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Long Island Open Records Report Card Sparks Policy Changes

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first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A year ago this week, the Long Island Press and the Press Club of Long Island co-published an unprecedented report card grading nearly 200 localities responsiveness to identical public records requests.The cumulative grade was a C. Since then, some municipalities and agencies that scored poorly made improvements in how they handle Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests, while others did not.“Suffolk County has reviewed software and is developing a FOIL request/response process for all county departments to access and use,” said a spokesman for the county, which scored a C+. “In addition, the county implemented a search query on the home page of its website in an effort to allow for easier navigation of the site and easier access to FOIL forms.”The report was released in time for Sunshine Week, an annual, national initiative highlighting the importance of access to public records.In Nassau, which got a D+, the former Presiding Officer of the county legislature, Norma Gonsalvez, led a review of the report card’s findings. The panel made one change as a result.“We added the link to the FOIL request to the sidebar on the county website to make it easier to find/access,” said Matthew Fernando, a legislative aide.Besides changes in policy, there has also been changes in administration since last year. Republican Ex-Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, who got an F in the report and is currently on trial for alleged corruption, was replaced by Democrat Laura Curran, who promised to do better than her predecessor.“The Curran administration promises transparency, including the FOIL process,” said Curran’s spokesman. “The system is already being reviewed and improved by the county attorney’s office.”On the village level, Roslyn Harbor passed new FOIL rules shortly after it got an F. Island Park publicly vowed to improve its complete lack of responsiveness. Some, such as Baxter Estates, which did not have a FOIL policy last year, produced one in a sampling this winter. LI’s 97 villages got a cumulative grade of C in the report.But not all heeded the findings. The Village of Cedarhurst, which also got an F, now prominently placed FOIL rules on its website indicating that requests must be made in person at village hall—the type of prohibitive policies that make it more difficult for the public to access records and decreases government transparency.READ THE REPORT: Long Island Gets a ‘C’ in First-Ever Local Government Open Records Report Cardlast_img read more

Smoking weed just ONCE could change a teenager’s brain

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first_imgDaily Mail 15 January 2019Family First Comment: More reasons not to legalise. #PeopleBeforeProfits www.VoteNo.nzJust one or two joints is enough to change the structure of a teenager’s brain, scientists have warned.And the drug could cause changes affecting how likely they are to suffer from anxiety or panic, according to a study.Researchers found 14-year-old girls and boys exposed to THC – the psychoactive chemical in cannabis – had a greater volume of grey matter in their brains.This means the tissue in certain areas is thicker, and it was found to be in the same areas as the receptors which marijuana affects.Experts said thickening of brain tissue is the opposite of what usually happens during puberty, when teenagers’ brain matter gets thinner and more refined.Researchers from the University of Vermont scanned the brains of teenagers from England, Ireland, France and Germany to study marijuana’s effects.They found differences in the volume of grey matter in the amygdala and the hippocampus.These sections are involved with emotions, fear, memory development and spatial skills – changes to them suggests smoking cannabis could affect these faculties.READ MORE: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6590927/Smoking-weed-just-change-teenagers-brain.htmlKeep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more