Tuesday, August 11, 2015

When court news, Dean's List stand in for local reporting

Many Hackensack residents wrote large checks -- more than $4,500 for some homeowners -- to meet Monday's deadline for payment of quarterly property taxes. But the lack of coverage in The Record means they would have to attend Board of Education meetings and question officials themselves on why the school budget is so high and exceeds the city's own budget.


On Page 1 of The Record today, the obituary of Ralph Corrado, owner of Rosie's Farmland Diner, is mildly interesting.

But the editors forgot to report that like the diner, the Little Ferry Circle is history. And readers might still be wondering if Ralph was related to the Corrados who own supermarkets in Passaic County.

As for the rest of the front page, Editor Martin Gottlieb's story selection could lull you to sleep like the steady beat of raindrops on my skylight, especially the column on Governor Christie's birth control practices (A-1).

Buried on A-3 today is a story on Christie vetoing 13 bills, including quarterly payments to the troubled state pension system.

And NJ.com reports that as of Monday, Christie had spent nearly 55 percent of the year outside of New Jersey in pursuit of his White House dreams (that's all or part of 121 days).

Local news?

Well, don't turn to the Local section for relief.

Assignment Editors Deirdre Sykes and Dan Sforza are back to their old sleight-of-hand tricks of heavy coverage of criminal court hearings (L-1), and a Dean's List that fills half of a page (L-6).

Other pages carry a total of eight more Law & Order stories, and a photo of a non-fatal two-car collision in Glen Rock.

Although The Record does a fair to middling job of covering the Hackensack City Council, the Woodland Park daily completely ignores the city's school board and increasing education budget, leaving taxpayers twisting in the wind.

In a story on the Port Authority's shuffling of bus gates in midtown Manhattan, the editors forget to tell commuters about several freestanding touch terminals they can use to locate platforms for their New Jersey bound buses (L-1 and L-3).

Healthy recipes

In Monday's Better Living section, three recipes for Jersey Tomatoes were a rare nod to the many readers who are trying to follow a healthy lifestyle (BL-1).

The story carried the byline of Nina Rizzo, a food writer at the Asbury Park Press.

The Record's own writers -- restaurant critic Elisa Ung and Food Editor Esther Davidowitz -- usually sample or promote unhealthy food, including three major articles on the resurrection of Callahan's preservative-laden, deep-fried beef-and-pork hot dogs.

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