Highlights from the blog and news feed
Dec. 1, 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.
Information is the key to holding government accountable. Help CFOIC defend and strengthen Colorado's sunshine laws by scheduling a tax-deductible Colorado Gives Day donation today.
Zansberg: Why Colorado needs a uniform standard for sealing criminal court records
We think Colorado should set a uniform standard for the sealing of court files in criminal cases. The Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition recently made a formal request for such a rule to a Colorado Supreme Court committee responsible for proposing Rules of Criminal Procedure applicable in state courts.
CFOIC honors Moore for records battles: 'He refused to take no for an answer'
Journalists must “double down on the public trust” and governments must “release their stranglehold on information about the public’s business,” former Denver Post Editor Greg Moore said, accepting an award from the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition.
Colo. Springs Utilities wants sanctions against advocate who seeks release of emissions report
The Gazette (Colorado Springs): Colorado Springs Utilities is seeking attorneys’ fees and sanctions against Monument attorney Leslie Weise as she continues her quest to get an emissions report released.
The Daily Sentinel (Grand Junction): Gov. John Hickenlooper wants everyone in the state to know just where his priorities lie. To help achieve that, the governor and his staff unveiled a new interactive website that not only highlights those priorities, but where the state departments he controls stand in achieving them.
Boulder denies councilmen call-in privilege for closed-door talks
Daily Camera (Boulder): In a discussion scheduled at the last minute and without notice to the public, the Boulder City Council decided against allowing two of its members to phone in to a closed-door executive session.
So-called 'Denver Guardian' fake-news site traced to a man in the L.A. suburbs
National Public Radio: A lot of fake and misleading news stories were shared across social media during the election. One that got a lot of traffic had the headline: “FBI Agent Suspected In Hillary Email Leaks Found Dead In Apparent Murder-Suicide.” The story is completely false, but it was shared on Facebook over half a million times.
Attorney: Accidentally released report shows emissions from plant violated federal standards
The Gazette (Colorado Springs): An accidentally disclosed report shows that sulfur-dioxide emissions from the coal-fired Martin Drake Power Plant violated federal standards contrary to filings by Colorado Springs Utilities, says Monument attorney Leslie Weise.
Opinion: Trump's disregard for the press, like Clinton's, is dangerous
The Denver Post: If draining the swamp is really what Trump wants to do, he should embrace the laws and traditions that allow for transparency. He has a perfect opportunity to embarrass Barack Obama on this front. It’s no secret that the press routinely called Obama’s the most closed administration they’ve covered in their lifetimes.
Colorado Springs urban renewal authority won't say why director out after only two months
The Gazette (Colorado Springs):Urban Renewal Authority board members and a top city government official said Kitty Clemens’ abrupt departure was a personnel matter and they declined to comment on whether she resigned or was fired; they’d only say that she no longer is executive director.
Daily Camera (Boulder): It’s not a matter of red vs. blue, Republicans vs. Democrats, conservatives vs. liberals. It’s a matter of transparency, disclosure and open books. Or do you enjoy getting hammered with an endless barrage of intelligence-insulting TV commercials that demonize candidates?
Editorial: Routt residents deserve to know details of tax settlement with energy company
Steamboat Today (Steamboat Springs):We were relieved to learn that Routt County Treasurer Brita Horn had reached an agreement with Peabody Energy to accept the $1.77 million the company owed in overdue taxes associated with its Twentymile coal mine. However, we’re frustrated by Horn’s unwillingness to release the particulars of the settlement.
A federal judge has ruled: Your ballot selfie is legal (for now)
Denverite: This isn’t a final ruling on the merits of the law. Rather, U.S. District Court Judge Christine Arguello issued an injunction that prevents prosecution solely for the act of posting a picture of your ballot.
Having your FOI request denied may leave no other option than pursuing legal action against the rejecting public agency or official. The National Freedom of Information Coalition offers financial support to litigate open government lawsuits through the Knight FOI Litigation Fund. Backed by a generous grant from the Knight Foundation, the fund helps to defray upfront costs such as filing fees, depositions, court costs and other expenses associated with legal actions. Applications may be submitted through CFOIC or directly to NFOIC.
The Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that relies on membership dues, grants and gifts. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation or becoming a member. Thank you!