Still image from Blackfish
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Three music groups have pulled out of SeaWorld Entertainment's Orlando Band, Brew & BBQ festival planned to begin February 1. Rock band Barenaked Ladies canceled its appearance because of the Blackfish documentary, which pillories the company for mistreatment of orcas. In short order, country singer Willie Nelson backed out, along with rock band Heart.

The company has also come under criticism from a Huffington Post columnist for cutting hours of 18,000 part-time and seasonal workers in what appears to be an attempt to dodge expenses of Obamacare. It cut hours of these employees from 32 to 28 a week. Beginning in 2015, companies with 50 or more full-time workers must provide coverage. SeaWorld appears to have ducked under the 30-hours-a-week definition of "full-time" for a large number of employees.

The company is reporting strong earnings on revenue that only inches ahead — a result of its raising of prices. The scathing documentary came out on DVD November 12. Since then, the stock has dropped from $31.92 to $29.66 at Friday's closing, during a rising market, although that could be related to a number of factors.

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Visduh Dec. 9, 2013 @ 9:02 a.m.

A question that might be asked is whether Sea World could survive the removal of all the orcas from its parks. Are those "killer whale" exhibits and shows the biggest draw? Or is there enough variety there to keep the folks coming? There's no doubt that orcas are very difficult to handle and maintain. They are a danger to the trainers, as evidenced by the one who was killed a few years ago. Maybe what seemed like such a great idea at the start just isn't integral to the operations.


Matt101 Dec. 9, 2013 @ 1:55 p.m.

I agree. Sea World might just be hurting themselves by clinging too long to a business model centered on mistreatment of orcas. Their parks might do just as well if the orcas are removed.


Don Bauder Dec. 9, 2013 @ 2:11 p.m.

Matt101: Those parks would have to come up with something just as exciting. That would be difficult. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 9, 2013 @ 2:10 p.m.

Visduh: When I have been to Sea World, i have concluded that the orca shows are the main attraction. There are now pools where families can swim with dolphins. That might replace the orca shows.

All told, I think Sea World would be badly hurt without the orca shows. Best, Don Bauder


Visduh Dec. 9, 2013 @ 6:16 p.m.

You may be right. It has been so many years since I've been in the park that I've lost track. Things change, and so do attractions. I probably would not recognize the place if I went there now.


Don Bauder Dec. 9, 2013 @ 8:33 p.m.

Visduh: Admittedly, it's been a couple of decades since I have been there. I'm going on what I read. Best, Don Bauder


shirleyberan Dec. 9, 2013 @ 11:35 a.m.

Thank- you Visduh. Hope the animal rights heroes keep up the pressure.


Don Bauder Dec. 9, 2013 @ 2:20 p.m.

shirleyberan: I, too, hope the animal rights people keep up the pressure. This was one reason, among several more important ones, that led me to think Sea World's initial public offering price was too high.

Thus far, I have been wrong. It went public at $27 and shot up well past $30. Today (Dec. 9) it closed at $29.85. Best, Don Bauder


shirleyberan Dec. 10, 2013 @ 10:43 a.m.

What about Octopus opening jars and get themselves through a maze. They're very smart but I assume not that aware. And if they go deep enough they get pretty huge. They could even create an arena for fighting. Public loves that.


Don Bauder Dec. 10, 2013 @ 11:58 a.m.

shirleyberan: There is a thought: octopus fights. But if cockfighting and dog fighting are illegal, would that pass muster? Best, Don Bauder


Duhbya Dec. 10, 2013 @ 12:35 p.m.

Pass the muster? Personally, I prefer my octopus dipped in wasabi sauce.



Don Bauder Dec. 10, 2013 @ 12:37 p.m.

Duhbya: Send your octopus idea to SeaWorld. You may get a monetary award. Best, Don Bauder


Duhbya Dec. 11, 2013 @ 7:57 a.m.

Don: my sole (NOT a feeble pun attempt!) visit to Sea World might be considered a monetary award. Many blue moons ago, Copley News Service held a dinner at said establishment to hand out gold stars to noteworthy employees (the rest of us were inexplicably invited, too). We were in a banquet room and because it was at night, we didn't venture out to see any of their own star performers. So my one trip to SW was gratis. I can't recall if octopus was on the menu, but I'll guess there were no aquatic-based entrees whatsoever.


Don Bauder Dec. 11, 2013 @ 1:42 p.m.

Duhbya: I attended that Copley SeaWorld gathering, too, and I am certain I got no prizes. I suppose we ate something, but I would never remember what it was. Best, Don Bauder


Duhbya Dec. 11, 2013 @ 6:05 p.m.

I thought I knew you from somewhere....

Circa '75 or '76, as I recall.


Don Bauder Dec. 11, 2013 @ 9:07 p.m.

Duhbya: Yes, I was at Copley circa '75 and '76 -- a total of 30 years, actually. The only thing I remember about that SeaWorld event was that one of the top editors was greeting all the employees, and he was utterly schnockered, completely ossified. It was obvious to everyone. Best, Don Bauder


Duhbya Dec. 11, 2013 @ 9:53 p.m.

Yes, I remember that you arrived just prior to the exodus to the Valley in 1973. Hmmm, interesting word, ossified. Makes me wonder if it's derived from the term "down under". Oh, wait. That would be "aussified".


Don Bauder Dec. 12, 2013 @ 10:28 a.m.

Duhbya: "Ossified" is one of many terms for "drunk," such as plastered, polluted, s**face, schnockered, gassed, tight, blasted, etc. Aussified seems to be your creation. However, people do imbibe in Australia. Best, Don Bauder


Duhbya Dec. 12, 2013 @ 4:21 p.m.

Don, I'm familiar with the word, and was attempting to acknowledge your use of it. Must be time for me to back away from the keyboard for a bit.


shirleyberan Dec. 10, 2013 @ 10:51 a.m.

If they lose a limb it just grows back.


Don Bauder Dec. 10, 2013 @ 11:59 a.m.

shirleyberan: But that still wouldn't make it legal. Best, Don Bauder


shirleyberan Dec. 10, 2013 @ 3:40 p.m.

Don - then legalize it. It seems more harmless than cocks and pit bull idiots. My white pitbull is deaf and thinks everybody Is a friend.


Don Bauder Dec. 10, 2013 @ 8:16 p.m.

shirleyberan: Our oldest son is a deep sea diver/photographer. He has some delightful shots of octopi trying to wrestle cameras away from divers. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 11, 2013 @ 1:03 p.m.

shirleyberan: Credit my son, not me. Best, Don Bauder


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