Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Slaying suspect's life in Heights shows neglect of elderly

Once again, Center Avenue and Main Street in Fort Lee became a traffic nightmare on Monday -- squeezed down to one lane -- but this time crews weren't tearing up the street, installing pipes or utilities, and crudely patching the surface until the next project. After two or more years of work, Main Street is finally being repaved.

The new surface at Main Street and Anderson Avenue in Fort Lee.


Let's put aside how the lazy, incompetent editors at The Record turned a 3-minute court hearing into the lead story on the Local front today.

John C. Wisse, 83, a homeowner in Hasbrouck Heights, appears to be another old person who has been neglected by the media and government officials (L-1).

According to his neighbor, Wisse didn't have the "assistance of relatives or a home-health aide," and another neighbor brought him meals.

Wisse, the suspect in the slaying of his tenant in a two-family house, "walked hesitantly into the Hackensack courtroom," and didn't even speak, Staff Writer Allison Pries reports.

His not-guilty plea in Superior Court was entered by attorney Robert Galuntucci, but there's no word in the story on whether the lawyer lowered his usually hefty retainer or hourly fee to represent Wisse.

Dissing the elderly

The Record has confined its reporting on the elderly to those dying slowly in nursing homes or the seniors who mistake the gas pedal for the brake pedal, sending their cars into buildings or other people, often with fatal consequence.

Local Assignment Editors Deirdre Sykes and Dan Sforza love it when an elderly man goes off his rocker, grabs a gun and kills one or two other poor schmucks.

That gives the lazy pair an excuse to sensationalize the coverage of such cases, and continue to neglect the hard-hitting municipal reporting readers are looking for.

And Editor Martin Gottlieb, who is in his mid-60s, hasn't shown any concern over the large number of senior citizens suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's disease, and the North Jersey programs for them.

Paterson news

Also in Local today, five major stories on Paterson show that Sykes and Sforza continue to do a better job covering Silk City than Hackensack (L-1 and L-3).

In fact, almost the entire local-news section today is filled with court or police news.

Front page

Readers welcome more local news on Page 1, which Gottlieb often treats like a regional edition of The New York Times, where he once worked (A-1).

But Sykes' and Sforza's local-news section has so little depth you can see what happens when Gottlieb takes stories about Franklin Lakes and Palisades Park, and runs them on the front page, as he does today.

Local devolves into a section filled with court, police and fire news, and accidents, robbing property tax payers of the scrutiny they hope the Woodland Park daily would give the officials running their towns.

A-2 correction

Today's correction refers to a four-paragraph story on Saturday's L-3 reported and written by Stefanie Dazio, the overworked police reporter, who does most of her work by telephone.

The story misstated the Old Tappan address "where a car involved in an accident was found and the identity of a suspect," according to the correction.

Dazio had five bylines on Saturday. Today, the Local section workhorse has three bylines and a credit line.

'Governor FedEx'

An editorial today calls Governor Christie's proposal to track immigrants who overstay their visas like FedEx packages as "both impractical and repugnant" (A-8).

The editorial mentions that Samantha Smith, the spokeswoman for Christie's presidential campaign, is the daughter of FedEx founder Fred Smith.

But in reporting the story, The Record and other media haven't asked Christie whether -- in the unlikely event he wins the GOP nomination and election -- he would award a sweetheart contract to FedEx to convert package-tracking technology into immigrant-tracking technology.

A reader, Carl A. Singer of Passaic, says in a letter to the editor he'd like to see a FedEx tracking number on the GOP bully to know "when he's actually in New Jersey doing the job he was elected to do" (A-8).

But WNYC-FM has been tracking Christie for many months, and all Singer and others have to do is click on the following link to find out whether the governor is in the state he was elected to serve:

The Christie Tracker

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