This month's biggest news is about our investigative journalism articles. Excitement rippled through the REASON offices when we received a telegram announcing that last October's cover story on competing electric utilities won first place in the national magazines category of the 1981 John Hancock Awards for Excellence. Jan Bellamy's investigative article beat out entries from the Washington Monthly (the 1980 winner), Harper's (1979 and 1977 winner), and many other general-interest magazines. In recent months the article has attracted the interest of state legislators in California and Washington who are looking into electricity deregulation.
Also garnering lots of attention is Dina Rasor's exposé of military testing problems (Apr.). Adm. Isham Linder, the director of Defense Test and Evaluation, wrote Dina that "the strong argument you make for independent and realistic operational testing is one I support wholeheartedly. I am providing copies of your article to the commanders of the four Service operational test agencies, and I intend to discuss it with them at our next commanders meeting." Meantime, Sen. David Pryor (D–Ark.) inserted the article in the Congressional Record and is drafting a bill to reform the testing process. In addition, CBS's 60 Minutes has begun work on a story about Dina and the military testing problems revealed in the article. She has also made several radio talk show appearances.
Last fall I took part in a conference exploring new approaches to national defense. Sponsored by the Liberty Fund, it brought together defense policy analysts, economists, political scientists, and philosophers—people ranging from libertarian economist David Friedman to CIA veteran Cord Meyer. The proceedings of this conference are now available from its organizer, Joseph P. Martino, Research Institute, University of Dayton, 300 College Park, Dayton, OH 45469. Send $5.00 and ask for "Defending a Free Society While Preserving Individual Freedom."
At the end of January I was the keynote speaker at the founding convention of the Private Sector Fire Association, a new trade association of profit-making fire-fighting companies. This is one area where privatization of public services really seems to be catching on. Another indicator was the publication (Jan. 25) by Federal Times (circulated to 90,000 government bureaucrats) of my article "A Green Light Shines for Contracting Out." I spoke on privatization of local services at the mid-February convention of the California Libertarian Council. In March, I spent a day briefing city officials in Norwalk, Connecticut, on the subject, under the auspices of Free Zone Authority Services, an organization helping cities plan for enterprise zones. I did the same in Louisville in May. And in April I spoke on privatization at the Heritage Foundation's annual Resource Bank meeting in Chicago.
Senior Fellow Tibor Machan continues to keep a busy schedule. He has edited three books that are coming out this summer. The Libertarian Reader (from Rowman & Littlefield), Government Regulation: Pro and Con (from Ballinger, coedited with M. Bruce Johnson), and Recent Work in Philosophy (Rowman & Littlefield, coedited with Ken Lucey). He also has a chapter on regulation of business in the new Random House volume, Just Business. In March he took part in a conference, Philosophy, Liberty, and Responsibility, in Florida. And in April he was William Buckley's guest on the "Firing Line" TV program, participated in a conference on Marxist thought, and codirected as well as took part in a Reason Foundation/Liberty Fund conference on Natural and Positive Law in Santa Barbara.
This month Paul Gordon joins our staff as assistant editor. In addition to working with me on editing the contents of each month's issue, he will be coauthoring the Trends column and serving as managing editor of our newsletter, Frontlines. Paul comes to REASON from the Wisconsin Civil Liberties Union, where he was administrative assistant. He has also worked as public relations director for an experimental theater in Milwaukee and as a reporter for the Chicago Daily Defender. He has degrees in political science and journalism from Sangamon State University.
Paul's predecessor, Eric Martí, resigned for personal reasons to return to Chicago. We will miss his spirit and his contribution to REASON, and I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Notes".