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Posts published in “Day: August 6, 2006”

Blog utility and Idaho radio

To speak of blogs as doing just one thing is to fail to understand the blogosphere; blogs do many kinds of things, some more useful than others. Some of the narrowest niches provide some of the greatest utility.

Case in point, Idaho Radio News, a blog from Boise that addresses exactly what its title indicates: News and developments in the world of radio in the state of Idaho. That's a subject not central to Ridenbaugh Press but certainly within our scope, and we peruse IRN regularly to keep up. Idaho Radio's niche may not be enormous but it is (so far as we know) the sole practitioner within it. No one else, on line or otherwise, tracks this particular field.

About a week and a half ago, the proprietor said he was assessing whether to continue on: "After almost three years doing this thing, I’m starting to run out of gas. I’m not finding as much to post… I don’t feel very “plugged in”… and frankly, I seem to get more negative e-mails than positive. Plus, the day job and outside life consume me - much more so than they used to."

Fair enough. But to his (stated) surprise, the announcement drew a pile of responses, most asking him to stick with it. (The idea of splitting the load by adding contributors was also broached.) Afterward, he said he will think it over and try to reach a decision on direction in late September or so.

Whatever he decides, we hope Idaho Radio News continues on. It provides a real service to people who need it - more than you can say of any number of mass market publications at the supermarket checkout counter . . .

Legal across the Columbia

courtsThe Washington Supreme Court released a decision last week that, while getting not a glimmer of the explosive attention of the same-sex marriage decision that preceded it by several days, is at least as striking and maybe more so. It says that because a certain thing is legal across the border in Oregon even though not in Washington, the fruits of that action can be used in a Washington court.

Put that way, you might get the impression the court was reaching. Our impression is that it wasn't, that it made good sense. But the implications are provocative.

From the decision in Washington v. Alexander Leonard Fowler, here's the court's quick summary of the circumstances.

Petitioner Alexander L. Fowler was convicted by a jury of two counts of incest in the first degree, two counts of incest in the second degree, and one count of rape in the second degree, all stemming from sexual misconduct with his stepdaughter. Fowler asserts that the trial court erred by admitting into evidence recordings of two telephone conversations he had with the victim. The conversations were recorded in Oregon with the consent of and by the victim acting at the request of the Oregon police when they investigated Fowler's possible sexual misconduct. Fowler was in Washington when he spoke on the phone to the victim, and he did not consent to the recordings; the victim was in Oregon at her family home.
Under Oregon law it is permissible for one party to consent to a recording of a telephone conversation. In Washington, unless an exception applies, it is generally unlawful to tape record a telephone conversation with only one party's consent under the privacy act, chapter 9.73 RCW. Generally, all parties must consent to a recording in Washington. Based on Washington's privacy act, Petitioner claims that the recordings of the conversations in Oregon were unlawful under RCW 9.73.030 and were therefore inadmissible in court under RCW 9.73.050. We hold that the recording of conversations in Oregon did not violate RCW 9.73.030 and were thus not
barred from admission. Accordingly, we affirm petitioner's conviction.

State lines matter.