By Doug Porter
Attendance and revenues continue to fall at SeaWorld, according to financial reports released today. The stock market reacted to the news, sending shares in the company down 10.3% by mid-day.
Third-quarter net income fell 28%, revenues fell 8% and attendance at SeaWorld’s parks also declined year-over-year, with attendance in the third quarter totaling 8.4 million visitors, down from 8.9 million a year ago. According the Bloomberg’s Business Insider, the price for stock in SeaWorld has fallen 51% since the movie Blackfish premiered on July 19, 2013.
From the Financial Times:
SeaWorld confirmed that full-year sales were likely to decline between 6 and 7 per cent from a year earlier, following the release of the Blackfish documentary last year that criticised the treatment of killer whales, or orcas.
The film has had a staggering effect on the company’s results, and earlier this year prompted a California state assemblyman to introduce legislation that would ban orca shows.
Jim Atchison, chief executive, said the company was at work to reduce expenses and that it would adjust its marketing and attractions in an effort to lift sales.
Locally, animal rights activists have continued to picket the amusement park on a regular basis. The next planned picketing outside the SeaWorld San Diego entrance is set for November 30th at 10am.
Activist Martha Sullivan is leading the charge with a petition to Mayor Kevin Faulconer urging him to declare “December 14th ‘Corky Orca Retirement Month’ in the City of San Diego, honoring Corky Orca’s 45 years of sacrifice and service to the entertainment industry in Southern California and 25 years years of sacrifice and service to SeaWorld Entertainment Inc.’s profits…”
You can read all about Corky Orca (formerly Shamu) in the OB Rag series Orca Profiles in Captivity: The San Diego 10.
Nurses Press for Better Safety
Nurses picketed and distributed information today at UC San Diego’s Hillcrest campus hoping to raise awareness of what they call “eroding patient care standards in the U.S. and globally that are symbolized by inadequate preparedness for fighting the Ebola virus.” The facility at 200 W. Arbor Drive has been chosen by the State Department of Public Health to be a treatment center for locally reported cases of the deadly disease.
From KFMB News8:
“If nurses had not taken to the air waves, to the streets and to the legislatures, there would have been inaction on Ebola. Everyone passed the buck,” National Nurses United Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro said.
“The Centers for Disease Control had no power, and Ebola is the latest in health threats, there will be more to come. Nurses are demanding patient safety. They are heroes. Hospitals should be forced to spend the money on patient safety that they spend on public relations.”
The local protest was planned as part of a worldwide “wave of action,” in which 100,000 registered nurses are expected to participate, according to National Nurses United. A vigil at the White House and a rally outside the Federal Building in downtown Oakland were also planned.
For some California nurses, the protests started a day early.
The Ebola-related protests kicked off in the United States on Tuesday, when National Nurses United said nearly 20,000 nurses began a two-day strike in California. Their local union is also locked in acrimonious contract talks.
The Californian action targeted nearly 90 hospitals and clinics, mostly operated by Kaiser Permanente, the union said.
The DeMaio Story Continues….
Today would have been the start of new member orientation in the House of Representatives for Republican Carl DeMaio.
— Don Gonyea NPR (@DonGonyea) November 12, 2014
Instead he sat in on on a local talk radio show.
The BIG NEWS in the local media is that Todd Bosnich, DeMaio’s former campaign aide turned accuser was arrested based on accusations he assaulted his mother last week.
From UT-San Diego:
Bosnich got into an argument with his mother on Friday at a residence on Caminito Vista Estrellado, San Diego police Lt. Kevin Mayer said. During the argument, Bosnich is accused of pushing her, disabling her phone and throwing a drinking glass at her, Mayer said.
Police were called to the residence about 7 p.m. Friday and took a report, Mayer said. He said he could not say who called police. He said Bosnich was located by police on Tuesday at the same residence, which is near Del Mar, and taken into custody about 9:15 a.m.
Bosnich, 29, was booked into jail on counts of battery, disabling a telephone line, and assault with a deadly weapon, the lieutenant said. It was not disclosed whether the mother was injured. The case will be turned over to the District Attorney’s Office for review, Mayer said.
This arrest –no trial or verdict yet–proves, according to some local wags, that Bosnich is a “troubled” young man, and we should now discount his claims of sexual harassment. Or that Carl DeMaio was set up.
Horsepoop. This arrest proves or disproves nothing.
Did the Peters campaign have anything to do with disseminating the charges of sexual harassment against Carl DeMaio? Gosh, I don’t know… Wink, wink. The fact is that even if Peters personally broke into DeMaio’s office (can you picture him with a crowbar in his hand?), we’ll never know. That case is closed.
Perhaps we should demand future claims of sexual harassment be vetted via a thorough background investigation of the victim.
Found: FBI’s Go Kill Yourself Letter to Martin Luther King Jr
The story has been around for a while.
The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, J. Edgar Hoover, was so obsessed with Dr. Martin Luther King , Jr that he sent an anonymous letter threatening to expose the late civil rights leader’s extra-martial affairs.
What’s new is that a copy of the letter to Dr. King has surfaced in the National Archives.
From Yale history professor Beverly Gage, writing in the New York Times:
When the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. received this letter, nearly 50 years ago, he quietly informed friends that someone wanted him to kill himself — and he thought he knew who that someone was. Despite its half-baked prose, self-conscious amateurism and other attempts at misdirection, King was certain the letter had come from the F.B.I. Its infamous director, J. Edgar Hoover, made no secret of his desire to see King discredited. A little more than a decade later, the Senate’s Church Committee on intelligence overreach confirmed King’s suspicion.
Since then, the so-called “suicide letter” has occupied a unique place in the history of American intelligence — the most notorious and embarrassing example of Hoover’s F.B.I. run amok. For several decades, however, only significantly redacted copies of the letter were available for public scrutiny. This summer, while researching a biography of Hoover, I was surprised to find a full, uncensored version of the letter tucked away in a reprocessed set of his official and confidential files at the National Archives. The uncovered passages contain explicit allegations about King’s sex life, rendered in the racially charged language of the Jim Crow era. Looking past the viciousness of the accusations, the letter offers a potent warning for readers today about the danger of domestic surveillance in an age with less reserved mass media.
UT-San Diego’s Promised Crime Wave
Tuesday’s sermon from the mount in Mission Valley entitled “Prediction: Crime Wave Coming” is a fine example of the fear and loathing mentality we’ve come to expect from the UT-San Diego editorial board in recent years.
In their alternative reality health care reform has failed, California’s economy is on its last legs and union goons are standing outside public schools ready to bludgeon parents concerned about education.
So it’s no wonder the public is now being encouraged to be alarmed about the stupidity of the voting class. “Be afraid!”, they say, “Be afraid!” That’s the fear part of the equation. Soon the only people brave enough to walk the streets of America’s Finest City will be Obama’s Death Squads.
Here’s the UT’s opening salvo:
Here’s an unfortunate but realistic prediction: Six months from now, a year at most, Californians will look at a troubling new wave of crime and ask, “What happened?” Here’s what happened: Last week’s voter approval of Proposition 47 on top of Gov. Jerry Brown’s prison-realignment program approved by the Legislature in 2011.
Yes, folks, Manchester’s minions want you to lock your doors and load your guns; drug addled (likely brown) people are coming to take your stuff, harm your loved ones and terrorize your neighborhood. You’re been warned. Date rape drugs will flood the streets, along with cheap handguns, all because of some fuzzy headed California thinking.
Together, these two public policies will be responsible for the early release of thousands of criminals now behind prison bars, including some serving life sentences under the state’s three-strikes law. Thousands more who commit new crimes, and who would have faced prison or jail time before Proposition 47, will now continue to walk the streets.
I’m sure some unlucky ex-felon accused of a crime will get to be their poster child in the not-so-distant future.
The reality in California is that life has gone on without the promised dire consequences (remember what was said about prison realignment?) as the state and the counties have been emptying jail cells for couple of years now. Court ordered depopulation of state prisons and the easing of Three Strikes sentencings brought on by California’s fuzzy headed voters’ approval of Proposition 36 two years ago are responsible for these changes.
From the Huffington Post, published September11, 2013
In less than 10 months, California has let 1,000 inmates out of prison early.
Opponents said the releases would lead to an increase in crime, but a new report by the Stanford Three Strikes Project, and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund shows that the released inmates’ recidivism rate has been comparatively low.
The report says the 1,000 prisoners released early so far have a recidivism rate of 2 percent — as opposed to the usual 16 percent for all California inmates. They were released because California voters in November passed Prop 36, revising the state’s three-strikes law, which mandates a life sentence for anyone convicted of a third felony.
Prop 36 changed the law so that the third felony has to be serious or violent — not something more minor like writing a bad check or stealing a slice of pizza. The measure also allows inmates whose third strike is a non-serious, nonviolent offense to petition for early release. The inmates released since November — who have been out now for an average of four months — filed such a petition.
From the August 16th Los Angeles Times:
Across California, more than 13,500 inmates are being released early each month to relieve crowding in local jails — a 34% increase over the last three years. A Times investigation shows a significant shift in who is being let out of jail, how early and where.
The releases spring from an effort begun in 2011 to divert low-level offenders from crowded state prisons to local jails. The move had a cascade effect, forcing local authorities to release their least dangerous inmates to make room for more serious offenders.
So the crime wave must have already begun, if we follow the logic of the editorial.
The loathing part of the UT editorial board’s view is that us dumb voters didn’t follow their dogma and voted to essentially throw in the towel on the most insidious aspect of the war on drugs, along with the jail first approach to race relations.
There was a huge increase in the number of state prisoners over the last four decades, spurred by increasingly harsh sentencing laws passed during the war on drugs. The state’s prison population went from less than 25,000 in the 1970s to a high of 174,000 in 2007. White people got probation much of the time. People of color got thrown in jail.
Over the six years following that peak.California simultaneously cut its prison population by 23 percent and its violent crime rate by 21 percent — both over the national average, according to the Sentencing Project.
All this is not say Proposition 47 is or will be a perfect solution. Or that some bad guy getting out of jail somewhere won’t commit a crime.
There are serious problems in delivering its promised drug rehab and mental health funding, problems that might have been addressed if the legislature had the cojones to stand up the puritan/prison/industrial complex in California. They didn’t. The voters spoke.
Rather than advocate for solutions to drug abuse and petty crimes based on empirical science, the spinmeisters at the UT would rather sit back and whine about how stupid we voters are.
I’ve already entered May 11th (six months from yesterday) in my calendar so I can update readers on the accuracy of the Daily Fishwrap’s warning. And I’ll revisit next November 11th.
On This Day:1859 – The first flying trapeze act was performed by Jules Leotard at Cirque Napoleon in Paris, France. He was also the designer of the garment that is named after him. 1954 – Ellis Island in New York closed after serving as the gateway for 12 million immigrants from 1892 to 1924. From 1924 to 1954 it was mostly used as a detention and deportation center for undocumented immigrants. 1987 – The American Medical Association issued a policy statement that said it was unethical for a doctor to refuse to treat someone solely because that person had AIDS or was HIV-positive.
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