LDieringer's blog

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Two recent court decisions make climate scientists’ e-mails public

August 4, 2016 4:58 PM

In the past, we’ve covered attempts by some political groups (or politicians) to access climate scientists’ e-mails. The idea is generally to trawl through them for anything that can be used to bolster the claim that climate science is somehow fraudulent—hypothetically vindicating those who have refused to acknowledge the scientific consensus for decades. Read more »



Poynter Institute: How an AP reporter took down flossing

August 4, 2016 4:19 PM

When an orthodontist asked the reporter if he wanted a good story idea, the reporter, of course, said "yes."

Jeff Donn, a national writer with The Associated Press and 2012 Pulitzer finalist, was doubtful, at first, about that tip from his son's orthodontist: There's no solid evidence that flossing actually works. Continue...

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Sunlight Foundation: The countdown is on to TransparencyCamp 2016 — and we're taking it out on the road!

August 4, 2016 3:52 PM

We’re busting out of the Beltway. This year, Sunlight is focusing TransparencyCamp, our annual unconference, exclusively on state and local issues. Please join us and hundreds of your friends and colleagues from across the country on Oct. 14–15, when we head to Cleveland and convene our communities in the city’s stunning downtown public library. Read more »



Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council's YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW: State Supreme Court to hear three open records cases

August 3, 2016 1:09 PM

Wisconsin’s third branch of government is critical to open government. This year, the Wisconsin Supreme Court will hear three cases involving Wisconsin’s open records law, and could make important decisions involving access to the courts. Read more »



Reporters Committee launches survey of journalists on "Release to One, Release to All" FOIA policy

August 3, 2016 12:48 PM

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press is conducting a survey of journalists and news organizations on a "Release to One, Release to All" policy under the federal Freedom of Information Act. Read more »



How one paper filed a FOIA request in Michigan—and got sued by the county

August 3, 2016 12:41 PM

Michigan’s primary elections, taking place today, may offer few competitive races. But one of them has offered a look at an unusual type of legal action—one in which a government entity sues a local media outlet in response to a public-records request. Read more »



Nevada: Tweets Likely Public Records, Judge Says

August 1, 2016 1:54 PM

The former general counsel for the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada must stop destroying digital evidence related to a fraud complaint, a federal judge ordered Wednesday.

     Court findings indicate Las Vegas-based tech firm Switch in June became aware defendant attorney Carolyn "Lina" Tanner published online and social media posts under the pseudonyms DixieRaeSparx, #DixieRaeSparx or @DixieRaeSparx. Continue... Read more »



Texas: Courts are chipping at public’s right to know

August 1, 2016 1:37 PM

Those of us who keep a close eye on Texas' evolving open government laws watch the state Legislature for signs of change. We also look at how local and state government agencies carry out these laws to see if they are working.

But we must focus on the courts, too. Continue...

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Open Government Reports Can't Be Found If You Ask D.C. Agency Staff -- Auditor Finds in Live Tests

August 1, 2016 1:06 PM

Asking by telephone and email for agencies’ reports on transparency, as part of a test of District of Columbia agencies’ public service, the D.C. Auditor found worse knowledge and courtesy than in a raft of other tests (such as calling to learn about a benefit or have a pothole patched).

The Auditor’s June 27 report called the results ”not encouraging.” Continue...

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A year after a policy update, NYC grapples with 'the next level' of open data

July 29, 2016 12:23 PM

A year after updating its open data policy, New York City is pushing ahead with plans to automatically refresh more of its data sets and tie public records requests to the open data process — moves hailed by open government advocates, even as some worry about the data’s quality. Read more »



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