Monthly Archives: March 2011

Save the Data!

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Next week, Congress is going to vote on a budget that may decimate funding for some of the most important technology programs that help make Washington accountable.

Take action now to Save the Data.

Data.gov, USASpending.gov, the IT Dashboard and other federal data transparency and government accountability programs are on the chopping block, set to have their budget reduced from $34 million to $2 million. These programs make up only a tiny fraction of the federal budget and are designed to help the public see what the government is doing, where it’s spending money and help to hold the … Read More

What is the Inspection Score of Your Favorite Restaurant?

Have you ever wondered about the safety of the food that you eat at your neighborhood restaurant? Ever wonder when it was last inspected? Well, depending on where you live, you may be able to search online for the latest inspection scores for the restaurants in your area.

All states and counties have rules and regulations about the safe handling of food including periodic inspections of the establishments. Generally, the inspection scores are the result of routine inspections covering critical and non-critical items. Many states and counties have created websites which provide the results of the inspections. Some of the … Read More

Phoning In Your Court Appearance

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Telephonic appearances by attorneys have been common in certain types of court hearings for years. They have gone mostly unnoticed by the general public, because they have only been used for hearings on motions and other matters that don’t require the presentation of evidence or sworn testimony. These hearing are routine court procedures, not the dramatic trials you see on television.

Allowing some of these routine hearings to be done over the phone saves time for both court staff and attorneys, and thus saves money for clients. Attorneys for both sides may phone in their appearances, or one attorney may … Read More

Live Radiation Monitoring Data

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Hopefully we’re getting accurate information from the government that there is no danger to the U.S. from radiation originating from the failed reactors in Japan.

The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency provides live radiation monitoring reading for dozens of sites all over the country.

We have added this link to our national page and to our environment and sustainability category page.… Read More

State Attorneys General Provide Legal Resources and Legal Research for Free

Generally when we hear about state attorneys general in the news, it is because they are suing tobacco companies, or defending high-profile state laws in court. But state attorneys general (“SAGs”) can also be a good resource for guidance on everyday legal issues. SAGs are tasked with providing legal protection to their state’s residents, which means pursuing big lawsuits sometimes, but also providing guidance on issues such as consumer fraud, elder abuse, and victims’ rights.

The websites of various SAGs provide a variety of resources. The Arizona SAG site, has a section on what to do about annoying telemarketers … Read More

Pennsylvania Upgrades Sex Offender Registry

The Pennsylvania State Police has recently made improvements to it Megan’s Law website making it easier for the public to find information about registered sexual offenders in the state. They have added a mapping function that includes radius searches surrounding a specific address. This new feature allows users to enter an address and establish a search radius of a half-mile, one mile, three miles or five miles. Users can then query the system for offenders living, working, or attending school within the given radius. Results include offender’s name and all known aliases, photograph, physical description, scars, marks, or tattoos, address, … Read More