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Messages - Victor E Sasson

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The Record formally announced a policy apparent to readers for many month, restricting some stories on to subscribers. Reader reaction was swift:

Thanks for the psychoanalysis. But you are talking about Gannett, the biggest newspaper publisher in the United States with a track record of buying papers, slashing the payroll and pages of local news, and centralizing production in major design studios around the country, so The Record of Woodland Park is being put out, edited and so forth who knows where, certainly not in New Jersey. Nothing will get better. Readers are abandoning the website and print edition in droves (as shown in the annual reports I have posted on my blog), and I would not be surprised to see the paper folded in a couple of years.

More much ado about nothing. One way to look at it is that many sports fans are barely literate and wouldn't know the difference between correct and incorrect syntax and silly captions. Judging from the number of arrests for human trafficking at the Super Bowl each year, fans are more interested in sex with underage girls than in typos and broken syntax. The New York Times Sports section today (Sunday) is 8 pages, including the TV listings on the back page. A recent copy of The Record I saw during the week also devoted 8 pages to Sports (what a waste), and only 3 to local news. Do sports fans even vote in presidential elections or care about municipal affairs in Hackensack or anywhere else? I seriously doubt it. When I was a reporter for the Hartford Courant in Connecticut in the 1970, I lived in a corner apartment overlooking a newspaper box in Hartford. I'll never forget the time I saw a man put a coin in the box, grab a copy of The Courant (which had many pages in a few sections), and dump all but the Sports section into a trash basket. That said it all, and has shaped my opinion of the large majority of sports fans.[size]

Hackensack Discussion / Re: Our horrible streets, roads and highways
« on: July 14, 2019, 09:57:10 AM »
I met a friend for lunch in Montclair last week, and found the streets in that tony community no better than we have in Hackensack. Rough, potholed, frequently patched pavement is a rash that is spreading around northern New Jersey. In Englewood, the number of sunken manholes is astounding, and I find a lot of them on county owned streets like Grand and Engle Streets. Instead of driving down a street, you have to slalom.

Hackensack Discussion / Re: Area in need of Rehabilitation
« on: July 14, 2019, 09:51:23 AM »
Ethnic restaurants are popping up even before apartments are ready to rent

Did you ever think of working as a copy editor at a newspaper? Wait. Newspapers fired all their copy editors.

Kudos to BLeafe for maintaining his sense of outrage on an almost daily basis over the typos, errors and just plain stupid mistakes from whomever is putting out The Record's Sports section from a Gannett design center hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away from New Jersey. The saying, "You got to believe" could just as well be "You got to B Leafe." #gannettruinedmypaper


Hackensack Discussion / Our horrible streets, roads and highways
« on: June 17, 2019, 09:12:43 AM »
Here is the contradiction of living in Bergen County and New Jersey: We pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation, yet our streets, roads and highways are either crumbling or long overdue for an expansion, as in the case of the Garden State Parkway in northern New Jersey.

In Hackensack, many of our streets are in third-world condition, especially if they are owned by Bergen County, which rips us off in another way: Tens of millions of dollars in property, including courthouses and administrative buildings, are tax exempt, shifting the tax burden to home and business owners. Then, to add insult to injury, the county refuses to maintain portions of Summit and Prospect avenues, but merely patches them repeatedly and plugs potholes, reducing them to bumpy cow tracks.

At the City Council work session on June 11, the city manager read off a list of streets that will be paved this year. After 30 years of total neglect, my block of Euclid Avenue, between Prospect and Summit, will finally be paved. When I leave my garage, I have to drive under 15 mph over numerous patches and potholes repairs near Prospect to avoid hard hits to the suspension. Going up the hill toward Summit, the story is the same.

I asked about the conversion of Main Street to 2-way traffic and was told that project has been postponed to next year.

But no relief is in sight for the congestion at intersections that lack turn lanes, including Passaic Avenue at Summit Avenue and Passaic at First Street, because the county refuses to install them, even with its power of eminent domaine. I've actually heard a City Council member say in effect, "We can't force the county to use its power of eminent domaine." Probably not, but the city can demand concessions in this area and others as givebacks in return for all of that tax exempt property and the burden they place on both city services and long-suffering local property tax payers.

Why do city and county officials treat us this way? Probably because they can get away with it, given the legions of apathetic voters in Hackensack -- so many sheep begging officials to slaughter their quality of life.

These officials, some more arrogant than others, know the only way to reach them outside of the ballot box is to go to a meeting and grab 3 minutes of their time to sound off and express outrage at the status quo, something few of us do, and I don't blame them. At the work session I attended, I had to wait about an hour to talk after a presentation of a proposed $50 million YMCA in Johnson Park, and negative comments from more than a half-dozen residents.

What taxpayers need are ombudsmen for the city and county who can listen to such complaints and get them to the right official for consideration and possible action.

When I planned a night out this past Friday, all of this came to mind:

Hackensack Discussion / Re: Area in need of Rehabilitation
« on: June 13, 2019, 11:40:32 AM »


Hackensack Discussion / Re: Property Taxes
« on: June 11, 2019, 09:07:03 PM »

Hackensack Discussion / Re: Hackensack University Medical Center
« on: May 19, 2019, 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.

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