Thursday, October 29, 2015

On Page 1, editor focuses on bunch of losers like himself

Late Wednesday morning, traffic lights went dark at Main and Anderson streets in Hackensack, as well as at Anderson and River streets, above, and at Cedar Lane and River Road in Teaneck, below.

On Cedar Lane, drivers were forced to turn right onto River Road.


Oh, there was another GOP debate? Yawn.

Like most North Jersey Democrats, who far outnumber Republicans, I feel Governor Christie and the other GOP presidential hopefuls are just a bunch of losers.

Why is Editor Martin Gottlieb of The Record devoting so much of the front-page to that sorry lot while neglecting local elections?

And I am sick and tired of the almost daily Page 1 analysis of those other losers, the Mets (A-1).

Lazy lifers

Gottlieb is a former New York Times editor who is completing his third year in the job of running the Woodland Park newsroom.

But he seems unsuited for the nitty gritty of covering local affairs in nearly 80 towns in Bergen and Passaic counties.

He leaves that to three lazy, disinterested lifers, local Assignment Editors Deirdre Sykes and Dan Sforza, and Sunday Projects Editor Tim Nostrand.

On A-3, a story reports the decision to replace the antiquated midtown Manhattan bus terminal is being driven by politics and a rivalry between New York and New Jersey.

But that has been the case for decades. 

In fact, the original name of the Port Authority didn't include "New Jersey," and state officials complained bitterly in the 1980s that New York was grabbing the lion's share of agency resources.

Hackensack news?

If you wonder why there is so little Hackensack news, take a look at six major stories from Passaic County in today's local-news section, including a long report on the Paterson school board election (L-1, L-2, L-3 and L-6).

In Bergen County, the bare-knuckle Democratic Party machine in Hackensack is trying to regain a single seat on the City Council in a special Nov. 3 non-partisan election.

Jason Nunnermacker, president of the city's free-spending Board of Education, is the knucklehead candidate supported by Lynne Hurwitz -- the power broker behind the Zisa family dynasty -- and other Democrats, including Hackensack lawyer Roy Cho.

Cho gained the respect of Democrats in 2014, when he challenged Rep. Scott Garrett, the Wantage conservative who represents a good deal of Bergen County in Congress.

But his endorsement of the pudgy school board president shows just how desperate the Hurwitz-Zisa alliance is to regain the power they lost when Nunnermacker and four other hand-picked candidates were defeated in May 2013.

$22-an-hour aides

In an email to fellow Democrats, Cho claims he's seen Nunnermacker's "commitment to the children of Hackensack while vigilantly ensuring that tax dollars are spent wisely."

Cho apparently is unaware the principal of Hackensack High School is paid more than $172,000 a year, only a few thousand less than Christie, or that lunchroom aides at two elementary school are listed in board documents as getting $22 an hour. 

Nunnermacker has three opponents, including Richard L. Cerbo, the son of a former mayor who doesn't have any axes to grind.

Cerbo's motto is "We can do better."

John Molinelli

The lead story on L-1 today reports critics of Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli say a letter the freeholder chairwoman sent this month to Christie "was instrumental in [the governor's] decision to appoint a new prosecutor."

But a few paragraphs later, the story says Christie decided in January 2013 to replace Molinelli, but that the nomination expired.

Can both of those things be true? 

Wednesday's Local 

Passaic County also dominated the local-news section that was delivered to Bergen readers on Wednesday.

At least Sykes and Sforza were able to find a photo showing the face of William J. Bate, a surrogate judge, for a story on the dedication of Paterson's new courthouse plaza.

The best the lazy editors could do on Tuesday was showing the back of the head of James P. Coleman, onetime pastor of Mount Olive Baptist Church in Hackensack, where a street was named in his honor.

Coleman was black and Bate was white. Could that have influenced the choice of photos?

Mixed food messages

A day after the World Health Organization caused a media storm by linking cured meats to colon cancer, Food Editor Esther Davidowitz wrote a long column praising Taylor Ham, a pork-based processed meat that is "cured, smoked and pre-cooked" (Wednesday's BL-2).

Her recipe for N.J. Taylor Ham and Cheese Stuffing includes artery clogging butter, bacon fat and two kinds of full-fat cheeses.


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