A frequent visitor to—and critic of—San Jose City Hall, perceived as a threat after repeated aggressive behavior, has been ordered to stay well away from city officials despite his effort to challenge the ruling under the First Amendment.
After an audit of six regional nonprofit centers caring for the developmentally disabled last year found that the Department of Developmental Services provides too little oversight into the centers’ operations, some are calling for more transparency for these private centers.
Local governments are slowly adapting to the world of Twitter, Facebook and blogging by starting new social pages for them to interact on with the public.The hyper-paced world of social media, however, makes complying with current law difficult for these agencies to accomplish.
A recently fired public information spokesman for the Los Angeles Superior Court says he was terminated because of a conflict with administrators who wanted to “prevent or delay” the release of salary and other public information to the press—and who resented his advocacy of camera coverage of trials.
As the lame duck session begins in Congress, the Government Accountability Project (GAP) is asking those concerned with government integrity to sign an online petition urging lawmakers to pass a bill greatly improving federal employees' whistleblower protection.
An Oceanside man who refused to undergo an intimate airport security pat-down made national headlines after discreetly recording the incident and posting the videos on Youtube. His videotaping the encounter raises the same risk issues faced by journalists.
California law allows attorneys to conduct private trials even though they have not been sworn in as a judge—and that, Anastasia Blackwell contends, is threatening to create a two-tiered system where money determines justice.
News organizations from across California filed a friend of the court brief Wednesday in support of the First Amendment Coalition’s suit for access to records of the State Bar of California, seeking Bar examination results for a study concerning the effects of affirmative action in law school admissions. The matter is now on appeal.
FREE PRESS -- On Veterans' Day there are several ways to recognize those who have given our country years of regimented service, a lifetime of disability, or even life itself. One is to indulge in the myth that these sacrifices alone have enabled all our rights and liberties—a myth that evinces an underlying current of impatience, if not resentment, for the complex principles and processes of civil society.
Chino Valley Unified School District trustees corrected Brown Act violations at their November 4 board meeting by disclosing facts related to items discussed in closed sessions throughout the past year. But challenger Richard McKee says some compliance items are still due.
The Del Mar Union School District refused to release salary information for all its employees in response to a Public Records Act request for weeks, the Del Mar Timesreports—until repeatedly threatened with litigation.
The Sonoma County Superior Court ruled Friday that pension information for thousands of county retirees is public information and must be released to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat and the public, but the Sonoma County Employees Retirement Association (SCERA) said it will appeal the decision.
PUBLIC INFORMATION – Political ads run by candidates for insurance commissioner illustrate perfectly a point the Los Angeles Times makes in an editorial: Determining whose contributions have funded the ads can difficult—and sometimes impossible—to accomplish.
FREE PRESS– The California Judicial Council's new guide to the law of public access to court records, now in preparation, can be a great opportunity to increase the transparency of the often-secretive California court system, comments veteran journalist Bill Girdner for Courthouse News Service.
OPEN COURTS – The California Newspaper Publishers Association (CNPA), Los Angeles Times, Associated Press and New York Times Co. have issued a “wholehearted” endorsement of suggested changes to court access policies that would improve its relations with the news media.
PUBLIC INFORMATION – The attorney for Nancy Garrido, who with her husband Phillip is charged with the kidnapping and rape of Jaycee Lee Dugard, is opposing efforts by the Sacramento Bee and other media organizations to force the release of sealed grand jury transcripts.
FREE SPEECH – A San Francisco homeowner’s association recently avoided a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) by withdrawing its ban on the posting of political signs by a condominium resident.
FREE SPEECH – City council members in Santa Monica are considering placing restrictions on decibel levels at the popular Third Street Promenade to control the level of noise produced by musicians on the street—without banning loud music altogether.
OPEN MEETINGS – The Los Angeles District Attorney's office has concluded that the Rose Bowl Operating Company did not violate the Brown Act at a recent meeting in which directors discussed renovation plans for the Rose Bowl, the Pasadena Star Newsreports.