April 9, 2014


Corporate Cash Alters University Curricula. The University of Maryland has had to tighten its belt, cutting seven varsity sports teams and forcing faculty and staff to take furlough days. But in a corner of the campus, construction workers are building a dormitory specifically designed for a new academic program. Many of the students who live there will be enrolled in a cybersecurity concentration funded in part by Northrop Grumman Corp. . . .Though these partnerships have been around at the graduate level and among the nation’s polytechnic schools and community colleges, they are now migrating into traditional undergraduate programs. The emerging model is a “new form of the university,” said Wallace Loh, president of the University of Maryland. “What we are seeing is a federal-grant university that is increasingly corporate and increasingly reliant on private philanthropy.”  The Wall Street Journal

Privatization of public housing. The mother of three says that if she loses her home in the Western Addition, she’ll have nowhere to go. It’s been a tough, four-year battle against her landlord — a St. Louis-based development company called McCormack Baron — and its law firm, Bornstein & Bornstein. That’s the same law firm that gained notoriety for holding an “eviction boot camp” last November to teach landlords how to do Ellis Act evictions and sweep tenants out of rent-controlled housing. . . US Department Housing and Urban Development is rolling out a new program to privatize public housing. The San Francisco Housing Authority is one of 340 housing projects in the nation to be chosen for the competitive program. The city is now starting to implement the Rental Assistance Demonstration program. When it’s done, 75 percent of the city’s public housing properties will be privatized.   San Francisco Bay Guardian

WV: Regulators order W.Va. American Water to continue participating in local water projects. State regulators on Monday ordered West Virginia American Water Company to continue participating in a series of water extension projects, rejecting the company’s argument that it was not legally obligated to do so. The ruling by the Public Service Commission came on a complaint filed by five public service districts and several other local agencies. The complaint alleged that in 2011, West Virginia American Water improperly withdrew from partnerships with them to extend water service to new customers in various areas of the state. The Republic

NM: Santa Fe City Council will consider measure to shine light on privatization. Two city councilors are introducing a resolution aimed at making privatization more public, at least as it relates to city government. The resolution will be considered for adoption at Wednesday’s (April 9) city council meeting.m“What it’s intended to do is provide the public with more transparency and accountability,” said Carmichael Dominguez, who is co-sponsoring the resolution with Councilor Chris Rivera. “The idea is to help taxpayers regain control of our democracy. It’s making sure we provide the public with access to books and records from privatized groups the same way city government does. It’s about protecting taxpayers and using common sense to promote accountability and accountability.”  Albuquerque Journal

CA: OC tollway cancels enviro studies for controversial extension. Orange County’s largest tollway operation announced Tuesday that it has canceled environmental studies for a controversial extension project that was widely criticized and ultimately rejected by the California Coastal Commission in 2008. . . The TCA planned to build the Foothill South through the eastern portion of popular San Onofre State Beach — and Trestles, the surfing mecca. The proposal generated loud opposition from environmentalists, park supporters and surfers.  Los Angeles Times