Megan Rhyne's blog

Why we're concerned about closing access to CHPs

Del. Lee Ware (R-Powhatan) has proposed a bill to prohibit clerks of court from releasing concealed handgun permit applications filed in that locality. The bill is HB79, and VCOG is opposed to it. Here's why.


As long as the permits are required in Virginia, there should be some public access to them. it is important for the public to be able to monitor:


(1) how the permits are processed (that is, whether the applications are being completed or accepted satisfactorily)




Federal FOIA in Virginia courts w/ Virginia firms

With the advent of the iPhone, the Droid and any number of other so-called smart phones, it seems almost quaint that the world teetered on the edge of chaos in 2006 when a patent case threatened to darken the screens of the then-revolutionary BlackBerry.

NTP, a Virginia-based company, told BlackBerry's maker, Research in Motion, that the BlackBerry's technology infringed on an NTP patent. A federal district court judge in Richmond agreed and imposed millions of dollars in fines against RIM and told them to stop selling BlackBerrys that infringed NTP's patent.

FOI Advisory Council annual report for 2009

The FOI Advisory Council is required by statute to file an annual report of its activities. It's 2009 report is now online.

The report contains statistics breaking down who has used the council's services this year (government - 913, citizens - 628, media as well as every year since the council opened its doors.

The report includes minutes of all council meetings, lists training sessions performed by council staff, previews upcoming legislation and summarizes the work of the council's subcommittees.

Ink is pretty

A tangible (and colorful) way to give.


Printer ink is expensive! Black and color ink for our copier/fax/printer by far takes up the  biggest chunk of our office supply budget. We buy house brand refills when we can, save as many files electronically as possible and squeeze every last drop out of cartridges we buy. But some things we can't avoid printing: invoices, letters, correspondence, forms, reports, bills, etc., and the ink keeps dripping away.


Give the gift of LIGHT this holiday season

Consider donating to the Virginia Coalition for Open Government this holiday season. Read about what we do here at VCOG and why every penny counts.

VAB seeking nominations for Laurence E. Richardson award

(Note: Laurence Richardson was a founding member of VCOG)


Call For Entries

The 2 polar extremes of open government

"There are citizens and members of the media who are convinced that all of us in this room are ... criminal[s]. They will never change their mind. You could give them the key to your entire filing cabinet and they'll still think you're hiding something.

"But on the flip side, you have public officials who, when a citizen comes and they pull into the parking lot and they want the budget, what the local official hears is, you want to come into my living room and look at what?"

Sunshine Week 2010 to honor local heroes

The following is a statement issued by ASNE, the sponsors of the yearly effort known as Sunshine Week (March 14-20). If you know of a Virginia "local hero," please pass that information on to VCOG at

Next year's national Sunshine Week (March 14-20) will highlight local heroes across America who have played significant roles in fighting for open government, the American Society of News Editors announced Friday.

Government must remember FOIA when trying out new technology

Back when he was still roaming the halls of the Virginia General Assembly, and keeping everyone laughing along the way, Del. Chip Woodrum added a nice little provision to the law governing purchases made under the Virginia Public Procurement Act.

Winners and Losers

Election results of contested seats in Virginia's House of Delegates. Results were taken from the State Board of Elections' Web site, current as of 9:30 a.m., 11/4/09.

An asterisk indicates the incumbent candidate. Bolded names indicate the contest winners.




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