donal brown

Report finds states lag in providing tracking of stimulus spending

A Washington research firm representing 35 public interest groups has found deficiencies in the Web performances of states as they track stimulus spending. Only four states were found to provide employment data when job creation is one of the chief goals of the recovery plan. -DB NextGov July 29, 2009 By Aliya Sternstein A study released on Wednesday criticizes most state Web sites that track stimulus spending, specifically finding fault with their coverage of job creation,

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Gates case: Disorderly conduct or protected speech?

Concerning the arrest of the Harvard Professor Louis Gates, a commentator for Forbes Magazine says it is important to look beyond the racial and class issues to those of the First Amendment. Does loud and offensive necessarily constitute disorderly conduct? -DB Forbes Magazine Commentary July 28, 2009 By Harvey A. Silverglate The now-infamous Gates story has gone through the familiar media spin-cycle: incident, reaction, response, so on and so forth. Drowned out of this echo chamber

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Oregon: Environmental groups win release of list of people affected by pipeline

The U.S. District Court ordered the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to release a list of people affected by a proposed gas pipeline. Two environmental groups had requested the list under the Freedom of Information Act. -DB The Daily Astorian July 28,2009 The U.S. District Court in Portland has ruled in favor of Columbia Riverkeeper and Willamette Riverkeeper in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit regarding the Palomar pipeline. The Court ordered the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

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Students punished for off-campus speech

A CMLP intern says that there is an epidemic of cases in which students are reprimanded for off-campus speech. A case in a Mississippi high school illustrates the way students can be denied their First Amendment rights. -DB Citizen Media Law Project Commentary July 28, 2009 By Lee Baker The Supreme Court once famously said that public school students do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”  Tinker

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No transparency in the Oakland shootings of SWAT team sergeants

Troubling questions remain about how such experienced Oakland policemen were killed by a single gunman in March. The police chief is withholding 911 tapes and other documents to flout open government laws and keep the media and others from seeking the truth. -DB The Oakland Tribune Commentary July 26, 2009 By Thomas Peele THE SHOOTING DEATHS of four Oakland police officers in March represented perhaps the most tragic day in the history of California law enforcement.

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