The 20 billion dollar per year garment industry of Bangladesh cost over 300 lives and counting earlier last week when at first some of the 3,000 workers, who felt and saw their dilapidated, eight story clothing manufacturing building on the verge of collapse, attempted to flee the structure, only to be forced back in to their 13 cent per hour minimum wage post at gunpoint by building management and the bulk of the factory building did then come down killing hundreds and trapping what is reported to be several hundred more.
Since the catastrophe infants have been born in the rubble where their late term pregnant mothers had been pinned after the collapse, rescue efforts continue to uncover more of the living, and recovery of those lost will likely go on for weeks. Today the building owner, Mohammed Sohel Rana was arrested on the border of Bangladesh as he was attempting to escape to India.
Today in the United States it is Workers Memorial Day, th day “the unions of the AFL-CIO…remember those who have suffered and died on the job” and aim to renew efforts for safe workplaces.
Perhaps on this day, American consumers can make the commitment to honor the labor that drives our nation by taking a stand and making the resolve to both identify and hold accountable the businesses on our soil which may have a hand in the unfair and unsafe practices abroad that lead to devastating consequences such as those in this current tragedy.
When they are revealed will you hold the U.S. companies whose merchandise was being manufactured in this Bangladesh plant accountable for supporting these unfair and dangerous practices?
UPDATE 3/14/13 NM Film held hostage in compromise debate:
I’m very disappointed in the lack of compromise by the other party, and by the unbalanced approach to our state budget taken by many lawmakers. While the Democrats want me to agree to pay increases for government employees and larger subsidies for Hollywood corporations, they have refused to pass meaningful education reforms to improve student achievement, and they have refused to lower taxes to make New Mexico more competitive to help businesses grow and to create more jobs…They have also refused to pass a bill repealing the law giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, despite my repeated attempts at compromise.
-Governor Susana Martinez 3/13/13
See a breakdown of the “Hollywood Bashing” by New Mexico’s premiere Political Blogger Joe Monahan here.
Mary Ann Hughes, vice president for film and television production planning at the Walt Disney Co., which owns and operates several television networks, told the Journal she is watching the legislation closely.
“It’s a game-changer for us,” Hughes said. “It puts New Mexico as among the top leaders in the world regarding locations for a television series.” -Albuquerque Journal 3/13/13
“Big studio execs ready to move production to New Mexico when “Breaking Bad” bill signed by Governor Martinez” -James Hallinan
“I’m still receiving inquiries about my thoughts on studies. As I said in my plan, the problem with studies is that it depends on who performs them. I can give you the results right now. If you believe it’s government’s function to create jobs, then film is one of, if not the, most dynamic programs in the country. If you believe that everything government does must create more tax revenue than it spends, then film doesn’t work. How we go about building roads or educating our kids on the basis of the return to the treasury is a complete mystery to me but that is the argument that is made. While conspiracy theorists believe the Governor’s office want a study released in 2014 when she’s running for reelection, I believe the film office is trying to figure out how to do it as fairly and equitably as possible while satisfying both of these constituencies. I’d be disappointed if politics took precedence over jobs.
We as a business mustn’t fall into the trap of calling these tax credits “subsidies.” We know they are not and if we use that word it becomes common practice. It’s what is happening in the New Mexican, and even fair and unbiased journalists like those at KUNM are using the Republican language. They don’t say oil and gas subsidies, solar subsidies or cheese subsidies; they call them tax credits. If you have the time write, email, or tweet press outlets when you see them use the term “subsidies” and let’s try to reframe the debate.”
This bill [HB379] is our first attempt at something the legislature can pass and the Governor will sign. It will probably not be the final version. There are a couple of amendments and the possibility of a committee sub but at least you can now see the way we are going. The first thing we really need to deal with is the roll over. If we wrote $9 million in checks in a year that we did $225 million in business, there is $30 million missing which we need to recapture. We’re still working on language around the vendor issue to be amended or substituted in. The Film Office has similar issues. We wanted to send a clear signal that we want to increase TV to 30% and give a talking point for conversations that people can pursue with their legislators.
The thinking is this: we have a number of pilots shooting here then returning to California and our big competition (Louisiana and Georgia) are both at 30%. We’d like to get that figure into the discussion for NM. As we all know, nothing provides stable, long term employment like a TV series. We’ve got a pretty good industry consensus and we’re working on the Governor’s office. Here we go!
New Mexico Labor Federation President, IATSE Local 480 Business Agent
Ever wonder why some of the twitter, facebook, instagram accounts, etc., you find suddenly have thousands and thousands of followers? Sure, sometimes a hot chick will get verbally ogled on a worldwide television broadcast, as in the case of football quarterback girlfriend/beauty queen Katherine Webb, and of course there are those of us who toil at slowly connecting with others who actually have similar interests and goals to help further a common cause, but then there’s this:
“Buy Twitter Followers To Supercharge Your Following 100% Guaranteed Twitter Followers, NO Account Password Required!”
“We offer guaranteed YouTube Video Likes packages to increase your video and channel popularity! More Likes means higher rankings and increased likelihood others will watch your videos.”
“We offer real instagram followers and likes to increase your instagram popularity and get your pictures noticed!”
“Counting large marketing firms and well-known brands and artists amongst its regular clients, ———.com has quickly established itself as one of the hottest social media marketing tools on the market!”
Maybe if I had had the money to spare (yes there are times when even the low, low price of just $14.99 for 1000 twitter followers is too much to waste on fakery or anything else) at start-up or points of operation necessitating traffic spikes, I too would’ve looked down that avenue…the key words here being, “low and down”. This is not an acceptable practice – for grass roots efforts especially.
Some of you may be unwitting participants in these shenanigans, especially if you are a public figure or enterprise that utilizes an internet marketing firm or guru, who runs your social media accounts. Many such operations go ahead and purchase friends, fans, followers and even traffic, unbeknownst to you (others don’t).
If you’d like to connect with the individual friends, followers and fans of this, my little space on the www, please know that everyone connected below has painstakingly taken the time to “click” and share a little piece of their lives with me! And I’m extremely grateful for each and every one!
Clickhere for New Mexico Fire Information* Updates
*Fire is burning into areas with less vegetation on Sandia Pueblo, east of the Rio Grande. Corrales, BIA, Rio Rancho, Albuquerque, Bernalillo County and State Forestry Responding. Helicopter 341, 1 Blackhawk, 1 Seat (812), 1 Air Attack.
via KOAT First Impression Rodeo
7001 Coors Blvd.
453-3877 or 417-9776
Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Posse
1043 Rodeo Lane
413 Reclining Acres Road
Corrales, west of Loma Larga
New Mexico Fair Grounds
5 p.m. Corrales, Rio Rancho, Bernalillo, Sandoval County, and Albuquerque response teams are on the ground. Livestock is being evacuated, incoming trailers appear to be having trouble entering the area.
Little Bear Fire Update
Sunday, June 10 @ 8:30 PM
Preliminary Evacuations Issued for Upper Canyon, Perk Canyon, Grindstone, Black Forest, Ponderosa Heights, Brady Canyon and Alpine Village
Due to wind shifts that occurred throughout the day. There are precautionary evacuations being ordered for the Upper Canyon, Brady Canyon, Perk Canyon, Grindstone, Alpine Village, Black Forest and Ponderosa Heights areas.
According to Interim Fire Chief Harlan Vincent: “We want to be progressive in our approach to this situation. At this point, it is not a mandatory evacuation but simply a heads-up for residents to gather their important documents and be ready to go in the event we have to call a mandatory evacuation of these areas. If a mandatory evacuation is called, you will be notified with a phone call from our E911 emergency notification system if you are registered or you will hear emergency sirens or emergency personnel will be in your area to notify residents.”
If you hear emergency sirens, please tune to 102.3 KEDU. KEDU and the emergency notification system will provide updates every 15 minutes for the first hour and then at the top of every hour after that.
“It is very important also for people to understand that we are using a lot of water to fight this fire, and we need everyone to be vigilant about conserving water as much as possible.” said Village Manager Debi Lee.
If you have not yet registered for the CallMeRuidoso E911 Emergency Notification System or the Lincoln County’s CodeRed alert system, please take the time do so at CallMeRuidoso.com.
The Red Cross has set-up a shelter for evacuated residents at the Ruidoso High School gym.
We will continue to provide you with updates as we get them from Incident Command. In the meantime, the Ruidoso, New Mexico Facebook page is being constantly updated with new information as we receive it.
Boasting “27 years of Hollywood full Cast & Crew Expertise”, “A1 Star Casting” has swept into New Mexico from…Hollywood apparently, asserting big claims, lofty accomplishments, and big promises.
One hopeful OHI reader came away with the following impression after attending the much hyped NM Grand Opening of A1 Star Casting earlier this month:
“A steady stream of people were coming in to have their headshots done and be put in “A-1 Casting” data base…Michael Matinez, 5x Platinum (15 weeks in a row) is a writer and producer, Wayne Kurzeja received the “Anti-piracy Award” from President Clinton, has 42 years in the “business”.
Joe Guinan is “the man”, moved here from L.A. and has many connections all over the world, [boasts an] email list of appox. 2500 names. He has Academy Award movies, worked with stars like: Tony Curtis. He has “Blue Ray” backing and his next three movies are already being backed…with games, etc…He has other financial backers, writers, film producers and distributors… He’s setting up a web site and plans to bring many of them to NM! Joe plans to try his hand at directing while Chuck Erickson takes over the casting. They have several films in the works…” -Anon
Indeed, New Mexico Business Weekly cites a body of work of over 200 productions by A1 owner, Joe Guinan (as listed on IMDb). And multiple websites list Guinan as CEO, COO, Owner, Producer, etc., all at revolving points in time, under various business names; included but not limited to the following:
Currently “New MexiCANS” are being offered grandiose looking seminars, classes, and resources, for a price, click here.
Locals hoping to make it in the film industry are being asked for cash upfront for an intangible product. In this case the product is the promise of starting your “A1 Star Casting” career.
It seems that hundreds of New Mexicans have already shelled out their five dollars to have headshots taken and posted with A1 over the course of their initial 2-day Grand Opening, which are to be published on the company’s grade F website by the 20th of May, according to the latest updates on said, sad site.
Also posted there are the new “opportunities” coming our way, including seminars for $10, $20, $40 and $50 a head.
Opportunities are our very favorite thing to present to our beloved home state, but from the get go this duck has been quacking. And not far into a few quick web searches of our own did the duck walking and squawking become more and more obvious…
First and foremost, credit for looking out for our own goes to you our readers, who, like that referenced above share our passion for New Mexico film and our amazing local cast and crew talent base.
In our full May 7, 2012 write-up on this matter, one astute attendee took particular note (and photo evidence) of the interesting questionaire presented to talent that day:
“Will you do nudity?”, pays more if yes, “Do you want to become a Actor”, “Could you or someone you know fund $5K thru $500K for a TV Show or Motion Picture.”
Comments and findings from other attendees were quick to follow. A1 was not approached by our publication for a response, but we happily received one from one Chuck Erickson, a top level associate from within A1, stating in part:
“A1 Star Casting is not merely a casting service that just battles for the jobs that come here. We will be making our own product, we have our own equipment, and we have connections to other producers/directors from around the country that the other local casting people do not. We already have 3 such productions lined up for this Summer in addition to 3 of our own productions.
While it is true that these films are mostly in the lower to medium budget range and will likely not get much more than a small theatrical release at best we have the distribution channels avail that will allow us to make money with these small films which will allow us to make more. Also with the New Media Contract, we will be able to get non-union actors into SAG-AFTRA.” -Chuck Erickson
We feel it only fair and balanced to share with you, along with the boastful claims made by the company itself, the rapidly changing product information as forwarded to us by concerned readers.
Jane Doe forwarded link, after link in regards to conduct unbecoming, or at least in stark contrast to what A1 presents itself to be and what the company and its affiliates actually churn out.
The following are recent screen shots from the pages of “ALL MEDIA DISTRIBUTION”, featuring Joe Guinan and Chuck Erickson (which have now been removed), on set of their credited work now “In Post Production”:
**WARNING** **CLICK THROUGH IMAGES TO ENLARGE * NOT SUITABLE FOR WORK or CHILDREN**
Sure adult porn needs distribution too, right? Just ask Kim Kardashian.
HOWEVER, buyer beware when asked for cash upfront for purported work in “film”.
Do your research and let’s continue to look out for each other!
UPDATE 4/30/12: BRING NICOLE HOME to #NM: THE WESTBROOK FAMILY HUMBLY ASKS FOR HELP IN COVERING FUNERAL EXPENSES.
Donate here to help bring Nicole home to be laid to rest with her fallen father and uncle in Farmington, NM.
Seattle, WA – Can you identify the man seen on this surveillance video?
Early in the morning on Sunday, April 22, Nicole Westbrook, and her boyfriend were just steps from their apartment near Pioneer Square when she was struck in the neck by a bullet fired from a passing car. Her murder in downtown Seattle after a night out at a comedy club “should outrage everyone because it could have happened to anyone”.
21 year old Nicole Westbrook had moved to Seattle from Albuquerque just weeks ago to study at the Art Institute there.
“There is somebody who knows who fired those shots…We will not rest until we find the person who fired that weapon, and we need the community’s help.”
-Seattle Mayor, Mike McGinn
The Westbrook family has already endured the ultimate sacrifice in service to this country first when Nicole’s father, Marshall Alan Westbrook, was killed while serving a volunteer tour with the U.S. military in Iraq and again when Nicole’s uncle, Kenneth Warren Westbrook, was killed while serving in Afghanistan. Nicole’s brother is just back from a tour of duty.
Now extended family, friends and community are seeking the public’s assistance in lending some justice to this senseless act of violence that has robbed them of their beloved Nicole.
Washington’s Most Wanted has featured Nicole’s story here with video of the tragic incident that took her life in an effort to prompt area citizens to come forward with ANY information that may lead to apprehending her killers.
An online community called Justice for Nicole has been established on Facebook, where information about the case and loving remembrances of Nicole can be posted. Please join and share to keep her memory alive and the search active.
Someone knows. Please come forward.
If you have any information on the identity of the man caught on tape running from the scene or the white vehicle, call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Your call is guaranteed to be anonymous and there is a cash reward for information.
LIVE from NM Film & Media Day 2012 here at the Roundhouse where SB0168 goes to the floor today at 2 p.m.
If you feel passionately about what New Mexico Film lends to our great state, please visit YOUR Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee here, and contact your committee members to ask them to support SB0168, to REPEAL FILM PRODUCTION TAX CREDIT CAP.
Rest assured state treasure, Steven Michael Quezada is safe and sound and not in need of emergency rescue from the streets of Madrid. OHI and likely hundreds of Quezada’s associates received the following email message from the actor’s email address this a.m.:
from Stevenmichael quezada
date Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 1:09 AM
subject Holiday Trip!!!
hide details 1:09 AM (6 hours ago)
Just hoping this email reaches you…Well,i’m sorry for this emergency and for not informing you about my urgent trip to Madrid,Spain but I just have to let you know my present predicament. Everything was fine until I was attacked on my way back to the hotel, I wasn’t hurt but I lost my money, bank cards, mobile phone and my bag in the course of this attack….I immediately contacted my bank in order to block my cards and also made a report at the nearest police station. I’ve been to the embassy and they are helping me with my documentation so i can fly out but I’m urgently in need of some help from you to pay up my hotel bills and my flight ticket back home…My return flight back home is scheduled to leave in few hours from now…Now am freaked out….Please i need your help..
Hope to read from you soon.
Thanks and Regards.
Steven Michael Quezada
A quick check of the most trusted site for news and information on the web, Facebook (second only to Wikipedia), verifies that the overtly suspicious email was a fake, as confirmed by Quezada who wrote, “I am not in Spain and everything fine.”