Monthly Archives: January 2009

Opinion: Beaver County Times on Obama, FOIA

This editorial, passed on to us by a reader, appeared in the Beaver County Times today. An excerpt: “Information is power. What Obama is doing is restoring power to the people.”

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Fun with online records

This weekend, between jumping in the Chesapeake Bay and going to The Book Thing, I spent some time searching a Web site full of documents. This is a searchable warehouse of documents from tobacco companies. The internal documents were released … Continue reading

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Release video of police beating

The following editorial appeared in the Jan. 22, 2009 York Daily Record: No one could fairly call Tom Kelley soft on crime. As a prosecutor, he helped put away murderers, rapists, drug dealers, you name it. As a judge, he’s … Continue reading

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How you can research a charity

Several Web sites can help you research a nonprofit organization, its mission, finances and fund-raising efforts. Here’s a few resources to get started: (*Update: Here are examples of the kind of story you can find by looking at nonprofits’ tax … Continue reading

Posted in Melissa Nann Burke, Online records | 1 Comment

Open records victory in Pa. on autopsy reports

The state Supreme Court just ruled that autopsy records are open to the public. The state’s new right-to-know law, though it generally increased the availability of records, contained an exemption that allowed coroners to keep autopsy reports private.  However, the … Continue reading

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Guantanamo, drugs and the new FOIA policy

The Washington Post’s investigative blog has a take on some things that could be available if the federal government abides by a new FOIA policy to err on the side of disclosing records. From the Post’s blog: “During the military … Continue reading

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Obama’s take on FOIA can only help

Among President Obama’s first actions in office was to issue a memorandum to federal agencies about how to interpret the Freedom of Information Act (see previous post about using the FOIA law). According to The Associated Press:  Obama said he … Continue reading

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Tracking Obama

In his inaugural speech, President Obama invited people to hold him, his administration and the government accountable during his term. There are a few ways you can do that. Two are online:  The St. Petersburg Times’ politifact.com is following the … Continue reading

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Incentive to release records

Here’s to hoping the courts here follow the lead of the Washington state Supreme Court. The court there ruled that withholding public records on the public financing of a stadium justifies a $800,000 fine. In the case, a man had … Continue reading

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Judge: White House visitor logs should be public

A federal judge has rejected the Bush administration’s latest attempts to keep secret the identities of White House visitors. The judge said the likelihood of harm is not great enough to justify curtailing the public disclosure goals of the Freedom … Continue reading

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