Coney Has Elephant-Washing Scandal, and One More Weekend of Dreamland

The Coney Island edition of the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus, "Boom a Ring," finishes up on Monday, and is going out with something less than a bang: its $20 tickets are on sale for $8. And a publicity stunt for the circus has drawn criticism from the Uniformed Firefighters Association. On Wednesday firefighters from Coney's Engine Company 245 hosed down an elephant for news cameras. The union protests that this took the company off duty for 30 minutes, constituting a public danger, and implied that City Hall forced the decision. FDNY denies this, and says the firemen were only supposed to hose the animal en passant, not close the station.

Well, at least Coney's Dreamland will be open for the weekend. The agglomeration of rides and attractions was locked down for non-payment of rent last week, but after a dressing-down by councilmember Dominic Recchia -- normally a buddy of Coney supervillain and Dreamland landlord Joe Sitt, but moved on this occasion to compare his operation to the Gestapo -- Sitt has allowed Dreamland a weekend pass. Enjoy Coney while you can, folks! Next year it may all be under construction.

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