Animal Magic

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You will like the pictures posted today — or at least I hope you will. We went to the Columbus Zoo (search) on Friday and got a great tour by Jack Hanna (search). He is the director emeritus of the zoo. The Columbus Zoo is an extraordinary place and worth making a special trip to if you don't live in the area. Not only do they have many, many animals in environments that look perfect for the animals and visually accessible to the tourists, but the zoo is so clean you could eat off the sidewalk.

Going through the zoo with Jack Hanna is like being with a rock star. The children went nuts when they spotted him and screamed his name. He was extremely gracious stopping and signing autographs. We were under a tight schedule yet he managed to sign as he briskly walked so that no child seemed disappointed. We taped our tour and will show that to you soon — we have about four hours of tape and need to figure out how best to show it to you.

We saw everything: A day-old monkey ... baby elephant (which incidentally is the size of a VW) ... all sorts of "cats" ... birds ... manatees (got snorted on by the manatee) ... penguins (called "Jackass Penguins" because they make a noise as loud and identical to the jackass!), etc. We got to pet many animals including a cheetah. I could have done without Jack putting some cockroaches on me. I like animals — not roaches. I learned so much on our tour (as I get older I realize how little I know ... I thought I knew everything when I was 22! Ugh!) Did you know that there are 17 different breeds of kangaroo? I thought there was one.

If you watched Friday night, you know we did our show from Columbus. This is where "From the Heartland" airs every Saturday night. The studio and the crew were great and they made it very easy for us. It is hard to go into a strange studio and do a show but not here.

E-mail No. 1

Dear Greta,
I really believe that age 32, Miss Jennifer Wilbanks is old enough to step up and "publicly" apologize for the trouble, anguish and money she has cost everyone involved in her fake disappearance. She should not have to hide behind her pastor or her religion to do this. It almost suggests a certain arrogance on her part.
Lassman, Valerie F.

E-mail No. 2 — This next e-mail relates to a letter Scott Peterson's father, Lee, wrote to the Modesto Bee last week:

Bravo and kudos to Mr. Lee Peterson for finally speaking out on behalf of his son! He is absolutely accurate in his comments regarding the police lies, the media bias, and the jury's unquestionable hatred of Scott Peterson. Those jurors ignored the law, their oath and convicted a man on pure speculation and conjecture!
Shani S.
New York, NY

E-mail No. 3 — from Jim Hammer at the Michael Jackson (search) trial:

Trial Note — May 6, 2005

Day Two of the Jackson defense was filled with the mothers and sisters of two of the boys that prosecutors allege Michael Jackson molested in the early 1990s. The defense got what it expected with both the boys and their family members denying that Jackson ever was inappropriate with or molested these boys. But what they didn’t count on is the sharp and effective cross-examination by the D.A.s on the case, especially Assistant D.A. Ron Zonen.

Today, D.A. Sneddon cross-examined Wade and confronted her with sworn testimony she gave back in 1994 before the L.A. County Grand Jury. Back then she testified that her son became distant from here and began to prefer being with Jackson rather than her. She also testified back then that Jackson began to prefer the accuser and how it made her son feel jealous. Most disturbing was her testimony back then that during one trip with Jackson and her son, the two of them disappeared for two days and she was unable to locate them, eventually calling Neverland to try to locate her son. Time and again, when confronted with these statements, she grew sullen and claimed not to recall the events or testifying to them. She didn’t seem to have memory problems when praising Jackson during direct examination.

Today the image continued to build of Jackson being obsessed with 11-13 year old boys, almost all of whom look very similar. And all of these boys’ mothers also seemed to a similar pattern — vulnerable in some way, all to ready to hand their little boys over to sleep in bed with Michael Jackson. Sitting in court today and yesterday, I felt very uneasy and even sad, as I watched these mothers describe relinquishing their boys into the hands of this man seemingly so intent on getting them into his bed. I of course do not know if Jackson is guilty of this or any molestation. But the creep factor continued to grow today.
Jim Hammer,
Santa Maria Courthouse

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