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An irreverent look at the people and events that kept us up at night

by Jeff Rodriguez

Long before Toronto had Rob Ford, Washington, D.C., had Marion Barry Jr. The former mayor rose to prominence more than 30 years ago, along the way compiling a remarkable list of accomplishments — and a remarkable list of PR disasters to go with them. read more

Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas update: University students used the Texas Public Information Act to request details on student fees as part of this year’s Light of Day FOIFT project. Texas State University students published the first story in the series this school year; read it here. Reporting will continue into early spring as students track how much money is flowing to universities through fees outside of tuition and where those dollars go. ... On a recently approved Texas charter school application, blacked-out paragraphs appear on almost 100 of its 393 pages. Redactions on the publicly available online version of the application often extend for pages at a time and include sections on the school’s plan to support students’ academic success, its extracurricular activities and the “extent to which any private entity, including any management company,” will be involved in the school’s operation. The “shaded material,” according to footnotes, is confidential proprietary or financial information. The school, part of an Arizona-based charter school network called Basis, opened a campus in San Antonio last year. It was technically formed under a nonprofit, but its management is handled by a private company, the Basis Educational Group, owned by the school’s founders. A spokeswoman for the Texas Education Agency said redactions appeared on the application because  the information was copyrighted. Details here.

One more time, with feeling!