By VICTOR E. SASSON
In 2011, many commuters suspected Governor Christie did little to prevent outrageous toll hikes on crossings operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, over which he has veto power.
Now -- nearly 31 months later -- The Record has unearthed "a secretive campaign" by Christie's cronies on the bi-state agency to inflate the proposed toll hikes so that the GOP bully and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo could appear to be heroes by scaling it back (A-1 and A-6).
"Toll hike's secret story" is the headline over this elaborate game of catch-up, even though Christie showed himself to be North Jersey commuters' worst nightmare by killing the Hudson River rail tunnels in October 2010.
It's refreshing to see a different take on the media's Oscar hysteria in The Record's intimate Page 1 glimpse inside the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood.
Of course, Staff Writer Jay Levin, the local obituary writer, also managed to gather material about actor Earle Hyman and others residents he will likely be using when he summarizes their accomplishments after they die (A-1).
From light to dark
Road Warrior John Cichowski is back with another unbelievably long column about potholes today (L-1), without acknowledging all of the errors and exaggerations in his previous effort on Thursday's front page.
"In fact, the Road Warrior [who claimed to have driven 300 miles looking for problems] simply regurgitated his same old list of pothole-ridden roads that he reports on every year, including Route 4, Palisades Intestate Parkway, Starke Road, and West Railway Avenue," a concerned reader said in an e-mail to editors and managers.
Cichowski said West Railway Avenue in Paterson is six blocks long, when it is, in fact, 11 blocks long.
Click on the following link to read about the other flaws in his column on the Facebook page for Road Warrior Bloopers:
Road Warrior lost in sinkhole of error
Today's Local section is another fine effort from Deputy Assignment Editor Dan Sforza, including a new, non-fatal accident photo on L-3 -- a stock space filler.
This is the third photo in about a week where a door was removed to free a driver, but otherwise, readers are kept in the dark on the identity of the drivers who received summonses or the cause of the collision in Ridgewood.
Two more columns
Today's Opinion cover includes two columns about Governor Christie and David Samson, his appointee to the unsalaried though powerful job of Port Authority chairman (O-1).
The Mike Kelly column on Christie uses the same dated thumbnail photo of the veteran reporter --complete with the shit-eating grin -- that has turned off readers for years.
The lame pothole editorial on O-2 is infuriating to property owners who see their local taxes increase every year, only to be inconvenienced and even endangered by half-assed snow removal and pothole repair.
"Potholes really are one of those frustrating problems that are beyond blame -- except for the vagaries of the weather," the editorial claims.
What can you expect from a newspaper that never assesses blame for, among other things:
- All of the errors in Road Warrior John Cichowski's column.
- The lack of local news from Sforza, the lazy, incompetent deputy assignment editor.
- And all of the sloppy editing, typos and factual errors in news stories that sail by a production staff headed by Liz Houlton, who is paid six figures?