One of the few iconic landmarks visible from just about anywhere in San Jose may shut down. The University of California is threatening to cut funding for Lick Observatory, which was constructed in 1888 as the world's first mountaintop observatory. At one point it had the largest telescope ever built and has helped scientists discover planets, asteroids, and several moons of Jupiter. If you have ever wondered why our streetlights are yellow... well one of the main reasons was to reduce light pollution for Lick.
The observatory costs $1.8 million each year to keep running, which sounds almost like a rounding error for such a historic structure. 100 faculty, students, and post-docs currently use the facility to gather scientific data test new technologies. The currently plan is for the UC system to reduce funding for the Observatory in 2016 and do a complete shutdown in 2018.
Expect to hear more about this as the details unfold. I'll post information on any campaigns I find to save Lick Observatory.
Source: The Merc, Thanks William Burch for the tip