|A TIGHT SQUEEZE: Hackensack Fire Department's Engine 5 taking the sun this week outside a Main Street firehouse that would be at home in New Mexico.|
By VICTOR E. SASSON
The Borg family's North Jersey Media Group isn't a big fan of unions, which never succeeded in organizing pressmen, truckers or any other employees at The Record, its flagship.
This anti-labor sentiment is evident in news and business stories dealing with union contracts and negotiations, and today, readers suspect it has something to do with the placement of an obituary.
We have to wade through all manner of crap on Page 1 and the Local front before seeing the story -- deep in the Local section -- on longtime labor leader Ray Bramucci, 80, a Pompton Plains resident who served President Clinton, former Gov. Jim Florio and onetime U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley (L-6).
In fact, there is so little legitimate news in the paper today the desperate editors are running three gee-whiz crash photos of a small plane in a field and cars into storefronts (A-1, L-1 and L-3).
On the front page, Editor Martin Gottlieb runs two sports or sports-related columns and a news stories, including a stale report on a "spring" crime spree.
Also on A-1, Gottlieb is running another major story on a woman who won't accept a hospital's declaration that her son, Michael "Mikey" LaVecchia, is brain dead.
However, this time, the editors don't repeat the preposterous claim that this case has triggered a "debate" on when life has ended, as they did in a Page 1 story on Aug. 20.
'Nation of bigots'
In a letter to the editor today, Johnnie Najarian of River Edge makes a veiled reference to Governor Christie's controversial proposal to use FedEx package technology to track immigrants who overstay their visas (A-16).
"We even have a statue in New York Harbor that reaches out to the world and says, 'Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free'?
"We are free, aren't we? Or have become a nation of bigots, wall builders and trackers?"
To answer her question, the despicable Christie, Donald Trump and other prominent Republican presidential hopefuls are the "bigots, wall builders and trackers."
Editors Deirdre Sykes and Dan Sforza continue to fill their thin local-news section with court, police, accident and other Law & Order stories (L-1, L-2, L-3, L-5 and L-6).
The duo also are running a long story on a special City Council election in Clifton (L-6), even though they have yet to publish a single word about the candidates in a special Nov. 3 election for a seat on the Hackensack City Council.
See L-8 today for a rare reference to "acting Governor Guadagno."
Just when we thought governance was at a standstill while Christie spends more than half the year out of state in his doomed bid for the White House.
Here's an eye-opener from restaurant critic Elisa Ung in her appraisals today of two casual spots, Mood 'wiches in Fort Lee and Food Evolution in Montvale:
"Organic vegetables, grass-fed beef, antibiotic-free chicken and eggs: sounds like the ingredients of a fine-dining restaurant (BL-14)."
If that's the case, why doesn't Ung review more fine-dining restaurants that serve organic beef and other food, putting patrons' health above profits, as the Fort Lee and Montvale spots do?
And why does she consistently give top ratings to steakhouses and other fine-dining restaurants that charge high prices for additive-filled beef and other low-quality ingredients?
Finally, the dessert-obsessed reviewer's 2-star ratings of Mood 'wiches and Food Evolution are puzzling.
Isn't healthy, nutritious food "worth the drive from anywhere in North Jersey" and the top 3-star rating?