Friday, March 21, 2014

Silk City's black mayor exposes editors' bias

Today's edition of the weekly Hackensack Chronicle lists seven "dilapidated streets" that will be paved soon, but Prospect Avenue, above, and Euclid Avenue, between Prospect and Summit avenues, aren't among them.


The Record has had a lot to say about Paterson Mayor Jeffery Jones in news stories and editorials, such as the February report that he will return $17,300 he received for unused vacation days in 2011 and 2012.

But I can't recall the Woodland Park daily every reporting Jones' views on the "causes of inner-city poverty," as the mayor stated in a letter to conservative Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, a potential GOP presidential nominee (L-1).

"Come to Paterson, Congressman Ryan, and I will take you around the streets of one of the poorest cities in New Jersey, and you can meet the families of people who work two and sometimes three jobs to put food on the table and clothes on their children," Jones wrote in his Tuesday letter.

Editors' blind eyes

But there is more in the letter the editors and reporters at The Record seem reluctant to touch, while focusing relentlessly on crime, fires, drug dealing and problems at City Hall:

"Impoverished neighborhoods are not the result of lazy black men, " Jones wrote, "but rather the result of 400 years of slavery, Jim Crow Laws, housing policies and redlining which resulted in the confinement of whole races of people in substandard areas with substandard educational and employment opportunities."

The letter could just as well be addressed to Governor Christie, who has cut the state budget on the backs on the middle and working classes in New Jersey.

Christie also cut state aid to Paterson, Newark and other poor cities, forcing  layoffs of police officers and aggravating crime.

Worst slumlords?

You've read story after story about fires in Paterson's ramshackle multiple dwellings, but where are the reports identifying the city's most notorious slumlords?

Has the paper ever done any serious reporting on redlining by banks in Paterson, Passaic city or North Jersey's wealthy suburbs?

To deliver The Record and Herald News, I imagine North Jersey Media Group exploits some of those people who have to work two or three low-wage jobs to make ends meet.

If Ryan accepts Jones' invitation to come to Paterson, we can only hope The Record's clueless publisher and editors accompany him.

Hey, Editor Marty Gottlieb, you're not in Paris anymore.

More Christie B.S.

Today's paper gives another platform to loud-mouth Christie, the GOP bully whose inner circle carried out political retribution against Democrats who didn't support his reelection last year (A-1 and A-8).

At a town hall meeting in Flemington on Thursday, in answer to a man in the audience, Christie refused to say whether then-Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly broke the law when she and his Port Authority cronies orchestrated George Washington Bridge lane closures last September, causing four days of gridlock in Fort Lee (A-1).

This is news?

The Page 1 story on Bergen County having the highest average property tax bills in the state tells residents nothing they don't already know (A-1).

Shouldn't the paper remind readers that Christie promised to lower property taxes in his 2009 campaign, not praise him for slowing increases?

Hackensack news

Hackensack officials deserve credit for capping unused sick-day payouts at $15,000 on retirement (L-3), but don't residents deserve an explanation for why the city can't afford to repair pockmarked Prospect Avenue, one of the city's premier streets.

Staff Writer Hannan Adely covers City Council meetings, and I'd like to see more stories reporting the fiscal mismanagement of prior administrations allied with the now-deposed Zisa family.

At Tuesday night's meeting, a sweetheart deal the prior City Council made with a towing business was discussed, and Mayor John Labrosse told a resident evictions proceedings are under way.  

A story on the retirement of Teaneck Police Chief Robert Wilson doesn't say how much he is paid (L-2).

Is he one of the chiefs who is making more than Christie's $175,000 a year?

Stars in her eyes

Restaurant Reviewer Elisa Ung swoons over the lobster-and-fried-egg sandwich ($14) at Cravings Tapas Bistro in Ridgewood, but says the seafood in the $19 paella "was served a little stiff" (BL-14)

Does she mean overcooked or rigor mortis?

A pitcher of sangria was $26? Ouch.

Anyway, who wants to line up and wait for a table, even with a reservation?

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