Tips for the public

Getting public records begins with knowing what you are entitled to and how to go about getting help. Here are some places to start:
California Public Records Act Pocket Guide (PDF)
Primer on California Open Records (PDF)
California public records sample request letter
Federal Open Government Guide
Automated letter generator

Open government advocates provide tips and even support to the public. Some of the places to look:
California First Amendment Coalition
Californians Aware, the Center for Public Forum Rights
Open Government
Common Cause
Society of Professional Journalist: Open Doors
Sunshine Week

Public Eye Team
Tom KnudsonTom Knudson, Environment & Sierra Nevada
Marjie LundstromMarjie Lundstrom, Northern California & General Assignment
Charles PillerCharles Piller, Financial Audits & Prisons
Phillip ReesePhillip Reese, Computer-Assisted Reporting & Databases

The allegations against Julie Gutierrez have surfaced just as elder advocates are asking county supervisors to reinstate an Adult Protective Services financial fraud unit that was cut several years ago along with elder abuse prosecutors and investigators in other county departments. The loss of such personnel has coincided with a rapid rise in financial abuse reports to APS, The Sacramento Bee reported last month.

Inside SFOBB Skyway; possible short visit inside suspension span splay chambers in Oakland
Elected officials have called for an independent review of corrosion inside the new $6.5 billion San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
GP922RFST.3Multimedia Photojournalist
Some of the most vulnerable and integral cable sections and rods on the new $6.5 billion Bay Bridge are rusting. A Sacramento Bee investigation found corroded cable strands and anchor rods inside supposedly sealed chambers that protect attachments for the main suspension span cable to the bridge deck girders. Experts said if corrosion worsens, it could lead to catastrophic damage well ahead of the planned 150-year service life of the bridge.
The San Joaquin Valley is facing a crisis of geological proportions: Large stretches of the valley floor are sinking, as groundwater stores are depleted, crippling the region’s irrigation and flood control infrastructure. At the root of the crisis is the frontier-style exploitation of the last unregulated resource in California: groundwater.
The Public Eye
CPS repeatedly recorded inaccurate information, failed to include domestic-abuse reports against the father and omitted the mother's own history of childhood abuse, The Bee found in a review of William Philyaw's 257-page case file.
G4T1V8158.3Senior Photojournalist
Through California’s budget busts and rosier-than-expected revenues, in good times and bad, two things have held steady during Gov. Jerry Brown’s third term: the size and payroll of the state workforce.
Among the nine University of California undergraduate campuses, UC Davis charges the highest student fees, largely to support its emerging Division I athletics program and amenities like a state-of-the-art recreation center and upgraded coffeehouse.
GU21TING3.3Senior Photojournalist
James Flavy Coy Brown, a homeless and mentally ill man allegedly “dumped” by Nevada’s primary psychiatric hospital via Greyhound bus into Sacramento last year, on Friday became the national face of a problem that experts said is widespread and should be curtailed by federal authorities.
GFD1TFPF2.3Multimedia Photojournalist

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