Connect with us

Living

Medieval Troupe Forms a “Local 181”

The royal performers who work for the Medieval Times are famous for a number of things, among them their time-specific acting. Located in Lyndhurst, NJ, the acting group has decided to notch another historic title to their name, the first royal performers in the region to unionize. 2 out 3 performers decided that a combined representation for their working rights made more sense than not, and by majority vote the unionization passed. The official representation will be provided by the American Guild of Variety Artists.

Noting their new representation moniker, the Medieval Times Performers United, the majority are celebrating their win. By decision, the group will negotiate for all 42 workers involved, pushing for better pay, benefits and labor-related advantages. That said, the representation’s strategy is not just about compensation; ideally, the overall goal is to make working for the Medieval Times attractive and enjoyable for all as a career.

Part of the drive for better pay has been a long-standing issue involving required live stunts. Because the acting and show involves actions that present a potential risk for the actors, one of the arguments for better pay has been that the current $20/hour pay rate doesn’t reflect the risks the actors have to take in their parts. Secondly, risks have been repeatedly experienced with the guests during feeding. Actor-workers have been physically harassed and grabbed while serving food, and guests have gotten rowdy with their dinnerware, scaring the animals involved in the show as well.

One of the knight actors, Zaire Wood, sums up the job in a response. They show up to put on the entertainment and, if a guest gets out of line, that’s part of the job to help control the situation appropriately and as needed. However, doing so puts the actors at risk to harm on a regular basis.

Interestingly, the New Jersey location is not the only one for the company. It has entertainment operations in at least nine different other cities spread out between Canada and the U.S. While Medieval Times management didn’t respond publicly to the press, it did send out an internal blast to workers not to perceive the union vote as a sudden “improvement” or a “win.” Obviously, that messaging approach didn’t win over affected employees. The company CEO, Perico Montaner, characterized the vote as simply hiring a representative to do all the talking to management about what the employees might want in a bargained contract. Management committed to the negotiation process, but no one should interpret that as a guarantee that anything asked for was going to be provided. Management’s messaging was also focused on a negative perspective, expecting negotiations to drag on without deadlines and any common ground.

Regardless of Medieval Time’s company wishes, the New Jersey union was ratified and registered with the National Labor Relations Board. And for the actors, now begins a new chapter in how their careers will be shaped going forward.

Living

Drones Are A Powerful Ally For Animal Right Campaigners

Kevin Wells

Published

on

Drones have become powerful allies for animal rights campaigners, offering a bird’s-eye view that’s hard to beat. These flying gadgets are not only affordable but also simple to operate, making them perfect for keeping an eye on illegal activities like fishing, hunting, and deforestation. They’re also great for monitoring conditions in zoos and aquariums.

A striking example comes from UrgentSeas, an organization that sprang into action after hearing about a lonely manatee at the Miami Seaquarium. Using drones, they captured footage of the manatee, named Romeo, in a neglected pool. The video went viral, leading to public outrage and eventually the relocation of Romeo and his mate Juliet to a sanctuary.

Since their introduction in the early 2010s, drones have been revolutionary for groups like PETA, who’ve used them to uncover illegal hunting activities. In marine conservation, drones offer an unparalleled view of the living conditions of sea creatures, highlighting the cramped spaces in some facilities.

Sea Shepherd, a marine conservation group, utilizes drones to document illegal fishing activities in international waters. The advancements in drone technology have made these devices quieter and more discreet, crucial for documenting illegal actions without alerting the perpetrators. Simon Ager of Sea Shepherd emphasizes the effectiveness of drones in these operations, noting their ability to capture evidence of illegal activities from a safe distance, thus reducing the risk to conservationists.

In essence, drones are more than just tools; they represent a shift in how activists and conservationists can safely and effectively gather evidence, raise awareness, and prompt action to protect animals and their habitats. They enable discreet observations and can reach places that are otherwise inaccessible or risky for humans, proving to be an indispensable asset in the fight for animal rights and environmental protection.

Continue Reading

Living

New Bazaar Blends American & Indian Cultures

Shannon Jackson

Published

on

In Buffalo’s East side, something exciting is happening at the Buffalo Trade Center! It’s becoming a bustling market, blending Indian and American cultures, thanks to Samad, a visionary with Indian roots but raised in the U.S. This new market isn’t just any ordinary place; it’s a vibrant bazaar with 30 vendor stalls, offering a sneak peek into a future filled with shops, a halal supermarket, offices, a playground for kids, a restaurant, a food hall, and a community center.

Samad, together with his uncles Khaled Ali, Iqbal Ali, Moynul Samad, and Faisal Ahmed, owns this center. They’re embarking on an ambitious project, starting with the vendor stalls and a retail liquidation center, all set to open this summer. But the excitement has already begun with a pop-up vendor festival, especially timed for Ramadan, attracting thousands of people and giving a taste of what’s to come.

This market is more than just a place to shop; it’s a springboard for aspiring business owners. Samad’s idea is to create a space where anyone with a dream can start their business journey with minimal initial costs and supportive surroundings. Last year, this place drew in 5,000 visitors, and it’s clear it has a special vibe that people love.

Samad’s vision extends beyond business. He aims to build a community that reflects the diversity and inclusivity of Buffalo itself. He’s looking for vendors who are not only entrepreneurial but also kind and welcoming to everyone, reinforcing that the Buffalo Trade Center is a place for all, not just for the Bangladeshi community.

Through Samad’s efforts, the Buffalo Trade Center is set to be a hub where different cultures meet and mingle, proving that despite our diverse backgrounds, we share more similarities than differences. This market is shaping up to be a place where community, culture, and commerce come together beautifully.

Continue Reading

Living

Eagle Rescue: Maryland Officer Saves Bald Eagle Trapped in Car Grille

Kevin Wells

Published

on

In Calvert County, Maryland, a bald eagle had a close call after it got trapped in the front grille of an SUV. This unusual rescue story started when a driver hit the eagle on Route 4 last weekend. Despite the scary collision, the eagle survived, but its legs were caught in the car’s grille.

The driver quickly called for help, and Animal Control Officer Hannah Neel rushed to the scene. With her background as an emergency veterinary technician, Officer Neel was well-prepared to help the eagle. She even contacted a local veterinary hospital right away, just in case the bird needed immediate medical care.

When Officer Neel arrived, she found that, thankfully, the eagle wasn’t hurt. She carefully checked the eagle to make sure it wasn’t showing any signs of injury or illness. Neel found that the eagle could move all its legs and was responding normally, which was a good sign.

With help from the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office and the driver’s permission, Officer Neel managed to free the eagle from the grille. After making sure the eagle was okay, she released it back into the woods, where it could fly free again.

Julie Yingling, a county spokesperson, praised the teamwork that led to the eagle’s safe rescue. She expressed gratitude for the community’s support and concern for the eagle, as well as for everyone involved in the rescue effort.

This incident shows how quick action and collaboration can lead to a happy ending, even in unexpected situations like an eagle getting stuck in a car grille. Thanks to Officer Neel and the team’s efforts, the bald eagle was able to return to the wild, safe and sound.

Continue Reading

Living

Girls Auto Clinic: Empowering Women One Car at a Time

Renee Yates

Published

on

Imagine going to get your car fixed and getting a free manicure or pedicure while you wait. Sounds too good to be true? Not at Girls Auto Clinic in Upper Darby, PA! This unique auto repair shop is run entirely by women and has become famous for its trustworthiness and extra perks like manis and pedis for customers.

The auto repair industry has been mostly male-dominated, with women making up just 12% of the workforce. But Girls Auto Clinic is changing that. Patrice Banks, the founder, was once an engineer who felt intimidated by traditional repair shops. She said, “I was tired of feeling helpless and having to go talk to a guy. I was afraid I was going to be taken advantage of.” So, she decided to make a change.

While still working at DuPont, Banks began teaching herself car mechanics. She realized that finding a female mechanic was tough, so she took matters into her own hands. She enrolled in a night school for mechanics, where she was the only woman among younger male students. Banks eventually left her high-paying job to dive fully into the world of auto repair, gaining experience by working in garages around Philadelphia.

At Girls Auto Clinic, not only do customers get their cars fixed, but they also enjoy free manicures or pedicures. Banks got the idea from her own experiences. “Me and my girlfriend would go to a Jiffy Lube next to a nail salon on our lunch break, get our oil changed, and then get our nails done,” she recalls. This efficient and enjoyable routine inspired her to offer similar services at her own auto clinic.

Banks emphasizes the importance of empowering women to understand their vehicles better. She believes in teaching customers about their cars to help them feel more confident and knowledgeable. “Mechanics do a lot of diagnosing from hearing, seeing, feeling, and smelling. So if we can hear, see, feel, and smell it, so can you,” Banks explains.

Girls Auto Clinic isn’t just an auto repair shop; it’s a place where women can feel comfortable, understood, and empowered. With its unique blend of automotive services and beauty treatments, Girls Auto Clinic is redefining the auto repair experience and proving that women can excel in this field.

Continue Reading

Living

A Love Story 80 Years in the Making: WWII Veteran to Marry Near D-Day Beaches

Renee Yates

Published

on

In a tale that spans decades and continents, Harold Terens, a 100-year-old World War II veteran, is set to marry his 96-year-old fiancée, Jeanne Swerlin, near the historic beaches of Normandy, France. This remarkable event comes 80 years after Terens first set foot in France as a young corporal in the U.S. Army Air Forces, shortly after the D-Day landings that marked a turning point in the war.

Terens and Swerlin, who have been dating since 2021, share a youthful spirit and a love for dancing. Their affection for each other is evident as they talk about their upcoming wedding, with Terens declaring, “I love this girl — she is quite special.” The couple even demonstrated their fondness for dancing by grooving to “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, showcasing their energy and zest for life.

During World War II, Terens played a crucial role in the aftermath of D-Day, repairing planes that had returned from France so they could rejoin the battle. He vividly recalls the mixed emotions of the time, with German prisoners of war relieved to have survived and American POWs bearing the scars of brutal treatment by their Nazi captors.

In late May, Terens, Swerlin, and their families will travel to Paris, where Terens and a few other surviving World War II veterans will be honored as part of the 80th-anniversary celebration of France’s liberation from the Nazis. This will be Terens’ fourth D-Day celebration in France, where he previously received a medal from President Emmanuel Macron.

The wedding is planned for June 8 in the town of Carentan-les-Marais, in a chapel dating back to the 1600s. Mayor Jean-Pierre Lhonneur, who noted the strong bond between the region and the United States due to the sacrifices made on D-Day, expressed his eagerness to officiate the ceremony. “Normandy is the 51st state,” he remarked, highlighting the deep gratitude felt by the French towards the American liberators.

The mayor is hopeful that an exception will be made to allow him to marry the couple, despite the legal requirement that only town residents can be wed in Carentan-les-Marais. “It will be a pleasure for us,” he said, underscoring the special significance of this union.

This upcoming wedding is not just a celebration of love between two nonagenarians; it’s a poignant reminder of the enduring connections forged in the crucible of war and the power of love to transcend time and history.

Continue Reading

Trending