August 28, 2012


TX: Toll road foes try, and fail, to stop plan at monthly meeting. Toll road opponents tried again Monday at a regional transit meeting to nullify a plan that would expand Loop 1604 and U.S. 281 while also incorporating toll lanes into the projects. The effort, at the monthly meeting of the San Antonio Bexar County Metropolitan Planning Organization, ultimately failed. All 15 board members of the MPO who were present… voted in favor of incorporating the project…But Adkisson’s arguments were in line with those made Monday by Terri Hall, founder of the anti-toll road group Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom and a close Adkisson ally… But Hall’s complaints go far beyond procedural measures: She wants this plan, which includes toll lanes, to be scrapped in favor of one that adds expressways on U.S. 281 without any tolls… After the board vote, Hall said litigation is not out of the question: A lawyer for her organization TURF sent the MPO a letter last month threatening to seek an injunction if the board didn’t void the June 25 action. San Antono Express-News


OH: Residents speak out about leasing turnpike. About 100 people packed into a Maumee town hall meeting tonight to get the latest update and share their opinions on the ongoing debate over privatizing the Ohio Turnpike. Those who spoke out against the highway’s privatization drew heavy applause at the meeting, which was attended by U.S Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo), an outspoken opponent of leasing the turnpike who also spoke at the meeting. “It’s safe. It’s well-maintained. I always know it’s going to be plowed,” said Karen Rothman, 60, a Perrysburg librarian, an audience member who spoke during the meeting. “I don’t think we should sell it [the turnpike] off, because it will not be maintained.” Tonight’s meeting was about the 80th public forum held statewide since April, 2011, as officials wait the results of a $3.4 million state study to weigh options for the turnpike’s ownership.  Toledo Blade


LA: Former LSU hospital chief knew and said too much…Cerise joined a growing list of administrators who have been fired after not following the party line drawn by Gov. Bobby Jindal… Cerise issued this statement Friday: “I was notified yesterday by Dr. William Jenkins that I will no longer lead the LSU Health System.”…Cerise repeatedly defended a hospital system the governor says needs modernizing, a.k.a. privatizing.  The Advertiser


NC: Environment group says it will sue to stop Garden Parkway. On the heels of a successful lawsuit that has stopped construction of a Union County toll road, an environmental group said it will file a new federal lawsuit Tuesday to thwart another planned toll project – the Garden Parkway in Gaston County. Charlotte Observer


IN: Indiana University Could Follow Ohio State’s Lead on Parking Privatization…Indiana University is about two weeks away from issuing a request for proposals for a 30 to 50-year lease for parking spaces at the school’s Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses: Essentially, IU Bloomington would sell its parking facilities to a private company to get a one-time cash infusion. Then, for however long the lease lasts, the university would make annual lease payments to the same private company for use of the parking spaces.  NPROhio


VA: Virginia should take back the Dulles Toll Road – opinion… “Cheaper” is an understatement. The Commonwealth of Virginia wanted out of its obligation to fund 25 percent of Dulles Rail (about $875 million), so it gave the toll road and the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project to MWAA. The problem is that MWAA is an unelected, unaccountable body that has no incentive to operate efficiently. Now, instead of toll road users getting clipped for $875 million, MWAA intends to demand about $3.5 billion from them.  Washington Examiner


Draft Republican platform: Cut 10% of workforce, privatize TSA. The Republican Party platform calls for cutting the federal workforce by at least 10 percent, overhauling federal pay and benefits, and privatizing airport screening and possibly some U.S. Postal Service operations, according to a draft version posted online. Federal Times


Tax the Rich or Privatize the State? The Great Recession and its possible continuance has brought the issue of privatization to the forefront of American politics. But most Americans aren’t even aware that this debate is happening, because the media and politicians aren’t using the word “privatization;” instead less threatening substitutes are used to ram through a corporate agenda that aims to massively transform public resources into corporate profit. The mass privatization frenzy is the corporate solution to the budget crises occurring on the city, state, and national level — crises caused by the recession that the banks and corporations created themselves, and are now positioning themselves to benefit from again, beyond the infamous bailouts.  Counterpunch