By VICTOR E. SASSON
Editor Marty Gottlieb of The Record, Deputy Assignment Editor Dan Sforza and Staff Writer Chris Harris should apologize for today's Page 1 story on a Ridgewood "coin collector."
Here is why editing matters.
The Record took another story about a municipal employee stealing public funds and decided to make light of it:
Thomas Rica, the village's former public works inspector, pleaded guilty to stealing at least $460,000 "from Ridgewood's coin-collection room" (A-1).
What coin-collection room? Does the village have a coin collection? Why is Rica called a "coin collector" in the first paragraph?
Readers don't learn until the continuation page that the 1.8 million quarters Rica stole came from parking meters (A-6).
I was sorry to see a Page 1 story today reporting the Port Authority may revoke NJ Transit's $1-a-year lease of a North Bergen park-and-ride lot.
The Record's editors are all hot and bothered that NJ Transit was a client of Port Authority Chairman David Samson's private law firm and that he voted to reduce the rent by $906,999 (A-1 and A-6).
Staff Writer Shawn Boburg calls the park-and-ride lot "valuable land," but is there any suggestion that if NJ Transit paid the full rent, the Port Authority would, say, cut tolls on the George Washington Bridge?
And what is the likelihood that NJ Transit might have to raise bus fares, if it has to pay nearly $1 million in rent on the lot every year?
The Record should see the Port Authority's $1-a-year lease as part of its obligation to promote mass transit in New York and New Jersey.
The Garden State is starving for revenue, thanks to Governor Christie's vetoes of a tax surcharge on millionaires and the hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks he's given to businesses, which have created few jobs in return.
But the GOP bully won't say what programs will be cut to realize nearly $700 million in savings from the state's $33 billion budget (A-3).
And another front-page story -- on a contagious disease at the state's trout hatchery -- doesn't explain why New Jersey didn't sell fresh fish to restaurants in all the years the trout weren't decimated by disease (A-1).
During last year's Hackensack City Council campaign, residents told candidates that housing for seniors is sorely needed.
Since they took office on July 1, members of the victorious Citizens for Change slate have ignored those seniors, and promoted the development of hundreds of apartments, despite already crowded schools.
At Tuesday night's meeting, the council voted to sell a 4.3-acre municipal parking lot near Foschini Park to "the highest bidder in a public auction" (L-3).
The city's planning consultant says the property can accommodate 240 to 440 units in two buildings.