I didn't see how Golden Gate Park article was really on-the-spot. It wasn't any breaking news. It seemed like it could even be an evergreen. The budget had been getting all kinds of cuts over the years and with the recession the layoffs weren't even surprising. I suppose the assignment had different guidlines thought that made it on-the-spot.
Now I just read Dr. Jerz's intro that the events weren't necessarily newsworthy, but they had a bigger scope. What am I supposed to say to this? No?
The article about the environment had interesting facts and deserved to win first place. The reported got amazing quotes and incorporated the wider scope much better (in my opinion) than the tail end of the other article about the park.