ZERO TOLERANCE

The impact of racism can have devastating effects on the target of racist comments and actions, as well as those who are in earshot of offensive language and actions of others. 

There is no place for racist comments anywhere, particularly in the workplace. We must come to understand that racism in the workplace impacts everyone directly and indirectly. The Clow Valve Co. in Corona is learning the hard way that allowing a climate of racism and hate is not to be tolerated. 

The psychological impact of being called the “N” word by co-workers is devastating, not only to the intended target but also for those who are standing by and at a loss for what to do.

Let us hope that the $16.6 million judgment sends a message to other companies who allow a climate of hate to proliferate in the workplace.  

~ RONDA HAMPTON

VIA EMAIL

SO MUCH MORE

Regarding your recent article, “Critics say gunshot locator software has potential privacy and efficiency problems,” by André Coleman (June 27), we at ShotSpotter would like to share and correct inaccuracies to set the record straight about ShotSpotter and its effectiveness.

Regarding the quote the author uses from Jay Stanley of the ACLU, it is without full context and is unintentionally misleading at best. Stanley also goes on to say in an interview that I had with him, “Overall, given the parameters of the system as described by Clark, and his seeming realization that his company sits on the edge of controversy (thanks in part to those Oakland activists), and thus his incentive not to allow it to be turned toward broader ends, I am not losing sleep over this technology at this time.” 

 But in any case, your readers should see Jay’s full write up here https://www.aclu.org/blog/free-future/shotspotter-ceo-answers-questions-gunshot-detectors-cities to view the full context of our discussion with the ACLU. Additionally, here is a link to ShotSpotter’s privacy policy: http://shotspotter.com/privacy-policy.

Regarding the reference to officials in Oakland calling the system “redundant,” this is inaccurate and outdated.  Oakland has both renewed and expanded its ShotSpotter deployment several times, and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf has been quoted as saying that ShotSpotter is a “tool to help interview potential witnesses” and that it helps us because ShotSpotter calls us to tell us the exact location where gunfire went off, we don’t have to wait for that 911 call. Here is a link to comments from Oakland Mayor Schaaf, along with other elected officials: http://www.shotspotter.com/elected_officials

In addition, a story in 2015 reported that Oakland experienced a double-digit drop in murders and gunfire after ShotSpotter was put in place.  Here is a link to the story that shares the details: http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2015/04/01/oakland-sees-double-digit-drop-in-murders-and-gunfire-according-to-shotspotter-analysis/

ShotSpotter has proven to be very effective in more than 90 cities nationwide, including 11 cities in California. Much of ShotSpotter’s value to law enforcement agencies is that it enables them to be present in the communities when and where gunfire is happening (de-normalizing that gunfire is tolerable to those communities) and helps them utilize their resources more effectively to both respond and investigate shootings (e.g. getting to precise locations to help victims, find evidence, identify witnesses, etc.).

Kansas City is among many ShotSpotter customer cities that have reported significant results using ShotSpotter in their daily work. According to a story that ran this week, police reported that since 2012, there have been 7,500 gunfire alerts. Those alerts have resulted in more than 30 felony arrests and 29 misdemeanor arrests. Dozens of firearms have also been recovered. Here is a link to a recent story on that:  http://www.kshb.com/news/local-news/shotspotter-app-technology-helps-kcpd-track-gun-shots-catch-celebratory-gunfire. Other cities, such as Fresno and Sacramento, regularly report positive outcomes with ShotSpotter: http://abc30.com/news/fresno-police-chief-attributes-police-quick-response-to-downtown-shooting-to-shot- potter/1893364/  and http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/crime/article132984614.html

We encourage you to correct this article so that the readers of the Pasadena Weekly can have more accurate and up to date information on ShotSpotter. 

~  RALPH CLARK

CEO

SHOTSPOTTER

VINEGAR & OIL

The World Health Organization has warned that glyphosate, a key ingredient in Roundup, is “probably carcinogenic to humans,” and California is adding the herbicide to its list of chemicals that can cause cancer.

According to the National Pesticide Information Center, the surfactants in Roundup may also cause toxic reactions in dogs and other animals who are exposed to it, including weight loss, lethargy, excessive drooling, vomiting and diarrhea.

We don’t have to put the health of our animal companions at risk. Improved soil health, plant nutrition, and irrigation help combat weeds. Applications of vinegar and essential oils such as clove, orange, and lemon have also shown promising results in controlling crabgrass, ground ivy, and other weeds. 

~  CRAIG SHAPIRO

PETA FOUNDATION

NORFOLK, VIRGINIA

BOTH MORALLY BEREFT

Selective blindness isn’t the sole purview of liberals. Conservatives are just as prone to the disease. Let’s look at the facts:    

1.   Not all liberals remain supportive of Bill Clinton. In fact, one suspects his wife might have done better in the last election if the Clinton brand had retained its popularity.

2.   One wonders how conservatives gave a “free pass” to Trump’s “pussy grabbing” remarks. One would think people who support Christian morals and family values would find this sort of sexual vulgarity repugnant.

3.   On a darker note, there are the (now hushed-up) allegations that Donald Trump raped an underage girl at a “sex party” thrown by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. It is a known fact that Trump was a regular guest at Epstein’s parties, even if the rape can’t be proved.

Of course, Trump supporters will say the rape accusation is “trumped-up,” just as Clinton supporters will say the rape accusation is “trumped-up.” And Bill O’Reilly supporters will say the sexual harassment accusations are “trumped-up.”

In the end, what saddens me is that this selective blindness seems to be part of the human condition. It causes us — both conservatives and liberals — to routinely elect immoral, unethical politicians and not hold anyone morally accountable if they are from “our” side.

In a more perfect world, all parties would insist on a high level of moral integrity from their own members and be willing to blow the whistle if a candidate lacks the moral fiber to lead.

~  STASI KATSIKARIS

VENTURA