While I was sleeping

The flu and government accountability

I can’t remember ever sleeping as much as I have over the past week, while I’ve been down with a nasty bug, presumably influenza. The last time I had the flu was back in 2007, shortly after being hired at the CN&R. I remember it well because I’d never been so sick. Fever, body aches, congestion, coughing, lethargy, etc. I lost nine pounds the week I was infirm.

It was a lesson. After that year, I began getting a flu shot. Unfortunately, you can still get the flu, and evidently this was my year for it. Same symptoms as before, including the weight loss, plus an itchy fever rash I can’t seem to shake. In other words, it’s been a miserable week for this newspaperwoman.

The sickness could not have come at a worse time, since Arts Editor Jason Cassidy is out recuperating from rotator cuff surgery. But kind of like theater, the show must go on at Second and Flume streets. In this case, Managing Editor Meredith J. Cooper, Staff Writer Ashiah Scharaga and Calendar Editor Nathan Daly have been holding down the fort.

My thanks to them and to former CN&R Editors Robert Speer and Evan Tuchinsky, who’ve both pitched in to keep the pages full of ink.

I did manage to stay awake long enough over the weekend, between bouts of fever, to edit this week’s cover story by Gabriel Sandoval, a former CN&R intern. For the story, Sandoval embarked on a great project: to test the competency of local government agencies when it comes to responding to public records requests. I don’t want to give too many spoilers here, but I will say that the results weren’t very surprising based on the experience of this newspaper.

We at the CN&R have talked for many, many years about undertaking a project like this during Sunshine Week, a nationwide initiative with the goal of advocating for access to government records, which, by law, belong to the public. Sandoval took on the challenge with enthusiasm, and we hope that it serves as a lesson not only to readers but also to the public agencies.

The upside to having barely left my bed over the past week is that I got a bit of a respite from the national news cycle and, more specifically, the shenanigans of our president. But all good things come to an end.

Here’s some of the news I learned about after waking up, plus my reaction:

Trump agreed to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Uh, wtf?

Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson via Twitter. Chickenshit in chief.

Betsy DeVos, Trump’s secretary of education, choked during an interview with 60 Minutes. Unsurprising.

And speaking of that TV news program, Trump’s lawyers are attempting to bar 60 Minutes from airing an interview with Stormy Daniels, the porn star who was paid $130,000 by Trump’s personal attorney to keep quiet about their alleged affair. Classy.