Sunday, October 1, 2023

Letters to the Editor – 6/14/2006


The optimal effect of a drug may not be achieved and thus people may receive an overdose or an under-dose. Although some interactions are harmless, others can lead to serious side effects that have the potential to cause injury. Furthermore, food interactions can prevent people from receiving the intended dosage of medication needed and can prolong illness. It is important to realize that food-drug interactions can occur with prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, vitamins and herbal products. For the most part, food interactions with drugs occur in three ways – by reducing the rate or extent of absorption of the drug, by increasing the rate or extent of absorption of the drug, or by chemical interactions. Food can prevent a drug from being absorbed properly in the small intestine, thus limiting its effectiveness in addition, direct interactions can result in serious side effect that may need medical attention. It is important to read all the instructions before taking your meds and to consult your physician or pharmacist if you have any questions. The written drug information attached with the medication will outline important details such as these. There are general signs and a symptom that may help you identify something is going wrong. Some of these signs include shortness of breath, a flushed feeling, a faster or slower heart rate, an upset stomach, sleepiness, vision problems, constipation, and headaches. If any of these occur, contact your doctor immediately. As a general rule, it is best to take most medications with water. Alcohol should always, always be avoided when taking any medication. Alcohol can decrease absorption of the medication, dissolve the coating of some tablets and capsules, interact directly with medications and increase drowsiness. For example, alcohol can interact with flagyl, an antibiotic, and cause flushing, a faster breathing rate, a faster pulse rate and even death. Some of the more common drug-food interactions are: Fosamax should be taken upon awakening with water and at least one-half hour before food and beverage. Warfarin or coumadin should be avoided with foods rich in vitamin K, such as brussels sprouts, spinach, broccoli and kale. Flagyl, an antibiotic react severely with alcohol. Tetracycline interacts with foods rich in calcium, milk. Digoxin interacts with oatmeal. MAO inhibitors react with foods containing tyramine such as many cheeses, yogurt, red wine and beer.  Cholesterol- lowering satin drugs, estrogens and certain tranquillizers interact with grapefruit juice. HIV medications should be taken with food, but no high fat meals. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Motrin, Advil, Indocin and Naprocin should be taken with food or milk to avoid gastrointestinal upset. General tips to remember are: do not mix medicine with your food or hot drink unless directed by your doctor. Do not take capsules apart unless directed by your doctor. And also do not take vitamin pills at the same time you take medication. By avoiding drug-food interactions, you are maximizing the efficacy of the drug in addition to reducing adverse effects and side effects.  (ED. NOTE: The author is a registered pharmacist in his field for 25 years. He lives in North Wildwood and is a “floater” for Eckerd Drugs.)  Residents Must Know Dump Facts  To The Editor:  Residents of Cape May County need to know why the Board of Chosen Freeholders bought the Fulling Mill Road sanitary landfill. Then we need to know what they are going to do about the toxic stuff that was dumped there and bulldozed over, and are now in the aquifers holding groundwater from where we get our drinking water. Honesty and accountability. Who dumped what and where are the county test results on the monitoring wells? When will the monitoring wells be put under the landfill, not just on its perimeter? DEP is incompetent in its testing and review. EPA has done nothing, even though the Fulling Mill Road dump has a federal toxic site No. 930577. Residents have the right to know.  BARBARA K. STOLTZ Wildwood Crest  Youths Need to Hear Stories That Deter   To The Editor:  This is in response to Levern Fitzpatrick’s “Youths Need Experienced Advice” published May 17. What I do know is that I enjoyed reading what Fitzpatrick wrote, and he didn’t have to think about what he wanted to write, he lived it.   This is the difference between not knowing what it is like for former youths and the youths of today who struggle with issues that start at home. It is the difference between someone who has not experienced or been in an environment which can be hidden, and have not experienced those kinds of dysfunctions.  Sometimes those dysfunctions are passed from generation to generation and it has to be broken. There have to be times when reasons have to be addressed in order to fully understand why these behaviors and dysfunctions occur over and over. We, as adults, teach children what is learned or not learned at home. We also teach the responsibility of acknowledging that if something is wrong it is nothing to be ashamed of; the shame is not reaching out for help.   Clinical theory is one thing absolute experience is another.  I am not taking anything away from clinical theories and resources that are available for families and their children. Yes, these services are needed. I believe that the realities that exist are sometimes not taken seriously enough.   We may say these are not good behaviors, or “Why are you acting like that?” Or better yet, some would even say “I didn’t act like that,” but yes we did, it was just a different era and tolerance was something that had its limits. When did this all stop?   We see time and time again that the magnitude of violence, drug use, or any other crimes that are committed have increased by the numbers of incarcerated males and females. Unfortunately they are repeat offenders.   I thank Fitzpatrick for sharing his experience, and I thank all those like Fitzpatrick for making a difference, for speaking out, for telling their stories.  Because they know that we all have stories to tell. Like he stated “the glamour and repercussions” of certain lifestyles are certainly not the path towards encouragement by far.   Don’t be deceived by someone who, at any moment, may be giving us a word that we may need just because of his or her past or his or her present situation. God can use anyone.   DENISE BETHUNE Whitesboro  To The Editor:  It seems that we “outsiders” are the only ones who can see what is happening to The Wildwoods (note the “s” which means all three towns.). In the June 7th Letters, Robert A. Mock of Turtle Creek, PA hits the nail on the head and echoes the many letters that I have written to local publications about what is happening to your towns.  I’m sure local leaders won’t agree with Mr. Mock. I relate the exorbitant demolishing of properties for cash and building of overpriced, boring condos, to a runaway freight train.  In a pleasant conversation with Mayor Troiano, he claims that I am wrong.  Well, with all due respect, try and stop what is happening.  But then, money rules.   I haven’t seen any report of what the crowds were like over the Memorial Day weekend, except some reports that Motels were full and there is demand for rooms throughout the summer.  Well, there are fewer Motels aren’t there?  Once the momentum of tourists abates and they find out that the area just isn’t the same, things will change, I think. It’s inevitable that remaining motels will raise rates due to supply and demand.  Unaffordable lodgings for a family of 4 or more will hurt the area.  When that happens, I’m sure the Tourist Bureau will blame it on high gas prices, greater competition from other tourist destinations, cheap travel packages, people staying closer to home, etc.  Every excuse except the fact that The Wildwoods and their officials turned their back on middle class tourists with families and let greed take over under the guise of improvement.    I believe that the local officials do want to do what is right for the area and see it prosper.  It’s just that they can’t see the forest for the trees.  There was a good thing going in the late 90’s.  People were coming back.  A few condos to replace run down properties would have sufficed.  But, once that train started rolling, it has begun to wipe out everything in its path.  Oh well, maybe the people that invested in these overpriced, boring condos will be around most of the Summer and spend their money in town and will compensate for the lowly tourists.  They’ll have to go to the waterparks to have access to a pool.  Maybe the people that can afford to rent these condos will eat out every night and lower themselves to walk the boardwalk and play SKILO every night.  Most of them will have a nice white vinyl picket fence, however.  Maybe the businessmen that are wanted with their seminars will get WI-FI connections on the piers so they can conduct their business and spend their expense money on The Great White.  I guess it’s not all that bad!   Mike Smalley 3918 Inland Ave. West Mifflin, PA 15122   Prosecutor: Staff Is Underpaid    To The Editor:  The reporting and editor’s column on June 7 on the issue of fair pay for County Prosecutor’s Office employes was wrong and way off the mark for several reasons. Since this paper did not cover the presentation of evidence to Judge Todd over three days, it missed the facts and failed to report to the public for instance that Prosecutor’s Office secretarial employes are the “lowest” paid of the 21 counties in New Jersey, assistant prosecutors were 20th lowest and detectives were 18th lowest of the 21 counties.  Judge Todd stated in his opinion, “In absolute terms, it does appear that the staff in Cape May County is underpaid.”   The paper was the victim of glib lawyerly spinning to the media by the freeholders’ attorney in closing arguments by reporting and focusing on an unfair slam on the chief of county detectives and the officer manager along with the false suggestion of pension padding. Joe Zelnik’s column opines referring to me that “he says” staff at the Prosecutor’s Office have a higher workload and lower pay scale than the state average and most of the 21 counties. It is not just Bob Taylor that is saying that as well. It is the N.J. Attorney General’s Office that is saying that and now Judge Todd is saying that.  And, it is not just “higher,” it is the “highest” workload in New Jersey now that Cumberland County received 25 new detectives, 11 additional assistant prosecutors, six legal assistants and nine secretaries in its Bigley action last year. If the reporter had heard and reported in the evidence rather than just the freeholders’ lawyer’s spin at closing argument would have reported the following facts contained in the N.J. Attorney General’s survey and now Todd’s opinion. Todd found as fact in his words: Â¥ “As of 2004, based on a number of measures, the workloads for assistant prosecutors in Cape May County were the second highest of the 21 counties in the state, behind only one county which has since increased its staff as a result of a Bigley application.” Â¥ “Similarly, as of that same time, the workloads for detectives and investigators in Cape May County were the second highest in the state, again behind only the one county which has since increased its staff.” Â¥ “More impressive than the relative rankings, however, were the specific figures presented. By way of example, there was an analysis of the number of index crimes (serious crimes) per detective offered for each county in the state.” Â¥ “As of 2004, there were 39 index crimes per detective in Cape May County.  In 11 of the remaining 20 counties, there were 20 or fewer index crimes per detective.  In a number of those counties there were only nine or 10 index crimes per detective during the year in question.  Similarly, in 2004 there were 493 total crimes per assistant prosecutor in Cape May County.  In 13 of the remaining counties, there were 300 or fewer total crimes per assistant prosecutor.” Â¥ “Based on that measure, the workload for assistant prosecutors in Cape May County was twice that in at least five other counties during that year.” Â¥ “The statistics provided with respect to relative salary levels was also convincing.” The focus on the freeholder-approved 35-hour workweek and comp time again was off base.  The 35-hour workweek is by contract in some bargaining units.  Some people and taxpayers believe that comp time is better than paying time and one half overtime.  Additionally, comp time was a reference to assistant prosecutors’ work schedules, not detectives.  If he had heard the testimony, he would not have made that mistake either in his column disparaging the detectives who have a 40-hour workweek. There are only four contracts I sought to reopen, not five.  The assistant prosecutors contract provides for annual pay negotiations.  There are also employes in the office that are not covered by collective bargaining units and are also not receiving fair pay.  Now Todd has supported my position and raised their salaries. Finally, I am sure most of my employees are grateful for a year-round job with benefits especially in Cape May County.  But, the flip suggestion that my staff is “hardly collecting food stamps” is an insult to working men and women who are trying to support themselves and their families in a county where housing costs are ridiculously high. That kind of comment is something I would have expected from a freeholder. Secretaries who start at $19,685, depending on the size of their family and other factors, may qualify for food stamps. Next time please report on the facts as well as the spin.  ROBERT L. TAYLOR Cape May County Prosecutor Crest Haven  To The Editor:  We are so sorry to hear about the issue Susan Brown, Charles Rue’s mother is having with those so-called insurance companies.  We just had the same experiences with our sister. Sadly she died two month ago. We fought to get her in the best cancer center possible but it was rather difficult without the right insurance.  We hope things work out for Mrs. Brown and Rue, and would like them to know that they are in our prayers when we pray for God’s Kingdom to take place on earth as it is in heaven. ( Matthew 6:9,10)  DIANE VALENTINE and FAMILY         

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