September 12, 2005
The state's student-loan agency has gone to court to limit how much it must reveal about the agency's expenses for a retreat at a Pittsburgh-area resort in June. This follows press reports that the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) spent nearly $885,000 since 2000 on retreats as distant as California's wine region - as well as media accounts of recent six-figure bonuses granted seven top executives at the agency. Corporate-style retreats can serve legitimate business purposes.
May 6, 1996 |
On a spring Monday three years ago, David Martin climbed onto his Sears Craftsman riding mower to cut the grass at his home in Lower Providence Township. He did not see that his daughter had walked up behind the mower. When he put the machine into reverse, the little girl was pulled under the mower, her legs and feet tangled in its blades. The Martins sued Sears, alleging that defective design of the mower contributed to the child's disfiguring injuries, including the amputation of her left foot.
May 23, 1992 |
After two recent incidents in which women's phone numbers and addresses were given to men whom the women have accused of abusing them, Chester County's Domestic Relations Court is considering when and how such information should be released. Discussions on changing procedures to improve secrecy for abused spouses began after two women said that court employees had, in the last two months, given their addresses to men they consider abusive. In one case, there was a court order preventing the man from seeing his wife.
June 19, 2003 |
Last week, after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security awarded long-awaited and highly competitive grants for port security projects, many in the maritime trade were baffled by the windfall for Citgo Petroleum Corp. The odds of anyone's getting a grant were no better than one in five. Even then, most of the winners were awarded less than $1 million. But Citgo, the profitable U.S. subsidiary of the Venezuelan national oil company, hit the jackpot: a $13.5 million grant to upgrade security at its refinery in Lake Charles, La. That's more than the combined 24 grants for the Delaware River port system.
November 16, 1997 |
When Major League Baseball held its last expansion draft in 1992, it wasn't difficult to find out which 15 players each team protected. That's because, in an effort to facilitate trades, baseball officials made sure the protection lists were leaked to the media. Five years later, with another expansion draft just two days away, there have been no such "official" leaks. Security has been tight at the desert resort where baseball's general managers have held their yearly meetings this week.
September 16, 1996 |
Margot Kidder talks candidly about her breakdown five months ago in this week's People magazine, calling it "the most public freakout in history. " Kidder says she was "like one of those ladies you see talking to the space aliens on the street corner in New York. " Two homeless men comforted her as she was wandering in Los Angeles but another tried to rape her. She said the root of her problem is manic depression, and she's now taking medication to keep it under control. The actress is working on her memoirs and landed the part of a drama teacher on NBC's "Boston Common.
March 29, 2003
The Bush administraton won't let history buffs readily stroll past Independence Hall. Is anyone shocked that it doesn't want citizens poring over millions of government documents in Washington? With good reason, open-government advocates regard the Bush presidency as the most secretive in decades. This week, it reached yet another secrecy milestone: President Bush signed an order delaying for three years the release of millions of documents, while also granting the government new powers to shield its inner workings.
September 18, 1993
Here comes a dose of democracy for Congress, despite frantic resistance by top Democrats. Late this month, the House is likely to make it much harder for its leadership to bury popular bills in a committee. While this could make rushed, imprudent decisions more common, as House Speaker Thomas S. Foley and his allies are saying, that risk is worth taking in order to deal with a greater problem: the disconnect between Congress and the American people. This overdue change involves an old rule of secrecy: When lawmakers sign a "discharge petition" to force a bill out of committee and bring it to the House floor for a vote, their names are secret until there are 218 signers - a majority.
October 5, 1993 |
Historians and journalists cheered last April when President Clinton ordered a sweeping review of the Cold War rules for government secrecy. Headlines predicted the imminent release of millions of classified documents, some dating back to World War I. But in crucial respects, the first draft of that review, which leaked out in Washington this week, does not even meet the formal standards of openness set by President Richard M. Nixon at...
March 17, 1994 |
UNITED NATIONS AMERICAN WINS HARASSMENT SUIT The first major sex harassment ruling at the United Nations has favored an American woman over her powerful Argentine superior, divided U.N. employees and raised the issue of U.N. gag orders and secrecy. A judge from Ireland's Supreme Court, appointed by Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, ruled in January after a closed hearing that the woman had been assaulted and harassed. The judge's report is secret and the principals are forbidden by Boutros-Ghali from speaking about it. But in the report, Justice Mella Carroll said, "All in all, I am satisfied that there is clear and convincing evidence that Mr. Luis Maria Gomez assaulted Ms. Catherine Claxton on March 2, 1988, as alleged.