Saturday, May 15, 2021

Still Struggling

The Clarion-Ledger's Justin Vicory reported Jackson spends over $60,000 per month on its zoo: 

The city's Department of Parks and Recreation will continue day-to-day operations, costing approximately $60,000 a month.  

A key focus to the zoo's future revolves around the crucial issue of city and outside funding, and if Jackson can commit enough on its end to invest. Ison Harris, the director of Parks and Recreation, said he was encouraged by a recent visit to the Baton Rouge Zoo, saying it was a model for the city of Jackson. Both similarly-sized zoos are located in their respective state capitals. 

"They were in the same position years ago," Harris said of Baton Rouge.

Like Jackson, there was talk of moving the zoo out of the neighborhood it now sits for similar concerns of dwindling attendance. However, its revitalization — while promising — comes on the heels of an estimated $60 million reinvestment, according to The Advocate. 

Big, huge difference between the two zoos.  The Advocate reports $60 million will be spent on the zoo to revitalize the zoo and expand its park.  Jackson literally has no money to spend on the zoo other than to support a bare-bones operation.   

The city of Baton Rouge does not operate the Baton Rouge Zoo.  A separate government entity, BREC (Baton Rouge Parks & Recreation) has its own funding.  The Mayor and City Council do not control BREC's budget.  Thus funding is more stable and not subject to the whims (and budget cuts) of Baton Rouge's government.  BREC has its own Board of Commissioners.  In other words, it is competently funded and competently manged.  

For all the Mayor's rhetoric about saving the Jackson Zoo, the zoo starves when it comes to budget time every year.  One example of neglect occurred after the 2013 hailstorms.  Several buildings suffered damage to their roofs.  The insurance company paid $250,000 for repair of the roofs.  The city didn't fix the roofs but instead pocketed the money. The city finally fixed the roofs four years later.  

However, don't worry, as usual, hizzoner has a plan: 

Mayor's office officials are optimistic about the zoo's future, even without an operator, and recently announced the attraction will extend its hours of operations from the weekends alone to Thursday and Friday. 

"Momentum has not stopped on improvements and investment in the park," Lumumba said in a statement. 

To many city officials, including Lumumba, the zoo is a symbol of the city’s economic struggles — particularly in disinvested areas of the city. For that reason, he has been firm on keeping the zoo in west Jackson despite the challenges.  

"We don't want to create an island of wealth surrounding by a sea of poverty," Lumumba has said.

Damn straight.  We're going to force people to go where it is dilapidated and dangerous.  How many homicides have taken place near the zoo in the last two years?   Don't worry, help is on the way. 

During the coronavirus shutdown, the city and some community groups have worked to make needed improvements, both to the infrastructure within the park and to beautification efforts in the area surrounding the zoo property.

Since his announcement to keep the zoo in Livingston Park, Lumumba has prioritized road improvements to Capitol Street and Ellis Avenue. That work is now underway. The upgrades will extend to Interstate 220, a key gateway to zoo visitors. The city has also pushed to clean up the blighted property surrounding the zoo and demolished dozens of abandoned structures that have made the area an eyesore. Rest of article.

One little fact ignored by the Mayor and Lindsay's lapdogs.  There is this little facility out on Holly Bush Road called McClain's.  The Jackson Zoo has competition.  Well, its competition when the competitors are in the same league.  McClain's blows away the Jackson Zoo.  It is a better experience for the kids.  It has restaurants and a  petting zoo. While Jackson Zoo tries to save itself, McClain's has an additional 1,000 acres for expansion - with plans to do so.  

The Mayor can ignore reality all he wants but crime, tight budgets, and competition matter more than his rhetoric. 



Anonymous said...

Agree with the McClain's statement. These animals, if moved, would do much better there. Kenny would call it racist and demand McClain's move to Jackson. What a mess they have with this zoo, and the poor animals will suffer for it.

Anonymous said...

Why dont you just go ahead and move your ass to Niknar with the rest of your people KKKingfish

Anonymous said...

Today Hattiesburg opened a new Africa exhibit with over 3,000 visitors attending. There are plans for more expansion as well. The expansion occurred after long time, ineffective, do-nothing mayor Johnny Dupree was defeated by Toby Barker four years ago. Take a lesson, Jackson.

Anonymous said...

They biggest problem, is they don't know they got a problem...

Anonymous said...

Comparing Baton Rouge to Jackson is laughable. Stopped reading right there. Apparently the articles author hasn’t been to Baton Rouge

Anonymous said...

I thought you were on the Zoo Board, K'Fish. Last year you claimed you were. If that's true, why are you getting the story from some cub reporter?

Pee Ess: The Jackson zoo ain't where you think it is!

Anonymous said...

Kingfish was appointed to the Zoo Board by Mayor Tony Yarber who hasn’t been mayor in years. Now the Zoo Board is Lumumba’s cronies.

Anonymous said...

Are the Zoo employees still Independent Contractors?

And no benefits?

Cbalducc said...

Was the Clarion Ledger a better newspaper in the Hederman days?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if the zoo's animals receive any kind of vet care? Doesn't seem like any of the Public Works employees at the zoo could be a vet - Is it possible for individuals or companies to "sponsor" any of the animals by paying for their food or care? How can we learn about the animals' health & which ones would benefit the most from sponsorships??

Anonymous said...

can someone go to the zoo and take pictures?

Anonymous said...

'fighting for improvements to the neighborhood like improving Capitol Street and Ellis Avenue'.

Another claim of fame by hizzonner wherein he crowns himself for things he had little to do with - and in this case, largely to blame. Improving Capitol Street has been on the agenda for several years; Supervisor Peggy Calhoun tried to provide funding for it back early in hizzonner's term, but he wouldn't sign the required agreements to allow the county to do work within the city. Finally after four years of pushing by others, Capitol Street is being fixed - and because it is during hizzonner's term, he of course is claiming credit while he should be apologizing for delaying the work since the beginning of his term.

Anonymous said...

10:22 - yes, someone can go to the zoo and take pictures. He/She is you. What a dumb question. Just go, buy a ticket and snap away. How tough is that?

Anonymous said...

"Kingfish was appointed to the Zoo Board by Mayor Tony Yarber who hasn’t been mayor in years. Now the Zoo Board is Lumumba’s cronies."

I love it when Cap'n Kangaroot speaks for the Kingfish as if he can't speak for himself. Who knew these board members rolled off with every election cycle?

I damn sure would not be proud of being appointed to anything by Yarber.

Anonymous said...

This is OUR zoo.

Anonymous said...

12:35 AM
And there's even less to be proud about being appointed to anything by Mayor Dipshit, but you didn't care about being correct. You just want to protect Mayor Kush's tattered reputation.

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Trollfest '09

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).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

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".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

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.

Note: Security provided by INS