Court: Pentagon Disclosed Way Too Much Info

PUBLIC INFORMATION — "Most criticism of the Freedom of Information Act centers on agency
refusals to disclose requested records in a timely manner, notes federal secrecy-watcher Steven Aftergood.  "But a
federal appeals court said this week that a Defense Department agency
was 'arbitrary and capricious' in its decision to
release documents to a
Freedom of Information Act requester."  The embarrassed parties:
defense contractors Sikorsky Aircraft and Pratt & Whitney.

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Berkeley Residents Seek Initiative on Sunshine

OPEN GOVERNMENT — "After a couple of weeks of negotiating with the city bureaucracy the
Berkeley Sunshine Ordinance has cleared all of the hurdles for
circulating an initiative," reports ordinance organizer Dean Metzger in the Berkeley Daily Planet. "Due to the lack of support from our city
elected officials and city staff, the committee felt that the only way
to get real sunshine (open government) in Berkeley was to circulate the
ordinance as an initiative and place the ordinance on the November 2010

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State Senate Gives Sunshine Law Its Own Forum

OPEN GOVERNMENT — The Senate Rules Committee has approved a request by Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) to establish a Select Committee on California’s Public Records and Open Meeting Laws, of which Yee will chair.  Select committees study complex issues rather than considering particular bills, but their work may lead to legislation.

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Judge Balks at Releasing State Bar Exam Data

PUBLIC INFORMATION — Mike McKee, reporting in the San Francisco Recorder, notes that UCLA law professor Richard
long-proposed study of law school affirmative action policies'
effect, if any, on California State Bar examinations' pass rates met another obstacle recently. In a tentative opinion, San Francisco Superior
Court Judge Curtis Karnow concluded that the documents Sander seeks—historical data on past bar exams—don't fall within the
scope of documents traditionally subject to public disclosure.

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Hearings on Proposed SF Sunshine Law Changes

OPEN GOVERNMENT — The San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance Task Force will hold special meetings on Tuesdays, March 30 and April 6, to try to put into final form and language a series of amendments aimed at improving the Sunshine Ordinance. Both meetings will take place in City Hall Room 406, starting at 5 p.m. The latest version of the amendments is available on the Task Force's web site, ; click on "Proposed Sunshine Ordinance Amendments March 2010" under "Announcements". Written comments may be sent c/o Task Force Clerk Chris Rustom — by e-mail to or by postal mail to City Hall Room 244, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco 94102.