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Messages - Victor E Sasson

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Hackensack Discussion / Re: Hackensack University Medical Center
« on: Yesterday at 06:14:31 PM »
Keep your day job. Your attempts at humor are weak.

What The Record Had to Say About Congestion Pricing Plan In New York

The Record weighs in

Transportation writers at my local daily newspaper have never met a driver they didn't like.

On the other hand, Staff Writers John Cichowski and Curtis Tate of The Record and their editors have never, as far as I know, fretted over a struggling  trans-Hudson public transit system in one of the world's most congested metropolitan areas or called for its expansion.

Those reporters and opinion writers at the once-great daily -- now a Gannett rag based in Woodland Park -- may be kowtowing to car dealers and makers, whose advertising helps keep and the print edition afloat despite declining readership.

'Big costs?'

In a Page 1 story on Feb. 6, Tate warned that New Jersey commuters who pay Hudson River tolls to drive into the city "could face a double whammy that New York drivers coming into Manhattan from the outer boroughs would not."

But he doesn't say New Jersey drivers can reduce the impact of congestion pricing by carpooling or cut their commuting costs dramatically by switching to mass transit.

The clunky headline:

Big costs from NY
congestion pricing?

The cash toll at the three Hudson River crossings is $15 (collected going into the city), $12.50 with an E-ZPass tag during peak hours (weekdays 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.) and $10.50 off-peak.

Tate doesn't bother giving the E-ZPass carpool discount of $6.50 at all hours -- weekends, too --as long as there are 3 people in the vehicle.

The Port Authority told The Record 43.2 million passenger vehicles crossed the George Washington Bridge from New Jersey into Manhattan last year, but Tate doesn't say how many of those were then driven south of 60th Street into the planned congestion zone.

The Lincoln Tunnel was used by 14.4 million vehicles going to Manhattan, and 13.1 million used the Holland Tunnel, Tate said.

Will N.Y.C. be first?

New York would be the first U.S. city to adopt congestion pricing, but central London put a fee into effect in 2000.

Stockholm, Milan and Singapore also employ similar charges.

See my full comments on congestion pricing:

Hackensack Discussion / Re: Hackensack University Medical Center
« on: March 22, 2019, 01:48:15 PM »
That's not the point. The chargers are for the public, to encourage people to buy electric cars and plug-in hybrids.

If all of them are used by doctors or employees (the four in the other garage), then members of the public aren't served.

And parking on the upper deck isn't that simple, because of the different elevator banks that make you get off and switch elevators. It's pretty confusing, if you go there only a few times a year.

At Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, which is far smaller, there are only 2 electric chargers, and either the same car (an employee) is using one of them or a conventional car is parked in the other space because of a shortage of spaces in general.

Hackensack Discussion / Re: My favorite paper is not having a good day
« on: March 22, 2019, 12:03:33 PM »

When I was looking at The Record's story on the expansion of Hackensack University Medical Center, I used the version reprinted in the Hackensack Chronicle on Feb. 8. The lede paragraph by Melanie Anzidei referred to a "nine-story ... tower on Second Avenue," apparently a reference to Second Street in Hackensack.

A photo caption shows the hospital president "looking out onto Second St. in Hackensack." A second caption says, "Construction is underway on Second St. in Hackensack ... on the Second Street Tower."

And thank you to those who are trying to provide technical help.

Hackensack Discussion / Re: Hackensack University Medical Center
« on: March 22, 2019, 11:36:10 AM »
But visitors still are out of luck at Hackensack University Medical Center, I guess you are saying. Then, there is the factor of the medical center being so busy that going to one of the health providers is an ordeal. The main parking garage is always packed, and some areas were closed for renovation when I was there in January and February to go to a dermatologist. I had to go to the top deck to find a space. The hospital has four electric chargers for visitors in one garage, but when I tried to use one all were taken. Ten other electric chargers are reserved for doctors. Who is "addicted" to valet parking?

Hackensack Discussion / Re: boycott
« on: March 21, 2019, 12:56:47 PM »
Sorry, ITSAMIKE, do you mean I should add hashtags at the end of blog?

Hackensack Discussion / Hackensack University Medical Center
« on: March 21, 2019, 12:53:34 PM »
The hospital that ate Hackensack scores a few points with critic:

Hackensack Discussion / Re: My favorite paper is not having a good day
« on: March 20, 2019, 11:31:17 PM »
I still need help with a technical issue. Oldest items appear first under every topic and I have to scroll down each time through a long list of posts. How do I get newest items on top??????

Hackensack Discussion / Re: My favorite paper is not having a good day
« on: March 20, 2019, 11:27:14 PM »
I didn't know the Whole Foods / Amazon merger resulted in lower prices.

Yes, Eric. It got off to a slow start, but now there are deals all over Whole Foods in Paramus. And there always were reasonable prices on Whole Foods' budget line, 365 Everyday Value, including pasta sauces, salsas, organic whole wheat pasta from Italy and so forth. Plus, there are plenty of bottles of wine under $6, including one of my favorites, a Carmenere from Chile for $5.99. If you buy 6 bottles of wine, you get another 10% off. You can still find expensive items. But if you download the Whole Foods app, you'll find a list of items on sale every week, including organic pears and apples for $1.99 a pound. But it's best to shop early in the day for sale items, which tend to run out. Cheers

Hackensack Discussion / Re: My favorite paper is not having a good day
« on: March 09, 2019, 12:40:40 PM »
The latest fish tale from The Record stinks to high heaven

'6 best places' for fish misses Costco, H Mart and The Hill

Rebecca King, a food and dining reporter for The Record and, describes herself on Twitter as a "theater nerd, bookworm and ice cream addict." I'd like add, Knows nothing about where to buy or eat fish in northern New Jersey.

Her piece on the 6 best places to go for fish appeared on the Better Living front this past Wednesday under a clunky headline:


She's even wrong about the biggest reason many people complain about living in New Jersey. She lists "traffic, rude drivers, and astronomical rents," but omits high property taxes (and local daily newspapers that Gannett, owner of The Record of Woodland Park, has turned into rags filled with sloppy or inaccurate reporting, headlines and captions).

And she's wrong when she says that because the state isn't landlocked, we "have access to beautiful, yummy fresh fish." As I discovered when I wrote a cover story for The Record's Food section in 2003, most of the fish and shellfish that reach our tables comes from out of state or out of the country.

Wild-caught fish sold in New Jersey comes from Iceland, Alaska, Canada and even Suriname, a small country in South America.

She lists only one restaurant, Seafood Gourmet, a Maywood fish market with a small dining room in the back. It's one of my favorites. But she fails to mention The Hill in Closter, a fine-dining restaurant that opened last June with a focus on seafood. The restaurant serves a "First on The Scene" menu -- a fixed-price three-course dinner with a glass of wine for only $29 during limited hours four days a week. I enjoyed a beautiful piece of pan-seared Mahi-Mahi with mushrooms and bok choy, plus a salad, dessert and glass of wine.

King's list of markets is topped by The Fish Dock in Closter, a shop run by an Icelandic couple who specialize in the incredible variety of wild fish from the pristine North Atlantic, as well as some Gulf seafood.

But she doesn't mention the seafood counter at Whole Foods Market in Paramus is simply the biggest and best in northern New Jersey. And her claim that Whole Foods has "high prices" is nonsense now that the merger with Amazon has reduced prices throughout the store. Fresh Monkfish is only $8.99 a pound, and Amazon Prime members get special seafood deals.

Her list of fish markets also omits Costco Wholesale in Teterboro, which has unbeatable prices for such fresh, wild-caught fish as Icelandic cod and haddock, flounder from Canada, Silver Corvina from Suriname and Mahi-Mahi (all $8.99 a pound or less).

Also missing is H Mart, the Korean supermarket chain with an incredible variety of whole fish at its Ridgefield branch, and smaller fish counters in the Little Ferry, Fort Lee and Paramus stores. The fishmongers there will clean and prepare your fish any of 5 ways, including fillets.

Two of the photos with King's article carry awkwardly written captions:

"Neon signs in the storefront windows advertise fresh food at Seafood Gourmet in downtown Maywood." The only visible sign says, "Seafood Market."

Another photo shows the front of a Whole Foods Market, but the caption describes the place as a "grocery store."

And the cover photo showing the seafood case inside The Fish Dock in Closter appears against a dark background that makes it impossible to see any of the fish or the descriptive signs and prices.

All in all, this was another report from The Record's Better Living section and Food Editor Esther Davidowitz that was filled with misinformation or missing information.

Hackensack Discussion / Re: My favorite paper is not having a good day
« on: February 11, 2019, 02:06:07 PM »

The readers of The Record's print edition are predominantly older, and I imagine many went into diabetic shock when they saw a huge photo on the Better Living cover last Friday, Feb. 8, of a French dessert called tarte Tartin topped with a scoop of ice cream, said to be served at a restaurant in Westwood.

The cover photo was part of a story on "5 new restaurants you need to try now" by Food Editor Esther Davidowitz, who single handedly has recommended more unhealthy or low quality, crappy food than any other single staffer at the paper. (There's the number 5 again, suggesting that is all the room the paper had on that Friday, when you include blown-up photos of the recommended dishes.)

Don't you resent some faceless food editor claiming you must try a restaurant and do it now? What arrogance. Davidowitz is one of the staffers who survived the Gannett takeover; the rest of the staff is made up of young, inexperienced reporters who don't know shit from Shinola, and can't possibly fathom some of the biggest issues in Hackensack, such as the impact of tax-exempt non-profits on the property taxes paid by homeowners and small businesses.

Two days earlier, on Wednesday, Feb. 6, the Better Living cover article carried these headlines:

"Urge to splurge"

"Treat yourself to fabulous food at these 14 restaurant"

Make sure your gas tank is full or that your electric car is fully charged, if you intend to eat at all of them. Although Bergen County is where the majority of readers live, eating at most of the 14 would be a road trip -- the recommended restaurants are in Princeton, Warren, New Brunswick, Merchantville, Swedesboro, New Hope (Pa.), Collingswood, Middletown and Asbury Park.

And, of course, if you went to any of those 9 far-off restaurants and wanted to enjoy wine with your dinner, you'd have to have a designated driver.

Davidowitz, the arrogant food editor, sniffs, "Here are 14 NJ restaurants where the food may be more than you're used to paying but it's often better -- much better -- than you're used to getting."

How could she possibly know that? And she wrote "the food may be more..." when she meant to say "the food may cost more..."

What she doesn't say is to assure readers she and the other reviewers whose bylines appear over the article actually paid for their meals; otherwise, the article would be little more than advertising.

Hackensack Discussion / Re: My favorite paper is not having a good day
« on: February 11, 2019, 01:22:04 PM »
You've been cataloging these errors for how long, and you claim one of your readers works at The Record and cares how the paper looks? No he or she doesn't or you wouldn't have anything to write about. It's getting worse, not better. As for the union truck parked in front of a no parking sign, were you suggesting it should be ticketed?

You are aware the paper isn't even edited in New Jersey anymore? After Gannett took over, more than 350 layoffs included nearly all of the remaining copy editors, the last line of defense against grammatical and factual errors, and the enforcers of style. The design studio for The Record was in Neptune, N.J., where Gannett's crappy Asbury Park Press was published. That place closed, and design of The Record was moved somewhere out of state where minions work on a number of Gannett papers.

Hackensack Discussion / Re: My favorite paper is not having a good day
« on: February 02, 2019, 12:28:09 PM »

Friday's Hackensack Chronicle finally carried a front-page story on the results of the special school election on Jan. 22, when voters overwhelmingly rejected a proposed $170 million school construction and renovation bond. The caption under a photo of poll workers said: "Hackensack held a referendum Tuesday...."  The story cited results "Tuesday night." In both cases, the reference was not to the previous Tuesday, Jan. 29, but to Jan. 22 -- 11 days before the paper hit driveways.

Sharing Page 1 with that story was the monumental news that a second brewery will open in Hackensack. Now, residents can drown their troubles in beer, including high property taxes aggravated by non-profits like Hackensack University Medical Center, Bergen County and Fairleigh Dickinson University.

The brewery story says the new one will open its doors "next month," then noted the grand opening will be Saturday, Feb. 2. The paper is dated Friday, Feb. 1.

So, there's no telling when the Chronicle, which reprints stories from The Record, will tell residents that another important school election is coming up in April, when the City Council hopes to seize control of the school board and finally get to review and cut its bloated budget, which accounts for 45% of each resident's property tax bill:


Hackensack Discussion / Re: My favorite paper is not having a good day
« on: February 02, 2019, 12:15:49 PM »
1 or 4 items not related to sports is immaterial. My eyes glaze over just trying to take in all the stuff you post, and it's extremely repetitive. Seems like you have nothing better to do. I can relate to that. And, again, the paper is doing a lot more disservice to readers by reducing local coverage and filling local news pages with police news. One Local section was an economy instituted by Stephen Borg, but it means Bergen readers have had an overwhelming amount of Paterson news shoved down their throats for years.

Hackensack Discussion / Re: My favorite paper is not having a good day
« on: January 29, 2019, 04:00:47 PM »
What food obsession? And the last list you posted had 1 non-sports item out of 17 or 18 items.

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