Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wednesday’s Top Five Stories: Oakland Saves Funding for Fairyland and Zoo; Judge Issues Stay Away Orders to 12 Oakland Occupiers

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Feb 1, 2012 at 9:11 AM

The top five stories of the day:

1. The Oakland City Council spared Fairyland and the Oakland Zoo from budget cuts last night, but went ahead with layoffs, eliminating 105 jobs and letting 80 workers go, the Chron and Trib report. The council was forced to cut $28 million from the city’s budget because of the elimination of redevelopment. City Administrator Deanna Santana had originally proposed to slash funding to Fairyland and the zoo, but the council avoided those cuts through a series of budget maneuvers that includes the sale of a former fire station.

Oakland Childrens Fairyland
  • Oakland Children's Fairyland

2. Judges issued stay-away orders to twelve Oakland Occupy protesters, telling them that they must remain at least 300 yards away from City Hall, the Chron reports. The stay-away orders came as a result of Saturday’s violent confrontation with police in which protesters broke into City Hall and vandalized it. Four of the twelve protesters are also charged with felony crimes, while the other eight are charged with misdemeanors.

3. A reform measure that would have required more transparency of political campaign donations failed to garner the two-thirds vote needed to pass the Assembly, the SacBee reports. The measure, which came in response to the US Supreme Court’s Citizen United decision, would have required so-called independent expenditure committees to provide more disclosure of their top donors. Republicans opposed the measure, saying it violates free speech rights.

4. The Assembly, however, approved a measure that would reform California’s three-strikes law by requiring that a defendant’s third strike be a violent felony, the SacBee reports. Currently, defendants can be sentenced to life in prison even though their third conviction is not violent. The measure now goes to the state Senate, and if approved there, will be sent to voters for approval.

5. And Apple’s dominance in our personal lives is now expanding to the workplace as well, Bloomberg News reports. Corporate executives are increasingly using their iPads at work, while employee iPhone use is prompting companies to alter their computer systems.

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