A dead shark.

Author:RUNDLES, JEFF
Position:Colorado Ocean Journey - Brief Article
 
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TAX MONEY FOR COLORADO OCEAN JOURNEY IS WRONG, AND WON'T KEEP IT AFLOAT

I SAW A NEWS ITEM RECENTLY about a Colorado Ocean Journey shark that died somewhat mysteriously. They took it to the CSU vet school for a necropsy, the fish equivalent of an autopsy but they couldn't find anything -- no infection, no physical injury, nothing. What they didn't check was whether it died of a broken heart.

Here it was, a shark, the feared denizen of the deep, and one of the major stars at what is advertised as "one of the top tourist attractions in all of Colorado." An attraction that was financed completely with private money and operated on a healthy diet of paid admissions.

This poor shark, embarrassed to discover that the word "shark," when used referring to humans, is pejorative, and that the term could have been applied to some of the very people it worked for, must have decided it had nothing left to live for.

Those darn humans. Can't live with 'em. Can't even eat 'em. What's the point in going on?

The fate of the shark's former employer, Colorado Ocean Journey, is a bit less mysterious.

Here was a highly touted, pull-out-all-the-society-heavyweights project that promised to become a world-class tourist attraction for Denver -- and all of it done with private money The organizers of the aquarium promised -- made a solemn pledge -- not to consider applying for tax sponsorship from the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District until at least 2005, if ever.

But now it turns out that this society-sponsored aquarium is deeply in debt -- with more than $5 million owed to the city of Denver -- and in grave danger of failing. Or taking a dive, as it were.

I'm sorry, but I have no sympathy I say let it die.

Perhaps there are ways that its operators can save it, and not default on private-sector...

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