School is just one of the many stressors in students’ lives right now. Once you add the COVID pandemic and part-time jobs, that can bring on even more stress and anxiety. According to Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, about 70 percent of all undergrad students work at le In 1997, I walked into the Berkeley Art Museum to be greeted by a staggering sight: an array of some 20 quilts unlike any I had ever seen. Their unbridled colors, irregular shapes and nearly reckless range of textiles telegraphed a tremendous energy and the implacable ambition, and confidence, of great art. Australia: Three steps to a thriving remote work force To print this article, all you need is to be registered or login on Mondaq.com. Who bought shares in Zoom? This easy peasy remote meeting platform has gone gangbusters in the age of COVID-19, along with technologies like GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts, WebX and Skype. You, your staff and your customers need to be comfortable with these new digital tools and modes of delivery to keep doing business brilliantly. Here are three steps to building a thriving remote work force Reassure clients and customers. Email is your friend. Reach out to your client base to let them know you’re still the same great provider – just online. Share exactly how you’ll be delivering your service now that COVD-19 is a thing, and encourage them to see these changes in a positive light. Upskill your team. Whatever platform/s you’ve decided to use, make sure your team is up to speed. Dedicate time to tutorials, familiarisation exercises and group practice runs. The ability of your staff to problem solve and deliver the same excellent service depends on their confidence using new tools and technologies. Don’t cut corners. Draft a cheat sheet. Is video conferencing your new normal? Anticipate technological pitfalls and draft a cheat sheet. Outline the etiquette: to mute or not to mute? Should the host pause occasionally to give participants opportunities to engage? Is the host aware of features in the conferencing platform that allow members to interject? Remember that non-verbal cues that are apparent in face-to-face meetings may be harder to pick up on in the digital environment. There’s a lot to be learned, but a workplace Video Conferencing Cheat Sheet will help. The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances. POPULAR ARTICLES ON: Technology from Australia Source link A woman recovering from a C-section. A longtime Baptist preacher. Matt Mullenweg, the founder of Automattic, which runs the publishing platform WordPress, says working remotely is “good for the environment” and “good for the economy.” Fox News condemned Blake Neff, a writer for “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” after he was revealed as the pseudonymous author of racist and misogynist online messages.
School is just one of the many stressors in students’ lives right now. Once you add the COVID pandemic and part-time jobs, that can bring on even more stress and anxiety. According to Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, about 70 percent of all undergrad students work at least a part-time job. The majority of those jobs are considered to be “essential” and often attract low-income students.
Faith Epley, a student at TCC and an employee at Sam’s Club, is one of many students who need to work in order to pay monthly bills like rent and car payments and other day-to-day activities.
“I have no choice but to work. My parents live out of state and I have to support myself,” she said.
Epley said she would not work during COVID if she did not have to.
Beyond stress, students face considerable anxiety when they are considered an “essential worker” during the pandemic. They are at a much greater risk of being in contact with the virus and contracting it.
Linda Pan, an FSU student who works at Walmart, said,“Its a very scary time right now as an essential worker. We’ve had a confirmed case by an employee and there’s a possibility they could’ve passed it to someone.”
It is nearly impossible to social distance when you work in retail or food service. Though the state was shut down temporarily, many stores like Target, Walmart, and Publix that were deemed “essential” were still busy.
“When COVID first broke out, we were still busy. It’s like everyone decided to come into Walmart because they had nothing better to do,” Pan said.
The number of positive COVID cases is steadily rising, with no end anytime in the near future. Governor DeSantis has adamantly said he will not go back on his reopening plan and shut down the state again.
Ahlayja Robinson, a FAMU student who works at Costco, said, “Its a very stressful time to be working. My job is also busy and I have little time to focus on my summer classes.”
She believes the only way to end COVID is by shutting everything down completely.
Some students agree with her sentiment about a national shutdown. “I think all areas besides essential sections of stores should be closed to customers,” she said.
Epley said, “I don’t even think customers should be allowed in stores. We should be reduced to curbside only.”
Going forward, it is uncertain what sort of protection employers and the government will put in place to protect essential workers.
Author: Samirra Demry | Staff writer
In 1997, I walked into the Berkeley Art Museum to be greeted by a staggering sight: an array of some 20 quilts unlike any I had ever seen. Their unbridled colors, irregular shapes and nearly reckless range of textiles telegraphed a tremendous energy and the implacable ambition, and confidence, of great art.
They were crafted objects that transcended quilting, with the power of painting. This made them canon-busting, and implicitly subversive. They gave off a tangible heat. I left in a state of shock. I knew I had been instantly converted but I didn’t yet know to what.
In memory the California show became a jubilant fugue of small squares of velvet in deep gemstone hues, dancing with not much apparent order yet impeccably arranged for full effect. My first thought was of Paul Klee, that kind of love-at-first-sight allure, seductive handmadeness and unfiltered accessibility, only bigger and stronger.
The planets had aligned: I’d happened on the first solo show anywhere of Rosie Lee Tompkins, an exemplar of one of the country’s premier visual traditions: Black improvisational quiltmaking, an especially innovative branch of a medium that reaches back to African textiles and continues to thrive.
Tompkins’ work was one of the century’s major artistic accomplishments, giving quiltmaking a radical new articulation and emotional urgency. I felt I had been given a new standard against which to measure contemporary art.
Rosie Lee Tompkins was a pseudonym adopted by a fiercely private, deeply religious woman, who as her work received more and more attention was almost never photographed or interviewed. She was born Effie Mae Martin in rural Gould, Ark., on Sept. 9, 1936. At the time of the show, she was 61 and living in Richmond, Calif., just north of Berkeley.
Over the years, I would be repeatedly blown away by work that was at once rigorous and inclusive. Tompkins was an inventive colorist whose generous use of black added to the gravity of her efforts. She worked in several styles and all kinds of fabrics, using velvets — printed, panne, crushed — to gorgeous effect, in ways that rivaled oil paint. But she was also adept with denim, faux furs, distressed T-shirts and fabrics printed with the faces of the Kennedy brothers, Martin Luther King Jr. and Magic Johnson.
A typical Tompkins quilt had an original, irresistible aliveness. One of her narrative works was 14 feet across, the size of small billboard. It appropriated whole dish towels printed with folkloric scenes, parts of a feed sack and, most prominently, bright bold chunks of the American flag. What else? Bits of embroidery, Mexican textiles, fabrics printed with flamenco dancers and racing cars, hot pink batik and, front and center, a slightly cheesy manufactured tapestry of Jesus Christ. It seemed like a map of the melting pot of American culture and politics.
While works like this one relate to pop art, others had the power of abstraction. One of her signature velvets might be described as a “failed checkerboard.” Its little squares of black, dark green, lime and blue slide continuously in and out of register, creating the illusion of ceaseless motion, like a fractal model of rippling water.
This surface action reflected her constant improvisation: Tompkins began by cutting her squares (or triangles or bars) freehand, never measuring or using a template, and intuitively changed the colors, shapes and size of her fabric fragments, making her compositions seem to expand or contract. As a result, her quilts could be deliriously akimbo, imbued with a mesmerizing pull of differences and inconsistencies that communicates impassioned attention and care.
“I think it’s because I love them so much that God let me see all these different colors,” Tompkins once said of her patchworks. “I hope they spread a lot of love.”
Organized by Lawrence Rinder, the museum’s chief curator, that 1997 Berkeley show helped boost her reputation beyond the quilt world centered in and around San Francisco. This September many more people will have similar moments of their own, and feel the love implicit in her extraordinary achievement, when “Rosie Lee Tompkins: A Retrospective” — the artist’s largest show yet — opens at the Berkeley Art Museum for a run through Dec. 20. (It debuted briefly in February before the coronavirus lockdown.)
The museum’s website, bampfa.org, offers a robust online display and 70-minute virtual tour.
This exhibition, again organized by Rinder, the museum’s director until March, with Elaine Y. Yau, a postdoctoral curatorial fellow, marks the end of a 35-year saga. Though it began with Effie Mae Martin, it came to include a small, nervous collector named Eli Leon, who met her in 1985, fell in love with her quilts and those of many other Black creators in and around Richmond, and devoted half his life to acquiring, studying, exhibiting and writing about their work.
Tompkins grew up the eldest of 15 half-siblings, picking cotton and piecing quilts for her mother. She had grown up as her mother’s apprentice in a kind of atelier: a small town full of female friends and relatives who quilted, the older ones showing and telling the younger ones how it was done.
More and more I saw her as a great American artist.
In 1958 she joined the postwar phase of the Great Migration, moving to Milwaukee and then Chicago, eventually settling in Richmond, a busy California port and shipyard that had become a destination for thousands of Black people who moved out of the South, many bringing with them singular aspects of rural culture.
She studied nursing and for the next two decades or so worked at convalescent homes, a job she is said to have loved. Tompkins married and divorced Ellis Howard, raised five children and stepchildren, and started to make quilts to sell at the area’s many flea markets, along with other wares. She had a printed business card that offered “Crazy Quilts and Pillows All Sizes.” By the late 1970s, according to the current exhibition’s catalog, she was earning as much as $400 a weekend from sales and quit her nursing job.
The flea markets were a quilter’s paradise in the 1970s, ’80s and beyond, places where the necessary materials were plentiful and cheap: printed, embroidered and sequined fabrics, beaded trim, crocheted doilies, needlepoint, buttons, secondhand clothing, costume jewelry — all of which, and more, Tompkins incorporated into her art.
The area was also paradise for quilt collectors, one of whom was Leon, born in the Bronx, N.Y., in 1935 and trained as a psychologist, whose collecting instincts verged on hoarding. He had also worked as a graphic designer and, sometime in the late 1970s, after years of haunting the area’s flea markets and yard sales for whatever appealed, he zeroed in on the visual vibrancy of quilts, evolving into a self-taught scholar. He lived frugally in a small bungalow in Oakland, Calif., that was eventually packed to its rafters with quilts, except for his dining room and kitchen. These were menageries of previous flea market obsessions, artifacts of between-the-wars popular culture — crafts, milk glass, dolls, cookie tins, but also meat grinders, toasters and enamel saucepans — mostly in the jade greens.
Around 1980, Leon turned his gimlet eye to searching out Black quilts and interviewing their makers. At flea markets, he would approach anyone selling anything to ask if they knew of quilts for sale. One day he asked a woman selling kitchen utensils — Effie Mae Howard. He would later write, “She was evasive but eventually let on that she herself dabbled in the craft.”
Thereafter he bought everything she would sell him, sometimes going into debt to do so. They were the jewels in the crown of a collection of Black quilts that would eventually number in the thousands.
Tompkins and Leon were an odd pair, both willful, defensive and fragile. Each had survived a nervous breakdown or two; Tompkins’, coming sometime in the late ’70s, deepened the spirituality and intensity of her work, making it more than ever a haven from the world. Leon’s first came early, after his wife of five years left him. (They had met as students at Reed College, in Oregon, and married, even though they both knew he was gay.)
Leon believed Tompkins was a great artist and at one point made notes about illustrating an essay about her with works by Michelangelo, Mondrian and Picasso. The quilter thought she was an instrument of God and saw her work as an expression of her faith and his designs. “If people like my work,” she once told Leon, “that means the love of Jesus Christ is still shining through what I’m doing.”
Eli’s devotion to her work made him a supplicant, willing to do anything — bring her fabrics and art books — to help with her work. He devised Rosie Lee Tompkins as her “art” name, to preserve her privacy. Within a year, Leon began building a resume of articles, exhibitions and lectures about the importance of Black quilts as well as their frequent emphasis on improvisation and their links to African textiles. In doing so, he contributed to the national awareness of quilts of all kinds by Blacks, which have been increasingly studied and exhibited since around 1980, thanks to the influences of the civil rights movement, feminism and multiculturalism.
His 1987 show, “Who’d a Thought It: Improvisation in African-American Quiltmaking,” included a catalog essay by well-known Africanist Robert Ferris Thompson alongside his own. It opened at the San Francisco Craft and Folk Art Museum in 1987 and, over the next decade, toured to 25 museums.
Leon made three trips to the South — on a Guggenheim grant in one instance — to meet the relatives of quilters he knew and collected. In Arkansas, he visited Tompkins’ mother, Sadie Lee Dale, and bought one of her quilts, too.
Rinder’s Tompkins conversion took place in a show of black and white quilts that Leon organized in 1996 at the Richmond Art Center. The textile of hers that jumped out at Rinder is impressive even in photographs. Made from a family of velvets, it resembles op art, only softer, less mechanical and more appealing.
Gallery: Patch work
Tompkins’ work triggered a kind of joy on first encounter. You could hear it in the reviews of the 2002 Whitney Biennial, which Rinder organized during his stint there as curator of contemporary art. He put three of her quilts in the show, one of which the Whitney acquired.
After a final decade that was a nearly vertical trajectory, hurtling toward art world fame, Tompkins died at 70 on Dec. 1, 2006, at her home. There were obituaries in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle and The Boston Globe.
In 2013, Leon received a diagnosis of dementia and was worried about what would become of his collection, which he wanted to keep intact. It was overflowing not only his house but a small, climate-controlled annex he had built behind it.
I visited him that fall, to be stunned all over again when Leon and Jenny Hurth — his exemplary friend, assistant, fellow quilt lover and, after 2011, his most constant caregiver — unveiled a succession of Tompkins velvets, clipping them to the molding above the double doors between his living and dining rooms.
Hurth introduced me to another dimension of Tompkins’ creativity: the words and numbers that she awkwardly whipstitched to her quilts, adding a layer of personal meaning in a spidery script that sometimes resembled graffiti done with a Rapidograph. She signed nearly everything with her real name, Effie, or some combination of Effie Mae Martin Howard, and often added her nearly palindromic date of birth, 9.6.36, or the birth dates of her sons, her parents and other relatives she wanted to honor.
Sometimes the embroidery reflected her daily Bible reading, as did her addition of applique crosses. She also said they were meant to improve the relationships between the people evoked by the numbers. In her “Three Sixes” quilts — inspired by the 6’s in the birth dates of three family members — she acknowledged them by limiting her palette to three colors: orange, yellow and purple.
Leon died on March 6, 2018, at 82, at an assisted-living home. To raise money for his care, Hurth oversaw multiple yard sales for the contents of his house — except the quilts. The question of their destiny hung uneasily in the air.
Several months later came amazing news: Leon had bequeathed his quilt collection to the Berkeley Art Museum, a tribute to the early advocacy of Rinder. The final count was 3,100 quilts by over 400 artists.
Tompkins — represented by more than 680 quilts, quilt tops, appliques, clothing and objects — is undoubtedly the star. Laverne Brackens, a well-known fourth-generation quilter in Texas, is a close second, with some 300 quilts.
The bequest automatically transforms the Berkeley museum, and its parent institution, the University of California, Berkeley, into an unparalleled center for the study of Black quilts. The museum has already received a $500,000 grant from the Luce Foundation for a follow-up survey of Leon’s entire gift in 2022.
Because of Tompkins’ improvisation, a close look doesn’t reveal refinement or rote technique — skill for skill’s sake. It shows small individual adjustments made and liberties taken, almost granular expressions of imagination and freedom. In addition, the fabrics — variously elegant, everyday and ersatz — bring a lot with them, not just color and texture but also manufacturing techniques and social connotations. Do you think polyester double knit might look cheap used in a quilt? Think again. Cotton flannel and beaded and sequined silk crepe might not be a winning combination? Likewise. Such physical realism is all but impossible to achieve with paint.
As an artist, Tompkins all but abandoned pattern for an inspired randomness with an emphasis on serial disruptions that constantly divert or startle the eye — like the badge of a California prison guard sewn to an otherwise conventional crazy quilt. Another narrative quilt is more like a wall hanging, or maybe a street mural, pieced with large fragments of black and white fabric and T-shirts printed with images of Black athletes and political leaders. Rows of crosses made from men’s ties evoke the pressures of succeeding while Black in America.
The sheer joy of Tompkins’ best quilts come at us with the force and sophistication of so-called high art, but are more democratic, without any intimidation factor.
Her work is simply further evidence of the towering Black achievements that permeate the culture of this country. A deeper understanding and knowledge of these, especially where art is concerned, must be part of the necessary rectification and healing that this country faces.
Author: ROBERTA SMITH THE NEW YORK TIMES
Three steps to a thriving remote work force – Technology
POPULAR ARTICLES ON: Technology from Australia
Author: News Master
Doctor, ’40s riveter among virus dead
A woman recovering from a C-section. A longtime Baptist preacher.
A man sleeping in his pickup to distance himself from an infected family member.
These three are among the 319 Arkansans who have died so far in the covid-19 pandemic.
This Arkansas Democrat-Gazette occasional series focuses on individuals who lost their lives to the disease caused by the coronavirus.
The 28 below are among 137 who died in June, according to the Arkansas Department of Health’s count.
The June total includes 65 nursing home residents and two prison inmates, who lived in group settings where infection spreads more readily. Others include poultry workers, Marshall Islanders, a family doctor and a Springdale couple who died of covid-19 three days apart. Those featured below range in age from 31 to 105.
At least 48 of 113 June deaths independently confirmed by the newspaper were Pacific or Marshall Islanders, or people of Hispanic ethnicity, according to coroners’ records.
“These people that are dying are real people,” said Jerry Kennedy, who lost his 92-year-old mother to the virus June 3. “They’re not just a statistic.”
Because some survivors don’t want their loved ones’ deaths linked publicly to covid-19, the newspaper publishes names and photographs for this series with family members’ permission.
In some cases when family members can’t be reached, information comes from coroner’s reports and obituaries.
Joe Wigner, 73, El Dorado, died June 2. Wigner owned a construction businesses in states including Texas and Arkansas, said his sister, Patsy Mize.
[CORONAVIRUS: Click here for our complete coverage » arkansasonline.com/coronavirus]
The Michigan native and father of two “was a sweetheart,” she said. “He was a cutie. He had everything going for him. That’s why he was married so many times. He had the attitude, ‘I’m God’s gift to women,’ and it worked.”
A resident at the Courtyard Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in El Dorado, Wigner was hospitalized June 1 with an abdominal aortic aneurysm and tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a Pulaski County coroner’s report.
Mize said Wigner had a history of health issues, and she believes the aneurysm is what actually caused his death.
Nina Kennedy, 92, Jacksonville, June 3. She gave personalized service to her customers during 20 years of owning Fashion Cleaners in Jacksonville, according to her son, Jerry Kennedy. She was a hard worker who liked to joke. She taught her three children manners and respect.
“She was my friend. That’s what I’m going to remember most about her,” he said.
Nina Kennedy was admitted to Baptist Health Medical Center in North Little Rock on May 30 with acute respiratory distress syndrome, hypoxia and other issues, according to the Pulaski County coroner’s report. She tested positive for covid-19 two days later.
The hospital called her son. “‘If you want to see your mother, you need to come up here now,'” he said a staff member told him. “I had to wear the suit and the glasses, everything, but I saw her for a little bit. I rubbed her on the forehead, and she seemed to calm down a little bit. I told her it was OK and told her I loved her.”
“People need to realize this virus is real,” he said. “If it happens to someone down the street, then it’s no big deal to people. But if it happens to your mother, your brother or sister, then it’s suddenly a big deal.”
A 39-year-old Bethel Heights woman, June 3. The Marshallese woman was pregnant when she contracted the virus, according to a Benton County coroner’s report. She tested positive for covid-19 May 30.
She received care at a women’s hospital, then was transferred to Northwest Medical Center at Bentonville. On June 2, she underwent a C-section and “was doing fine after the procedure, and if she did well she could go home,” according to the coroner’s report.
But her oxygen level dropped quickly. She was intubated to help with breathing, then experienced cardiac arrest.
A 95-year-old Jonesboro woman, June 4. A Michigan native, she worked during World War II as a riveter at an airplane factory in Willow Run, Mich., according to her obituary. There she met her future husband, a pilot, and married him in 1945. They had three children.
His jobs took them outside the U.S. in the 1960s and ’70s to live in Taiwan, Brazil, Bolivia, Afghanistan, India, Ghana and Vietnam. “In each country she took an interest in the people and their customs and welcomed them into her home,” the obituary said.
After her husband’s death, she moved to Jonesboro in 2017 to be close to a daughter. The Craighead Nursing Center resident was diagnosed with covid-19 on June 2.
Larry Akins, 74, Cummins Unit prison, June 4. Serving a 40-year prison sentence, Akins pleaded guilty in 2007 to 11 counts of rape and nine counts of second-degree sexual abuse between 2003 and 2006 at Gingerbread Day Care in Van Buren. Victims ranged in age from 3 to 8.
According to the Jefferson County coroner’s report, Akins died in the intensive-care unit at Jefferson Regional Medical Center in Pine Bluff, of cardiorespiratory arrest and covid-19.
A 70-year-old Berryville man, June 6. The Eureka Springs Independent identified the man as working at Tyson’s Berryville-Green Forest facility. A February 2016 news release says he took part in an American Cancer Society Relay for Life event at the plant.
A Benton County coroner’s report said the man, identified as Hispanic, tested positive for covid-19 on May 22. It’s not clear when he went to the emergency room at Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas in Rogers for treatment of nausea and a headache. He was diagnosed with covid-19 and admitted, according to the report.
“The patient continued to decline” in respiratory function, the report said. He went into cardiac arrest on June 6, and the staff was unable to revive him.
William Crawford, 90, Little Rock, June 7. An Eagle Scout and Air Force veteran, Crawford got his first sales experience as a boy in scorecard sales for the Arkansas Travelers baseball team, according to his obituary.
After graduating from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, he began a lifelong career in life insurance and won his company’s highest national sales award.
“He was a special guy who had a lot of impact on everybody he came into contact with,” said his son, Bob Crawford. “He was always positive about everything.”
The father of two “was a dedicated Razorback fan, rooting on the Hogs in football, basketball and baseball for many years. He was an inaugural member of the Touchdown Club in Little Rock and took great joy in the recap of each week’s games and previews of upcoming opponents,” his obituary said. He also was a golfer who “took pride in being able to shoot his age,” and was an avid horse racing fan.
A resident of Fox Ridge assisted living in Little Rock, he was hospitalized after a fall June 1 and tested positive for covid-19.
Dr. Robert “Ray” Hull, 78, Bentonville, June 7. A family medicine doctor, Hull started as a lab and X-ray technician working seven nights a week on emergency call to put himself through college, according to his obituary.
The Tennessee native received a bachelor of science degree at Tennessee Tech in business management and completed medical school at the University of Tennessee in Memphis.
He and his wife raised their four children in Rogers and later Gentry. He opened his practice in Rogers in 1972 and worked until his death. Hull also was an Army veteran, an ordained deacon and minister, and an enthusiastic hunter and fisherman, his obituary said. He died at Washington Regional Medical Center, according to a coroner’s report.
Cheryl Hull, a daughter, announced his death in a Facebook post, saying “our wonderful, loving, irreplaceable, kind, compassionate Father passed away from covid-19.”
U.S. Sen. John Boozman and Gov. Asa Hutchinson praised Hull.
“Not only was he an excellent doctor, but he was also a great example of a life dedicated to love of family, community and the Lord,” Boozman said in a statement. “We lost someone who we should all strive to be more like.”
Hutchinson said Hull was “my family physician years ago,” and an example of “a life well-led that has passed.”
Elsie Ferreira, 103, Jacksonville, June 9. Born in New Bedford, Mass., in 1918, she worked for 24 years as a final inspector of rubber goods — such as windshield wipers and gas masks — at Acushnet Process Co. in Massachusetts.
The mother of two moved to Jacksonville in 2008 to live with daughter Nancy McCuen.
“She loved to read, and she was a die-hard watcher of QVC. She loved that home shopping stuff,” McCuen said. “Music was the highlight of her life. Frank Sinatra, Vince Gill. Willie Nelson. She was always listening to them and would sit in her chair clapping through the songs.”
A resident of Woodland Hills Nursing Home and Rehabilitation in Jacksonville, Ferreira tested positive for covid-19 on May 28. “They said she was asymptomatic,” her daughter said. “The next day we got another call, and she had started developing symptoms. She lasted about a week and a half. She was a fighter.”
Calve Cooper, 82, White Hall, June 9. A Prattsville native, Cooper was the fifth of eight children in a hardworking family. He worked at furniture and cleaning companies before starting his own janitorial service, according to his obituary. He went on to operate Zion Bus Co.
His early love was serving in his church in many positions, including as deacon.
“It was always known he would become a preacher,” the obituary said.
He served churches in Grapevine and Sheridan for many years. In 1990, the father of four received an honorary doctorate degree from Arkansas Baptist College.
He was a resident of The Waters of White Hall nursing home when he was diagnosed with covid-19.
A 31-year-old Springdale woman, June 9. According to a Benton County coroner’s report, she spent four days at Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas after testing positive for covid-19.
It’s not clear when she was discharged to go home, but she returned on June 6.
Identified as a Pacific Islander, she was transferred — “because they’re full,” the coroner’s report said — from Mercy to Northwest Medical Center in Bentonville, where she died.
A Springdale couple in their 80s, June 9 and June 12. The couple met in 1973, after their spouses died at early ages, and were together for 47 years, according to their obituaries.
The man, 87, was an Army veteran and father of three who worked on pipelines across the nation, operating heavy equipment. He started an equipment company while building large projects in Northwest Arkansas. Eventually he converted the business to buying and selling heavy equipment parts.
A 32nd Degree Mason and a member of the Elks Lodge, he enjoyed hosting large barbecues for family and friends, politics, roller skating, dancing and going to the casino, his obituary said. He journeyed often to Lake Taneycomo to fish for rainbow trout. The couple traveled the world buying parts for his business.
The woman, 85, and a mother of three, operated a hog farm and raised cattle in the Pea Ridge area before her first husband died. They took part in the Pea Ridge Riding Club.
She also worked as a grocery store meat wrapper, operated a cafe and worked as a press operator at Daisy Manufacturing in Rogers. She served as chairman of the Salvation Army Doll Project and hosted the annual Doll Tea in Fayetteville.
“She gathered food and clothing for those less fortunate her entire life,” according to her obituary.
According to Washington and Benton County coroners reports, the couple died of covid-19 three days apart.
A 46-year-old Springdale woman, June 10. The Marshall Islander worked at a Springdale nursing home, according to a Benton County coroner’s report.
Little more is contained in the coroner’s report about the wife and mother of two who died at Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas.
A 33-year-old Rogers man, June 11. Another Pacific Islander, he was a Tyson Foods employee, according to a Benton County coroner’s report. He died at Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas.
The coroner’s report, which notes obesity as a contributing health condition, said a friend of the man went to pick him up from work. The friend called 911 when the man had trouble breathing. The man collapsed before emergency responders arrived.
An ambulance took the man to Mercy, where he tested positive for covid-19 and died, the report says.
A 48-year-old Springdale man, June 11. The Hispanic man was found dead in his pickup at home in temperatures higher than 90 degrees, according to a Washington County coroner’s report.
He had slept in the pickup because his sister-in-law had tested positive for the virus, the report said.
He also tested positive and is counted as a death from the virus, according to the coroner.
A 33-year-old Springdale man, June 13. The man, identified as a Pacific Islander, died at Washington Regional Medical Center of “acute respiratory distress as a consequence” of covid-19, according to a Washington County coroner’s report.
Little information is in the coroner’s report about how long he was ill or other history.
An 81-year-old Jacksonville woman, June 16. A resident of Woodland Hills Nursing and Rehabilitation, the wife and mother of four was taken to the emergency room at Baptist Health in North Little Rock, experiencing respiratory failure, according to a Pulaski County coroner’s report.
A 51-year-old North Little Rock man, June 17. The man claimed he was a comedian, always laughing at his own jokes, according to his obituary. He ran a heating and air company, and enjoyed fishing, working on his truck and playing dominoes with his brothers.
The husband and father of five was admitted on June 4 to Baptist Health in North Little Rock and tested positive for covid-19 the same day, according to a Pulaski County coroner’s report.
An 80-year-old Jacksonville woman, June 18. A 1958 graduate of North Little Rock’s Old Main High School, she was a wife, mother of two and worked at Arkansas Electric Co-op and Hiner Oil.
“She enjoyed going to drag racing with her husband and going to the movies,” according to her obituary. “She was a very devoted wife and daughter, and loved her life and family, talking with her sisters every day. In her later years, she enjoyed senior activities, bingo and organized lunches.”
The Woodland Hills Nursing and Rehabilitation resident was admitted to Baptist Health in North Little Rock on June 13, with respiratory issues. She then tested positive for the virus.
A 79-year-old Helena-West Helena woman, June 19. A mother of three, she was admitted June 10 to Baptist Health with chest pain and respiratory distress, according to a Pulaski County coroner’s report.
She tested positive at the hospital for covid-19. She had a history of health issues.
A 58-year-old Springdale woman, June 21. The Washington County coroner’s report redacted most information about her illness, death and next-of-kin.
The Hispanic woman died at Northwest Medical Center at Springdale, according to the report.
Hazel Floyd, 75, Little Rock, June 23. A Little Rock native, Floyd was a wife and mother of three who worked for Timex for a decade and retired from Walmart.
“She was always on the go, doing whatever us boys wanted to do — baseball, activities, school projects,” said son Jason Floyd. “Even though she worked, when she had time off, she was always taking us places.”
She also enjoyed crossword puzzles, reading and communicating with family members, including writing letters to those who lived elsewhere. “Family, not just immediate family but extended family, was very important to her,” her son said. “She always wanted to make sure she was talking to her family, my dad’s family … and any chance to visit and see them, she made sure of that too.”
Hazel Floyd contracted covid-19 while a resident at Robinson Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in North Little Rock, according to her son. Husband Jerry Dean Floyd visited her there daily. He continued after she tested positive, even though she was quarantined and he could see her only through a window.
She was hospitalized June 18, experiencing shortness of breath, and died five days later.
Bobby May, 77, Russellville, June 23. “He was a really good guy; a family man,” said son Robert May. “He liked hunting. We spent 30 years going to the deer camp together.”
“If he liked you, he really liked you. If he didn’t, he really didn’t. He saw through a lot of people.”
Bobby and wife Frances May were married for 56 years. Their son said he doesn’t believe his father died from covid-19 because he had been hospitalized for two months with a brain infection that required neurosurgery.
His father tested positive on June 22, the day before he died. “After his brain surgery, he went downhill. He didn’t even know who everyone was,” Robert May said. He had “been on life support for over a week.”
The family had been with Bobby May every day at the hospital, but after he tested positive, “we were not allowed to be at the hospital when he died,” his son said.
Bobby May worked for 40 years at ConAgra Foods in Russellville.
“He was just a real good mentor to me. He never missed work,” Robert May said. “He had years and years of perfect attendance. I’m the same way.”
A 105-year-old Jacksonville woman, June 23. The retired beautician and resident of Woodland Hills Nursing and Rehabilitation died of covid-19, according to a Pulaski County coroner’s report.
She was widowed twice and is survived by many nieces and nephews, according to her obituary.
Mable Neeley, 84, of Cabot, June 24. Neeley worked for more than 30 years in the cafeteria of the Cabot Public School District.
“She loved it,” said daughter Lisa Garner. “She would stop the cafeteria line and give a child a hug or a kiss if they were crying because they missed their momma. The other workers would say, ‘Miss Mable, you’re holding up the line.’ And she’d say, ‘I’ve got to hug this baby’s tears away.”
Neeley was known for her cakes, bread and rolls, her daughter said. She described Neeley as feisty and adventurous.
The Cabot resident was admitted to Baptist Health on June 10 after testing positive for covid-19. Garner said her mother had tested negative for the virus several times before receiving the positive result.
“She deteriorated quickly after that,” Garner said. “She spent two weeks at Baptist, and she developed pneumonia in her left lung.”
Garner said a hospital health care worker called her just minutes before 4 p.m. on June 24.
“They said that she needed to hear from each of us kids that it was OK and to go on to heaven,” Garner said. “The nurse told her, ‘David, Darlene and Lisa said to go on to heaven. They’ve got it covered here.’ Right after that, she passed away, at exactly 4 o’clock.”
A 74-year-old Springdale man, June 26. The Marshallese man went to the emergency room at Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas in Rogers on June 24 and was “very ill,” according to a Benton County coroner’s report
He had experienced coughing and shortness of breath for the previous three days. His respiratory and cardiac functions continued to decline, and he died two days after admission.
The man was one of at least six people identified as Pacific Islanders who died in Northwest Arkansas during two days, June 25 to June 26, according to coroners’ records.
A 49-year-old Springdale man, June 30. Little information appears in the Washington County coroner’s report except that the man was a Pacific Islander who died at Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville and was covid-19-positive.
Information for this article was contributed by Bill Bowden, Ginny Monk, Kat Stromquist and Alex Golden.
Author: ERIC BESSON, JEANNIE ROBERTS AND LISA HAMMERSLY ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE
An Evangelist for Remote Work Sees the Rest of the World Catch On
Matt Mullenweg, the founder of Automattic, which runs the publishing platform WordPress, says working remotely is “good for the environment” and “good for the economy.”
Credit…Todd Spoth for The New York Times
- July 12, 2020, 5:00 a.m. ET
Fifteen years before the coronavirus pandemic abruptly forced most companies to let employees work from home, Matt Mullenweg relied on a company without an office.
Automattic, which he founded in 2005, runs the digital publishing platform WordPress and the recently acquired Tumblr. From the outset, Mr. Mullenweg built a remote work force, hiring engineers and designers irrespective of their location. Automattic now has more than 1,000 employees working across 77 countries.
Over the years, Mr. Mullenweg has become an evangelist for remote work, and recently developed a framework that outlines the five levels of distributed work. “It’s one of my life missions to have more companies be distributed,” he said. “It’s good for the environment. It’s good for opportunity. It’s good for the economy.”
The virus has been horrific. But Mr. Mullenweg has been impressed by how nimbly most companies adapted to having people work from home.
“To see how that’s accelerated across really every company in the past few months has been astounding to me,” he said. “I would have imagined it being much harder, but it’s gone way better than I expected.”
This conversation, which was condensed and edited for clarity, was part of a series of live Corner Office calls to discuss the pandemic and the protests. Visit timesevents.nytimes.com to join future digital events.
Automattic has been a distributed company since its inception. What made you go that route?
I co-founded WordPress with a gentleman named Mike Little, who lived in the United Kingdom, who I had never met in person. So from the genesis, we were connected by a shared passion and online community, not the fact that we had ever physically been in the same place.
When Automattic started, the first-ever employee was in Ireland, then we had Vermont and Texas. I was in San Francisco. It was just very natural to bring people on from wherever they were, and not move them to San Francisco, which, even in 2005, was an expensive place to be.
Did it even cross your mind to have a main office? It’s hard to overstate sort of what a break from tradition this was 15 years ago.
It crossed my mind all the time, because pretty much every investor I talked to, including all the ones that said “no,” said, “You can’t do this. It’s not gonna work.” Or, “It’ll work up to 20 or 25 people, but there’s no other super successful company that’s been built this way.” I thought they might be right. I didn’t know.
What was their main argument as to why this couldn’t work?
There’s a very intangible magic that people imagine happens in an office that’s necessary for innovation or design. Or maybe they think that not being in the same place is fine for engineers, who at that time were perceived as being in closets drinking Mountain Dew and eating pizza, but that it wouldn’t work for designers or finance people or other roles.
So there were a lot of biases and to be honest, it’s hardest to change when you’ve been successful doing something in the past. Prior to the ubiquitous availability of broadband, most companies were built in person.
How do you hire?
We do take a few approaches that some companies would find quite radical. For the vast majority of our roles, the hiring process is done entirely over chat. So you could be hired and start a job at Automattic without ever seeing or talking to a person in real time. In fact, one frequent thing people hired at Automattic tell me is that their spouse or partner didn’t believe it was a real job. They were worried they were getting scammed.
Hiring through chat removes a ton of opportunities for unconscious bias. We’re always looking at what we can do to make it as much about the work, and not extraneous stuff, like how you’re dressed, how you showed up, how you sound, how you look, where you live. All those things ultimately don’t matter, particularly for an internet company. So let’s just remove it from the process entirely.
Is there not also a risk in creating some unconscious bias or against those who might not be as proficient communicating in the written word? Or is that something you look for as a prerequisite to a successful career at Automattic?
I think clear writing is a sign of clear thinking. And it is something that we look for in the people we hire. If you were going to apply for a job at Automattic, probably the most important thing you can do is the cover letter.
Why did you buy Tumblr?
Tumblr was a contemporary of WordPress.com, then was sold to Yahoo for $1 billion, then Yahoo merged with AOL and then that was sold to Verizon. Then we heard it might be shut down, and we figured out a deal. We’re doing our best to really revitalize it, and hopefully we can create a place on the internet that’s safe, fun and creative — a good alternative to other social networks.
Is that a criticism at a certain level of some of the dominant platforms out there? Do you believe Tumblr could be a viable alternative and could be structured in some fundamentally different ways?
Updated July 7, 2020
The coronavirus can stay aloft for hours in tiny droplets in stagnant air, infecting people as they inhale, mounting scientific evidence suggests. This risk is highest in crowded indoor spaces with poor ventilation, and may help explain super-spreading events reported in meatpacking plants, churches and restaurants. It’s unclear how often the virus is spread via these tiny droplets, or aerosols, compared with larger droplets that are expelled when a sick person coughs or sneezes, or transmitted through contact with contaminated surfaces, said Linsey Marr, an aerosol expert at Virginia Tech. Aerosols are released even when a person without symptoms exhales, talks or sings, according to Dr. Marr and more than 200 other experts, who have outlined the evidence in an open letter to the World Health Organization.
Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.
Scientists around the country have tried to identify everyday materials that do a good job of filtering microscopic particles. In recent tests, HEPA furnace filters scored high, as did vacuum cleaner bags, fabric similar to flannel pajamas and those of 600-count pillowcases. Other materials tested included layered coffee filters and scarves and bandannas. These scored lower, but still captured a small percentage of particles.
A commentary published this month on the website of the British Journal of Sports Medicine points out that covering your face during exercise “comes with issues of potential breathing restriction and discomfort” and requires “balancing benefits versus possible adverse events.” Masks do alter exercise, says Cedric X. Bryant, the president and chief science officer of the American Council on Exercise, a nonprofit organization that funds exercise research and certifies fitness professionals. “In my personal experience,” he says, “heart rates are higher at the same relative intensity when you wear a mask.” Some people also could experience lightheadedness during familiar workouts while masked, says Len Kravitz, a professor of exercise science at the University of New Mexico.
The steroid, dexamethasone, is the first treatment shown to reduce mortality in severely ill patients, according to scientists in Britain. The drug appears to reduce inflammation caused by the immune system, protecting the tissues. In the study, dexamethasone reduced deaths of patients on ventilators by one-third, and deaths of patients on oxygen by one-fifth.
The coronavirus emergency relief package gives many American workers paid leave if they need to take time off because of the virus. It gives qualified workers two weeks of paid sick leave if they are ill, quarantined or seeking diagnosis or preventive care for coronavirus, or if they are caring for sick family members. It gives 12 weeks of paid leave to people caring for children whose schools are closed or whose child care provider is unavailable because of the coronavirus. It is the first time the United States has had widespread federally mandated paid leave, and includes people who don’t typically get such benefits, like part-time and gig economy workers. But the measure excludes at least half of private-sector workers, including those at the country’s largest employers, and gives small employers significant leeway to deny leave.
So far, the evidence seems to show it does. A widely cited paper published in April suggests that people are most infectious about two days before the onset of coronavirus symptoms and estimated that 44 percent of new infections were a result of transmission from people who were not yet showing symptoms. Recently, a top expert at the World Health Organization stated that transmission of the coronavirus by people who did not have symptoms was “very rare,” but she later walked back that statement.
Touching contaminated objects and then infecting ourselves with the germs is not typically how the virus spreads. But it can happen. A number of studies of flu, rhinovirus, coronavirus and other microbes have shown that respiratory illnesses, including the new coronavirus, can spread by touching contaminated surfaces, particularly in places like day care centers, offices and hospitals. But a long chain of events has to happen for the disease to spread that way. The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus — whether it’s surface transmission or close human contact — is still social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face and wearing masks.
A study by European scientists is the first to document a strong statistical link between genetic variations and Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Having Type A blood was linked to a 50 percent increase in the likelihood that a patient would need to get oxygen or to go on a ventilator, according to the new study.
If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)
If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.
I do wonder if fundamentally, an advertising-driven business model is incompatible with democracy. Automattic is primarily a subscription business. I’m very curious to explore if we can make Tumblr not solely dependent on ads, and what incentives that creates for the product to evolve. Could that provide a third space, a space where the algorithms aren’t driven to show you the thing that’s going to get you the most riled up? Or the advertising is not targeted in a way that shifts elections? The good news is Tumblr is very active. It’s getting 60,000 to 70,000 sign-ups per day from its mobile app. So I think we have an opportunity to create that other place, that could be something that people go to feel that creativity, kind of like Instagram did in its early days.
Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook suggested that if people move to lower-cost areas, they may see their compensation adjusted downward. When you’re hiring across such a wide variety of countries which have different costs of living, how do you deal with compensation?
I have a lot of empathy for companies that do cost of living adjustments, because we used to as well. But over time, when I started to think really critically about that policy, I realized that there’s so much more than location that determines your cost of living. You can spend millions of dollars in Houston, or you could spend very little in San Francisco. There’s a lot of personal choice that goes into it. So it felt a little almost paternalistic for the company to say that you should make more or less in one place or another and have sort of weird incentives for moving someplace. The other thing that began to feel fundamentally unfair to me was that two people on the same team doing the same job, say one in California and one in Alabama, should make different money.
So what we’ve done over the past few years is actually offer the same compensation bands globally. So wherever you’re doing the work, you can have the opportunity to make the same amount. It’s not perfect, because we pay people in the local currency and sometimes currencies can move quite a bit and we have to adjust for that.
Some companies I’ve talked to have said that their employees are more productive since the pandemic began. Others say the inverse is true. What’s it been like at Automattic?
I believe that if you do distributed work well, you’re a lot more productive. But the pandemic has affected a lot of people’s lives. School is canceled. People are working from home that might not normally work from home. So we definitely have seen a hit to productivity, not to mention the stress, which has been even compounded by the social unrest.
One of the biggest problems you have with distributed work is typically over-work, not under-work. We track vacation time and what we call “A.F.K.” or “away from keyboard” time, to notice when people aren’t taking enough. And we started to notice that people weren’t taking enough, because they were canceling their trips.
Some people say they can actually get a whole lot of work done in a much more condensed amount of time when they’re working remote. They can be just as efficient while working fewer hours, because so much of their work day previously was filled up with things that ultimately weren’t productive. And some say they can spend the same amount of hours working and accomplishing even more. What’s your view on the appropriate amount of time people should be working?
For most roles at Automattic, what you’re accountable for is a result. You could work 60 hours and not do a lot, or you could work 20 hours and do a ton. It’s really about result. And I do believe beyond a certain point, there is a diminishing marginal return to work. I also believe below a certain point, you’re probably not going to be able to keep up with people who are working something around like a 40-hour week. But in the middle of the bell curve, there’s a lot of flexibility.
What is your office like there in Houston?
I have had to adjust during the pandemic, because I’m used to working at home alone, and I have other people here with me. So I actually moved upstairs to a room that was unused and just set it up as a closed office with a door. I have lots of art around me, because I find art really inspiring. I have some Sonos speakers to listen to music, and a cool wood desk that connects me to nature while I’m here, and a meditation cushion here.
This column is called Corner Office, and most people who choose to have offices are usually the bosses. And I’ve been to the offices of billionaire C.E.O.s that have their own private bathroom, beautiful art and couches. But these are all things that you can have in your house. What I love about distributed organizations is every single employee can have a corner office.
Author: David Gelles
Writer for Tucker Carlson Resigns After ‘Abhorrent’ Online Posts Are Revealed
Media|Writer for Tucker Carlson Resigns After ‘Abhorrent’ Online Posts Are Revealed
Fox News condemned Blake Neff, a writer for “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” after he was revealed as the pseudonymous author of racist and misogynist online messages.
A writer for the Fox News star Tucker Carlson resigned after he was revealed as the pseudonymous author of several years’ worth of racist, sexist and obscene posts on an online message board.
Blake Neff, who joined “Tucker Carlson Tonight” in 2017, left Fox News on Friday after the network learned of his activity on an online forum, AutoAdmit, which is popular with law students. The site has previously been the subject of at least one lawsuit for its offensive and misogynist content.
In a memo on Saturday, leaders of Fox News described Mr. Neff’s writings as “horrendous and deeply offensive” and said the network condemned his behavior.
“Neff’s abhorrent conduct on this forum was never divulged to the show or the network until Friday, at which point we swiftly accepted his resignation,” the network’s chief executive, Suzanne Scott, and its president and executive editor, Jay Wallace, wrote in the memo, which was distributed to the Fox News staff. “Make no mistake, actions such as his cannot and will not be tolerated at any time in any part of our work force.”
Mr. Carlson has not commented on the matter since Mr. Neff resigned. Ms. Scott and Mr. Wallace wrote in their memo that Mr. Carlson would address the episode on his Monday show.
Mr. Neff did not respond to inquiries for comment.
A conservative writer who previously worked at the right-wing news and opinion site The Daily Caller, which Mr. Carlson co-founded, Mr. Neff published on AutoAdmit under a pseudonym, CharlesXII.
His posts there mocked and denigrated African-Americans, Asian-Americans and women, and he contributed to message threads in which other writers used racial slurs. He also occasionally bragged about his influence on Mr. Carlson’s show.
CNN identified Mr. Neff as the author of the posts and first reported his resignation on Friday.
Mr. Neff, in a recent interview with the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, said that when Mr. Carlson read off his teleprompter, “the first draft was written by me.” He told the magazine that he and Mr. Carlson agreed on many issues and that he enjoyed working at a show that could affect national politics.
“We’re very aware that we do have that power to sway the conversation, so we try to use it responsibly,” Mr. Neff told the magazine, which identified him as a 2013 graduate and a former editor at The Dartmouth Review, the college’s undergraduate conservative newspaper. (As of Saturday, the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine appeared to have removed the article about Mr. Neff from its website.)
Mr. Carlson is the No. 1-rated star of Fox News, and his program’s viewership has soared in recent months as he has taken a hard-line stance against national demonstrations over police brutality and racial injustice. Mr. Carlson has dismissed demonstrators as “criminal mobs” and warned that the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement could lead to anarchy and violence.
His rhetoric has prompted a backlash from major advertisers, including T-Mobile and the Walt Disney Company, many of which have instructed Fox News to prevent their spots from airing during Mr. Carlson’s show.
In recent days, Mr. Carlson faced criticism for on-air attacks against Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, a Thai-American Democrat and a veteran who lost her legs fighting in Iraq. His broadside came after Ms. Duckworth, a potential vice-presidential nominee, said that she was open to arguments for removing statues of George Washington because he owned slaves.
Mr. Carlson called Ms. Duckworth a “vandal” and a “moron” and questioned her patriotism. Ms. Duckworth responded by writing that Mr. Carlson “doesn’t know what patriotism is.”
Mr. Neff was featured in a Washington Post dating column in 2017, in which he was quoted saying his hobbies “allow me to escape women.” He also told The Post he was miffed at his date’s assertion that she was not sure about starting a relationship, saying, “If I were Brad Pitt, you would be.”
Author: Michael M. Grynbaum