Friday, December 18, 2015

Dems do end run round Christie on pensions and gas tax

The reconstruction of the Route 46 bridge in Little Ferry drags on, and drivers still have only one narrow lane in each direction, above. Meanwhile, at the former Little Ferry Circle, below, cars back up in a single left-turn lane onto Route 46 from Bergen Turnpike.


With conservative Republicans refusing to override Governor Christie's mean-spirited barrage of vetoes, Democrats are asking voters to approve dedicated funding of pensions, and road-and-bridge repairs.

And given its anti-union history, The Record of Woodland Park has already come out against a constitutional amendment requiring quarterly payments to the public employees pension fund, as has the state's biggest business group.

Three other amendments to be submitted to voters would require that all gas tax revenue go into the state Transportation Trust Fund, overhaul the redistricting process and add two casinos to North Jersey, which we need like a hole in the head (A-3).

Voters already have approved two other constitutional amendments to trump Christie vetoes and break the Trenton logjam -- an increase in the minimum wage and dedicated funding of open-space preservation.

Gottlieb curse

Editor Martin Gottlieb could care less about New Jerseyans, and he demoted this important news to an A-1 brief and a full story on A-3.

But Marty reserved space on Page 1 for another exceedingly boring political column by Staff Writer Charles Stile on Christie's "greatest vulnerabilities" after Tuesday's GOP debate.

Tax on wealthy

In the A-3 story, readers have to work hard to separate partisan rhetoric from Republicans' real objections to dedicated funding of the state pension system.

Republicans called the plan "fiscally reckless," because it relies on economic growth and "a tax on the state's highest earners" (A-3).

Christie has vetoed a tax surcharge on millionaires several times among a total of 430 vetoes since he took office in early 2010, cementing his reputation as the worst governor in state history.

Hackensack news

With the Hackensack reporter assigned to the "Star Wars" premiere, municipal news from Bergen County's biggest town goes missing for another day today (L-1).

This week, readers have been hurling over every headline with a play on words off of the title of the movie, "The Force Awakens."

Mystery beef

Restaurant Reviewer Elisa Ung thinks nothing of driving 10 miles or more to rate a restaurant, but today, she discusses "east" and "central" Bergen County as if they are separated by a mountain range (BL-19).

That's how she ended up doing a lukewarm 2-star review of Seoul Galbi in Paramus, the successor to Pine Hill, a Korean restaurant near Bergen Community College that never achieved the A-list status of those in Palisades Park.

As usual, Ung ignores the cheap, mystery beef served at many barbecue places, and doesn't sound that knowledgeable about Korean food or restaurants.

She calls the complimentary panchan or side dishes that come with every Korean meal "snacks," and knocks a special of one free order of barbecue when you order two ($24.95 to $32.95).

Minimum of two

But most Korean barbecue restaurants in Pal Park and nearby towns require customers who want to cook their food on the table to buy at least two orders of beef, chicken or seafood.

Otherwise, a single order is prepared in the kitchen.

Ung also doesn't discuss the appeal of a Korean restaurant, where servers willingly replenish free side dishes of kimchi, seaweed and other items at least once.

Nor does she convey the fun of wrapping your barbecue in lettuce leaves along with rice, garlic and other items, and trying to stuff the entire package into your mouth at one time.

And near the end of her appraisal, what's with the highly unusual plug for two Korean soft-tofu restaurants in Ridgewood ?

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