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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Ex-Record staffers will be crying in their beer tonight at a big Irish pub in Clifton

Cartoonist Daryl Cagle believes Republicans will be committing political suicide, if they back Trumpcare as a replacement for the Affordable Care Act. The New York Times reports today "is a big day in the House of Representatives -- and for millions of Americans at risk of losing their health insurance."



A farewell party is being thrown tonight for about 50 reporters and editors who are among the latest victims of the Gannett-inspired bloodletting at The Record of Woodland Park.

Among retirees expected to attend the bash at The Shannon Rose in Clifton are:

Former Production Editor Bob Cunningham, who also wore the hat of newsroom enforcer in Hackensack; and Vinny Byrne, onetime head of the copy desk, which edits stories and writes headlines.

This week's layoffs involve a total of 141 employees of North Jersey Media Group, the publishing company Gannett Co. bought from the Borg family last July for more than $40 million.

So far, Gannett has cut more than 350 jobs at the Woodland Park daily.

Who is going

The latest round of layoffs includes Jill Schensul, who was the award-winning travel editor; Better Living Editor Marc Schwarz and feature staffers Kara Yorio and Ray Edel.

Food Editor Esther Davidowitz and food writer Sophia Gottfried are keeping their jobs for now.

So are feature writer Jim Beckerman and Joan Verdon, the reporter whose shopping-center beat focuses on some of The Record's biggest advertisers.

Verdon is the only member of the business staff who escaped the layoffs.

Three veterans of the news staff, Deirdre Sykes, Jay Levin and Pat Alex, also are leaving.

Record Columnists Mike Kelly, John Cichowski, Bill Ervlino and Charles Stile are being retained for their ability to fill yawning holes in news and feature pages now that so many writers have been given the heave-ho.

Kara Yorio, a writer on The Record's Better Living staff, was laid off.
Columnist Mike Kelly is keeping his position.

Today's paper

The Zisas appear to be up to their dirty tricks in Hackensack again, according to a story in The Record today (Local front).

Caseen Gaines, a Hackensack High School English teacher, also is campaign manager for Hackensack United for Progress, the Zisa-backed slate in the City Council election in May.

Staff Writer Rodrigo Torrejon reports Gaines "appears to have distributed campaign material" to the media "during school time and on school grounds, according to emails and public records" (1L).

"The city schools' policy prohibits some political work during school hours," Torrejon says.

Gaines' actions were defended by Richard Salkin, a longtime Zisa loyalist who is school board attorney and legal counsel for the Hackensack United for Progress slate.

"If you look at the policy, no way he's done anything wrong," Salkin says of Gaines.

Anthony Zisa

In last April's school election, another Hackensack High teacher, Anthony Zisa, apparently supplied the addresses of members of the teachers union to Team Hackenack, which backed three school board candidates. 

Over the objections of the teachers union president, Team Hackensack, created by the Zisa family political dynasty, invited the teachers to a meet-and-greet barbecue at Anthony Zisa's home, 337 Maple Hill Drive in Hackensack.

Anthony Zisa, son of disgraced former Police Chief Ken Zisa, lives in the home of his grandfather, the late Frank C. Zisa, family patriarch and onetime mayor of Hackensack.


Here is The New York Times' take on today's scheduled vote to replace the Obama administration's Affordable Care Act:

"Today is a big day in the House of Representatives — and for millions of Americans at risk of losing their health insurance.
"House Republicans are planning to bring up their health care bill for a vote, and it’s not clear whether the bill will pass. A quick summary:
"The bill would take away health insurance from an estimated 24 million people and raise costs for many older Americans. It would channel the savings into large tax cuts for the affluent."