July 31, 2013


IL: Port of Chicago gets private firm to run harbor, add 1,000 jobs. The Illinois International Port District has reached a pact with a Denver company to take over operation and management of the Port of Chicago, its long underperforming Southeast Side cargo facility, in a deal expected to yield $500 million in infrastructure investment and 1,000 new jobs within a decade.  Chicago Business

IL: Opinion: Chicago Brd of Ed starving its schools to justify privatization “…and now we are faced with budget cuts so severe that the remaining schools are left wondering how they will function at all? What the Sun-Times declares a conspiracy theory [editorial, July 21] is self-evident to me — that our schools are being starved into failure in order to justify mass privatization. Fifty schools closed and over 20 new charter schools. Three thousand layoffs and $1.6 million to bring in Teach for America novices. Another $20 million on an academy for principals. All connected, along with the CEO of CPS, to the Broad Foundation.” Chicago Sun-Times

MI: Detroit requests proposals for privatization of waste, recycling. The city of Detroit is looking for a private partner to collect waste and recycling in the city. This morning, Detroit released a request for proposals for residential solid waste and recycling pickup. Crain’s Detroit Business

OR: Liquor privatization battle brewing in Oregon. The Oregon Legislature’s failure to loosen state liquor laws could lead to an initiative campaign to privatize sales of booze, a lobbyist for grocery stores said Tuesday.  OregonLive.com           

CA: First Privately-Funded Public Park in San Francisco. Through a conservation easement, Emerald Fund has agreed to pay for not just the development of the park, which is complete except for the installation of a children’s play structure to come within the next few months, but also the maintenance of the open space. The agreement, which the San Francisco Parks Alliance (SFPA) voted on Tuesday, requires the Emerald Fund to give up development rights on the park as well. SFPA has agreed to monitor the easement, and it is legally binding to the title company.  The Epoch Times

PA: Lottery privatization debate simmers. A new extension was agreed upon Friday for a proposed Lottery privatization bid as opponents of the idea say a record sales report throws more cold water on the prospect. Citizens Voice

Senate Republicans start push on charters and choice. The top Republican on the Senate Education Committee kicks off a series of events on charter schools today. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) meet with Tennessee charter school leaders today in Nashville. The focus broadens on Tuesday: Three other Senate Republicans, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), join Alexander and Paul for a forum on school choice in Washington, D.C., with both public charter and private schools.  Politico

Opinion: The perils of privatizing health care, American-style. As health systems around the world grapple with the increasing costs of providing health care for their citizens, far too many are considering more extensive privatization of their systems to emulate the U.S. health care model.  This is a mistake not only from an economic perspective but also from a human rights and public health position. Health policy solutions           

“There they go again” It seems to me that the collective might of the people, in the form of the government, is at its best and most appropriate in protecting our most vulnerable. Our children would qualify as one such constituency. And in particular, their right to a good public education and the means to acquire skills necessary for becoming productive citizens. How does privatizing our public education system conform to this plan? Diminishing the resources available to children for their education by whipping up a frenzy of schooling “alternatives” doesn’t do it. Destabilizing the world of their schools where teachers are fired and inexperienced replacements are induced to move through the system without forming attachments doesn’t cut it. Replacing a world of knowledge, learning and understanding with rote exercises and test “bubbling” certainly is counter-productive to developing a “life of the mind”. City Watch