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Bergenfield Daily Voice serves Bergenfield, Dumont & New Milford

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Counting the ads on the New Jersey Turnpike

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

Removing former Gov. Brendan Byrne’s name from the arena in the Meadowlands was one thing, but now the N.J. Turnpike Authority is floating the idea of scratching Vince Lombardi from the rest stop dedicated to him. I say we fight this latest venture into corporate sponsorship.

Same for Joyce Kilmer, Thomas Edison, Alexander Hamilton, Grover Cleveland and the rest of the rest stops.

Fellow Jerseyans are constantly complaining what a joke we’ve become. So what is the Turnpike Authority considering? Removing the monikers of the few genuine items of pride we have — including the name of arguably the greatest professional football coach in history, the man for whom THE SUPER BOWL TROPHY is named.

Here’s an idea: How about we take up a collection and rename one of the rest stops: “ JERSEYANS BOYCOTTING CORPORATE SPONSORS ”? We could take the one named after John Fenwick.

Jerry DeMarco Publisher/Editor

Yeah, I didn’t know who he was, either (Thanks, Google).

As with all trial balloons of this type, the Turnpike Authority got gullible reporters to swallow the notion hook, line and stinker. The Authority also talked about putting ads over the toll booths (great — as if there aren’t enough distractions) and, in the process, raising a gazillion dollars.

Of course, they neglected to mention that their original charter removes the tolls once all of the quasi-public agency’s debts are paid — which is why the authority is constantly borrowing money for the road that, technically, celebrates its 70th birthday this year.

They also didn’t open their books to show how much the honchos are making, as if running a highway takes so many high-paid geniuses. I’d bet we’d all slam on the brakes if we saw such a list.

Everyone got a good laugh when Christie Whitman promised to name a rest area after Howard Stern if she won re-election. Then the uproar began.

Will we hear as much noise this time? I hope so — especially if we find out that the primary bidders are the same companies that make Ex-Lax or Astro-Glide.

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