NEXT MEETING: August 19, 2016

ShotSpotter: Richmond PD’s quick response system

Lieutenant Eric Smith, a 19 year veteran of the Richmond Police Department, will give an overview of  ShotSpotter, a technology that quickly determines the exact location of guns fired in the city. The system uses a series of acoustic sensors and software to pinpoint their locations, then automatically sends that information to the Richmond Communications Center and to field personnel.

And all of that happens within a minute.

MEETING OF August 12


President Josh called the meeting to order and asked lonely” Don Lau to lead the Pledge of Allegiance. Herb Cole led a silent prayer for peace, freedom and justice on earth. “Thoughtful” Sid Chauvin had this to share: “I hope they never find life on any other planet.

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

  • Steve Polcyn, District 5160 Foundation Grant Chairman, was visiting from the Alamo Rotary Club.
  • Mac Lingo was visiting from the Berkeley Rotary Club.



  • President Joshua Surowitz made a heartfelt plea for more members to consider becoming scribes. The number of scribes has diminished and the current group all wear multiple hats so could use some help. Josh noted that the Flywheel, expertly designed and maintained by Nick Despota, really sets Richmond Rotary apart from other clubs, so it is important. Please let Josh and Nick know if you are interested in joining this esteemed group!
  • President Josh introduced Steve Polycn, District 5160 Foundation Grants Chairman, who presented Richmond Rotary Club with a grant for $4800 to support improving the libraries of every public school in Richmond. He noted that it was a challenging grantmaking process, since they received 30 applications requesting $293,170 and they only had $157,505 to distribute! The district grants review committee, including our own Pam Jones, did a great job, and congratulations to Richmond Rotary on funding a terrific community project!
  • Stacey Street announced a change in the program for August 19, since the program speakers had to reschedule due to an important project at Livermore Laboratory. Instead, there will be a program presented by Lieutenant Eric Smith from the Richmond Police Department about ShotSpotter, an expedited response system. Thanks to David Brown for arranging this interesting program!
  • Have you pitched in for Peres School yet? Each year our club donates money to teachers at Peres, who dig deep into their own pockets to buy classroom supplies that the district’s tight budgets doesn’t cover. We can help by contributing cash to each classroom. We make it easy. The PayPal button is on the right.


Happy and Sad Dollars

Norm’s Nonsense


Ensuring that West Contra Students Thrive

Your Scribe introduced the speaker for the day, Maribel Lopez, Director of Community Leadership for GO Public Schools West Contra Costa. Maribel has been a student, teacher and now parent, all at the same school—Dover Elementary School in San Pablo.

Maribel recounted how she came to work for GO Public Schools, and provided an overview of the organization’s mission, goals and programs. After graduating from Richmond High, she became a parent liaison at Dover Elementary, which lead her to Contra Costa College and ultimately UC Berkeley. She graduated with a degree in social welfare but decided to “do her social work” as a teacher after seeing her middle school featured in a documentary about the worst schools in California. That revelation convinced Maribel to become a bilingual teacher at Dover for Kindergarten and 2nd Grade.

The classroom experience led Maribel to GO, Great Oakland Public Schools, which was started by parents in Oakland. The organization was founded in 2015 and supports a coalition of students, families, educators, and community allies united around generating solutions to ensure that every West Contra Costa student thrives.

GO works with grassroots constituents (students, parents, families), grasstops (political and community leaders, decision-makers), educators and the school district staff. Maribel encourages people to step into their own power to advocate for students in West Contra Costa. In the short time they have been in existence, they have already enjoyed success, including supporting the new Superintendent search and presenting a well-received event, “Black Minds Matter.” Visit for more information.

- Stacey Street, Rotating Editor