San Francisco Chronicle 11/26/00
New Policies for Records Access Break Seals, But Bring Conundrums
by Harriet Chiang
Chronicle Legal Affairs Writer
For years, plaintiffs and the press have struggled to squeeze information out
of sealed court files and secret settlements. So when California court
officials adopted new rules on when judges can seal court records, it offered
a long-awaited opening into the legal system.
As part of a well-worn tradition, judges have rubber-stamped protective
orders to keep documents private in virtually every type of civil dispute --
celebrity splits, wrongful death suits over airline crashes, and, most
recently, personal injury suits against Bridgestone/Firestone Inc.
Critics of the system are hoping the new standards will be the first step in
opening to the public -- as well as regulatory agencies -- a legal system
with a long tradition of keeping most information secret.
Los Angeles Times 11/26/00
Ah, Yes, They Recall it Well
by Hank Rosenfield
A few old men in a Park Hyatt suite in Century City. They kibitz . . .
Yordan: We went to New York, Bernie.
Gordon: Where'd you stay? Your favorite place, the Automat?
Yordan: No, that place where they chain the ashtrays to the table. The Mildew
What could be the opening of a new Neil Simon-something is a coupla
screenwriters sitting around noshing, courtesy of Turner Classic Movies. TCM
has invited Bernard Gordon ("Krakatoa, East of Java," "Earth vs. the Flying
Saucers," etc.), Philip Yordan ("Johnny Guitar," "El Cid," etc.), Sidney
Sheldon ("Easter Parade," "Annie Get Your Gun," etc.) and other figures from
the golden age of Hollywood to sit for an oral history project.
"Child actresses, stunt guys, makeup people, composers, producers," reels off
archive project leader Alexa Foreman. Her crew from TCM headquarters in
Atlanta has more than 200 Hollywood survivors archived so far.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 11/26/00
Region's basement stores our stuff
Where limestone lay treasures now repose
by Karen Kane
BOYERS -- It's a perfect fall day. Trees are awash in crimson and orange, the
sky a blanket of blue, the air crisp, the sun warm.
But there's no hint of nature's glory within Tom Roth's corporate confines.
There -- beneath a mountain, behind a 20-ton steel gate, between a host of
rocks and hard places -- the air is always cool and the sun never shines. The
only glimpse of Mother Nature is a dimly lit view of rough-hewn limestone
walls and dirt floors.
Welcome to Iron Mountain National Underground Storage, known by the locals as
"the mines" and home to some of America's most valuable assets and vital
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 11/26/00
Manager loves job 'down under'
by Mackenzie Carpenter
Management of Iron Mountain's Boyers compound is in the hands of Tom Roth,
49, of Pine, who has been running the show since November 1998.
As general manager, he oversees everything -- marketing and maintenance,
staffing and refurbishment. An office redo is in the works now.
"It's a great job," Roth said in his modest office 200 feet underground.
Salt Lake Tribune 11/25/00
Company holds grudge against Army
Western Sheet Metal says it lost millions of dollars worth of business
because of baseless lawsuit
by Roberth Gehrke
For eight years, the Army Corps of Engineers waged a legal war against a Salt
Lake City sheet metal company, alleging shoddy work, missed deadlines and
When reports of a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office hit The Salt
Lake Tribune in 1997, it cost Western Sheet Metal millions of dollars in lost
business, said company vice president R.C. Montrone.
Last week, the government dropped its case and agreed to pay Western $662,500
in claims, attorney fees and court costs.
The agreement ended Western's tussle over an Army facility at the Dugway
Proving Grounds designed to test how well military vehicles resist the most
lethal chemical agents. Western built the ductwork to sweep the deadly vapor
from the test chambers and into a disposal furnace.
Nebraska Journal Star 11/23/00
Con can't check own med record
by Scott Bauer
State prison inmates cannot see their own medical records, the state attorney
general's office said in an opinion requested by the Department of
Omaha Sen. Ernie Chambers said he disagreed with the attorney general's
interpretation of the law and will introduce a bill in the coming legislative
session making it clear that prisoners can access their medical records.
The opinion comes after the attorney general's office in April also denied
access to prisoner medical records requested by the state ombudsman's office.
That opinion said the ombudsman's office could have access to medical records
only if the inmate allowed it.
Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, Opens Web-Based Access to a Wide Range Of
AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Citizens in Mecklenburg County, NC,
now have access through the Internet to a wide range of public records,
thanks to the County's Register of Deeds and Hart InterCivic, a leading
provider of election and e-government solutions.
"Getting access to public records does not have to involve long lines and
personal inconvenience," said The Honorable Judy Gibson, Mecklenburg County
Register of Deeds. "With the launch of this site, we are beginning a process
of taking government to the people, empowering citizens to access information
they need, when they need it, from any place where they can access the
Huntsville Times 11/26/00
Huge record collection includes rare 78s
Redstone employee has 2,400 platters acquired over the years
by Rebecca Sallee
The operations dean of the acquisitions center at the Army Aviation and
Missile Command has so many phonograph records, it's enough to make your head
spin. Not to mention your turntable.
For the record, Charlie Urban owns about 2,400 phonograph records, including
78s, 45s and long-playing albums, better known as LPs.
Urban, 53, first inherited records from his siblings, and one thing led to
''I started as a kid with family music that my older brothers and sisters had
bought,'' said Urban, a St. Louis native who moved to Huntsville with the
transfer during the merger of the Army's Aviation and Missile commands. ''As
they lost interest, I just started collecting.''
Bergen Record 11/26/00
Civil War story told in letters of soldiers
By Ralph Siegel
KEARNY -- The descriptions of war that Stephen Beekman wrote 138 years ago in
a letter to a newspaper are as vivid and stunning as any to drip from the pen
of a Hollywood screenwriter.
"The deep booming of the battery on our left made the very ground shake. . .
"Twice I saw the rebels charge and mount the rail fence in the very faces of
our men, but it was evident not a man got over. One bold fellow I spied on
top of the fence for an instant, and then a ball crashed through his brain. .
"Twice the battery on the left was most desperately charged upon by the rebel
infantry. They dashed out of the woods with a yell, reached within about
three paces of the guns, and then at the terrific discharges of canister . .
. melted literally into thin air."
State readies massive public display of state police records
by John McAlpin
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Two months ago the state attorney general was talking
big numbers - 50,000 pages of documents stretching back a decade - to make
public the state's struggle with racial profiling.
Days before a self-imposed deadline, the cache has grown to more than 90,000
pages, many never before made public.
Throughout the holiday weekend, the attorney general's office worked on the
practical details of the upcoming exposition. Staff members struggled with
everything from the number of binders that will hold the records to the
number of chairs in the reading room being set up to accommodate the expected
reporters, lawyers, community activists and the curious.
Sun Sentinel 11/24/00
Signing on the digital line
by Robyn Friedman
At his real estate closing last July, Jose Ignacio Arroyo didn't just
purchase a new home. He made history.
The Weston man participated in the first completely electronic real estate
transaction. In other words, he bought a home, obtained a mortgage, and
within just a few hours, that mortgage was sold on the secondary market --
all by computer and modem.
In much the same way that computers have revolutionized the home-search
process through Web sites that list houses for sale, they are changing the
The Sunday Times 11/26/00
'Stressed' scribbles reveal secrets of Downing Street
by David Leppard, Gareth Walsh and Paul Nuki
CONFIDENTIAL documents from Downing Street detailing what appear to be the
subjects of Tony Blair's daily deliberations have been leaked to The Sunday
They consist of nearly a dozen pages of handwritten notes on official headed
paper, and reveal topics drawn up by Jonathan Powell, Blair's chief of staff,
in the past week or so.
Powell is one of Blair's closest advisers. The leaking of his personal notes
will raise suspicions of a mole in the heart of government and precipitate an
inquiry into security at Downing Street.
International Herald Tribune 11/25/00
A priceless peek at a looted past
by Sheila Melvin
Shanghai-- A century ago, a Taoist abbot named Wang Yuanlu stumbled into a
secret storeroom in a manmade cave in northwest China that he used for
meditation. Hidden behind a rock, he discovered a cache of more than 50,000
books, scrolls, sutras, silk paintings and temple banners, all dating to
before 1004. .Wang's discovery was to prove priceless. Books and manuscripts
secreted in the chamber - written in Chinese, Tibetan and various Central
Asian languages - offered invaluable information about the monks who had
carved out the cave, along with hundreds of neighboring grottoes, beginning
in 366. Among them was the world's oldest dated printed book - the Diamond
Sutra - the record of a debate between Buddha and a disciple over the
sentience of all living things. .What may be the world's oldest musical
score, "The Book of Heaven," was also there, along with maps, administrative
documents and treatises on medicine. Even miscellaneous scraps of paper have
proved to be precious fodder for social historians, such as the receipt that
records the cost of a cow and the team roster from a polo match.
Florida Times-Union 11/26/00
Book compiles the forgotten graves of McIntosh County
Woman compiles maps and records
by Terry Dickson
DARIEN -- For the past 10 years, Mattie Gladstone has been poking around
Actually, she's been probing with a 32-inch stainless steel rod trying to
find lost and forgotten graves for a cemetery book. With the help of an
estimated 35 people, Gladstone has edited and compiled the 393-page book
Cemeteries of McIntosh County, Ga. Published by the Lower Altamaha Historical
Society, the book contains records and maps of 81 graveyards, including
military, family, church, public, slave and plantation burial grounds.
There is nothing morbid about the decade of work. Gladstone claims no
particular fascination for graveyards. It is instead her interest in history
that kept her at the job.
Peter A. Kurilecz CRM, CA
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