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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Overshadowed by an evil Trump, Christie is getting away with murder in New Jersey

In view of President Trump's crackdown on undocumented immigrants, cartoonist Dave Granlund suggests first lady Melania Trump, a native of Slovenia, would be arrested for working illegally as a model in the United States.

-- HACKENSACK, N.J.

By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

Today, Editor Richard A. Green plays a story on possible prison terms for two former allies of Governor Christie above the GOP thug's approval of spending $400 million on transportation projects.

If that was deliberate, it amounts to a royal F.U. to The Record's readers (1A).

In the court of public opinion, Christie long ago was found guilty of masterminding the George Washington Bridge lane closings in 2013 as political payback after the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee refused to endorse his re-election.

But in recent months, coverage of Christie has been flattering, focusing mostly on his initiatives to fight drug overdoses in suburban towns.

Lousy credit

In fact, why did Green run the upbeat transportation funding story on Page 1 and bury another alarming story about the state's lousy credit rating on 6A?

"Wall Street has downgraded New Jersey's credit rating once again, renewing warnings about the state's poorly managed budget and ailing pension system for state workers," reporter Salvador Rizzo says.

Former Christie allies Bill Baroni and Bridget Anne Kelly have maintained their innocence and pleaded for leniency, but federal prosecutors are asking a federal judge to sentence each of them to three years in prison on Wednesday (1A).

Just hot air?

Environmental reporter Scott Fallon is one of the few veteran staffers to have escaped last week's layoffs at the Gannett-owned daily.

Today, Green devotes most of the front page to Fallon's tongue-in-cheek report on a so-called statewide battle over the release of helium balloons (1A). 

That's rich, considering The Record's environmental and transportation reporters continue to ignore the role auto emissions play in climate change and the premature death of 53,000 people a year -- apparently out of respect for car dealers, who are among the paper's biggest advertisers. 

Death pays

Talking about revenue, The Record's editors appear to have monetized the obituary pages in the Local news section (4L to 6L).

Starting today, paid obituaries are set in wider type, and In Memoriam notices carry larger photos than before. 

They also look like they cost survivors a lot more money to insert in the paper.

Food criticism dies

I am one of the biggest fans of Jerry's Gourmet & More, the Italian-American specialty food shop in Englewood.

But Food Editor Esther Davidowitz's puff piece on the Better Living cover is exaggerated, not to mention inaccurate.

More troubling, food criticism at The Record appears to have died.

Yes. There are great buys at Jerry's, but you can do better than his so-called discounts on whole-wheat pasta, coffee beans, extra-virgin olive oil and so many other products.

For example, Jerry's sells only conventional whole-wheat pasta from Italy, but he charges more than ShopRite, Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe's do for their imported organic whole wheat pasta

Costco Wholesale beats Jerry's on Lavazza Coffee Beans for espresso machines, as well as on such Italian cheeses as Parmigiano Reggiano and Pecorino Romano.  

Gannett: My bad

On Monday, NorthJersey.com posted a report on an Edible Books Festival at the Rutherford Public Library, but a headline said the event took place in East Rutherford.

On Facebook, John Hughes commented:


"This is a wonderful event that Rutherford residents, their library and the boro are very proud of. 
"More than 'several people' attended and the event was not in East Rutherford. 
"I thought this paper was bad when we were forced to read about the editor's church & friends every week -- now look at this mess of a newspaper!
"Shameful."

On Saturday, I couldn't find The Record in my driveway, but I did find it the next day in the large plastic bag holding the Sunday edition, as if the news in the print edition isn't outdated enough on the day it is delivered.