January 14, 2014


West Virginia Is Just The Beginning For Chemical Spill Disasters. Thanks to the mass privatization of public water systems and the fake rhetoric of “clean coal,” we’re all at higher risk for disasters like the Elk River chemical spill. Daily Beast

Overuse and Abuse of Adjunct Faculty Members Threaten Core Academic Values. The “Corporatization” is the name sometimes given to what has happened to higher education over the last 30 years. Corporatization is the reorganization of our great national resources, including higher education, in accordance with a shortsighted business model. Three decades of decline in public funding for higher education opened the door for increasing corporate influence, and since then the work of the university has been redirected to suit the corporate vision. Chronicle of Higher Education

MI: Effort to Save Pensions and Art in Detroit. Foundations have committed $330 million toward a deal to avoid cuts to Detroit retirees’ pensions and to save the Detroit Institute of Arts’ renowned collection.  New York Times

IL: Long Grove plan may pave way to privatize public roads. Facing an annual funding gap of more than $1 million, Long Grove trustees have twice in recent months affirmed a plan that could privatize nearly half of the village’s public roads – transferring the cost of upkeep and plowing to the residents in the process. Chicago Tribune

IN: Airport privatization deal readies for takeoff. The Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority on Monday put itself on course to approve a 40-year privatization deal for the airport in as little as two weeks. nwitimes.com


IN: Airport advisors could ring up $2 million tab. It was revealed Monday the bill for airport advisers on the Gary/Chicago International Airport privatization could hit $2 million once legal fees for a prominent law firm are added in. nwitimes.com

NE: Omaha might outsource paramedic training. The City of Omaha is looking to outsource its paramedic training program, a move that Mayor Jean Stothert says will save money and improve the Fire Department’s performance. Omaha World-Herald

TX:  Red Light Camera Company Fights Photo Ticket Referendum. A red light camera firm is once again suing to block residents from having a say in the use of automated ticketing machines in their community. American Traffic Solutions (ATS) filed suit last month asking a Liberty County, Texas district court judge to issue a restraining order that would keep residents from voting May 10 on red light camera use.  TheNewspaper.com

PA: Lawsuit awaits city plan on public defenders. Many of the objections to the administration’s plans are centered on the fear that a private firm would put profits before clients, who often struggle with poverty, addiction, and mental illness. “The temptation will always exist to move cases along . . . to save the expense of investigation, mitigation, hiring experts, all of which impact the bottom line,” Defender Association chief Ellen Greenlee said in October. Philly.com

VA: Bills seek to help drivers manage new tunnel tolls. John Miller, a Newport News Democrat, has sponsored legislation (SB156) that would require the Virginia Department of Transportation or the private operator of an all-electronic toll road to pay the maintenance fee associated with the E-ZPass transponders held by drivers who live within a 50-mile radius of the toll road. The Virginian-Pilot