Author Archive: kari

Community Water Fluoridation in NJ

promoted by Rosi

So the word in the public health dental community is that the NJ legislature tabled January’s fluoridation bill (sponsored in part by Blue Jersey’s Senator Loretta Weinberg) because Gov Christie threatened to veto it, saying that fluoridating NJ’s water is “too expensive” a proposition.

I’m not sure how many of you know, but last year the Pew Foundation issued a report that gave New Jersey an F in dental health – for the 2nd consecutive year!!  And fluoridating our water is one of the easiest things we can do to dramatically decrease the rate of dental decay in our communities.  And, ironically enough for “I don’t look at downstream effects” Christie, reducing rates of dental decay could actually save the state a large amount of money in terms of Medicaid dental payments.  Many studies on community water fluoridation have attested to its cost-saving effects.  

Some of you may be lucky enough that your community already fluoridates your water on a local level (Atlantic city, some other municipalities), and you’ve had fewer cavities and not even realized it.  Others of you may have had parents who forced you to take fluoride rinses when you were little, or continue to use fluoridated toothpaste now, and so you have benefited from fluoride while paying out of pocket for its minor expense.

The fact that something as mundane as fluoridating our water is at all controversial means that as concerned progressive citizens, we need to speak out in favor of community water fluoridation.  If you’re so inspired, you can start by signing this petition and telling your friends and colleagues to sign it also.  

Stay tuned for more on fluoride, and other dental health topics 🙂

Chris Christie and GLBT youth

Welcome to Blue Jersey, Kari.  – promoted by Rosi

Last week, Chris Christie said of the two college students who posted images of their roommate, Tyler Clementi, on the internet, shortly before Clementi’s suicide, “I don’t know how those two folks are going to sleep at night.”  

Maybe this was a hate crime.  Maybe it was just the utterly thoughtless actions of two individuals who couldn’t tell the difference between right and wrong.  But what is certain is that Christie, whose election almost certainly defeated the marriage equality bill in NJ, “felt in his gut that marriage should be between a man and a woman. He even tried to think of it differently, he said, and it just didn’t fit.”

It just didn’t fit.  Well, something about Tyler Clementi “didn’t fit” for Dharun Ravi and Michelle Wei, either, which is why they felt justified violating his privacy by posting a romantic encounter online.  Intolerance doesn’t have to be wearing a white hood or frothing at the mouth.  Simple quiet statements of disgust, and the timidity of our elected leadership to stand up, not only for what “fits” but also for what is right, create the environment in which individuals like Ravi and Wei can ruin a young man’s life just by trying to be “funny.”