Friday, July 17, 2015

Media, voters to blame for re-election of Garrett, Christie

On Tuesday, I passed on using this temporary locker at 24 Hour Fitness in Paramus, where I've also found the exercise equipment isn't always in prime condition.


When is the last time you saw a story in The Record on Rep. Scott Garrett, the Tea Party idol who seems to do nothing more than raise campaign money?

Today, the five-term Wantage Republican, who represents much of Bergen County, is being criticized for not donating money to a House GOP campaign committee, reportedly because it has recruited and supported gay candidates (A-1).

Washington Correspondent Herb Jackson usually writes a flurry of stories every two years or so, when Garrett runs for yet another term, praising the arch conservative's fund-raising ability.

Last year, Jackson even forgot to remind readers that Garrett initially opposed federal aid to victims of Superstorm Sandy.

Can you blame voters for staying home when The Record and other media continually focus on the size of Garrett's war chest and how invincible that makes him?

Similarly, The Record's flattering coverage of Governor Christie's first term -- and his ability to veto every major Democratic initiative in the state Legislature -- helped generate so much voter apathy, the turnout in November 2013 was the lowest for any gubernatorial election in state history.

Christie's role?

Another front-page story today doesn't address whether Christie's poor environmental record has anything to do with the state dramatically shrinking the danger zone of a DuPont-contaminated site under homes in Pompton Lakes (A-1).

In fact, the story notes the state Department of Environmental Protection mapped out the much larger polluted area in 2008, before Christie took office.

A state study in 2009 found higher-than-normal levels of kidney cancer in women and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in men who live above the toxic plume, The Record says (A-8).

Can paint stop trucks?

Road Warrior John Cichowski never explains how re-striping and repaving Route 17 will stop a speeding, out of control tractor-trailer, like the one that killed Waldwick Patroman Chris Goodell a year ago (A-1 and L-1).

So much for improving the "safety" of a highway that has homes built "nearly to the shoulder."

Maybe, the solution is in far greater enforcement by Waldwick and five other police departments along the highway.

Now, one sergeant only chased down an SUV that passed his cruiser at 79 mph -- 24 mph over the 55- mph speed limit -- according to the reporter (L-1).

Of course, that would take money "at a time when funding is short," Cichowski says.

When isn't funding short in an inefficient home-rule town like Waldwick, which was so desperate for ratables officials allowed the construction of homes on the edge of a dangerous highway?

Change the critic

Elisa Ung's 3-star review of Gianna's in Carlstadt is sort of a back-handed compliment (BL-14).

The 16-year-old restaurant offers oversized, delicious portions of traditional Italian-American food, the critic notes, but not "change or innovation."

After reading how much she and her friends liked the five desserts they sampled, one "change or innovation" I'd like to see is Ung's replacement by a critic who emphasizes healthier fare for the large majority of readers who are watching their weight and cholesterol.

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