What Are They Hiding?

Public records are supposed to be public—but many government agencies would prefer their work be done in the shadows. That’s why they often come up with all sorts of ways to block the press and the public from seeing them, whether it’s charging outrageous fees or claiming that it will take months or years to respond to requests.

That is why every year during Sunshine Week, our paper joins with many alt-week- lies across the country to publish the FOIllies—a round-up of some of the most outrageous responses to requests for public records. The package is compiled by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to defending digital freedom and free speech. While the excuses to not producing public records are amusing to read, it should also outrage you that these agencies don’t want you to know what they are doing with your tax dollars—not to mention that the former occupant to the White House was evidently shredding, eating and flushing public records.

Elsewhere in the book this week: Sonoran Explorin’ columnist Emily Dieckman recounts a trip to the opera; Tucson Salvage columnist Brian Smith shares his battle with long COVID; Chow contributor Matt Russell writes about the new downtown hot-spot BATA; managing editor Jeff Gardner previews this weekend’s Tucson Hip Hop Festival; XOXO columnist Xavier Omar Otero tells you about all the live music you can enjoy this week; Tucson Weedly columnist David Abbott looks at a new organization that helps veterans who are interested in learning more about cannabis as medicine; and there are the usual comics, calendars and columns scattered throughout the book. 
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