Thursday, March 13, 2014

Medical writer echoes anti-Obama conservatives

Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood.


Medical writer Lindy Washburn is a highly respected reporter at The Record of Woodland Park.

But she continues to portray the roll-out of the federal Affordable Care Act in wholly negative terms, playing into the hands of such anti-Obama conservatives as Governor Christie (A-1). 

Today, as she has done in past stories, readers can find only one positive paragraph deep in the text of the continuation page (A-8).

"To be sure, tens of thousands of New Jersey residents have successfully obtained insurance coverage."

Success stories?

But I can't recall Washburn reporting on applicants like me and a friend who not only bought policies, but who are saving money for coverage that is as good or better than they had before.

I'm saving $150 a month on policies for my wife and son, compared to what I paid North Jersey Media Group, my former employer.

And Washburn continues to omit important background information on how Christie and the governors of 35 other states refused to set up state exchanges, throwing tens of millions of applicants onto the federal exchange,, and in some cases, crashing it.

Christie also refused to spend $7.6 million in federal money to help New Jersey residents enroll in marketplace plans. 

In fact, Christie's sabotage of the Affordable Care Act and his administration's bungling of federal Sandy aid (A-1) can be seen as the same kind of political retribution the GOP bully is accused of in such Democratic strongholds as Jersey City, Hoboken and Fort Lee.

That borough was hit by four days of gridlock last September after members of Christie's inner circle shut down two of three local access lanes to the George Washington Bridge for a "traffic study."

But investigators believe the Democratic mayors of Fort Lee and other communities were the targets of retribution for not endorsing Christie for a second term.

Hackensack news

Hackensack residents find two stories on the front of Local today, including a report on the Bergen County prosecutor serving subpoenas on the three employers of Thom Ammirato, the city's chief spokesman (L-1).

Ammirato -- who is paid $78,000 a year for his Hackensack public relations work -- also is a full-time employee of Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan, who pays him $35,000 and benefits; and a part-time spokesman for North Arlington, where he is paid $21,600 a year.

North Arlington also has hired Stephen Lo Iacono, Hackensack's former city manager.

In the second Hackensack story, Kathleen Gehm, 63, of River Vale has been cleared of any wrongdoing in the death of Jerome Some, 87, who was struck and killed by her car as he crossed Prospect Avenue on Oct. 8 around 7:30 p.m.

Some, founder of Some's Uniforms on Main Street, left his building and was crossing the street to attend a meeting at Bel Posto Restaurant, because the meeting room in his high-rise was being renovated.

There is no crosswalk between his building and the restaurant, and Some's daughter said the street is poorly lighted. 

After the accident, firefighters were sent out to wash off Some's blood from the pavement, but no safety improvements were made on Prospect Avenue.

City's potholes

Prospect Avenue is lined with high-rises and is considered one of Hackensack's premier streets, but it is also lined with some of the city's worst potholes.

See previous post: Will Hackensack's DPW ever fill these potholes?

A city official I spoke with today said Hackensack doesn't have the money needed to repair Prospect Avenue, because of the fiscal mismanagement of the previous City Council, which was allied with the Zisa family.

He also noted the previous administration's practice of not paving streets in such higher income neighborhoods as Fairmount.

Important photo

Deputy Assignment Editor managed to squeeze in a gee-whiz photo of a sheered-off utility pole on Route 17 in Paramus, but as usual, the caption is devoid of any information about the cause or whether the driver received a summons (L-3).

What local news was held to get this photo into the paper? 

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