Briefly In The News

December 21, 2006

UCI professor helps unearth Lennon filesJon Wiener, a history professor at UC Irvine, scored a long-awaited victory this week, as the FBI released a group of files on former Beatle John Lennon — 25 years after Wiener requested them.

A member of the American Civil Liberties Union and the author of "Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon FBI File," Wiener obtained the release of most of the 300 pages in Lennon's FBI file in 1997 and used them as material for his book.

The 10 documents released this week, which the FBI held on the grounds that they could lead to "military retaliation against the United States," discuss the political messages of Lennon's songs, his support of Cambodia during the Vietnam War and an interview he gave to an underground English newspaper.


Wiener, in a statement, criticized the FBI for what he viewed as censorship of material that was already widely known.

"Today we can see that the national security claims the FBI has been making for 25 years were absurd from the beginning," he wrote. "The Lennon FBI file is a classic case of excessive government secrecy."

Kaiser school principal to receive county honorStacy Holmes, the principal of Kaiser Elementary School in Costa Mesa, has been selected to receive the Orange County Department of Education's Outstanding Contributions to Education Award, becoming the third Newport-Mesa recipient this year.

Holmes, a Texas native who is in his fourth year at Kaiser, was nominated for the honor by music teacher Audrey Seidman. He is set to pick up his award at a ceremony at the county headquarters on Jan. 18.

Ingrid Ohanian, a teacher at Newport Coast Elementary School, and Kurt Suhr, the principal of Newport Heights Elementary School, won the award earlier this year. The county gives out the Outstanding Contributions to Education Award six times annually, with several teachers and administrators being honored in each installment.

Holmes, who has taught in New York and New Jersey, was touched to have been nominated by a music teacher — since that was his mother's career in education.

"I'm obviously a great advocate of music in the schools, and I'm glad that that was the reason for all this attention," he said.

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