterize the closures as "mistakes," and he pressured two flunkies, David Wildstein and Bill Baroni, to resign, as reported on Page 1 of The Record today.
Democrats in the state Legislature just spun their wheels when Christie rubber stamped exorbitant toll hikes on the Hudson River crossings, but they've matched his spin with exaggeration and hype of their own on the impact of the Fort Lee incident in early September (A-1 and A-9).
Now, Christie's every action involving the Port Authority or inaction on lowering college tuition for illegal immigrants is being interpreted by The Record in terms of how they will affect his presidential ambitions in 2016 (A-6 and Friday's A-3).
Why is a new terminal for business jets at Newark Liberty International Airport news (A-8), and when will The Record address the impact of airplane noise on the quality of life in North Jersey?
An unintentional double entendre in a headline on the first Business page suggests people are stripping at shopping centers owned by Simon Property Group Inc. (A-8).
On the Local front today, Deputy Assignment Editor Dan Sforza catches up to three-day-old news -- a wealthy 73-year-old woman apparently was run down and killed on Wednesday during an errand on a narrow section of Grand Avenue in Englewood (L-1).
However, Sforza gave better play to the no-injury collision of a train and tractor-trailer carrying jars of stuffed olives, probably because of the wreckage photo taken by Tariq "Crash" Zehawi.
Even with two full days to gather information, the story about Myrna Sherman tells readers little about what happened to the matriarch of the Sherman tobacco family, and doesn't even discuss Grand Avenue's reputation for speeding drivers or previous pedestrian deaths.
The story also plays into the stereotype of Korean-Americans as bad drivers, reporting only that Sung Park, 22, of Ramsey was charged with reckless driving.
Did driver see woman?
"Sherman was either getting out of or into her parked car on Grand Avenue when she was hit by a Honda Odyssey [minivan] near Sheffield Avenue," today's story says, adding that the woman was going to the dry cleaners at 5 p.m.
Today, I called the dry cleaners, the Laundress at Grand and Sheffield avenues, and the owner said Sherman had parked on Grand Avenue in front of the store, and the minivan had turned the corner and struck the woman.
He said it was dark, and he doesn't believe the driver saw the woman. The portion of Grand Avenue where the accident occurred is narrow and carries two-way traffic.
Also on the Local front today, Staff Writer Hannan Adely continues to report on the new Hackensack City Council trying to come to terms with the mess left behind by officials allied with the Zisas, who ruled the city so ineptly for decades (L-1).
Today, she reports Hackensack University Medical Center has paid the city $176,000 for school crossing guards that were never billed, just as the city failed to bill the Board of Education $1 million for a police officer assigned to the high school for seven years.
Still, Sforza struggled to fill the section with Bergen County news, and had to resort to using four Paterson stories as filler (L-2, L-3 and L-5).
Editor Marty Gottlieb wasted readers' time with Columnist Mike Kelly's Page 1 account from Newtown, Conn., on the anniversary of the massacre.
In his first paragraph, the tired columnist describes the removal of the same pile of teddy bears, ribbons, cardboard hearts, candles and cards that he described so lamely in his column a year ago.
Readers stopped there and just stared dumbly at Kelly's dated column photo and shit-eating grin. What a phony (Friday's A-1).
A couple of photos of Newtown would have sufficed to cover the anniversary.
Remember, Kelly is the same moron who repeatedly compared the Teaneck gunman who committed suicide at Westfield Garden State Plaza on Nov. 4 to the maniacs who killed so many at Columbine high and in the Newtown elementary school.
Also on Friday (A-21), Editorial Page Editor Alfred P. Doblin's silly rhymed couplets on the Port Authority-Fort Lee brouhaha ticked off many readers, including Jeff of Hackensack:
"Doblin's opinion pieces are usually the lowest of the low in terms of how he must continually mix and interconnect irrelevant metaphors, mottos, symbols, etc., in order to justify his somewhat senseless opinions about various matters.
"He believes that he is also a brilliant humorist and editorialist, who is able to seemingly combine the humorous with the serious in forging his supposedly classic opinions, which are unfortunately frequently way off the mark.
"However, his 'opinion' piece today about the Port Authority fiasco with the reduction of three dedicated tolls lanes to one for Fort Lee's entrance to the GWB has to be one his sickest, if not the sickest attempts at his frightful Goblin, I mean Doblin humor, which is mixed with Shitty, I mean Gritty, opinions to his dominions in the form of a frightful, I mean spiteful, attempt at a humorous, poetic, opinion fleece, I mean piece."
Downtown Hackensack got some good news with a story about the purchase of a three-story building for a Korean cultural center (Friday's L-2).
Young Cho, board chairman of the non-profit Dongwha Cultural Foundation, is quoted as saying the new center will be three times the size of the current one in Englewood.
On Friday's L-3, a story reporting that the family of a pilot killed near Teterboro Airport "will receive $7.5 million" is inaccurate since about a third of the settlement amount will go to the plaintiffs' lawyer or lawyers.
At Bibi'z in Westwood, Resturant Reviewer Elisa Ung and her guest were served overcooked mahi-mahi and chicken kebab, but she still gave it a good-to-excellent rating (Friday's BL-22).