Just when we think there isnít much to laugh at in the news these days, we can always count on the wing nuts at PETA for a gut-buster. PETA — thatís the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, as opposed to People Eating Tasty Animals — has offered to pop for $15 million to save a 2.6 mile bridge that spans Tampa Bay.
Iím talking about a former car-traffic bridge that, after being replaced with an adjacent new span, was reopened more than 10 years ago as a prime fishing-cycling-running ribbon of concrete over the water and was renamed the Friendship Trail Bridge. The converted 53-year-old bridge reportedly attracted more than 600,000 visitors annually, including lots of anglers who could hook into everything from tarpon to snook below the span. Special fishing areas were created all along the Trail.
But, it seems the old bridge has suffered from age and structural corrosion and had to be closed down a year ago to the disappointment of many.† Itís been determined that it will take $15 million to safely breathe an estimated 10 years of additional life into the old span. In todayís economy, funds to bring back the county-owned bridge arenít available, unless some one could, perhaps, find a way to tap into the federal Porkulus Bill.
But wait! All is not lost. Here comes those furry fanatics at PETA to the rescue. Yes, Iím talking about the same PETA that raised a stink when President Obama swatted a fly (a darn cool move if you ask me) during a TV interview. After all, flies have rights too, donít ya know?
PETA reportedly has offered to ďcontribute the funds necessary to keep this community treasure open.Ē Thatís $15 million to save the Friendship Trail Bridge. Oh, but there are just a couple of conditions:
First, the bridge must be renamed the Sea Kitten Memorial Trail Bridge to ďencourage children to think of fish as Ďsea kittens.íĒ Itís true, PETA has been pushing the idea of getting the world to rename all fish ďsea kittensĒ because, they contend, people see kittens as soft furry animals and will be less likely to hurt them by fishing for them! (No, Iím not kidding, thatís PETAís goal!)
Second condition: Ban fishing from the bridge.
The offer was reportedly made to a save-the-bridge citizens group called the Friendship Trail Corporation. Its executive director, Frank Miller indicates his groupís position is simple — thanks but no thanks!
Now, I donít believe PETA would actually come up with the $15 million anyway. Itís a wacko organization that told the Iowa State Fair it should not use butter (use a non dairy spread) for a planned Michael Jackson sculpture. I suppose the thinking there was that some cow would feel violated!
So, while youíre enjoying your deep fried sea kitten sandwich, take a look at todayís How I Discovered Boating video:† http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EG8iUt0ENf4