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Eating In + Eating Out: Fat blackberries, juicy pomegranates, shrimp and scallops

Sweet, tart and crunchy, pomegranate seeds are a tasty accent for baked sweet potatoes with a homemade, non-fat Greek yogurt sauce inste...

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Dem voters stop spread of Trump poison; paper slants stories on N.J. governor-elect

This and other hair-swap photos of President Trump and Kim Jong Il are amusing, but do little to ease the tension from their war of words over North Korean missile tests.


-- HACKENSACK, N.J.

By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

We witnessed a simple but powerful lesson in democracy this week when voters in Alabama chose Democrat Doug Jones for U.S. Senate over a Republican who promised to spread President Trump's poison.

Democrats haven't won a Senate seat in Alabama since 1992, CNN reported, adding:

"But the Alabama results also reflect trends in prior elections like the race for governor in Virginia this year that could bode well for Democrats in the upcoming 2018 mid-term elections, when control of the House of Representatives, and now the Senate, will be in play."

Turnout of Democratic voters rose, especially in rural counties in the state's agricultural "Black Belt," where African-Americans make up between 59% to 82% of registered voters, CNN said.

So, that's the key. 

When Democrats vote -- instead of giving in to apathy or GOP propaganda about Democratic candidates like Hillary Clinton, as they did in the 2016 presidential election -- sexual predators, con men and liars like Trump are sent packing.

The front page of the New York Daily News commented on losing Republican Roy Moore, who was shown in a photo riding a horse to his polling place:


'SCREW YOU & HORSE
 YOU RODE IN ON'

N.J. angle?

As clear as the News' headline was, a headline on a Page 1 column in The Record of Woodland Park, my local daily newspaper, is a puzzler:


"Booker wins, 
Christie loses in Alabama"

Readers' hoping to explore this so-called New Jersey angle today ran smack into several paragraphs of boring background:

"More than five years ago, Gov. Chris Christie and then-Newark Mayor Cory Booker teamed up as New Jersey's bipartisan bros...."

That's how Staff Writer Charles Stile began yet another political column, putting legions of readers immediately to sleep.

Counting lies

Op-Ed Columnist David Leonhardt of The New York Times reports President Obama "averaged a little more than two blatant, distinct falsehoods per year during his presidency. Trump is on pace for 124 a year."


Gov.-elect Murphy

The Record's editors made a huge mistake when they assigned Dustin Racioppi, the Trenton reporter who covers Christie, to also cover the gubernatorial campaign that ended in victory for Democrat Phil Murphy on Nov. 7.

Racioppi gladly channeled Lieutenant Gov. Kim Guadagno, whose ads and tweets were filled with smears and lies, without bothering to seek rebuttal from the Murphy camp.

Racioppi v. Murphy

Now, Racioppi is covering the transition, as he did in a Page 1 story on Wednesday, claiming:

"Gov.-elect Phil Murphy plans to move ahead with a long and costly list of policy proposals once he takes office, despite identifying signs of greater financial instability in the month since winning the election."

On Tuesday, another reporter's front-page story had Murphy and the state's two U.S. senators "pleading ... for federal funding" for new train tunnels under the Hudson River, "seven years after Gov. Chris Christie put the brakes on what would have been the most expensive transit project in the country."

In his two terms in office, Christie brought New Jersey to its knees financially, and nearly destroyed NJ Transit, but in its stories on Murphy, The Record is treating the Christie years as the new normal.

And whatever happened to Trump's much ballyhooed $1 billion infrastructure plan?

#MeToo

More than half of The Record's front page on Monday related the powerful stories of "everyday women" in North Jersey who had been sexually assaulted or harassed by a building superintendent, grandfather, college professor and a minister.

How could the same newspaper, in its premier Sunday edition, also run a Page 1 column from so-called Road Warrior John Cichowski, lamenting missing, broken and upside-down road signs for the umpteenth time since he started writing the column more than 14 years ago?

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Eating In + Eating Out: Fat blackberries, juicy pomegranates, shrimp and scallops

Sweet, tart and crunchy, pomegranate seeds are a tasty accent for baked sweet potatoes with a homemade, non-fat Greek yogurt sauce instead of sour cream, above. Today, I bought a 3-pound bag of Southern's 10 in 1 Sweet Potatoes, which are triple washed, on sale for $2.29 at ShopRite, 220 W. Passaic St., Rochelle Park.
Pomegranate seeds over granola and lactose-free milk. Removing them from the whole fruit is labor intensive, but my wife willingly tackles that chore. I've also enjoyed the seeds sprinkled over warm organic quinoa.

-- HACKENSACK, N.J.

By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

Whole pomegranates are one of the fruits that appear around Thanksgiving every year, and stay through Christmas.

We bought a half-dozen large ones last month at Costco Wholesale in the Teterboro Landing Shopping Center, and enjoyed the crunchy seeds with sweet potatoes, granola, quinoa or eaten by themselves.

On Monday, the Teterboro Costco was selling a box of 6 large California Pomegranates (a total of 9 pounds) for $13.99, a dollar less than we paid in November.

Blackberries are another great fruit, and I found them on sale a week ago at the Whole Foods Market in the Bergen Town Center in Paramus -- three 6-ounce containers for $5.

These Driscoll's berries were from Mexico (but not organic), and I enjoyed them over granola, in a fruit salad and eaten out of the container after washing them.


Large, soft blackberries have a crunchy center, above and below.
I bought 2 pounds of antibiotic- and preservative-free farmed shrimp at Whole Foods Market in Paramus, and cooked them in extra-virgin olive oil, sliced fresh garlic, red wine, a small can of tomato sauce and seasonings, then added them to 1 pound of cooked Organic Whole Wheat Linguine from ShopRite for a filling dinner with plenty of leftovers.
Two pounds of Whole Foods' Responsibly Farmed Shrimp mean you get more than 50 pieces that have been shelled and deveined, and are ready to cook.
Now, the Teterboro Costco is selling organic instead of conventionally grown broccoli in a 3-pound bag for about $1.93 a pound. I bought a bag of the "thoroughly washed" florets for $5.79, and used them along with organic spinach to prepare a fish and vegetable medley, below. 
I also bought about 2 pounds of skinless-and-boneless fresh Haddock from Iceland ($8.99 a pound at Costco Wholesale), cut the fillets into serving pieces, added them to organic spinach and broccoli, then scattered pitted black olives and capers over the fish. I seasoned them with crushed red pepper, plenty of grated cheese and fresh lemon juice.
The fish cooks in 15 minutes after the pan, lined with aluminum foil, is placed in a preheated 400-degree oven.
Big-eye Ocean Perch were $3.99 a pound at the Super H Mart, 321 Broad Ave. in Ridgefield, the Korean chain's biggest supermarket in Bergen County. They are sometimes mislabeled as Small Red Snapper.
My wife seasoned three fish,, stuffed them with callaloo, a collard-like green; and added sweet pepper and scallions before wrapping them in aluminum foil, and placing them in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes.
I could have skipped breakfast before my trip to the Super H Mart, where numerous free samples of vegetables, seafood, beef and pork are handed out on weekends, including crunchy, vegetable-stuffed Egg Rolls, above, and Mung Bean Pancakes, below.

I loved these Seared Diver Scallops with Sunchokes, Brussels sprouts and a deliciously warm Lemon Vinaigrette at Kitchen, the fine dining restaurant in David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center in Manhattan ($34). I started with 7-Vegetable Chopped Salad ($15), which I shared with a friend who invited me to see a 175th anniversary concert of the New York Philharmonic, including Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.



Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Times: Inside Trump's White House bedroom, his battle for self-preservation

Cartoonists Steve Sack of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, above, and Jimmy Margulies, below, commenting on how Congress is bought and paid for or in the pocket of the National Rifle Association, which bribes elected officials with millions of dollars in campaign contributions to make guns easier to buy and own.
Margulies is the former cartoonist at The Record of Woodland Park, my local daily newspaper, which has gotten much worse since Gannett Co. bought the publishing company that puts it out in July 2016, and laid off more than 350 employees.

-- HACKENSACK, N.J.

By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

Based on interviews with 60 advisers, associates, friends and members of Congress, The New York Times on Saturday took us inside President Trump's White House bedroom and bathrooms in an online report that carried this headline:

"INSIDE TRUMP'S HOUR-BY-HOUR
BATTLE FOR SELF-PRESERVATION"

But you won't find a word about Trump tweeting while seated on the toilet -- an image that was popular after he took office last Jan. 20.

"With Twitter as his Excalibur, the president takes on his doubters, powered by long spells of cable news and a dozen Diet Cokes," according to reporting by Maggie Haberman, Glenn Thrush and Peter Baker.

"But if Mr. Trump has yet to bend the presidency to his will, he is at least wrestling it to a draw."

News media

Trump likely will be undone by the investigation of Russian meddling into the 2016 election, but this kind of coverage in The Times, Washington Post and and other news outlets isn't really damaging him.

"Around 5:30 each morning, President Trump wakes and tunes into the television in the White House's master bedroom," The Times begins. "He flips to CNN for news, moves to 'Fox & Friends' for comfort and messaging ideas, and sometimes watches MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' because, friends suspect, it fires him up for the day.

"Energized, infuriated -- often a gumbo of both -- Mr. Trump grabs his iPhone. Sometimes he tweets while propped on his pillow, according to aides. Other times he tweets from the den next door, watching another television....

"...He sees the highest office in the land much as he did the night of his stunning victory over Hillary Clinton -- as a prize he must fight to protect every waking moment, and Twitter is his Excalibur.

"Despite all his bluster, he views himself less a titan dominating the world stage than a maligned outside engaged in a struggle to be taken seriously...."


Referring to Trump as a "lifelong hotelier," The Times says the president's "principal mode of blowing off steam is his nightly dinner in the White House residence..." with invited guests. 

"Mr. Trump has always relished gossiping over plates of well-done steak, salad slathered with Roquefort dressing and bacon crumbles, tureens of gravy and massive slices of dessert with extra ice cream."

For more, see TRUMP'S WAY.

James Comey

In today's column on former FBI Director James Comey, Mike Kelly of The Record betrays his dislike of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (Opinion front).

Most observers say Comey reopening the investigation into Clinton's handling of classified information on Oct. 28, 2016 (10 days before the election) hurt her campaign, and contributed to her defeat.

Kelly blames Clinton's defeat on "her own mistakes."

Today's Better Living section, which is filled with a couple of dozen photos of cookies, should have carried a warning label for the many older readers who are diabetic, and suffer from related heart problems. 

The author, Liz Johnson, is a "content strategist" at lohud.com and The Journal News, a Gannett paper that covers Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties in New York.

"Lohud" is Gannett speak for "Lower Hudson Valley."

Al Franken

In the coverage of the resignation of Sen. Al Franken and other elected members of Congress accused of sexual misconduct, the news media are spending little time commenting on why Trump shouldn't also step down in view of his sexual harassment of women.

In an op-ed column on Friday, Editorial Page Editor Alfred P. Doblin swings wildly between the "powerful men who allegedly treated women, and in some cases, other men, as objects created for their enjoyment," and an ice cream store in Montclair.

I read the shop's name over and over before I got the play on words. Dairy Air Ice Cream Co. recalls derriere, the French word for buttocks.

But the problem is not the name, Alfred P. Doblin says; it's the logo, "a shapely bovine ... with her ample tush pushed out and tattooed with 'DA' in a heart."

Doblin calls the logo "obvious sexism," but Trump's "disrespecting women" is mentioned only in passing.

See a video of 16 women who accuse Trump of unwanted kissing and worse: 'He groped me'


In another Margulies cartoon, the lighting of the Christmas Tree in Manhattan's Rockefeller Center is compared to the restoration of electricity and lights in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. "Amazing! That's more lights than in all of Puerto Rico," someone in the crowd says.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

President (Fake News) Trump apparently is winning a titanic battle with the media

Cartoonists Nate Beeler of The Columbus Dispatch in Ohio, above, and Daryl Cagle commenting on the news media's seemingly insatiable appetite for President Trump's tweets, most of which are filled with lies, exaggerations and empty boasts.




-- HACKENSACK, N.J.

By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

Almost every day in our long national nightmare, President Trump attacks or tries to dismantle another accomplishment of the Obama administration.

On Monday, Trump sharply reduced the size of two national monuments in Utah, hoping to open the land to more development.

Now, his commerce secretary is recommending three marine national monuments should be reopened to fishing.

Meanwhile, the Senate version of Trump's tax break for the super rich would end health insurance for 13 million Americans under the Affordable Care Act.

One estimate said Trump personally could save more than $1 billion, if the GOP tax plan becomes law.

Tweet storm

However, the news media haven't confronted Trump, and asked him whether he stands for anything except targeting the legacy of our first black president.

Instead, they parse or broadcast every single idiotic tweet from the Liar-In-Chief, even though, as far as I can tell, they have absolutely no obligation to do so.

In a letter to The Record, my local daily newspaper, Michael Konsevick of Vernon says of Trump's offensive tweets:

"The true danger of the ... Trump presidency is the tendency of much of the media to accept his aberrant and irrational behavior as somehow the new norm.

"Although he constantly harangues the mainstream media, Trump's free exposure through that same media helped him vanquish his many Republican opponents during the 2016 election cycle." 

Cartoonist Nate Beeler on Trump's controversial move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Fake news?

In the past year, Trump has tweeted about "fake news" more than 150 times, and on one day in September, he did so eight times, in apparent frustration over coverage of his administration's response to the hurricane devastating Puerto Rico, The New Yorker says.

"And, of course, Trump regularly invokes 'the fake-news, Russian-collusion story,' as he named it last summer," one of the dozen-plus times he has attacked coverage of the Russia investigation on Twitter, Steve Coll reports.

Trump boasted on Mike Huckabee's talk in show in October that "one of the greatest terms I've come up with is 'fake,'" Coll notes, but the phrase "fake news" has been around for more than a century.

Hackensack news?

Three cheers for Deputy Mayor Kathy Canestrino and Councilman Leo Battaglia, who voted against paying $775,000 to settle a lawsuit by former Hackensack City Clerk Debra Heck, a longtime political foe of the reformers elected in 2013 and again this year.

But the council OK'd the settlement in a 3-2 vote on Tuesday night, Staff Writer Rodrigo Torrejon of The Record says today (1L).

On Wednesday, Torrejon reported the City Council approved $142,382 in retirement payouts to Vincent Riotto, the former commander of a police narcotics unit whose misconduct led to the dismissal of eight criminal cases.

Pearl Harbor

In a Page 1 column today on the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Mike Kelly writes about a Maryland trucker who stopped at the Richard Stockton Service Plaza on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Outside a building with food concessions and restrooms, a plaque memorializes the 2,403 service members who died that day.

Is this any reason to write a front-page column that continues on 9A and 11A?

Kelly is so desperate to fill space, his column rambles all over the place:

"As he got out of his truck," Kelly writes of Ray Malone, "a wind blew across the parking lot and the smell of manure wafted off of a nearby farm."

How appropriate. Kelly has been churning out shit for more years than readers care to remember.

Restaurant review?

On Page 2 of Wednesday's Better Living section, an over-the-top appraisal of Trattoria Giotto is labeled "Restaurant Review," but it's missing a rating, prices, a telephone number or even the town where the Italian-American restaurant is located.

The writer is Joyce Venezia Suss, who has been stuffing her face on North Jersey Media Group's dime for many years.

On Twitter, @joycevsuss calls herself a "communicator extraordinaire."

What a joke. I'd call her a B.S. artist extraordinaire.

On the cover of the section, a four-course winemaker dinner at the Saddle River Inn is described in great detail, but the story doesn't say if or when it is being served, and how much it would cost.

Finally, the Better Living cover story on Wednesday urges Jewish readers to throw a latke-vodka party to celebrate Hanukkah. 

Throughout the paper, Gannett Co. editors have bylines appearing over a fictitious publication, "North Jersey Record."

Can't cancel

On NorthJersey.com, readers of The Record complain they've tried unsuccessfully to cancel their subscriptions:
"They have the worst customer service. All I want to do is cancel my subscription and on hold on phone for 30 minutes, then on hold for chat. Then they won't take cancellation over the chat but will take new subscriptions just horrible." -- Sharon Gorey Fanning

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Cheap Aroma rice cooker has me eating my words of praise, Costco wines + more

This Aroma Professional Rice Cooker came with a 5-year warranty, but the appliance started malfunctioning in October, about 2 years after we purchased it at Costco Wholesale in Teterboro for the bargain-basement price of $29.99.
One feature we liked was this collector, which caught condensation from inside the electric cooker. We could remove it to throw the water into the sink.

-- HACKENSACK, N.J.

By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

Forgive the play on words, but I smelled a bargain in October 2015 when I saw an electric rice cooker going for only $29.99 at my Costco Wholesale warehouse.

As I put the box into my shopping cart, my wife's complaints about the slowness of our Panasonic 10-cup Fuzzy Logic Rice Cooker rang in my ears.

The Panasonic cooker I got from Amazon.com in April 2013 cost $67.99, but listed for $89.99 -- three times the price of the bargain Aroma Professional Cooker.

But the Aroma cooker, made in China, stopped working in October, two years after I bought it.

So now that I've returned the malfunctioning Aroma cooker to my Teterboro Costco for a full refund, I am ready to eat the words of praise I lavished on it in a post on Do You Really Know What You're Eating?




Our Panasonic 10-cup Fuzzy Logic Rice Cooker is slower, but has operated flawlessly since we bought it in April 2013.
In October 2015, the 5-year warranty listed on the box hooked me, but to get the cooker repaired or replaced, I would have had to pay for shipping the Aroma cooker both ways to San Diego, Calif., at a cost that would have exceeded the purchase price ($22 each way). 
Cuckoo rice cookers, which are made in South Korea, were on sale at the H Mart in Little Ferry on Sunday.

Our disposable culture

I received several comments in response to my original post on purchasing the cheap rice cooker, and the one from Phoebe Alexis proved prescient.

"The reason why many Asian folks invest in brands like Zojirushi and Tiger is because those rice cookers last! Parts can be replaced!

"We live in a disposable culture and should concentrate more on a few quality products that will LAST.... I seriously doubt that Aroma Cooker can match a Tiger (made in Japan) cooker that will last for years!!!! I appreciate your point of view but am very skeptical."

So, Pheobe, wherever you are, thanks for the valuable lesson in price v. quality or as many say, You get what you pay for.


Cases of wine on display at the Costco Wholesale in the Wayne Towne Center mall (149 Route 23 in Wayne). Unlike the liquor-store concession at the Teterboro warehouse, the Wayne Costco sells private-label wines from California, France, Italy, Argentina and other countries under the Kirkland Signature label.
Kirkland Signature 2014 Meritage from California's Napa Valley is a red wine made from five different grapes, including Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

Best value in wine

Kirkland Signature wines from Costco offer the best value, but in northern New Jersey, only the warehouse in the Wayne Towne Center has a state liquor license to sell them.

One example is the Kirkland Signature 2015 Malbec from Argentina at $6.99, one of the bottles of red wine I picked up last Thursday.

Others included Kirkland Signature 2014 Meritage, $11.59; 2015 Napa County Cabernet Sauvignon, $12.99; and 2016 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, also $12.99.


TY KU Silver Junmai Sake from Japan was $14.99 at the Wayne Costco.
A whole Jamon Serrano from Spain, where it was cured for 14 months, with a stand and slicing knife was $129.99 at the Wayne Costco. The weight was given as 15.43 pounds to 16.53 pounds.

More organics

On a visit to the Teterboro Costco on Saturday, when I replaced a damaged Michelin tire on my car, I noticed more organic products than before.

It's now possible to buy the basics -- bread, dairy or almond milk, eggs, salad mix, coffee beans and many other items -- and choose chemical-free organic over conventionally raised or grown.


This 2-pound, 8-ounce bag of Fair Trade Organic Whole Bean Coffee from Peru is not only free of harmful pesticides and chemical fertilizers, but also is a good deal at $10.99, and I was able to grind it at the Teterboro warehouse, below. 
I use a Turkish grind in my drip coffee maker to expose as much coffee as possible to hot water, producing a more robust cup of Joe.
Other organic coffee beans were available, including these from Mexico.
Plainville Farms Organic Turkey Breast (1.25 pounds for $10.89) may be the only cold cut sold at the Teterboro Costco that wasn't made from poultry or meat raised on harmful human antibiotics.
Pasta Prima Organic Spinach & Cheese Ravioli are delicious cooked, splashed with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkled with grated cheese. You get 2.25 pounds for $9.99.
My wife says Costco no longer sells Kirkland Signature Whole Grain Bread so she brought home organic loaves, Dave's Killer Bread with 21 whole grains and seeds (two 27-ounce loaves were $7.39; one loaf at the Paramus Target was $5.89). I love this bread toasted, spread with a little pesto or used in a sandwich of reduced-fat Swiss cheese, wild smoked salmon and Campari tomato slices, all available at Costco, below.
I used three spreads on the sandwich: Dijon mustard, red-pepper paste and pesto.
Kirkland Signature Organic Unsweetened Almond Non-Dairy Beverage (Vanilla) may be the substitute for 1% lactose-free milk when having coffee or cereal. Six quarts of the almond milk were $7.99.
I was tempted by these prepared mussels from Canada's Prince Edward Island, but the garlic butter was a turnoff. 
CORRECTION: Here are two organic eggs from Costco with smoked wild salmon and organic quinoa. The photo I posted originally showed two duck eggs from Goffle Road Poultry Farm in Wyckoff. Two dozen Kirkland Signature Organic Eggs are $5.99 at Costco.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Our illegitimate president is dying to sign illegitimate GOP tax break for super rich

Using President Trump's own boastful words from the "Access Hollywood" tape, cartoonist Adam Zyglis of The Buffalo News contrasts his election to the firings of Matt Lauer, Garrison Keillor, Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein, all of whom were accused of sexually harassing women.

-- HACKENSACK, N.J.

By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

With every tweeted lie and racial slur, President Trump shows just how unfit and unstable he is to hold the highest office in the land.

Yet, just before 2 a.m. Saturday, Senate Republicans, with only one holdout, approved Trump's massive tax break for the super rich, including wealthy corporations that threatened to withhold GOP campaign funds in the crucial 2018 midterm elections.

They would go into effect on Jan. 1, according to Vox.com:

"Republicans are on track to pass a tax bill by the end of the year, and if they’re able to stick to that schedule and the bill is signed by ... Trump, it would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2018.
"The sweeping overhaul of taxes would reduce rates for corporations and individuals (although individual tax cuts would eventually expire), and would also repeal the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, effectively kicking 13 million people off their insurance, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
"But Americans won’t see a big difference in their tax return when they sit down to file this spring; the proposed cuts in the bill contains would show up the following year.
"'When they’ll really see the difference is a year from March and April,' said Marc Goldwein, senior policy director for the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget."

A big disappointment in terms of news coverage is how the media continue to quote the multitude of lies Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans have told about the economic benefits of their bill.

And in a news analysis on Saturday, The Times questioned whether the coming big win will help or hurt Republicans:

"...It remained to be seen whether the result ... will spare Republicans from the emerging political backlash that was evident in Democratic election victories around the country last month."

Russian probe

Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn became the fourth Trump insider to plead guilty or be indicted in the probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and the special counsel expects him to cooperate and implicate others.

Emails shared with The New York Times and newly public documents reveal that Flynn was in touch with senior members of the Trump transition team both before and after his pre-inauguration discussions with Russia's ambassador, contradicting the White House's portrayal of "a rogue actor," the newspaper reported.

Prosecutors also have interviewed Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and adviser.

"FLYNN READY TO NAME NAMES"  was the all-caps headline Saturday on the front page of The Record of Woodland Park, my local daily newspaper.


Political cartoonist Dave Granlund commenting on the firing of "Today" show host Matt Lauer after women complained about sex harrasment and worse. The Record of Woodland Park described him as the "lovable" co-host of the NBC morning show.

Is Trump insane?

In today's Record of Woodland Park, Columnist Mike Kelly must be the last journalist in America to question Trump's sanity (Opinion front).

On Friday's front page, Kelly used one of his favorites words in the first sentence of a column on a job fair for state prison inmates who were about to be released.

"Robert Fudali stood in the center of a gymnasium at Northern State Prison in Newark ... and gazed into his future."

Kelly has used the word "gaze," "gazed" or "gazing" so many times in the past that some readers' eyes just roll when they see it.

Here is Kelly's first sentence from a May 31, 2007, column: 

"Brandon Kennedy gazed through the chain-link fence outside his Paramus school on Wednesday."

And when Kelly doesn't use the word, many readers notice, as I did for Eye on The Record when I read his 2014 column on Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer:


"Today's paper doesn't add a thing to the Bridgegate scandal, especially Mike Kelly's lame column on Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, one of the Democrats who have complained about the GOP bully's muscle flexing (A-1).
"His lead paragraph is a turnoff:
"'Dawn Zimmer sits in a chair in a quiet, sun-splashed conference room next to her mayor's office on the second floor of Hoboken's City Hall.
"At least the burned-out columnist didn't have her 'gazing' out the window or into the distance or whatever, as he has had so many other subjects in the past.
"With an intro like that, readers fully expect the reporter ... will tell them next where City Hall restrooms are located."

NJ Transit

Every weekday morning, thousands of NJ Transit commuters wonder whether they'll find a seat on their rush-hour bus or train.

Thanks to Governor Christie's drastic funding cuts and the do-nothing Port Authority, NJ Transit service hasn't been expanded in decades.

Don't tell that to Curtis Tate, who spends all his time writing about everything but the service, as he does today on Page 1:

"Management exodus at NJ Transit"