By VICTOR E. SASSON
The Record's lazy local editors continue to do their best to avoid tackling important local issues, as a Page 1 story on "bamboo feuds" hammers home today.
Monday's front page also was largely a waste, given that most of it was devoted to a pro football team and three boring political pieces.
Today, the vast majority of readers are staring blankly at the lead story on high school sports, and racking their brains to figure out how it affects them (A-1).
Ditto on the well-written takeout on bamboo, an overlong story that appears to deliberately avoid telling readers just how few people are affected (A-1).
Today's Page 1 reaction story on Japan's apology for the sexual enslavement of Korean "comfort women" during World War II avoids a local angle -- the relationship between Japanese and Korean residents of Fort Lee and other towns.
Since Korean immigration surged in Bergen County, quickly outnumbering Japanese-Americans, The Record has never explored tensions between them.
And today's story doesn't seek any reaction from Japanese-Americans in North Jersey.
The Local front today carries the first follow-up to Friday's hit-run pedestrian death on Cedar Lane in Teaneck (L-1).
The downtown T-intersection with Garrison Avenue is described as "notoriously busy," leading readers to wonder what the reporter was smoking.
Local Assignment Editors Deirdre Sykes and Dan Sforza finally roused themselves from a deep sleep to provide the first details on the victim (L-6).
Turns out Steven Leitbeg, 59, was homeless and living in a shelter, and that may be why Sykes and Sforza treated him as if he was just so much roadkill.
The Record also corrects the initial story on when he died; he was hit on Friday, Christmas Day, and died on Saturday in a hospital, the editors say.
Restaurant critic Elisa Ung has described her Asian roots more than once, so the mistakes she made in last Friday's review of a Japanese ramen restaurant are puzzling.
After my own visit to Menya Sandaime in Fort Lee, I researched and wrote a post on my food blog describing one of those errors:
A no-frills ramen parlor
In doing so, I found other problems, notably her description of the "pork-bone broth" as "tonkatsu," and her failure to mention a small parking lot in the back of the building (Friday's BL-12).
The pork-bone broth used in ramen is "tonkotso," not "tonkatsu," and the former appears several times on the menu at Menya Sandaime.
That's not just a typo; "tonkatsu" is pork cutlet, and "tonkotso" is pork bone.