A few news stories that have been sent our way from readers recently:
University College of London researchers say that street lights do not reduce crime.
That research shows less than 1 percent of all nighttime traffic collisions occurred on streets where the lights had been switched off. And overall, the statistics showed no link between accidents and dimming, reducing, or changing the style of streetlights.
Secondly, the researchers looked at lighting’s effect on crime trends. In regions of reduced lighting, they found, there was no increase in burglary, auto theft, robbery, violence, or sexual assault.
That would surely be disputed by a local alderman who has promoted street lights as a crime solution for the past 8 years.
Next up: The New York Times last week reported on a “rich entrepreneur” who has been allowed to hire a private police force to patrol areas of New Orleans.
In the United States, private police officers currently outnumber their publicly funded counterparts by a ratio of roughly three to one. Whereas in past decades the distinction was often clear — the rent-a-cop vs. the real cop — today the boundary between the two has become ‘‘messy and complex,’’ according to a study last year by Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Just remember. When the police are private, what they do is also private. Like their hiring practices.
Even that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, the Center on Halsted, is under a bit of scrutiny, says the Windy City Times. Good gracious! It’s intolerant behavior in the land of Oz.
“Quite simply, for all of his talents, [Center CEO} Modesto Tico Valle may not be best suited in his current role,” states the letter. “During his tenure, he has sown a culture of distrust and suspicion among the staff, often employing threats and intimidation. He has a pattern of recruiting highly qualified staff and then undermining their performance and initiative until they feel demoralized and undervalued. Additionally, he exhibits a pattern of overt hostility with targeted staff members for reasons that seem uneven to the level of hostility.”
Speaking of problems at non-profits: A Birmingham, Alabama, agency that “provides therapy, education, housing and other assistance to troubled families, at-risk youth and children in foster care” has been fined by the feds for [Wait for it!] failing to protect its employees from its clients:
“During our investigation, it became clear that management was well aware that its employees were being injured by violent clients for several years, yet they took no action to protect their workers,” said Ramona Morris, OSHA’s director of the Birmingham Area Office, in a statement. “It is unacceptable for an employer not to take action to protect its workers from known hazards.”
How ’bout that. Maybe now the COH staff members who have clients arrested for allegedly threatening them with a knife or battering them on the job will show up in court. But probably not.
Moving on…. LGBTQ Nation asks “Is the decline of the modern gayborhood a good thing?”
We’re not sure. But a decline in the use of the term “gayborhood” would definitely be a good thing.
[A}uthor Katie Herzog laments the transformation of Seattle‘s Capitol Hill from “a place that was a little gritty, a little divey and very queer to a party zone for straight people.” She opines that the two cultures — “the old queer folks, the new tech workers” — often clash, and suggests that such shifts might be responsible for a recent spike in hate crimes.
Sounds familiar. Except for the spike in hate crimes.