November 21, 2013


Drop in Traffic Takes Toll on Investors. Millions of motorists cross the Foley Beach Express toll bridge every year, many to hit Alabama’s beaches. But traffic never reached the 10 million drivers that the bridge’s investors were led to believe would be paying tolls in 2012. The result is a familiar scenario to global investors who wagered on U.S. toll roads in the years before the financial crisis—and have since seen many of those bets fail. Wall Street Journal

Breach of Contract: Prison Privatization in America. While the exclusion of felons from the electoral process that culminates in policies affecting them contradicts U.S. governmental philosophy, an even more glaring inconsistency emerges when felons’ inability to vote is coupled with the privatization of prisons.  Brown Political Review

IN: IBM, state in court Monday. The state is appealing a Marion Superior Court judge’s 2012 ruling awarding $52 million to IBM after the state canceled a contract Daniels had hailed in 2006 as the solution for fixing one of the nation’s worst welfare systems. Instead, the project ended with the state firing IBM in 2009 after hundreds of millions of dollars were spent for a system that generated widespread complaints of delayed benefits and impersonal interactions. The dispute ended up in court, with the state trying to recoup more than $150 million of the $437 million it had paid IBM before scrapping the deal and IBM asking for $113 million for breach of contract.   Indianapolis Star

CA: Orange County, long a toll-road supporter, makes U-turn over 405 plan. Some of Orange County’s toll roads have struggled to attract drivers and each of the major corridors has been forced to refinance its debt to avoid possible default. Los Angeles Times

TX: Toll roads across the San Antonio’s North Side? Terri Hall is with the San Antonio Toll Party. She’s outraged by an Alamo Regional Mobility Authority Proposal. It would put toll roads all across the North Side. ….”It’s not toll viable. When you’re using puiblic money to issue the debt it means they’re subsidizing it with all of our money,” said Hall….It doesn’t do much for unclogging roads either because so few people can afford to pay to use these extra lanes that you still sit in congested roads on the free lanes,” said Hall.  News4SanAntonio

NJ: Newark district and charter schools join together for universal enrollment plan. The Newark Public School district and the city’s charter schools are considering a plan that would blow up the status quo in what they say is an effort to provide equity to the city’s schoolchildren. School officials are creating what some say is a first-in-the-nation voluntary effort to offer universal enrollment for students citywide to all of Newark’s 71 public schools and 21 public charter schools.

MD: Tea party values threaten 185-year legacy of serving the poor in Fredrick…. Tea party-inspired county commissioners have voted to sell Montevue and an associated nursing home to a for-profit company. The new owner wouldn’t have to accept any more older residents who can’t afford assisted living and don’t have any place else to go.  Washington Post