National Zoo revises manure plan if shutdown occurs
Updated 10:35 a.m. ET
Our initial stories of a potential government shutdown noted that a lack of federal funds might force the National Zoo to amass animal manure in a parking lot.
The anecdote earned just a brief mention, but prompted concerned inquiries from zoo fans and reporters around the world, according to a Smithsonian Institution spokeswoman who contacted The Federal Eye Thursday.
Colleagues couldn't recall the manure incident, she said, but The Post archives show it occurred during the 21-day shutdown of 1995 and 1996:
"Lot E didn't have any cars, but it had piles of chunky elephant, rhino, hippo and giraffe manure," colleague David Montgomery wrote on Jan. 6, 1996. "That's when you know you got yourself a government shutdown. The manure usually is sent to a greenhouse operated by the Smithsonian Institution for composting, but during the shutdown, recycling hippo scat wasn't deemed essential."
Either way, if another shutdown occurs -- still a possibility if budget negotiations between Republicans and the White House don't go well -- the zoo vows not to store any waste in the parking lots, the spokeswoman said. The waste, now composted at a facility in Brookville, Md., would be stored at a spot on the zoo's campus, far away from the parking lots and adjoining roads.
Glad we cleared that up.
By the way, if you're interested in reliving the '95 and '96 shutdowns (or are looking for a good way to kill time on a slow Friday), we've republished some of the classics:
Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
• Happy Birthday Government Printing Office!: Today is the big 1-5-0 for the agency responsible for printing and selling government papers. Today is also the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's inauguration.
• Cabinet and Staff News: First Lady Michelle Obama "shushed" by a 9-year old in new PSA. Ex-FBI agent is alive, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says. EPA Chief Lisa Jackson grilled on the safety of hydraulic fracking. New White House staff changes mean less drama. Education Secretary Arne Duncan cautions school districts against layoffs. Donald Rumsfeld complained of "low-level" Gitmo prisoners.
• CIA agent sentenced on sexual assault conviction: Andrew Warren received a sentence nearly two years longer than prosecutors had recommended.
• Navy admiral recommends censures over lewd videos: The head of U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Adm. John Harvey Jr., also recommended that Capt. Owen Honors undergo a hearing to show cause for why he should remain in the Navy.
• Harvard reopens door to ROTC: Many universities, including some of the nation's top institutions, have decades-long bans on ROTC because of the old "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which their leaders deemed discriminatory.
• Many agencies are not under a hiring freeze: A Federal News Radio analysis finds many are still onboarding.
• Judge clears way for implementation of health-care law in states that are challenging it: U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson attached two conditions to the "stay" of his ruling.
U.S. POSTAL SERVICE:
• Fight over future of Saturday mail delivery continues: Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) wants to preserve the six-day delivery schedule.
• Court rules in favor of National Guard vet fired by Postal Service: A federal court on Feb. 28 ruled in favor of a veteran who was fired by the U.S. Postal Service after he had spent nearly six years on active National Guard duty.
• U.S., Mexico agree to settle truck feud: The deal seeks to end a nearly 20-year ban on Mexican trucks crossing the U.S. border, a violation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
| March 4, 2011; 6:00 AM ET
Categories: Eye Opener, Government Shutdown
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