FREE PRESS — A free weekly newspaper (with a daily website) reporting city news, comment and controversies to the residents of Berkeley is under serious attack and could be shut down for loss of advertising because of charges that its editorial content, including but not limited to published letters, is anti-Israel, anti-semitic or both, reports Jesse McKinley in the New York Times.
FREE ASSEMBLY — When the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Police Department deployed against a crowd of demonstrators a long-range deafening gun used previously by our forces in the streets of Iraq, the "non-lethal" arms escalation became the latest example of using military weapons and principles against civilian demonstrators, writes Justin Rogers-Cooper in the City University of New York Graduate Center's newspaper, the Advocate.
OPEN GOVERNMENT — After its first five years, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) still hasn't learned to take governmental transparency seriously. "Recently . . . the agency has had difficulty even complying with
the basic state public records law and the state Constitution's public
access guarantees, much less achieving a higher level of performance," writes David Jensen in the California Stem Cell Report.
OPEN MEETINGS — When a hand-picked advisory committee is assigned by a local agency's governing body to look at the depressing options for cutting the agency's programs or facilities to fit a shrunken budget, its meetings are open under the Brown Act. But should everything said be reported in the press, no matter how tentative? Many reporters' reflexes may find the answer obvious, but the Modesto Bee's Michelle Hatfield has given the question some careful thought.
PUBLIC INFORMATION – Brian Ellis, who since August has been asking the Glendale Unified School District for the names and pay of every employee earning more than $100 per year, has given officials a December 1 deadline for release of the information or face a lawsuit under the California Public Records Act, reports Max Zimbert in the Glendale News Press.