#b#To the Editor: Nuclear Energy Convert?#/b#

Thank you for running the letter from Rick Mott in the July 11 edition of US 1. Wow! What a great solution for clean, safe energy. I was not aware of the commercial possibilities of the smaller nuclear reactors that he describes until I read his very thoughtful and well-reasoned letter.

I did not consider myself a proponent of nuclear energy, but this letter has me thinking that this may be the way to go in the near future. I believe that finding a solution — soon — to our impending environmental crisis should be at the top of every personal and political agenda.

I believe it was during the Princeton Environmental Film Festival this year, I saw a film that gave the example of a pond of unspecified size, that had a lily pad population that would double every day until the 30th day when the pond would be completely choked with lily pads and unusable. The question was asked, “On what day is the pond half full?” And the answer: on day 29.

I am afraid that the earth’s environment may be at day 28 or day 29 right now. We can still go about our business as usual, but when the carrying capacity of earth is reached, our environment will change in such a way that will make it impossible to go back to “business as usual.” Some estimate that this day may be reached by the middle of this century if we do not take immediate and effective action now.

I’m glad that people like Rick Mott have put their thinking caps on and have come up with a sane, rational solution to this problem that will not go away, but only get worse with time. I can see that it will take not just money, but political will to effect the solution he is proposing.

And to those who say, “Yes, but would you want this Gen-4 mini nuclear reactor in your backyard?” I’d answer, yes, if it would work in my backyard, then I’d gladly offer my backyard as a possible site for this reactor.

Linda Bachert

Princeton

#b#Don’t Lose Focus On Affordable Care Act#/b#

In all of the uproar about the politics of the Affordable Care Act, we seem to have lost focus on whom 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 unable 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

Flemington

Governor, New Jersey Chapter, American College of Cardiology

#b#More On The Bucks County Playhouse#/b#

We were delighted to see your July 3 cover story on the reopening of the Bucks County Playhouse. Kevin and Sherri Daugherty deserve every credit for purchasing the shuttered building and returning it to its rightful place as New Hope’s cultural center.

We were honored to serve as the architect for the project, which involved design and construction of extensive repairs, improvements to lighting and rigging, barrier free accessibility, patron amenities, and new interior finishes. As part of the interior work, we coordinated the restoration of the historic mural by Charles Child, which depicts a charming aerial view of the village of New Hope.

We hope that the Playhouse’s facilities and programs will be a focus of the community for years to come.

Michael Schnoering

Partner in Charge of the Renovation

Mills+Schnoering Architects

200 Forrestal Road

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