Thursday, March 27, 2014

For a change, positive news about health care

Hackensack crews appear to be waiting for warmer weather before patching these potholes on Prospect Avenue, near The Blair House, above, and at Prospect and Euclid avenues, below.


A 27-year-old graduate student is buying health insurance for a low $82 a month. A 29-year-old Clifton woman is paying even less, only $63 a month.

Who knew policies under the federal Affordable Care Act were so, well, affordable?

Certainly not readers of The Record, which has been dumping on President Obama's health-care reform and winking at Governor Christie's many attempts to sabotage its roll-out on, the federal Web site.

Today's lead Page 1 story on young people signing up to silence their nagging mothers is possibly the first really positive account from Staff Writer, Lindy Washburn (A-1).


Another example of a headline that doesn't deliver is today's front-page photo overline: "VIDEO CAPTURES THRILLING FIRE RESCUE."

The photo under the heading is far from thrilling in the absence of actually viewing the video, and how many readers are going to run to their computers to do that?

Today's front page also carries a terrific story on the Port Authority's antiquated, dysfunctional shipping terminals at Port Newark/Elizabeth (A-1 and A-6).

But I'm wondering if the editors didn't overlook how thefts influence the price of the food, clothing and electronics we buy as much as what the story calls "the fragility of the port."

In the 1970s and 1980s, numerous containers disappeared from the port on a daily basis. Is that still the case? The story doesn't say.

Not possible

An editorial backing the elimination of toll collectors on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway claims automation would "speed up commutes" (A-20).

But the real congestion isn't at the tollbooths. There are simply too many cars and too little mass transit in the New York-New Jersey region, explaining why an accident today stretched waits at the Lincoln Tunnel to 90 minutes.

Crime against readers

Deputy Assignment Editor Dan Sforza's reputation for laziness is enforced by today's Local section, every page of which is filled with police and court news, and news about the police.

Another photo heading that doesn't deliver is on L-3: "FIRE ENGULFS CLIFFSIDE PARK RESIDENCE."

Why not take a photo in the evening and use this overline: "THE SUN SET AS USUAL."

The L-3 photo shows smoke, but no flames. The caption has even less information. 

This is just filler employed by a desperate local editor who has failed repeatedly to produce a news-filled section since his boss went on medical leave.

Just a big act

The Better Living cover today shows there is a limit to a star actor's credibility.

Russel Crowe as Noah? Give me a break (BL-8).

With all of the problems we have today, including newspapers that are in the pockets of business and certain politicians, Hollywood's obsession with historical dramas is irresponsible.

But I'll be sure to catch "A Birder's Guide to Everything," which sounds like just what we need to take our minds off how Christie has destroyed New Jersey for his own political ends (BL-8).

Most of the cast members are unknowns.

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