Letters and Commentary

March 15, 2013
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A Thank You to a Pre-Dawn Angel

To the Editor:

It was last Thursday that we were awoken at approximately 4:30 a.m. to the sound of someone pounding on our front door.

When I opened the door, a woman standing on our porch shouted: “Get out of your house, it’s on fire.” She also said she had called 911.

As quick as she appeared, she was gone. We could only guess that she may have been a pre-dawn runner, and we were fortunate to be on her route.

It was because of her warning that we not only avoided devastating damage to our home, but she surely saved our lives. The fire started outside on our porch and was minutes away from entering our home.

We shudder to think what could have been.

What we do know is that she really was not only in the right place at the right time for us, but she did a spectacular thing.

It’s almost a week since it happened and we still do not know who this woman is. If you get word of this letter, know how grateful we are to have had you cross our path.

Your actions that morning will never be forgotten.

Our heartfelt thanks,

Donna & Michael Rovere
Red Bank


American Heart Association Applauds Expansion of Medicaid

To the Editor:

As a board member of the American Heart Association and cardiologist, I understand the importance of accessible medical coverage for all Americans. I see patients every day who struggle with cardiovascular diseases – our nation’s and our state’s No. 1 health threat – who have to choose between food on the table or fulfilling their medication prescription.

So, it is with much appreciation that I applaud Gov. Christie’s decision to expand Medicaid coverage to New Jerseyans who have incomes under 138 percent of the national poverty level who now have the access to live healthier lives.

The uninsured are far less likely than their insured counterparts to receive appropriate and timely medical care and, as a result, suffer worse medical outcomes including higher mortality rates. Considering that more than 16 million adults with Medicaid coverage have a history with cardiovascular disease, this expansion serves as a vital source of coverage for uninsured adults with or at-risk for cardiovascular disease.

The American Heart Association believes in effective, equitable and excellent health care for all Americans. With the expansion of Medicaid, some of our state’s poorest and sickest patients now have access to this critical financing mechanism for healthcare services.

Research estimates that Medicaid beneficiaries with heart disease are twice as likely to take their medication appropriately, compared with those who are uninsured. Additionally, those with coverage are 20 percent more likely to have been checked for high cholesterol and have their blood pressure controlled, two major risk factors for developing cardiovascular diseases.

This decision has a positive financial benefit as well with a reduction in state and local spending for hospital care for the uninsured. In 2008, state and local governments picked up $10.6 billion of the cost for caring for uninsured people in hospitals, according to the Urban Institute.

With more accessible health care, more hearts will be healthy and more lives will be saved.

Marcus L Williams, MD
American Heart Association board member,
Board Certified Cardiologist with Cardiac Associates of North Jersey in Oakland, NJ


When Dogs are Chained Outdoors ‘Day After Day’

To the Editor:

The Federal Bureau of Prisons announced that it will review its policies on solitary confinement. The devastating effects of solitary confinement can also be seen clearly in dogs who are kept chained “out of sight, out of mind” in their owners’ backyards.

Dogs are highly social pack animals. Kept chained alone day after day, many dogs go mad from loneliness, constant confinement, and stress. Chaining can turn once-friendly dogs into ticking time bombs because it deprives them of socialization, exercise, attention, and the ability to escape perceived threats.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that chained dogs are nearly three times as likely to attack as those who aren’t tethered. Many children have been severely mauled or killed after wandering too close to a chained dog, causing the dog to feel threatened. Denied the option of “flight,” a chained dog may feel compelled to “fight” to protect his or her turf.

Please, never sentence dogs to solitary confinement at the end of a chain or in a cage. Keep them indoors and make them a part of the family instead.

Lindsay Pollard-Post
The PETA Foundation
Norfolk, Va.


Garden State Film Fest to Honor Sandy Heroes, Shore

To the Editor:

The 11th Annual Garden State Film Festival (GSFF) returns to Asbury Park April 4 -7, showcasing more than 150 films – shorts, documentaries, music videos and animations, along with seminars, an open casting call, parties, networking and celebrities.

The GSFF kicks off in Asbury Park at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 4, by honoring the heroes of Super Storm Sandy and supporting the residents and businesses that were affected by the storm.

We are trying get the word out that the Jersey Shore is open. We will be showing exclusive footage of the devastating storm, followed by fun Jersey short films which show our tenacity and spirit!

The Thursday night event “The Shore Must Go On” is in honor of all of the heroes who jumped in to assist others during and after the storm. As a special thank you, the GSFF is offering the public an opportunity to purchase one ticket ($12) for the Thursday night fundraiser and get one free so they can treat their “hero” to a fun night out. Tickets are available at www.gsff.org/festival-info/buy-tickets/. In addition to known heroes such as first responders, city officials and public servants, heroes can be anyone who offered kindness, a hug or any kind of help. You decide who your hero is.

The evening will end with the whole audience singing, “One Light” written by Lori Drazenovich, which will be filmed for later use to boost tourism throughout the Jersey Shore this summer.

Municipal officials are encouraged to attend bearing signs with the town name on it (think political convention) to show the world we are unified and strong! For more information, please go to www.gsff.org.

The Garden State Film Festival made its successful premiere in 2003. Since that time, thousands of films have made their public premiers, hundreds of thousands of people from around the world have attended; more than $5 million have been infused into the local economy; industry notables such as Glenn Close, Frank Vincent, Batman producer Michael Uslan, Austin Pendleton, Kurtwood Smith, James Gandolfini, Budd Schulberg, Lainie Kazan, Clarence Clemons, Bruce Springsteen and others who have all attended or supported the festival.

GSFF is a nonprofit organization and held in the spring of each year at the Paramount Theater/Convention Hall complex as well as other venues in Asbury Park and surrounding area.

The 11h Annual Garden State Film Festival could not be possible without the generous support of the following sponsors: The Asbury Park Press, In Jersey Magazine, The City of Asbury Park, Madison Marquette, New Jersey Transit, New Jersey Natural Gas, Video Corporation of America, visitnj.org, Monmouth County Arts Council, Saker ShopRites, Inc., Teknicks, Adobe, Production Hub, Currents Magazine, njscreenwriter.org, Showbiz Software, Industry Film School and Media Services.

Other contributors include the Asbury Park Chamber of Commerce, New Jersey Resources, Bouquets2Remember, Stella Marina, Watermark and King Limousine and Car Service.

Diane Raver
Executive Director/Founder
Garden State Film Festival
Asbury Park



Two River Moment

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We’re not sure where or when this group of kids gathered to make classic paper, stick and string kites. If anyone recognizes any individuals or the location where this photo was taken, please email us at editor@tworivertimes.com, let us know and use the subject word “kite.”

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