|This afternoon, bus riders had to climb over uncleared snow at the busy stop on Anderson Street, between Main and River streets, in Hackensack. In Teaneck, bus stops on Cedar Lane had been cleared.|
By VICTOR E. SASSON
Readers have exposed Staff Writer John Cichowski as a sloppy journalist who has no business writing the Road Warrior column for The Record.
When Cichowski misrepresents a study or errs in citing state police fatal accident statistics, readers usually have no way of knowing unless they do independent research.
But on Jan. 25, The Record's print edition and North Jersey.com published a photo of a Route 4 bridge in Teaneck readers could compare to the reporter's claim:
The photo by Bob Leafe of Hackensack, Cichowski wrote, "depicts what appears to be a vertical gash that extends along one of the giant pillars holding up part of the span that carries more than 100,000 vehicles each day."
Here is a link to the photo on North Jersey.com, which shows more of the pillar than the one in the print edition. Clearly, there is no "gash" in the supporting column or even any blemish:
Columnist panics, tries to scare readers
On the Sunday morning Cichowski's column went online, reader John Wood of Rutgers University commented:
The only vertical "gash" I can see in the photo actually appears to be a joint between two adjacent girders which are supported on the same foundation pier.
Thomas B. Olsen, a union electrician, also called out Cichowski:
Exactly! John, you should be a little more responsible before you publish a picture of an expansion joint as a "gash."
Reader Michael Keen was more expansive:
Here, a reader photo is presented as "evidence" of a safety hazard which, in fact, doesn't exist. The "gash" is the space between two separate girders. It's part of the design and has been there since the bridge was built in 1934. The reader [photographer Bob Leafe] is quoted as saying, "I'm no engineer..." Perhaps the writer should have consulted one before publishing the story and the photo. Journalists may be an observant bunch, but that doesn't make them experts in what they're looking at.
Stephen Tripptree of New Milford, in an apparent reference to six-figure Production Editor Liz Houlton, said:
And who proofreads this stuff before publishing, Ray Charles?
Referring to the column, the anonymous editor of the Facebook page for Road Warrior Bloopers calls Cichowski "incompetent" and "unprofessional."
See the full post by clicking on the following link:
Road Warrior can't build bridge to the truth
The Jan. 25 column appeared after state officials closed or restricted traffic on other bridges. The Record's headline:
But no state official moved to close the Route 4 bridge shown in the Jan. 25 photo nor have the editors bothered to set the record straight on A-2, where corrections and clarifications appear.
Nor has the veteran reporter, who is in his 12th year pretending to be a commuting columnist, written a corrective article as a follow-up.
Israeli Chef Elie Kahlon of Novo in Ridgewood gets a rave review from Staff Writer Elisa Ung, but you have to wonder whether the reporter's obsession with dessert affects her judgement (BL-12):
"The biggest food disappointment I had at the restaurant: an oddly sticky and dense chocolate cake made with almonds ($13)."
She calls the restaurant "expensive, though worth it for the quality of the food."
Still, she never tells you anything about how the food was raised or grown, so what is the "quality" she is referring to?
Then, she warns anyone who doesn't like flavors she describes variously as "bright, tangy" and "tart" to stay away.
I would think that is the restaurant's big draw.