Too many government agencies want to keep secrets. The spirit of Oregon's public records statute is that records are deemed to be open to public inspection unless an agency head can substantiate a claim for secrecy.
Last week's absurd claim by the Oregon Health Division begs for a ray of sunshine. A public health authority declined the request of our sister newspaper, the Blue Mountain Eagle, for the name of the county in which Oregon's first mortality from West Nile Virus occurred. The health authority said secrecy was needed to protect the family of the deceased, and that the county had requested it not be named.
Take a law that many are terrified of but few know anything about, and you too can use it for an excuse for just about anything!