Spending Cuts To Severely Affect Oakland Zoo, Children’s Fairyland

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(Oakland Zoo)

An elephant at the Oakland zoo. (Oakland Zoo)

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Doug began his career as a copy boy at the New York Times, and then...
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OAKLAND (CBS SF) – The latest round of spending cuts in Oakland will include major hits to two of the city’s most popular family attractions: the Oakland Zoo and Children’s Fairyland.

To help Oakland close a $28 million budget gap left by the elimination of redevelopment agencies, city funding will be cut 40 percent at the two sites.

“What the state has done is now reaching all the way down to the cultural institutions themselves that provide the quality of life for our community,” said Dr. Joel Parrott, executive director of the Oakland Zoo.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

Parrott said that the city only provides 4 percent of his budget, but cutting that almost in half will mean higher ticket prices and fewer programs for students and low-income families.

“You’re dealing at the margins so it’s not at the base,” he said. “If you’re at the margins where you’re just trying to stay in the black versus in the red, it suddenly becomes a major issue and that’s what this represents.”

Zoogoer Kara Cernak said the zoo is a refuge for many families.

“I like having a place where we can go that’s safe and our daughter can just run around,” Cernak said.

But she said that she’s so fed up with the way the city is run, she’s thinking of moving to Alameda.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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