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  • Thu, February 28, 2019 3:25 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    PeTA held a press conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday with local activists, lawmakers, and actor Joaquin Phoenix to generate support and attention for California Senate Bill 313, which was introduced in the state legislature last week. Titled the “Circus Cruelty Prevention Act,” the legislation would ban wild and exotic animals in traveling exhibitions. The bill’s sponsor, SenatorBen Hueso(D-San Diego), issued the following statement in a PeTA press release: "Wild animals used in circuses endure cruel training, near-constant confinement, and are deprived of their natural habitat. We cannot allow this type of abuse to occur in California. This bill will ensure that these beautiful creatures are not exploited or cruelly treated within our state." More>>>>

  • Thu, February 28, 2019 3:10 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    We Need Your Continued Help to #saveH2B

    As you know, the Department of Homeland Security recently issued a press release announcing that the H-2B cap for the second half of FY 19 was reached on February 19.  

    Unless DHS immediately releases all of the visas allowed by the FY 2019 Consolidated Appropriations Act, about two-thirds of needed seasonal positions will go unfilled this year.

    Reps. Harris (R-MD) and Pingree (D-ME), Senator Rounds and others are circulating the attached letter to Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen urging her to immediately resume H-2B processing and release all of the additional visas permitted by the law.

    How Can You Help?

    Call Your Senators and Representative:
    You can reach your Senators and Representative through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121.  Once connected to the office, ask to speak to the staff person who handles H-2B issues.  Please urge your Representative to sign the Harris-Pingree H-2B letter to DHS.  Please urge your Senator to sign the Rounds letter to DHS. The deadline for signatures is the close of Business on Friday, March 1.

    Email Your Senators Representative: 
    Please email your Senators and Representative asking them to sign the Harris-Pingree H-2B letter to DHS by the close of business on Friday, March 1. You can use the link below set up by the National Association of Landscape Professionals.  Please send an email now even if you did so earlier in the week as this link with now also send letters to your Senators.

    E-mail Your Senators and Representative

    Share This Email:
    Share this email with your co-workers, suppliers and other H-2B users and encourage them to call and email their elected officials.

    Thank you for your help and for again reaching out to Congress.  

    Your H-2B Workforce Coalition Co-Chairs
    Laurie Flanagan, representing AmericanHort and the National Association of Landscape Professionals

    Gregg Hartley, representing the Outdoor Amusement Business Association 

    Brian Crawford, American Hotel and Lodging Association

  • Thu, February 28, 2019 2:46 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    “We had a great year and exceeded a $5 million midway for the first time,” were the words of John Prestianni, senior director of Finance for the Florida State Fair Authority, in describing what happened at the February 7-18 Cheryl Flood-managed Florida State Fair, Tampa.  More>>>>

  • Thu, February 28, 2019 10:41 AM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)
    U.S. On-Highway Diesel Fuel Prices*  
    (dollars per gallon)full history
              Change from
      02/11/19 02/18/19 02/25/19   week ago year ago
    U.S. 2.966 3.006 3.048   values are up 0.042 values are up 0.041
    East Coast (PADD1) 3.031 3.073 3.094   values are up 0.021 values are up 0.037
    New England (PADD1A) 3.161 3.165 3.171   values are up 0.006 values are up 0.044
    Central Atlantic (PADD1B) 3.225 3.256 3.286   values are up 0.030 values are up 0.031
    Lower Atlantic (PADD1C) 2.872 2.927 2.949   values are up 0.022 values are up 0.043
    Midwest (PADD2) 2.849 2.904 2.969   values are up 0.065 values are up 0.022
    Gulf Coast (PADD3) 2.776 2.809 2.849   values are up 0.040 values are up 0.052
    Rocky Mountain (PADD4) 2.870 2.887 2.913   values are up 0.026 values are down -0.023
    West Coast (PADD5) 3.435 3.458 3.493   values are up 0.035 values are up 0.096
    West Coast less California 3.084 3.104 3.141   values are up 0.037 values are up 0.077
    California 3.714 3.739 3.772   values are up 0.033 values are up 0.112

    *prices include all taxes

  • Thu, February 21, 2019 10:21 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    U.S. On-Highway Diesel Fuel Prices*  
    (dollars per gallon) full history

            Change from
      02/04/19 02/11/19 02/18/19   week ago year ago
    U.S. 2.966 2.966 3.006   values are up 0.040 values are down -0.021
    East Coast (PADD1) 3.038 3.031 3.073   values are up 0.042 values are down -0.009
    New England (PADD1A) 3.176 3.161 3.165   values are up 0.004 values are up 0.036
    Central Atlantic (PADD1B) 3.227 3.225 3.256   values are up 0.031 values are down -0.018
    Lower Atlantic (PADD1C) 2.879 2.872 2.927   values are up 0.055 values are down -0.012
    Midwest (PADD2) 2.839 2.849 2.904   values are up 0.055 values are down -0.066
    Gulf Coast (PADD3) 2.779 2.776 2.809   values are up 0.033 values are down -0.009
    Rocky Mountain (PADD4) 2.883 2.870 2.887   values are up 0.017 values are down -0.066
    West Coast (PADD5) 3.435 3.435 3.458   values are up 0.023 values are up 0.059
    West Coast less California 3.087 3.084 3.104   values are up 0.020 values are up 0.032
    California 3.711 3.714 3.739   values are up 0.025 values are up 0.081
    *prices include all taxes

  • Thu, February 21, 2019 9:26 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    Tell Congress to oppose minimum wage increase
       Randy Davis, Sr. Vice President, Safety & Advocacy, IAAPA  

    Many seasonal jobs in the attractions industry are filled by high school and college students working their first jobs.    Read More

  • Thu, February 21, 2019 8:55 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    Mother claims deputy mistreated her daughter during student night at Florida State Fair.  More>>>>

  • Thu, February 21, 2019 8:37 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    by John Ariale, Husch Blackwell Strategies

    On February 15, the President signed into law a funding bill for several federal agencies including the Department of Homeland Security. The funding package includes the same H-2B discretionary language as last year, which gives DHS the authority, in consultation with DOL, to increase the H-2 cap for fiscal 2019 to 135,320 (66,000 + 69,320 - the number of H-2B returning worker visas or H-2Rs issued in FY 2007). This is the same language that was in effect for fiscal 2017 and 2018. It is disappointing that Congress did not mandate a cap increase; however, in this political climate getting any H-2B cap relief signed into law is a significant achievement. As we look ahead, we are working with Administration to free up as many additional visas as possible under the authority enacted in the law. During the past two years, the Department has only released 15,000 extra visas despite the demonstrated need of the H-2B community. It should also be noted that as of 2/19/19, DHS reported that 30,000 visas of the 33,000 prescribed by law for the second half of this fiscal year have been approved or are pending. Clearly the cap will be reached shortly and the Department must be ready to release additional visas as soon as H-2B employers exhaust the current limit.

    John Ariale | Principal   

  • Thu, February 21, 2019 8:23 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    NYC horse carriage owners must now stay within Central Park

    The office of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio won a legal battle this week after a Manhattan Supreme Court justice ruled in favor of the Mayor’s efforts to keep hansom cabs inside Central Park when picking up and discharging passengers.  
    Read More >>>>

  • Thu, February 21, 2019 8:10 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    Christine and I watched a Tribute to Elvis Presley program on television Sunday night, and every artist on the bill tried really hard and did superb jobs, but what the entire event reiterated for me is that Elvis was, and still is The King, and no imitator has ever come close, one reason being, he didn't have to try.

    Longtime members of the Showmen's League of America have fond memories of meeting Colonel Tom Parker and Al Dvorin, who attended the annual meetings in Las Vegas for many years. Parker, who managed Hank Snow and Eddy Arnold before taking over Presley's career, of course, started in the carnival business, and he never loosened his ties to the trade. He donated $500 at every meeting. I once asked Dvorin what his role had been, and he surprised me when he said “I'm the guy who said after every show that “Elvis Has Left The Building.” How about making a career out of something like that!

    Ironically, I spent plenty of time with Parker, snapping his picture with hundreds of SLA members over the years, but I never met Elvis, or saw any of his performances. We were both in the Army at the same time and each night after a day of basic training at Fort Dix, N. J., I would go to the PX for a soft drink and listen to “You Ain't Nothin’ But A Hound Dog” that seemed to be the only song on the jukebox.

    There were many great stories about Elvis and the Colonel, but one of my favorites involved my friends J. Bruce McKinney, Paul Serff, John Zerbe, Franklin Shearer, Jack Silar, and Bob Payne at Hershey Park, Hershey, Pa. They had tried for years to book Presley and finally, the colonel was on the phone. Payne said try to get him for two nights and McKinney, who had graduated from the Milton Hershey School for Boys to become president and CEO of Hershey Entertainment Co., tried to shush him. “We booked the show, sold the tickets, and never got to see him,” recalls McKinney. “The people who purchased those tickets are holding on to them.” Presley passed away before he got to Hershey. It was to be the next date on his tour.

    Instead of doing our usual phone interview after the fair ended, Rick Vymlatil, president and CEO of the South Florida Fair, West Palm Beach, sent me the same information he provided in detail to Carnival Warehouse. This was his last fair as he is retiring and being replaced by Vicki Chouris, who had been the fair's chief operating officer. Rick, one of the best, will be missed. He thanked me for including him in my columns over the many years we have come to know each other.

    Attendance was 359,020, down from 427,005 in 2018. “The weather really hurt us. On the middle Sunday, when the forecast was so negative, we decided not to open at all.” Vymlatil added record ride revenues and per caps records for Frank Zaitshik's Wade Shows were recorded on 11 of 16 days. “At the gate, we had record revenues on three days, including our first Tuesday, which was a $2 Tuesday.”

    Admission revenue was $2,563,000. Ride revenue was $3.9 million, and food gross was estimated at $4.8 million. The item that garnered the most publicity was a Dilly Dilly Dog, which was a hot dog inserted into a dill pickle and fried in corn dog batter. “It was featured at one of Louie Pacifico's Meatball Factory Corn Dog stands, and it was really good.”

    Entertainment included Building 429, Frankie Ballard, Jordan Davis, Pat Travers Band and The Outlaws, Charlie Aponte and The Elvis Extravaganza. Also, the XPOGO Stunt Team, Dennis Lee, Justino and Daniel Zoppe's Illusions Beyond, Matt's Family Jam, Renata, Zaji Acrobats of China, Tyzen's Comedy Hypnotist Show, Hambone Express 3 Racing Pigs, Hitchiti Dancers, and Ron Davis.

    In conclusion, Vymlatil said, ”Judging by our per cap spending results, I'd have to say that our area has recovered greatly since the recession. The public is not backing off spending their discretionary income on events like the South Florida Fair or other special events in this area. I believe this bodes well for all of us in this business as we move into the spring of 2019.” That's what people want to hear.

    From West Palm Beach, Wade Shows moved into the Florida State Fair, Tampa, which ended Monday.

    I asked Dave Cavallaro, a veteran exhibitor at the trade show of the International Independent Showmen's Association in Gibsonton, Fla., how he did this year. Besides selling cheese curds at the Minnesota State Fair, St. Paul, where he does booming business, Cavallaro sells lemonade stands, his main concern in Gibtown, besides soaking up the sun instead of enduring Minnesota’s deep freeze.

    I'm pausing here because I feel as though I just received a reprieve from either the governor of Tennessee, Minnesota, Florida, or Pennsylvania. It doesn't matter which one. Thank God, the warden, Christine, was here to accept the call. To explain what I say in jest involves a serious concern. I learned recently from a dermatologist that two ugly marks on my forehead are malignant, and for the second time in my life, I have cancer. Luckily, I came through the first which involved the rectum. Anyway, the dermatologist, seemed very concerned, stating it could kill me, and he sent me to the oncologist. She, in turn, referred me to this 62-year-old female surgeon. It has been an elephant in the room as we anxiously awaited the phone to ring to find out how we'll proceed. The answer is I have a 3 p.m. appointment next Monday, and surgery will probably occur within a week or two after that. I have kidded my wife, four children, and friends that I have time for a lot more last meals. It will be pork chops, corn on the cob, baked potato, ice cold Pepsi Cola, and Breyer's ice cream tonight.

    Back to Cavallaro, who knew about this and said, “Hope all is well with you, especially after your heart Ablation procedure. If I saw you, I was going to ask about that because 22 years ago I had the same thing done. It was the best thing I ever did, and I haven't had a problem since. You're going to be fine with this new challenge. We missed you and Christine at the trade show.”

    Continuing, he said, “It was my best show in years, maybe ever! I know people may find that difficult to understand because I would say the traffic seemed to be slightly off from last year. But the guests I spoke to were buying and optimistic about the upcoming season. Obviously, the major topic of discussion was the H-2B seasonal, foreign labor situation. The uncertainty of their work force is frustrating and undoubtedly limits future purchasing plans.”

    Cavallaro conceded that due to his bigger than life, Lemonade Stand product, at $35,000, being quite a bit less than the average concession trailer, “a purchase from me isn't that much of a gamble. I'm also noticing a new generation of buyers who are discovering my product. Many have realized that when you FEATURE the lemonade concession in a standalone unit such as mine, the sales really validate the decision.

    “We sold the unit we brought down and two more since returning to the Minnesota tundra. We need to sell these lemonade stands fast this time of year in Minnesota. Lemonade doesn't fare well in 50 below zero actual temperatures as we experienced the week prior to the show.” Try hot chocolate, Dave.

    Please send news to tomp@oaba.org, or call 615 319-1258.
    Have all great days, and God Bless!

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