Sunday, May 4, 2014

In today's thin Sunday paper, more cockeyed columns

If you have an off-road vehicle, race over to Berry Street, a single block between Prospect and Summit avenues in Hackensack, where the potholes stretch along nearly half of its length, above and below.


One definition of "news" is a report about something that has happened.

But Page 1 of The Record today is remarkable for stories that speculate or try to predict the future.

Surely, Staff Writer Scott Fallon could have led the paper with a story about the environment that didn't try to panic readers in a dozen towns over the potential derailment and explosion of trains carrying "millions of gallons of highly combustible crude oil" (A-1).

More stonewalling?

Cristina Renna will probably take the Fifth when she appears before the state legislative panel investigating the George Washington Bridge lane closures, just like other Governor Christie insiders (A-1).

Doesn't Charles Stile have anything better to write about? This isn't a news column; it's a short story.

Forced busing

On the Local front, Road Warrior John Cichowski has finally emerged from a fog to report on the long lines of commuters waiting for buses every weekday afternoon at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan (L-1).

The crowding had been evident for about two years, but you can tell from his rambling column he has never taken an NJ Transit bus to or from the city, and has no idea what he is talking about.

This piece on major delays appears months after angry commuters wrote letters to The Record's editor, asking for relief. 

He commits one major error -- Christie killed the construction of two rail tunnels into the city, not one, as he reports on L-3 -- so you have to wonder what else is incorrect in his long, winding column.

More space to park buses in Manhattan would be great, but a reverse bus lane into the Lincoln Tunnel during the afternoon rush hour would provide an immediate solution to the delays caused by the need to return empty buses to the city.

The Port Authority, which operates the tunnel and bus terminal, has refused to add a second express bus lane in the morning to boost capacity, and would probably oppose one in the afternoon.

Any expansion of the bus lane would deprive the bi-state agency of toll revenue from drivers.

Break it up

A permanent solution would certainly follow breaking up the behemoth agency into one unit that operates public transit -- including an expanded PATH rail system -- and another that handles toll operations.

In the entire eight-page Business section, there is only one story carrying the byline of a reporter working for the Woodland Park daily.


  1. Victor,
    I think this was another excellent post.
    Can't tell what pothole pics have to do with the paper though.
    The Road Warrior should do something.
    Or maybe the Hackensack reporter.
    Reporters aren't on the streets like they used to be.

    Plus, the Road Warrior column hasn't been the same.
    Anyone would look lame following Jeff Page.
    I don't know if anyone's ever been able to fill his shoes since he left.
    Did you see him at any of the going away parties?

    Funny that he doesn't get to write the food column anymore.
    Or at least I haven't noticed it.
    Really had a folksy approach, that guy.

    So anyway, thanks again for your blog.
    EXcellent work as always.

    1. I live in Hackensack, and ran for City Council last year, so post photos on issues that affect me and other residents.

      Page's restaurant column was ended by the editors. Long story, but basically it had little value to readers who we're looking for inexpensive dining out.

  2. How come you don't allow comments on your other blog?

    Also why didn't your help that pedestrian who was hurt?

    1. I do allow comments on "Do You Really Know What You're Eating?" despite morons like you. I'll check the settings.

      The pedestrian wasn't hurt; he was helping the injured cyclist; can't you read?

      And how could I have helped? I have no medical training.

    2. To comment on my food blog, you have to create a Google+ profile. I am not sure why you find that a problem.

    3. Now, I have disabled Google+ comments on the food blog and anyone, including you, can comment anonymously. But keep in mind that if you attack me, your inane comment won't ever appear.

    4. Some jerks ruin it for everyone.
      Anyone who has a blog should be able to censor for attacks.
      So much hard work goes into what you do.
      So you should be able to block whatever you want.
      Only someone who doesn't work at a newspaper would attack you.
      Nobody understands freedom of speech.

      When did you leave the paper, Victor?
      Assume you were one of the layoffs in Hackensack.
      Seems like you weren't there when the office moved.

      Finally glad to see a blog that goes after transportation.
      I can't believe how long it takes to get into the city.
      Remember when it used to be easy just to hop on a bus.
      Everyone could do that and it wouldn't help now because of the lanes.
      Do you really see change in the future?

    5. Thanks. I was fired in May 2008, several months after I filed an age-discrimination suit against the paper.

      The traffic congestion and crowding on mass transit is unprecedented, and I don't see much hope that will change any time soon. Meanwhile, speeding and aggressive driving have reached epidemic proportions, and there is little enforcement.

      Two to 300 state troopers have left in recent years, and Christie never replaced them, according to a trooper I spoke to last July.


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