Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Q&A: Lowry Park Zoo, poverty, presidential travel

Lowry Park: No. 1 zoo?

I heard an ad this week that said Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa is the No. 1 zoo in the United States. It's a nice zoo, but really? By whose measure?

According to the Lowry Park Zoo website (www.lowryparkzoo.com), it is rated "No. 1 all over again. Rated the best zoo in the U.S. by Parents magazine."

So we went to the website of Parents magazine (www.parents.com) and did a search for Lowry Park Zoo.

What we found is that the magazine rated Lowry Park Zoo No. 1 on its list of 10 Best Zoos for Kids (emphasis ours). "When Parents set out to find the top zoos in the country," according to the lead-in to the list, "we identified 50 where kids can pet and often feed the wildlife. Then we narrowed it down to these leaders of the pack that your little tyke will love."

The description goes on to note, in part, that: "It's unbelievable how close kids can get to the animals here," and "since Lowry Park is the only zoo in the country with an accredited preschool and kindergarten on-site, the staff is especially comfortable fielding questions from families."

Parents magazine is published monthly by the Meredith Corp. and had a circulation of more than 2 million in 2011.

If Ask the Times were PolitiFact.com, it would rate this advertising and marketing claim as half-true. Yes, a great zoo, and top-ranked for children. But claiming to be the No. 1 zoo in the country is a stretch, and not supported by the facts.

The poverty rate

What is the poverty rate in the United States, and how has it changed over the years?

The U.S. Census Bureau definition of poverty is complex because it depends on age, income, geographic differences, the number of people in the household and more. For example, a household of four was judged to be living in poverty if the total income was under $23,021 in 2011. For a family of five, it was $27,251. For two people over 65, the figure was $13,609.

In 2012, the Census Bureau reported that 15 percent of Americans live in poverty. That was 46.5 million people. In Florida, it's 15.3 percent.

In 1973 the U.S. number was 11.1 percent. It jumped to 15.2 percent by 1983, the highest point between 1973 and today. It fell to 11.3 percent by 2000. Since then the trend has been upward: 11.7 percent in 2001, 12.6 percent in 2005, 14.3 percent in 2009 and 15.1 percent in 2010.

Presidential schedules

Is it true that the president and the vice president can't travel in the same plane?

The Secret Service doesn't have a rule that states the president and vice president can't travel on the same airplane or vehicle, but it's often not practical, considering the size of their staffs, security details and media entourage. They also have different schedules.

Ask the Times

Q&A: Lowry Park Zoo, poverty, presidential travel 05/08/14 [Last modified: Thursday, May 8, 2014 2:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Baker cautious on Pride politics

    Elections

    Rick and Joyce Baker strode down Central Avenue Sunday amid rainbow flags, corporate booths, and blaring music of the St. Pete Pride Festival.

    Mayoral candidate Rick Baker talk with people during a Pride event in St. Petersburg, Florida on Sunday, June 25, 2017. Baker is running for his old seat as Mayor of St. Petersburg.
  2. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Third baseman Evan Longoria heads back to the dugout after striking out for the final out of the sixth inning with a runner on first and the Rays leading 5-4.
  3. Lightning among early suitors for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he planned to explore free agency for potential needs, which include bolstering his blue line and adding a wing or two.

  4. Senate leaders try to appease members as support for health bill slips

    National

    WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leaders scrambled Sunday to rally support for their health care bill, even as opposition continued to build outside Congress and two Republican senators questioned whether the bill would be approved this week.

    Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday, is one of the five Republican senators who announced they cannot support the health care bill as drafted.
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of June 26-July 2.

    Events

    Vans Warped Tour: The festival returns Saturday to St. Petersburg's Vinoy Park, featuring shock-metal icons Gwar, hardcore punks Sick Of It All, ska band Save Ferris and indie-pop group Never Shout Never ($39.50-$49.50). vanswarpedtour. …

    Crowd for the Motionless in White band at the 2014 Vans Warped Tour at Vinoy Park, Friday, July 25, 2014.  CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times