Highlights from the blog and news feed
Jan. 18, 2016
Newsletter of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition, a nonpartisan alliance of journalists, civic organizations and engaged citizens dedicated to ensuring the transparency of state and local governments in Colorado by promoting freedom of the press, open courts and open access to government records and meetings.
Media groups, CFOIC ask state Supreme Court to order unsealing of Planned Parenthood affidavits
More than two dozen news media organizations asked the Colorado Supreme Court to order an El Paso County District Court judge to unseal records in the case against accused Planned Parenthood shooter Robert Lewis Dear or justify their continued sealing under the First Amendment.
Court of Appeals: Jeffco teacher sick-leave records are public
Records showing a public school teacher’s request for sick leave are not part of a teacher’s confidential personnel file and must be disclosed to the public, if requested, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled.
Rocky Mountain Human Services: No plans to fight open-records bill
Rocky Mountain Human Services has “no intention” of opposing a bill that would open its records and those of 19 other Colorado nonprofits serving people with disabilities, the embattled agency’s interim executive director told a meeting of family members and service providers.
CFOIC's executive director discusses open-government bills on 'Colorado State of Mind'
Jeff Roberts, CFOIC's executive director, was on Rocky Mountain PBS' "Colorado State of Mind" to talk about the database records bill (SB 16-037) and other freedom-of-information legislation expected during this year's session of the Colorado General Assembly.
New details to be released in fatal Arapahoe High School shooting
From The Denver Post: New details about the events that led up to the 2013 shooting at Arapahoe High School are expected to be released, marking the end of a months-long arbitration between Littleton Public Schools and the parents of the 17-year-old killed in the shooting.
New Mexico: Colorado asked for nearly $20,000 in response to records request on mine spill
From The Denver Post:New Mexico announced plans to sue the EPA, Colorado and owners of inactive mines after the agency-triggered Gold King disaster that worsened contamination of the Animas River through three states.
From The Journal (Cortez): Informing citizens in a cost-effective manner is good; doing less of it is not good at all. Representative government is only ever as good as its constituents require it to be, and uninformed constituents cannot effectively monitor it.
Editorial: Judge Martinez vs. open records in Planned Parenthood shooting
From The Denver Post: In the case against Robert Dear Jr., who is accused in the shooting rampage at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood office in November, the public is still being kept in the dark.
Legislative leaders reject Statehouse credentials for ColoradoWatchdog.org
From ColoradoWatchdog.org: Statehouse leaders affirmed a committee of journalists’ recommendation to reject press credentials for Watchdog.org, raising questions about both journalistic ethics and the First Amendment in the state’s vetting process, ethics experts say.
Asset disclosure bill might replace forfeiture ban
From ColoradoWatchdog.org: A state senator who wanted to ban Colorado police departments last session from profiting from civil forfeiture in certain cases is now considering a proposal that would require departments to report such seizures and whether charges were subsequently filed.
Complaint alleges Sunshine Law violation by Archuleta County
From The Pagosa Springs Sun: A complaint has been filed in district court by a local resident against the Archuleta County Clerk and Recorder regarding an executive session recording that took place Sept. 22.
Monument mom vows appeal after judge denies Colorado Springs Utilities open records request
From The Gazette (Colorado Springs): A Monument lawyer cannot inspect two records of the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment, a Denver District Court judge has ruled. That refusal by Judge Shelley J. Gilman “actually created a dangerous precedent, and we do plan to appeal,” attorney Leslie Weise said.
Poudre school district nixes executive session vote over open meeting issue
From the Coloradoan (Fort Collins):Three members of Poudre School District’s Board of Education ultimately withdrew their vote to move a public meeting into private session over concerns the vote violated Colorado open-meeting law and PSD policy.
Editorial: Hiding political donors just got harder
From The Denver Post: The public’s interest is best served with transparent elections that include full and timely disclosures of campaign contributions — so says Colorado law. Apparently, proponents who successfully pushed to recall three Jefferson County school board members thought differently.
Craig's postmaster confuses postal policy regarding cannabis ads and stories
From the Craig Daily Press: Craig’s postmaster threatened to stop mailing the city’s local newspaper to readers after confusion surrounding the U.S. Postal Service’s policy regarding marijuana advertisements surfaced this past week.
Mother pushes to have Colorado Springs Utilities release air quality records
From The Gazette (Colorado Springs): Monument lawyer Leslie Weise still wants the air quality records that Colorado Springs Utilities refused to provide in August, so she filed a petition asking that a judge order their release.
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