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  • Mon, August 03, 2020 4:48 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    A protest is being organized for August 6 at the Ohio State House in Columbus
    Organizers are encouraging fairs, festivals, concessionaires, and carnival owners to attend. Showmen are encouraged to bring their equipment.

    Carnival companies, concessionaires, vendors, fair professionals and supporters of the fair industry in the Buckeye State plan to occupy the parking lot of the State House in Columbus, Ohio.  But they won't be setting up a still date or selling wristbands for residents to enjoy.  Instead, Ohio carnival companies will be leading a protest against the state's governor and his actions towards the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

    A Facebook Group -- Save Ohio Fairs & Festivals -- with more than 2,300 members – has been formed to organize the demonstration, which is scheduled for Thursday, August 6th at 2:00 pm

    Like the vast majority of State Fairs, the Ohio State Fair has been cancelled for 2020.  But for the 94 county and local fairs, Gov.  Mike DeWine was originally more supportive.  In addition to offering financial support, the governor allowed “Junior Fairs” to be held, essentially 4-H, FFA and other agricultural actives.  He left the decision of having a midway with rides and other attractions up to the individual fair boards and county officials, as long as they complied with the state's health and safety guidelines. 

    Read full article at carnivalwarehouse.com

  • Thu, July 30, 2020 3:25 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    From the desk of Vanessa Gagne  
    ANIMAL ISSUES LEGISLATIVE UPDATE 
    July 30, 2020

    UPDATES

    The Jay Owenhouse tiger show in Las Vegas prevailed last week and we all collectively heaved a sigh of relief - that was until PeTA and their fervent followers found a stipulation where if enough public outcry could be put together, the decision could be overturned after seven days! Yesterday the appeal was heard and Mr. Owenhouse and his tigers will be able to perform for audiences on The Strip next year.

    Federal Legislation Introduced to Ban Greyhound Racing, Live-Lure Training (Note: This is an AR publication)
    At no surprise to those that followed the Florida Greyhound racing ban, which took out a majority of the country’s tracks with one state, now congress is looking to federally ban the practice.

    Thousands attend a 'protest against government overreach' at Minnesota rodeo

    After postponement, Shrine Circus in Sioux City cancelled

    Indianapolis dog breeder prevails against Georgia supplier’s appeal

    5000 Burmese pythons have been removed from Everglades, Florida officials say

    IN THE NEWS

    Canada cracks down on illegal dog importations

    Hog-Wild — Sacramento woman keeps up family tradition with show pigs

    Animal rights activists in blood-covered vehicle follow semis for 500 miles to ‘expose animal cruelty’

    Man picks carnivorous cat over vegan girlfriend   

    Online puppy scams increase during pandemic, woman loses thousands   

    Cage-free transition financially and logistically impossible

  • Wed, July 29, 2020 7:22 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    Cancellations, Uncertainty & Apprehension:
    OABA Navigates the Pandemic Year

    The COVID-19 Pandemic has wreaked havoc on the global economy, but the devastation seems particularly acute on the carnival companies and related business that make up the Outdoor Amusement Business Association.

    While a handful of carnival companies have started to play still dates and smaller fairs, the bulk of the business – fairs – as well as literally thousands of other events, from music festivals to local charity fundraisers have canceled.  The OABA has 132 carnival company members, most of whom have been winter quarters-bound from Mid-March until now.  An estimated 95 percent of fairs and outdoor events have been cancelled, and many of the events still technically set to continue are actually in a kind of limbo state, with the actual confirmation to continue or cancellation announcement remaining unissued.

    For carnival companies who have decided to venture forth and attempt to salvage the remainder what's left of the 2020 season, the going is rough.  Many events are still in cancellation mode, and for the carnival companies looking to operate, finding the proper authorities to work with in terms of adhering to social distancing and other guidelines can be a challenge.  Unlike an amusement park who has long established relationships within a community, by their very nature traveling carnival companies must negotiate with different entities for each stop on a route.

    Full article on carnivalwarehouse.com here

  • Wed, July 29, 2020 7:07 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    WEST ALLIS, Wis. – July 29, 2020 – Wisconsin State Fair Park officials today announced another addition to State Fair Necessities, presented by U.S. Cellular, as the Wisconsin State Fair teams up with Hunger Task Force and Wells Fargo for a food donation drive on Thursday, August 6 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

    “Giving back to the community on opening day of the Fair has been a long-standing tradition, and there is no better way to commemorate what would have been opening day of the 2020 Wisconsin State Fair than by offering this opportunity for people to donate non-perishable food items in the fight against food insecurity,” said Kathleen O’Leary, Wisconsin State Fair Park CEO. “We’re excited to continue our partnership with Hunger Task Force and Wells Fargo to keep this established tradition alive.”

    Read full press release here

  • Wed, July 29, 2020 4:06 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)
    U.S. On-Highway Diesel Fuel Prices*(dollars per gallon)full history XLS
    Change from
    07/13/20 07/20/20 07/27/20 week ago year ago
    U.S. 2.438 2.433 2.427 -0.006 -0.607
    East Coast (PADD1) 2.531 2.520 2.519 -0.001 -0.540
    New England (PADD1A) 2.650 2.626 2.632 0.006 -0.474
    Central Atlantic (PADD1B) 2.707 2.699 2.697 -0.002 -0.549
    Lower Atlantic (PADD1C) 2.387 2.377 2.375 -0.002 -0.549
    Midwest (PADD2) 2.313 2.309 2.301 -0.008 -0.639
    Gulf Coast (PADD3) 2.198 2.198 2.183 -0.015 -0.610
    Rocky Mountain (PADD4) 2.345 2.343 2.342 -0.001 -0.625
    West Coast (PADD5) 2.954 2.954 2.954 0.000 -0.652
    West Coast less California 2.594 2.597 2.586 -0.011 -0.600
    California 3.251 3.248 3.256 0.008 -0.684

    *prices include all taxes
    www.eia.gov

  • Thu, July 23, 2020 4:05 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    From the desk of Vanessa Gagne  
    ANIMAL ISSUES LEGISLATIVE UPDATE  
    July 23, 2020


    UPDATES

    Earlier this week I received notification that there would be a hearing in Las Vegas concerning the zoning of a new animal facility that would be built to house tigers for a seasonal show featuring Jay Owenhouse and his big cats. I am happy to report that even with only 36 hours notice, we were able to get CFA members, and even the president, Jan Biggerstaff, to attend and speak on behalf of entertainment using exotic animals. Thank you to all who called, sent letters, and went in person. The result was a vote of 7-0! When I spoke with Mr. Owenhouse, he told me the facility will be home to his tigers for half the year while they are performing on the strip. The $150,000 facility will feature two waterfalls, pools, and climate controlled space for the cats. It’s a win-win all around.

    Proposed Quincy animal ordinance defeated on 3-3 Village Council vote Please help educate the Quincy city council members about exotic animal  ownership. Write to: khargreave@quincy-mi.org, acraig@quincy-mi.org, mhagaman@quincy-mi.org, cbassage@quincy-mi.org, mbrand@quincy-mi.org, wsalyer@quincy-mi.org, nloomis@quincy-mi.org

    The Joint Planning Commission will revisit the proposed ordinance that was first heard on the 21st of July. If passed, the following would become law: 

    1. a blanket "exotic animal" ban; 
    2. a limit of only four domesticated pets in any one household;
    3. required Zoning Permit to keep any livestock;
    4. Defined restrictions for certain livestock including, but not limited to, horses, sheep, and chickens.  

    Thank you to USARK for the update and information.

    IN THE NEWS

    Lake George tables law that would have restricted pet ownership

    Crab blood used to make COVID-19 vaccine outrages animal rights activists

    Wolfeboro, Humane Society respond to $35m dog owner lawsuit

    Ukraine hostage standoff ends after president promotes Joaquin Phoenix film

    Taking a breather! Adorable moment five-tonne elephant has an underwater nap using his trunk as a snorkel at Texas zoo - Last but not least, I have to add this great zoo piece and viral video: it’s my best friend, Christine “Turk” DelTurco, the lead elephant trainer at Fort Worth Zoo, and one of her charges, Colonel. Colonel was the first elephant born at African Lion Safari in Ontario and then moved to Carson and Barnes. He is now a breeding male at Fort Worth Zoo. Turk has worked with elephants for over a decade and is a professional member of the Elephant Managers Association. She got her start working with Scott Riddle at Riddle’s Sanctuary in Arkansas.

  • Tue, July 21, 2020 9:22 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    SACO, Maine — The New England Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (NEAAPA) has announced its 2020 Annual Meeting Awards.

    Alan E. Ramsay Safety Award
    Recipient — Gary Slade, publisher, Amusement Today, Arlington, Texas. The Ramsay award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated “an unparalleled commitment to safety in the amusement parks and attractions industry.”

    “We’re certainly pleased to receive this accolade from NEAAPA,” Slade said. “Our team has been dedicated to presenting timely information related to safety throughout the industry for years. Amusement Today devotes numerous pages in each edition to the latest safety news as well as a listing of upcoming safety seminars. We greatly appreciate being recognized for the work we have done to promote the most important aspect of the amusement industry.”

    Full article here >>>

  • Tue, July 21, 2020 6:48 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)
    U.S. On-Highway Diesel Fuel Prices*(dollars per gallon)full history XLS
    Change from
    07/06/20 07/13/20 07/20/20 week ago year ago
    U.S. 2.437 2.438 2.433 -0.005 -0.611
    East Coast (PADD1) 2.527 2.531 2.520 -0.011 -0.552
    New England (PADD1A) 2.652 2.650 2.626 -0.024 -0.496
    Central Atlantic (PADD1B) 2.696 2.707 2.699 -0.008 -0.560
    Lower Atlantic (PADD1C) 2.388 2.387 2.377 -0.010 -0.560
    Midwest (PADD2) 2.306 2.313 2.309 -0.004 -0.639
    Gulf Coast (PADD3) 2.204 2.198 2.198 0.000 -0.606
    Rocky Mountain (PADD4) 2.345 2.345 2.343 -0.002 -0.635
    West Coast (PADD5) 2.960 2.954 2.954 0.000 -0.657
    West Coast less California 2.596 2.594 2.597 0.003 -0.601
    California 3.260 3.251 3.248 -0.003 -0.691
    *prices include all taxes

    www.eia.gov/

  • Thu, July 16, 2020 3:32 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    From the desk of Vanessa Gagne:

    ANIMAL ISSUES LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

    July 16, 2020

    UPDATES

    OSBI officials assisting investigation at zoo formerly owned by Joe Exotic

    Tina Fay says she was railroaded, and she’s still trying to prove it.

    Wilmington Town Meeting Recap: Budget, Circus Animal Ban Pass

    “Article 65, the circus act ban, initially appeared to fail by voice vote, but when it was revoted by standing count, turned out to have passed 84-74.”

    This was a very close call and shows that if more of us call, write, and appear in person it can have a significant effect on the outcome of these small municipal bans. There may even be potential to have this ruling overturned.

    South Huron to vote on whether to host big cats on Grand Bend's doorstep

    World Animal Protection (WAP), a radical animal rights organization that believes we shouldn’t even touch or bathe elephants, is helping to oppose these people’s application to keep their lions.

    No exotic animal bylaw exemption for lion cubs

    IN THE NEWS

    PETA Wants You To Stop Saying The Word ‘Pet’ Because It’s ‘Offensive to Animals'

    Trafalgar Square fountains: Two arrested over red dye protest

    International Elephant Foundation Selects 27 Global Projects to Receive Conservation and Research Grants


    Tiger Truck Stop, famous for viral camel-biting incident, will stop showcasing exotic animals

    Wild animals banned from circuses in Wales

  • Thu, July 16, 2020 11:14 AM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    FIRESTONE FINANCIAL CELEBRATES 55TH ANNIVERSARY
    The finance company, known throughout the amusement, carnival, fitness franchise, and vending industries, marks its 55th anniversary.

    NEEDHAM, MA – July 15, 2020 - Firestone Financial, a subsidiary of Berkshire Bank, celebrates their 55th anniversary this year. Firestone Financial is one of the top lenders in the amusement, attractions, fitness franchise, and vending industries.

    “Firestone has achieved this milestone through the dedication of all our employees and the continued support of our customers, channel partners, and industry associations across all of our lines of business,” said EVP, Chief Operating Officer Michael Smith. “Over the years we’ve stayed true to our roots in amusement and carnival financing while expanding our offerings and building relationships with innovative manufacturers who are constantly working to evolve our core industries.”

    “The celebration comes at a unique time,” continued Smith. “Now more than ever we’re dedicated to supporting our customers and guiding them through the current economic crisis as they look to thrive in the new post-pandemic environment.”

    Founded in 1965, Firestone Financial was acquired by Berkshire Bank in 2015. They are active in numerous industry associations, including International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), American Amusement Machine Association (AAMA), and National Independent Concessionaires Association (NICA), and are a 3-Star Game Master Sponsor of Amusement and Music Operators Association (AMOA). Firestone attends industry events throughout the year, including the 2020 IAAPA Expo in Orlando, FL scheduled for November 17-20 where they can be found in booth# 1615. 

    ABOUT FIRESTONE FINANCIAL
    Founded in 1965, Firestone Financial is a nationwide finance company serving the amusement, carnival, fitness, vending and laundry industries. The Company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Bank (Member FDIC). Interested parties can learn more about Firestone Financial at www.firestonefinancial.com or by calling Firestone Financial at 800-851-1001.

    CONTACT
    Leah Siporin, Head of Marketing, 617-807-8194, lsiporin@firestonefinancial.com 
    OR
    Aaliyah Outlaw, Corporate Communications Manager, 518-925-6027, aoutlaw@berkshirebank.com

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