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The FOI Advocate is a compendium of ideas, edited story excerpts and other materials from a variety of Web sites, as well as original concepts and analysis. When the information comes directly from another source, it will be attributed and a link will be provided whenever possible. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited. We will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

A Wonderful Tribute to Our Very Own Frosty!

Here is a wonderful editorial about NFOIC Board Member Frosty Landon:

Virginians can see what their government is up to thanks in no small part to one man: Forrest "Frosty" Landon.

A modern Prometheus, he brought light to the people and taught them how to turn it on the gods, without all the messy vulture business that followed. He taught the gods, too, that sunshine is something to embrace as the foundation of good government.

Now, as he begins his second retirement, his hard work has garnered much-deserved recognition. The National Freedom of Information Coalition and the Society of Professional Journalists recently named him one of the "Heroes of the 50 States" in The Open Government Hall of Fame.

Frosty has been a Roanoke institution for decades, first with WDBJ and then at The Roanoke Times where he rose to executive editor before retiring.

Retirement did not sit well with him, though. In 1996, at Frosty's instigation, the Virginia Coalition for Open Government formed, and he became the executive director. He led a crusade against government secrecy on behalf of all Virginians for a decade, stepping down from the post this summer to begin a second retirement.

His tireless insistence that government performs best under public scrutiny motivated many improvements. Virginia created its Freedom of Information Advisory Council at his urging...

And here is my favorite part:

For a decade and more, Frosty has been Virginia's conscience on questions of open government. He defended the public's need and right to monitor government.

Without his work, our democracy would be all the weaker, and most people wouldn't even realize it because the truth would be hidden away in secret meetings and shrouded in unreleased documents.

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