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Friday, April 21, 2017

The Record cut expanded local obits, now praises 'towering figure' in running world

This AP photo shows President Trump greeting Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni as he arrived at the White House on Thursday. Later, Trump called Italian opera legend Luciano Pavarotti, who died in 2007, "a great friend." 



In the latest round of layoffs about a month ago, The Record let go of the only reporter who was writing expanded obituaries and profiles of other prominent local residents who are still active in their 90s.

Yet, in the first local obituary since the departure of Staff Writer Jay Levin, Editor Richard A. Green wastes half of Page 1 today on the death of a track coach whom the vast majority of readers never heard of (1A).

Tom Fleming, 65, also was a two-time winner of the New York Marathon when the race was run in Central Park -- more than 40 years ago. 

How does that make him a "towering figure" in the world of running?

And he lived in Bloomfield, which isn't even in The Record's circulation area.

The Fleming obituary, written by a part-time sports reporter, includes the use of a euphemism, "he passed away" -- which has long been banned by newspapers -- instead of "died" (1A).

Trump senility

It's bad enough a senile President Trump called a dead opera singer "a great friend" on Thursday (5A).

After the Rolling Stones, Adele and R.E.M. told Trump to stop using their music during the 2016 campaign, the family of Luciano Pavarotti in Italy made the same request regarding an aria.

Pavarotti died in 2007 at the age of 71.

Background checks

A letter to the editor on Thursday noted April 16 marked the 10th anniversary of the mass shooting at Virginia Tech University, where a gunman killed 32 people, including a student from Holmdel.

"There have been more than 250 school shootings in America in the last five years alone.

"How many [more] must die because lax background-check laws allow the dangerously mentally ill to legally obtain guns," said Brett Sabo, the letter writer.

"We must keep guns out of the wrong hands."

In an online column Thursday, Mike Kelly wrote about the shooting of a Cleveland grandfather by an "angry man" -- captured live on Facebook -- and called for the cleanup of the social networking site.

Kelly makes no mention of the need for universal background checks.

In a Sunday column, Kelly inexplicably compared the doctor who was dragged off a United Airlines flight to Rodney King, who was beaten by racist Los Angeles police officers after a high-speed chase in 1991.

Perhaps this veteran columnist has a screw or two loose.

Wrong-way CEO

Amtrak CEO Charles W. Moorman had Staff Writer Paul Berger eating out of his hands in a Page 1 story on Thursday.

Berger reported Moorman rode "in a special carriage on the back of an Amtrak train" and looked at the Northeast Corridor rail line receding in the distance.

Berger, who was seated next to the rail executive, didn't question why Moorman was staring at where Amtrak has been -- including two major derailments at New York Penn Station in recent weeks -- instead of where the passenger railroad should be going.

The reporter also didn't question the choice of Moorman to head Amtrak after spending four decades at a "freight railroad operation."

Food Editor Esther Davidowitz calls a hummus restaurant in Englewood "this darling, tiny spot."

Kosher-food scam

In today's Better Living section, Food Editor Esther Davidowitz perpetrates bait-and-switch with a feature on kosher restaurants in Bergen County (1BL, 10BL and 11 BL).

Davidowitz never explains why food prepared according to Jewish religious and dietary laws costs so much more than non-kosher food.

There is nothing in her article that would justify the high prices. She never says whether the kosher meat and poultry served in the restaurants she praises is organic or even naturally raised.

Apparently, the cut taken by rabbis and ritual slaughterers gets added to the bill.

Which explains why you'd have to fork over $11 for humble hummus at Hummus Elite in Englewood or pay an outrageous $49 for an entree of veal medallions at NoBo Wine & Grill in Teaneck.

Just imagine how those poor calves suffered to fatten the bottom line of kosher restaurant owners.