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Messages - Victor E Sasson

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Hackensack Discussion / Re: Hackensack University Medical Center
« on: Yesterday at 03:36:39 PM »

Hackensack University Medical Center apparently is subsidizing the city's performing arts center. That's my conclusion from seeing the hospital's name on the marquee: "Hackensack Meridian Health Theater" when I went there last weekend to see "Nunsense" (Englewood Hospital and Medical Center also has rebranded itself as Englewood Health).

I guess it would be a stretch if both hospitals called themselves "life" as in Hackensack Meridian Life or Englewood Life. So, it's good to see the hospital is contributing to the city beyond the $4 million a year in lieu of property taxes being paid to the city each year for 6 years.

I don't know for sure, but I'm skeptical of the $3-million-a-year CEO's claim that HUMC is an economic engine for Hackensack. I'm sure city services far outweigh what is spent in the city each day and don't know how many of the employees actually live in the city. To me, the hospital is a burden on the neighborhood, whose residential character has been destroyed by endless expansion, and so busy I hate to go there the few times a year I have to.

I posted photos and videos of the show at the performing arts center on Instagram and used the abbreviation HPAC, but later saw the acronym HACPAC on the TapIntoHackensack news site. I loved the show, but found legroom in the 2nd-floor auditorium to be limited.



Hackensack Discussion / Re: My favorite paper is not having a good day
« on: April 29, 2019, 06:22:23 PM »
The photo of Art Stapleton is probably 20 years old, if not older. After The Record left Hackensack in 2009, the Sports section was put out in Rockaway, where the presses were located, not in Woodland Park. Not sure if that is still the case. The paper's clips -- newspaper stories going back I don't know how long -- also were kept in Rockaway.

Hackensack Discussion / Re: 2019 School Board Election
« on: April 23, 2019, 05:20:04 PM »

Hackensack Discussion / Re: 2019 School Board Election
« on: April 12, 2019, 05:59:06 PM »

Hackensack Discussion / Re: 2019 School Board Election
« on: April 09, 2019, 02:44:52 PM »

Hackensack Discussion / Re: My favorite paper is not having a good day
« on: April 09, 2019, 12:26:28 PM »
If you are looking for an alternative to The Record and, take a look at this site, TAPIntoHackensack:

Hackensack Discussion / Re: boycott
« on: April 09, 2019, 12:24:45 PM »
If you are looking for an alternative to The Record and, take a look at this site, TAPIntoHackensack:

Hackensack Discussion / Re: My favorite paper is not having a good day
« on: April 04, 2019, 03:58:24 PM »

Not 5 best, but 15 + more than a dozen others

Hackensack Discussion / Re: Area in need of Rehabilitation
« on: April 01, 2019, 03:32:47 PM »
LOL. Completely missed that. And you can stop with the hysterics. I just had cataract surgery at HUMC, as you might recall, and did not deliberately omit the number of units. Anyway, the site won't be finished for, what, 5 years.

Added 4/9/2019: And I did say the original estimate for the total number of apartments was 700.

Hackensack Discussion / Re: My favorite paper is not having a good day
« on: April 01, 2019, 03:29:25 PM »
The Record and lose even more readers in 2018

Hackensack Discussion / Re: Area in need of Rehabilitation
« on: March 30, 2019, 12:02:45 PM »
The man who destroyed The Record to develop former headquarters site

Stephen Borg, who pushed aside his father to take over The Record and then start the spiral of turning the local daily newspaper into a Gannett rag, was the subject of a long, glowing article on his plans to develop the former headquarters site into apartments.

The story, reprinted in the Hackensack Chronicle on Friday, is so long that it jumps three times to inside pages, but I couldn't find the number of apartments that will be built there now that The Record's landmark headquarters have been torn down. In the past, city officials have said as many as 700 apartments would be built on most of the 19.7-acre site next to the Hackensack River.

Now, apartment developments like this one pass for local news in The Record and on

Two things struck me about the experience of living there for the first tenants of the luxury apartments in 2021:

The noise of construction of the second phase and the clatter of freight trains passing the site will be a constant, and the rusting hulk of the 312-foot USS Ling submarine will be a curiosity and eyesore for people walking along the Hackensack River.

And the Heritage Diner will remain.

As reflected by the reporting in the article, Borg and the other developers are desperate to portray their site as "connected" to the majority of new apartment buildings along Main Street, but there is no mention of pedestrian bridges across the speedway known as River Street.

I wonder how many pedestrian fatalities will occur when large numbers of tenants and visitors to the retail components of the development try to cross River Street.

The site wasn't vacant, as the story claims: Borg monetized the parking lot by leasing spaces to the courts and Hackensack University Medical Center until shortly before the building was torn down.

One of Borg's development partners is The Hampshire Real Estate Cos., started by Jon Hanson, a close friend of Malcolm Borg, former chairman of North Jersey Media Group, publisher of The Record. NJMG was sold for nearly $40 million in cash in July 2016 to Gannett, which eventually laid off more than 350 employees. Hanson, who was the chief fundraiser for Chris Christie, and Malcolm Borg once owned a private jet together.

Stephen Borg is calling his development company Fourth Edition. The first apartments will be completed in early 2021 and the project is to be finished by 2025, for a total of five buildings with retail on the first floor of each. As shown in the article, the low-rise buildings are indistinguishable from all of the other apartment projects in Hackensack with the exception of the old United Jersey Bank Building and the 14-story apartment project on Main and Mercer streets that is years behind schudule.

The story carefully avoids naming Stephen Borg as one of the people responsible for putting nails in the coffin of Main Street when he pulled out more than 1,000 employees from the River Street building in the last few years before the site became vacant in 2009. At least one Main Street restaurant, Naturally Good, closed and others struggled.

Stephen Borg also was responsible for the biggest newsroom downsizing in The Record's history before the sale to Gannett. He announced that downsizing only a few months after obtaining a $3.65 million loan from NJMG to buy a McMansion in Tenafly, as this post from Eye on The Record explains:

Hackensack Discussion / Re: Hackensack University Medical Center
« on: March 28, 2019, 12:09:54 PM »
I find it interesting that the only comments on the hospital are about parking and whether electric chargers should be made available to encourage people to buy electric cars. The hospital's non-profit status, despite paying its CEO $3 million a year, seems totally acceptable to everyone.

Hi Rabbi:

I noticed there are at least two homes on Summit Avenue undergoing extensive renovations (toward Spring Valley Road). But one thing you should keep in mind are the high property taxes in Hackensack because of all the non-profits, from the hospital, Bergen County, Fairleigh Dickinson etc.etc. I guess you have to live close enough to the synagogue to walk to services, so you might look in Maywood, whose border is only a couple of blocks from Summit.

The City Council won't be raising municipal taxes in Hackensack for 5 years, starting this year, but the schools and the county have made no such pledge. In fact, the school board wants to renovate all of the schools, which average 100 years old, and its budget has been rising steadily in recent years, exceeding the city's own budget. So, if a renovation plan is approved by voters, homeowners would have to pay every year for 30 years to pay for the school renovations. School taxes are 45% of the overall tax bill.

Victor Sasson

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