August 16, 2012


80 Percent of Public Schools Have Contracts With Coke or Pepsi.  Is your kid’s public school a Coke school or a Pepsi school? If you don’t know what I mean, consider yourself lucky. Starting in the early ’90s, cash-strapped public schools began selling exclusive “pouring rights” to one or another Big Soda company, which would then supply all the beverages sold in on-site snack bars, stores, and soda machines as well as at sports events. Along with sugary drinks, of course, the companies also stuffed the schools with plenty of advertisements.  Mother Jones

HI: Honolulans Fight Sale of Parkland. Taxpayers claim in court that Honolulu is trying to sell public park land to a developer without an environmental assessment or proper permit. Courthouse News

NC: Is state lawmaker sending a threat to the city of Asheville? Tim Moffitt has made it a kind of personal crusade to pass legislation that would turn the municipal water system over to a regional authority — a place where it could quite conceivably be headed for privatization. The Progressive Pulse

WI: Primary results are a major win for public education. Tuesday’s Democratic primary election in Milwaukee was a victory for public education. Who lost? Democrats who support vouchers, the Republican Party and Tea Party activists. At the center of this election was the seat in the 11th assembly district, a race between Mandela Barnes and Jason Fields. Fields has been a longtime advocate for private school vouchers and other forms of privatization of public education. His work has not gone unnoticed by Gov. Scott Walker, who appointed Fields to the Governor’s education committee on reading.

WI: Privatization of Voting Machines Threatens Wisconsin Election Integrity. In Wisconsin, as elsewhere in the nation, there has been a concerted push by corporate interests to eliminate the public counting of votes. This privatization of our election processes has been advanced by laws and rules that: 1) Require the use of electronic voting systems (the systems were lobbied for by the private organizations that manufacture, sell, program and maintain them), 2) Permit the programming to be kept secret, 3) Prevent sworn election inspectors from auditing the tabulated results. 4) Make it impossible for Citizen Audits to occur before results are finalized. 5) Prevent a manual counting of votes in a recount. Democratic Underground

NJ: Allendale officials consider outsourcing water department. With an increase in water quality regulations coming from the state, Allendale officials are considering outsourcing the operation of its water department so they can reduce the strain of daily maintenance but would continue to own the system.