Owlie Skywarn

Nicholas Marritz filed this request with the National Weather Service of the United States of America .
Tracking #

DOC-NOAA-2019-001674

Est. Completion Aug. 21, 2019
Status
Withdrawn

Communications

From: Nicholas Marritz

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

All records related to NWS's mascot, Owlie Skywarn. These would include (but are not limited to) communications and documents related to the development and use of the Owlie Skywarn costume and character.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Nicholas Marritz

From: National Weather Service

Thank you for your email.

I will be out of the office from June 14 through June 24, 2019.  I will respond to your email as soon as possible. In the meantime, please contact Bob Dufrane if you need immediate assistance.  He can be reached on 301-427-9276.
Respectfully,

Lisa
--
Lisa

From: National Weather Service

Good Morning Nicholas Marritz,

Thank you for your email. Do you have your FOIA tracking number? I am not
familiar with your request.

Kind regards,

Rashada Jenkins

From: Nicholas Marritz

Good morning Ms. Jenkins,

Thanks for your message. I haven't received a tracking number for this request—your email was actually the first response I've received from NOAA/NWS since I sent the request last month. How should I proceed?

My best,

Nick Marritz

From: National Weather Service

Thank you for this information. I am looking into this request. To confirm,
you made your request via NOAA’s FOIA online?

Rashada

*Rashada Jenkins, MPS*
NOAA, National Weather Service
Management & Organization Division
Telework: Monday & Thursday
(301) 427.6936

From: Nicholas Marritz

The request was made via email.

My best,

Nick Marritz

From: National Weather Service

Hello Nick,

Can you tell me who you emailed?
Best,

Rashada Jenkins

--
*Rashada Jenkins, MPS*
NOAA, National Weather Service
Management & Organization Division
Telework: Monday & Thursday
(301) 427.6936

From: Muckrock Staff

Hi Rashada,

The request was originally emailed to lisa.love@noaa.gov

We can update our contact information if there is a better way to send requests. I don't see NOAA in FOIAOnline, so if you can advise on how to use it we would appreciate that as well.

MuckRock
(Nick Marritz is using MuckRock's services to file and track this request)

From: National Weather Service

Hello Nicholas,

Please submit your request via
https://www.noaa.gov/foia-freedom-of-information-act.

Thank you,

Rashada Jenkins
--
*Rashada Jenkins, MPS*
NOAA, National Weather Service
Management & Organization Division
Telework: Monday & Thursday
(301) 427.6936

From: National Weather Service

This message is to confirm your request submission to the FOIAonline application: View Request. Request information is as follows: (https://www.foiaonline.gov/foiaonline/action/public/submissionDetails?trackingNumber=DOC-NOAA-2019-001674&type=request)
* Tracking Number: DOC-NOAA-2019-001674
* Requester Name: Nicholas Marritz
* Date Submitted: 06/28/2019
* Request Status: Submitted
* Description: To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

All records related to NWS's mascot, Owlie Skywarn. These would include (but are not limited to) communications and documents related to the development and use of the Owlie Skywarn costume and character.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Nicholas Marritz

From: National Weather Service

Greetings,

Please see attached for Clarification Letter regarding
*DOC-NOAA-2019-001674*.

Kindly,

Rashada Jenkins
--
*Rashada Jenkins, MPS*
NOAA, National Weather Service
Management & Organization Division

From: Nicholas Marritz

Dear Ms. Jenkins,

Thank you for your letter requesting clarification of my FOIA request. To clarify: my request means what it says: I am requesting "all records" related to NWS's mascot, Owlie Skywarn. As the request states, such records would include *but are not limited to* communications and documents related to the development and use of the Owlie Skywarn costume and character.

I hope that this clarification is helpful. Please feel free to contact me with any further questions about this request.

My best,

Nick Marritz

From: National Weather Service

Good Morning Nicholas Marritz ,

Please see attached letter regarding FOIA request DOC-NOAA-2019-001674 fee
estimate.

Kindly,

Rashada Jenkins
--
*Rashada Jenkins, MPS*
NOAA, National Weather Service
Management & Organization Division
Telework: Monday & Thursday

From: Nicholas Marritz

Dear Ms. Jenkins,

In order to avoid paying over $50,000 in search fees alone, I wish to narrow the scope of my FOIA request. Please let me know if there is a convenient time for me to reach you by phone so that we can discuss the best way to do that.

Thanks very much,

Nick Marritz

From: National Weather Service

Greetings,

Thank you for your email. It is best to narrow your scope via email, for
record purposes. I cannot suggest how you may lessen the cost of the FOIA
request. If you have any questions, please send them via email. I will do
my best to assist.

Kindly,

Rashada Jenkins

*Rashada Jenkins, MPS*
NOAA, National Weather Service
Management & Organization Division
Telework: Monday & Thursday
(301) 427.6936

From: Nicholas Marritz

Dear Ms. Love,

I am having an issue with NOAA's processing of my FOIA request (DOC-NOAA-2019-001674) and hoped that you could be of some assistance.

In late June, I submitted a FOIA request seeking all records relating to the National Weather Service's mascot, Owlie Skywarn. I also requested a fee waiver. In response, I was told that the agency would charge me over $50,000 for the search alone. In an effort to resolve the issue, I let the FOIA officer know that I wished to narrow the scope of my request and asked for a phone call so that we could discuss the most effective way to do that while still getting me the information I really want. The FOIA officer declined to speak with me by phone and said that she could not suggest how I could lessen the cost of my request.

I feel like I'm running out of options. Without knowing how the agency arrived at its (extremely high) cost estimate, it's hard for me to know the best way to narrow the scope of the request. I considered seeking mediation through OGIS, but I thought I'd go to you first. Please let me know if you are able to assist me in resolving this dispute. Thank you very much for your time.

Nick Marritz

From: National Weather Service

Good Afternoon Nicholas Marritz,

My supervisor and I would like to extend an opportunity to discuss FOIA
request DOC-NOAA-2019-001674. Can you provide the best contact number to
reach you.

We look forward to speaking with you tomorrow between 10:00 am -12:00 pm.

Kindly,

Rashada Jenkins
--
*Rashada Jenkins, MPS*
NOAA, National Weather Service
Management & Organization Division
Telework: Monday & Thursday
(301) 427.6936

From: Nicholas Marritz

Dear Ms. Jenkins,

Thank you for your message, and for the opportunity to discuss my FOIA request. I look forward to speaking with you tomorrow and am available during the timeframe you propose. Does 11:00 work for you?

My best,

Nick Marritz

From: Nicholas Marritz

Oh, and the best number to reach me is on my cell phone: 412-965-9554.

Cheers,

Nick Marritz

From: National Weather Service

Hello Nicholas Marritz,

Thank you for your email. 11:00 am will work for Lisa and I. What is the
best number to reach you?
Best,
Rashada

--
*Rashada Jenkins, MPS*
NOAA, National Weather Service
Management & Organization Division
Telework: Monday & Thursday
(301) 427.6936

From: Nicholas Marritz

The best number to reach me is on my cell phone: 412-965-9554. I look forward to speaking tomorrow at 11:00.

From: Nicholas Marritz

Dear Lisa and Rashada,

Thanks so much for speaking with me on the phone today. I'm glad we were able to straighten out any miscommunications, and I appreciate the productive dialogue. I'll be in touch soon with a more tailored FOIA request, along with a little more explanation about why I'm seeking a fee waiver. Again, thank you for your time, and for all you do for public transparency in our federal government.

My best,

Nick Marritz

From: National Weather Service

Hello Nicholas,

It was our pleasure.

Kindly,
Rashada
--
*Rashada Jenkins, MPS*
NOAA, National Weather Service
Management & Organization Division
Telework: Monday & Thursday
(301) 427.6936

From: Nicholas Marritz

Dear Ms. Jenkins,

Per last month's phone conversation, I would like to narrow the scope of my FOIA Request #DOC-NOAA-2019-001674.

UPDATED REQUEST FOR RECORDS

1. Please produce all records related to the creation and development of NWS's mascot, Owlie Skywarn. This would include records related to NWS's decision to create a mascot in the first place.

2. If NWS contracted with a third party to create or develop the Owlie Skywarn mascot (or materials featuring Owlie Skywarn), please produce all related records, including contracts, progresss reports, mockups, sample designs, drafts, and presentations.

3. Please produce records sufficient to identify all NWS guidelines regarding how the Owlie Skywarn costume or character may be used, displayed, or reproduced. If these guidelines have changed over time, please produce the past versions as well as the current version. This request includes all guidelines related to the use of Owlie Skywarn's social-media accounts, but I am not requesting the accounts themselves (e.g., there is no need to send me every Tweet, Facebook, or Instagram post ever posted to an Owlie-Skywarn-related account).

4. Please produce records sufficient to identify all of the ways in which NWS currently uses the Owlie Skywarn costume or character.

5. Please produce all records relating to any inquiries made by Congress, by any Congressional committee or subcommittee (including the U.S. Senate's Federal Financial Management subcommittee), or by any member of Congress, related to NOAA or NWS's use of mascots in general or Owlie Skywarn in particular. Please include any records produced by NOAA or NWS in response to such an inquiry. One such inquiry may have occurred in 2007: https://oklahoman.com/article/3083453/oklahoma-senator-criticizes-government-mascots

6. Please produce records sufficient to identify how much money NOAA/NWS has spent on Owlie-Skywarn-related activities during each of the last five years.

UPDATED REQUEST FOR FEE WAIVER

I respectfully ask that NOAA/NWS waive all fees associated with this FOIA request. I am not making this request for commercial purposes. In fact, I am making this request as part of a personal project of mine called the Federal Agency Mascot Project. The project aims to create a comprehensive list of federal agency mascots, unearth their origins, see how they are used today, and reveal what kind of reaction they have received from lawmakers, regulated entities, and the general public. All responsive documents will be made available to the general public online for free: https://www.muckrock.com/project/federal-agency-mascot-project-441/ As such, I hope that your agency will collaborate with this project in the spirit of transparency and public access by waiving any fees associated with this FOIA request. Thank you very much.

From: National Weather Service

Thank you for your email.

I will be out of the office today  I will respond to your email as soon as possible. In the meantime, please contact Bob Dufrane if you need immediate assistance.  He will be acting in my absence and can be reached on 301-427-9276.
Respectfully,

Lisa
--
Lisa

From: National Weather Service

The FOIA
request
- DOC-NOAA-2019-001674 has been supplemented with additional supporting files. Additional details for this item are as follows:

* Tracking Number: DOC-NOAA-2019-001674
* Requester: Nicholas Marritz
* Submitted Date: 06/28/2019
* Description:
UPDATED REQUEST DESCRIPTION 9/3/19: 1. Please produce all records related to the creation and development of NWS's mascot, Owlie Skywarn. This would include records related to NWS's decision to create a mascot in the first place.

2. If NWS contracted with a third party to create or develop the Owlie Skywarn mascot (or materials featuring Owlie Skywarn), please produce all related records, including contracts, progresss reports, mockups, sample designs, drafts, and presentations.

3. Please produce records sufficient to identify all NWS guidelines regarding how the Owlie Skywarn costume or character may be used, displayed, or reproduced. If these guidelines have changed over time, please produce the past versions as well as the current version. This request includes all guidelines related to the use of Owlie Skywarn's social-media accounts, but I am not requesting the accounts themselves (e.g., there is no need to send me every Tweet, Facebook, or Instagram post ever posted to an Owlie-Skywarn-related account).

4. Please produce records sufficient to identify all of the ways in which NWS currently uses the Owlie Skywarn costume or character.

5. Please produce all records relating to any inquiries made by Congress, by any Congressional committee or subcommittee (including the U.S. Senate's Federal Financial Management subcommittee), or by any member of Congress, related to NOAA or NWS's use of mascots in general or Owlie Skywarn in particular. Please include any records produced by NOAA or NWS in response to such an inquiry. One such inquiry may have occurred in 2007: https://oklahoman.com/article/3083453/oklahoma-senator-criticizes-government-mascots

6. Please produce records sufficient to identify how much money NOAA/NWS has spent on Owlie-Skywarn-related activities during each of the last five years.

From: National Weather Service

The FOIA
request
- DOC-NOAA-2019-001674 description has been modified. Additional details for this item are as follows:

* Tracking Number: DOC-NOAA-2019-001674
* Requester: Nicholas Marritz
* Submitted Date: 06/28/2019
* Description:
UPDATED REQUEST DESCRIPTION 9/3/19: 1. Please produce all records related to the creation and development of NWS's mascot, Owlie Skywarn. This would include records related to NWS's decision to create a mascot in the first place.

2. If NWS contracted with a third party to create or develop the Owlie Skywarn mascot (or materials featuring Owlie Skywarn), please produce all related records, including contracts, progresss reports, mockups, sample designs, drafts, and presentations.

3. Please produce records sufficient to identify all NWS guidelines regarding how the Owlie Skywarn costume or character may be used, displayed, or reproduced. If these guidelines have changed over time, please produce the past versions as well as the current version. This request includes all guidelines related to the use of Owlie Skywarn's social-media accounts, but I am not requesting the accounts themselves (e.g., there is no need to send me every Tweet, Facebook, or Instagram post ever posted to an Owlie-Skywarn-related account).

4. Please produce records sufficient to identify all of the ways in which NWS currently uses the Owlie Skywarn costume or character.

5. Please produce all records relating to any inquiries made by Congress, by any Congressional committee or subcommittee (including the U.S. Senate's Federal Financial Management subcommittee), or by any member of Congress, related to NOAA or NWS's use of mascots in general or Owlie Skywarn in particular. Please include any records produced by NOAA or NWS in response to such an inquiry. One such inquiry may have occurred in 2007: https://oklahoman.com/article/3083453/oklahoma-senator-criticizes-government-mascots

6. Please produce records sufficient to identify how much money NOAA/NWS has spent on Owlie-Skywarn-related activities during each of the last five years.

From: National Weather Service

Hello Nicholas Marritz,

Thank you for your email. I will inform the SMEs of the amended request. In
the meantime, the NOAA FOIA Office has your fee waiver request. Once I
receive the decision of the fee waiver, I will begin processing the FOIA
request.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns,

Rashada Jenkins
--
*Rashada Jenkins, MPS*
NOAA, National Weather Service
Management & Organization Division
Telework: Monday & Thursday
(301) 427.6936

From: Nicholas Marritz

Thank you very much, Ms. Jenkins.

From: National Weather Service

Please see attached letter. Thank you. Brittany A. Pugh NOAA FOIA Office

From: National Weather Service

Your request for Fee Waiver for the FOIA request DOC-NOAA-2019-001674 has been
denied.
Additional details for this request are as follows:

* Request Created on:
06/28/2019
* Request Description:
To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

All records related to NWS's mascot, Owlie Skywarn. These would include (but are not limited to) communications and documents related to the development and use of the Owlie Skywarn costume and character.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Nicholas Marritz
* Fee Waiver Original Justification:
I respectfully ask that NOAA/NWS waive all fees associated with this FOIA request. I am not making this request for commercial purposes. In fact, I am making this request as part of a personal project of mine called the Federal Agency Mascot Project. The project aims to create a comprehensive list of federal agency mascots, unearth their origins, see how they are used today, and reveal what kind of reaction they have received from lawmakers, regulated entities, and the general public. All responsive documents will be made available to the general public online for free: https://www.muckrock.com/project/federal-agency-mascot-project-441/ As such, I hope that your agency will collaborate with this project in the spirit of transparency and public access by waiving any fees associated with this FOIA request. Thank you very much.
* Fee Waiver Disposition Reason:
Requester does not satisfy 6 factors, task closed (09/13)

From: Nicholas Marritz

6. Whether any identified commercial interest of the requester is sufficiently great, in
comparison with the public interest in disclosure, such that the disclosure is not primarily
in the commercial interest of the requester.
Your fee waiver justification does not satisfy the six factors contemplated in 15 CFR 4.11.
Therefore this constitutes a denial of your fee waiver request. Your request will be processed
under the “Other” fee category and if applicable, a fee estimate will be sent to you. You have the
right to appeal this denial of the FOIA Fee Waiver request. An appeal must be received within 90
calendar days of the date of this response letter by:
Assistant General Counsel for Employment, Litigation, and Information
U.S. Department of Commerce Room 5896
1401 Constitution Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20230

An appeal may also be sent by e-mail to

Pursuant to procedures established in 15 CFR 4.11(l), we rely on the following factors in
determining whether the statutory standard for granting a fee waiver has been met:
1. The subject of the requested records must concern identifiable operations or activities of
the Federal Government.
2. The disclosable portions of the requested records must be meaningfully informative about
Government operations or activities in order to be “likely to contribute” to and increase
public understanding of those operations or activities.
3. The disclosure of the requested information must contribute to the understanding of a
reasonably broad audience of persons interested in the subject, as opposed to the individual
understanding of the requester.
4. The disclosure of the requested information is likely to contribute “significantly” to the
public’s understanding of Government operations or activities.
5. Whether the requester has a commercial interest that would be furthered by the requester.

From: Nicholas Marritz

Dear Department of Commerce:

Please ignore my previous email sent earlier today. (Subject: RE: Freedom of Information Act Request #DOC-NOAA-2019-001674). I was preparing an appeal of DOC's denial of my FOIA fee waiver request and accidentally hit the "Send" button before the appeal was finished. I will submit a proper appeal of the fee-waiver denial shortly. Thank you for your understanding, and apologies for any confusion.

Sincerely,

Nick Marritz

From: National Weather Service

Good Morning Nicholas Marritz ,

Please see attached letter regarding FOIA request
DOC-NOAA-2019-001674 fee estimate.

Kindly,
--
*Rashada Jenkins, MPS*
NOAA, National Weather Service
Management & Organization Division
Telework: Monday & Thursday
(301) 427.6936

From: National Weather Service

Good Afternoon Mr. Marritz,

I hope all is well. I noticed an error in the response deadline of the
amended fee estimate. Please see attached for the revised letter. You
payment deadline is 30 days from October 2, 2019.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me via email.

Kindly,
Rashada Jenkins
--
*Rashada Jenkins, MPS*
NOAA, National Weather Service
Management & Organization Division
Telework: Monday & Thursday
(301) 427.6936

From: National Weather Service

DOC-NOAA-2019-001674 has been processed with the following final disposition: Fee-Related Reason.

Files

pages

Close