Thursday, April 9, 2015

Christie's 'reform' of entitlements is bad news for you, me

Hackensack police are citing an exemption in the Open Public Records Act in denying Eye on The Record a video statement from Detective Sgt. John C. Straniero of the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office on March 10, the day after his unmarked car struck and fatally injured Hue D. Dang, 64, of Hackensack. He was not charged. The exemption cites an active investigation of the fatality by the Union County Prosecutor's Office.


Even a story reporting Governor Christie plans "to reform Social Security, Medicare and other benefits" sends shivers down the spines of anyone approaching retirement age.

Christie and other conservative Republicans love to throw around the word "reform" to mask their mean-spirited raid of public benefit programs and entitlements, as shown by today's Page 1 story in The Record (A-1).

And gullible reporters like Herb Jackson, the paper's so-called Washington correspondent, have swallowed whole all the broken promises that word represents.

Rare story

Today's front page also carries a rare story on seniors suffering from Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia -- a follow-up to a murder-suicide in which a 100-year-old Elmwood Park man killed his 88-year-old wife before committing suicide (A-1).

"The risk of dementia increases dramatically with age -- more than 5 million Americans age 65 and older have Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia among older people," Staff Writer Mary Jo Layton says.

Of course, the Woodland Park daily has long ignored the problem, and I can't recall a single story on day care for seniors with dementia, even though some of the programs started more than a decade ago.

A perfect candidate for such a day care program is Staff Writer John Cichowski, also known as the Road Warrior, whose chronic errors can only be explained by some form of dementia coupled with a total breakdown in traditional fact checking.

Bottom feeding

A story on the first Business page reports a Walmart with a 24-hour supermarket is opening in two weeks in a new shopping center in Teterboro (L-8).

Consumer Report's May 2015 cover article, "The Best Supermarkets in America," ranks Walmart next to last on its list of 68 chains.

The magazine rated markets nationwide based on 62,197 responses to a survey on the quality of produce, meats and poultry, and bakery goods, as well as store-prepared food, staff courtesy and store cleanliness.

"And what of Walmart, consistently one of our lowest-ranking grocers dating back to 2005? This year, the nation's largest grocer ... earned low marks in every category other than price," according to Consumer Reports.

But you can be sure The Record will publish one glowing story after another about Walmart in return for tens of thousands of dollars in sorely needed advertising revenue.


  1. Mr. Sasson, when you request information from police, prosecutors or government using OPRA, what steps do you take to request this information? Do you fill out a specific form? Can anyone request this information? Can you please explain in detail? Thank You.

    1. I went to the Hackensack City Clerk's Office, filled out an Open Public Records Act request form and waited 7 days for the response from the Police Department.

      I just started doing these requests. Yes. Anyone can request information from a municipal or state agency. There are no fees involved.


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