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Letters and Commentary

Written by The Two River Times. Posted in Letters & Commentary

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Published on March 08, 2013 with No Comments

Sea Grant Collecting Stores About Why Jersey Shore is So Memorable

To the Editor:

Six years ago, the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium (NJSGC) launched the New Jersey’s Top Ten Beaches project to promote stewardship and pride in New Jersey’s beaches. The annual survey has since become a popular pre-summer event, with thousands of New Jersey beachgoers casting votes for their favorite beaches at the njtoptenbeaches.org web site. The voting results are tallied and combined with beach data collected by Dr. Stewart Farrell and his team of researchers at the Richard Stockton College Coastal Research Center to determine the year’s top 10 beaches in New Jersey.

Tourism representatives from Sandy Hook to Cape May have embraced the survey since it puts such a positive pre-seasonal spotlight on the benefits of vacationing at New Jersey beach communities and helped boost local Shore economies. The New Jersey Top Ten Beaches project received a coveted Governor’s Tourism Award at the annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Atlantic City in 2011.

The announcement of the New Jersey Top Ten Beaches winners was a perfect fit with NJSGC’s annual State of the Shore showcase media event. That pre-Memorial Day press event was launched 11 years ago in Spring Lake to assess and share with the press and public the condition of the state’s beaches just before the start of the critical summer tourism season. The State of the Shore event combined with the announcement of the New Jersey Top Ten Beaches has now become a high-profile kickoff to the summer season.

This year, to acknowledge the recent challenges delivered to so many Jersey Shore towns by Hurricane Sandy, we’re putting rivalries on hold and instead, the New Jersey’s Top Ten Beaches Survey will focus on everything there is to love about the Jersey Shore.

The Jersey Shore we all know and remember may be a bit different, some of the places and iconic shore institutions may be damaged or even gone, but the beaches themselves and the essence of what makes the New Jersey Shore so memorable and magic are still there.

Having established a solid working relationship and several partnership projects with the NJ Division of Travel and Tourism and all the regional DMO’s, NJSGC decided to team up with them in 2013 to coordinate and promote a unified effort to encourage people to visit the Jersey Shore this summer and “Make More Shore Memories.”

Instead of asking people to cast a vote for their favorite beach town, we’ll ask them to visit the New Jersey Top Ten Beaches website to tell us what makes the New Jersey Shore so memorable and magic to them. They will be voting for their favorite of 24 photos that will be finalists in a photo contest we’re incorporating into the project.

The top dozen vote-getters will be included in the 2013-14 NJ Top Ten Beaches: Making More Shore Memories calendar. In addition to photos that represent people’s best shore memories and what makes them feel so good about the Jersey Shore, the calendar will include selected memories and musings about what makes the Jersey Shore so special.

Kim Kosko,
Director of Communications,
New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium

 

Looking at a Doctor Shortage in the Coming Years

To the Editor:

Providing health insurance to all Americans is a moot point unless you have doctors available to take care of them.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will insure an additional 32 million Americans over the next few years. It is unclear if health-care reform “forgot” to fund physician training due to poor planning, kicking the can down the road or political prowess given the already huge price tag that the American taxpayer must bear. We may never figure that out. But what we do know is that we are looking at a shortage of more than 90,000 doctors by 2020.

A doctor’s training takes over a decade. All physicians must attain a four-year undergraduate degree before attending another four years of medical school. Then, depending on the specialty field of medicine, an additional three to seven years of training are required, known as graduate medical education (GME), or residency.

Medical schools have been able to proactively develop an action plan to increase admissions by 2016. This is because the costs will be covered by the student’s tuition.

Increasing the number of residency training spots, however, requires an act of Congress, both literally and figuratively. These spots are paid by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a taxpayer-funded entity. CMS pays an average of $100,000 per resident per year and has an annual price tag of $9.5 billion.

If Congress, with its 14 percent approval rating, does not act fast, we will have medical school graduates who cannot finish their training. The American Medical Association predicts that this “bottleneck” will occur as early as 2015.

Funding needs to be secured for at least 4,000 additional residency spots a year over the next several years to stave off this shortage. This equates to an additional $400 million a year.

The positions need to be strategically created. Doctors are more likely to settle and practice in the same geographic area where they do their residency training. Thus, regional and state-specific needs should be identified. Every state has a vested interest in creating additional positions or new programs.

With the country’s financial health in critical condition, one may ask is this really necessary? The answer is a loud and affirmative yes. Achieving equitable access to quality health will require an adequate supply of intelligent, hard-working, and highly trained physicians.

Funding residency training programs today, we will reap dividends down the road. But it requires a capital investment. Most physicians pay Uncle Sam six figures in taxes every year. Within a few years, they will have “paid off” what was invested into their training. Doctors are also frequently small business owners and employ at least three to five employees to run their clinic.

Nina Radcliff, M.D.
Galloway Township

 

Raising Awareness Through Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

To the Editor:

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and The Arc of Monmouth will be joining with individuals across the country to raise awareness about issues facing people with disabilities.

Over the last 60 years, The Arc and its network of more than 700 chapters across the country have made tremendous progress in promoting and protecting the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). It is due greatly to the advocacy efforts of The Arc that President Ronald Reagan officially declared March to be Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in 1987.

The Arc strives to raise awareness about the achievements of individuals with I/DD. Many individuals with I/DD live and work in our community, and it is at this time that we not only wish to celebrate their accomplishments, but also shed light on the challenges they are facing.

This year, there is much at risk for individuals with disabilities across the country. As Congress continues budget negotiations, the entitlement programs that provide an essential lifeline for individuals with I/DD are expected to take center stage. In coming months, there will be mounting pressure to generate additional revenue and to find additional cuts in the federal budget to reduce the deficit further, which could put at risk the Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security programs. The Arc’s advocates in New Jersey are working hard to protect these lifeline programs that so many people in the state rely on.

The Arc advocates for and serves people with I/DD, including Down syndrome, autism, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, cerebral palsy and other diagnoses. The Arc has a network of over 700 chapters across the country promoting and protecting the human rights of people with I/DD and actively supporting their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes and without regard to diagnosis.

The Arc of Monmouth is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency providing health care, residential services, education, employment and vocational training, recreation and other vital services to more than 1,400 individuals and their families. To learn more, please call 732-493-1919 or visit www.arcofmonmouth.org.

Mary Scott,
Executive Director,
The Arc of Monmouth

 

Two River Moment

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The year is 1900 and E. J. Reilly’s wagon is at the corner of Broad and White streets in Red Bank. The billboard in the upper right corner is advertising The Red Bank Register for $1.50 for a year’s subscription.

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