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NEWS
July 31, 2014
Your recent articles, "Reshaped Baltimore County library board" (July 11) and "Balto. Co. police should not have contacted Dundalk activists, chief says" (July 28), seem to be spot-on regarding the limited amount of free speech and expression that are tolerated by the Baltimore County government. The library board, a theoretically independent body, disagreed with the County Executive Kevin Kamenetz regarding the reassignment of 28 staff to the county information technology unit.
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NEWS
July 31, 2014
Your recent articles, "Reshaped Baltimore County library board" (July 11) and "Balto. Co. police should not have contacted Dundalk activists, chief says" (July 28), seem to be spot-on regarding the limited amount of free speech and expression that are tolerated by the Baltimore County government. The library board, a theoretically independent body, disagreed with the County Executive Kevin Kamenetz regarding the reassignment of 28 staff to the county information technology unit.
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NEWS
By Stephanie Desmon and Stephanie Desmon,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | November 24, 2000
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Tune your cable television to Channel 20 in Palm Beach County, and 15 hours a day for much of the past week you could watch counters sorting ballots and the canvassing board scanning them for votes. Need a closer view? The county's Emergency Operations Center, transformed into the epicenter of the hand recounts that could determine the next president, has become something of a tourist desti- nation. A steady stream of visitors has lined up to walk through the building and observe the count from an observation deck above.
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | October 20, 2013
Just hours before the House of Representatives passed the bipartisan plan to reopen the government last week, Republicans emerged from a final meeting on the matter with grim faces and tight lips. Except for Rep. Andy Harris. While many of his colleagues - damaged politically by the budget impasse - were hesitant to share their positions, Maryland's only Republican in Congress knew he wouldn't be supporting the legislation his own party leadership was recommending. And he wasn't afraid to say so. "Yeah, I'm not voting for the bill," Harris, 56, said in the basement of the Capitol as fellow Republicans offered noncommittal responses to reporters.
NEWS
July 25, 2013
When it comes to accessing public information, the Free State isn't all that free. The law requires state and local government agencies to make records of all kinds available to the public, and although it is allowed certain exceptions, the government is supposed to err on the side of disclosure. But in practice, requests under Maryland's Public Information Act are routinely subject to delays, responses are frequently incomplete and the fees charged for accessing material every Marylander is supposed to have a right to see are often arbitrary and excessive.
TOPIC
By David R. Rosenthal and David R. Rosenthal,SUN STAFF | November 23, 2003
Chalk it up to bureaucratic ineptness or old-fashioned stonewalling. Whatever the reason, Marylanders have a hard time prying the most mundane information from the Motor Vehicle Administration, State Lottery Commission and other state agencies, a new study shows. According to results released last week by the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association, which sought public documents from the agencies, more than a third of the requests were stymied. And the surveyors were posing as regular citizens.
NEWS
By Tom Pelton and Tom Pelton,SUN STAFF | December 7, 1998
Promising a new era of openness and integrity in Anne Arundel County government, County Executive Janet S. Owens took the oath of office yesterday during a ceremony that drew a standing ovation from about 700 people in the audience."
NEWS
By Hanah Cho and Hanah Cho,SUN STAFF | January 9, 2004
Saying they have created a more cooperative atmosphere within county government, the Carroll County commissioners outlined yesterday their accomplishments in their first year in office, which included fostering an era of open government and taking steps to control residential growth. At the same time, the three commissioners said the county faces challenges in finding ways to pay for an increased demand in services as the county continues to grow. Speaking before 200 people in their annual State of the County speeches, the commissioners said federal and state requirements, including the No Child Left Behind Act and the implementation of all-day kindergarten, have placed a heavy burden on county finances.
NEWS
June 26, 2007
Byron M. Baer, a longtime proponent of open government and a champion of the underdog who served in the New Jersey Legislature for more than three decades, died Sunday. Mr. Baer, a Democrat who represented Bergen County, died of complications from congestive heart failure at the Lillian Booth Actor's Fund of America home in Englewood, his wife, Linda, said. In April 2006, Baer received national recognition for his work when he was inducted into the Open Government Hall of Fame.
NEWS
May 21, 2013
Due to my observance of a religious holiday at the time that Alison Knezevich reported on the Open Meetings Compliance Board's ruling on Baltimore County's approval of the so-called "rain tax" ("Board says Baltimore county gave proper notice of meeting," May 17), I was not able to give her my response. I want to commend Ms. Knezevich for calling me the next day after the article was printed. Ms. Knezevich is very conscientious and is a real asset to The Baltimore Sun. Since I couldn't make my comments in the article, I would like to share them with your readers now. The very fact that the Open Meetings Compliance Board met in closed session to issue this ruling reveals the hypocrisy of the board.
NEWS
August 18, 2013
A group of do-gooders has picked Maryland as its test case for trying to make state and local government more transparent and participatory using technology, and they've already made some inroads in improving the way state and local laws are published on the web. But the source of this effort may surprise some in this deep blue state: Rep. Darrell Issa, the California Republican who serves as one of President Barack Obama's chief antagonists in Congress....
NEWS
July 25, 2013
When it comes to accessing public information, the Free State isn't all that free. The law requires state and local government agencies to make records of all kinds available to the public, and although it is allowed certain exceptions, the government is supposed to err on the side of disclosure. But in practice, requests under Maryland's Public Information Act are routinely subject to delays, responses are frequently incomplete and the fees charged for accessing material every Marylander is supposed to have a right to see are often arbitrary and excessive.
NEWS
May 21, 2013
Due to my observance of a religious holiday at the time that Alison Knezevich reported on the Open Meetings Compliance Board's ruling on Baltimore County's approval of the so-called "rain tax" ("Board says Baltimore county gave proper notice of meeting," May 17), I was not able to give her my response. I want to commend Ms. Knezevich for calling me the next day after the article was printed. Ms. Knezevich is very conscientious and is a real asset to The Baltimore Sun. Since I couldn't make my comments in the article, I would like to share them with your readers now. The very fact that the Open Meetings Compliance Board met in closed session to issue this ruling reveals the hypocrisy of the board.
NEWS
By Andy Rosen, The Baltimore Sun | May 23, 2012
The state has added a new tool to help members of the public navigate the rules governing open meetings of public bodies in Maryland. Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler's office on Wednesday announced the creation of a 2.5-hour(!) course on Maryland's Open Meetings Act . It's "designed for elected officials, public employees, members of the media and any Marylander interested in open government who wishes to become more familiar with the requirements of the Act," according to a news release.
NEWS
By Childs Walker, The Baltimore Sun | February 4, 2012
In Virginia, the attorney general, skeptical of global warming, tried to use his subpoena powers to build a fraud case against a climatology professor. In Wisconsin, Republican Party officials sought the emails of a history professor, trying to demonstrate that he had misused his public account to stir political unrest during the state's highly publicized battles over organized labor. Maryland Del. Sandy Rosenberg, a Baltimore Democrat, has cited these controversies, which garnered national attention, as he vows to prevent a similar situation from arising here.
NEWS
March 16, 2008
The flow of information between government and citizens is changing rapidly with new technology. Maryland isn't exactly leading the pack in adapting to these changes, but it's not operating in the dark. Sunshine Week, a news media effort to focus on the need for more transparency, is a welcome reminder that open government should be the reality, not just an ideal. To that end, legislation being considered by the General Assembly would allow the state budget office to create a Web site detailing state grants, loans, contracts and other transactions over $25,000; it's the way to go. Gov. Martin O'Malley's vaunted StateStat program is helping administrators and the public track the performance of state agencies.
NEWS
By Mary Gail Hare and Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF | October 26, 2001
Once again, a Finksburg community group has given Carroll's commissioners abysmal marks in 13 areas that affect the county's quality of life, including the environment, road signs and watershed protection. Released yesterday, the twice-yearly report card grades the commissioners' performance from April through September on issues ranging from the three-member board's responsiveness to the Finksburg Planning Area Council to the county's master plan to public schools. With failures in four areas: watershed protection, road signs, open government and zoning, and borderline grades in three others, the council thinks its political leaders need its help.
NEWS
By Andy Rosen, The Baltimore Sun | May 23, 2012
The state has added a new tool to help members of the public navigate the rules governing open meetings of public bodies in Maryland. Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler's office on Wednesday announced the creation of a 2.5-hour(!) course on Maryland's Open Meetings Act . It's "designed for elected officials, public employees, members of the media and any Marylander interested in open government who wishes to become more familiar with the requirements of the Act," according to a news release.
NEWS
August 27, 2007
ROBERT H. JOHNSON, 84 Associated Press executive Robert H. Johnson, a champion for open government and a former Associated Press executive who during a 42-year career wrote AP's first bulletin on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, died Saturday in New Mexico. After retiring from the news cooperative in 1988, Mr. Johnson helped start the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government and made a new career out of fighting for public access to government meetings and records. Mr. Johnson suffered a stroke Saturday morning as he prepared to go to work at the foundation, where he served as executive director.
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