Letters and Commentary

August 3, 2012
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Thank You to the State for Certification of Red Light Cameras

To the Editor:

AAA thanks the New Jersey Department of Transportation for ensuring that motorist rights are protected by requiring all red light camera programs are in compliance with New Jersey state law.

According to NJDOT, all municipalities with red light camera programs have now certified that the duration of the amber light met the minimum duration as required by state law.

Although AAA believes that red light cameras can be beneficial in reducing crashes at intersections, the need for this investigation underscores our long-held position that such programs must be focused solely on safety and not on revenue.

In a recent survey of New Jersey motorists taken before the NJDOT action, the favorable rating of red light camera programs was the lowest it has been since the question was first asked in 2005. However, while support has steadily diminished, a majority of those surveyed, 61 percent believed that the cameras can help ensure that New Jersey roads are safer with 35 percent believing that the main purpose of the program is to generate revenue for municipalities rather than traffic safety.

Mid-Atlantic AAA,

Affordable Care Act: Focus Lost on Who It Will Protect

To the Editor:

In all of the uproar about the politics of the Affordable Care Act, we seem to have lost focus on who the law was written to protect.

As a cardiologist, each month several previously young and healthy individuals present to our emergency department with heart attacks as their initial sign of disease. Many of these people have avoided preventive care because they lack health insurance and now may be crippled for life by damaged hearts.

For those unlucky individuals without insurance who come to a New Jersey hospital with an acute heart attack, there will always be premier health care from my colleagues and the hospital staff. However, as cardiologists, we must decide whether to place the state-of-the-art “drug- eluting” coronary artery stents (which require long-term treatment with more expensive medications) versus the older “bare metal stents” which are often less protective over time but don’t require the same long-term medications that uninsured patients often won’t be able to afford.

This said, it’s unfortunate the Supreme Court was forced to make its decision regarding the Affordable Care Act based on whether the federal government can impose what is essentially an economic mandate on citizens. To lump together the issue of broccoli and health care reduces the argument to a grade-school debate. This is not a mandate about eating certain foods, nor should it involve any particular social, political or business activity.

Does the federal government actually have the ability to mandate expenditures for the good of individual citizens? One need only look back to the Federal Guidelines for Motor Vehicles, imposed in 1967, which mandated that automobile manufacturers install seat belts with the purpose of “preventing injury and death due to auto accidents.” It’s a reality that the federal government had already governed using economic mandates to insure the health of individuals.

The dissenting justices did bring up the issue that not all young people will use health care, and I suppose they would make the same spurious argument that no one is forced to buy an automobile and pay the added expense of seat belts. But at some point, just about everyone travels in an automobile, and the added expense of seat belts is in some manner added into the cost passed along to drivers or passengers, whether they’re in a taxi or a family vehicle.

And, unlike seat belt laws, the ACA only imposes an economic sanction on individuals who chose not to have health insurance, unlike the penalties imposed (granted by the states, which regarding the ACA will also be legislating how to care for their uninsured) for not wearing seatbelts.

Austin Kutscher, M.D
Governor, New Jersey Chapter
American College of Cardiology

Spread the Word About the Aug. 27 Veterans Job Fair at BCC

To the Editor:

I am retired from the U.S. Army and currently operations administer at Brookdale Community College. I am coordinating a Veterans Job Fair to be held Aug. 27 at the Brookdale Lincroft main campus. The event also welcomes friends, family and community who are seeking employment or services. It will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Warner Student Life Center.

We have the goal of 100 vendor participants who may attend the event at no charge. To date, the response has been great. We also have workshops such as the New Jersey Small Business Development Center (NJSBDC) at Brookdale Community College to present on how to start a small business and how to apply for small business loans. NJVet Biz will be conducting a presentation, “Business Assistance for Veterans – Fact vs. Fiction.”

We couldn’t do this event without the generous sponsor support of the Jersey Shore Jewish War Veterans Post 125-Ocean Township, the Monmouth County One Stop Career Center Neptune N.J., Monmouth County Workforce Investment Board and the NJSBDC at Brookdale Community College.

If any vendors just learning of this event would like to be part of the job fair, please contact me at 732-224-2068 or email to  jrussell@brookdalecc.edu. And be sure to spread the word about this free event for the community.

Thank you for your support,

Jerry J. Russell,

Two River Moments

Madden’s Rumson Inn Restaurant was located in 1956 in the spot now occupied by the Salt Creek Grille on Bingham Avenue in Rumson. The Oceanic Bridge is on the right. This image is courtesy of Dorn’s Classic Images.

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