NEWS, SPORTS, COMMENTARY, POLITICS for Gloucester City and the Surrounding Areas of South Jersey and Philadelphia

A Pennsylvania Woman Climbs Tree Fearing Coyote
Rand Paul’s ‘Economic Freedom Zone’ a fix for western PA?

Toe Tapping Music, Uber Not Welcome Here, Ambulance Service May Change in South Jersey


 William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNewsnet


 The Hegeman String Band at Proprietors Park—This Thursday, July 30 the award winning Hegeman String Band will be performing from 8 pm to 10 pm at Proprietors Park, King Street and the Delaware River, Gloucester City.  Sponsored by The Camden County Board of Freeholders and the County Parks Department On the Road Concert Series. Bring your lawn chair, blanket, and the family for a fun-filled evening of toe-tapping music on the Delaware.

 A SLOW NEWS DAY—When looking for a story idea all a reporter has to do these days is check out social media. Take for example this thread regarding Gloucester City Council’s passage of  an ordinance  banning Uber taxi service in the city. Resident Gus Orr feels the ordinance is unenforceable and believes the council should support Uber as a job creator. 

“Uber is far less expensive than a taxi and to think that mayor and council would WASTE it's time updating this completely unenforceable ordinance is astounding. Since Uber drivers and UberX drivers use their own cars this is clearly an attempt to (in some way) limit their services in Gloucester City, unless they become a "taxi" which, of course, is not their model. If Gloucester City wants to attract young professionals to the city (which, in theory, any city does) why pass this, when Uber is primarily used by that demographic?”

A former Gloucester City police chief posted an explanation that supports the ban.

 Resident Greg Gambone took exception to the chief's remarks:

“Services like Uber and Lyft have been banned in several cities, typically for concerns similar to those described by Mr. Berglund. While the idea is to protect people from dangerous criminals, banning these services isn't the answer. Mr. Berglund already said that numerous cab drivers have been arrested for drug offenses, so requiring taxi drivers to obtain a special license hasn't eliminated the criminal element."

"Uber drivers also undergo a background check, plus ongoing monitoring of DMV status. {See website} Plus, Uber drivers are covered by a special commercial auto insurance policy that provides protection (in amounts equal to Gloucester City’s minimum requirements) while a driver is on the way to pick up passengers, and it increases to $1 million in coverage when passengers are in the car. In that respect, Uber passengers are better protected than those in an ordinary taxi. So, if protecting people is the main goal, simply forcing taxi drivers to get a special license doesn't do that. As far as a financial liability, Uber is better. I'd recommend that the ordinance banning Uber be reconsidered after a proper examination of these aspects.”

 HOSPITALS FILE LAWSUIT AGAINST STATE—South Jersey’s Virtua Hospital and Trenton-based Capital Health are suing the state of New Jersey over a new law that gives hospitals with Level 1 trauma centers the right to run ambulance and paramedic services in their host communities.

Virtua said the law signed this month by Gov. Chris Christie violates the state constitution as “special legislation” aimed at benefiting just one community.

The new regulation allows Cooper University Hospital in Camden to assume all paramedic service that have been provided by Virtua to residents living in Camden and Burlington counties for decades. Democratic political ‘Boss’ George Norcross is Cooper’s board chairman.  Cooper would also take over the ambulance services in Camden from Newark-based University Hospital.

The state budget includes a $5 million allocation to implement the law, something that the lawsuit calls an “irrational move.”

Trenton-based Capital Health is also a plaintiff in the suit, saying it could be stripped of its paramedic service in Hamilton because of the new legislation. 

See The Trentonian article