Thursday, March 16, 2017

Storm prevents delivery of print edition three days in a row

A Hackensack Parks Department truck and two men cleared my driveway this afternoon, above and below, after I called to complain plows had blocked it three times during Tuesday's snowstorm, and the barrier was frozen solid.



Gannett continues to slash the payroll at The Record of Woodland Park.

The latest exodus of 141 North Jersey Media Group employees has already begun, and the last of them will be gone by March 25.

They will be receiving one week's pay for every year of service, and can apply for unemployment.

For more news and views of The Record, see these and other posts at The Sasson Report:

After the storm, icy roads in Englwood

More low marks for Hackensack DPW

Readers hit 'corporate greed' at Gannett

Trump supporters attack paper as 'left wing'

For more, see: The Sasson Report

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

200,000-plus protesters will speak for many millions more

Cartoonist Gary Varvel portrays Friday's inauguration of President-elect Donald J. Trump  as a moment from "Celebrity Apprentice." Other political cartoonists gave the ceremony a sinister twist.

For commentary on today's edition of The Record and the protests expected in Washington, D.C., please see:



Sunday, January 15, 2017

Editors finally acknowledge issues, not politics, matter most

Cartoons from John Cole on Meryl Streep's criticism of President-elect Donald J. Trump , above, and Rick McKee on President Obama's legacy, below.


Though many months too late, The Record deserves credit for launching a series on "15 issues important to North Jersey residents" that could be affected by the administration of President-elect Donald J. Trump.

No matter that "Trump Tracker" echoes "Christie Tracker." 

That was the Matt Katz series on our very own GOP bully, Governor Christie, that ran for a couple of years on WNYC-FM, the New York and New Jersey public radio station.

And readers also know that if the Woodland Park daily and all of the other news outlets across the country had been focusing on issues during the campaign, the outcome of the 2016 presidential election would have been far different.

Instead, the news media delighted in repeating every sensational, unsubstantiated charge against Democrat Hillary Clinton, and ignoring her decades-long service to families ad children.

Five-part series

Today's "Trump Tracker" installment focuses on immigration, train transportation and health care (1A, 8A and 9A).

Editor Rick Green doesn't explain why the transportation segment leaves hundreds of thousands of New Jersey bus commuters out in the cold (8A).

The other issues -- including homeland security, education, taxes, the environment, social-safety net and infrastructure -- are scheduled to run through Thursday, the day before the inauguration (8A).

Politics as usual

Sadly, it's politics as usual at the bottom of Page 1 today, with yet another Political Stile column on Christie:

"Christie leans left in N.J., 
but keeps door open on right"

Readers also are keeping their bathroom doors open, in case they get the sudden urge to throw up.

Local news?

On the Local front, Road Warrior Columnist John Cichowski appears to be telling drivers they have two and a half months to "read, eat, drink, groom themselves and use hand-held devices to ... talk, text or find their way" before an April police crackdown (1L).

In Opinion, an editorial notes Paterson remains "among New Jersey's most violent places" despite an overall drop in crime (2O).

"Homicides held steady at 19, the same as in 2015, while the number of rapes increased" to 57 from 42, according to the editorial.  

The editorial is incorrect in saying rapes "increased from 42 to 57 percent." 

A year ago, another editorial on the overall drop in crime credited Police Director Jerry Speziale while letting him off the hook on curbing gun violence and the drug trade. 

Today's editorial doesn't even mention  Speziale or the undercover state police troopers who have been helping Paterson police.

Korean food crawl

The Better Living cover on a Korean food crawl in Palisades Park should have been labeled, "For carnivores only" (1BL and 3BL).

By using Robert Austin Cho, owner of a Korean barbecue restaurant, as her guide, Staff Writer Sophia Gottfried largely omitted all the great non-meat dishes -- heart-healthy seafood, tofu and vegetables -- served in Korean restaurant in Palisades Park and neighboring Fort Lee, which isn't even mentioned.

And with Cho in tow, Gottfried also managed to keep the secret of the vast majority of Korean restaurants -- they serve low-quality beef and pork raised on harmful antibiotics and growth hormones to boost their bottom lines.

Fewer stories?

Since the November redesign of The Record, many readers have complained there are fewer stories in the paper.

There was a good reason for that on Saturday, when an upbeat Page 1 story explained how teenagers are coping with life in crime-ridden Silk City:

"Paterson students
outsmart crime
through use of 

The story reported these geniuses developed "a cellphone application that would send an alert to school security staff if students diverted from their normal route home from school."

If readers turned to the continuation page (Saturday's 4A) and read the story to the end, they found the entire story was repeated -- all 23 paragraphs.

How's that?

On Saturday's Local front, this headline puzzled many readers:

gets 6 

But the story had nothing to do with the sentencing of a human to jail or prison.

"Manager" referred to a company that manages Bergen Regional Medical Center in Paramus, and the "6 months" is how long its contract has been extended.

This is high-school level journalism, plain and simple.

For that, you can thank the payroll-slashing Gannett Co. -- owner of seven New Jersey dailies -- and the morons employed in a centralized Neptune design center.

Friday, January 13, 2017

In nasty health-care battle, racism is rearing its ugly head

From cartoonist Steve Sack, a Pulitzer Prize winner for editorial cartooning in 2013, on the "Russian hookers rumor" dogging President-elect Donald J. Trump a week before he is inaugurated.


A black journalist strongly suggests racism is behind the attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act or what Republicans curse as "Obamacare."

"Neither President Obama nor his detractors saw political advantage in discussing the Affordable Care Act as an anti-poverty or racial-justice program, but it is both of those things," Kai Wright reported today on WNYC-FM, a National Public Radio station based in Manhattan.

"Between the January 2014 launch of new coverage options and ... that August, the nation's public-insurance program for the working poor grew by roughly 7 million people.

"As of this summer, it had gone up by more than 10 million," Wright said in a story adopted from one he wrote for The Nation's special issue, The Obama Years.

"The Affordable Care Act overall has likely saved hundreds of thousands of black lives, and it has certainly produced one of the most significant advances in racial equity on record:

"By the end of 2014, in just one year's time, it had entirely erased the disparity in health coverage between white and black kids," Wright said.

Media coverage

Like many news outlets, The Record repeatedly refers to the Affordable Care Act as "Obamacare," adopting a favorite pejorative used by Donald J. Trump during his Republican presidential campaign.

Tea Party radicals compared the health-care law to the Holocaust, but Republicans failed repeatedly to have the 2010 law declared illegal.

Now that Trump won the Nov. 8 presidential election, Republicans who control Congress have begun the process of repealing the health-care law, which provides coverage to 20 million Americans who didn't have insurance.

But Trump and Republicans have been careful to avoid saying just how many of those Americans are black and Hispanic or what will replace the health-care law.

Medicaid expansion

In The Record today, the last two paragraphs of an Associated Press story on 6A reports the law "steered billions of [federal] dollars to states [including New Jersey]" to expand "the Medicaid health program for the poor."

"The health care law does have problems, but independent experts say it's an exaggeration to call it a total failure," according to the AP.

The Record and other media have found it far easier to quote critics of the health-care law than to actually do any reporting about the coverage.

My experience

More than eight years after I left The Record, I am paying slightly less for health insurance for my wife and son, purchased on the federal marketplace, than I did in the years after I became eligible for Medicare -- not Medicaid, as I had written.

I had to purchase their coverage from North Jersey Media Group until I was able to buy policies for them under the Affordable Care Act.

Food confusion

On the Better Living cover today, a headline declares:

"Most Anticipated Restaurant
 Openings in 2017"

But readers turning to the centerfold find only five restaurants listed, which would mean no other restaurant opening in the next 11 months is among the "most anticipated" (10BL and 11BL).

Meanwhile, the headline over the story is totally different:

"New Restaurants To
Look Forward To In 2017"

To add to the confusion, the dish pictured on the cover isn't identified, as it usually is, on 2BL, where readers are told:

"On the cover: There have been plenty of new restaurants that have opened in North Jersey in the past few months."

All of this sloppy work appears under the byline of The Record's food editor, Esther Davidowitz.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Christie wants better health care for addicts than rest of us

Today's New York Post cover on President-elect Donald J. Trump's reaction to rumors the Russians have compromising information about him.
A Daily News front page from October. Just think. In eight days, the man who said this about women will be sworn in as president of the United States.


The Record's short memory for how Governor Christie tried to sabotage the Affordable Care Act in New Jersey is a disservice to readers.

Today's Page 1 story on Christie demanding that health insurers cover treatment of drug addicts for up to six months ignores how he refused to set up a state exchange when the federal health-care law took effect a few years ago (1A).

That reduced New Jersey residents' choice of insurers, compared to New York and other states where governors set up exchanges for the purchase of health policies.

New Jersey residents, along with those in more than 30 other states with Republican governors, were thrown into the overburdened federal marketplace, leading to confusion and delay. 

Trumped-up charges

At a news conference on Wednesday (1A), President-elect Donald J. Trump refused to answer a question on whether anyone connected to him or his campaign "had any contact with Russia leading up to or during the presidential campaign," as The New York Times put it.

"The country needs a clear answer," The Times said in an opinion column today.

Meanwhile, a Record editorial on President Obama's farewell address to the nation from Chicago lists only the Affordable Care Act among his accomplishments in office (8A).

Take a look at a list from Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat who noted "all of this was accomplished in the face of unprecedented obstruction from Republicans bent on ensuring his failure."
"Last night, President Obama reminded us just how much we have accomplished working together during his administration:
  • Bringing our economy back from the brink of a great recession
  • Saving the auto industry
  • Guaranteeing marriage equality for all
  • Providing health insurance for 20 million more Americans
  • Restoring relations with Cuba
  • Addressing climate change with the historic Paris Agreement"
Local news?
Staff Writer John Cichowski, whose grip on reality has been the subject of speculation for years, continues to stray far from his commuting beat (1L).
The so-called Road Warrior begins his column with a man whose enormous Cadillac Escalade broke down on the New Jersey Turnpike, but who rolled up a $1,500 storage bill because he waited two weeks before he went to get it.
Then, the column devolves into a quiz, including a question on which New Jersey city runs its own subway. 

None of this helps North Jersey commuters, who fight over rush-hour seats on trains and buses into Manhattan or face increasing traffic congestion at the Hudson River crossings.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Governor Christie as leader, his evil twin -- all in one place

In a photo by Mel Evans of The Associated Press, Governor Christie pauses during applause at his State of the State address to the Legislature on Wednesday. Evans is a former staff photographer at The Record.


I can't recall another front page of The Record that showed the two faces of Governor Christie so starkly -- a radical anti-tax politician who thinks nothing of destroying the middle class, and a compassionate leader against drug addiction.

Today's top story discloses a settlement that "exposed private meetings in which unnamed allies of ... Christie planned to divert almost $2 million" from a project to dig two new Hudson River rail tunnels so he could use the money to fix roads and bridges (1A).

That allowed Christie to avoid raising the gasoline tax in late 2010 or 2011 for those repairs, but set back the expansion of mass transit for middle class commuters more than a decade.

But the biggest element on Page 1 today is an upbeat report on Christie's pledge during his final year in office "to combat the plague of heroin and opiate abuse," and expand treatment (1A).

"Our friends are dying. Our neighbors are dying. Our co-worker are dying. Our children are dying. Every day. In numbers we can no longer endure" Christie said during his State of the State address on Wednesday.

Sloppy coverage

There is so much missing in today's news and Editorial Page coverage of the $400,000 settlement with the Port Authority, and Christie's seventh State of the State address (1A, 8A, 9A and 10A).

Nowhere do Record reporters or the paper's Editorial Board recognize that Christie's conservative war against tax hikes, including a surcharge on millionaires, while doling out billions to businesses and other special interests, have wrecked the state economy.

And he's balanced the state budget year after year only by grabbing leftover Hudson River rail tunnel money from both the Port Authority and NJ Transit, under-funding the state employee pension system and using other voodoo economics. 

In a preview of the State of the State speech on Tuesday, Dustin Racioppi buried key paragraphs:

"Christie possesses tremendous power over the budget, over appointments and with his veto pen," the State House Bureau reporter wrote.

But Racioppi long ago stopped counting Christie's more than 500 vetoes, which surely set a record for any New Jersey governor, or chronicling the damage they've caused to working and middle-class residents.

Also on Tuesday, he wrote:

"Property taxes in New Jersey remain the highest in the nation, despite a 2 percent cap," and "New Jersey's pension system is now the worst-funded in the country, with $135.7 billion in unfunded liabilities, according to Bloomberg."

None of those issues are raised in today's news story or political column, which is yet another Charles Stile rehash of Christie's "reputation" and "standing with voters" in the wake of damaging Bridgegate trial revelations (1A).

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Christie's State of the State address is no longer Page 1 news

"Trump Hackers" from cartoonist Steve Sack. New York businessman Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as president of the United States in just 10 days.


Did you miss the teaser at the bottom of The Record's front page today on Governor Christie's State of the State address?

From the State House Bureau, Dustin Racioppi tries to predict what mood Christie will be in when he delivers his annual address to the state Legislature today (3a).

Most of the focus is on whether the GOP thug will be "combative or compassionate," not on such issues as the "worst-funded" public employee pension system in the country.

By the time the actual speech hits The Record's front page on Wednesday, it will be old news to anyone who watches the TV coverage or follows the governor on Twitter (@GovChristie).

How's that again?

The editors made a mess of Staff Writer Christopher Maag's overwrought story on the 100th anniversary of "one of the largest acts of foreign sabotage ever committed on American soil" (1A).

The man shown in the big photo on Page 1 isn't identified by name, though he's called "Bergen County Fire Marshal" in the caption.

Bryan Hennig of Lyndhurst is planning to celebrate the heroism of Tessie McNamara, who stayed at the telephone switchboard of the exploding Kingsland munitions factory on Jan. 11, 1917, to warn others to evacuate.

No one died, so readers are not sure why so much space is devoted to this anniversary. 

Judging from the dull headlines, the copy editor must have been lulled to sleep by the overly long story, and forced to write the main headline minutes before deadline:


In the story, Hennig is identified as a 35-year veteran of the Volunteer Fire Department in Lyndhurst, but not as a county fire marshal (6A).

The reporter stops short of comparing the German attack on the Lyndhurst shell factory to Russian sabotage of the 2016 presidential election.

Local news?

In his 14th year as the so-called Road Warrior, Staff Writer John Cichowski continues to give the cold shoulder to all of those long-suffering NJ Transit commuters and even drivers stuck in growing congestion at the Hudson River crossings.

I'm not sure what anyone's reaction to painting a blue line in the street to honor police departments has to do with transportation (1L).

Page 3L of today's Local section speaks volumes about the poorly executed redesign of the print edition by Gannett editors holed up in the Neptune design center.

The page is a mass of type, with only a thumbnail photo and a few headline words to break it up.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Christie, convicted ex-aides should be forced to guard GWB

In this photo from Fernanda Calfat/Getty Images, the label R13 showed a cheeky dress during New York Fashion Week in September, when Donald J. Trump was the GOP presidential nominee. What would the label say on a dress for Trump's Jan. 20 inauguration? How about, "We're f----d"?


Today's Page 1 expose in The Record suggests Governor Christie and three convicted former aides should be forced to guard the George Washington Bridge, and relieve themselves in empty water bottles.

The former associates -- David Wildstein, Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Baroni -- were convicted in federal court of conspiring to close access lanes, triggering gridlock in Fort Lee on five mornings in September 2013.

The politically inspired Bridgegate scandal also put the kibosh on Christie's White House bid and a major post in the Trump administration.

The GOP thug, who knew about the lane closures as they were happening, was convicted in court of public opinion.

"One guard was almost hit by a suicide jumper falling from 200 feet above," Staff Writer Paul Berger says in the lead paragraph of a story on the harsh working conditions facing bridge security guards (1A, 8a and 9a).

So, community service as unarmed and unpaid security guards at the GWB would be fit punishment for Christie and the trio of former associates who triggered the lane closures.

In view of the governor's prodigious appetite for beer and pizza, he'd need a bucket or something larger in which to relieve himself.

More Christie

If Saturday's front page didn't give you enough of a political perspective on Christie's future, Columnist Charles Stile is back today with another column that will bore you to tears (1A).

Then, brace yourself for yet another column on Christie, this one by Mike Kelly, who goes on and on about "the rust of his battered political career" (Opinion front).

Local news?

Stories about a small number of the 90 or so towns in the circulation area appear in today's Local section (1L to 8L).

Wayne, Hawthorne (two stories), Montclair, West Milford, Ridgewood and Ringwood are represented, but not the three biggest communities in Bergen County -- Hackensack, Teaneck and Englewood.

John Cichowski's Road Warrior column on "misleading road signs" is probably the 20th he's written on the same subject since taking over the beat in late 2003 (1L).

The best read in the section is Jay Levin's obituary of Michael Smith, 53, of Waldwick, a quadriplegic who spent 35 years in a wheelchair working on behalf of the disabled (1L and 7L).

All in all, today's paper is just another thin Sunday edition from the payroll-slashing folks at Gannett.

Friday, January 6, 2017

PA to commuters: Wait 20 years for better bus, rail service

This cartoon from Mike Lukovich equates GOP repeal of the Affordable Care Act with terrorism against the American people.


Staff Writer Paul Berger of The Record has been so busy chronicling the transportation war between New York and New Jersey he buried the lead today on funding of a new bus terminal in Manhattan.

Deep in his Page 1 report on Thursday's meeting of Port Authority commissioners, Berger quotes the board chairman as saying a new midtown bus terminal may take as long as 20 years to complete (6A).

Yikes! Does that mean the 230,000 bus commuters who pour into Manhattan every day, most of them from New Jersey, won't see any relief until then?

And does that also mean they'll be fighting over rush hour seats for another 20 years, because The Record isn't prodding Port Authority officials to expand service immediately by adding more exclusive bus lanes into and out of the Lincoln Tunnel?

The bi-state agency's capital plan also includes billions to double rail capacity between New Jersey and Manhattan, but Berger provides no estimate of when those tunnels will be finished.

And as I understand it, when the new Gateway tunnels are finished, the old ones, or at least one of them, will be shut down for repairs, so service might not "double" for another 20 years.

Food Editor Esther Davidowitz of The Record.

Food crawl

When Friday rolls around at the Gannett-owned Record, it's time for another "food crawl" (Better Living).

This one focuses on only four of the many great food businesses in Englewood, but the author is none other than Food Editor Esther Davidowitz, who warns readers "this is not your low-cal, low-carb, low-fat, sugar-free crawl" (10BL and 11BL). 

Well, it could have been, if Davidowitz didn't completely miss the restaurant-quality Meals To Go at Jerry's Gourmet & More, her fourth and last stop on the South Dean Street crawl.

These take-out dinners -- with seafood, chicken, pork or beef, plus pasta or potatoes and vegetables -- are at $7.99 a sane alternative to Jerry's $12-a-pound stuffed eggplant or $17 a pound poached salmon.

Fish, linguine with white clam sauce, and broccoli were just three of the items in one of Jerry's Meals To Go -- complete, restaurant-quality take-out dinners for $7.99, below.
If the freshly prepared store-made dinners aren't sold out at 4 p.m., they are marked down to $5.99.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Rising local property taxes a scandal editors refuse to tackle

The Rainbow Castle Preschool building at 142-48 Main St. in Hackensack has been boarded up, months after the structure was evacuated and declared unsafe. The two-story building was damaged by a pile driver at the construction site of a 14-story residential-retail project at Main and Mercer streets, a major part of the city's downtown rehabilitation plan.
The preschool building was declared unsafe last July 27, and work on the apartment projet was suspended. The owner is negotiating with the builder for compensation. The Record has completely ignored the story.


Who was responsible for the unflattering photo of Freeholder Mary Amoroso in The Record today?

Amoroso spent many years as a reporter and editor in the paper's feature department before she ran for office.

She's pictured on the Local front today with her mouth agape and right hand raised, and two men and a baby aren't even identified.

Of course, there is a lot more wrong in the story about the Bergen County Board of Freeholders, and reports on the makeup of town councils and school boards that have been running since the first day of the year.

Today, Steve Janoski, Philip DeVencentis and other reporters focus solely on politics -- which party gained the upper hand in the Nov. 8 elections.

Issues, such as the scandals of rising taxes and the burden of tax-exempt property, are totally ignored, as they have been for years.


In Hackensack, for example, the City Council says a property revaluation in 2016 managed to cut or stabilize taxes for two out of three homeowners.

Yet, the city still hasn't found money to pave streets that have been torn up for utility and sewage work, including two major thoroughfares, Main and State streets.

Despite delivering financial stability, the council and county seat remain behind the eight ball -- saddled with tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars in tax-exempt property owned by Bergen County, Hackensack University Medical Center, Fairleigh Dickinson University and others.

Those non-profit or tax-exempt entities shift the tax burden to homeowners and businesses.

And the budget of the Hackensack Board of Education, which accounts for 44% of a resident's tax bill, was higher than the entire city budget for at least the second year in a row.

The Record didn't even bother covering last April's election for three board members and the binding referendum on the budget.

Port Authority

Today's so-called Page 1 expose of a "$30 billion tug of war between New Jersey and New York" is another sensational report on an agency and resources the two states have fought over for nearly 100 years.

The Record's endless stories on this colossal patronage war allow editors and reporters to ignore the sad state of bus and rail transit under Governor Christie, whose first major act was to cancel a pair of Hudson River rail tunnels.

PA dates to 1921

When New York and New Jersey signed a compact in 1921 to create The Port of New York Authority -- giving it a mandate to develop and modernize the entire port district -- New Jersey was left out of the name.

In fact, the battle of the states over jurisdiction rights on the mighty Hudson River dates to the early 1900s.

The agency took over Port Newark in 1948, but the name wasn't changed to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey until 1972.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Editors somehow miss plan to fell 100 trees in parking lot

In 2009, North Jersey Media Group and The Record newsroom moved to 1 Garret Mountain Plaza in Woodland Park, above, from 150 River Street in Hackensack.


Gannett Co. executives were so busy redesigning The Record's print edition and website, as well as laying off staff, they missed a controversial story unfolding in the parking lot.

According to Page 1 of The Record today, editors failed to report that Mountain Development Co. applied for a permit to cut down more than 100 trees in the parking lots of their building, 1 Garret Mountain Plaza, and two other office towers in Woodland Park. 

That means the public and environmental groups didn't have a chance to comment on a plan to remove the trees to make way for solar panels to power two of the three buildings.

A photo caption on 1A today shows a tree service worker removing a tree "last week."

The story also reports the building operators paid $3o,000 so Woodland Park can plant 100 trees elsewhere in the borough.

Bruce Springsteen

Jersey rocker Bruce Springsteen's comments on President-elect Donald J. Trump should have been on Page 1 today (3A).

"I mean, they're lies, they can't occur," Springsteen said of building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and other "Trump exaggerations," as the USA Today story puts it.

The story doesn't mention Springsteen refused to perform at the 2010 inauguration of one of his biggest fans, Governor Christie.

Food reporting

The Record appears to have given up all pretense of critical reporting on restaurants, food and nutrition.

The weekly restaurant review ended with the departure of Elisa Ung in November, more than nine years after she was hired.

Since then, editors have published "food crawl" stories that read like advertising.

Today's Better Living front focuses on "the best fireplace restaurants in North Jersey" or what the article calls "cozy local spots" (1BL).

"Baby, it's cold outside," writes Joanna Prisco, a freelancer who also owns a culinary business. "But inside these restaurants, the fire is blazing and fine food is cookin'."

Cheesy promotion

Most of Monday's Better Living front was devoted to Lisa Dosch, who has won "Best Cheesecake" at the New Jersey State Fair five years in a row.

Her cheesecakes, which happen to be served at her family's restaurant in Nyack, N.Y., cost $35 to $1,200 (with gold flake).

The enormous headline declared her, "Queen of Cheesecake."  

From a nutrition standpoint, that should have been, "Queen of Cholesterol."

Tens of thousands of readers watching their weight, cholesterol and sugar intake likely stared dumbfound at this promotion.

Monday, January 2, 2017

AARP appeals to political editors, columnists and reporters

AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins, who in 1980 was a voter outreach worker for the Ronald Reagan campaign (photo by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders).


AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins has a message for columnist Charles Stile and every other Record staffer obsessed with keeping political scorecards in Trenton and Washington.

"When policy is debated only in terms of political gains and defeats, the American people lose," Jenkins wrote in the AARP Bulletin.

Although her column didn't mention the media, her message could be aimed at The Record and other news outlets.

"Instead of solutions, we get stalemates," she noted, describing what has happened so many times on important issues since Governor Christie took office in early 2010. 

"Let's unite behind our shared goals," was one of the headlines on Jenkins' column in the December issue of the monthly publication from the former America Association of Retired Persons.

Practical solutions

"Regardless of whom you supported in November, we share many of the same concerns," she wrote.

"How can we get our leaders [and newspaper editors and reporters] to put political partisanship behind them and come together?

"How can we as a country bring civility and public discourse back to our democracy? How can we disagree and still find common ground around the big issues that matter so much in our country?"

"Bipartisanship does not mean that Republicans and Democrats must agree on every issue," Jenkins noted. "But it does mean that they must be able to work together to find [practical] solutions."

Political Stile Columnist Charles Stile of The Record.

"But partisanship has reached such an uncivil extreme [in Trenton and Washington] that it is dividing our nation and prohibiting leaders from both political parties from coming together to do the people's work," Jenkins said.

"Far too often the politician's goal is not practical solutions, but political advantage."

Politics and news

Think of all the columns Stile has written about who gained the upper hand politically in the recent debates over Christie's book deal and removing the requirement for legal notices to be printed in newspapers.

The latter bill was designed to "punish state newspapers," The Record claims once again in an editorial today (7A).

In fact, this is another attempt by Gannett and other wealthy publishers to distract readers from an unwarranted government subsidy of millions of dollars for public notices no one reads.

See the politically slanted headline on 3A today:

"Congress sees mandate
to undo Obama's agenda"

Of course, for years, headline writers for The Record and other newspapers politicized universal health care as "Obamacare."

And why did an AP reporter who covered the opening of the long-delayed Second Avenue subway (8A) report a speech was given by "Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo?"