Thursday, January 31, 2008

Summary Minutes COGI Board Meeting Jan 7, 2008

Minnesota Coalition on Government Information
Summary Minutes - Meeting of the COGI Board

January 7, 2008

Attendees: Helen Burke; Katie Engler; Alan Malkis; Mary Treacy; Julia Wallace; and, Laura Wittstock.


Information was provided on "a save the date" for the March 1, "Afloat" event, confirmed reservation of Pohlad Hall at the Mpls Central Library for the FOI Day event; and, a variety of legislative developments, including an alert concerning S.F. 2345 a bill that would greatly enhance the government's authority to declare certain data to be civil investigative data and therefore not public.

Board Development.

The Board agreed that we should recruit additional members so that the Board would have full membership of 15. COGI needs to function more formally including such things as election of officers, creating an executive committee of the Board, filing of reports, and following our by-laws.

Helen Burke was nominated to be Chair of the Board and elected unanimously.

Robbie LaFleur was nominated to be Treasurer and elected unanimously.

Don Gemberling was nominated to be Secretary and elected unanimously.

The Board agreed to create an executive committee of three members until such time as the Board gets to full membership of fifteen at which time the executive committee will be expanded to five members.

The Board asked that all members of the Board be provided with an up to date copy of our by-laws.

The Board discussed recruitment of persons to fill the Board vacancies. Various board members volunteered to contact groups and individuals to either recruit Board members or ask for nominations. Mary Treacy should be informed of progress on contacts. She should be provided with new and updated contact information.

Contract for Consulting Services.

The Board discussed the draft of a contract under which Mary Treacy would agree to perform certain services for the Board. Amendments to the contract were discussed and approved.

After being moved and seconded, the contract was unanimously approved with the changes as discussed.

Mary's Thoughts.

Mary Treacy reminded the Board of the document she prepared in which she presented her thoughts on what the Board needs to do to make COGI a successful organization. She asked that the Board keep those thoughts in mind as we continue our work.

FOI Day and the Finnegan Award.

Possible nominees were discussed. Mary Treacy will send copies of the nomination forms to the Board. As per last year's successful experience, the website and other mechanisms will be used to solicit nominations from the public

Meeting Schedule.

The Board agreed that we should be meeting more often. The Board agreed that it would meet on the following dates and at 4:00 p.m. on those dates: 1/21; 2/4; 2/18; and 3/3. Unless otherwise announced, the meetings will be held at the Midtown Commons Building.

The Board meeting was then adjourned.

Submitted by Don Gemberling, Secretary.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Minnesotans Afloat in the Wireless Pond?

JANUARY 15, 2008

Minnesotans Afloat in the Wireless Pond?
Journalist Keynotes Sesquicentennial Event

Kenneth Brusic, executive editor of the Orange County (CA) Register, will be the keynote speaker at conference whimsically entitled “Afloat in the Wireless Pond” on Saturday, March 1, 2008. Exploring the changes that the Internet is making in our lives on the state, local, and personal levels, the conference will take place at Luther Seminary, 2481 Como, St. Paul, from 9:00-4:00.

The conference, funded in part by the Minnesota Sesquicentennial Commission as part of the celebration of Minnesota’s 150th anniversary of statehood, is cosponsored by the Minnesota Coalition on Government Information and the Minnesota Independent Scholars’ Forum.

Brusic will speak to the challenges that newspapers face in this time of Internet saturation. Under Brusic’s leadership the Orange County Register has been involved in rethinking the nature of the newspaper business. “We are more than a newspaper; we are really an information company,” he says. In addition to the daily and Sunday newspaper the OCR runs 23 community weeklies, an Orange County Home magazine and the website.

Ken Brusic graduated from the University of Denver and has a Master’s Degree from the School of Journalism of the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has previously worked on the Boulder Daily Camera, the Wichita Eagle, and the Quincy (MA) Patriot Ledger. He joined the Orange County Register in 1989. Under his leadership the Register won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting in 1996. In late 2007 he was named Communicator of the Year by at he School of Communication at California State University in Fullerton.

Other scheduled speakers include David Wiggins, Mississippi River Visitor Center; Laura Waterman Wittstock, CEO of Wittstock Associates; Jane Leonard, Executive Director of the Minnesota Sesquicentennial Commission; Thomas Leighton, Principal City Planner, City of Minneapolis; librarian and geographer Carol Urness; Jim Ramstrom of the Land Management Information Center; Helen Burke, Director of the federal depository library at Minneapolis Public Library; scholar and educator Peter Shea, and youth representatives of the state’s History Day program.

The day will also include demonstrations of initiatives that employ the Internet to expand access to public information. Emphasis is on raising public awareness of the profound impact of the Internet, the implicit but systemic changes and the potential – and limits – of technology to promote civic awareness and involvement. Participants will have an opportunity to focus on information as a public good to be produced, preserved and made accessible as essential to an informed citizenry – in the past and in the future.

Registration ( $20 payable at the door ) includes lunch and materials. Seating is limited; early registration is advised at

Lucy Brusic 612 860 2495 or
Or check the Minnesota Coalition on Government Information website:
(Get .Doc of press release)


Celebrate Sunshine Week 2008
Participate in the national satellite/webcast

Local site sponsored by the
Minnesota Coalition on Government Information

Wednesday, March 19, 2008
11:45 – 2:00 p.m.

Minneapolis Telecommunications Network
125 Main Street SE in St. Anthony Main
Just across the river from downtown Minneapolis

Free and open

Come early and pick up lunch at the Aster Cafe, Tuggs or another local eatery.
Enjoy lunch during the webcast. Stay for brief discussion of the issues and a quick tour of the MTN studios