|Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 1:46 am: || |
RON KAGEN SEEMS LIKE AN INCOMPETENT TYPICAL BUREAUCRAT.RECALL THE GUY, OR GO OVER HIS HEAD TO SAVE THE AQUARIUM.STOP FEEDING SOME WAYNE COUNTY INNMATES FOR A FEW MONTHS AND THE CITY WILL HAVE THE MONEY.IF THE OFFICIALS ALLOW THE AQUARIUM TO GO UNDER, THEY WILL NEVER HAVE ENOUGH MONEY FOR A NEW ONE.(BUT WE WILL ALWAYS HAVE ENOUGH MONEY FOR CRIMINALS.) KEEP THE FISH,GET RID OF A FEW INNMATES.
|Posted on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 1:45 pm: || |
You can only "recall" elected officials. Kagan was not elected but is a mayoral appointee. He is not a bureaucrat and is not incompetent. Your suggestions of withholding food from human beings because they have broken the law are senseless and idiotic. The aquarium needs half a million dollars to stay open. Can you suggest something constructive and realistic?
|Posted on Friday, February 25, 2005 - 1:00 am: || |
I don't see how anyone can defend Kagen, no matter how outlandish the statement against him. There should be an investigation into how he handled funds donated to the Aquarium via the Detroit Zoological Society that were earmarked for the Aquarium. His silence on this is deafening.
|Posted on Sunday, February 27, 2005 - 5:45 pm: || |
Kagan has done great things at the Detroit Zoo, and him and the mayor will build a great new riverfront aquarium?
Diana R. Dubbeld (Diana)
|Posted on Sunday, February 27, 2005 - 7:22 pm: || |
I find it hard to believe the elephants were moved for their wellbeing while we have polar bears panting in our 90 degree summers and its ok for them. I question his choices.
The idea of a new aquarium is to fool us into believing us it will happen in the near future. We cant afford half a million dollars but we can throw hundres of millions into a new one? Right....
|Posted on Monday, February 28, 2005 - 4:16 pm: || |
Polar bears can take a dip in the refrigerated pools in their exhibit. Mr. Kagan made sure of that. The elephants dont have room to exercise in their indoor enclosure in the winter. Mr. Kagan knows that that is why he's moving them for their welfare.
Mr. Kagan has created great new exhibits at the Detroit Zoo. why dont you think he will build a new riverfront aquarium? Change is enevitable and a good thing. Don't you think Michigan deserves a new aquarium? We're surrounded by water.
|Posted on Monday, February 28, 2005 - 4:34 pm: || |
Anonymous - you seem to be laboring under the delusion that the Detroit Zoo actually generates a profit - actually it is subsidzed to the tune of millions of dollars annually, both by taxpayers in the City of Detroit and Society funding. If they can't run the zoo at a profit, why do you think they could make money with a new aquarium?
It's ironic - while research shows that global warming is hurting polar bears, as the ice floes they hunt on melt - body weight and reproductive success are declining measurably - the Arctic Ring of Life is setting new records in the zoo world for energy consumption. It is unsustainable - ecologically or fiscally.
The amphibian center at the zoo is a great little exhibit, but if the Arctic Ring of Life is DZI's model for the future, it's time for the city to start looking at their balance sheets a little more critically.
Not all change is progress.
Diana R. Dubbeld (Diana)
|Posted on Monday, February 28, 2005 - 4:54 pm: || |
Everything doesnt have to be new to be desirable and function properly. If managed corectly, a small aquarium would be easier to have make a profit than a new one. New and bigger aquariums cost alot of money to build and maintain and its the exception that they make profit. The types of animals that they keep are diffrent from what Bell Isls keeps. Bigger ones have aquatic life that is showy and people would pay alot of money to see, thay cant afford to spend money on less "pretty" fish that are in need of conservation afforts. All aquariums have their nich, and Bell Isle certainly has one that not many others have.
|Posted on Monday, February 28, 2005 - 5:39 pm: || |
Belle Isles niche w/ conservation species sure helped its patronage, which generated revenue (or lack of), and ultimately led to its demise. Sure conservation is important, but so is a large aquarium w/ fish that the public wants to see and generates revenue. Corporate sponsers want big flashy things too. Large aquariums do do conservation, look at Tennessee aquarium and their sturgeon and other native fish projects
Diana R. Dubbeld (Diana)
|Posted on Monday, February 28, 2005 - 6:06 pm: || |
Lack of publicity led to its demise. If people dont know about it, how can they go there?
|Posted on Tuesday, March 01, 2005 - 2:49 pm: || |
What do the polar bears have to do with the elephants? What motivation do you think Kagan has for moving the elephants, if not their well-being?
Lack of attendance at the aquarium is but one factor in its demise. The building lacks modern structural integrity and would take millions to renovate. You have to do what makes economic sense, despite the sentimentality involved. Yes, the building is beautiful, but, no, it is no longer an economically feasible endeavor. It should be preserved for its architectural significance, but it can no longer function as an aquarium. What kind of car do you drive? Would you put thousands into retrofitting an Edsel, or would you buy a 2005 model? As much as we don't want to believe it, modern technology is better technology. And a new aquarium will be a better aquarium. And before we diss the idea of it, let's find out from where the funding for it is planned to come.
|Posted on Tuesday, March 01, 2005 - 9:57 pm: || |
Dr. Kagan acquired the elephants w/in the last 9 years form southern zoos. Why did he do this if he knew a northern zoo was unsuitable for elephants? He did it for money. People want to see elephants, and they pay to. Now the elephants are older and arthritic, which costs alot of $$$ in vet care and medicine. So Dr. Kagan decided that this is a bad climate for elephants and sold it to the public. These two elephants would propably be better in a warmer climate, but that does not mean that no elephants sholud be in northern zoos.
Dr. Kagan has polar bears from an arctic environment at the zoo and subjects them to sweltering heat in the summer. Is this for their well-being? I think not. It's for $$$. People pay to see polar bears, and they are not costing anything like elephants to keep.
The aquarium has structural integrity, Dr. Kagan (which he said he did) spent $600K on I-beam replacement w/in the last 5 years. Yes it will take several million more dollars for other improvements. But look at the attendance at the aquarium since it has been getting press. It just need advertisment (like the Detroit Zoo). I would like to see a new public aquarium, but a price tag of $100 million is not really feasable in our present economic climate. I thinl it would be prudent to keep Belle Isle open until we can get a new aquarium funded and built, rather than be the Great Lakes State w/o a public aquarium.
Diana R. Dubbeld (Diana)
|Posted on Tuesday, March 01, 2005 - 10:32 pm: || |
Well put Dorian.
The structural integrity of the building is fine, the floors will last atleast another 20 years. It needs to be reroofed after being last roofed in the 1950's from what I have heard. The island has a sewer problem, that is no fault of the aquarium that the slope in the pipes is not enought to keep them clear. The island as a whole has a highest point above river level of arround 10 feet. The heating and air system is shared between 3 buildings (the conservatory, the white house and the aquarium) and ran by parks and reck, not the aquarium.
It needs to be reroofed (somewhere over a half a million dollar job) and updated heating and air would be a plus. The sewer problem does not belong to the aquarium.
As far as its use as an aquarium, it is up to date as budget has allowed and if the fish werent being cared for properly, they wouldnt breed. I find it hard to say that it is past its prime as an aquarium.
|Posted on Wednesday, March 02, 2005 - 3:20 pm: || |
If elephants mean more revenue for the zoo, then why is it that Kagan's position is that there will be no more elephants in this zoo? Why doesn't he just replace them with younger elephants? This part of the dialogue would be enhanced if you informed yourself with the latest information about elephants in captivity period, not just in northern zoos or southern zoos. The polar bears climate is carefully controlled. They are able to escape the heat very easily. One that Kagan rescued from a Mexican zoo a number of years ago just gave birth, a testament to her ability to flourish here. Stick to the facts, Dorian and Diana. Keep your prejudice against Dr. Kagan and your emotionalism out of the discussion and you will be far closer to finding a solution.
|Posted on Wednesday, March 02, 2005 - 6:19 pm: || |
Check out the African Wild Safari in Cambridge Ontario. A climate more northern than ours. They have had 8 (!!) successful elephant births since 1991. I think more than all other zoos combined since that time.
I'm not prejudiced againgt Dr. Kagan, I just look at the world in a realistic fashion. Not as a visionary.
Diana R. Dubbeld (Diana)
|Posted on Wednesday, March 02, 2005 - 8:39 pm: || |
I have no prejudice agains Kagan nor am I involving my emotions. The decisions that he makes are just not consistent. His arctic ring of life exibit is setting records for the most expensive exibit there is as far as the cost of running it is concerned. Making a better winter enclosure for the elephants would have probably been cheaper. And would arthitic older elephants really want more space to wander arround in anyway?
|Posted on Sunday, March 06, 2005 - 10:24 pm: || |
Since you are so excited about animal reproduction, how many polar bear births have there been since the creation of the Kagan's 'Arctic Circle'?
|Posted on Monday, March 07, 2005 - 7:01 am: || |
There has been one polar bear birth at the Zoo's Artic Ring of Life since its opening. Toledo Zoo, another northern zoo, has had an elephant birth in 2003 (or 2004), and their exhibit is about the size of Detroits.
|Posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2005 - 9:32 am: || |
Winky and Wanda are beyond childbearing age and since they are each female, it's hard to understand the emphasis being given here on elephant births. The position is that elephants don't belong in captivity. There is hard evidence that they suffer painful foot deformities when confined and unable to roam. Is there some reason why you folks believe that subjecting them to this is preferable to agreeing with Ron Kagan on something? And, by the way, Diana, putting "a lid" on the current elephant space was priced at $20 million. And that wouldn't have solved the entire problem anyway. Is anyone out there actually concerned about animal welfare? Or is it really all about trashing the director just because you have this nifty little forum in which you're likely to find kindred souls?
Diana R. Dubbeld (Diana)
|Posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2005 - 11:28 am: || |
Nothing really "belongs" in captivity, but we do it all the time anyway, even to ourselfs.
I dont see a big diffrence between the 13.6 mill cost of building the ARL exibit plus the expenses to run it yearly compared to the 20 mill it would have taken to build a better place for the elephants once.
|Posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2005 - 12:57 pm: || |
Some species do just fine in captivity. But the science continues to evolve. Years ago, we had chimp shows at the Detroit Zoo, where chimpanzees were dressed in clothing and rode around in tricycles, to the delight of adults and children alike. We learned that this was neither a healthy environment for the chimps nor a proper way for humans to be exposed to animals. And so we did away with chimp shows. Now we know that zoos are not healthy places for elephants, that sanctuaries are better and we know that we can actually send the elephants to the sanctuary. Is there some reason you think this shouldn't be done? Is there a reason you think it would be better to keep them in Detroit, in a small enclosure? The polar bear exhibit was paid for by donated funds earmarked by the donors for this purpose. Is it your position that the director wrongfully diverted these funds? Maybe it makes sense for you to speak to the donors directly and ask them for what use they desgnated their money. And, it sounds like you, Diana, favor elephants over polar bears. Or maybe you think that the director built the polar bear exhibit to somehow honor himself...? I can't quite figure out what's going on here. There's a confusion of messages, there seems to be a dearth of factual information and the accusations and innuendos fly fast and furious from all of you. As I've said before, drop the antagonism and you'd be half the way there. I listened to your administrator on WJR yesterday and even Paul W. Smith had to stop him from his personal attacks and get him focused on the issue of how to save the aquarium. You lose your credibility when you go down that road.
|Posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2005 - 10:51 pm: || |
Detroit Zoo's elephants are not past childbearing age. Female elephants are able to reproduce between 10 years old until 55-60 years old. The Zoo's elephants are in their early 40's. This is why the AZA would not consider them surplus animals to their elephant program (www.aza.org). Zoos get breeding recommendations from the AZA, and Detroit Zoo's had not been selected for breeding. The AZA decided to let the Detroit Zoo's elephants go to a "sanctuary" (semantics?) because the one of the elephants is a possible carrier of EEHV (a type of herpes virus), and other zoos are reluctant to take it.
I think we are all concerned about "animal welfare", but maybe we have different deffinitions of what that means. I was glad to hear Dr. Kagan admit to Paul W. Smith on WJR that the only reason the aquarium is being closed is for budget concerns. Dr. Kagan said that (rightly so) the aquarium is doing great programatically. What a relief. When FOBIA generates the money to keep the aquarium open I was expecting Dr. Kagan to say "NO the exhibits are too small for the welfare of the animals, this is why we are closing the aquarium". But now he cannot use this excuse.
You are right, the donors did direct their donations for the construction of the Arctic Ring of Life, the amphibian center, the new veterinary hospital, etc. The city also floated bonds for some of the funding too. These were exhibits that Dr, Kagan wanted and he sought out the donors for them. Which is fine. The problem is that Dr. Kagan never went to potential donors and asked for donations for the aquarium. Which is very wrong.
You are right FOBIA loses creditability when they go down the road of personal attacks on Dr. Kagan and others. But, he was hired by the City of Detroit to oversee the Zoo Department. All of its facilities, which he did not do to the best of his ability. It is hard to imagine that Dr. Kagan could raise $30 million over the past ten years for the Zoo, but could not find $2 million for the aquarium.
|Posted on Thursday, March 10, 2005 - 12:28 pm: || |
...he was hired by the City of Detroit to oversee the Zoo Department. All of its facilities, which he did not do to the best of his ability. It is hard to imagine that Dr. Kagan could raise $30 million over the past ten years for the Zoo, but could not find $2 million for the aquarium.
Great point, Dorian - FOBIA's recent efforts make it clear what a little PR could do for the Aquarium in terms of its attendance.
Kagan consistently states that Aquarium is "losing" money, but somehow the $4 million the city spent last year at the Detroit ZOo falls into a different class of expenditure. This is preposterous but it also reflects his real priorities. That $4 million is certainly lost to the City and its taxpayers.
What concerns me is that the financial picture painted by the Zoo Director may be dissuading large donors (who wants to throw away money?) who would be genuinely sympathetic.
Frankly, I think that the reports of the costs of needed repairs are equally distorted. Albert Kahn did an assessment of the building recently and the AZA accreditation committee made detailed comments on their recent report (which rated the aqarium highly, by the way).
If I were in town, I would try to request them both from the City under the FOIA, but I'm not. COuld anyone else?
We really need an accurate "prospectus" if we want to attract major donors and I honestly think that the numbers have been distorted deliberately - the truth would be a huge improvement over what is floating around in the media now.
|Posted on Thursday, March 10, 2005 - 4:18 pm: || |
Dorian and Suzan,
FOBIA's efforts and results to date have been teriffic in getting the message out to the public.
But I was disappointed in Stephen wasting valuable air time with Paul W. attacking Kagan. His and everyone's focus must kept looking forward. Which means getting a commitment from the players, be it Kagan or the city, to set a goal that FOBIA can work toward. Dorian is right about what Kagan said on WJR, and Paul W. will hold Kagan to his words. FOBIA will need Paul W. again, but if Stephen can't stop whining about what was, then someone else needs to be the spokesperson.
Diana Dubbeld (Diana)
|Posted on Thursday, March 10, 2005 - 5:31 pm: || |
I'd like to see the information that sanctuarys are better and why myself. The AZA website says that Detroit Zoo met their standards for elephant care.
Good for all of them that people donated money for the exibit. Just seems like he could have gotten money to maintain/improve existing things befor building new ones.
I don't have prefrence between polar bears or elephants, I like fish.
|Posted on Saturday, March 19, 2005 - 9:55 am: || |
Why dont you all get behind the mayor, Dr. Kagan , and the Zoo Society, and help the new aquarium and the new nature zoo on Beele Isle become a reality. This is what we need to affect the upcomming generations of childrens lives. Not a 101 yr old crumbly aquarium that people dont want to go and see (look at attendance.)Dr. Kagan and the society have done great things at the zoo. Help them with these new goals
|Posted on Saturday, March 19, 2005 - 2:14 pm: || |
Do you rember when Coleman wanted a new aquarium on the riverfront? We said no then.
|Posted on Sunday, March 20, 2005 - 10:58 am: || |
Times are different than when Coleman Young was mayor. We now have casinos, Compuware, 2 new sports fields, etc. downtown. We need a new aquarium Downtown!! Not on an island 4 miles from downtown Detroit. Dr. Kagen and Mayor Kilpatrick can get this done with your support. Quit fighting progress
|Posted on Monday, March 21, 2005 - 11:48 am: || |
People have the right to donate their money to whatever cause they want. I've donated a lot to the old aquarium and will not give a penny to a 'new" one. But since you're such a diehard fan of the Mayor and Mr. Kagan, Negative Anonymous, and feel that a new aquarium is needed, then I'm sure these two men will love your monetary support. So, how much money can they expect YOU to give towards their cause?? I'd love to know how much you plan to donate towards a $200 million facillity.
|Posted on Monday, March 21, 2005 - 5:26 pm: || |
I am a Zoological Society member and my annual dues goes toward zoo and aquarium needs. I also attend zoo fund raisers and raffels (at a cost). I also give several hundred dollars a year to the zoo's/socitey's annual capital campaign. When they officially start raising money for the new aquarium my money will be used for that
|Posted on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 12:46 pm: || |
And that is certainly your right, Negative Anonymous, to give your money towards a new aquarium. However, I wonder why you would waste your time on our forum, trying to change the minds of everyone else here who you KNOW aren't going to budge. Why bother with us? You haven't changed anyone's mind here, only motivated us to continue with our cause. Don't you think you're wasting your time here instead of saying something constructive somewhere else?
|Posted on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 - 1:18 am: || |
I would like to thank the Anon. who supports the idea of building a giant aquarium downtown for presenting his or her ideas in this forum. It gives us the opportunity to consider them and, if they are wrong, which I believe they are, to refute them. I know from my experience talking to people about the Belle Isle Aquarium, that many people want to know how its threatened closure relates to take about a new downtown aquarium. And many people agree with the ideas I will summarize below.
1. It is questionable whether Detroit will ever build a giant aquarium downtown. Such an aquarium would cost between 100 and 150 million to construct and about 20 million a year to operate. That's a larger operating budget than the Zoo in Royal Oak. To an extent, talk of a super(fish)bowl downtown is empty talk which serves to pacify and mollify people who are angry---and many, many are---about closing the BIA. Given Detroit's economic problems, it is quite likely it will never be built.
2. If a downtown superaquarium was ever built, it would be a financial disaster for Detroit. Only two such aquariums in the whole USA (out of about 35) break even on ticket revenues. They are the Monterey Bay Aq., about 60 miles from San Francisco, and the Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans. They have casinos and pro sports teams too. Moreover, they have a massively larger tourist traffic than Detroit. There's reallyy no comparison. A downtown aquarium would require so much non-profit support it would drain huge money from every other cultural institution in the City. And still require major City taxpayer support. It's basically absurd to claim that the Detroit---with an almost non-existant tourist business---cannot afford to subsidize the BIA, but it can support a superaquarim.
But---and this is a bigggg But---if it is built---the law firm(s) that do the legal work on the bonds and contracts will get paid big money. The investment bank that issues the bonds will get paid even bigger money out of the golden crumbs they scrape off every slice of the bond cake. (Tom Wolfe. Masters of the Universe). The consultants and engineering and architecture firms who do the environmental impact studies and land studies and design will get big money. and the construction companies who build it will too. and I suppose the Zoo director will get a nice raise commensurate with his increased responsibilities. And that's a lot of what it's all about. With so many (actually so few) people getting paid so much, who cares about the aftermath, or if the majority of people in the City or Metro region can afford to go there more than once a year, if that?
3. A superaquarium would cost somewhere between 20 and 25 dollars for an adult to visit. I imagine kids would probably cost about half that. In a city with 14% unemployment and an abundance of low wage jobs and overextended people in general, it would be out of reach for a huge number of city residents. And suburbanites too, for that matter. If it was run by the Zoo, it would probably boost zoo membership to a nice even $100 a year. Wonderful.
4. Finally, bigger is not always better. The Belle Isle Aquarium is housed in a sublimly beautiful building. It has a magnificent collection of Michigan fish (perhaps the greatest anywhere) and spectacular fish from all over the world. Whether your taste runs to strikingly brilliant tropicals, or spooky, infinitely intricate camoflage, or you like both, they're all there. I recently spoke to a woman at the Dearborn Borders who said she and her kids loved the place because you could see it all in an afternoon. (not "less than an hour")...(take that Jack Lessenberry. My 2 year old grandson sometimes studies the snapping turtle for 15 or 20 minutes in rapt concentration. Only two and he was rewarded with seeing the turtle catch a fish. How about that? Guess he has a longer attention span and more appreciation for natural beauty and detail than some people) Or maybe he just likes fish (and aquatic reptiles) more....Diffrent strokes....
There are art museums in Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C. as big as the DIA. Guess what? Those cities also have art museums and galleries inside converted single family homes that are world famous that have only ("only") a dozen or less great paintings and maybe space for an exhibit of another five or ten that change and are world famous and a great place to visit for an hour or two or a lot longer. (only a dozen or less beautiful paintings. guess you could see that in 12 minutes. Or less. Why bother going there? But could really see it? Really see it in 12 minutes or less. And thousands and thousands of people do go to those places) (Thought experiment: imagine if Belle Isle was three mile from the Loop in Chicago, which has the Shedd Aq. They wouldn't dream of closing something like the BIA. )
The BIA's collection is .fascinating and hauntingly beautiful The BIA also happens to be adjacent to a beautiful conservatory on an publicly owned island with great vistas, woods, trails, a spectacular fountain, canals, large ponds, a fine playscape, a giant slide, and dozens of picnic sites. It's a precious little treasure that is one of the high points of the whole Belle Isle experience. Furthermore, admission is only $4 for adults. Where else can people of all ages go, no matter what the weather or season, and see so much beauty for half the price of a movie ticket? Maybe that the "problem." It's not commercial enough for some people's taste. But I think it's great. and so do the overwhelming majority of the people in the City of Detroit. With a decent amount of competent marketing and publicity by the Zoo (or BIA itself) and the City, its attendance would probably double or triple within a year.
A city administration which would throw away such a wonderful entertainment and educational resource to save such a meagre amount of money (about $350,000 out of a projected deficit of $200,000,000 plus) does not deserve to remain in office. Improvements could be made at the Aq. which likely would not cost much which would enhance its entertainment and educational value. Perhaps some wireless flat screens that would show video of the exhibits in the wild and the people that catch them to eat or sell or keep. Interactive screens with more and detailed information about the life habits of the exhibits, why some are so brilliant, and some so camo, what they eat in the wild and captivity, etc. Headsets controlled by the user like at the DIA or other big (and small) art museums that would tell you as much or as little about each exhibit as you wanted to listen to. That's what we should be thinking about. And how to market the place. not shutting it down over a few hundred thousand dollars operating costs that could be raised by increased attendance, and a fair share of Detroit City zoo dollars, or a measly million or so dollars in capital improvements, the cost of ONE---ONE luxury single family home, that could be (and should have been) covered by a small fraction of the Zoological Society's capital improvement fund . The outrageous audacity of the DZS spending virtually all its capital improvement money in Royal Oak for the last ten years. What an insult---and injury---to the people of the City of Detroit. An administration incapable of saving the BIA under these circumstances needs to be fired.
|Posted on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 5:19 pm: || |
How can FOBIA say that they are for conservation and animal welfare if they are solicitating support from a pro hunting animal killing organization such as MUCC?
|Posted on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 8:36 pm: || |
Could you please entertain me with one instance where Animals rights groups such as PETA have actually had anything to do with the Conservation of an animal species or it's Habitat.
MUCC has been around since the 1930's and has been a leader in the protection of Game and
Non-Game wildlife here in Michigan and in the Great lakes region. Their contribution to conservation is not questionable.
This may disturb you, However even a good number of Zoo employees are affilliated with MUCC conservation groups and the Detroit Zoo works with MUCC often in local conservation activities.
|Posted on Friday, March 25, 2005 - 4:44 am: || |
We also solicit support (financial and political) from people who eat meat, wear leather shoes, jackets, and belts, buy Coach purses and St. Thomas wallets (I have one of seal and one of alligator, both bought second hand), sit on leather couches, wear fur (although I agree we should support the boycott of endangered species' skins),live in modern urban areas dependant on mass production agriculture which destroys the habitats of vast numbers of wild plant and animal species, as well as people who support the incarceration of mammals, including primates (ie., the Detroit Zoological Society and its members).
One thing I like about aquariums is that I think fish (and turtles) lack the brains to care about swimming in a tank. as long as the water's clean, and properly warmed or cooled, oxygenated, and cirulated, and they get fed. Who knows? Maybe I'm wrong about that and (if caught in the wild, or memory is partly genetic), they circle their tanks, or languish on the bottom, dreaming of swimming in the ocean, river, stream, lake, or pond from whence they came. (I doubt it though. Although they do learn and have primitive brains)
In any case, I think that it's an excellent idea to solicit support from conservation oriented groups, because their members tend to be people who appreciate nature and natural beauty, making them good candidates to want to HELP SAVE THE AQUARIUM.
|Posted on Monday, March 28, 2005 - 2:52 pm: || |
I tried to find an address for Ted Nugent, the famed "Motor City Madman", supposed Detroit booster, and avid hunter/conservationist to no avail. I don't know what his stand on the BIA is, but he's got money and I'd hoped that someone like him could have been a good poster boy for us. But I couldn't find out any contact information on him or any other local rich celebs. Not even Bob Seger, who I beleive still resides in Ann Arbor.
I was really hoping that they and local rich business people would have thrown in a few dollars for us. Especially Nugent with his love of nature and Seger who Detroiters (me included) petitioned en masse to get his name in the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame. And I think Aretha Franklin still has a place in Riverfront Apartments right by Cobo Arena. I wonder if they are even aware (or maybe just don't care if they live elsewhere) of the BIA's tentative closing.
There's also Kid Rock, Eminem, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and other Detroiters (Mike Ilitch's family and Max Fisher's estate) who could have helped out a lot but I know they have their own lives and their own causes that they probably believe in and the aquarium doesn't mean as much to them. But we're making headway with what we've done already and I'm staying positive.
|Posted on Tuesday, March 29, 2005 - 9:55 am: || |
I tried two celebs. Tim Allen,and Jeff Daniels myslelf. All I could find was a website. On Tim's I posted a breif discribation and website address. On Jeff's I found a site for his theatre and left a message with website address. I hope that helps some. downriver.
|Posted on Wednesday, March 30, 2005 - 8:01 pm: || |
People with money would rather give it to the mayor for new projects not a hundred year old rickety building that people dont want to visit anyway.
|Posted on Thursday, March 31, 2005 - 10:02 am: || |
WE all will just take our young children for a afternoon of fun at the local casinos.I think I will teach them how to play blackjack. Do you think that sounds like a good idea?
|Posted on Saturday, April 02, 2005 - 9:49 pm: || |
BY MARISOL BELLO
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
April 1, 2005
"....The more than 4,000 fish and critters that make up the collection will be sent to the Toledo Zoo and other facilities. But the mayor said the creatures are on loan and would be retrieved if the city builds a new aquarium...."
This is a lie. The fish are beginning to be shipped out again starting April 5th. This is without city council approval and NOT on loan, but gratis which means they cannot be retreived if the city builds a new aquarium or a new mayor wishes to reopen Belle Isle Aquarium.
|Posted on Sunday, April 03, 2005 - 5:34 pm: || |
The dreaded day! 15 minutes and the aquarium is supposed to close FOREVER! Woe is me. Say it isn't so.----- I sent 2 or 3 e-mails at the beginning of the year. In favor of saving the aquarium and all the fish. I've just read all the letters on this page -- I didn't count the pros and cons -- but, I feel the pros have it. I agree with many that we are getting a snow job. It seems many people of authority in our city are sidestepping and speaking with forked tongue in regard to being truthful with the citizens. As to building a 'superaquarium' -- pish tosh. I think, as many do, that more $$$ would be spent building and running a new one than would keeping our old one. Our beautiful old one. With history of having one of the most prominent architects of the century design it. Kahn! Generally, Europeans, from many old, old countries love to preserve their historical buildings and monuments. I hope someone reads this in the 11th hour of threatened close -down. Listen to the people, Kwame and Kagan. I also believe if leased to the people (FOBIA) we could sustain the costs for a designated time. Name it.
|Posted on Friday, April 08, 2005 - 7:20 pm: || |
According to the Zoo Audit which was just released, DZI revenues have continued to decline - from:
$9,333,000.00 in 2001-2001 to
$8,203,000.00 in 2002-2003 further down to
$7,152,000.00 in 2003-2004
Over a million less every year, in the middle of an enormous capital spending initiative. Kagan hasn't been good for the zoo or the aquarium. Do we want this man managing a new $100 million aquarium on the riverfront?
The net cost to the City for operating the Zoological Department (Detroit Zoological Institute) was:
$5,370,000.00 in 2001-2002
$5,016,000.00 in 2002-2003
$6,274,000.00 in 2003-2004
About $400 thousand can be blamed on the Aquarium - why isn't anyone noticing the other $5.8 million?
Detroit can afford the Belle Isle Aquarium - what it can't afford is it's present zoo director.
|Posted on Wednesday, April 13, 2005 - 4:18 pm: || |
Somewhat simplistic, isn't it, Suzan? Revenues are down, so it must be the director's fault? That might be true, if Kagan and the Zoo existed in a vacuum and there were no other factors playing into the analysis. Unfortunately, for you, there's the general state of the economy in this area, the effect of 9/11 and a whole host of other issues that have considerable influence on the bottom line. Your personal antagonism toward Kagan is showing and it really doesn't help your credibility in the least.
|Posted on Wednesday, April 13, 2005 - 9:34 pm: || |
Sometimes a simplistic explanation is the right explanation. For example, attendance is up (considerably) at other major area tourist attractions, notably the Henry Ford, DIA, and let's not forget that a mere 50 miles south of Detroit, that the Toledo Zoo has seen a big increase in attendance, which now surpasses Detroit Zoo's numbers. This is despite the fact that the Detroit Zoo has spent over $14 million dollars on the Arctic Ring of Life (among many other high-profile projects), which appears to have had NO lasting effect on attendance. Meanwhile, these other attractions seem to be much better at assesing what the general public wants out of an attraction, and are apparently giving it to them in a manner far more effective than the DZI. I also think that you may be missing Suzan's point entirely. That is, that while attendance has been falling steadily and precipitously, the Zoo, under the direction of Kagan, is spending money like a drunken sailor on shore leave, with apparently no affect on patronage (at best), or causing them to go elsewhere to get the value they want out of an attraction. Furthermore, as can bee seen by the numbers, the city subsidy to the zoo is rising at an equal or greater rate to the decline in revenues, due to the huge expense demanded by the new exhibits and their attendant energy and personnel costs. In speaking with personnel at the Toledo Zoo, they have noted a significant increase in attendance by Michiganders. What does that tell you about the quality of the respective zoo experiences?
|Posted on Thursday, April 14, 2005 - 2:27 am: || |
Overall, well said, Anon. There are a couple of points you should have added:
1) Kagan and the Detroit Zoological Society spent a total of about 38 million in capital improvements at the Zoo in Royal Oak over the last ten years and less than $100,000 at the Belle Isle Aquarium. Virtually all the Zoo's ad and promotion budget was also spent in Royal Oak.
The Results? Zoo in Royal Oak attendance barely made 1,000,000 in 2004 (a continuation of a long term decline from a high of 1,365,000 in1997). AND the Belle Isle Aquarium is closed.
Central city population---about 900,000, Detroit. Detroit Metro Area---about 3,000,000.
Contrast: Toledo Zoo. Capital campaign 14.5 million dollars over the last 10 years, with significant repair and renovation of their Aquarium as well as Zoo. Results: In 2004, Toledo Zoo attendance topped 1,000,000 for the FIRST TIME. part of a RISING, NOT DECLINING TREND. AND THEY STILL HAVE THEIR AQUARIUM.
Central City, Toledo, population 313,000. Toledo metropolitan area----a little over 600,000. ONE-FIFTH THE SIZE OF THE DETROIT METRO AREA!!!!!
Toledo is just about 50 miles from Detroit. The economy of northern industrial Ohio and greater Toledo is essentially no different that that of greater Detroit. The effects of 9-11, Osama B-L, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, gas prices, etc., etc., are NO DIFFERENT in Toledo than they are in Detroit.
to claim that Suzan's "antagonism to Kagan is showing" is an unwarranted and unfounded personal attack on her, because it implies that any antagonism she has with Kagan is personal. The facts, as I have shown above, reveal that there is plenty to be antagonistic with Kagan about. And it's not personal at all.
It's based on objective facts and his performance of general misleadership, gross financial mismanagement, and incompetence disguised by vainglory. I would add that the attendance at the Belle Isle Aquarium from March thru April 1-3 (March: 25,102 visitors, $78,105); April 1-3 (7,344 visitors, $22,676) after modest mass media publicity finally informed the public about the Aquarium and its imminent closing, shows that properly marketed, the Aquarium could easily become self-supporting and, indeed, the ONE part of the Zoo which could generate a surplus. And Kagan conspired to shut it anyway.
Don't all of these facts show that we need a new Zoo director?
Maybe Toledo's is available...........although he or she would have to be pretty courageous and bold to take on the situation Kagan has left the Zoo and Aquarium in.
|Posted on Friday, April 15, 2005 - 9:30 am: || |
When we went to the Toledeo Zoo Last there was more Michigan plates then Ohio. There you are closer to the animals. Second of all Toledo is a safer city. If they would clean up the city more people would go downtown. I hope that both the zoo and the aquarium both re-open. They are both Jewels of the city.