By VICTOR E. SASSON
The Record's local news editors have finally broken their weeks-long silence on Hackensack with momentous news of another crisis.
Staff Writer Todd South reports that city officials have responded firmly to an expected record flow of sewage from more than 1,000 downtown apartments that are under construction or planned (L-3 on Wednesday).
Flushing might reach a crescendo in coming years, but the city is more than doubling the one-time sewer connection fee on new construction to help pay for renewal of century old sewer pipes and continue separation "of the city's combined sanitary sewer and storm-water system."
South writes this story completely from the viewpoint of developers, and doesn't even raise the probability they will pass along the hike (to $2,500 per unit from $1,000) simply by raising rents.
The story also contains a major error, a photo of the 222-unit Meridia-Metro building at 94 State St. with a caption that doesn't make clear the project will be exempted from the higher fee because it is nearing completion, as the story says.
The Local section today doesn't have a follow-up to Wednesday's L-1 story on a 64-year-old Hackensack woman who was killed by a car driven by John Straniero, an off-duty detective sergeant with the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office.
The story, by Staff Writer Stefanie Dazio, doesn't say whether there is a crosswalk on Kennedy Street, near Jackson Avenue, where pedestrian Hue Dang was struck by the unmarked car, which was turning, and whether she was in it.
It's likely the reporter did the story by telephone on instructions from her lazy editors, Deirde Sykes and Dan Sforza, who don't grasp the value of traditional legwork.
They have shown contempt for pedestrians who were struck and injured or killed in recent years, and still haven't reported whether New Jersey will follow New York City in filing criminal charges against drivers who strike pedestrians in crosswalks.
The Record site
But Local today does carry a story on redevelopment of the 19.7-acres on River Street that North Jersey Media Group abandoned in 2009, moving the headquarters of The Record and the publishing company to an office building in Woodland Park (L-3).
NJMG President Stephen A. Borg called the city's designation of the parcel as "an area in need of redevelopment" a "vote of confidence ... supporting what we want to be a great development for Hackensack."
Neither Borg nor city officials mention the land is in a notorious flood zone.
And Borg doesn't pledge that any luxury apartment developer will be required to provide gondola shuttles to the bus station and Main Street stores that suffered after NJMG pulled hundreds of employees out of the city where it had prospered for more than 110 years.
One thing is for sure: Development of the old The Record site will generate even more sewage than flowed out of the Hackensack newsroom on a regular basis.
Let's hope the city's infrastructure is ready to handle it.