Email BJ Ostergren



Betty "BJ" Ostergren, founder and editor/publisher of The Virginia Watchdog, has been leading the fight to stop this online records mess since August 27, 2002 when she found out her own county's Circuit Court Clerk was getting ready to put records online that contained her signature.  It took three weeks to change the mind of that Circuit Court Clerk who was bombarded with phone calls from concerned citizens who were personally contacted by her and told that they had a record going online with a SSN on it.  The Clerk did not go on line with the records and to see them, a trip to the courthouse is necessary as it should be.  But all VA counties will be online by July 1, 2007.

The Virginia Watchdog is 1) a coalition of people who believe these records should not be put on the internet and 2) a website to educate the public about this online records issue.

She is the daughter of a career Navy officer/pilot who served our country during WWII, the Korea conflict, Congo conflict, and Viet Nam and she has been privileged to have lived in many places including Morocco. 

BJ holds a Bachelor of Science degree ('72) and in her previous life, was a former multi-line insurance claims supervisor for a major insurance company.

BJ began flying in 1979 and got her private pilot's license in 1980.  Although she has not flown in years, she flew and logged time in a Cessna 150 Aerobat, a Cessna 152 with full IFR, and a Piper Twin Comanche - all owned by her and her husband who is a registered professional mechanical/electrical engineer.   

Thanks to the Washington Post story and the DRUDGE Report  who put a link on his site Wednesday, May 25th, 2005 (here's how it looked that day) to that story, The Virginia Watchdog website had over 7 million hits on this site by noon that day as a result of the story - the most yet for this site in a 12 hour period.   

As a result of that story and many others,  BJ has been on the CBS Evening News (Feb, 2005),  MSNBC (May, 2005), the Lou Dobbs show on CNN (May, 2005), CNN's Daybreak show hosted by Carol Costello (May, 2005), Fox News Channel's Weekend Live which was hosted by Brian Wilson for Tony Snow (May, 2005), and CNN's Paula Zahn show and other CNN shows  during June and July, 2006).   

She has also been mentioned in newspaper articles across the country linked here including the Christian Science Monitor, New York Times (April, 2005), New York TImes (2/24/07) Washington Times, USA TODAY (and this article), Virginian-Pilot, Richmond Times-Dispatch (and this article), Greenville (SC) News, Clarion Ledger, the Miami Herald, the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Dayton Daily News, and many others.  

Besides the TV appearances, she has done many live radio interviews and also has been the guest speaker for many groups including an MBA class at VCU (August '06), the Portsmouth (VA) Rotary Club, the Virginia Gift Planning Council, and other civic groups.

BJ has also been in Smart Money (March '05), COMPUTERWORLD (Apr '06), COMPUTERWORLD (Dec. '06),  Consumers Digest (June '06), Consumer Reports (Oct. '06), and DETAILS magazine (Nov. '06) and has been featured in online articles at and and others. 

She believes that one person CAN make a difference.

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