Saturday, March 14, 2015

Publisher backs use of accident photos to fill gaps in news

Pat Kinney, a freelancer who wrote the Neighbors from Japan column that appeared in The Record, is offering her services as an English teacher. This notice is on a bulletin board at Mitsuwa Marketplace, the Japanese supermarket and food court in Edgewater.


The Record's lazy local-news editors continue to fill gaps in coverage with non-fatal accidents and other minor incidents on North Jersey's highways and byways.

Today, none other than Publisher Stephen A. Borg contributed a photo of a humdrum van fire on Route 80 east on Friday afternoon, and earned a credit line: "STEPHEN A. BORG/STAFF" (L-3).

Of course, the big news on Routes 80 east, 46 east and 4 east on Friday afternoon was massive traffic congestion approaching the George Washington Bridge, partly due to the lack of mass-transit alternatives.

In fact, the lead story in today's Local section reports Democratic lawmakers are urging the $1 billion extension of NJ Transit's electrified light-rail system to downtown Englewood and Englewood Hospital and Medical Center (L-1).

Federal officials quoted in the story estimate that every $1 billion spent on infrastructure creates 35,000 jobs.

But non-polluting light rail also takes cars off the road, a benefit lost on Tenafly officials who opposed extending the service to their town.

The Record ran stories quoting borough officials who demonized light rail, and never published an editorial criticizing those officials for their opposition.

At least when it comes to mass transit, Borg, who lives in a Tenafly McMansion, is following in the footsteps of his father, Chairman Malcolm A. "Mac" Borg of Englewood, in not bothering to be a force for positive change in his community. 

Living v. dead

We get it. It's a miracle that two young women survived on Feb. 13, when their Toyota RAV4 left a Route 80 bridge over the Hackensack River and fell 60 feet, landing on a tree (A-1).

But why is their reunion with the firefighters who rescued them on the front page today? 

On Wednesday, a story reported that on Monday, a 64-year-old pedestrian was fatally injured by a car turning onto Kennedy Street in Hackensack, near Route 80, and except for her name and age, The Record didn't bother finding out anything about her.

Did Hue Dang live in the neighborhood? Was she a mother and grandmother? Was she treated like chopped liver because she was a senior?

Is her family planning to sue the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office and John Straniero of Wayne, the detective sergeant behind the wheel of the unmarked Ford Crown Victoria that struck her?

Sewage v. taxes

Whose decision was it to run a story on higher sewer-connection fees for Hackensack developers on Thursday?

That was a day before belatedly informing residents a budget the City Council introduced on Tuesday night would hike property taxes by $115 for the average homeowner (Friday's L-2).

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