February 5, 2014


MI: Did The Privatization Of Food Service In Michigan Prisons Contribute To Prison Break? Some lawmakers are saying the prison escape from the Ionia Correctional Facility happened due to budget cuts in the system. Senator Glenn Anderson says scaling back perimeter patrols was “foolish” — security is weaker because food services have been privatized. Michael Elliot escaped wearing a kitchen uniform.…. Sen. Anderson said that Democrats warned state Republicans that privatizing the food service in prisons would lead to weakened security: “We warned the Republicans that some of the steps they were taking could endanger the citizens of Michigan and I believe it has come into fruition,” added Anderson.  CBS Local

FL: Pasco toll road project sees opposition organizing…..Connors, however, pictures blight — homes and businesses losing value because they sit under the shadow of an imposing and noisy 33-mile overpass stretching the length of State Road 54.… Along with about 20 like-minded citizens who call themselves Pasco Fiasco, a derisive reference to the project, Connors says he’s trying to spread the word. So far, he says, the group has reached about 150 people, mostly in Longleaf.…Privately financed and overseen by the state’s transportation department, the project will not move forward unless Pasco commissioners back it. Department Secretary Ananth Prasad has said the department will not allow the project to proceed if Pasco does not support it.  Tampabay.com

TX: Terri Hall: Donna Campbell’s double-cross on toll roads…..But by far the biggest problem for Campbell is her betrayal of the folks who elected her on the toll road issue. Campbell was clearly on defense on the toll road questions, struggling to defend her record, having ran on an anti-toll platform then voting pro-toll 4 out of 5 times in her freshman session. San Marcos Mercury

LA: The Student-Led Backlash Against New Orleans’s Charter Schools….. But many of the charter schools that have made these improvements rely on rigid discipline policies that can sometimes feel at odds with the city’s culture. In a city known for second lines—freewheeling street parades that feature brass bands, costumed dancers, and whoever else cares to join—it’s common for schools to put tape lines on the floor and expect students—including middle- and high-schoolers—to walk in silent, single-file lines at all times. Many schools have strictly enforced policies on how students sit at their desks, how they raise their hands, and how they greet teachers in the morning. At a time when the Obama administration is urging schools to treat suspensions “as a last resort,” 11 New Orleans charter schools (including the three Collegiate schools) suspended at least a quarter of their student body during the last school year.  The Atlantic

NY: De Blasio names charter schools advocate as deputy mayor. Mayor de Blasio tapped Children’s Aid Society CEO Richard Buery Jr. as his fourth and final deputy mayor Tuesday – even as City Hall mulls booting the group’s charter school from a public building. New York Post

CA: East Palo Alto City Council drops any idea of outsourcing police service. East Palo Alto won’t outsource its police service. The city council voted 4-1 Tuesday night not to pursue the idea after an agitated crowd of more than 100 residents made it clear they wouldn’t go for it. San Jose Mercury News

VA: How to Fix I-66? Several private-sector firms expressed interest in developing and operating toll lanes along I-66, and some wanted to construct – but not operate – a bus rapid transit (BRT) system in the Corridor. Virginia Connection Newspapers