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Eating Out + Eating In: $13.50 for a Greek Salad, brunch in Red Bank and fish stories

DID THEY SHRINK THE SALAD? I met a friend for lunch at the Suburban Diner, 172 Route 17 north in Paramus, and paid $13.50 for a Greek ...

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

News media could have done a lot more to prevent the election of Donald J. Trump

Cartoonists R.J. Matson, above, and Mike Keefe, below, commenting on President Trump's travel and refugee bans, which are largely affecting Muslims from seven countries, including Syria.


By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

The headline on my post today contains a fundamental flaw:

Even if the The Record of Woodland Park and other news media had tried harder to prevent the Nov. 8 election of wacko racist Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States, the effort would have been met with a great deal of skepticism.

The conservative Newsmax.com says, "Only 18 percent of Americans trust national news and just 22 percent trust local news, according to the Pew Research Center."

When I checked PewResearch.org, I found trust in such social media as Twitter and Facebook was far lower, only 4 percent.

So, that might explain why none of the widely reported scandals -- attacking a Gold Star Muslim family, dodging federal taxes, boasting of grabbing women's private parts and so forth -- stuck on Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Still, The Record and other news outlets can be faulted for never setting the record straight when Trump was a candidate and now that he is president.

Travel ban

Screaming headlines in the Woodland Park daily today and Monday report protests and outrage over Trump's executive order that bans people from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States.

All refugees from Syria also are banned, which Governor Christie recommended right after the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris. 

But many experts agree our no-fly list has done a great job of keeping terrorists from entering the country since the 9/11 attacks on America.

And, they say, we should fear home-grown terrorism far more, as shown by the massacres in Orlando, Fla., and Sacramento, Calif.


Illegal immigrants

When Trump pledged to deport illegals who committed crimes, The Record and other media never reported President Obama expelled 2.5 million illegal immigrants -- more than any other president.

Since Jan. 20, when he was inaugurated, Trump has ordered construction of a wall on the Mexican border and renegotiation of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.

But the new factories American and foreign companies built in Mexico have improved the economy to the point where Mexicans returning to their country outnumber those immigrating to the states. 

Voter apathy

Trump lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million, but he got an unseen boost from legions who were so apathetic they didn't even bother to exercise their right to vote.

Voter turnout in the Nov. 8 presidential election was the lowest since 1996, when 53.5 percent of voting age citizens turned out, CNN reported on Nov. 30, when election officials were still tabulating ballots.

Only about 55 percent of voting age citizens cast ballots in the contest between Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton. 

The Record's Charles Stile and other reporters who focus solely on state and national politics -- instead of issues -- are responsible for much of the apathy shown by voters (see Stile's column on 1A today).

That's how Christie was re-elected in 2013, despite the lowest voter turnout in the history of a gubernatorial election.

And that's how Trump's supporters -- including racists and misogynists -- prevailed on Nov. 8. 

Voter suppression

Oh, in the first version of this post, I forgot to mention I.D. laws and other forms of voter suppression in states controlled by Republicans.

In 2013, Christie vetoed a bill to allow early voting in New Jersey, but when Clinton criticized him in 2015, the GOP thug denied he ever did any such thing.

And let's not forget Russian President and war criminal Vladimir Putin's interference in the presidential campaign on behalf of Trump.

It's not for nothing Trump is considered by many to be an illegitimate president.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Giving green awards to gasoline cars raises no eyebrows in Trump's new Washington

Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Honda are among the major automakers that have dragged their feet on marketing battery-driven, zero-emissions electric cars and SUVs. But that didn't stop Green Car Journal from awarding Green Car of the Year Awards to three of their hybrids, which use plenty of gasoline and contribute to climate change.


By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Green Car Journal and GreenCar.com have absolutely no connection to the new Trump administration, which is trying to complete oil pipelines and hopes to revive the coal industry.

But this reporter questions why the magazine still is awarding its Green Car Awards to cars and SUVs that use gas, even though that might seem like a contradiction everywhere but in the nation's capital.

In the 10th year of the awards, Publisher and Editor Ron Cogan staged a media event at The Washington Auto Show to announce the latest winners in three categories. 

The only all-electric vehicle that made the finals was Tesla's elegant Model X, a 7-passenger SUV with Falcon Wing doors and full self-driving hardware.

Inexplicably, Cogan chose the Mercedes-Benz C350e -- a cramped plug-in hybrid sedan -- over the Tesla as winner of the 2017 Connected Green Car of the Year Award.

The Mercedes claims to get 45 MPGe (gas + electric) in the city, but can travel only 11 miles on its battery and electric motor.

Of course, Model X is a zero-emissions vehicle that uses no gasoline, and can travel 295 miles on a full charge.


None of the finalists for 2017 Green SUV of the Year are all-electric, and a couple of them aren't even gas-electric hybrids.

BMW and Acura 

Cogan chose the BMW X5 xDrive40e as winner of the Green SUV of the Year Award, and gave the nod for Luxury Green Car of the Year to the Acura NSX hybrid supercar.

Cogan made no mention of the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, which was on display in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, where the Green Car Awards were announced last Thursday.

He crowned the all-electric Bolt the 2017 Green Car of the Year last November.

For past commentary
 on the auto industry, see:

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Rampage by Dictator Trump overshadows deaths of two prominent local residents

A little after 7 on Wednesday morning, the rush-hour NJ Transit train I boarded at Anderson Street in Hackensack, below, was standing room only to Secaucus, an old story that has been ignored by The Record's transportation columnist, who continues to obsess over potholes and signs obscured by foliage.


By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

Readers of The Record can be forgiven if they missed the obituaries of two prominent Teaneck residents amid all of the coverage of how President Trump is trampling people's rights and trying to destroy the environment to create jobs.

The first was award-winning jazz photographer Chuck Stewart, 89, an African-American whose death was reported last Wednesday.

"Texas-born and Arizona-raised, Stewart made money the first day he snapped a picture [at 13 years old]," Staff Writer Jay Levin wrote.

Richard A. Green, the peripatetic Gannett editor now running the Woodland Park newsroom, decided that instead of running the Stewart obit on Page 1, he needed that space to promote a boring Sports feature on "North Jersey players to reach the Super Bowl."

The second important Teaneck resident was Stephen P. Cohen, 71, whose obituary was published on Friday.

Cohen "for decades served as a back-channel mediator between Israel and its Arab neighbors," Levin said.

There certainly was room on Page 1 for Cohen's obit, if Green hadn't gotten so excited over conversion of the ferry boat Binghamton into a restaurant barge.

Just two more examples of the awful news judgment exhibited by a clueless out-of-state editor who swooped into New Jersey to run a once-great local daily newspaper.

Refugee ban

Trump, who has been acting more like a dictator than a president, suffered his first setback late Saturday, when a federal judge in Brooklyn prevented some refugees who were detained at airports from being deported (1A).

A sidebar with today's main story on protests over Trump's refugee ban notes "a Rutgers Ph.D. student who went to visit her ill mother in Syria was stopped on her way back during a Paris layover and barred from returning to Newark" (1A).

At the bottom of Page 1 today, a news story tries to guess at what was said during Trump's hour-long phone call on Saturday to his BFF, Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Putin is believed to have been behind Russian meddling that helped Trump in the Nov. 8 presidential election, and he's been called a war criminal for unleashing his military on innocent civilians in Aleppo, Syria.

Food coverage

Petite Soo Chow, one of restaurants promoted in a Chinese New Year feature on Saturday, has been closed down at least twice by Cliffside Park health inspectors.

We stopped patronizing the restaurant after we saw a male waiter picking his nose in the dining room.

Staff Writer Sophia F. Gottfried also recommended Aquarius Seafood Restaurant in Fort Lee, even though its Chinese New Year menus "start" at $688 (Saturday's Better Living section).

Gottfried ignored Lotus Cafe, a BYO in Hackensack that is offering a special four-course Chinese New Year Menu for $29.95 per person.

At Lotus Cafe, 4-course Chinese New Year dinner is something to really crow about

Sizzling Jumbo Shrimp & Snap Peas in Sweet White Sauce is one of the entrees available when you order a special Chinese New Year meal at Lotus Cafe in Hackensack.


By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

Friday marked the beginning of the Year of the Rooster, according to the Chinese Zodiac, so we wasted no time celebrating at one of our favorite restaurants, Lotus Cafe in Hackensack.

The modest storefront in the Home Depot Shopping Center is serving a fixed-price, four-course Chinese New Year Menu for $29.95 per person through Feb. 12.

Entrees include:

Filet Mignon Casserole with Cellophane Noodles and Enoki Sprouts, Filet of Flounder in Ginger Sauce with Snow Pea Leaves, Braised Half Tangerine Duck, Sizzling Jumbo Shrimp & Snap Peas in Sweet White Sauce, Walnut Prawns; and Dragon & Pheonix, a chicken-and-shrimp combo.

Late Saturday afternoon, we grabbed a chilled bottle of French Champagne to have with our meal, and drove a short distance to the BYO. 

Highlights included the Lobster Spring Roll appetizer, dipped in sinus-clearing Chinese mustard; some of the biggest, crunchiest shrimp I've ever been served in a restaurant, and the delicate snow pea leaves with our second entree.

The special meal can be ordered for lunch or dinner from the Chinese New Year Menu on a flier available at the register.


Each of us started with a small bowl of Seafood Hot & Sour Soup. A second choice was Pork & Wonton Melon Consomme.
Only one appetizer is available, a Lobster Spring Roll and batter-dipped Chicken Wing.
For her entree, my wife chose a large platter of Filet of Flounder in Ginger Sauce with Snow Pea Leaves. We shared the delicious fish and wonderful greens, but took home plenty of leftovers, including two of the jumbo shrimp from my entree.
Each of us also had a small bowl of brown rice.
The special Chinese New Year meal includes ice cream or the house-made Chinese Rice Pudding (served to a minimum of four persons), but I asked for fruit and was happy with pineapple chunks, even though they came from a can.
A bottle of dry French Champagne from Costco Wholesale in Wayne was the perfect celebratory drink, along with a pot of Chinese tea.
Lotus Cafe gives you chocolate fortune cookies with the check.

Details

Lotus Cafe, 450 Hackensack Ave., in the Home Depot Shopping Center in Hackensack; 1-201-488-7070.

BYO, large parking lot. Fixed-price Chinese New Year Menu served through Feb. 12. Reservations recommended at dinner.

You can order takeout and delivery online at a redesigned website.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Chevrolet Bolt EV costs half the price of a Tesla, but isn't close to being half the car

ELECTRIC AND ELECTRIFIED: Chevrolet now offers the all-electric Bolt EV and the Volt, a plug-in that uses gasoline, but can travel on its battery and electric motors for up to 53 miles, at rear. They are on display at The Washington Auto Show, which runs through Feb. 5.
NO FRUNK: Unlike Tesla's Model S, Model X and the upcoming Model 3, you won't find a trunk in front or frunk under the hood of the front-wheel-drive BOLT EV.


By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV has arrived in showrooms, which is great news for the environment.

But despite what you may have read elsewhere, the humble, all-electric hatchback doesn't offer anything close to the refinement or speed of a Tesla.

On a short drive in the nation's capital on Thursday, I heard a lot more mechanical noise from the Bolt's electric motor and transmission than I'm used to in my 2015 Tesla Model S 60.

And a Chevrolet representative in the front seat couldn't explain why the Bolt didn't have Tesla's automatic regenerative braking -- which charges the battery and slows the car when you lift off the accelerator pedal.

Only after I checked the Bolt website did I learn you have to pull a steering-wheel paddle or shift the automatic transmission into "Low" for regenerative braking, which will bring the car to a full stop at a light or sign -- just like in the all-electric BMW i3.

The Bolt I drove and my Tesla are both zero-emission cars and both have a 60 kWh Lithium-ion battery.

But when I punched the Chevy's accelerator pedal from a standing start, the car was noisy, as I've said, and it didn't leap off the line as does my far heavier Model S.

I also noticed some torque steer or pulling on the steering wheel from the front-wheel-drive Bolt.

Of course, the Bolt has an MSRP that is about half of a rear-wheel-drive Tesla Model S 60 ($37,495 v. $71,000), but with the "affordable" Chevy, you get only what you pay for. 

And a smaller Tesla, the upcoming Model 3, with an MSRP of $35,000 before incentives, looks like it will be a far better value than the Bolt EV.

Right now, the Bolt EV is on sale in California and Oregon. Some Chevy dealers in New Jersey and New York are taking orders this month, with delivery scheduled for March.


EL CHEAPO: The Bolt EV's glove box, above, and interior materials scream "cheap" and "just another econobox."
UNATTACHED: The cover over a hidden compartment in the hatch area isn't attached to the car. It might double as a snowboard for a small child.
ROOM FOR LONG LEGS: The 5-door Bolt EV has a high roof line, and with the front passenger seat back as far as it would go, I had plenty of legroom while awaiting my turn to drive.



Bolt v. Model 3

The Bolt comes in two trim levels starting at $36,620 (LT) and $41,780 (Premier) before incentives, and both have a range of 238 miles on a full charge, according to the website.

Neither comes standard with fast-charging capability or such safety features as forward collision alert or low-speed automatic braking.

They are standard on Teslas as well as on Toyotas and other cars that cost less than the Bolt.

Tesla says its 5-passenger Model 3 sedan, with a starting price of $35,000, will begin production in "mid-2017; have a range of 215 miles on a full charge, and do zero to 60 mph in under 6 seconds.

Model 3 also is designed to achieve a 5-star safety rating, the highest possible and the same as in the Model S and Model X.

In addition, Model 3 will be equipped with autonomous-driving features found in more expensive Teslas, including Autopilot, Autosteer and Autopark; and 1,000 miles of free charging at Tesla's proprietary nationwide network of Superchargers.

If you take Bolt on a road trip, Chevy won't provide any free charging.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Gannett lays off an additional 141 workers; The Record's readers try to count desserts

"Trumpty Dumpty" from cartoonist Rick McKee of the Augusta Chronicle in Georgia.


By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

Gannett Co., the nation's biggest newspaper chain, continues to slash the payroll at North Jersey Media Group, publisher of The Record.

This week, 141 veteran employees were handed notices they will be laid off in 60 days.

In November, Gannett cut in half the remaining 426 positions at NJMG, which also publishes the Herald News, NorthJersey.com, 30 weeklies and a magazine.

Meanwhile, the quality and accuracy of the Woodland Park daily continues to decline.

Sugar shock

Today, readers of Better Living were doing double takes due to another big production error at Gannett's design center-cum-sweat shop in Neptune, a shore town where seven daily papers are put out.

The cover story -- "5 desserts we love" -- actually includes 6 desserts.

The Sharkfin Pie shown on the first page of the section wasn't included in the centerfold, which displays five other desserts.

In response, hospital emergency rooms and cardiac-surgery teams in the region geared up for an influx of diabetics who might have overdosed on sugar just by looking at the photos.

Many people with heart disease also are diabetic, because excessive amounts of sugar can form clots in their arteries.

The dessert spread appears under the byline of Food Editor Esther Davidowitz, who claims "oftentimes we believe that dessert is the best course of a meal" (12BL).

Is she using the "editorial we," and does that mean all of the other food at the featured restaurants isn't worth ordering?

Under Gannett, The Record ended the weekly restaurant reviews as an economy move.

President Trump

Today's Page 1 story on a possible 20% tax on Mexican imports doesn't mention whether the levy would be imposed on the 600,000 barrels of oil we get daily from south of the border (1A).

Can you imagine what that would do to the price of gasoline in North Jersey?

On Thursday, a front-page headline declares:


"A wall, new agents to
 stop illegal immigration"

You can only write such a headline, if the wall has already been built and the agents hired -- and both are far from reality. 

Also on Thursday, Gannett tells readers in no uncertain terms that when Garden State Plaza -- a major advertiser -- plans a makeover, it's front-page news, even if it cheapens the paper and readers question its editorial independence (1A).

Meanwhile, The New York Times ran an editorial on Wednesday, calling on Trump to release his tax returns:
"Mr. Trump's refusal to release his returns was deeply suspicious during the campaign, and it's indefensible now that he's in power.
 "The only logical conclusion is that the candidate who pledged to clean up Washington is hiding damaging information about his past."

Today marks Trump' first week in office, but critics note he often sounds like he is still delivering another campaign stump speech.

President Trump ignores tweet inviting him to attend The Washington Auto Show

The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, the first long-distance all-electric car from a major U.S. automaker, was available to members of the news media for a ride-and-drive on Wednesday and Thursday in Washington, D.C.

The Bolt EV, which is said to have a range of 238 miles on a full charge, is now on sale in California and Oregon, and is set to arrive on dealer lots in New Jersey and New York in March, with a starting price of $36,620.


By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- @RealDonaldTrump and @MichaelCohen212, the president's personal attorney, didn't respond to a tweet inviting them to The Washington Auto Show.

"Since the auto industry is on @RealDonaldTrump's mind we invite your admin to check out the latest in automotive @ #Was17," show organizers tweeted on Thursday.

The show opened to the public today in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

The organizers also sent an email to the White House, asking for a visit by Trump, but they haven't received a response, a spokeswoman said.

Auto policies

President Trump has urged American automakers to keep U.S. plants open, and not to move production to Mexico.

He has also threatened to slap German automakers with a 35% tariff on any car imported into the United States.

Both Cadillac and Global Automakers, the Washington-based lobbyist for international manufacturers, threw parties for members of the automotive media, about 30 of whom arrived here on Wednesday in a special Amtrak rail car from Manhattan.

At a media event on Thursday, Trump also was likely on the minds of Mercedes-Benz and Acura executives.

In their acceptance speeches for so-called Green Car Awards, they made it very clear the wining vehicles were made in the good old U.S.A.

Still, even U.S.-cars made often use engines, transmissions and other key components assembled in other countries.

For example, the all-electric 2017 Chevrolet Bolt is built in Michigan, but uses an electric motor and transmission made in South Korea.

More than 54% of the parts come from Korean or Canada.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Three courses plus dessert for $14.95; Amex modifies NYC Restaurant Week deal

For a $1 supplement, I chose Potato-Encrusted Filet of Sole for my entree at Giovanni's Restaurant, where a three-course Early Dinner is $14.95 (cash) or $18.95, if you pay with a credit card.


By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

We grabbed a bottle of red wine and drove to Giovanni's in Elmwood Park for three courses of tasty Italian-American food for under $15 each.

The Early Dinner, served daily between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., offers a choice of eight appetizers; nearly two dozen chicken, veal, fish, shrimp or pasta entrees; and coffee or tea and dessert.

Entrees are served with pasta or vegetable and potato. You also get a small salad or tomato and onion.

On Saturday afternoon, I gladly paid a $1 supplement for Potato-Encrusted Filet of Sole instead of the fish of the day, Tilapia.

A small plate of delicious cooked sweet green peppers in balsamic vinegar comes with the warm, crusty bread the restaurant serves.

I was pleasantly full and just had black coffee. My wife chose tea with her dessert, carrot cake.


NYC Restaurant Week

Hundreds of fine-dining restaurants in Manhattan are offering bargain three-course lunches for $29 and three-course dinners for $42, plus tax and tip.

The semiannual NYC Restaurant Week promotion began Monday and runs through Feb. 10.

American Express also has returned with a $5 credit on your billing statement, if you charge your meal to a registered card.

This year, however, you can't get the $5 credit unless you spend $35 in a single transaction. You can get up to four such $5 credits.

A year ago, you could get a $5 credit on lunch, which cost $25 then, plus tax and tip. 

To enroll your card, click here.


At Giovanni's, my wife chose Jumbo Shrimp Marinara over Linguine for her entree.

We both had a Caesar Salad.

My wife's appetizer was Mozzarella and Tomato. Mine was about a half-dozen Mussels in a soupy Garlic Sauce.

I love the restaurant's sweet green peppers marinated in balsamic vinegar.

You can bring your own wine.

Two crisp $20 bills were all we needed to pay for a satisfying dinner for two, including tax and tip.

Over the weekend, Giovanni's changed its name to Al Dente Italian Restaurant, according to its website: "Originally Giovanni's. Same owners, same great food, only the name has changed."
The outside of the strip mall is being renovated.

Details

Al Dente Restaurant (formerly Giovanni's), 430 Market St., Elmwood Park; 201-791-3000. Closed Mondays. BYO, parking lot. Reservations recommended.



First drive of the widely anticipated Chevy Bolt EV is set for Washington Auto Show

The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV looks like so many other 5-door hatchbacks, but one writer has described it as a crossover between a car and a small SUV.


By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

I'm heading for the Washington Auto Show in the nation's capital on Wednesday, when auto writers will get a chance to drive the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV.

I'm looking forward to getting behind the wheel of a vehicle that is said to be the first affordable all-electric car with a range of more than 200 miles on a full charge.

But as the owner of a 2015 Tesla Model S, I scoff at reports from those who have already tested the Bolt and who claim it will be a "Tesla fighter" or give "Tesla a run for the money."

Uninspired styling means the Bolt likely will fade into the background among so many other 5-door hatchbacks.

If you take the Bolt on a road trip, Chevrolet won't be providing any free charging, in contrast to Tesla, which has built a nationwide network of free, fast chargers for owners.

And the styling of the low-slung Tesla Model S 5-door hatchback remains fresh -- unique, really -- nearly four years after it went on sale.

So will the distinctive styling of Tesla's more-affordable Model 3, which is supposed to go into production this year.

I guarantee you no one will mistake the Bolt for a Model 3, and no Chevrolet can possible exude the quality and sophistication of a Tesla. 

Times: Trump again wrongly claims that illegal immigrants cost him popular vote

Cartoonist Mark Streeter of the Savannah Morning News is referring to President Trump's counselor, Kellyanne Conway, using the phrase "alternative facts" to defend falsehoods by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.


By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

Stung by charges his loss of the popular vote and meddling by Russia make him an illegitimate president, Donald J. Trump again lashed out at illegal immigrants.

A Breaking News alert sent out by The New York Times reported:
"President Trump used his first official meeting with congressional leaders on Monday to gripe about his loss of the popular vote, falsely telling the lawmakers that he would have won a majority if millions of illegal immigrants had not voted against him."

Trump claimed 3 million to 5 million illegal immigrants voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton, echoing Republican governors and legislators who cited similar allegations of fraud to enact voter-suppression laws in recent years.

No evidence of widespread voter fraud has ever been produced.

An editorial in The Record today cites so-called voter ID laws in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to defend "the right of all citizens to vote," but doesn't address Trump's preposterous claim that millions of illegals voted illegally for Clinton (8A). 

'Alternative facts'

A Page 1 story in The Record today reports New Jersey native Kellyanne Conway "has become the target of mockery" ... "after saying it [the new administration] used 'alternative facts' about the size of the inaugural crowd."

Sean Spicer, Trump's press secretary, on Saturday accused the media of lying about the size of the crowd "and insisted, with no factual basis, that it was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe" (1A).

More layoffs

More "job losses" have been announced by Gannett's North Jersey Media Group, publisher of The Record, Herald News, NorthJersey.com, 30 weekly papers and (201) magazine (5A).

The story describes "a restructuring" in several departments at NJMG "to meet the growing digital demands of readers and advertisers while responding to changes in the publishing industry."

By the end of the week, 141 employees will receive notices required by state and federal law "when significant layoffs are planned by private employers," according to NJMG.

Last September, Gannett announced half of the 426 employees left at NJMG would see their jobs end in mid-November, but never disclosed how many actually departed.

The enhancement of NorthJersey.com and the addition of smartphone apps have been of little use to the overwhelmingly older readers of the print edition, many of whom don't use computers or smartphones.

Many readers, commenting on the paper's Facebook page, have slammed the November redesign of the Woodland Park daily, including a decline in quality, accuracy and the number of local stories.

Crazy headlines

Gannett moved production of The Record from Woodland Park to Neptune, where the company's six other New Jersey dailies are put out.

Editors in the Gannett design center lay out text and photos on computers, and write headlines, resulting in some of the weirdest I've ever seen.

On Page 1 today, for example, is this incomprehensible headline:

"Issues
hit day
laborer
support"

The "issues" are listed in the sub-headline as "safety, policy, funds," but how can "issues" hit "support" for day laborers in Palisades Park?

A reader of The Sasson Report who works in Hackenack cited a headline on Monday's Local front:

"Faithful
seek a 
role with 
Trump"

"Nonpartisan gathering
aimed at healing divides"

But the "faithful" aren't Republican Party faithful, and no one mentioned in the story is seeking "a role" or job with the new president.

The story reported nearly 100 Christians, Jews and Muslims gathered last Friday, after the inauguration, to start the process of healing after a bitterly divisive presidential campaign.

Here is the comment from the reader:


"Victor: Like the new site.  Two issues -- my wife commented that the new Record appears to have a lot more pictures -- not only do they have more pictures, but they are big ones that cover over half a page. "Also, I could not believe the headline on today's Local section front: 'Faithful seek a role with Trump.'  
"I thought that the article was about Trump supporters who were looking for some form of job or at least a local organization. 
"No. It was about a Friday event of people of faith.  What does the headline have to do with the story, and why report a Friday event on Monday?"

Here are a couple of possible answers:

Running many photos or big photos usually means the layout editors are desperate to fill space, because the newsroom didn't produce enough news stories, features or columns.

Running a Friday story on Monday likely meant it was held to accommodate coverage of the inauguration by staffers sent from New Jersey that appeared in the Saturday and Sunday editions.