July 16, 2014


Postal privatization protest is having an effect, so Staples resorts to trickery
Staples says it is dropping plans to administer mailing services in retail stores, but Mark Dimondstein, president of the American Postal Workers Union claims that the the company’s announcement terminating its no-bid deal with the U.S. Postal Service is a ruse. “This attempt at trickery shows that the ‘Don’t Buy Staples’ movement is having an effect,” said Dimondstein. “Staples and the USPS are changing the name of the program, without addressing the fundamental concerns of postal workers and postal customers.” Dimondstein claims the Staples announcement and a July 7 letter from the USPS make it clear: They intend to continue to privatize postal retail operations, replace living-wage Postal Service jobs with low-wage Staples jobs, and compromise the safety and security of the mail. NJ TODAY

A National Call: Come to Detroit, Link Arms to Stop the Water Shut Offs and Fight for Democracy
On July 18, thousands of activists and dozens of organizations will converge in downtown Detroit to protest the privatization of the city’s assets, and the disconnection of water to tens of thousands of low-income residents – what the UN has called a human rights violation. Demonstrators from around the country will come to rally in Hart Plaza at 1 PM to link arms with the citizens of Detroit to protest the hostile corporate takeover by Wall Street banks and their radical ALEC-led political allies in the Michigan Statehouse.  Truth-Out

OH: Maggots in food, running out of food among new complaints facing Ohio prisons food vendor 
The records show 65 instances where Philadelphia-based Aramark Correctional Services failed to provide food or ran out of it — usually the main course, such as hamburgers or chicken patties — while serving inmates, leading to delays and in some cases security concerns as inmates grew frustrated. Substitute items were provided in most cases. The Tribune

TX: Texas launches effort to shut down Deion Sanders’ charter school
The Texas Education Agency is taking steps to shutdown the charter school started by former Dallas Cowboy Deion Sanders. . . .In April, Price, a former Dallas ISD trustee, told the FBI he suspected federal money earmarked for the 300 students of the school was being used improperly. When Price made the allegations sources told CBS 11 News some of the concerns centered around some 400 computers, bought with federal money, that instead of going to students were sold for profit.  CBSLocal.com

RI: Review RI’s child-service program – opinion
. . .We continue to see Journal reports and other news accounts about the growing sex-trafficking of young girls in this state. We should offer help to these young girls and make sure services are available to treat them in Rhode Island. If the networks under contract are not fulfilling their job, then a new system has to be created to take care of these children in an environment where they feel safe and wanted. The money allocated for the services should be directed to the services, not to high administrative costs. Philip Keefe, president of the Rhode Island Alliance of Social Service Employees, a public employee union, described the situation as the “collapse” of a system aimed at privatizing jobs once done by state workers. The Providence Journal

FL: Opinion: Are public schools an endangered species?
. . . The growth of charter schools and voucher credits further drains critical resources from public schools and blatantly mixed church and state with taxpayer dollars. This represents a very deliberate scheme to undermine public school success. Charter schools are not held to such high standards in either curriculum or student progress, and schools accepting voucher credits are not public schools and have no effective accountability. Tallahassee Democrat (blog)