|On Friday, lane closures on Main Street, above, and River Street in Hackensack were only a foreshadowing of what is to come this Monday, when State Street south of Central Avenue will be closed for a week to replace the bumpy railroad crossing.|
By VICTOR E. SASSON
When a ShopRite supermarket ad wrapped around The Record's front page piques reader interest more than so-called news stories, we're really in deep doo-doo.
Editor Martin Gottlieb keeps hitting us over the head with baseball, sensational local or international news, and an endless series of columns on Governor Christie's pathetic showing in the race for the GOP presidential nod (A-1).
I got a kick out of a Christie quote in an A-1 Charles Stile column that sounds exactly like the ones he's been writing for a year or more:
"I've always said bet on the people who have been tested. When the lights get really bright, let's see who shines."
It won't be Christie, because the bright lights have been shining on his dismal performance in New Jersey since he took office in early 2010, and all residents can see is the dull reflection from a huge GOP turd.
The Record's witless Road Warrior columnist focuses on a problem that takes far fewer lives than the greater menace of elderly drivers who mistake the gas pedal for the brake pedal (L-1).
The solution to forgetting to push the stop-start button and turning off you're engine is 1) buy an all-electric car, 2) move to a house with a detached garage or 3) buy one of the many vehicles with a traditional ignition.
In Local today, more Englewood school news appears on L-3, but there is no education story from Hackensack, the biggest district in Bergen County.
Another story on L-3, about Holocaust survivor Marthe Cohen, is far more compelling than anything on Page 1 today.
A story on local family owned companies is welcome, but the editors of Business continue to ignore downtown merchants (B-1).
Could spilled takeout soup really be the biggest problem Elisa Ung has encountered in eight years of reviewing restaurants and writing about delis and other food shops (BL-1)?
On the Opinion front, readers get another news-in-review column from burned-out Mike Kelly (O-1).
This one refers to Pope Francis' appearance in Santiago, Cuba, nearly a month ago -- in a column that is of absolutely no interest to anyone who isn't Catholic.
Jill Schensul has been The Record's travel editor for more than a decade, so how believable is it that she traveled all day and found herself without a hotel reservation two hours before midnight (T-1)?
Instead of cutting the confusion over "proliferating" hotel brands, she simply adds to it in this overlong complaint that fills nearly two pages of the thin, 4-page Travel section.
And there is hardly a word about hotel loyalty programs that many travelers belong to, such as the rewards of the Hyatt Hotels credit card with a $75 annual fee.
This year, my payoff was two free nights in a $700-a-night perch at the luxurious Park Hyatt on 57th Street in Manhattan, near Carnegie Hall and the Time Warner Center on Columbus Circle.
Baseball led Saturday's front page, too.
And there was yet another so-called Election 2016 story about Christie's fundraising on A-1, even though the election is more than a year away and there seems little chance the worst governor in state history will be the GOP nominee.
Saturday's Local section was dominated by crime news (L-1, L-2, L-3 and L-6).
Only three of the four candidates for an open Hackensack City Council seat took part in a debate at Temple Beth El (Saturday's L-3).
The fourth candidate, Deborah Keeling-Geddis, declined to participate, noting moderator Larry Eisen is a council-appointed zoning board member.
The debate took place Thursday night among Richard L. Cerbo, son of a former mayor; school board President Jason Nunnermacker, and Jason Some, who was appointed in April to fill the council seat left vacant when Rose Greenman resigned and filed a discrimination suit.
I don't recall seeing a debate announcement in The Record or any effort by Temple Beth El to get the word out that it was taking place.
Cerbo was quoted about a "heavier tax burden on homeowners," but not on his complaint about Hackensack University Medical Center and other non-profits that pay no taxes on hundreds of millions of dollars in property.
Nunnermacker, an attorney who ran unsuccessfully for council in 2013 as an ally of the Zisa family, is being backed by the city's Democratic Party machine in a desperate bid to claw its way back into power.
The board president said he feared "downtown redevelopment" could bring "as many as 500 new students in the next few years to an already overburdened school system," and put the cost of educating each one at $18,000 a year.
But no one asked how he could possibly know how many new students will be moving into the city.
And Nunnermacker also wasn't asked to explain high administrative salaries, such as the $172,000-plus being paid to the principal of Hackensack High School, just a few thousand less than Christie is being paid.
At two Hackensack elementary schools, lunch aides are being paid $22 an hour.
And this year, fewer than 1,000 of the city's 20,000 registered voters approved a $100 million dollar-plus school budget, which exceeded the city's own.