DUI Convicts to Get Yellow Plates

It’s not scarlet, and it’s not a letter, but a bill before the state Legislature that would require drunk drivers to put florescent yellow license plates on their cars makes quite a few think of author Nathaniel Hawthorne’s tale of … Continued

Governor’s Attempt to Hide Records Foiled

John Washburn learned that the Texas governor’s office automatically destroys virtually all of its emails every seven days. A cynic might conclude that this policy is an attempt by the State to avoid the embarassment of open records disclosure required … Continued

Governor to Make Criminal Records Secret

People with felony criminal records would be able to more quickly shield that information from prospective employers under legislation filed today by Gov. Deval Patrick. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino hailed Patrick’s proposals as “much needed.” “Ex-offenders often have little or … Continued

Oregon Puts Insane Sex Offenders in Residence

The State of Oregon has placed criminally insane sex offenders in a residence at 177 N. 29th Ave., Cornelius. The program run by Luke-Dorf, a nonprofit Tigard-based mental-health provider, handles only sex offenders of the class “guilty except for insanity.” … Continued

FOIA Responses May Get Faster

In one of his last decisions of the year on Monday, December 31, 2007, President Bush signed into law the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reform bill (S. 2488). For the first time, there will be a penalty for agencies … Continued

TB Woman’s Identity Kept Secret

A Santa Clara County resident infected with a dangerous strain of tuberculosis flew back to the United States earlier this month without alerting authorities of her illness – potentially threatening fellow passengers and people at Stanford Hospital’s emergency room with … Continued

England Discovers Open Records

The British gave America the basics of government and a history of societal organization dating to the Magna Carta. However, the United Kingdom has no equivalent of the US Bill of Rights. American concepts such a freedom of speech, freedom … Continued

States Lose Attempt to Keep Offender Teachers Secret

Friday the Sarasota Herald-Tribune published a searchable database from a nationwide list of 24,500 teachers who have been punished for a wide array of offenses. The SHT requested the information from the Florida Department of Education and then waited for … Continued

Identity of Contaminated Clinic a State Secret

Twenty patients of an oncology clinic in the Dallas area were sickened by medical syringes contaminated with bacteria. The bacterium, called Serratia marcescens, can cause fever and chills but generally responds to antibiotics. Some of the Dallas-area patients became so … Continued

Pennsylvania Refuse to Release Polling Results

Pennsylvania legislative leaders have paid out-of-state companies $466,000 this year to conduct focus groups and public-opinion surveys. Even though the polls have been paid for by taxpayer dollars, the politicians have refused to release the results. Politicians are afraid of … Continued