Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Christie takes yet another vacation from being our governor

In Monday night's North 1, Group 4 boys basketball final in Hackensack, the Morristown High School Colonials took an early lead, above, but ultimately lost to the Hackensack High School Comets, 67-64.


With NJ Transit rail workers threatening to strike in less than a week, Governor Christie going on vacation reminds me of the old Mose Allison song:

"Your mind is on vacation, but your mouth is working overtime." 

It's bad enough Christie was more interested in running for president than in running New Jersey, where problems of his own making seem only to get worse, not better.

Or that he could care less that rail workers have been without a contract for five years, and doesn't seem interested in granting them modest raises in order to avert a strike set for 12:01 a.m. Monday.

But in covering the labor dispute, The Record of Woodland Park hasn't been able to hide the deep-seated, anti-union bias of the Borg family, owners of North Jersey Media Group's flagship paper.

Christie's last public appearance on Monday before leaving for a vacation isn't on Page 1, as it should be.

After endorsing fellow racist Donald Trump, the GOP bully recently claimed he went "back to work." 

Christie's latest break from governing isn't even mentioned in the headline on A-4.

Union 'demands'

The rail workers unions are asking for an average 2.57% raise over seven years of a new contract, and for their health insurance payments to be capped at 2.5% of their base salaries (A-4).

That doesn't seem to warrant The Record reporting, "Unions have demanded ...." or quoting NJ Transit officials calling the union proposal "excessive."

Nowhere in the strike-threat coverage have you seen The Record report NJ Transit is in financial trouble and had to raise fares because Christie cut millions of dollars in state subsidies to the agency to balance his budget. 

Of course, the Borgs' can hardly be called objective, and the staff seems to have gotten the message, from transportation reporter Christopher Maag to Editorial Page Editor Alfred P. Doblin.

The Borgs defeated any attempt to unionize pressmen or other workers, and in the last few years, they have denied raises to even the hardest-working newsroom staffers.

Mind on vacation

Road Warrior John Cichowski, The Record's lazy commuting columnist, would be writing about more training for teen drivers on the same day as coverage of a funeral for a 7-year-old girl killed by a hit-run driver in a crosswalk (L-1).

This week also saw the deaths of two 17-year-old boys, who were mowed down by a speeder's out-of-control car.

Cichowski's last column was about a railroad crossing.

In the more than a dozen years Cichowski has been pretending to be the paper's commuting columnist, he has ignored increased crowding on NJ Transit buses and trains; Christie's and the Port Authority's refusal to expand mass transit; and mounting traffic congestion at the Hudson River crossings.

He's also missed a dramatic decline in speeding enforcement on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway.


  1. A reader in Hackensack relates this union-related item about The Record:

    "Victor -- Go to the Huffington Post web site under politics and there is an article about Christie and Trump in which they interviewed some New Jersey legislators. It is interesting.

    "As to the Record and the unions do you know the story of Frank Askin -- Frank has been a professor of law at Rutgers Law for nearly 50 years but in the mid 1960s he worked in the newsroom of The Record -- I believe that he was a copy editor. He tried to get the workers to join the Newspaper Guild and was fired."

    1. I worked at the only newspaper organized by the New York Newspaper Guild, The Daily Journal of Elizabeth, for two years, 1974-76. That was the job I had before I joined The Record in 1979.

      I also tried to organize the Hackensack newsroom of The Record in the 1980s, and had at least one meeting in my Englewood apartment of reporters, who ate bagels and other food paid for with $100 I got from the Newspaper Guild.

      But the so-called journalists of the time didn't understand the value of a union being on your side in any dispute involving management, and wouldn't ask for its representation.

      In the 2008 downsizing of the newsroom, veteran employees were shown the door, some of them after 30 to 35 years of service. Discrimination against older workers was common, and often they were denied the promotions that went to younger employees.

      When printing of The Record and Herald News were moved to Rockaway Township, where North Jersey Media Group had printed other newspapers, the Borgs gave up that profit center and were able to fire more than 50 pressmen.

      Years earlier, The Borgs campaigned hard against an organizing effort in the Hackensack pressroom, and were successful in defeating it.

    2. To clarify, The Daily Journal was the only New Jersey paper organized by the Newspaper Guild.


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