Friday, May 9, 2014

How is business in wealthy Englewood? Don't ask

Signs of wealth in downtown Englewood, such as the greatly expanded Mercedes-Benz dealership, co-exit with the shells of failed businesses, including family owned Mitchell Simon Co., an upscale hardware store that sold outdoor furniture, fireplaces and many other items.

Two of three empty storefronts on a short stretch of Palisade Avenue in Englewood, a classic two-sides-of-the-tracks town. They have been empty for many months.


The Record today reports Englewood officials have approved a 2014 budget that will raise municipal taxes for the first time in four years (Local front).

The second paragraph of the story hints at the wealth of the city, noting the average home is assessed at $458,000 -- this in a community with a large number of modest houses and working-class residents.

But The Record's superficial coverage of Englewood ignores a persistent problem, a downtown that continues to struggle, as any visitor can see immediately.

There are signs of new life along Palisade Avenue, but empty storefronts predominate, and some of them have been empty for months or more than a year.

The Woodland Park daily prefers to lavish coverage on highway and mall retailers, some of the paper's biggest advertisers, and ignore Englewood and other downtowns.

The street in front of Englewood City Hall is informally called Dizzy's Place. Jazz trumpet great Dizzy Gillespie lived on the city's East Hill for many years and died at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center.

Today's front page

Whose idea was it to lead the paper with new rules for "oil trains" and "confusion over state housing guidelines"?

How tedious. 

Buried at the bottom of Page 1 today is the outrageous $7.5 million Super Bowl sales tax rebate Governor Christie gave to the wealthy National Football League (A-1).

The Record relentlessly hyped the Super Bowl, starting about two years before the February game, thanks to Staff Writer John Brennan, one of the dim bulbs who came over to news from the sports staff.

More poor editing

In a story about inmates taking part in a state program that allows them to pursue college degrees (A-3), a typo makes one woman sound uneducated:

"I am no long stifling my potential," said Amarilis Rodriguez.

In today's edition of the Hackensack Chronicle, a story on a transformed city Police Department notes old uniforms worn by officers included "open collar shorts," a typo that appears twice (Page 3).

High wine prices

Ordering wine by the glass in most restaurants is a rip-off, and Aldo's in Wyckoff is no exception, selling whites and reds for 96 cents to about $10 per ounce (BL-16).

At least, the restaurant/wine bar allows you to bring your own, if you sit in the dining room.

Restaurant Reviewer Elisa Ung says eating and drinking "options can get confusing." 

But her data box today says nothing about the "value" of the food, including a $35.95 veal chop that may not be naturally raised and $31.95 for orange roughy, presumably a fillet from the relatively large, deep-sea fish.

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