Monday, October 21, 2019

Zoo Will Reopen

Maggie the Meek played yet another game of softball last week at WLBT.

She interviewed Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba about the "temporary" closure of the Jackson Zoo:

We could have some answers as soon as Monday on the new management company for the Jackson Zoo.

Mayor Lumumba said, "Representatives for ZoOceanarium will actually be here on Monday. It is at that time that we anticipate concluding the contract negotiations.”

Because negotiations are still underway, there is no price tag available for the new contract.

The Mayor said, “They’re coming to town so that we can finish that up, and we’re really eagerly anticipating that.”

Mayor Lumumba also discussed how soon ZoOceanarium could get it's license. He says it is all tied to why the zoo closed.

Mayor Lumumba said, “The reason that the zoo was closed is so that we can make the necessary repairs inside the zoo. USDA will come in and first assess what needs to be repaired. We already have a pretty good idea of what that is. Once they do that, then the repairs will commence and they will do their final inspection and we anticipate the license at that point.”

 There is a settlement with the Jackson Zoological Society, one Mayor Lumumba says was a difficult but necessary decision.

“The city will be able to protect its collection, that was our primary concern is making certain that we had a collection to exhibit to the public and so now that we have protected that, the case will be dismissed,” the mayor explained.

The mayor says the zoo is poised for change.

Mayor Lumumba said, “The zoo is poised for a new opportunity, new marketing strategies, new management.”
There is no date on when the front gates of the zoo will reopen.

 “The zoo will be closed as long as it takes to make those repairs. Our Public Works Department will be working aggressively to make that happen,” said Mayor Lumumba.

The location of the zoo has been an issue, the Mayor says the location has not kept away crowds for big events. Story.

Show a zoo that survives on "big events."  Annual attendance fell from 101,000 to years ago to 48,114 last year.  That is a "shut-down number."  The previous zoo director repeatedly asked for $1.5 million per year but instead had to survive on $800,00 for an annual appropriation.  Mayor Lumumba can blabber all he wants about closing the zoo for repairs but the real reason it is closed is because Jackson has no one with a Class C USDA license to operate the zoo.  Period.  

Of course, Maggie the Meek just sat there and played softball.  It never occurred to her to ask why it has taken nearly all year to negotiate a contract with Zooceanarium or why the city didn't require a license of the proposers.  Golly gee, the lack of a license just happened to coincide with the need for repairs. It reminds one of the softballs  Bert used to ask Mac. Amazing what happens when a teleprompter is removed.

One interesting comment stood out in the interview.  Hizzoner said settling the lawsuit was a difficult decision.  Um, it was? What was he going to do? Collect $6.35 million from the Board members of the Jackson Zoological Society personally?   Yeah, that would be pretty funny to watch.  The Meek could've asked that question but that might have been an outbreak of journalism. 

There are several facts about the lawsuit that the media failed to report.  The Society provided a copy of the annual audits every year to the city as required by the lease.  The city didn't read the audits but instead allowed them to collect dust. Those are the same audits yours truly read to discover the misuse of state bond funds.  The Mayor has a permanent board member in the person of the Parks and Recreation Director or a representative.

Thus under the Mayor's own arguments, his representative approved of the alleged non-payment of the $6 million water bill  and misuse of bond funds for years.  In fact, when yours truly blew the whistle and challenged the Zoo Director over the misuse of bond funds in a Board Meeting, the Parks & Recreations Director sat there doing his best impersonation of a pet rock and did not say one word at all.  Not.a.word.  However, these are just minor details concerning his "difficult decision."  He does carry the weight of Jackson upon his brow, after all.

The Mayor has taken a beating over the unexpected closure of the Jackson zoo in the media, radio talk shows, and social media.  No contract has been submitted to the City Council nor has anyone said who actually owns the company.  However, never fear, Maggie the Meek nor the Council of Cucks are going to question anything.  It's what they do, er, make that what they don't do.   


Anonymous said...

Wonder if the one of the owners of ZoOceanarium are the owners of AirWaves Communications that took Hinds County on a run for its money.

Anonymous said...

I hope that the effect of those exposure is that WLBT will get serious about accountability of not only the Mayor but the city council.
Also would Maggie be so Meek if she was interviewing a white legislator in some unpopular opposition?

Anonymous said...

"The zoo's been there for more than a hundred years. Right?" Is he telling me or asking me. I hate it when someone makes a statement then follows it with "Right?".

Anonymous said...

Just for 'shits and giggles', I've taken a screen shot of that "But Back Real Soon" banner.

Anonymous said...

We ain't got long.....

Anonymous said...

Where exactly are the funds for the repairs going to come from? The water bill issue seems to stem from multiple leaks the city was supposed to fix but never did. Is the city going to fix the leaks for a new operator? How is the new operator going to make the zoo profitable? Is a business plan part of the bidding process? Is there even an operator lined up? What is the plan if ZoOceanarium decides they cannot run the zoo profitably and pulls out? Does anyone involved have a business degree from a real college?

Anonymous said...

Mayor Lumumba said, “The zoo is poised for a new opportunity, new marketing strategies, new management.”

Don't lie to us, the Zoo is still administered by the same incompetent Jackson councilmen and mayor.

Anonymous said...

The current news director has a love affair for Mayor Lumumba. They have lunch every once in a while and the "exclusive" interviews are the news departments way of currying favor with the Jackson admin. Poor C.J. Lemaster fights the city daily for open records, but I am sure the leadership of the news department only provides lip service to him in backing his efforts to get crime stats and other public records.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree. That “Right?” at the end is what morons use on more moronic people as a way of getting them to buy their bullshit. This interview is just case in point. Right?

Anonymous said...

Right is better than "I Know, Right?" But both are plumb dumb.

And, The Department of Pubic Works is going to repair all the deficiencies cited by a federal agency - The same department that fixes potholes, water-main issues and tall grass, right?

This zoo will never re-open.

Anonymous said...

"The mayor says the zoo is poised for change." I hope the change is that the animals will be running the zoo; that's got to be better than the city calling the shots.

Cynical Sam said...

Maggie interviewing Baby Chok is like George Step-on-all-of-us interviewing Hillary.

Anonymous said...

Can the Jackson Zoological Society rename itself to the Mississippi Zoological Society and proceed with creating a new zoo location as was planned? I know a near-by zoo that's about to have lots of exotic animals for sale cheap.

Anonymous said...

Stop trying to make the Zoo happen - attendance is down, the place is a dump and nobody wants to go to that part of town. Egomaniacs like the mayor see a decision to close the zoo as a failure, but the majority of the folks who are actually paying for it (taxpayers) want decisions made on sound financial reasoning.

I disagree with just about everything the mayor says and does, and think he's woefully out of his depth running the city, but I could find common ground with him if he began making financially responsible decisions; and closing the zoo is a good start.

Antard Ladumba said...

How can they not have a reopening date?
Simple, there is no PLAN.

The zoo will not open unless Kellogg steps in. It will never have positive cash flow.

Anonymous said...

We have plenty of land in this state to make something like this happen. I would much rather my tax dollars go to something like this than an urban zoo on a small footprint:

Anonymous said...

Lubamaba sure does look dapper...that's the main thing mane. As long as he looks good, he must be doing something right.

Anonymous said...

Maggie Wade interviewing Baby Chok is like airheaded Sean Vanity interviewing Dotard Trump.

Anonymous said...

Magnolia Wade dining with Lumumba is like the SEC referees Attending a grill-out in Saban's back yard.

If WLBT ran off Woody and Bert, when is it Magnolia's turn to get pink-slipped? And tandem Howard in the same exit-interview.

Anonymous said...

10:18......urban zoo...isn't that Jackson every day??

Cue the folks yelling "RACIST!"

Anonymous said...

Some people get a real kick out of calling this mayor stupid or incompetent or "in over his head". But he inherited a busted city with a rapidly shrinking tax base. As a politician he's going to keep trying to put a positive spin on the death spiral, but it's up to the media to feret out the truth. Allen Thompson, Russell Davis or Kane Ditto couldn't pull this city out of it's decline any better than Antar, but at least they wouldn't be called stupid by the Madison Rankin escapees.

Kingfish said...

In all fairness to the Mayor, that's why I've kept pointing out the bad bond deals. One blew up last year and another one blew up this year. Mayor is having to deal with several million dollars in increased bond payments that Harvey, yes, Harvey, stuck him with.

Truth is, he has a bad hand right now, overall when it comes to city finances. However, there is no move to shrink city government or get rid of assets the city can no longer afford to maintain.

Anonymous said...

The license required is site-specific, so no company can come in with an existing license that would allow for operation of the zoo, and the license is contingent on "exhibitor shall have demonstrated that his facilities comply with the standards promulgated by the Secretary pursuant to section 2143 of this title:"

There are a lot of other things to complain about regarding the zoo, but for the City to be looking at companies who don't hold a license to run the zoo is not one of them.

Anonymous said...

Some people get a real kick out of calling this mayor stupid or incompetent or "in over his head". But he inherited a busted city with a rapidly shrinking tax base.

There is NO LINKAGE as you pretend to create. Mayor Yammeralot IS in over his head and IS incompetent. He had ZERO experience running ANYTHING. All he does is flap his gums. The fact that Jackson is busted and dying DOES NOT make him any less so. Your weak effort at amelioration is nothing more than a bad attempt to carry his water.

Effectively paying $6 MILLION DOLLARS for a collection of animals is stupid and incompetent enough. But doing so by wiping that money off Jackson's accounts receivables due ledger while simultaneously shaking down citizens to pay for water they've never used is the height of his political arrogance. PERIOD.

Now he's robbing the special tax collection fund once again to backstop the city's budget. Why? Because Miller spent, without authorization, the last highjacking of funds on items other than what the funds were requested to pay for. The special fund is now nothing more than a freewheeling out-of-budget slush fund. Anybody here that jerk off Senator David Blount complain about that?

I live in Jackson, LOSER. Only a FOOL would believe that only those is Madison or Rankin counties are complaining about Antard here on JJ.

Anonymous said...

@12:15 What other zoos in the United States does ZoOceanarium operate? Please be specific.

Anonymous said...

So how does the City get the charity's funds? (Jackson Zoological Society). State statute says any charity going out of business is supposed to give the remaining funds to a like or similar charity, not a city government.

Anonymous said...

I'm really disappointed that you would disparage and minimize someone as kind and well-respected as Maggie Wade by giving her a diminutive nickname in the header. It's like something you-know-who would do. You're better than that.

Anonymous said...

The mayor has made Jackson a Sanctuary City for illegal immigrants. I wish he would show as much concern for the remaining zoo workers & the poor animals they care for.

Anonymous said...

Contact illegal alien pimp Bill Chandler and tell him the zoo workers are "undocumented" and recently escaped oppressive zoos in Central America.

Anonymous said...

2:14 Sanctuary? What Sanctuary? They would be better off taking their chances in the countryside. Jackson ain't a sanctuary for anything but rats and stray dogs.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, 2:01! You cannot find a better person than Maggie Wade!

And 7:39 AM - "...would Maggie be so Meek if she was interviewing a white legislator in some unpopular opposition?"
Maggie treats everyone with equal kindness, respect and fairness!

Antard Ladumba says said...

His credit is only due when he addresses the real problems instead of some crap spin.

1. It's the LOCATION dumbass
2. If that is not enough, it's the CULTURE.

Cynical Sam said...

It's a Dubai company! Can't Baby Chok and his band of incompetents find an AMERICAN COMPANY?

Oh wait, they can now buy some camels on the cheap.

Anonymous said...

I have no problem with Ms. Wade.

But these comments have made me rethink WLBT.

There is a lot of truth in what has been said.

Enough about the Jackson Zoo fiasco. Wishing the poor animals (and employees) only the best.

But I've got to ask . . . what happened with Walt Grayson leaving WLBT for WJTV ?

Not trying to derail the thread, just curious.

Grayson was one of WLBT's best assets.

Did "channel three" run him off too ?

Kingfish said...

Ms. Wade would not treat a white person any differently.

Anonymous said...

WLBT has a long history of running off the best. Goes back to Woody, Stephanie and Bert. Then Walt. They operate on the Clarion-Ledger business model of talent-retention.

Anonymous said...

"Kingfish said...Ms. Wade would not treat a white person any differently."

We all have an opinion.

Anonymous said...

5:11, you're talking about DemocRATS aren't you? Cynical Sam resembles that remark.

They would rather live in cesspool,than admit their system of buying the dregs of society votes with give away programs isn't working.

Poor dogs having to live there.

Anonymous said...

Side note, more of a question. Is the planetarium going to reopen?

Anonymous said...

More importantly...Did it close? Equally as important what and where the hell was it?

Anonymous said...

I know sportbetting is legal in Mississippi, but can we bet on the continued collapse of the City of Jackson?

I would like to bet against the Zoo ever opening again. I also would like to do gum flap bingo during Antard's state of the city. We all know his favorite platitudes and social justice speak. Let's have a drinking game!

Anonymous said...

I corrected this sentence for you:

"We all know his favorite platitudes and social justice speak, right?"

humbug said...

Should have followed the recommendations of previous zoo management and moved the location of the zoo. It’s doomed now sad will be closer within 2 years if not sooner.

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

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Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

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There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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