Sunday, July 19, 2015

Editors go from mindless P.R. to calling Christie 'long shot'

Only one side of the Route 46 bridge in Little Ferry has been rebuilt, including a new sidewalk and  guardrail to protect pedestrians, above. And the accident-plagued former Little Ferry Circle still has the look of a construction zone, below. The work began in June 2014.


If you thought Saturday's front page was boring, Page 1 of the Sunday edition delivers a tedious retrospective on home foreclosures and an "Analysis" on spending at public colleges.

Even today's bright headline and story on lawyers who wear bow ties can't lift Editor Martin Gottlieb's front page out of the doldrums.

I would have liked to see Stephanie Akin's story at least mention the exorbitantly high legal fees that allow bow-tied lawyers to exhibit such sartorial splendor (A-1).

GOP clowns

And why did Gottlieb lead with that clown, Donald Trump, questioning the war heroism of Arizona Sen. John McCain (A-1), and not Governor Christie's defense?

Then, the real "news" in today's paper would have been on Page 1, not on A-8, a declaration by The Record that Christie's presidential campaign "is viewed by many as a long shot."

That's fortified by an Opinion column (O-2) noting Christie is a "third-tier GOP presidential candidate who was tied with Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal and Rick Santorum, each of whom netted 2 percent in a nationwide survey of GOP voters ...."

Next step

Of course, The Record's editorial board needs to really put an end to more than five years of shameless public relations for the GOP bully from Columnist Charles Stile, Staff Writer Melissa Hayes and others.

The Woodland Park daily must call on Christie to give up his so-called campaign and try to repair all the damage he has done in New Jersey since he took office in early 2010.

Local hero?

The editors of Page 1 and the Local front don't seem to talk to each other.

On the front page, Trump slams McCain, but L-1 is dominated by a parade for another prisoner of war, Vito Trause of Washington Township, celebrating his 90th birthday.

Neither story refers to the other, as is common newspaper practice.


Today's column from the dessert-obsessed Elisa Ung may be her first acknowledgement in more than eight years of food reporting at The Record that many people have dietary restrictions that prevent them from eating anything and everything under the sun, as she does (BL-1).

But she interviews only chefs who are diabetic or have celiac disease.

Surely, she must know -- or doesn't want to know -- that many thousands of her readers are following a heart-healthy diet or, unlike her, just watching their weight and cholesterol.

Good, bad work

Staff Writer Richard Newman, whose byline is on the Page 1 foreclosure story, did a great job on the profile of Capt. Mike Bowers, United Airlines' chief pilot at Newark Liberty International Airport (B-1).

But the upbeat Real Estate front on a developer who is converting a Paterson ribbon mill into apartments (R-1) clashes with The Record's usual portrayal of Silk City -- gun violence, drug dealers and corrupt politicians.

The story by veteran Staff Writer Kathleen Lynn doesn't even answer such typical questions as how close tenants are to food shopping and other businesses, and how does a Paterson landlord justify renting a one-bedroom apartment with a loft for $1,200 a month?

Second look

We may pay some of the highest municipal and county taxes in the nation, but town and Bergen County officials continue to disappoint residents when it comes to repaving streets.

For the last couple of years, utility work has torn up streets from Hackensack to Hackettstown, and most of them remain roughly patched and bumpy going for anything smaller than a Sherman Tank.

Except for an annual column or two on potholes, Road Warrior John Cichowski ignores the abysmal condition of streets, some of which haven't been paved in decades.

In fact, when Oradell officials approved the milling and paving of five streets, the story landed on the Local news front on Saturday.

Staff Writer Nicholas Pugliese reported the borough's capital budget of more than $1 million included "aggressive spending on road improvements."

In Hackensack, officials have announced the repaving of two major streets, Grand and Prospect avenues, but the latter project won't provide smoother going for residents who live on several blocks between Passaic Street and Ross Avenue.

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