Today marks the beginning of Sunshine Week, a nationwide initiative to highlight the public’s right to know. Local news outlets such as this newspaper serve as stewards of the public’s interest in knowing what their government is up to.

The Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications is hosting a virtual event at 6:30 on Monday night celebrating Sunshine Week. Information on panel guests and registration can be found at LoebSchool.org. We encourage our readers to attend this event and to partake of Sunshine Week stories in this newspaper and across all media.

The Loeb School event is titled “Keeping the Light On: Holding Government Accountable.” This is a great summary of the crucial role the free press plays in a functional democracy.

Darkness can hide many evils. To highlight this we are kicking off Sunshine Week by using a substantial amount of ink to print the “Laurie List” as the public can currently see it. Known more formally as the “Exculpatory Evidence Schedule,” this is a list of current and former police officers whose conduct has raised credibility issues. The list is maintained by the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office so criminal defendants in cases involving these problematic officers can be informed of credibility issues in preparing their defense.

Recent court rulings and some efforts by the Legislature and the governor’s Commission on Law Enforcement Accountability, Community and Transparency have pushed the list closer to public release. Still, the redaction blocks (and extra ink) below ,tell the story.

Names and identifying information of officers remain hidden under those blocks. An exception to New Hampshire’s Right to Know law for personnel files keeps it that way, for now.

Residents of communities with officers on the list for things such as excessive force, egregious dereliction of duty, criminal conduct, or falsifying physical evidence would like to know who those officers are and if they are still patrolling the streets. We think they have a right to know.

At this newspaper we like to treat every week as Sunshine Week, and will never stop fighting to shine our light into the darkness. There remains much worth fighting to expose.

 
Sunday, June 13, 2021

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic we have maintained that Gov. Chris Sununu handled the emergency superbly. That is why New Hampshire weathered the crisis well relative to most other states. It is also why the voters overwhelmingly returned the young governor to office last November.

In an opinion piece for this weekend’s Sunday News, state Commissioner of Education Frank Edelblut makes the case for the passage of legislation regarding what should and shouldn’t be taught in our schools relative to race and discrimination. We recommend his piece to readers. We urge legisl…

Friday, June 11, 2021
Wednesday, June 09, 2021

The punishment (and attendant reeducation) of two Bedford police officers may have been a bit harsh for their offense but that’s difficult to determine. In fact, Chief John Bryfonski has not shed much light on l’affaire TikTok, in which two of his men using the video social platform apparent…

Columnist George Will had a nice turn of phrase last week for what New Hampshire’s congressional delegation and Democrats nationally are up to with their attempt to nationalize elections. Will says it “reflects an appetite for constitutional vandalism.”

Sunday, June 06, 2021
Friday, June 04, 2021