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Editorial: Taking note of Sunshine Week

Many of us are more than ready for the warm sunshine of spring, which officially arrives Sunday with the promise of a good deal of snow melt before then.

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Sun

Many of us are more than ready for the warm sunshine of spring, which officially arrives Sunday with the promise of a good deal of snow melt before then.

Mid-March also brings the annual observance of Sunshine Week, an occasion marked in media circles across the U.S. The roots of Sunshine Week, when considered alongside some legislative efforts taking place today, make being mindful of this yearly initiative particularly important in 2011.

Sunshine Week came into being as a result of Sunshine Sunday, which was founded in 2002 by the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors as a response to several legislative efforts in that state to create exemptions to Florida's public records law. Several states subsequently followed Florida's example, and ultimately Sunshine Week was launched by the American Society of News Editors in March 2005.

The primary goal of Sunshine Week is, according to sunshineweek.org, "to promote a dialogue about the importance of government and freedom of information." The initiative "seeks to enlighten and empower people to play an active role in their government at all levels, and to give them access to information that makes their lives better and their communities stronger."

This Sunshine Week, we would be remiss in not noting an effort taking place in the Minnesota Legislature that would no longer require the publishing of public notices in newspapers. This information, we feel, certainly allows for greater and easier "access to information" that, in turn, can make lives better and communities stronger.

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Let the sun shine brightly this week.

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