Autonomy is a must for effective civilian review

March 18, 2012

Last August, when Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings finally convened his Citizens Advisory Committee, he declared: “We have asked you to do a bit of very, very serious business for Orange County.”

An understatement. After all, the committee was conceived in the wake of community blow-back in the controversial Torey Breedlove case. The alleged car . . . → Read More: Autonomy is a must for effective civilian review

Open-government advocates celebrate ‘Sunshine Week’

10:50 p.m. EST, March 10, 2012|By Anika Myers Palm, Orlando Sentinel

Laura Williams’ interest in public records was born of tremendous personal tragedy: In 1996, her then-husband, who had abused her, killed both their 2-year-old daughter and himself.

In the years that followed, she joined groups that helped domestic-violence victims. And in 2007, she began working with CourtWatch, . . . → Read More: Open-government advocates celebrate ‘Sunshine Week’

5 Florida records sites you can use

•Curious about what’s behind that latest city-council action? Emails received and sent by public officials, such as mayors, city council members and state officials, are generally considered public records. Check with the government agency about how to inspect or get copies of messages.

•Want to know whether your friend has a history of speeding tickets before planning a long car trip? . . . → Read More: 5 Florida records sites you can use

Condo Record Requests – What Do You Have To Hide?

By Jan Bergemann
8:20 a.m. EST, February 24, 2012

FS 718.112(12) states very clearly which association records are public records – and which are not. The statutes even explain in detail the rights of the owners to inspect these records and get copies of the records on demand.

Nevertheless, record requests are most likely the most disputed issues in . . . → Read More: Condo Record Requests – What Do You Have To Hide?

Lawmakers vote to shield themselves from questions

By Aaron Deslatte, Tallahassee Bureau Chief10:48 p.m. EST, February 16, 2012

TALLAHASSEE – A House committee voted Thursday for a bill that would shield legislators and their staffs from ever being required to testify or produce public records when they get sued.

The Republican-controlled Legislature’s proposal to grant itself what’s called “absolute privilege” in any civil suit or legal proceeding . . . → Read More: Lawmakers vote to shield themselves from questions

FSNE, University of Central Florida to host three-day writing workshop

The Florida Society of News Editors and the University of Central Florida are partnering to produce a three-day workshop on writing and journalism Feb. 16-18 in Orlando.

The Florida Writers Project features writers from Florida and around the country.

Come hear expert advice on writing and publishing narrative, mass-market fiction, screenplays and anthologies.

Bring your manuscript with . . . → Read More: FSNE, University of Central Florida to host three-day writing workshop

Orlando Sentinel: State should make incentive data public

BY BETH KASSAB

If Doug Darling, the state’s new “economic opportunity” director, really wants to get aggressive when it comes to holding accountable companies that accept public incentive dollars, there’s an easy way to do it.

Make the information public. A radical idea? No, but it’s one Florida has simply shrugged at for decades.

Read . . . → Read More: Orlando Sentinel: State should make incentive data public

Orlando Sentinel: Local leaders pledge accessibility, legislators undermine the principle

EDITORIAL

Open government is a constitutional right in Florida, but you might never know it from watching state lawmakers. Lately they’ve been indifferent or even hostile to this principle.

Lawmakers have left it up to more enlightened leaders, such as those in Sanford, to stand up for open government. Late last month, Sanford’s mayor and four commissioners unanimously . . . → Read More: Orlando Sentinel: Local leaders pledge accessibility, legislators undermine the principle