Thursday, February 27, 2014

Reporter wins Black Hole in Journalism Award

On Wednesday, Englewood police chose to close North Dean Street during the afternoon rush hour, above, further aggravating the city's well-known traffic congestion. Officials have refused to install turn lanes on North Dean at Palisade Avenue, arguing the city can't afford to lose revenue from the half-dozen downtown parking meters that would have to be removed or the paint needed to mark the pavement with lines and arrows.

In Hackensack, officials have decided to wait for the spring thaw to melt this snowbank, which prevents two cars from passing on two-way Euclid Avenue.


In Road Warrior John Cichowski's warped mind, the George Washington Bridge, state highways and shopping centers are "landmarks."

The slalom competition at the Olympics is a "ride," and cars can be seen "bobbing up and down as they approached highway queues."

Readers find all of this odd language today on Page 1 of The Record, which presents the addled reporter's annual "Black Hole Awards" for the worst potholes in North Jersey (A-1 and A-8).

The columnist who is famous for assembling his rantings and ravings from reader e-mails, state police surveys and reports tells readers in the second paragraph that he actually left the office for "first-hand ... observations."

The Black Hole in Journalism Award again goes to Cichowski for allowing facts to get swallowed up by his need to exaggerate, and for giving a pass to most municipal crews for all of the destructive potholes that haven't been filled.

Actually, the Tyson Trish photo with his column today should get an award for its nearly pavement-level perspective of potholes on Route 4, near Route 17 (A-1).

They both suck

If you think Cichowski's column sucks, check out Political Stile next to it on the front page (A-1).

It took Trenton reporter Charles Stile a full 24 hours to realize Governor Christie couldn't be more different than Mahatma Gandhi, whom the GOP bully quoted in his budget address on Tuesday.

Stile actually tracked down Gandhi's grandson, Arun Gandhi, who said, "Sometimes we refer to New Jersey as India's 29th province" (A-5).

Fender benders

For years, the local assignment editors used photos of fender benders to fill space that would otherwise remain empty.

Now, it seems, to make the paper the photo must show that a vehicle door was removed to free the driver, as in today's photo on L-3 and Wednesday's image on L-6, both by Staff Photographer Tariq Zehawi. 

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