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By Marta H. Mossburg | March 16, 2010
This week is "Sunshine Week," launched to promote government transparency at the local, state and federal level. While Gov. Martin O'Malley often touts how many statistics his administration puts on the Web, this week is a great opportunity to point out how the state could improve citizen access to information -- a vital component to a healthy democracy. At a time when the state can little afford to waste money, Mr. O'Malley's administration fails to adequately show how almost $1 billion each year is being used by nonprofit and for-profit companies given grants by state agencies.
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NEWS
March 17, 2010
Marta Mossburg's inaugural column on "Sunshine Week" needs to see the light ("For 'Sunshine Week,' lift the veil on state grant-making," March 16). No other governor in the nation has established as many and as quickly the number of online access points on what their particular state government is doing. Governor Martin O'Malley has improved the efficiency and effectiveness of state agencies through StateStat (statestat.maryland.gov) and let the public know more about how our environment is managed via the BayStat (baystat.
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NEWS
By JAMES S. KEAT | March 12, 2006
For centuries, Americans have had the right to inspect almost all records filed in their courthouses. All they had to do was go there and ask. Now that court records are increasingly stored in computers, accessible from people's homes through the Internet, this cherished right is under attack. For example, advocates for personal privacy and victims' rights argue that the easy access to court files, particularly in criminal cases, is unduly intrusive and potentially hazardous. The serious problem of witness intimidation in Baltimore and elsewhere has heightened their concerns.
NEWS
By Marta H. Mossburg | March 16, 2010
This week is "Sunshine Week," launched to promote government transparency at the local, state and federal level. While Gov. Martin O'Malley often touts how many statistics his administration puts on the Web, this week is a great opportunity to point out how the state could improve citizen access to information -- a vital component to a healthy democracy. At a time when the state can little afford to waste money, Mr. O'Malley's administration fails to adequately show how almost $1 billion each year is being used by nonprofit and for-profit companies given grants by state agencies.
NEWS
By CHARLES N. DAVIS | March 12, 2006
The phone rings, again. On the line is a citizen from North Carolina, or a journalist from Indiana, or a college student from Oklahoma. The names and places don't really matter; in the course of a year, the National Freedom of Information Coalition and its 40 member state groups will receive hundreds of similar calls. The callers want government information, and they need our help. For so many of them, the episodic battles against governmental secrecy mean nothing; they simply want the information they need to monitor their school board, or their planning and zoning officials, or their police department.
NEWS
March 17, 2010
Marta Mossburg's inaugural column on "Sunshine Week" needs to see the light ("For 'Sunshine Week,' lift the veil on state grant-making," March 16). No other governor in the nation has established as many and as quickly the number of online access points on what their particular state government is doing. Governor Martin O'Malley has improved the efficiency and effectiveness of state agencies through StateStat (statestat.maryland.gov) and let the public know more about how our environment is managed via the BayStat (baystat.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,michael.dresser@baltsun.com | March 15, 2009
If you want to use the Internet to view the inspection report on your aged parent's nursing home, Maryland's the place to be. But if you want to do an online check on the certification of your child's teacher, you're out of luck. A new report shows that Maryland's government is neither as transparent as Texas' nor as opaque as Mississippi's in the information offered on its Web sites. The Free State, tied for 18th place out of 50, can claim to be on the clear side of translucent government.
NEWS
By Clarence Page | March 18, 2005
WASHINGTON - Jon Stewart's satirical The Daily Show on Comedy Central likes to call itself "No. 1 in fake news." Team Bush seems determined to challenge the show for the title - with our tax dollars. In memos sent last week to federal agency heads, the Bush White House rejected a Government Accountability Office ruling that it is illegal for federal agencies to feed TV stations prepackaged "news stories" that do not disclose the government's role in producing them. Fake news stories, called "video news releases" in the public relations industry, are a huge business.
TOPIC
By Stephen Kiehl and Stephen Kiehl,SUN STAFF | March 13, 2005
LARRY SASICH WANTS to know why the Food and Drug Administration rejected parecoxib, a pain medication proposed for use after surgery. David Arkush wants to know about automobile safety defects reported by carmakers to the federal government, so that he can make sure the government is properly monitoring the auto industry. Both work for Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer-advocacy organization in Washington, and neither is getting what he wants. More and more public records aren't so public anymore.
NEWS
By John Fritze and John Fritze,Sun reporter | March 16, 2008
Joan Floyd, a veteran at battling City Hall, isn't easily pushed around. Part neighborhood advocate, part gadfly, Floyd has had to become part lawyer, too - specializing in the intricacies of the state's open records and meetings laws. Negotiating Baltimore's arcane record-keeping is one thing, but for Floyd - who has pushed to open zoning meetings and pressed for documents related to her neighborhood - there's a larger issue. She says the city and state sometimes appear to be going in the wrong direction on public access, closing things down rather than opening them up. "I don't see the kind of openness I would expect to see in a modern-day city," said Floyd, who recently testified against legislation proposed by the city to allow Baltimore to withhold documents that are part of a civil lawsuit.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,michael.dresser@baltsun.com | March 15, 2009
If you want to use the Internet to view the inspection report on your aged parent's nursing home, Maryland's the place to be. But if you want to do an online check on the certification of your child's teacher, you're out of luck. A new report shows that Maryland's government is neither as transparent as Texas' nor as opaque as Mississippi's in the information offered on its Web sites. The Free State, tied for 18th place out of 50, can claim to be on the clear side of translucent government.
NEWS
By John Fritze and John Fritze,Sun reporter | March 16, 2008
Joan Floyd, a veteran at battling City Hall, isn't easily pushed around. Part neighborhood advocate, part gadfly, Floyd has had to become part lawyer, too - specializing in the intricacies of the state's open records and meetings laws. Negotiating Baltimore's arcane record-keeping is one thing, but for Floyd - who has pushed to open zoning meetings and pressed for documents related to her neighborhood - there's a larger issue. She says the city and state sometimes appear to be going in the wrong direction on public access, closing things down rather than opening them up. "I don't see the kind of openness I would expect to see in a modern-day city," said Floyd, who recently testified against legislation proposed by the city to allow Baltimore to withhold documents that are part of a civil lawsuit.
NEWS
By JAMES S. KEAT | March 12, 2006
For centuries, Americans have had the right to inspect almost all records filed in their courthouses. All they had to do was go there and ask. Now that court records are increasingly stored in computers, accessible from people's homes through the Internet, this cherished right is under attack. For example, advocates for personal privacy and victims' rights argue that the easy access to court files, particularly in criminal cases, is unduly intrusive and potentially hazardous. The serious problem of witness intimidation in Baltimore and elsewhere has heightened their concerns.
NEWS
By CHARLES N. DAVIS | March 12, 2006
The phone rings, again. On the line is a citizen from North Carolina, or a journalist from Indiana, or a college student from Oklahoma. The names and places don't really matter; in the course of a year, the National Freedom of Information Coalition and its 40 member state groups will receive hundreds of similar calls. The callers want government information, and they need our help. For so many of them, the episodic battles against governmental secrecy mean nothing; they simply want the information they need to monitor their school board, or their planning and zoning officials, or their police department.
NEWS
By Clarence Page | March 18, 2005
WASHINGTON - Jon Stewart's satirical The Daily Show on Comedy Central likes to call itself "No. 1 in fake news." Team Bush seems determined to challenge the show for the title - with our tax dollars. In memos sent last week to federal agency heads, the Bush White House rejected a Government Accountability Office ruling that it is illegal for federal agencies to feed TV stations prepackaged "news stories" that do not disclose the government's role in producing them. Fake news stories, called "video news releases" in the public relations industry, are a huge business.
TOPIC
By Stephen Kiehl and Stephen Kiehl,SUN STAFF | March 13, 2005
LARRY SASICH WANTS to know why the Food and Drug Administration rejected parecoxib, a pain medication proposed for use after surgery. David Arkush wants to know about automobile safety defects reported by carmakers to the federal government, so that he can make sure the government is properly monitoring the auto industry. Both work for Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer-advocacy organization in Washington, and neither is getting what he wants. More and more public records aren't so public anymore.
NEWS
By Laura Vozzella and Laura Vozzella,SUN STAFF | February 3, 2005
The city's Board of Estimates voted yesterday to pay The Sun $11,000 for legal fees and other expenses incurred in the newspaper's successful fight for information about a domestic dispute involving former police Commissioner Kevin P. Clark. The paper plans to donate the money to National Sunshine Week, a public awareness campaign for open government sponsored by newspapers and broadcasters, said Sun Editor Timothy A. Franklin. "The Sun's going to be aggressive about pursuing public information at any level of government," said Franklin, who is on the campaign's steering committee.
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