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Friday, February 17, 2017

The Record: A letter contains sticker shock about my 7-day home delivery subsciption

A cartoon from Pat Bagley of the Salt Lake Tribune compares President Trump to a docile breed entered in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show by shirtless Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.



Until I received a letter from The Record, I wasn't aware I am paying more than $100 a year for 7-day home delivery of the once-great daily newspaper I worked for until 2008.

That's $104 or 28 cents an issue, said a woman who took my call this morning after I was put on hold for more than 15 minutes and listened to music from the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra.

After June 4, my home delivery subscription will go up only 40 cents, to $104.40 (charged to my credit card at $8.70 a month), she said.

And there is no charge for access to NorthJersey.com, which is even more poorly edited than the print edition, if you can imagine that.

That's double the $51.48 a year I paid in 2010, when I still received a discount for being a former employee.

But the woman hastened to add the "regular rate" for 7-day home delivery is $457.60.

Why didn't I know how much I paid for the Woodland Park daily?

My account is enrolled in auto pay, and renews automatically.

The letter also informed me I "will receive 4 premium editions throughout the year, which will be charged at $1 each."

Idle boasts

While I was on hold, a recorded message played over and over again, touting The Record's "restaurant reviews," which ended last November with the departure of critic Elisa Ung.

Today's Better Living section contains not a restaurant review, but a story on "North Jersey's Best Chicken Sandwiches" (1BL, 10BL and 11BL).

If you don't eat poultry or meat, screw you, Food Editor Esther Davidowitz seems to be saying.

The message also boasted of "the best local news coverage anywhere" -- a patently ridiculous statement even when the Borg family owned the paper.

Today's paper

President Trump continues his assault on the news media and "fake news" after former Gen. Michael Flynn resigned as national security adviser (1A).

A long Page 1 story on the suspensions of the high school principal and nine other high-level district employees in Englewood never explains what is wrong with "more than 3,000 graduation credit and grade changes in the previous year" (1A).

Paul Berger, a transportation reporter who covers the Port Authority, continues to spend more time reporting on the woes of unarmed guards at the George Washington Bridge than he does on the commuters who are caught in horrendous traffic jams at the bridge and other Hudson River crossings (1A).

He also has ignored reporting on a quick fix for a lack of rush-hour seats on NJ Transit buses and afternoon delays at the midtown-Manhattan bus terminal:

More exclusive Lincoln Tunnel bus lanes (both in the morning and afternoon) on Route 495.

About one-third of the first Business page in the L-section was missing when we found our copy of The Record, which was tossed far from the familiar spot in our driveway today. The missing third of the page ended up in the A-section, next to the editorials.

Local news 

Governor Christie's White House dreams were dashed by the Bridgegate scandal, and now a Bergen County judge has cleared the way for an official misconduct complaint against him to proceed to trial (1L).

The GOP thug has tried to put Bridgegate behind him by launching a number of initiatives to address "the epidemic of addition" to prescription drugs (Thursday's front page).

Also on the Local front, Staff Writer John Cichowski continues to base his so-called commuting column on a small number of wackos who email him incessantly so they can see their names in print (1L).

Today's Road Warrior column celebrates Neanderthal drivers who disable such collision-avoidance systems as backup cameras, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and lane-departure warnings.