|At Drago Shoe Repair on the upper level of the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan, a shoe shine costs $5, and a tip of less than $5 will get you a lot of attitude from the man who does your shoes.|
By VICTOR E. SASSON
The Record's belated recognition of decades-old property tax inequity in Hackensack, Englewood and other North Jersey communities with non-profit hospitals is front and center today.
Two other local stories appear on Page 1, including one on a family of seven Syrian refugees moving into a Paterson apartment next week with the help of an interfaith group, this despite hate mongers like Governor Christie (A-1).
For Editor Martin Gottlieb, a onetime globetrotter at The New York Times, today's front page is rare acknowledgement that he is now running a local daily paper based in Woodland Park.
Hackensack University Medical Center's $128.7 million in untaxed property has been an issue for city homeowners who have been paying a disproportionate share for years.
Yet, as the hospital continued to expand in Hackensack, The Record ignored the controversy until "a precedent-setting Tax Court decision and recent settlement ... between Morristown and non-profit Morristown Medical Center."
Morristown settled its case for $15.5 million, but HUMC got off easy -- a settlement of tax appeals that will bring Hackensack only $5.1 million over the next three years (A-1 and A-6).
And pleas from residents for the hospital to make in-kind contributions to the city have been largely ignored by Mayor John Labrosse, a hospital employee, and other members of the City Council.
Trump and 9/11
An editorial criticizing GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump shows how little the editors know about the Syrian community in Paterson, which boasts a bustling Middle Eastern district with restaurants, bakeries and other businesses (A-10).
"There have been various reports, over the years and even now, that people were dancing in South Paterson, home to one of the largest Arab and Muslim populations in the region, during and after the attacks of 9/11," the editorial reports.
But the Syrians who first settled in Paterson in the late 19th century to work in the city's silk mills were Christian, not Muslim, and the community, which has spread to other towns in Passaic County, remains predominantly Christian, with no love for their Muslim persecutors.
A news story on Trump's claims also says Paterson had "a large Muslim population" on 9/11 (L-1).
A Nov. 14 editorial, the day after the Paris attacks,
contained an embarrassing error on the date of 9/11 that wasn't corrected on A-2 until four days later.
"In this country, we recall all too well that day in September 2011, and the enormity of an incident in which 3,000 lives were lost in a matter of minutes ...," the editorial said.
Of course, 9/11 took place in 2001, not 2011, but the error was never fixed in the North Jersey.com version of the editorial I looked at today.