Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 9.28.04 AM

Local Press Keeping the Pundits, Pollsters Real

Local Beat is NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best and most topical reporting from local news sites around New Jersey. 

Local media are not only keeping an eye on elected officials and civic leaders in New Jersey’s 565 municipalities and 21 county governments — they’re watching the bigger media outlets as well.Art Gallagher of More Monmouth Musings noticed a quote by Patrick Murray of Monmouth University in an NJ Spotlight story by Mark Magyar that seemed to predict the results of his next poll before it had even been taken:

Murray said he expected to see similar results in his next Monmouth Poll. “It will be negative. This is not going to be positive,” Murray stated emphatically, asserting that the controversy over the Mastro report clearly resonated with voters. 

Initially, Gallagher questioned Murray’s credibility as a pollster if he is predicting the outcome of a poll before performing the survey. However, in a back in forth with Murray and Magyar, Murray clarified his statement and questioned Magyar’s characterization of the quote. Magyar promised a correction. Read here and here.

(NJ News Commons has since reached out to Patrick Murray and Mark Magyar. Murray prefers not to comment. Magyar has not responded.)

With New Jersey’s large Jewish population celebrating Passover this week, local media have been on the job. New Jersey Jewish News’ Andrew Silow-Carroll refuted the idea that there is lack of delicious Passover food and dove deeper to look at what it means to eat as a Jew in his essay“Hungry for Meaning.”

Blogfinger in Ocean Grove also went the Passover food route, delving into the derivation of the phrase, “What am I? Chopped liver?” Baristanet provided a full menu of Passover stories on Monday — ensuring that readers would have plenty of good eats. More seriously, The Alternative Press of Westfield looked at the reaction of Jewish communities in New Jersey to the shootings in Kansas City. And CliffviewPilot reported that Bergen law enforcement officials boosted Passover week security in the wake of the shootings.

In breaking news, CliffviewPIlot goes a bit deeper this week, looking past a recent suicide to take an exhaustive look at the history of bridge suicides at the George Washington Bridge and beyond. DeMarco also ran background on a Hackensack man charged in the rape of a 14-year-old girl and found that he was a former honor student and college basketball player at Lafayette.

Our full roundup:

Hungry for Meaning New Jersey Jewish News
Patrick Murray is emphatic that his next poll will be negative for Christie More Monmouth Musings*
Patrick Murray: Mark Magyar mischaracterized his analysis More Monmouth Musings*
Chag Sameach! — Passover Begins Tonight Baristanet
North Plainfield Varsity with Down Syndrome In Third Place for Most Inspirational Athlete TAP North Plainfield
What Am I? Chopped Liver? How a Passover food became a one-liner Blogfinger
Digging oil wells on Main Avenue in Ocean Grove Blogfinger
Scotch Plains, Westfield Jewish Community Responds to Shooting in Kansas TAP Westfield 
Fire in Westfield Apartment on Cacciola Displaces Several Renters TAP Westfield
Woman who slashed Hackensack pastor’s wife committed to psychiatric facility Cliffview Pilot
Glen Rock, Hawthorne police rescue pit bull puppy during Route 208 drug stop Cliffview Pilot
Bergen cheifs, sheriff boost Passover Week security after Kansas City Shootings Cliffview Pilot
Former college basketball player from Hackensack charged in rape of girl, 14 Cliffview Pilot
GWB a ‘suicide magnet’ Woman jumps to death Cliffview Pilot
Livingston Moms Model at ‘Real Housewife of NJ’ Kim DePaola’s B.I.G. Fashion Show TAP Livingston
A Primer on the Upcoming Changes to the SAT TAP Livingston

*Asterisked articles are available for reposting through the NJ News Commons Story Exchange.

Andrew Guadagnino, NJ News Commons intern, contributed to this report.