November 13, 2012T


TX: Texans call for boycott of first foreign-owned toll road

Today marks the first day Spanish toll operator, Cintra, starts charging Texas commuters tolls to use SH 130. San Antonio-based Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom (TURF) and Austin-based Texans for Accountable Government (TAG) object to Texas’ first foreign-owned toll road, especially since SH 130 is part of the original Trans Texas Corridor TTC-35 (see it here). Though Cintra invented an innocuous sounding name, like the SH 130 Concession Company, make no mistake, a Spanish company, Cintra, controls and operates SH 130 for the next HALF CENTURY — and some say it represents a multi-generational theft of public assets.

TX:  Death revives questions about high-speed toll road

A Lockhart woman was killed on the Texas 130 toll road in what is believed to be the first fatality since the corridor’s new segment opened last month with an 85 mph speed limit. Houston Chronicle

WA: Charter Schools Narrowly Win Approval in Washington State

Initiative 1240, the measure that will allow 40 charter schools to open in Washington state, has passed.  Seattle Times

GA: Georgia Legislative Caucus to Join Lawsuit against Charter School Amendment

Georgia voters overwhelmingly passed a constitutional amendment that will allow a state committee to authorize charter schools, but some legislators and educators are not dropping their fight to stop it.  Augusta Chronicle

PA: Power to the people – opinion

Citizens of Allentown should think twice before privatizing their water supply. Publicly owned utilities are accountable to the public that owns them. When you privatize them, you hand them over to an unaccountable board that cares about shareholders not the people. Look at how privately owned utilities work: PPL has allowed my family to freeze for four days after Superstorm Sandy. When I called, I was told to make alternate arrangements (on my dollar), which is the equivalent of saying, “Let them eat cake.” Being a virtual monopoly, PPL could take its sweet time restoring power to thousands across the Valley and do pitifully little to prevent a repeat of this event. Allentown Morning Call

VA:  State panel seeks ‘truth’ about the port’s finances

Against the backdrop of the possible privatization of the port of Hampton Roads, a state panel has asked the General Assembly’s oversight agency to take a close look at three recent studies of the port’s performance to make sure they’re presenting a fair picture. The request comes amid a morass of conflicting data about how the port is faring financially. The Virginian-Pilot

VA: Virginia studies toll options for I-64 from Richmond to Hampton

The Virginia Department of Transportation is studying whether to toll some or all of the lanes on Interstate 64 between Richmond and Hampton to pay for widening the corridor. Truckers can sound off on the proposal during three scheduled hearings in December or in writing through Jan. 7, 2013. VDOT has put forward three alternatives for the proposal, starting with a “no build” alternative. The other two alternatives involve tolls – one that would toll all lanes of traffic in both directions, and one that would toll only the new lanes being added. Land Line