24-7 @ VDOT
Philip A. Shucet, commissioner of the Virginia Department of Transportation:
"We’ve demonstrated a strong belief in open government.
The (VDOT Web site) is available to the public . . .24-7,’ and
lets anyone, anywhere, see how we’re doing with ongoing construction
"The quarterly report card that we developed two years ago
measures our progress on completed projects, and is also publicly
available on our Web site. "
Online minutes/agenda packets
Virginia school systems are buying so-called turnkey software to
put agendas, minutes, news releases, policy proposals and other official
documents on the Internet -- some for public viewing, some not.
The Board.Docs software, pedaled by Emerald Data Solutions in cooperation
with the Virginia School Boards Association, is said to cut agenda
preparation from two days to under four hours -- a claim that
met with some school board skepticism in Radford.
Radford bought each of its board members a $1,100 laptop for use
with the commercial package. Laptops must be returned to the city
when members leave the board.
The software is said to make school data more accessible to city
residents -- if school systems choose to put important information
The Accomac County School Board bought the same product, which includes
a "padlocked" area where only board members can see confidential
staff and student documents. The school superintendent said electronic
distribution of agenda packets would provide unprecedented public
access to the information board members use to make decisions.
The basic software is available for a $450-600 monthly fee.
Two officials honored
Two Virginians recently were honored by the National Association
of State Chief Information Officers.
Steve Marzolf, Virginia’s E-911 coordinator, was presented
the award for the state ’s Wireless E-911 Deployment Project.
Bob Rike, a member of the Virginia Geographic Information Network
(VGIN) Division, accepted the award for the Virginia Base Mapping
"These combined projects are not only a smart use of technology
dollars -- they could also mean the timely difference that could
save a life or catch a criminal, " Gov. Warner said.
For more information on E-911 and the Public Safety Communications
For more about VGIN and the Virginia Base Mapping Program, visit:
APS School Talk
Arlington Public Schools sends out e-mail updates to anybody who
signs up. The information, sent to home or work, includes emergency
closings, inclement weather alerts and school board updates, and
can be tailored to subscribers’ interests. For extreme emergencies,
text messages can also be sent to cell phones or pagers.
Meanwhile, Arlington public libraries have set up wireless Internet
service at the central library. That means patrons with laptops no
longer need to wait in line for access to a wired Internet computer.