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Planning to rent a car at Miami's airport? First, you'll have to walk, walk and walk

WALK, THEY SAID: After my flight from Newark to Miami, I picked up my luggage and set off for the rental-car center, using elevators, ...

Friday, June 30, 2017

The world's greatest jazz festival is in real danger of slipping off of its lofty perch

NOISE FEST: The official guidebook to the 38th International Jazz Festival in Montreal describes Xenia Rubinos, above and below, as an "American diva" with "a voice utterly unique," but all she did at Le Club on Thursday night was to scream words over two other musicians and do herky-jerky dancing in a highly amplified performance that left me cold.


MONTREAL -- I won't bore you with the list of great jazz singers and musicians I've seen in the five years we've been attending the International Jazz Festival in this French-Canadian city.

But on Thursday night, I saw the worst performance by a singer ever -- and that includes all of the shows and concerts I've attended in the past 50 years.

Now in its 38th year, Montreal's jazz festival has long been considered the world's greatest.

The 11-day party began on Wednesday and will run through July 8, offering more than 500 concerts -- two-thirds of them free -- and nearly 3,000 musicians from around the world.

Even though the "jazz" festival developed years ago into a world music festival, the noisy performance by singer Xenia Rubinos on Thursday night defies all classification -- except to say it was just awful. 

She shouted to be heard above two other musicians, but most of her words were incomprehensible, and her herky-jerky dancing wasn't even sexy, as my wife pointed out. 

Early in her set, she shouted, "I know this is a jazz festival ..., but do your own thing." 

Then she jumped off the stage, and climbed back on.

Big names absent

This year's program is missing most of the great jazz singers I've seen in Montreal in the past, including Gregory Porter, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dianne Reeves, and English pop and jazz singer Jamie Cullum.

And although this year is the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ella Fitzgerald, Montreal somehow missed the opportunity to put on a special show to honor her and her collaboration with Louis Armstrong.

I saw an Ella and Louis Tribute Band at the French Quarter Festival in New Orleans in April that would have been a perfect fit here. 

So, I have to wonder how long this jazz festival will be able to hold onto the title of world's greatest.

GIVE ME SHELTER: Lounge Heineken is the only venue for free concerts that provides shelter from the elements, especially important this year, when rain is forecast through the weekend. Showers also fell on Thursday.
SOGGY SOUNDS: On Thursday night, only a couple of hundred hearty souls stood in the rain to see a free concert on one of the main outdoor stages in Montreal's Quarter of Spectacles.


Montreal's International Jazz Festival runs through July 8. Website: Jazz Me Blues

Monday, June 26, 2017

Eating In: Delightful summer foods, plus a $230 cash rebate from Costco Wholesale

At home, I plated grilled fresh wild Sockeye Salmon Fillets, accented with Basil Pesto and refreshing Greek Yogurt, alongside grilled ripe California peaches for a wonderful summer dinner. All of the ingredients came from Costco Wholesale in Teterboro.


EDITOR'S NOTE: The Sasson Report is taking a short break, but you'll find links to some of my most popular posts at the end.


I just made another batch of tzatziki, the refreshing Greek yogurt sauce I've been serving alongside those wonderful wild sockeye salmon fillets I buy at Costco Wholesale in Teterboro.

In fact, the grilled Fresh Wild Sockeye Salmon with Ripe Peaches, Pesto and Tzatziki we enjoyed last Tuesday (photo above) was made almost exclusively with ingredients from Costco, 2 Teterboro Landing Drive, in the Teterboro Landing Shopping Center off Route 46.

Although the first sockeye from the Copper River in Alaska began arriving at the Teterboro warehouse on June 5, I think of wild salmon, Greek yogurt, Basil Pesto and fragrant California peaches as summer foods.

Today, I picked up more fresh wild sockeye for dinner tonight, and noticed that Costco lowered the price to $15.99 a pound from $16.99, compared to $29.99 a pound at Whole Foods Market in Paramus.

For tzatziki, I use about 16 ounces of Costco's non-fat Greek Yogurt, which is free of saturated fat; thin it with water to make a thick but flowable mixture, add diced skin-on hothouse cucumbers; plenty of minced garlic, a little sea salt, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, dried dill, and chopped fresh mint and oregano from my garden. 

Low prices, cash back

Another Costco benefit I associate with summer is the 2% Reward Certificate that arrives weeks before my Executive Membership renews on Aug. 1.

My $230.24 rebate check is about double the $120 annual membership fee, up from $110. Gold Star members pay $60, compared to $55 before.

The annual fee went up on June 1 for the first time since 2011.

In February, I received other cash rebates from my Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi, totaling about $260.

That was for using the card to purchase gasoline (4% back), restaurant meals and travel (3% back), and items from other stores (1% back).

Here, tzatziki accents Crab Cake Minis from Phillips Seafood Restaurants, and a wild Alaskan Salmon Burger from Trident, two frozen items available at Costco.  My dinner included Costco's Organic Quinoa, prepared with Organic Diced Tomatoes and chopped fresh garlic in an electric cooker, and Costco's Mexican-style Organic Salsa.
Alongside the bounty of fresh wild sockeye, Costco also sells smoked wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon ideal for egg-white omelets, above and below. The fresh wild salmon is expected to be available through early October, but the smoked wild salmon is sold year-round.
Fresh wild salmon and ripe California peaches on my stove-top grill last Tuesday. I use spray oil, and cook the fish 6 to 8 minutes over a medium-high flame, depending on thickness, turning the serving pieces once.
Today, the Teterboro Costco had far more wild salmon than in previous weeks, and moved the trays to a separate refrigerated case.

 The Sasson Report will return soon

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Sunday, June 25, 2017

A glimmer of hope from latest Dem defeat as national media call Trump a serial liar

Cartoonist Dave Granlund suggests Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican who is the majority leader in the U.S. Senate, is conning the American people again with the latest version of a bill to replace the Affordable Care Act.
Cartoonist Adam Zyglis of The Buffalo News in New York State calls the bill a shell game that will end health-care coverage for 23 million people.



Democrat Jon Ossoff's loss in a Georgia run-off election was billed as a referendum on Donald J. Trump's early months in office, but voting data tell a far different story.

Unlike other races, most notably the Nov. 8 presidential election, "it wasn't because Democratic voters didn't show up," according to Politico.com:
"More than 259,000 votes had been tallied as of [last] Wednesday afternoon, considerably more than the 193,000 in the first round of voting in April.
"In fact, turnout was much higher than for other off-year special elections in recent history," typically between 100,000 and 225,000 voters.
"John Anzalone, Ossoff's pollster, said the Democrat's campaign succeeded in turning out votes -- but they were swamped by Republicans who came out in numbers that ended up dwarfing previous high-profile special elections..." in a district that has favored GOP candidates for decades.
The sky-high turnout drove Karen Handel, the GOP candidate, to a nearly 4-point victory [last] Tuesday, "despite most pre-election surveys showing Ossoff with a small-but-shrinking lead." 
So, even though Ossoff lost, his campaign offers a glimmer of hope for future elections.

He showed Democrats can be motivated to turn out, and not get snookered as they did when polls predicted Hillary Clinton couldn't possibly lose to a racist, con artist and tax dodger who boasted of molesting women.

Trump's lies

On Friday, The New York Times Opinion section published the "definitive list" of Trump's lies since he took office.

But they won't stick, just like The Washington Post's Fact Checker hasn't made much of a dent in Trump's image among his supporters.

In fact, as a counterpoint to these lists of lies, national TV reporters continue to interview white people who voted for President Trump, and still show up at his rallies, and none of them have any second thoughts.

No surprise. They were delusional then, and they remain delusional.

These TV reports continue to ignore that Trump was swept into office by a tide of racism and misogyny unlike anything we have seen in modern American history. 

Another weird edition

The Sunday edition of The Record of Woodland Park is another weird one.

The lead Page 1 story reports the so-called millennial generation prefer city life, so does that mean North Jersey traffic congestion has reached its peak and we might actually find a seat on a rush-hour bus or train?

What appears to be a local front-page story about a Hackensack man actually discusses "crime and corruption in Georgia state prisons."

A sports column about a baseball player named Judge runs at the bottom of Page 1.

Roger Stone

On Saturday's front page, that position was taken up by a long, meandering Mike Kelly column on "political dirty trickster" Roger Stone, Trump's former adviser.

The column went on and on, and sounded like a rewrite of other pieces that have appeared in the last decade.

For example, "The Dirty Trickster" was the headline on a New Yorker profile of Stone way back in the June 2, 2008, issue.

The two photos of Stone in The Record show him wearing a custom-made suit, shirt, tie and shoes, and either laughing or smirking, as if he doesn't have a care in the world.

You'd never know Stone is a "person of interest" in the investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

2016 election

During the presidential campaign, Kelly, who has been banging out his column for about 25 years, interviewed unemployed factory workers who appeared to favor Trump, and in the process, the reporter took several pot shots at President Obama's record.

He has a second column on the front of today's Opinion section under this headline:

"Why the Democratic Party is such a mess"

His first paragraph refers to Ossoff's loss in Georgia, but the column is actually about "Shattered," a book he read about the Democrats, whom he calls "the once inspiring party of FDR, JFK and LBJ" (1O).

Kelly calls Hillary Clinton "a bitter loser, incapable of admitting her mistakes."

Many other observers say Clinton lost because the news media allowed Trump, Governor Christie and other Republicans to demonize her over everything from Benghazi to her emails.

And while GOP racists and misogynists went to the polls in large  numbers, many registered but apathetic Democrats stayed home on Nov. 8, throwing the election into the antiquated Electoral College.

Still, how can Kelly call Clinton "a loser"? Remember, she won the popular vote by nearly 3 million, even though so many Democrats stayed on the sidelines. 

Friday, June 23, 2017

Worst N.J. governor ever labors in the shadow of worst president in U.S. history

This undated photo of New Jersey Governor Christie and then-presidential candidate Donald J. Trump, right, ran with a June 14, 2016, post on VanityFair.com (credit: Brendan Smialowki/AFP/Getty Images).



Governor Christie has worked hard to reshape an image tarnished by the Bridgegate scandal and more than 500 vetoes of everything from a millionaires tax to the $15 minimum wage.

In his crusade against drug abuse and overdose deaths from heroin and such pain relievers as oxycodone,  the GOP bully has been trying for a kinder and gentler image.

At the end of March, President Trump named Christie to lead a new national opioid commission to address what many call the deadliest public health crisis in modern American history.

"Addiction is a disease, and no life is disposable," Christie said in a TV interview. "We can help people by giving them appropriate treatment."

Trump's pal?

That appointment was the consolation prize for New Jersey's governor, who dropped out of the presidential race in January 2016 and threw his support to Trump -- drawing the ire of six major daily newspapers that called for his resignation.

He had been passed over as Trump's running mate in the Nov. 8 election, and the former corruption-busting U.S. attorney for New Jersey didn't even get nominated to be attorney general of the United States.

Also, he was ousted as head of Trump's transition team at the request of son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Christie prosecuted his father, real estate developer Charles Kushner, who pleaded guilty to illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion and witness tampering in 2005, and served 14 months in federal prison.

In a June 2016 story, New Yorker magazine reported: 
 “Governor Chris Christie, of New Jersey, another of Trump’s opponents early in the campaign, has transformed himself into a sort of manservant, who is constantly with Trump at events. (One Republican told me that a friend of his on the Trump campaign used Snapchat to send him a video of Christie fetching Trump’s McDonald’s order.)” The servile depiction of Christie incited other media outlets to refer to the governor as the real-estate mogul’s “unpaid McDonald’s delivery intern” and “an errand boy for Donald Trump’s campaign.”

Christie crusade

Page 1 of The Record of Woodland Park has been focusing on Christie's anti-drug crusade:

Today, State House Bureau reporter Dustin Racioppi says the state Attorney General's Office has joined a multi-state probe of the pharmaceutical industry "for its potential role in the opioid crisis that has swept the state and the country" (1A).

The office also issued a subpoena to Johnson & Johnson "related to marketing practices for opioids by subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals." 

"Drug overdoses, fueled mostly by heroin and other opioids, killed more than 52,000 people in 2015 -- more than the roughly 43,000 who died at the peak of the HIV/AIDS crisis in 1995," Racioppi says.

Last year's drug-related death toll is expected to exceed 59,000, according to a New York Times analysis.

Stile v. Christie

On Wednesday, Record Editor Richard A. Green didn't even bother running a front-page news story on Christie announcing at a press conference that the state fined Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey $15.5 million for allegedly bungling thousands of claims.

Instead, Page 1 carried another in an endless succession of boring political columns from burned-out Trenton reporter Charles Stile, who has been trying mightily to make up for more than 6 years of idolizing Christie in print.

Stile's column reported the fine on the state's biggest health insurer, and noted Christie has been trying to "browbeat a reluctant Democratic State Legislature into backing a $300 million raid of Horizon's capital reserves to finance an expansion of the state's drug-treatment services."

The news story ran on A4.

Still in Palookaville

The outcome of the Christie-Horizon battle remains to be seen. 

But the governor has an unlimited number of vetoes he can execute before he leaves office next January or at least use as leverage over the Democratic majority in the state Legislature.

He also has the lowest approval rating of any governor in the country.

And New Jersey's worst governor ever still labors in the shadow of the worst president in U.S. history.

Syrian refugee

Page 1 today carries not one but three pieces on successful students and their graduations.

Staff Writer Hannan Adely's portrait of Mohamad Chacha of Paterson caught my eye, because he and his family fled Aleppo, Syria, "with just the clothes on their backs and their passports" (1A).

Not quite, as we learn later in the story.

And Adely doesn't mention that after the November 2015 terror attacks in Paris, Christie sought to bar all Syrian refugees -- even children -- from entering New Jersey and the rest of the country.

Luckily, the Chacha family of 6 arrived in fall 2013 "at a time before refugee bans even entered the national conversation," Adely says in a clear reference to Trump's executive orders, all of which have been overturned by the courts.

The family had obtained visas to Cuba, where they lived for 15 months, including interviews and background checks, before being allowed to enter the United States.

Cuba? What a coincidence, especially if Mohamad's last name, Chacha, is written as "Cha Cha,"  the Latin dance that originated on the Caribbean's largest island.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Trump flip-flopped on jobless rate, Mexico paying for wall, Obama's golfing and more

Credit: DemocraticUnderground.com



On June 16, The Washington Post listed Donald J. Trump's flip-flops in the two years since he "descended on the Trump Tower escalator and announced he was running for president."

"For our two-year anniversary of fact-checking Trump, we compiled everything he promised in his announcement speech that he flip-flopped on as president," the newspaper's Fact Checker wrote:

  • The unemployment rate (he called it "nonsense" on the campaign trail; now he touts it as legitimate);
  • China currency devaluation (he no longer blames them for devaluing their currency, which was false to begin with);
  • Mexico paying for the wall (he now equivocates, saying Mexico will pay "eventually," "at a later date," "in some form");
  • Criticizing President Obama for playing golf (President Trump has golfed 17 times since Inauguration Day -- more than twice the number of times Obama golfed at this point);
  • And immigration (he promised to end Obama's executive granting deferred action to children of undocumented immigrants, which he now says he won't do).

"Of course, when you're running for president, it's easy to lob baseless rhetoric..., The Washington Post reported. "It reminds us of the lyric in 'Hamilton' the musical: 'Winning was easy ... governing is harder.'"

Click on the following link for the paper's report:

Voter apathy

I applaud that great newspaper in the nation's capital for fact-checking the Liar-In-Chief. 

But how much space does The Washington Post and other news outlets big and small devote to emphasizing the importance of voting?

I never see anything in my local newspaper, The Record of Woodland Park, about voter apathy, even when around 18,000 of the 22,000 registered voters stay home in Hackensack's City Council and Board of Education elections.

And when Governor Christie was re-elected in 2013, the turnout was the lowest in any gubernatorial election ever, and that hurt the losing Democratic candidate.

Clinton, Ossoff

Millions of Democrats stayed home on Nov. 8, convinced that Hillary Clinton couldn't possibly lose to a racist, con man and tax dodger, but they were wrong, and the election was decided in the antiquated Electoral College.

In Tuesday's runoff election for a House seat between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handle, CNN reported that more than 140,000 voters cast ballots early, but "more Republicans have voted early than Democrats," and that had Ossoff sweating.

Could Democratic apathy in a district that has been Republican for decades be the reason Osoff lost?

And can we forget all the nonsense about the election being a referendum on Trump's presidency?

Column from hell

In the more than 13 years Staff Writer John Cichowski has pretended to be The Record's commuting columnist, he's rarely interviewed long-suffering NJ Transit bus and train riders.

That's despite deep cuts in state aid to the mass-transit agency, the difficulty of finding rush-hour seats, and delays caused by mechanical failures, train crashes and only one express bus lane into the Lincoln Tunnel.

Today's overly dramatic column on expected summer delays caused by repairs to Amtrak rails and switches in Manhattan is too little, too late.

One quote on Page 1 tells you just how out of touch Cichowski is with growing traffic congestion at the Hudson River crossings, where rush-hour delays of more than 1 hour at tollbooths have become routine:

"People might as well drive into New York," said Jacklyn Elizabeth, who 'was returning home to California via Denville after visiting relatives.'

She added, "Does New Jersey want to kill mass transit?"

No, lady. Christie, our governor, already took care of that years ago. 

A selfie of Food Editor Esther Davidowitz.

Mystery meat

In a feature on the Better Living front today, Food Editor Esther Davidowitz is asking readers to play Russian roulette with harmful antibiotics, growth hormones and preservatives linked to cancer by eating sandwiches stuffed with mystery meat and cold cuts (1BL).

The headline: 


Davidowitz says, "Here [are] special shout-outs to nine North Jersey sandwiches for being so darned awesome" (she doesn't mention that eight of them aren't good for you).

Thanks. I'll stick with the lobster roll from Jack's in Edgewater.

Francis Scandale

Francis "Frank" Scandale of Glen Rock, a former editor of The Record, was featured in Saturday's Better Living section:

"Grilling tips from one dad to another"

Although a photo of him grilling hamburgers appeared, his face wasn't shown, and he wasn't identified as a former editor of the paper in Hackensack and then Woodland Park.

On Sept. 11, 2001, Scandale caved in to the bean counters in Hackensack, relegating to a back page the iconic photo of firefighters raising the American flag over the rubble of the World Trade Center.

He was told it would be "too expensive" to remake the front page for The Record's exclusive image.

That decision likely blew the chances of the photographer, Tom Franklin, to win a Pulitzer Prize.

Scandale was shown the door by then-Publisher Stephen A. Borg a little over a decade later:

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Political cartoonists have a refreshing take on Trump, other big stories in the news

R.J. Matson, the editorial cartoonist at Roll Call, says the nation's capital isn't big enough for President Trump and the U.S. Constitution.
John Cole, the cartoonist at The Scranton Times-Tribune in Pennsylvania, notes that replacing the Affordable Care Act will send the poor and sick down the tubes.
Trump's so-called tax reform plan is all smoke and mirrors, says Jeff Darcy, cartoonist at The Plain Dealer in Ohio.
A hung jury hasn't changed anything for Bill Cosby,  says cartoonist Randy Bish. See Cagle.com for many more cartoons.


Monday, June 19, 2017

Eating Out: At Seafood Gourmet, gagging on iceberg lettuce and overcooked halibut

LOOKS GREAT, BUT .... Lightly seasoned char-grilled halibut and wild shrimp served over a salad with fruit ($26) was one of the imaginative dinner specials on Saturday at Seafood Gourmet in Maywood. The menu said the seafood would be served over a "mixed green salad," but most of it was nutritionally bankrupt iceberg lettuce.



When you have a disappointing meal at one of your favorite restaurants, the heartburn is especially intense.

That's the way I felt after a celebratory pre-Father's Day meal at Seafood Gourmet, the fish market/restaurant in Maywood where the fresh fish you see in the refrigerated case usually lands on the menu.

OK. I didn't get heartburn from the meal, but in what has become a pattern, my fish and wild shrimp were overcooked -- short of drying out, but not ideal.

And I was completely turned off by all of the cheap iceberg lettuce in my seafood-and-salad entree and the salad my wife got with her Broiled Crab Cakes ($22). 

Iceberg is only good for a restaurant's bottom line: It's 95 percent water, and has absolutely no nutritional benefit.

For my birthday last November, I splurged on a 2.5-pound lobster ($48+), and although I wanted the crustacean steamed, the kitchen broiled it, judging from scorching on the claws, and it was overcooked.

I also recall a takeout order of wild King Salmon fillet, which was cooked through instead of medium, as I requested.

Great meals

Looking back on meals I've enjoyed at Seafood Gourmet dating to 2010, all this overcooking is disappointing.

The no-frills dining room has only about 40 seats, but when they are full, the kitchen doesn't seem to be able to handle orders properly.

Here are links to previous meals:

My mother-in-law enjoyed another dinner special, Seared Wild Salmon, finished with a Carrot-Ginger Sauce and served with Jasmine Rice and Bok Choy ($25). A cup of Lobster Bisque was included.
My wife loved her Broiled Crab Cakes, served with soup or salad, vegetables and potato ($22). Still, she choose the house salad, and was turned off by too much iceberg lettuce, too.
With my halibut-and-shrimp entree, I got a cup of the Montauk Seafood Chowder, which lived up to its name with tender calamari, scallop and shrimp in a light tomato broth. We also enjoyed a side dish of sauteed spinach ($5).
The Dinner Specials on Saturday at Seafood Gourmet.
A working fish market in front ...
... and a BYO dining room with about 40 seats in back.


The Restaurant at Seafood Gourmet, 103 W. Pleasant Ave., Maywood; 201-843-8558. Closed Sundays.

BYO, free street parking, reservations highly recommended on weekends.

Website: Right off the boat

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.