Why Charter Schools Are Tearing Public Campuses Apart

Gary CohnBy Gary Cohn

For more than 30 years each, Cheryl Smith-Vincent and Cheryl Ortega have shared a passion for teaching public school in Southern California. Smith-Vincent teaches third grade at Miles Avenue Elementary School in Huntington Park; before retiring, Ortega taught kindergarten at Logan Street Elementary School in Echo Park. Both women have been jolted by experiences with a little-known statewide policy that requires traditional public schools to share their facilities with charter schools. Ortega says she has seen charter-school children warned against greeting non-charter students who attend the same campus. Smith-Vincent reports that she and her students were pushed out of their classroom prior to a round of important student tests – just to accommodate a charter school that needed the space.

Salmon Fishermen Need San Joaquin Fish: They Belong in That River

Larry CollinsBy Larry Collins


San Francisco Community Fishing Association

Sixty years ago, when state and federal agencies built the dams that dewatered the second largest river in California, it might have seemed like a good idea. Now we know better. It was a disaster for salmon and salmon fishermen. Nearly 95 percent of San Joaquin’s flow was diverted. Sixty miles of river ran dry and the salmon – one of California’s most productive runs – was wiped out.

Since then, salmon fishermen have nearly been wiped out as well.

Commuters Can Save Money And Cut Pollution

By Rob Perks

Natural Resources Defense Council

All across the country, a shift is taking place. Increasingly, Americans are choosing to live in walkable communities with convenient housing, offering more transportation choices that allow them to live closer to their jobs, and shops and schools, rather than stuck in traffic. Along with the personal freedom these communities provide, it’s exactly the kind of growth our country needs to cut pollution, save money and create a vibrant quality of life.

But for many Americans, whether they live near or far from metropolitan areas, commuting for work is costing them time and money.

Reflections on Killing a Pit Bull to Save a Pet

By Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH

Lee Patisson, a young Navy diver, bitten himself while trying to protect his dog, was recently forced to kill a pit bull that was attacking his pet dog.

According to a San Diego U-T story:

“Pattison said he wants to make it clear that he did not shoot the dog without exhausting what he felt was every other means.

First Amendment Project: Caltrans Broke Law by Confiscating Anti-tunnel Signs

Dan BacherBy Dan Bacher

In the latest episode in the Brown administration's "Signgate" scandal, Restore the Delta Thursday released an expert legal opinion finding that the California Department of Transportation’s (Caltrans) confiscation of “Save the Delta! Stop the Tunnels!” signs displayed by Delta land and business owners was done without “any legal basis.”

Kids These Days: Unions, Workers' Rights and the "Now" Generation

Rebecca Band, California Labor FederationBy Rebecca Band


California Labor Federation

You’ve probably heard it from a colleague, or maybe from a friend or family member:

“Kids these days… they’re just too ambivalent to care about labor unions or workers' rights.”

But as it turns out, that’s just not true. Young people are actually big fans of unions. Fully 61% of young people view labor unions favorably – and that’s more than 10 points higher than the national average, according to a new Pew poll. In fact, young people are the only age group that views unions more favorably than they view corporations.

Denouncing NSA Surveillance Isn't Enough - We Need the Power to Stop It

By Norman Solomon

For more than a month, outrage has been profuse in response to news about NSA surveillance and other evidence that all three branches of the U.S. government are turning Uncle Sam into Big Brother.

Now what?

Continuing to expose and denounce the assaults on civil liberties is essential. So is supporting Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden and other whistleblowers - past, present and future. But those vital efforts are far from sufficient.

Why Republicans Want to Tax Students and Not Polluters

Author Robert ReichBy Robert Reich

A basic economic principle is government ought to tax what we want to discourage, and not tax what we want to encourage.

For example, if we want less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, we should tax carbon polluters. On the other hand, if we want more students from lower-income families to be able to afford college, we shouldn’t put a tax on student loans.

Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, congressional Republicans are intent on doing exactly the opposite.

Shutting Down the School-To-Jailhouse Pipeline in California

Brian GoldsteinBy Brian Goldstein

Center on Juvenile & Criminal Justice

On December 14, 2012 Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Six months later, this incident remains seared in the nation’s consciousness. The tragedy at Sandy Hook joined the unfortunate list of other school shootings, like those at Virginia Tech and Columbine High School.

As Americans struggled to make sense of the tragedy, advocacy groups and policymakers in all levels of government developed political solutions they thought necessary to prevent this from happening again.

Don't Fire California Teachers for Private Marijuana Use

Amanda ReimanBy Amanda Reiman
Drug Policy Alliance

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Behind a veiled claim of protecting the public, collateral sanctions continue to be heaped upon those arrested for using drugs. While these policies may be well intentioned, they are creating an inter-generational chain reaction that unjustly impacts entire communities for decades to come.