Friday, August 14, 2015

Death of Mahwah DPW chief may be related to his obesity

You don't find bike lanes or room for joggers and walkers in many Bergen County towns with narrow, antiquated street systems. These digital signs were set up Wednesday on two-lane Sussex Road in Teaneck, above and below.


Anyone who saw the March 21 photo of an obese Ed Sinclair in The Record's Local section isn't surprised Mahwah's public works chief died unexpectedly on Thursday at 57.

And readers weary of the lazy, incompetent local assignment editors also aren't surprised the cause of death -- "a massive heart attack" -- is being reported today by Cliffview, not the Woodland Park daily.

In effect, Sinclair dropped dead.

See: 'Our hearts go out to family'

Obesity news

Sinclair, who was fired by the mayor and reinstated by the Township Council, got a lot of coverage in The Record, but not the kind that may have helped him with his health problems.

Even as some of The Record's own editors struggled with obesity, coverage of the epidemic has been sporadic and routine.

And the paper's chief food writer, restaurant critic Elisa Ung, gets paid to explore her own obsession with artery clogging desserts, and other unhealthy food -- just the kind that can lead to a heart attack.

Ken Zisa

One thing is clear from today's Page 1 follow-up on former Hackensack Police Chief Ken Zisa's claim to the top job in the city's Police Department (A-1).

Zisa, part of a family dynasty that ruled the city for decades and ran it into the ground, will be spending a lot of time in civil and criminal courts, and racking up tens of thousands of dollars in additional legal fees.

No matter what happens to Zisa, who faces a second trial on an official misconduct charge, lawyers always win. LOL.

But Hackensack readers are angry The Record continues to allow Zisa to dismiss all of the lawsuits filed against him by police officers as "baseless" (A-6).

By one estimate, the suits cost the city $13 million to fight and settle.

Among other allegations, they cited retaliation against officers who exercised their First Amendment rights, "that Zisa used his office for financial and political gain, and [asked] city cops to back his candidacy in legislative races and other candidates in public and union offices" (A-6).

Weak journalism

Road Warrior John Cichowski, already the laughing stock of younger newsroom staffers, has another weak column today on all of the utility work in Hackensack, Maywood and other towns (L-1).

The detours aren't much of a problem for any driver with a navigation system in their car or on their smart phones.

The real problem is the sad condition of many streets and roadways after they are dug up and crudely patched by PSEG's $1.2 billion "Energy Strong" project.

Call this latest Cichowski column "Journalism Weak."

County steal

Hackensack readers and taxpayers likely will be upset by the upbeat story on the Local front, describing a campaign by Bergen Executive James Tedesco to "brand" county government (L-1).

The county will spend tens of thousands of dollars to put the county seal on uniforms, cars, letterheads and Web sites, Tedesco says.

Gee. Wouldn't it be nice if the tax-exempt county government did more to help out the city it calls home with programs and other in-kind contributions?

The same could be said for two other tax-exempt entities that use city services: Hackensack University Medical Center and Fairleigh Dickinson University.

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