Sunday, October 30, 2016

Hackensack, city attorney in showdown over $3M Zisa deal

Alexander H. Carver III, a former Superior Court judge, was appointed Hackensack city attorney on Sept. 30, 2015 (Credit: Harwood Lloyd law firm).


This week, Hackensack's City Council is prepared to vote on a resolution terminating the services of City Attorney Alexander H. Carver III, a former judge who has had the job for only 13 months.

In a letter to the editor of The Record today, Mayor John Labrosse and Deputy Mayor Kathleen Canestrino complained Carver agreed to pay nearly $3 million to former Police Chief Ken Zisa "without informing the mayor and council" (O-3).

"We knew the matter was being discussed -- but not decided," they say in the letter.

"Why did the city settle the case without insisting Zisa drop his $30 million tort claim against taxpayers?

"Why did the city settle before the deadline the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office had set for deciding whether to file administrative charges against Zisa, even though we specifically asked Carver to wait for that decision?

"Why did Carver agree to pay Zisa more than $1.2 million in legal fees without first reviewing the detailed invoices himself or have another attorney review them?

"Why did the city cut a $600,000-plus check to Zisa without a vote of the council or an appropriation?

"We have lost faith in Carver. If he won't resign before [this] Tuesday's [regular council] meeting, we will have to terminate his services."

Carver is not a city employee and doesn't have a signed contract. He is being paid $175,000 a year -- equal to Governor Christie's salary.

Zisa is a member of a family political dynasty that ruled Hackensack for decades. The city once was referred to mockingly as "Zisaville."

Mayor John Labrosse, seated, and other members of the City Council, including Deputy Mayor Kathleen Canestrino, second from left.

Manager OK'd deal

As reported on Oct. 5 by Eye on The Record, Carver and David R. Troast, on his last day as city manager, agreed to a deal that would pay Zisa nearly $1,755,000 in back pay, vacation and sick days, and other job-related compensation.

Zisa, who was suspended in 2010 after 34 years in the Police Department, had been tried and convicted in 2012.

A Superior Court jury found him guilty of official misconduct and insurance fraud, and he was sentenced to 5 years in prison.

But he was placed under house arrest during appeals, and those charges were eventually dismissed.

Carver and Troast, who said he reviewed the "legal bills and invoices" submitted by Zisa's lawyer, also agreed to pay the former chief nearly $1,203,000 to cover fees through Sept. 30.

At a special meeting on Oct. 25, the City Council passed a resolution indicating officials hope to hire a new city attorney by Dec. 1.

Bridgegate trial

If you aren't already sick of The Record's wall-to-wall coverage of the Bridgegate trial, the Sunday edition should do the trick (A-1 and O-1).

The lead Page 1 story is by Paul Berger, the Port Authority reporter who need a navigation system to find the federal courthouse in Newark.

After six week of testimony from 34 witnesses, Berger declares, "several large questions remain unanswered."

Readers have their own questions, including why Berger and Dustin Racioppi, another court novice, was assigned to perhaps the most important federal criminal trial in decades.

On the Opinion front, the editors came up with a provocative headline for Carl Golden's take on the trial:


Golden is former press aide to Tom Kean and Christie Whitman, who were the worst New Jersey governors before GOP thug Chris Christie came along to claim the crown.

Below Golden's wordy column, Record Columnist Mike Kelly declares:

"Thanks to the Bridgegate trial, we now know that Christie's version of history is, at best, threadbare and highly questionable. At worst, it's a damnable lie" (O-1). 

Other stories

Page 1 has two other stories that could distract readers sick of all the repetitious Bridgegate trial stories and columns.

Retailing reporter Joan Verdon recalls Donald J. Trump's grandiose plans in 1989 for "the finest shopping center in New Jersey and beyond" at Routes 4 and 17 in Paramus (A-1).

Trump gave North Jersey residents "a preview of some of the talking points of his presidential campaign, including blustery claims about his building prowess and his ability to fix long-standing government problems, lawsuits and insults against the competition, and an allegation that the approval process might be stacked against him."

Trump hired Thomas Wells, a Paramus attorney. In July, Wells wrote a piece for The Huffington Post. Here are excerpts the reporter doesn't mention:

"After the initial interview, my client contact with Donald was actually not very much. One low point I do remember (actually will never forget) is a limousine ride to a meeting with the editorial board of a New Jersey newspaper in which my married client sought to regale me with the number and quality of eligible young women who in his words “want me.” I was just plain shocked and embarrassed, but I kept smiling. I wanted and needed this client happy. 
"While I was working for Donald, various press reports had Trump and his then-wife Ivanna living in a personal apartment in the Trump Tower of 8, 16 and even 20 or 30 rooms. Genuinely curious, I once asked him how many rooms the apartment actually had. I will never forget his response to me: “However many they will print.”

No trick-or-treat

Below the tortured Trump tale, local obituary writer Jay Levin reports no trick-or-treaters ever come to the door of the Kostka home, because "the house is inside a cemetery" (A-1).

Guy Kostka, superintendent of Valleau Cemetery in Ridgewood, has lived on the grounds with his family since 1982.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Bridgegate trial editors forgot to read U.S. Courts handbook

In summing up the government's case at the Bridgegate trial on Friday, a prosecutor called defendants Bridget Anne Kelly, left, and Bill Baroni "loyal lieutenants" of Governor Christie (Credit: Bryan Thomas/Getty Images).


The Record's flawed coverage of the Bridgegate trial in Newark is lurching toward its conclusion next week, when federal jurors are expected to begin their secret deliberations and deliver a verdict.

In reporting on Friday's closing arguments, the main Page 1 headline today presents the defense case first, and is missing a question mark:

or loyal

In fact, a federal prosecutor went first, and spent four hours laying out evidence the defendants "shared an intense commitment to the political success of Governor Christie."

"They saw themselves as his loyal lieutenants who were free to use their government jobs to launch political attacks ...," notably the George Washington Bridge lane closures in September 2013, Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee Cortes said (A-1).

Defendants Bridget Anne Kelly, Christie's former deputy chief of staff, and Bill Baroni, the governor's former top executive appointee at the Port Authority, "never attempted to separate politics from their jobs in public service," Cortes told the jury.

Defense attorney Michael Baldassare called Baroni's accuser and former subordinate David Wildstein "a serial liar." Kelly's attorney is set to sum up on Monday.

Uncorrected error

In today's Bridgegate trial story, Staff Writer Paul Berger steers clear of a major error on Friday, when The Record reported the judge has already instructed the jury on the law, even though that is the last step before they start their deliberations.

And no correction appears on A-2 today.

The two reporters who have been covering the trial, Berger and Dustin Racioppi, and their editors apparently forgot to read the "Handbook for Trial Jurors Serving in the United States District Courts," which lays out how a federal criminal trial proceeds.

Page 8 notes the judge's instructions or "the charge to the jury" comes after closing arguments, not before.

"The charge ... is much more than a statement of the rules of law. Sometimes it may contain a summary of the facts or some of the facts.

"The judge may point out and may also explain basic facts in dispute, and facts that do not actually matter in the case."

Bad news for Christie

At least three witnesses testified under oath that Christie knew about the lane closures in Fort Lee, despite his repeated denials.

But that's not why he looks so unhappy in a Page 1 photo today from a Seaside Heights bar, where people who are not back in their homes four years after Superstorm Sandy rained on his progress report.

3-star crap

Staff Writer Elisa Ung continues to lose credibility as a restaurant critic with her rave review of the low-quality smoked pork and artery clogging desserts served at an out-of-state restaurant, Fink's BBQ and Cheesesteak Roadhouse (BL-14 on Friday).

Absent any information to the contrary, readers can only assume the worst, that the pork, meat and poultry served there are raised under horrific conditions and pumped full of antibiotics, which are harmful to humans.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

More bad journalism: False Bridgegate trial story, column

The upper level toll plaza of the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee in September 2013 (Credit: The New York Times).

Editor's note: Today's post has been revised and expanded.


In a major error on Page 1 today, The Record says the federal judge at the Bridgegate trial has already instructed the jury on the law.

Also on A-1 today, Staff Writer John Cichowski, The Record's pathetic excuse for a commuting columnist, quotes one of his moronic readers comparing the Bridgegate trial to the Nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals after World War II.

The conspiracy trial of two of Governor Christie's ex-aides, Bill Baroni and Bridget Anne Kelly, opened on Sept. 19, and the judge instructs the jury on the law governing the charges only after prosecutors and defense attorneys sum up their cases.

This morning, U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton postponed those closing arguments until Friday, apparently to resolve defense objections to proposed instructions that jurors should ignore the political motive for the lane closings.

Kelly is charged with sending an email to David Wildstein, Christie's crony at the Port Authority -- "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" -- that set into motion five mornings of gridlock, starting on Sept. 9, 2013, the first day of school.

The traffic jams were intended to punish Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, a Democrat, for refusing to endorse Christie's reelection, prosecutors say. 

Missing type

At least nine words of Cichowski's Road Warrior column between the front page and the continuation page (A-6) went missing due to a production error.

The complete column appears online.

His first paragraph names five "victims" who were "trapped in their cars" when two of three Fort Lee access lanes to the bridge were closed.  

"Bridget Kelly is a single mother who was worried about losing her job, but that's not a good enough defense," says Hyla Epstein. "It's a self-serving argument" (A-6).

In an exaggeration typical of the column, Cichowski says Epstein "recalled nearly being trapped in her Fort Lee home by gridlock for most of the week."

So, I guess we can assume cars caught in the traffic jam mounted the sidewalk and blocked Epstein's front door.

Trial coverage

The biggest flaw in The Record's coverage of the Bridgegate trial was the editors' decision to assign reporters who apparently have little or no experience covering trials in federal court.

Two of those reporters are Paul Berger, who is assigned to the Port Authority; and Dustin Racioppi, a reporter in Trenton who covers Christie.

That can be the only explanation for why Racioppi's report today on a "closed meeting with lawyers" says incorrectly that the judge "read the charges to the jury, a routine procedure in criminal cases so that each member [of the jury panel] understands instructions on how to deliberate" (A-6).

The sub-headline on Page 1 says:

"Jury told to ignore possible
 motivation for alleged scheme"

His reporting and the sub-headline are flawed, because the judge instructs the jury on the law governing the charges in the case right before they start their secret deliberations, and does so in open court.

Since both prosecutors and defense attorneys haven't given their closing arguments, the judge couldn't have read the instructions, which usually are so extensive and complicated they can put even an experienced lawyer to sleep.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Editors claim main Bridgegate defendant is angel, not devil

A splash of fall color on Passaic Street and Poplar Avenue in Maywood, where this tree was sculpted by passing buses and trucks.


A Record columnist has done more than anyone outside of her defense team to portray Bridget Anne Kelly as a victim instead of as the central Christie administration figure in the 2013 George Washington Bridge lane closures.

Veteran reporter Mike Kelly was granted unprecedented access to the defendant's lawyers, close friends and former associates -- as readers saw last Thursday in his flattering Page 1 profile of Governor Christie's former deputy chief of staff.

As a result, much of his coverage of Kelly's role in the Bridgegate scandal sounds like it was written by a publicist, not a veteran reporter:

We've learned Bridget Kelly, 44, grew up in Ramsey and attended Catholic schools and a Catholic university; and that she is a divorced mother of four with joint custody.

On Tuesday's front page, the editors even ran a photo showing Bridget Kelly wearing a blouse that looked like it was part of a maternity outfit.

That photo ran under a banner headline:

"Kelly feared she was being set up"

Under the banner, a sub-headline over Charles Stile's column said:

"At trial, Christie portrayed as
 something worse than a bully" 

Shed tear in court

"She's a Catholic kind of orderly person," one of her friends told Mike Kelly for his Thursday profile. "That's why I've always found it absolutely incredible that she would have cooked up this scheme to cause traffic problems in Fort Lee."

The reporter even noted in his lead paragraph for the profile that as she listened to prosecution witnesses testify in the Newark courtroom, she shed a "solitary tear."

In his column today, the reporter says "the other day," Kelly's lawyer, Michael Critchley, "asked her if she knew what a 'scapegoat' was," and before she could answer prosecutors objected "and the judge agreed" (A-1).

That echoed what the columnist had been told by her friends for his extraordinarily long Thursday piece, which appeared a day before she took the stand in her own defense for the first time:

"Kelly's friends say she is the target for unfair punishment," and that star prosecution witness and former Port Authority official David Wildstein "had set her up as a scapegoat" (Thursday's A-6).


Today, the editors run a front page news story on cross-examination of Bridget Kelly, and yet another Mike Kelly column boosting her defense and again portraying her as a victim (A-1).

The prosecutor challenged the defendant's portrayal of herself as "a bit player in the administration," and tried to show the jury she ordered two of three access lanes closed for five mornings to punish Mark Sokolich, the Democratic mayor, for not endorsing Christie's reelection (A-1).

Of course, what the columnist or The Record's editors believe won't mean anything when federal prosecutors sum up and the case goes to the jury.

Bridget Kelly still has not been able to explain away her email to Wildstein, "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee," which she sent about a month before he put the lane closures into motion as part of a so-called traffic study.  

She told the jury the email wasn't "an order."

Monday, October 24, 2016

Christie pushing back against ex-aide on trial in GWB case

"Saturday Night Live" lampooned the third and final debate between Democrat Hillary Clinton and wacko racist Donald J. Trump, above and below. When Alex Baldwin's Trump used the phrase "bad hombres," Kate McKinnon's Clinton declared she had won "Trump Bingo" ("rapists," "Miss Piggy," "They're all living in hell" and "If she wasn't my daughter").


If I didn't know better, I'd think reporters and columnists at The Record are taking sides in the trial of Governor Christie's ex-aides in the Bridgegate scandal. 

Today's lead story by Dustin Racioppi reports the Intergovernmental Affairs department (IGA) "did not become politicized until" right-hand man Bill Stepien left "and turned over duties to Bridget Anne Kelly" (A-1).

Kelly is on trial in Newark federal court, accused of working with Port Authority officials to block access to the George Washington Bridge as political retribution against Fort Lee's Democratic mayor, who refused to back the GOP bully's reelection in 2013.

That clashes with her testimony, including her claim that her email to David Wildstein, Christie's Port Authority crony -- "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" -- wasn't an "order."

Tarring Kelly

Until today, Bridget Kelly enjoyed several days of being portrayed in flattering terms by Columnist Mike Kelly, who profiled her and then wrote a long piece commenting on her Friday testimony, which he called "her side of the story."

But Racioppi quotes a former head of the state Ethics Commission suggesting an investigation into whether the IGA under Bridget Kelly "conducted political activity during state time, using state resources, using state employees to do it" (A-6).

It's also troubling that Racioppi refers several times to an "investigation" commissioned by Christie that eventually cost taxpayers more than $10 million -- the lead lawyer, Randy Mastro, was charging $650 an hour.

That report was widely viewed as a whitewash of the governor's role in the George Washington Bridge scandal -- confirmed by Kelly and other witnesses who said the governor knew of the lane closures in Fort Lee as they occurred.

As an example of how today's piece amounts to major push-back by Christie, Racioppi quotes Mastro's report as claiming IGA "functioned very effectively during the first three years of the governor's first term, both in terms of responsiveness and non-partisanship" (A-6).

"But, then, during the governor's reelection year, under [Bridget] Kelly's stewardship, there was aberrational behavior at Kelly's direction," Mastro claimed.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

If reporter was on Bridgegate jury, we'd be in deep doo-doo

This New York Post photo shows Bridgegate trial defendant Bridget Anne Kelly, right, and Governor Christie on Sept. 12, 2013, touring a fire scene in Seaside Heights. 


"Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee."

This email from Bridgegate defendant Bridget Anne Kelly, then Governor Christie's deputy chief of staff in Trenton, has long been considered the smoking gun in the September 2013 lane closures on the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee.

Not so fast, says Columnist Mike Kelly, who devotes his entire column on Page 1 of The Record today to "the other side of the story," based on Bridget Anne Kelly's testimony in her own defense on Friday. 

The day before her testimony, the veteran reporter's glowing profile of the defendant also appeared on A-1, declaring:

"[Bridget] Kelly's expected testimony could be one of the most pivotal moments in the bizarre case ...."

Well, I'm glad Mike Kelly isn't on the federal jury or he'd certainly vote for her acquittal.

Bridget Kelly's testimony didn't change the narrative, as the column reports; she is the fourth or fifth witness who said Christie knew about the lane closures as they were happening, despite his denials.

But both Bridget Kelly and the second defendant, former Port Authority Executive Director Bill Baroni, said they were duped by Christie crony David Wildstein at the Port Authority about the reasons for the lane closures.

Wildstein pleaded guilty and testified that about a month after he received Bridget Kelly's email, he put the plot in motion to punish Fort Lee's Democratic mayor for not endorsing the governor's reelection.

She claimed before the jury the email wasn't an "order."

In a development you haven't seen in The Record, work on a 14-story residential-retail project at Main and Mercer streets in Hackensack was halted three months ago after a pile driver damaged the building next to the site, forcing the evacuation of a preschool and other tenants.

Rest of paper

There isn't much of interest in the rest of the paper, including the silly Page 1 feature comparing the sleepy Dingman's Ferry Bridge over the Delaware River to the GWB (A-1).

On the Local front, Road Warrior John Cichowski's "Black Hole" column on Silk City's pockmarked West Railway Avenue is just more of the irrelevant Paterson news the editors are shoving down Bergen readers' throats to save money on newsprint (L-1).


Kelly, the columnist not the defendant, wrote another boring column for today's Opinion front (O-1).

Today's editorial on why The Record endorses candidates begins: "This has been a long election cycle" (O-2).

But Editorial Page Editor Alfred P. Doblin doesn't acknowledge the news media starts covering state and national contests years before Election Day, and are principally responsible for voter apathy.

As in the Nov. 8 presidential election, the vast majority of coverage is devoted to politics, not issues.

On O-3 today, Entertainment Editor Christina Joseph calls GOP nominee Donald J. Trump's "sweeping generalities about the black community ... an affront to all that my family and others like them embody."

Her column may be the first by a black staffer since The Record showed the door many years ago to the paper's only Hispanic and African-American columnists.

Also on O-3, a letter to the editor from Johnnie Najarian of River Edge says, "Television has given him [Trump] more than $3 billion worth of free advertising by broadcasting his rallies and his right-wing conspiracies."

Aching teeth

Check out the shameless promotion of Lolli and Pops, a candy purveyor at Garden State Plaza in Paramus (Better Living front).

Restaurant Reviewer Elisa Ung reports the store excited her "voracious sweet tooth," sending thousands of diabetics who read the paper searching for their insulin. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Editors should be calling on Trump to admit his mistakes

From cartoonist Jeff Darcy of The Cleveland Plain Dealer (


Amid new revelations about GOP presidential hopeful Donald J. Trump's groping, The Record's front page focuses instead on spousal abuse by an obscure athlete.

Trump has succeeded in distracting the news media with his pledge to accept the outcome of the Nov. 8 election -- but only if he wins (A-1 and A-8).

The New York Times calls the wacko racist billionaire an "enemy of democracy," and Op-Ed Columnist Dave Leonhardt declares:

"Trump has adopted the language of despots -- lie-filled accusations meant to delegitimize both his opponent and the country's entire democratic system of governance."

Contrast that with The Record's wishy-washy editorial on Trump and the integrity of the election (A-18).

Meanwhile, Karena Virginia, 45, of Monmouth County became the 10th woman to publicly accuse the GOP groper of unwanted physical contact -- saying he grabbed her arm and touched her breast during a chance encounter at the 1998 U.S. Open (A-7).

Sports lead

Leading the paper with a sports story is always wrong, but it's especially bad journalism now, when the nation is facing the possibility of seeing a sociopath and sexual abuser of women elected president.

Tara Sullivan's column -- "Giants need to admit their mistakes" -- even knocked the Bridgegate trial off Page 1.

Informal dining

Check your gas tank and make sure you bring your cholesterol-lowering pills with you, if you intend to visit Sette, a wood-fired pizzeria in Totowa recommended by Staff Writer Elisa Ung (BL-14).

Ung, the paper's chief restaurant reviewer, advises readers not to miss the cannoli pizza.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Trump's anti-women, anti-black rhetoric will never prevail

On Wednesday night in Las Vegas, GOP presidential nominee Donald J. Trump showed how truly ugly he is during the third and final debate with Democrat Hillary Clinton, who was the clear winner, above and below, though you won't see that reflected in The Record's Page 1 coverage today.


In anti-women and anti-black comments on Wednesday night, GOP White House hopeful Donald J. Trump again showed he is a truly ugly, unapologetic male chauvinist pig.

His attacks during the final presidential debate ranged from calling Democrat Hillary Clinton a "nasty women" to pledging to appoint right-to-life justices to the Supreme Court to denying reports from women that he groped and kissed them against their will.

In a parting shot designed to appeal to his racist supporters, the wacko billionaire claimed electing Clinton would be the same as returning our first black president to office. 

Today's coverage

Clinton said Trump "thinks belitlling women makes him bigger" (A-4).

"He goes after their dignity, their self-worth," she said.

His "trickle-down economics on steroids," as Clinton called it; his getting away with not paying federal taxes; his business losses of nearly a billion dollars in one year -- all show his economic plan is a sham.

"We have undocumented immigrants paying more in taxes than a billionaire," Clinton said (A-1).

Kelly on Kelly

Columnist Mike Kelly appears to have set a record with his Page 1 profile of Bridget Anne Kelly, Governor Christie's former deputy chief of staff and a defendant in the Bridgegate trial.

This is not only more than he has written about any one person, but it certainly eclipses anything the editors have published about Clinton's long public service and her policy positions in the presidential campaign (A-1 and A-6).

Kelly's largely sympathetic portrait of the defendant, who grew up in Ramsey, clashes with her being portrayed as a central figure in the George Washington Bridge lane closures to punish Fort Lee's Democratic mayor for not endorsing the reelection of Christie.

No one knows how Bridget Kelly, who is scheduled to testify before a federal jury, will try to explain away her infamous email to Christie crony David Wildstein at the Port Authority:

"Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee."

Zisa editorial

An editorial claims Hackensack taxpayers will have to shoulder a $3 million payment to former Police Chief Ken Zisa because of the "mistakes of their city fathers" (A-10).

One so-called mistake was not having Zisa's back pay "accumulating in an account," but the editorial doesn't list any others.

Although all of the charges in a Bergen County grand injury indictment against Zisa have been dropped, the editorial neglects to mention no court or jury has ever said the former chief didn't commit a crime.

Stale news

The front page on Wednesday carried a stale headline.

"Hackensack plans
 $3M payment to Zisa" 

Eye on The Record already reported the payment on Oct. 5, and the Woodland Park daily's John Seasly followed with his own report two days later.

The news is that the City Council on Tuesday night proposed a $3 million appropriation raised through selling bonds "to fulfill a court-mandated payment" to Zisa (A-1 on Wednesday).

Seasly continues to ignore plans by Zisa and other members of his family's political dynasty, which ruled Hackensack for decades, to run a slate and try to regain power in next May's municipal election.

Zisa allies have long controlled the city's Board of Education.

Christie critic

Staff Writer John Cichowski is the latest staffer to pile on Christie since the fatal Hoboken train crash, revelations in the Bridgegate trial, and the biggest bugs up the veteran reporter's ass -- computer breakdowns and long lines at Motor Vehicle Commission offices.

His Road Warrior column on L-1 today breaks years of silent acquiescing to Christie's anti-mass transit policies, and refusal to raise the gas tax to pay for road and rail improvements.

Cichowski even blames Christie for rising traffic deaths this year "after three decades of decline" (L-2).

Columns such as Cichowski's ring hollow in view of The Record being the only major daily paper in the state that didn't call for the GOP thug to resign after he endorsed Trump.

Whole Foods

On Wednesday, retailing reporter Joan Verdon was incorrect in saying the new Closter Whole Foods "will have features not found in other stores, including a juice bar and coffee stand."

The Whole Foods in Paramus has both.

She also omitted mentioning that Costco Wholesale has expanded its organic and natural-food selection far more than the Whole Foods competitors she lists: Fairway, Trader Joe's, Walmart and Target.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Timely nutrition advice for seniors ignores egg whites, fish

From cartoonist Bruce Plante at the Tulsa World.
From cartoonist Gary Varvel at the Indianapolis Star.


The Record has done a terrible job of covering the obesity epidemic, heart disease and nutrition, especially when grossly overweight editors ran the newsroom.

Still, older readers -- the majority, by the way -- welcome today's Better Living cover story on a ShopRite staff dietitian offering guidance in nutrition and "healthy food choices."

Unfortunately, Staff Writer John Petrick offers only a few basic tips from Inserra ShopRite staff dietitian Alison Halpern, including this advice on eggs:

"Eggs are a great source of protein. Just use oil instead of butter to cook them, and if you suffer from high cholesterol, limit your intake to three or four times a week" (BL-1).

Surely, Petrick and his editors must know 100% liquid eggs whites are cholesterol free and a terrific substitute for whole eggs, but there is no mention of them.

Nor is there any mention of heart-healthy fish fillets in the article.

Much of the focus appears to be on helping seniors read labels so they can avoid added sugar, preservatives and other unhealthy ingredients.

And Petrick doesn't even do the legwork to find out if other supermarkets besides the ShopRite in Paramus offer the services of a staff dietitian or nutritionist.

In fact, the entire article reads like a plug for a big advertiser and a program at Hackensack University Medical Center, where doctors connect patients "who need guidance in nutrition and healthy food choices" to "one of ShopRite's staff dietitians."

Page 1

The front page today carries three major stories -- two on the environment and one on Donald J. Trump's "repeated charges that the race for the White House is 'rigged' against him" (A-1).

The wacko predator and GOP presidential nominee is doing his best to deflect sex-assault accusations in the wake of a 2005 video in which he boasted of kissing and groping women against their will.

Today's environmental stories focus on the Meadowlands, and the endangered New Jersey bat (A-1).

Animal news dominates the Local front today.

Eye on The Record will return
later this week

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Editors come down hard on Christie, but six years too late

Solar panels form the roof of the Bergen County Administration Building's employee parking garage in Hackensack.


In 2010, Governor Christie delayed the first expansion of metropolitan area rail service in ages by at least a decade.

In torpedoing new Hudson River rail tunnels, he ensured that hundreds of thousands of commuters would face increasing traffic congestion, loss of productivity, worsening air pollution, and fewer seats on NJ Transit trains and buses.

But The Record of Woodland Park didn't see the monumental consequences of his actions, and pretty much swallowed whole his claim he killed the project to save taxpayers millions more in cost overruns.

Now, today's editorial is blaming "the Christie administration" for turning NJ Transit "from the jewel of regional commuter-rail systems to the joke of them; it has been a race to the bottom" (O-2).

But Editorial Page Editor Alfred P. Doblin has only himself to blame.

He ignored the ramifications of the tunnel decision, then refused to out the governor when Christie grabbed hundreds of millions of dollars in leftover funds to pave roads and fix bridges.

That allowed the GOP thug to impose his conservative fiscal policies on the state, and continue vetoing a hike in the gasoline tax to fund Transportation Trust Fund road and rail improvements.

Doblin didn't even protest Christie slashing state subsidies to NJ Transit by more than 90 percent, triggering fare hikes and service cuts, and delaying an automatic braking system that could have prevented last month's fatal train crash in Hoboken.

Trump, Garrett on A-1

Today's front page is dominated by a large photo of GOP presidential nominee and sexual predator Donald J. Trump bringing his campaign of lies, racism and hatred to Edison (A-1 and A-3).

Leading the paper is an investigative piece on accidental shootings of minors -- one every other day during the first six months of the year (A-1).

So you'd think a Page 1 story on Rep. Scott Garrett, R-Wantage, would mention one of the most conservative members of Congress gets an "A" from the National Rifle Association for opposing gun control.

But it doesn't. 

Garrett lies

In Opinion, Columnist Brigid Harrison asks, "Why would Garrett knowingly mislead voters" in ads about his opponent, Democrat Josh Gottheimer (O-4).

"Why would he blame his opponent for ridiculous positions, and mislead voters about his own record?"

She answers her own questions by revealing that in 13 years in office, the 5th District congressman "has successfully had [only] four pieces of legislation become law."


For the second day in a row, The Record is publicizing a protest over the death of a bear named "Pedals," which walked upright and had a Facebook page before he was killed by a bow hunter (L-1).

It isn't known whether the protesters have demonstrated against the mistreatment and death of humans, including the slaughter of innocent children and teens during gang shootouts in Paterson.

A story on a food fest in Clifton notes the city of 86,000 is "among the most diverse in the state and has large Latino, Middle Eastern and Polish communities (L-1).

But Staff Writer Pat Alex neglects to mention African-Americans made up less than 5% of the city's population in the 2010 census, even though Clifton surrounds Passaic city and shares a border with Paterson.

Second coming

Restaurant Reviewer Elisa Ung devotes her entire Sunday column to cauliflower dishes at restaurants, "noting the white flowered vegetable has become one of the hottest trends in the food world" (BL-1).

Ung's column, The Corner Table, appears on the Better Living cover, which two years ago, nearly to the day, carried another story on cauliflower's resurgence under this headline: