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COLUMN: New arena opens to protect your access to government information

The phrase “public records” isn’t exactly a great conversation starter at the coffee shop.

People don’t grab chairs or scoot up closer to hear more. They suddenly get real busy – with anything else.

But behind that phrase is something that should be dear to everyone at a coffee shop or anyplace else: Good, honest government.

That’s why I have agreed to serve on a new government board – the state Public Records Advisory Council. Gov. Kate Brown appointed me last week. I face a confirmation hearing later this month before a state Senate committee that includes our own state senator, Ted Ferrioli of John Day. Assuming I pass muster, I’ll be put to work pretty quickly.

The job of this new council is to help reduce fights between the public and government executives over access to government documents. Most of those fights are between journalists and government . . .