Sunday, September 6, 2015

Editor, columnists ignore readers' everyday concerns

A new building is going up on Main Street and Gould Avenue in Paterson's South Paterson neighborhood, above and below. Middle Eastern restaurants, bakeries and other food stores draw people to the busy shopping district from North Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and other areas.


A mattress chain's Labor Day ad wrapped around Page 1 of The Record today isn't the only visual that may prompt readers to go back to bed.

Editor Martin Gottlieb fills the front page of the Sunday edition with three boring elements that are far removed from the everyday worries and concerns of readers (A-1).

What would you expect from a onetime editor at The New York Times who lives in Manhattan, and who last worked in Bergen County more than 40 years ago as a cub reporter for the paper he now runs so cluelessly?

We don't care

Readers don't really care about the process of raising a billion dollars for the American Dream mall, but they do cringe as they drive past and wonder why the ugliest exterior in the metropolitan area hasn't been repainted yet (A-1).

And look at all the space wasted again today on the Rutgers football team and coach (A-1).

Finally, yet another Charles Stile column is based on a false premise -- that Governor Christie carved out "his identity as a new breed of Republican ... who valued bipartisan compromise over ideology" (third paragraph on A-1).

Months ago, The Record finally reported the GOP bully was no compromiser; he had executed more than 350 vetoes to get his way since he took office in early 2010.

Local news?

Road Warrior John Cichowski also is wasting readers' time with a story on the end of heavy ticketing of landscape trucks (L-1).

On the Opinion front, readers are puzzled by a Mike Kelly column that revisits and rehashes last year's "locker room hazing sessions" in far-off Sayerville (O-1).

And while many readers struggle with a broken tipping system and wonder why restaurants don't serve more organic food, Sunday Columnist Elisa Ung goes on and on about Montclair restaurants that allowed customers to pay what they wanted during August (BL-1).

All three columns can be summed up in two words -- "boring" and "irrelevant" to life in Bergen and Passaic counties.

Hackensack news

The Hackensack news drought finally ended on Saturday with an L-3 story on four candidates seeking an open City Council seat in a special Nov. 3 election.

The story by Staff Writer Todd South is deeply flawed in not reporting the sharp partisan divide created when a reform council took over in mid-2013.

Since then, Board of Education President Jason Nunnermacker, board Attorney Richard Salkin and other Democratic allies of the Zisa family political dynasty have attacked the mostly Republican council at every opportunity.

Nunnermacker, one of the Zisa-backed candidates who lost in 2013, is making a second attempt at winning a seat on the governing body.

The story also failed to report that council candidate Richard L. Cerbo, son of a former mayor, wants Bergen County, Hackensack University Medical Center and Fairleigh Dickinson University to give back to the city in lieu of the property taxes they don't pay.

The impact of those tax-exempt entities on the increasingly higher taxes paid by homeowners, businesses and other property owners is a central concern of Hackensack residents.

But The Record's lazy, incompetent local editors, Deirdre Sykes and Dan Sforza, have completely ignored the issue.

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