Government Docs

Open records advocates praise plan for local government e-archive

Pete writes " The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that while recently under fire for how it handles public e-mails, Ozaukee County Wisconsin is now being praised by state open records advocates for its plan to develop an archive that would give public access to electronic documents.The archive's primary purpose, to store e-mails sent and received by county supervisors, is "an example of a local government trying to come up with a responsible solution to this problem" of making computer records more accessible, said Maureen McGlynn Flanagan, an assistant state attorney general."

FCC information for parents

Daniel writes "Parents Place at http://www.fcc.gov/parents/ is a recent addition from the FCC allowing parents to access the following topics:Children's TV RulesTV Programming for ChildrenTV Ratings - Y, Teen, etcTV Channel BlockingLimiting TV CommercialsObscenity/Indecency - What it is/Where to complainTelephone - 900 NumbersInternet - Children's Access - Their take on CIPAEmergency - Amber Plan (Nat'l Amber Alert System)Cable in the Classroom - Program ResourcesEducators as well as parents may find this site of interest."

One Stop Shopping for US Federal Native American Resources

Daniel writes "Code Talk at http://www.codetalk.fed.us is a federal inter-agency Native American Web site designed specifically to deliver electronic information from government agencies and other organizations to Native American communities.Native Americans can locate information on housing, environment, children's issues, workplace training and other topics related to Indian Country."

Historical Weather Maps and Weather Data from 1871

Daniel writes "The NOAA Central Library has recently digitized and posted a number of historic weather products:1. U.S. Daily Weather Maps at:http://docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/dwm/data_rescue_da ily_weather_maps.htmlThis site provides access to historical daily weather maps from 1871 through 2001. To see weather maps for 2002-present go to:http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/dailywxmap/frame.html 2. Monthly Weather Review at:http://docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/mwr/data_rescue_mo nthly_weather_review.htmlThe site provides access to issues of the Monthly weather review prior to 1973 for free, when it was produced by National Weather Service and Dept. of Commerce. Access to issues from 1973 onwards requires a subscription from AMS.3. U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey Annual Reports at:http://docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/cgs/data_rescue_cg s_annual_reports.htmlThis site provides access to the annual reports of the Coast and Geodetic Survey from 1852 to 1892 in PDF format. The Library may in the future provide access to more of these reports.4. Climatic data of the world (Non U.S.) can be found at:http://docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/data_rescue_home.h tml.Under this project thousand of international climatic observations from all over the world have been imaged. They are continue being added. The images are provided in PDF and multi-page TIFF formats."

Public records audit: Some records requests met with suspicion and threats

The St. Augustine Record is reporting Public officials, ignorant of the law or paralyzed by suspicion, regularly thwart citizens exercising their constitutional right to inspect public records, a statewide audit has found.

While journalists and attorneys enjoy the benefits of Florida's open government laws, the same rights are not always granted to Florida's other residents.
The governor's office was the only one of six state agencies audited that failed to comply with the public records law. Some government agencies tried to justify their suspicions by citing heightened security concerns brought on by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

"Basically, it's not the government's business why a member of the public wants a record," said Pat Gleason, general counsel for the state's attorney general. "The desire of government to impose procedural roadblocks directly conflicts with a citizen's right of access." -- Read More

Declassification sheds light on Nuclear proliferation

Daniel writes "Secrecy News reports on the study Predicting Nuclear Proliferation: A Declassified Documentary Record. This report asserts"the declassification of several Cold War-era Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) estimates of nuclear proliferation trends offers interesting insights into what previous U.S. governments believed—and ultimately did—about the international spread of nuclear weapons."This looks like some pretty even-handed research which wouldn't be possible under the current administration's secrecy policies."

Another Tool for Terrorists - Flight Information Publication

Daniel writes "The recent flap about Almanacs leads me to comment on two other, and perhaps more serious, tools for terrorists that are needed by many ordinary Americans:1) "United States Government Flight Information Publication Supplment." The volume for Alaska has a SuDoc Number of TD 4.79/2:AK/[Date]This quarterly publication provides a directory of EVERY airport/landing strip in the state. For every entry, there is a detailed diagram of the landing strip, showing nearby buildings and type of terrain. Under airport remarks, it tells you whether the landing strip is attended or not and also notes nearby roads.Sounds like something that could be used to either plan ambushes of incoming planes or to plot clandestine landings. A -- Read More

Elsevier to Close Three Science Portals

Daniel writes "Information Today reports that Elsevier will close three end user science portals: BioMedNet, ChemWeb, and ElsevierEngineering.com because "the contribution of this form of marketing to S&T's [science and technology] current business is not sufficient to continue the associated high investments.� Information Today reported that BioMedNet had over a 1,000,000 registered users. The full story can be read at Info Today . -- Read More

Senators Urge Upgrade of THOMAS

A group of US Senators, headed by Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) and Jon Corzine (D-NJ), is urging the Library of Congress to make more content available on its THOMAS website. The Senators would like citizens to be able to access the same government information available to them on the Legislative Information Service (LIS). The senators who signed the letter to LOC head James Billington deemed THOMAS "insufficient as a portal to the Congress of the United States." More here from Federal Computer Week. And from the Project on Government Oversight, a comparison of LIS and THOMAS.

Ohio Dept of Health to confiscate public records

Anonymous Patron writes "The Huron County Genealogical Society may pursue legal action against the Huron County General Health District for confiscating about 20 rolls of microfilm containing vital statistics from the Norwalk Public Library, according to local historian Henry Timman. Coverage in the Morning Journal from Loraine, OH, can be found here and here."
The article says The Ohio Department of Health will pursue every collection of state vital statistic records outside its control on the grounds that local health districts never had the authority to make available mass reproductions of the records, according to Jay Carey and Dr. Sandra McGuire, of the Ohio Department of Health.

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