Monday, January 18, 2016

On many news stories, an A for effort, but C for execution

Homeowners on Forest Avenue in Teaneck , above and below, and on a surprisingly large number of other township streets have been cursing officials who keep on raising property taxes, but refuse to pave their streets.


NJ Transit's broken promises to commuters who moved into Wood-Ridge's Wesmont section certainly deserves front-page coverage in The Record today.

But the state mass transit agency has screwed so many others who ride its buses and trains you have to wonder why Staff Writer Christopher Maag is making such a big deal over a train station that is years behind schedule (A-1).

The paper's transportation writers, including Road Warrior Columnist John Cichowski, have ignored all of the commuters who can't find rush-hour seats on NJ Transit buses and trains.

How's that?

Maag focuses on Alex Kernitsky, a commuter who lives in the Westmont transit village, but who has to drive to a park-ride lot, take a bus into Manhattan, then board a subway and, finally, walk four blocks to his office -- a total of 90 minutes (A-1).

If Kernitsky could take a train to the city, that would save him "an hour of commuting time every day," Maag reports.

But after arriving in Manhattan on an NJ Transit train, the commuter still would have to take a subway and walk four blocks to his office, so readers wonder how he could do all that in 3o minutes.

Too many Bergers

Below the fold today, a story on the delayed hiring of a new chief executive at the Port Authority never explains why filling the job is so important, and why the agency can't simply get along without one (A-1).

In the story, Staff Writer Paul Berger quotes Stephen Berger, executive director of the bi-state agency from 1985 to 1990, but readers don't know whether they are related.

Devorah Stubin 

The front of the local-news section today is dominated by the death of Devorah Stubin, 22, an Orthodox Jewish woman from the city of Passaic "whose body was recovered in the Passaic River this weekend," according to the first paragraph (L-1).

Yet, a few paragraphs later, Staff Writer Linda Moss confuses readers by saying "there was a body in the car [found at the bottom of the river], and as of Sunday night, authorities still had not officially identified the corpse as that of Stubin." 

Which is it?

The story raises more questions than it answers, says a reader in Hackensack:

Victor -- I read the article in this morning's Record about the young woman from Passaic who died in the tragic accident and there are more questions than answers in the article. 1.  If the police had not identified the body, how could she have been buried? Traditional Jewish law calls for immediate burial, but was there not a death certificate.
2.  There is really no description of what happened.
By chance, I ran into a Hasbrouck Heights police officer who told me that the woman went through a fence behind a funeral home in Wallington which backs onto the Passaic River.  
She must have entered the parking lot and then went through the fence and into the River.  If she was going to Passaic I can see driving through Wallington to find a bridge to cross the Passaic River, but it still does not make sense to me.
3.  Where was the rest stop on the Parkway where she was going to meet her brother?  Was it south or north of Maywood.  The stop was never identified.
4.  Most importantly, if the police officer in Maywood stopped her on the Esplanade and we want to go to the Parkway, why did he follow her to Summit Avenue in, I presume, Hackensack.  All he had to do was direct her to Passaic Street in  Maywood, which I believe is a block from the Esplanade, and she could have turned right on Passaic Street and picked up the parkway south in Rochelle Park.

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