April 2, 2012

The Current Week, 03/26/12-03/30/12

Justin Katz


Consolidation Becomes a Battle for Power in North Kingstown - Investigative report
Proposals from North Kingstown school superintendent Philip Auger could change a balance of power that some already see as out of whack.
03/27/12 - House Committee on Labor - Liveblog
Justin writes live and extemporaneously from the House Committee on Labor hearing concerning E-Verify.

Newport Grand Casino Legislation Quietly Amended Based on Twin Rivers Study - Investigative report
In the space of three minutes, the Senate Committee on Special Legislation and Veterans Affairs had amended and approved legislation calling for a public vote allowing state-run casino operations in Newport Grand and Twin River without further economic analysis.
03/29/12 - David Carlin on Christianity and Party Politics in 2012 - Liveblog
Justin writes live from a speech talk by David Carlin on Christianity and Party Politics.\

Justin's Case

Woonsocket Teachers Receive $4.7 Million in Raises and Bonuses in Current Contract - Research
Far from receiving "no raises," the increases in pay of the teaching staff in Woonsocket amount to $4.7 million over the period covered by their current contract.
Contrary to Left-Leaning Analysis, Tax Rates Do Correlate with a Healthy Economy - Analysis
A study being touted by left-leaning think tanks defines economic health dubiously by leaving out population and workforce growth.
On Dan Yorke to Discuss Woonsocket Raises - Interview/profile
Audio of Justin's appearance on the Dan Yorke Show relates to the larger questions of structure and strategy that Rhode Island has to answer.
Large Field of Central Falls Charter Review Commission Applicants Still of Ambiguous Import - Opinion
Justin considers whether a flurry of applicants to Central Falls' Charter Review Commission is evidence that the city can yet avoid the hard lessons of self governance.

Teacher Steps in the Law, Not Above the Law - Analysis
Step increases for teachers are, indeed, mandated by law, but that does not change them into something other than raises or present the public with a single path forward.

Engineering Complexity into Healthcare - Opinion
Justin worries that increasing complexity of health insurance arrangements that attempt to factor in patient outcomes take a more dangerous path than just allowing patients to find (and pay for) the doctors who suit them.
House Labor Committee Calls Out Ocean State Tea Party in Action... Again - Investigative report
Reps. Williams and Guthrie opened yesterday's House Labor hearing with an objection to a legislative alert from the Ocean State Tea Party in Action that inferred legislators' opinions on teacher-related issues.  Reviewing the transcripts allows readers to decide who is misrepresenting what.
The State Table Games Corporation Nears Reality - Opinion
Justin notes the movement of Newport Grand casino gambling through the General Assembly and suggests that a government-run casino may not benefit the people of Rhode Island.
03/28/12 - Senate Special Legislation Hearing - Liveblog
Justin checks out a (warm and uncomfortable) Senate Special Legislation hearing concerning Newport Grand table games.

Conspicuous Timing Between Alinsky and Unfruitful Spending - Opinion
Noting a chronological coincidence of Saul Alinsky's influence on teachers' unions and leveling results (with higher expenditures), Justin suggests that reevaluation might be wise.
Tax Hike Kills Four Times More Jobs than Resisting Casinos - Analysis
Comparing job loss estimates related to casino gambling with those related to taxing the rich shows that the latter will be four times more destructive than avoiding the former.  However, in one case, the government's incentive is in opposition to the workforce's.

Superior Court: North Kingstown Schools Cannot Knowingly Overspend - Analysis
A Superior Court Ruling in Town of North Kingstown v. North Kingstown School Committee requires the school department to live within its budget but solidifies legal precedent requiring town governments to cover losses in state aid unless the budget makes estimates "expressly contingent" on actual revenue.
Loans for Kindergarten, Another Middle Class Bubble - Opinion
Justin sees a trend for private-school loans, even at the kindergarten level, as an indication of a staggering civic society, not a faddish excess of the 1%.
Hoodie Protest Comes to Providence - Liveblog
A handful of hoodie protesters outside the State House, today.