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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 ...

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

After Democrat's easy victory, practice saying, 'Governor-elect Phil Murphy'

Cartoonist Dave Granlund puts the spotlight on Muslim-hater Steve Bannon, President Trump's chief strategist, who is both physically and philosophically repulsive.

-- HACKENSACK, N.J.

By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

Democrat Phil Murphy is expected to win the Nov. 7 election to replace the widely unpopular Governor Christie.

Murphy, a wealthy former ambassador and Goldman Sachs executive, got more than twice the number of votes than his nearest Democratic rival in Tuesday's primary.

With 93% of the vote counted, Murphy had 228,889 votes, compared to Jim Johnson, who received 102,812 votes, according to The Record of Woodland Park.

Murphy will face Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who easily won the Republican primary.

Christie, Trump

"I reject completely the us-versus-them leadership that defines [Gov.] Chris Christie and [President] Donald Trump," Murphy said on Tuesday night. 

As governor, Murphy will inherit the same Democratic majority in the state Legislature that Christie has stopped dead with more than 500 vetoes.

The Democratic nominee has pledged to tax wealthy residents and corporations, and close tax loopholes exploited by Wall Street bankers.

We're likely to see the Legislature approve a $15 minimum wage, fully fund education, restore the pension funds of state workers and legalize marijuana.

And he's also expected to reverse course on the environment and mass transit, both of which Christie tried to destroy.

Lower taxes?

As Christie did during his successful 2009 campaign, Guadagno has promised to lower local property taxes -- the highest in the nation.

But that amounts to a Big Lie, given New Jersey's 565 inefficient home-rule communities that have historically resisted consolidation or cooperation with their neighbors.

Almost ever town, no matter how small, has its own police chief, fire chief, superintendent of schools and other officials -- layers of wasteful duplication.

Christie succeeded in placing a 2% cap on property tax hikes in 2011, but that didn't prevent the levies from going up.

In 2016, taxes rose 2.35%, and property owners paid an average of $8,549, according to NJ.com. Many state residents pay more than twice that.

In Hackensack -- one of 70 communities in Bergen County, the state's wealthiest -- 44% of the property taxes go toward supporting the schools.

Englewood, which has some of the highest property taxes in Bergen County, is a classic two-sides-of-the-tracks community with few white students in the elementary and middle schools, and a downtown with many vacant storefronts.

Food coverage

In The Record's Better Living section today, freelancer Kate Morgan Jackson's recipe for pasta with plenty of artery clogging bacon and butter appears under this headline:


"Bacon, pasta and breadcrumbs -- 
what else do you really need?"

I'd say, a good heart doctor.

On Tuesday, the Better Living editors urged readers to jump into their cars and sample the food options at Woodbury Commons, a discount mall that is a 43-minute drive from Hackensack. 

Before you die

On Sunday, the editors warned readers they are going to die soon, and must sample 27 meals or drinks before they go.

The article on the Better Living front was headlined:

"SUMMER BUCKET LIST
 FOR NORTH JERSEY FOODIES"

Of course, maybe the editors were saying two items on the so-called bucket list -- a fried Texas Weiner with chili and chopped onions at Libby's Lunch or a cheeseburger at White Manna -- could kill you.

Last Friday, Better Living urged readers to go on another road trip to try Asian Indian restaurants in North Brunswick (a 60-minute drive from Hackensack), Somerset and Franklin Park.