The Public Eye

The Public Eye

Layoffs, budget cuts prompted UC Berkeley to pay out $306,000 for PR contract

Faced with a $150 million budget deficit at UC Berkeley, university administrators were grappling last year with how to break the news to faculty and the media about the need for major spending and staffing cuts. The solution? University officials bypassed Berkeley’s own communications staff and approved spending $419,400 to hire an outside public relations agency “to address media and stakeholder backlash,” newly released documents indicate.

The Public Eye

Why did Sacramento commuter train suddenly jolt? Amtrak isn’t saying

Amtrak officials have declined to discuss why a Capitol Corridor passenger train suddenly jolted violently last month, injuring one passenger and causing others to fear it would derail. A spokeswoman said an investigation is underway. Federal Railroad Administration officials also have declined comment. Several passengers say they are angered by the lack of an explanation nearly a month after the incident.

The Public Eye

Consumer Watchdog collects millions, but does it lower your insurance rates?

California is the only state in the country that allows outside groups to intervene in the pre-approval process for proposed auto and property insurance rates paid by millions of residents. Critics in the insurance industry say the process does little to reduce rates, while generating millions in fees for a specific intervenor. Supporters, including the Department of Insurance, say the intervenors play an important role.

Videos

Same Sacramento officer involved in suspect deaths two decades apart

Marcus McGee talks about his childhood friend Albert Glenn Thiel who died while in police custody 20 years ago.
Autumn Payne The Sacramento Bee
Same Sacramento officer involved in suspect deaths two decades apart 3:28

Same Sacramento officer involved in suspect deaths two decades apart

UC Davis chancellor sent officials overseas, across country to learn image-boosting techniques 1:18

UC Davis chancellor sent officials overseas, across country to learn image-boosting techniques

Hazardous lead levels found in Mangan Park outside gun range, city fences off building 1:24

Hazardous lead levels found in Mangan Park outside gun range, city fences off building

Gun range in south Sacramento park leaked toxic lead dust 2:02

Gun range in south Sacramento park leaked toxic lead dust