Sunday, October 4, 2015

Now a front page of no interest to beleaguered taxpayers

Hackensack is getting its own Wawa convenience store with a big gas station on East Moonachie Road and South River Street, above. The Wawa on Essex Street in Lodi, near the Hackensack border, opened about two years ago. 


The Record's front page today roams far and wide -- from Cuba to Afghanistan to Washington and finally back to Little Ferry.

But none of the stories are of any interest to long-suffering home and business owners less than a month before their property tax payments are due.

Most, if not all, are paying higher taxes in their inefficient North Jersey home-rule communities, including Hackensack, where residents get slammed with many hundreds of millions of dollars in tax-exempt hospital, county and college property.

Local news?

Two developments at The Record seem to have taken the focus off of Bergen County, where the vast majority of readers live, and especially off of local-news reporting.

In 2009, The Record moved its newsroom to Passaic County and closed its Hackensack headquarters.

In 2012, the Borg family, owners of North Jersey Media Group, hired a high-flying New York Times editor and Manhattanite, Martin Gottlieb, to run their flagship paper, despite his limited local-reporting experience.

Irrelevant news

As a result, readers are seeing more and more front pages with a strong national and international focus, like today's.

And more and more space is devoted to Passaic County news, such as the five stories scattered throughout today's local-news section (Local).

For example, Road Warrior John Cichowski today has a second column in a row about Passaic County infrastructure that is of no interest to mass-transit users and most Bergen drivers (L-1).

Street fair

The name of the headliners who appeared at Hackensack's street festival on Saturday is given as "The Village People," "the Village People" and "Village People" on L-1 today. 

LOL typo

Does Grunge restaurant in Westwood serve food rescued from dumpsters?

There is no such place, except in a photo caption with a hilarious typo on the Better Living front today (The Corner Table on BL-1).

The sloppy work was corrected this morning in the North caption.

The photo, taken in Grange restaurant, runs with Elisa Ung's column on restaurants that use mobile devices or terminals to swipe customers' credit cards at the table.


But, as you would expect from a critic whose restaurant checks are paid by NJMG, the clueless Ung doesn't warn readers about how some terminals can get you to tip more than you should.

You shouldn't tip on the 7% sales tax added to your bill, but if the terminal gives you a choice of a 15% or 20% gratuity, that might have been figured on the total check, including the sales tax.

And if you go to a place with a liquor license, you probably don't want to tip on a bottle of wine, especially given the outrageous markups many restaurant owners take.

Bottom line: It's better to add the tip you want, not just hit the 15% or 20% button.

Anthony Cappola

An editorial on former Republican state Assembly candidate Anthony Cappola and his self-published, hate-filled book, uses a sub-headline:

"Former candidate has no place on council"

And the last sentence says, "...He should not be the same person he was last week, either: a councilman in River Edge" (O-2).

But he isn't.

A Page 1 story in The Record on Saturday reported Cappola "resigned as a River Edge councilman on Friday."

Cuba reporting

Don't waste your time with Mike Kelly's overlong, overwrought column on fugitives living in Cuba (A-1).

The article the vast majority of readers are interested in is the cover story on leisure travel to the biggest island in the Caribbean (T-1).

Unfortunately, Travel Editor Jill Schensul is winging it, because she has never visited Cuba, even though journalists and numerous U.S.-based groups have been allowed to go there for decades.

Nor does she report Americans have been traveling to Cuba for years from a third country, including Mexico, Canada and Jamaica.

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