November 26, 2014


Amtrak: Getting Back on Track. Amtrak, the national passenger railroad whose subsidies often are the target of cost-cutters in Washington, said Monday that its operating loss has fallen to the lowest level in four decades amid growing ridership. . . . The narrowed loss comes as the railroad faces a backlog of billions of dollars’ worth of upgrades to bridges, stations and other infrastructure, and as some transportation experts worry about dimming prospects for federal funding of projects. Wall Street Journal

GA: Supreme Court: Private probation legal, but not drawn-out sentences. It’s constitutional for the state to rely on private companies to supervise misdemeanor offenders but not legal for courts to lengthen a probationer’s sentence after it’s been imposed, the Georgia Supreme Court has ruled. The ruling, released Monday, could allow Georgians who have had their sentences extended through a process called “tolling” to try to get back fees they paid for the unauthorized time. . . The decision came in lawsuits by probationers who contended that Sentinel Offender Services illegally collected supervision fees by unlawful tolling of their misdemeanor sentences and for imposing electronic monitoring or other requirements. The Supreme Court partially affirmed and partially reversed earlier rulings in the case. Atlanta Journal Constitution

IN: County Council questions multi-county bid for toll road. . . The toll road would continue to be operated by the private sector, but the County Consortium would replace the existing toll road operator with a private company who the commissioners want to be U.S. based. . . County Council attorney Douglas Biege raised concerns over the advice given to the commission by the three firms brought in to consult on the matter, all at no upfront fee to the tax payers. Biege said these firms are all set to profit off the deal and felt that a neutral third party opinion should be considered. It was also mentioned at the meeting that the toll road has historically not turned a profit. In the 60 years of its existence the state never operated at a profit and the last owners filed for bankruptcy. The Herald Argus

CA: Our Privilege: The right to protest, demand accessible higher education. . . Unlike private universities, the University of California is granted state funding and endowments that acknowledge the value and promise of an affordable education system. This will not be possible if our university becomes inaccessible to students of various socioeconomic backgrounds who may not be able to adjust to a tuition increase. The UC occupy protests have shown that our students do not take their voices and rights for granted. Daily Californian

NC: Charter school’s failure a testament to inadequate standards. It’s funny and sad how humans have to constantly relearn basic lessons of history. The latest exhibit here in North Carolina comes from the world of education where, once again, we’ve been reminded of just why it is that our forebears established a uniform system of public education. The Progressive Pulse