Thursday, March 31, 2016

Hater of women, Mexicans, Muslims will never get elected

Just before noon on Wednesday, driving in Englewood seemed pleasant, especially with trees blooming on Engle Street, above. But leaving in the afternoon only showed rush-hour traffic is as bad as ever as city officials refuse to eliminate a few parking meters and install turn lanes at Dean Street and Palisade Avenue, below, and other downtown intersections.


Donald Trump has tapped into a deep reservoir of racism and hatred of women, Mexicans and Muslims, but two things seem assured.

The billionaire and member of the 1 percent will never get elected president as long as Democrats and other liberals protest by going to the polls in November.

And as the Republican nominee, Trump will preside over the destruction of the Grand Old Party, which has been propped up too long by racism, conservative values and crackpot Tea Party members.

Trump's desire to punish women for having abortions in on Page 1 of The Record today, but he plays second fiddle to the so-called controversy over state exams (A-1).

Aircraft noise

Look at all the space Editor Deirdre Sykes has been giving to Ho-Ho-Kus, Mahwah, Paramus, Ramsey, Ridgewood and Rochelle Park over a flight-path change going into effect on Monday (A-1).

Sykes has ignored complaints of Teterboro Airport noise from Hackensack, South Hackensack, Englewood, Teaneck and other towns for more than a decade.

Of course, Ho-Ho-Kus, Ramsey and Ridgewood are richer and whiter than long-suffering Hackensack, Englewood and Teaneck.

Shmuley's house

Shmuley Boteach, the publicity hungry rabbi who gives Jews a bad name, is trying to unload his huge pile of stone on the East Hill of Englewood (L-1).

In 2009, Sykes gave unprecedented coverage to Boteach, who knowingly purchased a mansion next door to a Libyan-owned estate in Englewood -- then complained about the planned visit of Moammar Gaddafi.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

New flight path won't end those unbelievably noisy takeoffs

Planes low over South Hackensack as they landed at the Port Authority owned Teterboro Airport in 2014, above and below. The aircraft with the propeller in the nose, above, is one of the noisiest to use the airport regularly.

Business jets like this one are the biggest users of Teterboro, which is favored by the 1 percent, celebrities and corporate executives, and flights originating in Europe.


What could possibly be noisier than a business jet landing at Teterboro Airport?

Any resident of Hackensack, South Hackensack, Teaneck, Englewood and other nearby towns will tell you it's the roar from those jets when they take off that can be even more annoying.

Today, Editor Deirdre Sykes again is making a big deal on the front page of The Record over a new fight path to Teterboro Airport -- after decades of ignoring the noise generated by the old one.

And at least half of that noise comes from jets and other aircraft that take off from the Port Authority owned airport -- usually at full power.

That roar or boom can be heard for miles around, and many of those ascending aircraft turn immediately over Hackensack's Fairmount section.

Borg and Teterboro

In the 1980s, the biggest complaint from Malcolm A. "Mac" Borg of Englewood, owner and publisher of The Record, wasn't airport noise.

He summoned the Port Authority's new executive director to lunch in his private dining room in Hackensack, and demanded to know when the bi-state agency was going to open an aviation museum at Teterboro.

Later, Borg, as chairman of North Jersey Media Group, used Teterboro as a base for the jet he owned with Jon F. Hanson, the real estate mogul who has advised and raised funds for Governor Christie.

I can't recall any articles about Teterboro aircraft noise in The Record's Local section during the many years Sykes was the head assignment editor there.

Atlantic City

After reading all of The Record's coverage of the casino bust and Atlantic City's financial problems, North Jersey voters are expected to resoundingly reject a November ballot proposal for two casinos here.

Today, Staff Writer John Brennan calls the state's attempt to take control of Atlantic City's finances "rhetorical crossfire among the three leading elected officials in Trenton" (A-4).

What else can you expect from a former sports reporter?

Affordable housing

Staff Writer Marina Villeneuve manages to write a long story about Bergen County towns opposed to affordable housing, and not mention that most of the people who would live there are black and Hispanic (L-1).

In her first paragraph today, she refers to them as "people of modest means." 

That sounds like a fairy tale, doesn't it?

Nor does she explore the racial motivation of officials who block the low- and moderate-cost housing, except for her last two paragraphs.

There, she cites a Mack-Cali Realty lawsuit that called Upper Saddle River "segregated" (L-6).

Significantly, the borough's response doesn't deny that, Villeneuve reports.

Westmont Station

A day after reporting another postponement of the opening of a new NJ Transit rail station in Wood-Ridge, The Record today says the building will finally be ready on May 15 (L-1).

Staff Writer Christopher Maag never explained why NJ Transit didn't provide bus shelters and ticket machines to commuters during the delay, as the agency did for those who used the station that burned down on Anderson Street in Hackensack.

Second look

Tuesday's first Business page was dominated by Staff Writer Joan Verdon's story on fast-casual dining chains eating the lunch of sit-down restaurant chains (L-7 on Tuesday).

What about Lavash City, a fast-casual Armenian spot on Main Street in Hackensack, and similar local restaurants?

When will The Record publicize them? 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Editors use crime to distract readers from thin local report

As seen from Boulevard East in New Jersey, the asymmetrical design of 30 Hudson Yards, at 33rd Street and 10th Avenue in Manhattan, makes the 90-story residential building look like it is about to fall over.
In Manhattan, the building still seems a little off-kilter.


Crime and terror are featured regularly on The Record's front page as Editor Deirdre Sykes continues to neglect the local news that means most to readers.

Today's lead on the murder in North Carolina of a family with roots in Bergen County certainly is tragic, but it doesn't belong on Page 1.

In Monday's Local section, Sykes listed nine candidates running for three seats in the April 19 school election in Hackensack -- a rare acknowledgement the city has a Board of Education (Monday's L-2).

Also listed were school board candidates in other towns in Bergen, Hudson, Morris and Passaic counties that also have April elections.

Readers in Hackensack can only hope for actual coverage of school issues before the election. 


In fact, Monday's front-page story on "a spate of large-scale bomb threats targeting North Jersey schools this year" is the most copy on Hackensack High School readers have seen in a long time.

The Record and Hackensack Chronicle both ignored the board's approval of a $104 million spending plan on March 1, and neither has told residents school taxes make up nearly half of their property tax bill.

The April 19 ballot also will afford residents a chance to vote "yes" or "no" on the budget.

Sea change

On Monday, readers of Better Living were shocked to see a cover story on an Icelandic fish market in Closter.

After all, Food Editor Esther Davidowitz usually offers a steady diet of recipes filled with bacon, heavy cream and butter, or promotes hamburger restaurants.

And Restaurant Reviewer Elisa Ung swoons over aged beef and artery clogging desserts, and rarely orders salads.

From Iceland

The Fish Dock in Closter is operated by Olafur and Maria Badrusson, who grew up in a small fishing village in Iceland, assisted by Bo Olafsson, his son from a previous marriage, and Bo's wife, Catherine.

(On North, "Badrusson" is spelled "Baldursson" more than once. Monday's article also uses two spellings for the son, "Olafsson" and "Olaffson").

Among the fresh Icelandic fish you don't see in North Jersey are blue ling, European plaice, tusk and pearly white wolfish, described as similar to monkfish.

The market also sells meals prepared from fresh fish imported from Iceland.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Editors must blast Christie for making NJ Transit a business

An NJ Transit train in Hackensack.


Whether you commute by car, bus or train, you have been screwed royally by Governor Christie.

And I'm not just referring to toll and rail-fare hikes, increasing traffic congestion, and unsafe roads and bridges.

In less than six years, the GOP bully has managed to turn mass transit from a service with uncounted benefits to society -- from cutting air pollution to boosting worker productivity -- into a business that must pay its own way.

Readers can see the change in The Record's coverage of the Port Authority, NJ Transit and the nearly bankrupt Transportation Trust Fund on Friday, Saturday and today.

$25B for debt

On the Opinion front today, the sordid history of the state's Transportation Trust Fund is laid bare by Janna Chernetz of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign (O-1).

The fund, created in 1984, is how "New Jersey pays for all things transportation, including repairs to roads and bridges, keeps the trains running, builds sidewalks, makes roads safer for all users -- and it's broke."

Christie promises

But Christie largely broke his 2011 funding promise, "resulting in more debt and the use of unsustainable one-shot gimmicks to meet annual funding levels," Chernetz writes.

"As a ... result, the state is currently on course to pay $1 billion annually for debt through 2041."

After a recent contract deal with NJ Transit rail workers, Christie raised the spectre of another fare hike-- on top of the 9% hike last October to help make up his own cuts in state subsidies to the  agency.

And it was clear Christie is treating the state's mass-transit agency as just another business that would be forced to hike prices to pay for raises and health-care coverage won by NJ Transit's unionized rail workers.

Editors buy argument

"Wages go up, health costs go up for employees, other costs go up and there is always going to be the need for periodic fare increases," Christie said, winning support from The Record.

But no mass-transit agency in the country should be expected to make a profit or even break even.

In return for investing in efficient and affordable bus and rail service, we take cars off the road, cut air pollution, slow climate change and improve worker productivity.

Still, The Record hasn't challenged Christie's deep cuts in state subsides to mass transit or his repeated threat to veto a gas-tax increase to bring stable funding to the Transportation Trust Fund.

Today's paper

Editor Deirdre Sykes' front page is filled with long, boring think pieces on everything from Atlantic City casinos to opiate addiction in North Jersey to whether the white police chief in Wyckoff is biased against minorities (A-1).

If you missed the flurry of stories about Wyckoff Chief Benjamin Fox, see Mike Kelly's news-in-review column on O-1 today.

That's what happens when Sykes can't rely on stories about terrorism in Belgium (A-12).

Local news?

Leading Local today is another ditzy Road Warrior column about a road project, and this one won't be finished until 2022 (L-1).

But don't worry if you live in Bergen County, as the vast majority of readers do, because you can circumvent the mess by using other roads and highways.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Christie delayed good commuting news for well over 5 years

The lead story in The Record today delivered good news to commuters, whether they ride NJ Transit trains, above, or NJ Transit buses, below. Rail users can only speculate how their lives were made more miserable after Governor Christie cancelled the original Hudson River rail tunnels project in October 2010.


Reading The Record today, North Jersey residents must feel they've died and gone to commuting heaven.

NJ Transit rail riders will not only be getting new Hudson River rail tunnels, but those on the Main-Bergen and Pascack Valley lines finally will enjoy that coveted one-seat ride directly into Manhattan (A-1).

And NJ Transit bus riders will get a bigger and better Manhattan bus terminal that, hopefully, will put an end to rush-hour delays on the trip home to Bergen, Hudson and Passaic counties (A-3).

Christie curse

No thanks to Governor Christie, who killed the original Hudson River rail tunnels in October 2010 so he could divert the funds to bridge and road repairs, preserving his inflexible pledge not to raise taxes or fees of any kind.

And no thanks to The Record's editors and transportation reporters, who have been car-oriented more years than mass-transit users care to remember.

Take Road Warrior John Cichowski, who today waxes poetic over walkers and bikers who use the George Washington Bridge walkway, a distinct minority (L-1).

In more than a dozen years of writing his ditzy column, Cichowski has successfully avoided reporting on the quality of the commute -- by bus, rail or car -- and gone off on tangents that keep his ass firmly planted in front of a computer more than 99% of the time.

Local news

You know the news judgment at The Record stinks when a story about New Jersey Chief Justice Stuart Rabner revisiting Passaic city, where he grew up, is buried in Local today.

Rabner reunited with teacher Sheila Graham Woodson, his former classmate at Passaic High School, and the story runs with priceless photos of the pair on Thursday night and in the 1978 high school yearbook (L-6).

Not only that, but he said he intended to visit his mother, who "still lives in Passaic in the same house where he grew up."

Dinner, gas, tolls

If I ever find myself near Nyack, N.Y., in the mood for a good meal, I might drop into Communal Kitchen (BL-14).

But why would I or any reader make the trip in rush hour traffic -- to a restaurant that serves only dinner, and is 23.7 miles away from Hackensack via the Garden State Parkway?

What me worry, says Restaurant Reviewer Elisa Ung, who gives the destination restaurant 3 out of 4 stars today.

Ung not only gets paid to eat out, she gets reimbursed for meals on at least two visits --including all those artery clogging desserts she obsesses over -- as well as gas and tolls. 

Readers don't, so she should spend more time finding good places near where most of us live, not in another state.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

In reporting Hackensack news, editors ignore big conflict

One of the projects proposed Tuesday night would return Hackensack's Main and State streets to two-way traffic, something that many residents and merchants have long hoped for as they try to navigate the congested business district. This photo was taken in late January, when parking was banned on one side of Main to clear away snow.


Today, The Record carries a follow-up to Tuesday night's Hackensack City Council meeting, where officials proposed four major downtown and recreation projects.

In the second paragraph, Staff Writer John Seasly quotes Chief Financial Officer James Mangin saying the projects wouldn't increase taxes.

Seasly actually wrote that Mangin "insisted" taxes wouldn't go up, as if the reporter had contradictory information in hand.

Still, even that wasn't sexy enough. 

Seasly later quotes a resident, Chris Colli, asking, "How much more of a tax increase will that equate to for this town?"

Seasly doesn't say if Colli is hard of hearing, came in late or just missed Mangin's statement.

The proposals are scheduled to be presented at a public hearing on April 4, when a final vote will be taken.

Towns v. hospitals

To many residents, a far more controversial issue is major non-profit institutions that pay reduced or no taxes, shifting the burden onto Hackensack homeowners and commercial property owners.

A front-page story today reports Teaneck and Englewood have joined a growing number of towns challenging the tax-exempt status of their local hospitals (A-1).

The Record's report doesn't even mention Hackensack University Medical Center, which also was missing in recent stories on Governor Christie trying to immunize the hospitals from suits for two years.

Nor has The Record asked Hackensack officials why they aren't filing their own lawsuit after a landmark Tax Court decision last June that stripped Morristown Medical Center of its century old exemption from property taxes (A-4).

The potential tax liability of Englewood Hospital and Medical Center is missing from today's story, but Holy Name Medical Center would have to pay about $2 million a year.

HUMC's potential tax liability is far greater, more than $10 million, Hackensack officials have said.

Auto show

On Wednesday, The Record's business editors went out to lunch, and never returned to the office.

At least that's the impression readers have from today's stale preview of the New York International Auto Show at the Jacob Javits Center (L-7).

"Hyundai will join Toyota in showing off new electric and hybrid vehicles," The Associated Press reports today.

In fact, those cars were introduced on Wednesday, the first of two press days, as the photo and caption clearly indicate.

Old Prius news

And Tom Krisher, a clueless AP reporter, adds, "Toyota will show a plug-in Prius than can run on electricity alone." 

But since the first Prius was imported in 2000, the hybrid's gasoline engine turned off when stopped at lights, when coasting and at other times, allowing the battery and electric motor to power it. 

In another major error, Krisher claims hybrids and electrics appealed to the "environmentally conscious" and "lacked the power and handling of gas-powered rivals" (L-7).

But electrics accelerate far faster than a conventional car, because all of their power is available immediately.

Krisher's story on L-7 carries a New York dateline, but a related piece on L-8 carries a Detroit dateline. 

How was he in two places at the same time? 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Brussels learned nothing from Paris terror that killed 130

Belgian officials say the two men in black blew themselves up at the airport in Brussels on Tuesday, and that they are hunting the man at right. A total of 31 people were killed and more than 250 were injured in the airport blast and a second explosion in the subway.


In the 15 years since 9/11, the United States has spent billions on homeland security and successfully avoided another large-scale terror attack.

In November, an Islamic State cell killed 130 in Paris, and Belgian "counter-terrorism authorities" arrested the last known participant in those terror attacks last week, according to The Record's news services.

Despite all of that, other Belgian-born members of the same Islamic State cell were able to walk into the airport on Tuesday with suicide vests and a suitcase packed with explosives and detonators.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility, saying its members detonated suicide vests both at the airport and in the subway.

Local news

The 145-year-old First Presbyterian Church on the East Hill of Englewood was destroyed in a fire on Tuesday night, North reports today.

But the story in today's print edition of The Record is incomplete, apparently due to early deadlines (L-1).

The editors see no reason to delay the press run for important local news. Hey, let them read it on the Web site, the reasoning seems to be.

Later this morning, Hackensack Daily described the church as "ravaged," not destroyed, and a photo showed the walls of the sanctuary intact and the steeple still standing.

In a rare story on Hackensack, the Woodland Park daily reports the City Council on Tuesday night approved a proposed settlement of a lawsuit filed by Anthony Rottino, who was replaced as interim city manager in June 2014 (L-1).

The city would pay up to $250,000 to settle the whistle-blower claim.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Editors see U.S.-Cuba 'division' despite their shared history

In the 100-block of Euclid Avenue in Hackensack's Fairmount section, this homeowner has defied attempts by city officials to have him repair his front steps and clean up his eyesore property since at least August 2007, when I moved into the neighborhood.


Over today's Page 1 photo of President Obama listening to the U.S. national anthem in Havana, an unnamed editor wrote:


Even after reading the caption, The Record's readers will continue to guess at why the word "division" was used over the photo until they see the full story on A-7.

That's where an Associated Press report leads with the divide over "human rights" and the U.S. economic embargo.

The U.S. and Cuba have more in common than the media usually report, including a history of slavery, violent revolutions and the execution of people who were loyal to the losing side.

Until the 1959 revolution, Cuba was virtually a colony of the United States, and racial discrimination was strictly enforced in both countries.

It's appropriate that Barack Obama, our first black president, broke with the past, visited the island and met with Cuban leader Raul Castro.

The media also play up "political prisoners" while ignoring the many positives on the Caribbean's biggest island:

Free education and medical care, and an absence of school shootings and other gun violence.

Local news?

What are the editors of Local saying when they lead their section with another sensational crime story, the same one that ran on Page 1 both Sunday and Monday (L-1)?

And if the story of a Bergenfield couple whose 11-year-old son found the bodies after a murder-suicide is not sensational enough, turn the page.

Why is the story of a Wayne man who killed his girlfriend's dog in their house trailer given so much space (L-2)?

Those stories are a sure sign the local-news report is as weak as it was before Deirdre Sykes was made editor in January.

Cutting remarks

Food Editor Esther Davidowitz really disappointed readers on Monday when she didn't call out millionaire celebrity Chef Marc Forgione.

Still, it's not surprising that the chef at an expensive steakhouse is a male chauvinist pig who treats women as if they are just another cut of meat.

Davidowitz notes his new Englewood Cliffs restaurant has more fish and more salads on the menu than at his Manhattan location -- "'for the ladies,' Forgione said, who he believes are more health conscious" (Monday's BL-2).

What an antiquated notion (not to mention awful editing).

As in The Record's earlier promotions of Forgione's American Cut Bar & Grill, Davidowitz doesn't say whether the steaks served there for up to $126 are naturally raised.

Second look

Sykes, the editor, led Saturday's paper with a deal on the expansion of The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood.

"It marks the third time the issue, which has dominated village politics for a decade and consumed countless hours of public meetings, will come before the Planning Board," Staff Writer Mary Jo Layton reported.

Still, there is no explanation why Layton doesn't tell readers the hospital would expand within its own campus, and wouldn't be clearing homes and other property, as in the expansion of Hackensack University Medical Center.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Editors allow partisan politics to shape Trenton coverage

In Englewood, Mayor Frank Huttle is pushing the City Council to buy a building next to a Korean supermarket and develop it as a community center, The Record reports today. The plan comes many years after the city dropped plans to buy the shuttered, 100-year-old-plus Lincoln Elementary School for a community center, eventually selling the land and building to an apartment developer.


The Record's editors and owners refuse to provide the leadership readers are looking for as Governor Christie butts heads with Democrats over an "extensive" list of problems facing the state.

As they did after Christie took office in early 2010, the editors continue to focus on the nasty partisan politics dividing the conservative governor and the Democratic majority in the state Legislature (A-1).

Today, The Record announces a groundbreaking "tracker graphic" as key issues move through the Governor's Office and the legislative process in 2016.

Of course, the original "Christie Tracker" was started by WNYC-FM, which told listeners where Christie was traveling as head of a GOP governors group or when he was campaigning.

Real estate mogul Jon F. Hanson, left, is a top adviser to Governor Christie, and a personal friend of Malcolm A. "Mac" Borg, chairman of North Jersey Media Group, publisher of The Record.

He said, she said

But if the past is any guide, Editor Deirdre Sykes' bad-hair days will mean bad-news days for readers, who will have to slog through endless he said/she said stories on such issues as transportation, public worker benefits and taxes.

Since she took over in January, Sykes has failed to provide any editorial leadership in Woodland Park, repeating the same failures readers know from the many years she ran the local-news section.  

Seven other daily papers in New Jersey called for Christie's resignation after he endorsed and campaigned for racist Donald Trump. 

But the Woodland Park daily didn't even report the state's biggest daily, The Star Ledger, and the other papers want the GOP bully to leave Trenton for good.

Readers' eyes roll

Charles Stile, the biggest Christie apologist on staff, today has readers' eyes rolling with a front-page column on the Republican Party in New Jersey more than 50 years ago (A-1).

Meanwhile, as limp as they are, the last four lines of Mike Kelly's Opinion front column on Christie should have been the first four lines (O-3):

"He says he's 'back to work'. Yet, he skips a state trooper's funeral for a political campaign.

"He's the butt of belittling jokes.

"He thinks this is all just a good time."

And on the Local front, Road Warrior John Cichowski is writing about "us older folks" who don't buckle up in the back seat (L-1).

Mazel tov

Congratulations to Hackensack Mayor John P. Labrosse Jr., who became a grandfather twice on Friday (L-1).

Flay's burgers

Food writer Elisa Ung has been a big fan of Bobby Flay ever since she reported a decade ago "chef's quality" beef is used in the hamburgers sold at his Bobby's Burger Palace in Paramus.

Today, the sell-out continues to blow smoke in another elaborately promotional piece on Flay and his burger restaurants (Better Living front).

Of course, nothing could be farther from the truth. Flay uses Certified Angus Beef, which is raised on harmful antibiotics and who knows what else.

Stick with the salads, if you know what's good for you.

Friday, March 18, 2016

3 board seats, $104M budget at stake in April 19 election

Citizens for Better Schools say they will usher in a new era of cooperation between the Hackensack Board of Education and City Council.


School taxes make up nearly half of the property tax bill in Hackensack, where nine candidates are vying for three seats on the city Board of Education.

Residents also will be able to vote "yes" or "no" on a proposed school budget of more than $104 million.

Polls will be open from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. on April 19.

Three candidates, calling themselves Citizens for Better Schools, believe the current school board has done nothing to improve poor test scores and engage parents in the education of their children.

They are:

  • Lawrence E. Eisen, president and a math tutor at Project Literacy, and a 3rd-grade reading mentor at the Nellie K. Parker School in Hackensack. 
  • Lancelot Powell, a native of Jamaica and an educator for 23 years, has a son who is a freshman at Hackensack High School.
  • Victor E. Sasson, a retired reporter and copy editor at The Record, saw his son graduate from Hackensack High School in June 2015.

Zisas try comeback

Three other candidates are being backed by the Zisa family political dynasty, which ruled Hackensack for decades before a reform City Council slate was elected in May 2013.

The Zisas were so dominant Hackensack became known as "Zisaville," a curse the city still is trying to live down.

Property taxes soared a total of 30% in three years before the recession hit in December 2007.

The Zisa cadidates, calling themselves Team Hackensack, are incumbent Timothy Hoffman, Johanna Calle and Modesto Romero.

Team Hackensack is headquartered at 77 Hudson St., where former City Attorney Joseph C. Zisa Jr. has his law firm. 

Prominent at the kickoff of Team Hackensack in February was the disgraced former police chief, Ken Zisa, who once also served as a state assemblyman.

PA big again dupes reporter on new Manhattan bus hub

At mid-afternoon on Tuesday, an NJ Transit 165 local bus to Hackensack flew through the Lincoln Tunnel. The round-trip senior fare is only $4.10.


The Record's transportation reporter is proving to be as gullible as his predecessors on Lincoln Tunnel congestion and plans for a new bus terminal in Manhattan.

Today, Port Authority Vice Chairman Scott Rechler duped Staff Writer Paul Berger into writing an elaborate Page 1 argument for a new bus hub in New Jersey (A-1).

That would mean commuters from Ridgewood, Hackensack and other towns would have to transfer to a city-bound train, which won't be built for a decade or more.

What incredible nonsense. 

Of course, the Lincoln Tunnel is congested -- the Port Authority operates an exclusive bus lane only in the morning, and buses parked in New Jersey during the day have to fight rush-hour traffic to pick up commuters at the antiquated midtown Manhattan terminal.

Rechler and everyone else at the Port Authority fear the easiest and quickest solution to that congestion -- more exclusive bus lanes operated weekday mornings and afternoons.

They would be a victory for bus riders, but anger thousands of drivers whose toll money keeps the bi-state agency afloat.

On Wednesday, Hackensack senior citizens gathered for a St. Patrick Day's Luncheon of corned beef and cabbage at the city recreation center on Holt Street.

The buffet luncheon included entertainment.
Mayor John P. Labrosse Jr., second from left, and other City Council members posed for a photo.

Tax-exempt hospitals

Residents of Hackensack, Englewood and other towns with non-profit, tax-exempt hospitals are chagrined Governor Christie is seeking a moratorium on lawsuits that seek more money from them (A-1).

In Hackensack, officials settled tax appeals by agreeing Hackensack University Medical Center will pay the city $4.5 million over three years.

If medical center property was taxed fully, Hackensack would receive more than $10 million a year in new revenue, stabilizing or reducing taxes paid by homeowners and commercial property owners.

Local news?

A long story on Teaneck approving a preliminary school budget on Wednesday has Hackensack readers wondering why they haven't seen anything in The Record on their school budget plan, which was approved on March 1 (L-3).

If you're watching your cholesterol, be sure to steer clear of Axton's by Chef Anton Testino in far-off Pompton Lakes (Better Living).

The "huge" scallops come with bacon, pasta with crab meat is topped with pork, and cheese flows like lava out of the open kitchen (BL-16).

Restaurant Reviewer Elisa Ung doesn't say whether Chef Anton Testino will broil fish for a customer or hold the meat in his other dishes.

And despite her lukewarm, 2-star revue, she raves over the "luscious cannoli cream" in a totally superfluous dessert.