911 system improving
Please allow me to express my sincere condolences to Keith White’s family members and friends. I’m sure his sudden passing has been extremely difficult for them.
I would also like to correct a couple of inaccuracies in Bill Lascher’s article on 911 and cell phones article (“Calling 911? Better find a payphone …,” news, 5/31/07). In his article, Lascher stated that 911 calls from cell phones, for now, “… will still go through the highway patrol.“ This is not an accurate statement. While the majority of wireless 911 calls may go to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), there are many wireless 911 calls that are selectively routed directly to the appropriate public safety answering point (PSAP) — or 911 center — bypassing the CHP entirely.
Calling 911 from a cell phone may actually reduce the response time of law enforcement, fire or emergency medical services, especially in those cases where the wireless 911 call is selectively routed to the appropriate PSAP. Additionally, in Ventura County, many PSAPs have upgraded their equipment so the 911 call-takers may be able to view the caller’s location. This is especially important for tourist destinations, such as Oxnard and Ventura, where people may not be familiar with their surroundings.
The PSAP managers in Ventura County have been working closely with the state 911 office, the CHP, and the various wireless service providers (WSPs) for several years to enhance the efficiency of the 911 system by identifying cell sectors that are best suited to selectively route wireless 911 calls directly to the appropriate PSAP. Whenever a new WSP enters Ventura County or an existing WSP adds cell sites, the PSAP managers review coverage maps to determine which agency should receive the wireless 911 calls from each cell sector. This has resulted in increased efficiencies and, in many cases, has reduced 911 call processing and response times.
The 911 community is focused on providing outstanding service to people who need law enforcement, fire or emergency medical services. As part of this goal, we meet on a regular basis to review and refine our policies and procedures, while also discussing emerging technologies. Interestingly, the many technological advances that we all enjoy as consumers are also the same technologies that prompt PSAP managers to constantly revisit our service delivery methods.
911 is a valuable tool and the public should use it whenever they need assistance from law enforcement, fire or emergency medical services.
Danita L. Crombach Communications Manager Ventura County Sheriff’s Department
Clean money action urged
Contrary to what opponents claim, publicly funded, or \"Clean Money,\" elections actually increase freedom of speech.
As your editorial (“Clean money means fair elections,” editorial, 6/14/07) suggested, the only voices we voters hear now are those of people with access to great wealth, or great wealth of their own. Clean Money will mean that talented, public-spirited people who can demonstrate broad grass roots support in their own district will be able to run for office. And once elected, they\'ll owe no favors to anyone except the voters.
In addition, the U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that these voluntary public funding systems are constitutional (Buckley v. Valeo, 1976 and Randall v. Sorrell, 2006).
As Arizona and Maine have proven over the last four election cycles, we\'ve finally found campaign finance reform that is inexpensive, constitutional, and works. It is high time California embraced it.
I hope your readers will call their state Senator and urge them to support Assembly Bill 583, the Clean Money Fair Elections Act. It is before the state senate right now.
Craig Dunkerley San Jose
Bush plays to his base
Last week President Bush betrayed investors, pressuring Solicitor General Paul Clement to steer clear of a pending United States Supreme Court case that could provide shareholders with the necessary tools to hold crooked chief executive offers accountable — as is still needed for Enron investors defrauded only five years ago.
The case, Stoneridge Investment v. Scientific-Atlanta, asks whether investors can recover investment losses from investment banks, attorneys, accountants and other parties involved in fraudulent corporate collusion. The Supreme Court is expected to consider the case during its next term. The outcome could determine whether victims of the Enron scandal can proceed with a $40 billion lawsuit against investment banks that enabled Enron\'s massive fraud.
Even though the Securities and Exchange Commission urged the administration to file a brief in support of investors, the administration thumbed its nose at investors.
With Bush\'s approval rating hovering around 30 percent, his only remaining support comes from the CEOs of giant corporations. He\'s just playing to the last of his base, while showing small investors across America how little regard his administration has for our well-being.
John H. McConnell Port Hueneme