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Sunday, June 18, 2017

As Trump destroys our democracy, Page 1 buzzes with bees, sports, truckers in L.A.

STUCK IN HACKENSACK: A tour bus blocked two lanes of River Street today after the back of the vehicle got hung up as it was leaving the parking lot of the shuttered New Jersey Naval Museum and USS Ling, a World War II submarine that is itself stuck in the muck of the Hackensack River.
ABANDONED PLACES: A couple who got off the bus said they were on a tour of "abandoned places," including the submarine. They said the old headquarters of The Record, which the Borg family abandoned in 2009, wasn't part of the tour.



The Russian election-meddling investigation continues to expand -- even as President Trump calls the actions of his own Justice Department "phony" and "sad."

The Liar-In-Chief also accused Deputy Attorney General Ron Rosenstein of leading a "witch hunt."

Given the non-stop madness, mayhem and alternative facts that have marked the Trump administration since Jan. 20, can a once-respected newspaper like The Record of Woodland Park continue to fill Page 1 with fluff?

Father's Day feature

Today's front page is an emphatic "yes."

There are three major elements, plus a photo referring readers to a heart-warming Father's Day feature about father-son and father-daughter restaurant teams (1A and 1BL).

As our nation's capital burns, Editor Richard A. Green buzzes about the unusually high mortality rate of honeybees in the Garden State.

The Record has never reported in any comprehensive way on heart disease, the nation's No. 1 killer, or the obesity epidemic.

Instead, Green and other editors prefer medical miracles or, as in the case of today's Page 1 sports column, a medical freak -- a retired coach with "idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis," an incurable disease.

Inexplicably, the third major story on Page 1 today focuses on a truck driver in the port of Los Angeles who takes home "as little as 67 cents a week," according to a USA Today investigation.

A story reporting Trump's tax-overhaul plan "is on life support" appears on Page 4A.

'National nightmare'

Way back on the Opinion section front, Columnist Mike Kelly says, "The national nightmare has struck the national pastime," an awkward reference to last week's shooting of a GOP congressman on a baseball practice field.

Why didn't Green -- who laid off more than 350 employees but spared Kelly and other veteran columnists -- run this gun-control column on Page 1?

Just the day before, Kelly's column demonizing Cuba for giving asylum to the killer of a New Jersey state trooper ran at the top of Page 1.

ON BORG-OWNED PROPERTY? When the Borg family of Englewood, Tenafly, Manhattan and the Hamptons sold North Jersey Media Group to Gannett Co. for more than $40 million last July, they retained nearly 20 acres along River Street in Hackensack to develop into apartments. The Borgs dispute the USS Ling is on their property, and a $1-year-lease was terminated in May 2016 by then-Record Publisher Stephen A Borg. The family claims the sub is stuck in the river, which they don't own.
TAKING A BREAK: Members of the tour group purchased food at the New Heritage Diner, and took shelter under a tree as they awaited the arrival of a heavy duty tow truck to free the bus.

Grocery 'earthquake'?

This morning, I braved the parking-lot puddles and potholes to go shopping for fresh fish, fruit, rice and other items at the H Mart in Little Ferry.

But I didn't see any signs of the "earthquake rattling through the grocery sector" predicted by an analyst in The Record on Saturday.

In a front-page story, the paper's retailing reporter claimed "traditional supermarkets" have a big reason to worry now that Amazon is expected to merge with Whole Foods Market, the dominant player in organic and natural food.

At the Korean supermarket, some of the prices were so low I can't imagine how Whole Foods or Amazon's online grocery service could possibly match them.

A 15-pound bag of Kokuho Yellow Label California-grown white rice was only $6.99, whole fresh wild-caught porgy were $1.99 a pound, and five bunches of scallions were 99 cents.

I munched my way around the store with free samples of fish cake, tofu, noodles, broiled fresh cod, fried mussels, sliced boiled octopus and other Korean food.

Try that at Whole Foods.

A box of 14 to 16 achingly sweet Ataulfo or Champagne Mangoes was $9.99 today at H Mart, 260 Bergen Turnpike, Little Ferry.