Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Columnists make fools of themselves on Page 1

Before and after a crew patched potholes at Euclid and Prospect avenues in Hackensack, above and below. The private contractor spent the entire day Monday repairing only two blocks of Prospect between Ross Avenue and Clinton Place.
The severely pockmarked pavement along the blocks of Prospect Avenue lined by high-rises wasn't touched on Monday.

Editor's note: In 2018, four years after this was written, Columnists John Cichowski and Bill Ervolino still are boring readers to tears while so many talented reporters were laid off by the Gannett Co.


I'd be surprised if more than a few dozen commuters from Bergen and Passaic counties drive past the Lincoln Tunnel and use the Holland Tunnel to enter one of the world's most-congested cities.

But here is Staff Writer John Cichowski of The Record, also known as the demented Road Warrior, wasting his and readers' time with a Page 1 column today on the Pulaski Skyway, the elevated roadway that reaches a choke-point at the old, two-lane tube to Manhattan.

The drop headline on A-1 asks if the gasoline tax is the best way to fund future road repairs and mass-transit improvements.

But Cichowski's dementia took hold, and readers who stick with this column to the bitter end on A-6 never find the answer.

Commuters in Bergen and Passaic counties would much rather see more stories and columns on whether any improvements are planned at the congested Port Authority Bus Terminal, where bus riders encounter long lines and the lack of such basic comforts as benches.

Or, whether any widening projects are planned for such antiquated roads as Passaic Street in Rochelle Park, Maywood and Hackensack, a major thoroughfare that is often backed up behind turning vehicles.

Ruining Rooney

The other fool on Page 1 today is Columnist Bill Ervolino, who can't help reminding readers he once interviewed actor Mickey Rooney, 93, who died on Sunday after a show-business career of nearly nine decades (A-1).

Ervolino reaches back 21 years, and makes a "short joke" at Rooney's expense, noting the actor was seated on a couch, but that his "sneakers" only occasionally touched "the ground" (the carpet in the actor's hotel room). 

Who gives a shit that the unfunniest man at The Record once interviewed Rooney?

Meanwhile, does anyone understand the densely written story on Verizon's high-speed internet service or what is at stake for consumers from the first few long paragraphs on the front page today (A-1)?

More accident news

Two traffic accidents, one of them fatal, dominate the front of Local today as Deputy Assignment Editor Dan Sforza seems to be relying more and more on crash coverage to fill out his thin local report (L-1).

The stories don't answer readers' questions on the cause of the accidents, even though the fatal crash occurred more than three days ago.

The reporter who went to the funeral home for the wake of Nick Romano, 17, couldn't reach the Wayne Police Department's Traffic Bureau on Monday (L-1), and the investigating prosecutor apparently wouldn't talk to her.

The second accident involved a tanker truck that flipped on Monday at 3 in the morning on Route 287 near Mahwah, injuring the driver, who wasn't identified (L-1).

The photo caption notes 2,000 gallons of milk spilled from the tanker, but doesn't say whether 12 ounces of coffee would have prevented the accident.

More highway related news appears on L-2, where a photo shows a brush fire on Route 17, near Route 80, in Lodi. Gee whiz.

A story and photo reports Paterson is having financial problems from the extra cost of removing snow and patching potholes, but where is the story about Hackensack and other Bergen communities who are in the same boat (L-3)?

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