Sunday, June 26, 2016

Editors yawn when Bergen man's long life takes tragic turn

Ioannis E. "Yani" Kapantais, 69, of Park Ridge was head baker at the Pompton Queen Diner in Pompton Plains before he was fatally injured by an out-of-control car last Sunday. These photos were taken from the diner's website.


When a husband, father of two and grandfather of four is struck down and fatally injured by an out-of-control car in Park Ridge, you'd think The Record's editors would work hard to bring readers the story.

In fact, Editor Deirdre Sykes has assigned her reporters to write hundreds of thousands of words about pedestrian deaths in recent years, including a column that appears on the Local front today (L-1).

But as in so many traffic fatalities that are dispensed with in a few paragraphs, the lazy, insensitive Sykes only treats Ioannis E. "Yani" Kapantais with contempt.

The 69-year-old Park Ridge man -- head baker at the Pompton Queen Diner on Route 23 in Pompton Plains -- was fatally injured last Sunday night when an out-of-control car mounted the Park Avenue sidewalk where he was walking with another man.

He died at Hackensack University Medical Center, where the other man, Moachia Hu, 64, of Montvale, remained in critical condition. 

Sykes didn't identify the men until Wednesday's edition, and then provided only the baker's name, age and the town where he lived.

19-year-old victims

Meanwhile, her reporters were churning out tens of thousands of words about two former athletes at Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey who were killed when their luxury SUV hurtled off Route 287 and crashed into the woods last Sunday or early Monday.

Leo Vagias and Sam Cali, both 19, grew up together in Morris County. 

Vagias, who was driving, was using his seat belt. But Cali, the son of a police officer, wasn't and he was ejected from the vehicle.

Both attended college, where they were involved in athletics, so the extensive coverage included numerous interviews with grief-stricken friends and teammates, and culminated in Saturday's Page 1 story and photos on their separate funerals in Montville and Clifton.

Ioannis E. "Yani" Kapantais in a photo from the
website of Becker Funeral Home in Westwood.

Nothing on Yani

Sykes didn't bother covering the services for Kapantais on Friday at St. Athanasios Greek Orthodox Church in Paramus or mention his burial in George Washington Memorial Park.

His widow, Angeliki Kapantais, wasn't interviewed, and no reporter called the Pompton Queen Diner to ask about the victim.

A woman named Hanna wrote in the funeral home's guest book:

"I DO believe I had the pleasure of working with Ioannis at the Pompton Queen Diner about ten years ago. He was a jolly, sweet, and very kind man who showed me a thing or two of baking and always ALWAYS turned a frown into a smile.

"I enjoyed his spirit and this will live on."

Today's paper

Another pedestrian, this one killed by a tractor-trailer in downtown Teaneck on Saturday, gets the same short shrift as Kapantais (L-1).

Staff Writer Dave Sheingold identifies the victim as Felicia Sasso, who was 93 years old, but tells readers absolutely nothing else.

Sheingold mentions that on Christmas Day last year, a 59-year-old man was struck and killed on Cedar Lane, only a couple of blocks from where Sasso was struck.

And yet another pedestrian, a 21-year-old Ramsey man, was killed by a hit-and-run driver in a black Cadillac Escalade with New York plates early Saturday in Hoboken. 

Today's L-3 story contains no information on the victim, Zackhary Simmons.

Front page

The Record today continues a decade-long effort to pin wrongdoing on Michael Mordaga, former police director in Hackensack and former chief of detectives at the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office (A-1).

The allegations are based on a lawsuit filed by the family of a reputed mobster.

A second Page 1 story details how the Port Authority has botched the renovation of the George Washington Bridge Bus Station in upper Manhattan (A-1).

Staff Writer Paul Berger and his predecessors on the Port Authority beat don't realize the massive bi-state agency has always treated bus and rail commuters with contempt.

Agency officials, including all of the cronies appointed by the governors of New York and New Jersey, deliberately neglect money-losing mass transit operations in favor of maximizing revenue from bridges, tunnels, ports and airports.

When is Berger going to come to his senses?

Local news?

Road Warrior John Cichowski is off in La-La Land today with a column on an "eggshell-like layer on the surface of [a] car which would then glue [a pedestrian] to the front of the vehicle, thereby preventing further injury" (L-1).

Only later do readers learn "this human flypaper system won't be ready for some time -- if ever" (L-6).

Wouldn't it be nice if Sykes, with the backing of North Jersey Media Group, developed a similar system for Cichowski, a reporter whose hundreds of errors in the past dozen years have rarely been corrected?

That way, facts might stick to him, and readers would be spared his flights of fantasy.

In fact, Cichowski has seemed to side with drivers, despite all the pedestrian fatalities in New Jersey.

He's even quoted some of them saying they'd like to run down jaywalkers to teach them a lesson.

When is he going to urge police to suspend the licenses of drivers who don't yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and then confiscate their cars on a second offense?


Check out the cartoon by Margulies, who has Governor Christie in a Robin Hood outfit threatening to take school funds from the poor and give them to the rich (O-2).

Indeed, he's been favoring the rich and warring against the middle and working classes since he took office in early 2010.

Yet, Sykes continues to publish flattering columns about Christie, like the one on Page 1 today.

Charles Stile claims Christie is serving as "a behind-the-scenes strategic guru" for wacko racist Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

Friday night on HBO, satirist Bill Maher, noting the Trump campaign is having trouble raising money, said that to make matters worse, Christie has eaten all of the remaining Trump Steaks.

Eye on The Record
will return in two weeks

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Britain's anti-immigrant vote shows Trump-like dark side

Wacko racist Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, commenting on the Brexit vote during a visit to Scotland on Friday. (Credit: Jane Barlow/Press Association)


In a state as diverse as New Jersey, a newspaper editor who ignores the dark side of Britain's vote to exit the European Union could be called a fool.

Both stories leading The Record's front page today focus on the so-called financial impact in Britain's former colony, even though Staff Writer Richard Newman says "it may take two years or more for the change to take place" (A-1 and A-6)

A third story focuses on "companies doing business with Britain" (A-10).

Doesn't Editor Deirdre Sykes know tens of millions of people in this nation of immigrants -- including those who live in North Jersey -- are horrified by a country that votes against immigration? 

In fact, Britons seeking to "control their borders" was the focus of coverage on Friday's CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley.

And on HBO, satirist Bill Maher said 52% of Britons affirmed "Pride and Prejudice" over "Sense and Sensibilty."

Trump in Scotland

Wacko racist Donald J. Trump, the Republican Party's presumptive presidential nominee, caused a stir on Friday when he tweeted:

"Just arrived in Scotland.... They took their country back, just like we will take America back."

That was met with a barrage of profanity directed at the billionaire businessman, who is despised in Scotland, his mother's homeland, which voted overwhelmingly to stay in the EU.

I can't find any mention in The Record today of Trump putting both feet in his mouth in Scotland.

Of course, at home he is campaigning against Muslims, Mexicans and other immigrants in his futile quest for the White House.

Maybe the moron will try to run for British prime minister.

Trump and Christie

Saturday's front page reported Trump is considering Governor Christie for vice president or another job, in the unlikely event he wins the presidency.

The Record is the only major daily in the state that didn't call for the GOP bully to resign after ending his own doomed bid for the White House and endorsing Trump.

After the terror attacks in Paris last November, Christie sought unsuccessfully to bar Syrian immigrants, even children, from entering the United States, including New Jersey.

Since then, The Record's editors have published two or three Syrian refugee success stories, such as today's glowing portrait of night shift baker Hussam Al Roustom (L-2).

Local news?

Sykes continues to focus on two former Don Bosco Prep athletes killed in a highway crash this week while ignoring Ioannis Kapantais, 69, of Park Ridge who was struck by a car and fatally injured while walking on a sidewalk last Sunday night (A-1).

No death notice or obituary for Kapantais has appeared in the Woodland Park daily, which today publishes long wire-service obituaries of obscure musicians to plug holes in another thin municipal news report (L-6). 

Criminal cases

The Local front is dominated by charges against five people in the November 2014 sexual assault of a female Ramapo College student after a frat party (L-1).

A second story reports a four-year prison sentence for Donald DeWitt, 65, a former Bergen County Academies teacher who had sex with a teenage student.

Also on L-1 today is yet another story promoting the wonders performed at Hackensack University Medical Center.

Glowing stories about the partially tax-exempt hospital are more numerous than municipal news from Hackensack, which continues to be neglected by Sykes and her minions. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

This isn't the first time Christie has vowed to lower our taxes

Visitors to the Great Falls in Paterson on Tuesday missed the usual roar of water at the main falls, above, but did better at the upper falls, which are accessible from Mary Ellen Kramer Park, below.


If you promise to lower property taxes in New Jersey, you can get long-suffering homeowners to do almost anything.

That was the case in November 2009, when voters elected a Republican who has ruled by veto as he rolls up the worst record of any governor in state history.

His only so-called accomplishment is a 2% cap on municipal budget hikes that doesn't keep homeowners from tearing their hair out four times a year, when they pay their increasingly higher tax bills.

Now, Governor Christie is renewing his failed promise -- this time claiming he can lower the average property tax bill by $1,600 to $2,200 in 75 school districts that would receive more state education aid (A-1).

The Record's front-page story is silent on whether Hackensack -- the biggest Bergen County district -- is one of the towns that would get more aid under Christie's plan.

In fact, Editor Deirdre Sykes again fails readers across North Jersey by listing only three towns -- Fair Lawn, Teaneck and Wood-Ridge -- that would benefit by getting more aid.

To make that a reality, Christie would have to succeed in amending the constitution to allow the state to pay $6,599 per pupil in both rich and poor districts.

That seems unlikely in a Legislature controlled by Democrats.

Hackensack schools

Hackensack's Board of Education has been known to spend more money per pupil than Ridgewood's, yet the city has two failing elementary schools.

In the April school election, a small minority of registered voters approved a bigger school budget and elected two board candidates who were backed by the Zisa family political dynasty -- a story The Record ignored.

HUMC merger

The Page 1 story on a North Jersey-shore merger of hospitals skimps on how patients will benefit.

Deep on the continuation page, Staff Writer Lindy Washburn reports, "Recent studies have shown that when hospitals consolidate, prices go up" (A-6).

Then, she quotes Robert C. Garrett, president and CEO of Hackensack University Health Network, as saying "he did not expect it to be true in this case."

What else would he say? 

An A-6 photo shows Garrett with a big smile on his face as he contemplates his reported annual salary of about $3 million. 

As a public service, I'd like to see Washburn list the salary of all of the executives at Hackensack University Medical Center, which claims a non-profit exemption on $10 million in property taxes in the city.

Don't hold your breath.

Local news?

Sykes leads Local today with the results of a vote on a bond ordinance to finance a municipal parking garage in downtown Ridgewood (L-1).

This proposal has received more ink in The Record -- including a front-page story last Saturday -- than bigger projects in other towns, including the enormous expansion of HUMC.

Sykes also directed her reporters to cover every single hearing on the expansion of The Valley Hospital, even though none of the construction would be outside the Ridgewood hospital's campus.

In both case, readers' eyes rolled at the excessive amount of coverage, even as the local staff neglected the beleaguered downtowns of Hackensack, Teaneck, Englewood and other communities. 

Two elderly men

More than two days after two elderly men were run down as they were walking on a sidewalk in Park Ridge, Sykes finally identifies them on L-3.

Ioannis Kapatais, 69, a resident, was fatally injured and Maochia Hu, 64, of Montvale remained in critical condition at a hospital, acting Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal says.

He did not identify the 61-year-old driver, also a Park Ridge resident. His 2015 Volvo "left the roadway" and struck the two men.

Readers aren't told anything about the men who were struck on the sidewalk.

The Record also doesn't report the injured men were taken to Hackensack University Medical Center, where Kapatais died and Hu remained in critical condition, according to the acting prosecutor.

Why weren't they taken to a closer hospital? 

'Great athletes'

Meanwhile, two former Don Bosco Prep athletes, killed in a crash on Route 287 on Sunday continue to be accorded front-page coverage (A-1 and L-1).

Today, The Record corrects earlier reporting that both men were ejected when their luxury SUV went off the road and crashed in Mahwah, suggesting neither was wearing a seat belt.

The driver, Leo Vagias, who wore a seat belt, was found inside the vehicle. His passenger, Sam Cali, who wasn't wearing a seat belt, was found outside. Both were 19.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Lives of two athletes are worth more than dead pedestrian's

A Park Ridge police car (Credit:


Today's sensational front page leaves readers of The Record wondering whether two college athletes from Morris County threw their lives away by ignoring a basic safety measure: 

Not using their seat belts. 

Their luxury SUV hurtled off Route 287 in Mahwah on Sunday, ejecting both of them from the vehicle and killing them (A-1).

Meanwhile, Editor Deirdre Sykes seems to be saying that the lives of former Don Bosco Prep students Sam Cali and Leo Vagias, both 19, are worth more than a pedestrian who was run down and killed by a driver in Park Ridge on the same day.

That person is treated as so much road kill, with Sykes burying the story deep in the local section.

The victim and a second pedestrian, who was injured in the same incident, aren't identified, and there is no information about whether the unidentified driver has been charged in the death.

To make up for that, Sykes is running a large photo of a damaged barrier "at the scene of a fatal accident Sunday on Park Avenue near Park Ridge Borough Hall" (L-6).

Same bylines

Staff Writers Abbott Koloff and Stefanie Dazio handled both the story about the childhood friends who died in the crash off of Route 287 and the one about the dead pedestrian.

Dazio is the paper's overworked police reporter, and Koloff is one of the people on rewrite who produces the account that appears in the paper based on her reporting from the field and information supplied by police and prosecutors -- or not supplied, as in these stories. 

As you can see in today's report on the highway fatalities, The Record often ignores the basics -- was the driver and passenger wearing seat belts, was the driver speeding or had he been drinking?

Readers also don't know whether the Park Ridge pedestrians were in a crosswalk when they were struck.

Local news?

This wouldn't be such a big issue for readers, if Sykes didn't rely so heavily on routine police, fire and court news to fill gaping holes in her municipal news report.

As an example, look at today's huge photo of two firemen on the roof of a home in Paramus during a "fast-moving fire Monday" (L-1).

This kind of coverage changes the well-worn admonition, "Where there's smoke, there's fire" to "Where there's a smoky fire photo, there's no news."

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Editors clash on Orlando killings: Hate crime or terrorism?

New York Post front pages from last Tuesday, above, and last Monday, below, contained clashing portraits of Omar Mateen, who used a military style assault weapon and a handgun to kill 49 people in an Orlando, Fla., gay dance club last Sunday.
A week after the slaughter inside Pulse nightclub, The Record of Woodland Park and other news media continue to struggle with whether the U.S.-born ISIS sympathizer was committing a hate crime against the LGBT community or was a terrorist.


Readers of The Record are pulled this way and that by today's front-page package on the slaughter inside a gay dance club in Orlando, Fla.

A week after Omar Mateen gunned down 49 people, readers aren't sure whether he was a Muslim terrorist or a Muslim who hated homosexuals or a little bit of both (A-1).

A news story from Asbury Park reports the advocacy group Garden State Equality used its annual fundraising walk to honor the victims of the Pulse dance club attack.

Below the fold, Staff Writer Mike Kelly continues to portray Mateen as an extremist in a column that recalls the 9/11 hearings in 2004, and then launches into a tedious exploration of a so-called debate on what words to use to describe a Muslim terrorist.

The Record's editing and production staff missed a major error in Staff Writer Matthew McGrath's story on the Garden State Equality walk -- the attack in Orlando was a week ago, not the "six days" ago that begin the second paragraph on Page 1.

Local news?

On the Local front, Staff Writer John Cichowski jumps through hoops to try to interest readers in a story on pedestrian safety at NJ Transit rail stations (L-1).

The veteran columnist actually left the office to cover a dog-and-pony show the state's mass-transit agency staged in Secaucus to dramatize the danger of walking and burying your head in a smartphone.

NJ Transit has come a long way, and no longer labels people who are killed by trains, including suicides, as "trespassers."

Cichowski pats the state agency on the back for being "proactive" by building fences in two communities.

But he doesn't mention a long stretch of track in the middle of Railroad Avenue in Hackensack that remains unfenced even though a middle school student was killed by a train there in 2010. 

LOL moment

On the Business front today, a large photo of apartment construction on Main Street in Hackensack provides a laughing-out-loud moment for residents (B-1).

In the foreground, Staff Photographer Tariq Zehawi captured one of the many homeless men who roam around the city not far from the Bergen County shelter, where they are served three meals a day.

The story doesn't mention the Borgs are planning to unload 19.7 acres in Hackensack on an apartment developer in return for $20 million or more -- a deal that presumably will go forward even if they sell North Jersey Media Group and The Record to the Gannett company, as reported last week.

It's no secret

On the Better Living front today, Staff Writer Elisa Ung divulges two North Jersey chefs' "secrets" for losing weight, and provides four of their recipes (BL-1 and BL-2).

Except readers don't learn any "secrets," only stories of self-control and choosing lots of vegetables, fruit and naturally raised meat over all of the artery clogging dishes and sugary desserts the paper's chief reviewer promotes in her weekly restaurant appraisals.

Still, one element of Ung's column deserves praise, and that's the clever headline:


Me, me, me

A second column from Kelly labels as "nonsense, pathetic nonsense" the notion that if more law-abiding citizens were allowed to carry guns, "murderers like Omar Mateen could be stopped before they fired off too many shots" (O-1 and O-2).

But before readers see that rare opinion, they have to plow through Kelly's describing his journalism experience over a four-decade career:

"I was 23 years old when I covered my first mass murder," Kelly says in his first sentence.

Later, he reports, "This columnist has been caught in street gun fights in the Middle East."

Give me a break.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Gannett deal has older newsroom staffers shitting in pants

The widely reported sale of the Borg family's North Jersey Media Group, publisher of The Record, to the Gannett company raises many questions. Does the deal include 19.7 acres along River Street in Hackensack, which the city has designated for redevelopment? In recent years, the parking lots of NJMG's old headquarters have been leased to Bergen County and Hackensack University Medical Center, above.

Publisher Stephen A. Borg closed the 150 River St. headquarters of NJMG and The Record in 2009, and shifted operations to a nondescript office building in Woodland Park a few years after moving the printing of the company's daily and weekly newspapers to Rockaway Township.


The reported sale of family owned North Jersey Media Group, publisher of The Record, likely sent shock waves through the Woodland Park newsroom on Thursday, especially among older staffers.

How readers will fare is less certain, because The Record's local-news operation has been on life support for several years.

"Gannett is famous for cutting the budget and staff of newspapers it buys; for replacing veteran journalists with younger, lower-paid employees; for doing cookie-cutter newspapers subject to tightly centralized corporate rules," a columnist for Urban wrote last October.

If Gannett replaces newsroom veterans in Woodland Park, the move would recall the major 2008 downsizing ordered by Publisher Stephen A. Borg -- several months after he obtained a $3.65 million mortgage from NJMG to buy a McMansion in Tenafly.

Then, staffers with 20 or more years of experience were shown the door or told to accept buyouts, including the director of photography, community editor and co-supervisor of the copy desk.

Before the downsizing, it was common newsroom practice for supervisors to favor younger employees for promotion, such as the replacement of the food editor with a man who was less than half her age and had none of her talent.

In 2011, Gannett was reported to have reduced editorial staffs at three of its New Jersey dailies -- Daily Record, Home News and Courier News -- to 53 from 99. 

Potential cuts in Woodland Park would include such veteran columnists as Mike Kelly, John Cichowski, Bill Ervolino and Charles Stile. 

Tabloid report

The New York Post broke the news on Thursday afternoon, reporting that Gannett "is getting ready to add to its stable of New Jersey newspapers by snapping up The Record and some weekly newspapers."

Media reporter Keith J. Kelly said:
"The news sent a jolt through the Record newsroom. Beleaguered staffers, who have survived recent rounds of belt-tightening without getting a raise in years, were stunned.
Many were said to be standing around in small groups talking after broke the news of the impending sale Thursday."
A number of former Record reporters and editors who have been working at The Post for a decade or more may have been among the "sources" Kelly cited. 

Gannett in N.J.

Gannett already owns the Asbury Park Press and five other dailies in New Jersey, and they joined The Star-Ledger in calling for the resignation of Governor Christie after he endorsed wacko racist Donald J. Trump in the presidential race.

The Record is the only major daily in New Jersey that didn't do the same, leading many readers to question whether the Woodland Park daily still is part of a free and independent press.

The sale of The Record to Gannett has been rumored for years, especially in view of the two publishing companies' business and journalism ties.

Gannett's USA Today and other papers have been printed under contract at NJMG's Rockaway plant

Record history picked up the report from The Post, noting NJMG owns The Record and 49 community newspapers, one of which is the weekly Hackensack Chronicle. is owned by The Star-Ledger, the state's largest newspaper.

The Record is second largest, but its average circulation of 170,163 on Sundays and 135,544 Mondays to Fridays probably includes copies of the Herald News, which was designated an "edition" of the larger paper years ago.

The paper has been owned by the Borg family since 1930.

The Bergen Evening Record was founded in 1895, and prospered for more than 110 years in Hackensack, where the Borgs once lived in mansions on Prospect Avenue and Summit Avenue, in the city's Fairmount section.

The younger Borg is president and publisher, and his father, Malcolm A. "Mac" Borg of Englewood, is chairman of NJMG.

Jennifer A. Borg, Stephen's big sister, is vice president and general counsel of NJMG.

The company also operates and, and publishes (201), a lifestyle magazine for Bergen County's wealthiest families.

Today's paper

Page 1 of The Record reports Democratic lawmakers have blocked Christie "from loosening one of New Jersey's toughest gun-control laws on Thursday, turning the tables for once on a governor known for his prolific use of the veto pen" (A-1).

In the court of public opinion, Christie was at the center of the George Washington Bridge lane closures a month before he was reelected in November 2013.

So, why is The Record again using precious space on the front page today to quote his continued stonewalling of an illegal political operation inside the Governor's Office that targeted Democrats, including the mayor of Fort Lee?

Taxpayers were forced to pay more than $10 million to Christie's lawyers for a complete whitewash of his involvement, yet Record editors, columnists and reporters long pointed to the so-called Mastro report as evidence the GOP bully had absolutely nothing to do with ordering the gridlock.

Pricey Italian

Today, Restaurant Reviewer Elisa Ung recommends you fight traffic all the way to Ramsey, then fork over $25 for a small portion of potato dumplings at Bici, a pricey Italian restaurant where she makes the manager sound like a stalker (BL-16).

Ung complains manager Marcelo Gambarato "needs to become less intrusive," calling his five visits to her table "overkill, since most involved having full conversations."

She still managed to eat plenty of rich, artery clogging food topped off by a few gooey desserts.

"Gambarato was so over-hospitable that I was little worried he would follow us down the street and call us the next day," the reviewer notes at the end of her 2.5-star appraisal (Good to Excellent).

She doesn't mention whether he asked for her telephone number.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Filmmaker blasts Trump and his 'political Ponzi scheme'

A Bruce Springsteen lookalike leading the B-Street Band, which was billed as "The Original Springsteen Tribute Band" on Wednesday night at a concert for cancer survivors, caregivers, family and friends at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, above and below.


Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns is describing racist Donald J. Trump's mean-spirited presidential campaign as "a political Ponzi scheme."

In a scathing attack on the presumptive Republican nominee, Burns told Stanford University graduates on Sunday that "as a student of history, I recognize this type."

"We see nurtured in his [Trump's] campaign an incipient proto-facism, a nativist anti-immigrant Know Nothing-ism, a disrespect for the judiciary, the prospect of women losing authority over their own bodies, African-Americans again asked to go to the back of the line, voter suppression gleefully promoted, jingoistic saber rattling, a total lack of historical awareness, a political paranoia that, predictably, points fingers, always making the other wrong."

On Monday's A-9, The Record of Woodland Park ran an Associated Press report on Burns' commencement speech in Palo Alto, Calif., but the story didn't contain a single word of his attack on Trump, whose name he never mentioned.

Trumping Trump

Speaking of "bitterly contested" elections in the past 216 years and their "clearly qualified candidates," Burns turned to this presidential campaign and said:

"One is glaringly not qualified. So before you do anything with your well-earned degrees, you must do everything you can to defeat the the retrograde forces that have invaded our democratic process, divided our house, to fight against, no matter your political persuasion, the dictatorial tendencies of the candidate with zero experience in the much maligned but subtle art of governance....

"A person who lies easily, creating an environment where truth doesn't seem to matter; who has never demonstrated any interest in anyone or anything but himself and his own enrichment; who insults veterans, threatens a free press, mocks the handicapped, denigrates women, immigrants and all Muslims; a man who took more than a day to disavow a supporter who advocates white supremacy and the Ku Klux Klan; an infantile, bullying man...."

Media reports said Burns' attack on Trump lasted a full 7 minutes. Feel the burn.

Today's paper

Spurred by the massacre of 49 people inside a gay dance club in Orlando, Fla., gun-control advocates picketed the Glen Rock office of Rep. Scott Garrett, the Tea Party crackpot from Wantage (L-3).

"He really is radical when it comes to defending ... the NRA [National Rifle Association]," said a spokeswoman for New Jersey Citizen Action.

Meanwhile, a new TV ad assails Garrett's anti-gay stance and his opposition to same-sex marriage.

Democrat Josh Gottheimer, who is opposing Garrett in the November election, has called the Republican a Tea Party radical, but The Record prefers to describe him as a "North Jersey conservative" (L-3).

Lawyer's take?

Staff Writer John Seasly reports a Hackensack woman who suffered permanent spinal injuries when her car was rear-ended by an uninsured driver from Englewood won't get anywhere near the $1.2 million a jury is recommending (L-6).

"What she's got is Allstate's $250,000 [uninsured motorist benefits]. The rest is sort of gone," her attorney, Thomas Dinan said.

That's not all that will be "gone."

Apparently, Seasly is unaware the woman's lawyer can ask the judge to approve fees and expenses up to one-third of any damages, so Gerri Koch might only receive about $167,000.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Orlando massacre comments show racist Trump's insanity

Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, with his big sister, U.S. District Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, who is on a federal appeals court in Philadelphia. We haven't heard her take on Trump claiming another federal judge can't be impartial in a class-action suit against Trump University, because he is "Mexican" and the racist candidate wants to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border.


"I was right," wacko racist Donald J. Trump declared after the massacre inside a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

According to his bizarre reasoning, if the Afghan-born parents of Omar Mateen were barred from entering the United States -- Trump's plan for all Muslims -- the killings wouldn't have happened.

Never mind that the presumptive GOP presidential candidate also described Mateen as "Afghan-born" and condemned "radical Islam," even though the news media have reported the shooter is from Queens, the same borough where Trump was born.

Now, The Record and other media are reporting Mateen may have been a regular at Pulse nightclub who was "living a secret life as a gay man" (A-1).

"Mateen's father, Seddique Mateen, denied his son was gay, but said if he had been in the nightclub, he may have been 'scouting the place'" (A-8).

So, the focus on the killer committing a hate crime against gays is shifting away from terrorism in the name of ISIS as a motive -- in another instance of how the news media are more interested in getting it first then in getting it right.

One example is the front-page Mike Kelly column on Tuesday, comparing the slaughter inside the dance club on Sunday to the far more horrific 9/11 attacks on America, claiming both were acts of terrorism.

Obama on Trump

Meanwhile, President Obama and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton "conducted an extraordinary joint attack" on Trump, with the president accusing the billionaire of "doing the terrorists' work for them" (A-4).

Clinton noted that one day after the attack, Trump went on TV and "suggested President Obama is on the side of the terrorists."

Clinton also tore into "Trump's history as a leader of the birther movement, which alleged Obama was not born in America, even though he was" (A-4).

Republican Mitt Romney, who lost the 2o12 election to Obama, noted a Trump presidency would mean "trickle-down racism, trickle-down bigotry and trickle-down misogyny."

Last Friday, one panelist on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" labeled Trump a "sociopath" -- a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior, and a lack of conscience.

'Face of Pulse'

Editor Deirdre Sykes deserves credit for publishing the photos of 41 of the 49 victims on Page 1 today, but loses points for not finding room in the paper for "stories about the lives of those killed" in the gay dance club.

Readers are referred to

Sadly, a very large number of older readers don't use computers or smart phones, so what are they supposed to do? Go to the library, call up a friend who does?

Christie's vetoes

An op-ed column today reveals Governor Christie, Trump's transition chief, has vetoed legislation that would have released funds for Green Acres, and farmland and historic preservation (A-11).

That means the GOP bully found a way to thwart the will of New Jersey voters, who "overwhelmingly approved" a 2014 measure dedicating a portion of the Corporate Business Tax for open-space preservation.

The Record's Trenton Bureau has done a poor job of tracking Christie's vetoes, which are believed to top 500, certainly a record for any New Jersey governor.

When drivers stack up behind a turning vehicle on a street without a turn lane, it aggravates air pollution, traffic congestion and the frustration level of negotiating Bergen County's antiquated road network.

Our terrible roads

North Jersey drivers have been bitching and moaning about the condition of streets, roads and highways for years.

Many have focused on Bergen County's antiquated road network, and the widespread shortage of turn lanes.

Now, Road Warrior John Cichowski devotes his column to our "shoddy roads," but only because a report was released on Tuesday that rated "New Jersey the 10th least favorable state for driving" (L-1).

Unhealthy salmon

Leave it Esther Davidowitz, the clueless food editor, to promote a recipe for fresh wild sockeye salmon that is actually bad for you (BL-2).

Chefs like Terrell Wilson use heavy cream, full-fat cheese and butter with abandon, because they know those artery clogging ingredients will make a dish taste incredible.

That doesn't mean you should order it or try to make it at home, if you're watching your cholesterol and weight, and especially if you want to avoid a dish that could be described as a heart-attack on a plate.

In his recipe for 1.5 pounds of heart-healthy sockeye salmon, Terrell uses a whopping 1.5 cups of heavy cream and a full cup of full-fat cheddar cheese.

Look out.