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Originally published August 2, 2014 at 12:01 AM | Page modified August 2, 2014 at 8:22 AM

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Perhaps it is time to stop paying for the elephant in the room

The Wrap by Ron Judd

Seattle Times staff columnist

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@globe235 Choose whatever word you'd like. It would be additional public money to support the zoo, which refuses to be... MORE
If you love Seattle parks then you will want to keep your voice/keep your vote on what happens to them and vote to NOT... MORE
Over time my position on the WPZ elephants has changed considerably. I still believe it's true that zoos are the only... MORE


A brief exercise in the useful process of following the money:

Woodland Park Zoo, presently at odds with the vast majority of its potential Seattle-area customers over its cruel insistence on confining and force-breeding elephants, receives $10 million a year in public funding — more than a quarter of its revenue — to display animals on city-owned property.

But the zoo, as its attorneys argued successfully in court last week, is not a public agency, therefore is not beholden to troublesome public-transparency rules, such as adhering to the state Public Records Act. Therefore, activists’ attempts to force intransigent zoo management to divulge how much public money is wasted annually on what amounts to psychological torture of elephants will continue to be denied.

Ergo, the best remaining way for local taxpayers to control what happens to public money handed to the zoo is to simply stop providing it.

Are we missing anything there? Thought not.

More having-it-both-ways chicanery:

Since You Asked: Yes, approval of Proposition 1, creating a taxpayer-financed Seattle Parks District, would increase that public zoo subsidy.

Brown Trout Derby News: Chism Beach in Bellevue was closed to swimming because of an overflow of raw sewage into Lake Washington. Officials in Victoria, B.C. immediately phoned the mayor of Bellevue to engage in preliminary sister-sewage-city talks.

Our Heart, It Bleeds:Thanks to all who donated to the Beast Mode Relief Fund to help Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch through his time of great need as he struggled to gain better guarantees to his untold millions for playing a schoolyard game once a week. Helping neighbors keep gas in their Ferraris during times of strife is what makes America what it is today.

Boeing, Going, Etc.: Boeing, once of Seattle, will build its 787-10 exclusively at Boeing South Carolina, known primarily for giving the manufacturing teams at General Motors someone to look down upon.

The Week’s Brain Puzzler: When the House GOP delivers its idiotic lawsuit against President Obama on its way out of town for its annual monthlong Vacation From Nothing, will speaker John Boehner, R-Sudden Tan, actually do the right thing and drop it off in a Shriner’s clown car?

Attention, Local TV Weather People: Basking in the faux glory of the long run of insufferably hot, dry, miserable weather makes a lot of us locals like you much less.

And Finally, Finally, Finally!Mr. Wrap is thrilled to see that the Museum of Flight has begun work to restore to its original glory 747 RA-001, Seattle’s beloved “number one” jumbo jet. The big jet is being washed and sanded and soon will get a long-overdue paint job to bring it back to its original, 1968 test-plane appearance. That work, and pending interior restoration, is expensive, and the museum needs public support to restore the “Queen of the Skies.” Donations can be made here:, and a new “Save the Queen” Facebook page maintained by dedicated fans of the jet is coming together. Bravo!

Ron Judd’s column appears each Sunday. Reach him at or 206-464-8280.

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