February 12, 2013


OH:  How Ohio’s Plan To Privatize Prison Food Could Lead To Deadly Riots

Ohio’s taste for privatization is likely to make prison food even less appetizing than it already is. Private vendors can skimp on food quality, quantity, and staff in order to make a profit. Unlike state-run cafeterias, private vendors servicing juvenile detention facilities can skip the federal nutrition guidelines for school lunches…. Poor food quality and sanitation have sparked multiple deadly riots at private prisons run by corporations like CCA and GEO Group. In one prison, inmates were fed soup filled with worms, while other prisons served burritos and brownies contaminated with human feces. The cost-saving claim of the plan is also dubious; Ohio’s last flirtation with Aramark in 1998 ended because the company insisted on being paid by daily inmate count rather than by actual meals served, which drove up costs by $2 million. ThinkProgress

OH: City’s plan to privatize parking key debate of mayoral race

The owners of nearby Cappel’s, the venerable accessory and party supply store, don’t want the city to sell the meters to a private company.  “It’s really going to discourage customers from coming to town, and I’m sure the enforcement is going to be significant, so that – that makes it even worse,” said business owner Diane Cappel.  The issue of leasing street meters to a private company is helping define this year’s campaign for mayor.  WLWT Cincinnati

PA: Researchers: Easier access to booze has a downside

So say public health researchers, who point to a body of evidence that suggests making alcohol easier to purchase and less expensive — goals of Gov. Tom Corbett’s plan to end Pennsylvania’s system of state-owned liquor stores — will lead to more consumption and an increase in a host of social and health problems. “I think in the research world, you never have 100 percent consensus,” said Traci Toomey, a professor with the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health who sits on the board of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. “But among those of us who do alcohol policy research and alcohol research in general, there is a strong agreement that as we increase availability of alcohol, we see a corresponding increase of a wide range of problems.”  Allentown Morning Call

DE: Board overseeing Wilmington port gets presentation from Kinder Morgan amid privatization talks

Representatives of energy giant Kinder Morgan are giving a presentation to the state board that oversees the Port of Wilmington. Dimond State Port Corporation comes as the Markell administration continues negotiations with Kinder Morgan over privatizing operations at Wilmington port. Last month, lawmakers approved a bill giving the General Assembly a say before any privatization deal is signed.  Gov. Jack Markell signed the measure even though his administration opposed legislative interference, saying it could upset delicate negotiations and even torpedo a deal. Washington Post

TX: Editorial: Money misspent on prisons is money better spent elsewhere

There was a time not all that long ago when Texas prisons were jam-packed. Now, because of falling crime rates and a move away from trying to incarcerate as many convicts as possible, about 10,000 bunks might be going unused in Texas’ 111-prison system. There are hundreds of additional empty bunks in the state’s six prisons for juvenile inmates. Even with all this empty state-run space available, Texas pays $123 million a year to lease beds from private prison companies, as the American-Statesman’s Mike Ward reported last week. This is money poorly spent that could be redirected elsewhere. The number of unused beds in state prisons gives legislators the opportunity to consolidate Texas’ prison system and close more prisons beyond the one they agreed to close in 2011. Additional money can be saved by ending contracts with private prison companies. Austin American-Statesman

The Postal Service Outrage

You are probably hearing that the Post Office is “in crisis” and is cutting back Saturday delivery, laying people off, closing offices, etc. Like so many other “crises” imposed on us lately, there is a lot to the story that you are not hearing from the “mainstream” media. The story of the intentional destruction of the U.S. Postal Service is one more piece of the story of crisis-after-crisis, all manufactured to advance the strategic dismantling of our government and handing over the pieces to billionaires. OurFuturel.org