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Live Covid updates: Omicron news, vaccines and more

Credit…Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times

Dr Rochelle P. Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, defended the agency’s new guidelines on Friday reducing the isolation period for people infected with the coronavirus to five days instead of 10, saying she was “science-based”.

Speaking in a sometimes controversial phone briefing with reporters, Dr Walensky also responded to criticism that the agency’s messages were muddled and opaque, saying she had participated in 80 White House briefings since. when he took up his duties and had sometimes answered several questions. times per week.

Friday’s press conference, conducted as the Omicron variant continues to generate a dramatic spike in coronavirus cases, was both rare and remarkable as the independent White House agency’s first briefing since the former President Donald J. Trump ended it in February 2020.

“I’ve heard that you want to hear from the CDC independently,” Dr Walensky said, adding that she expected the briefing to be the first in a long series. A number of journalists, seeking information about the complicated decisions made by the agency, thanked her repeatedly.

A highly regarded infectious disease expert with no government experience, Dr Walensky, who was appointed to lead the CDC early in the Biden administration, faced many challenges. The agency’s reputation and morale have been shaken by Trump’s White House, which has often tried to interfere with its scientific decisions.

Now the nation is heading into the third year of a pandemic with a virus which, Dr Walensky said, “has constantly thrown curveballs,” which has been grueling for healthcare workers and government officials. career at the forefront of the response.

“I think we are all proud to be serving the biggest and greatest public health crisis of our lives,” said one of these officials, Dr Henry Walke, director of the Division of Preparedness and Infections. Emerging CDC, who joined Dr. Walensky on the call. “So yeah, it’s exhausting. And it’s difficult, but good. Wow. I mean, this is the time to lean.

Dr. Walke’s presence on roll call was also unusual; Career scientists at the CDC have not participated in the press calls since Mr. Trump ended them. Mr Trump had become enraged, Dr Nancy Messonnier, then director of the CDC’s National Vaccination and Respiratory Disease Center, warned during a press briefing that the coronavirus would seriously disrupt the lives of Americans. Dr Messonier left the CDC earlier this year.

Dr Walensky has come under heavy criticism in recent days for a series of messaging missteps, the latest of which concerned the new isolation guidelines, released last week. Public health experts have criticized his failure to recommend that people infected with the virus test negative before ending the shortened five-day isolation period.

Dr Anthony S. Fauci, the president’s senior medical adviser on the pandemic, and Dr Vivek Murthy, the Surgeon General, have publicly opposed the CDC’s failure to include a test recommendation, further complicating the problem. This week, the CDC clarified that if people had access to the tests, they could take them.

CNN reported Friday that Dr Walensky had requested media training this fall; a spokesperson for the agency noted that this was “not unusual” for agency directors. And Dr. Walensky herself said she is “committed to continuing to improve as we learn more about science and to communicate that to all of you” and the public.

During Friday’s briefing, Dr Walensky was faced with a barrage of sometimes conflicting questions, including confusion over the advice and its scientific rationale. She said it was based on a scientific review of dozens of articles analyzing the infectivity of the coronavirus, although she admitted many of them were based on variants other than Omicron.

She said it would be weeks before scientists had detailed laboratory data for Omicron – including data showing whether people infected with the highly transmissible variant can become infected again.

“We have indications that if you have had Delta you are likely to be infected with Omicron,” she said, referring to the earlier Delta variant of the virus. But, she said, there is no data yet to suggest “that Omicron is protecting against Omicron.”

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Pelicans star Zion Williamson walks away from the squad

The New Orleans Pelicans have agreed to allow star forward Zion Williamson to continue his rehabilitation of a broken foot away from the team’s headquarters.

Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin said on Wednesday the club agreed that “in order to put Zion in the best position to be successful, he will be rehabilitating away from the team at this time. there so that he can concentrate on the task at hand. “

Williamson, who averaged 27 points, a team-high and was an All-Star last season, was attempting to resume training in mid-December following an injury during the summer. But imaging of his foot revealed a setback and the club said at that point Williamson would stop practicing and focus on healing.

“As you can imagine, this has been a very difficult process for me,” Williamson said in a written statement released by the club. “I know there is work to be done in my recovery before I can safely return to the field, but I will continue to dedicate the time necessary so that I can return to the field with my team and represent the fans of Pelicans and the city of New Orleans at the highest level.

“Basketball means everything to me,” added Williamson, “and I am grateful to the Pelicans organization and all those who have surrounded me with love and support on this journey – my family, my friends. friends, my teammates, coaches, staff, fans and everyone who stood behind me and raised me when I needed it most.

The Pelicans have gone 13-25 without Williamson this season, but are only 2-1 / 2 games behind Sacramento for the last place in the Western Conference with just over half of the season remaining.

The Pelicans will then play Thursday night when they host Golden State.


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Kivnon USA sets up its North American headquarters in Farmington Hills, Michigan

Mike Kotzian, Managing Director of Kivnon USA, recently opened the company’s North American office in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Kivnon is a leading supplier of automated guided vehicles headquartered in Spain and growing rapidly in North America.

Kotzian shared that so many Midwestern manufacturers have added to the Michigan site selection. Located at 37640 Hills Tech Dr. Operation will feature the robots and serve as headquarters in the United States. According to Kotzian, “Whether it is kits for the assembly of the automotive industry or intralogistics, we are happy to deploy our teams throughout North America to provide the best service and product delivery. faster than any other supplier ”.

Kotzian is currently building a strong team of industry professionals, from sales engineers to installation experts. He said, “The return on investment (return on investment) for AGV begins with delivery and installation. Most AGV suppliers are over a year behind schedule. In Kivnon, customers who order standard products by March 31, 2022 will be delivered by Q3 2022. We are the only company to guarantee a ROI start-up time in 2022.

Kivnon is an international company dedicated to mobile robotics. Since its founding as a family business in 2009, the company has offered its customers innovative and high-tech solutions for the implementation of AGV and AMR. The company continues to grow with complete projects including installation service and technical support.

Kivnon will be exhibiting at MODEX 2022 in Atlanta from March 28-31 at booth # C5488.

About Kivnon:

Kivnon offers a wide range of autonomous vehicles (AGV / AMR) and accessories for the transport of goods, using magnetic navigation or mapping technologies, which adapt to any environment and industry. The company offers an integral solution to customers. Kivnon products are characterized by their robustness, safety, precision and high quality. Each product has been designed with a user-friendly philosophy creating a pleasant working experience that is simple to install and intuitive.

Mike Kotzian, Managing Director of Kivnon USA based in Farmington Hills, Michigan, said, “Kivnon advises, installs, maintains and provides exceptional after-sales service. We consolidate our commitment to technological innovation and the continuous improvement of all products. Kotzian can be reached on LinkedIn.

The company offers a wide range of mobile robotics solutions automating different applications in the automotive, food, logistics and warehousing, manufacturing and aerospace industries. Follow Kivnon on Twitter @KivnonUSA.

Media contact
Company Name: Kivnon
Contact: Mike Kotzian
E-mail: Send an email
Call: (810) 220-9304
Address:37640 Hills Tech Drive
City: Farmington Hills
State: MID
Country: United States

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What life was like 50 years ago in America, compared to now in 2022

A lot can change in 50 years.

Take a look at how America has evolved from 1972 to 2022. From music and fashion to monumental political events and notable economic statistics.


Best song

In early 1972, the most popular song in the United States was “Brand New Key” by Melanie, according to Billboard’s Hot 100 list.

In 2022, Mariah Carey’s vacation hit “All i want for christmas is you“topped the Billboard Hot 100. The song was originally released in 1987.


Detailed photo of a girl wearing flared jeans.

Elephant leg jeans were a fashion staple for both men and women in 1972. Fast forward 50 years and elephant legs are all the rage again among Gen Z.


Space Shuttle Program

The International Space Station photographed by Expedition 56 crew members from a Soyuz spacecraft after undocking.  Image from the ISS as of October 4, 2018.

The International Space Station photographed by Expedition 56 crew members from a Soyuz spacecraft after undocking. Image from the ISS as of October 4, 2018.

President Richard Nixon and NASA Administrator James Fletcher presented the Space Shuttle program on January 5, 1972. Since then, the program has had a list of accomplishments, including building the International Space Station, launching of the Hubble Space Telescope and several space lab missions.

In 2022, billionaires Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson are racing to build reliable space tourism.

Gas prices

On average, the cost of gasoline in the United States in 1972 was 36 cents per gallon.

On average, the cost of gasoline in the United States in 1972 was 36 cents per gallon.

On average, the cost of gas in the United States in 1972 was 36 cents per gallon, according to data from the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy.

Today, retail gasoline prices nationwide are on average around $ 4.49 per gallon, according to an updated forecast of the Energy Information Administration’s short-term energy outlook.


Median income

According to the Census Bureau, the median family income was $ 11,120.

According to the Census Bureau, the median family income was $ 11,120.

According to the Census Bureau, the median family income was $ 11,120, coming from 54.4 million American families. That number had risen to $ 67,521 by 2020 – the most recent information available to the statistical agency.

Median cost of a house

In 1972, the median selling price of a new home sold in the United States was $ 27,600.

In 1972, the median selling price of a new home sold in the United States was $ 27,600.

In 1972, the median sale price of a new home sold in the United States was $ 27,600, according to data released by the Census Bureau. More recent figures from 2020 indicate that the median selling price of a new home was $ 336,900.


Age of consumption

There was no standard federal age for alcohol consumption in 1972.

There was no standard federal age for alcohol consumption in 1972.

There was no standard federal drinking age in 1972. Several US states had a minimum drinking age of 18. The Uniform Federal Drinking Age Law of 1984 standardized the legal drinking age to 21, which is still the case to this day.

Water gate

A burglary at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate office complex in Washington in June 1972 turned into a wide-ranging political scandal that culminated in the resignation of President Richard Nixon two years later.

A burglary at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate office complex in Washington in June 1972 turned into a wide-ranging political scandal that culminated in the resignation of President Richard Nixon two years later.
(AFP via Getty Images)

On June 17, 1972, the Watergate scandal began when five men broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, DC. The scandal ultimately led to President Nixon’s resignation in 1974. Learn more about the timeline of the Watergate scandal here.


Vietnam War

People visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Veterans Day in Washington, DC, November 11, 2015.

People visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Veterans Day in Washington, DC, November 11, 2015.
(REUTERS / Carlos Barria)

On August 11, 1972, the United States withdrew its last ground troops from South Vietnam. The war was officially declared over in the summer of 1975 when North and South Vietnam united under the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The country remained a one-party communist state in Southeast Asia.


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Rally in Baghdad on the anniversary of the death of the Iranian general

Hundreds of people chanting anti-American slogans gathered in the Iraqi capital to mark the anniversary of the murder of a powerful Iranian general and a senior Iraqi militia official in a US drone strike

The crowd called for the expulsion of the remaining US forces from Iraq during the demonstration commemorating the airstrike at the Baghdad airport. The strike killed General Qassim Soleimani, who was the leader of the elite Iranian Quds force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of the Iranian-backed militias in Iraq, known as the Popular Mobilization Forces. .

“We will not let you stay after today in the land of the martyrs,” read some of the signs. American and Israeli flags littered the ground, people trampling on them.

The murder of Soleimani and al-Muhandis at Baghdad airport pushed Iran and the United States dangerously close to all-out conflict and sparked outrage in Iraq, leading parliament to pass a resolution no binding a few days later calling for the expulsion of all foreign troops from Iraq.

The US-led coalition officially ended its combat mission supporting Iraqi forces in the ongoing struggle against ISIS in late December. Some 2,500 troops will, however, remain for the foreseeable future to continue to support Iraqi forces in an advisory capacity. Some militia leaders insisted on the departure of all American troops.

“We will not accept anything less than a total withdrawal as revenge for the blood of our martyrs,” said Hadi al-Ameri, leader of an Iran-aligned coalition.

Supporters of Iran-aligned Shia factions were transported by bus from various Iraqi provinces to the rally in Jadriyah, near the headquarters of powerful militias.

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Sudan: curfew in the capital of North Darfur after the looting of the WFP

El Fasher – A curfew went into effect in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur yesterday at 6 p.m. and continued until 5 a.m. today, in accordance with a decision by the North Darfur Security Committee after the widespread looting of a UN Food Program (WFP) warehouse, which followed the looting of the former logistics base of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) north of El Fasher last weekend.

The director of the North Darfur police force and rapporteur for the State Security Committee, Major General Abdelkarim Hamdo, called on the population to respect the daily curfew from 6 p.m. in order to preserve their lives. He said the state security committee was at the same time preparing a plan to secure strategic and vital state facilities.

Mohamed Abdelkarim, leader of the National Ummah Party in North Darfur, warned of the danger of a series of attacks and looting against the headquarters of UNAMID and the World Food Program in El Fasher, markets, shops and banks.

He told El Fasher’s Radio Dabanga yesterday that what is happening in El Fasher now, in terms of the security chaos and looting of the UNAMID headquarters and the World Food Program, clearly represents the weakness of the ruling authority. at all levels, and that the material is planned and programmed. He explained that the general feeling of the citizen of El Fasher is that this series can be passed on to markets and banks at any time.

Public looting at the WFP warehouse in El Fasher yesterday (Photo: RD)

Abdelkarim held authorities fully accountable for what was going on, noting that vehicles and ticket offices were looted in broad daylight using large cranes and in full view of the authorities.

He said the current chaos in El Fasher is due to the large number of armed militias and the multiplicity of unruly forces. He told Radio Dabanga that security chaos and looting were perpetrated by these forces.

He called on the authorities to control these forces and bring any outlaw to their rescue, and warned of anarchy and utter chaos if urgent measures were not taken to end this anarchy.

Informed sources in El Fasher claim that the real looting of the UNAMID headquarters took place in an organized and orderly manner three months ago by the official authorities.

Activist Fatima Fadul told Radio Dabanga that the official looting of the mission’s headquarters in El Fasher began after the state governor, Nimir Abdelrahman, replaced forces that were present with others.

She explained that an armed movement was accused of looting the mission headquarters, while an armed force led by a man calling himself Eisa El Maseeh (Jesus the Messiah), was accused of looting the Program’s stores. world food, according to the testimony of the governor of the state.

Fadul said she expects armed groups to attack El Fasher markets and banks in the coming days.

Offices looted at the UNAMID base (Photo: UN)

In addition, sources have warned of a health and environmental disaster in the region due to the waste left by the mission at headquarters. Activist Fatima Fadul told Radio Dabanga that people stormed the warehouses that contained the remains of UNAMID batteries and equipment that posed a threat to human health, as well as indications of the danger of the warehouses that had been hit by weapons.

In this context, lawyers and human rights defenders called on international bodies, in coordination with UNITAMS and the Government of the Sudan, to intervene urgently to protect the headquarters of international organizations and institutions in Darfur from an urgent manner that does not accept delays so that the situation does not get out of control after the complete looting of the UNAMID mission and the World Food Program warehouses in El Fasher by the regular forces, rebel fighters and citizens.

Lawyer and human rights defender Jibril Hasabo said urgent action to protect these decisions is now needed so that organizations providing aid and protection to the people of Darfur can be reassured. Hasabo said the complete looting of WFP stores in El Fasher will affect internally displaced people in camps receiving services and assistance from the program, and will also affect the safety and security of people, and in particular the internally displaced. in El Fasher and all of Darfur.

He described what happened as a dangerous indicator of what will follow and cause panic and anxiety among international organizations working to alleviate the crisis and humanitarian aid in Darfur.

The General Coordination of the Displaced and Refugee Camps strongly condemned the looting of the headquarters of the UNAMID mission in the past, and of the headquarters of the World Food Program (WFP) in El Fasher.

In a statement yesterday, the Coordination holds the Sudanese government, its militias with various names, and the armed movements that signed the Juba Peace Agreement, responsible for the persistent insecurity in the towns and localities of Darfur, in particular. previously UNAMID mission headquarters, and World Food Program headquarters in El Fasher.

In the statement, the official spokesperson for the Coordination, Adam Rujal, called on the UN Security Council and the Troika countries to take serious and decisive decisions to protect the displaced and defenseless people in Darfur, and to immediately send an international force under Chapter VII. of the Charter of the United Nations, to make peace, for the good of humanity only to save the lives of the last victims of the genocide in Darfur.

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Measuring Growth – Chabad Lubavitcher World Headquarters

Dave litman likes to keep a low profile. An innovative giant of the tech boom of the 1990s and a pioneer with his business partner Bob Diener in the online travel and hospitality industry, Dave started a low cost airline business in 1984 that grew into a consolidation operation. wholesale multi-million dollar airline tickets. In 1991, he and Bob founded what has become, to finally sell their stake in the company in 2004.

Today CEO of Travel finance network, the Texas resident spends some of his time working with Chabad representatives on the strategic development of data-driven decision making. In cooperation with Chabad on Campus International, it has launched an initiative that will allow it to accurately measure the ROI (Return on Investment) of its programs.

LI: How do you see yourself, a remarkably successful entrepreneur, compared to Chabad and the shluchim who are in the business of counting souls?

DL: I am an investor in the Chabad business. Of course, I want a return on my investment. But unless someone can tell me what the back and forth is, I don’t know. So I started to mix the lessons I learned in business with the lessons of Chabad. It was the start of the measure.

What first brought you to Chabad?

DL: I connected with Rabbi Zvi Drizin in 2004, just as he moved to Dallas. Zvi focused on young Jewish professionals, and I quickly realized that Chabad attracted more young adults than any other organization in town. I have seen the advantages of the Chabad model.

It’s different from synagogues and temples membership models where you pay membership fees – like a subscription model – and go to services. In the Chabad model, you have these very enterprising people going out and establishing Jewish communities. These people dedicate their entire lives to making the world a better place for the Jewish people. This is their main concern and it is extremely effective. It is a model that relies mainly on donors.

But as a donor-based model, it’s more vulnerable than a subscription model, isn’t it?

DL: Yes, so you need donor buy-in. There’s no better way to gain buy-in than to measure performance. If you can produce a report that shows your performance this year compared to last year, you can dramatically increase your donations and production. So it’s a victory for the shlou’him, for donors and for the Jewish people.

I believe that measured performance is improved performance. And to measure performance, you need to identify your target outcomes (i.e. what you’re doing) and you need metrics. You can’t hit a target that you can’t see.

Dave litman

Does the investment that Chabad will make, for example, in sending shluchim to an isolated town with very few Jews, make business sense to you?

DL: I’m looking at addressable markets. So for example, if you are in the middle of Manhattan and your target market is 50,000 people, I want to know, how many do you see? If you’re in Montana, where there are say 2,000 Jews in the state, and you hire 1,500, you’re probably doing better than Manhattan, which gets 5,000 out of 50,000.

Measuring, collecting, monitoring and analyzing data are things that the shluchim, who usually carry the weight of their communities on their shoulders, have not been able to afford to focus.

DL: Yes, so we have created a portal that makes it accessible and easy for them. We started with a handful of Chabad reps, and as he grew we brought him to Chabad on Campus International. We have now launched a pilot program with around 30 Chabad centers. My business partner Bob Diener is funding the development of proprietary software that will allow us to deploy it more widely in all Chabad centers. I think we will have a strong turnout.

In the future, what does Jewish life in America look like to you?

DL: Things are changing and becoming more dynamic in different places. Texas is now the largest migrating state, and over the next thirty years it will likely overtake California in terms of population and economy. Chabad is sensitive to these demographic changes in the United States. Jews leave Illinois, New York and California for Texas, Tennessee and Florida. And Chabad is in a good position to take advantage of it.

Chabad is the bright spot for the future of Jewish life in America. He is vibrant, young and energetic, and he is essential to the future of Judaism in America. I want to see it continue to grow and measure that growth every step of the way!

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STIHL to build new warehouse and headquarters in Camberley

A new UK warehouse and headquarters for a global power tool company, STIHL is expected to be built by Midas Construction. The project will lead to the creation of a new purpose-built 11,285 m2 development in Camberley, Surrey, off the A331. Midas Construction, a Southampton-based company Midas Group subsidiary, should start preparatory work for the project in December 2021.

The project includes the creation of an automated industrial warehouse for the storage of machines and their spare parts with an office and a support workshop, including retail display space and equipment for staff such as a canteen. A new access road to the site will also be built from the A331, as well as earthworks, associated parking and landscaping. The new UK warehouse and headquarters project is designed by Hale Architects, using contemporary materials with crisp, modern and simple details to deliver a premium appearance. Extensive landscaping will include habitat creation and the planting of important native trees, wildflowers and shrubs.

Also Read: M Group Services Acquires Babcock Power Line Business.

The new head office built for this purpose

Steve Lee, South Division Manager at Midas Construction, said: “We are delighted to be working with STIHL GB and to have been tasked with creating this important project for the company. In addition to having achieved a leading international brand, STIHL has been a notable local employer in Surrey for four decades and we are delighted to play a role in this great investment which secures its future in the region and will enable the company to to continually prosper and grow.

the STIHL FR Managing Director Kay Green added, “Our new, purpose-built head office represents a remarkable capital investment and commitment to the future for the local workforce. State-of-the-art equipment will help us plan for many years of future growth that will continually benefit the local economy. Midas Construction’s initial work on the site will include demining and grading of the former Thames Water Utilities site, preparation of the new main warehouse, and the start of the GB head office project in February 2022. The whole project is expected to be completed in December 2022.

If you have a remark or more information about this post, please share with us in the comments section below.

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Wayne Thiebaud (1920-2021) – Artforum International

California painter Wayne Thiebaud, who blurred the line between commercial art and fine art with deceptively ordinary still lifes of American staples like candy, chewing gum machines and ice cream cones, has died at the age of 101. The news was announced by his New York. gallery, Acquavella. Thiebaud launched his prolific seven-decade career in the early 1960s under the banner of Pop art, a label he resisted:, crafting from memory his evocations of childhood nostalgia. He also distinguishes his compositions from traditional realistic painting, giving his paintings an almost conceptual quality through their alluring compositions, striking colors, theatrical lighting and playful textures.

Born in 1920 in Mesa, Arizona to a baker mother and inventor father, Thiebaud spent his early years in Southern California and on his uncle’s ranch in Utah during the Great Depression. A budding designer, he worked as a plotter for Disney studios and painter of signs before enlisting in the Air Force, serving as an artist in the First Motion Picture Unit from 1942 to 1945. At the end of the decade he became interested in what –called fine art -, and graduated from what is now California State University, Sacramento, soon becoming an influential professor at the University of California, Davis , where he remained until 1991. During a trip to New York in the 1950s, he was influenced by the abstractions of Elaine and Willem de Kooning as well as the neo-Dadaism of Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns , and learned to merge his business training with the experimental expressionism of the New York School. He quickly found his favorite subject – the mouth-watering desserts spotted behind the windows – but struggled to make a serious name for himself (one writer dubbed him “California’s hungriest artist”). His breakthrough came in 1962, when his longtime gallery owner Allan Stone first offered him a solo exhibition, and when Sidney Janis filled a rented window on West Fifty-Seventh Street with works by more than fifty artists. including Thiebaud, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Indiana, Tom Wesselmann and Andy Warhol. (Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko, Philip Guston, and Adolph Gottlieb stepped out in protest.)

Anxious to categorize himself, Thiebaud quickly widened his palate, creating bodies of work devoted to the Californian delta, the vertiginous streets of San Francisco and the clowns, among other subjects. His work has been collected by major institutions around the world and has been the subject of numerous exhibitions in galleries and museums, including retrospectives at the Fine Arts Museum in San Francisco in 2000 and at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento last year. on the occasion of its centenary. The Morgan Library in New York mounted “Wayne Thiebaud: Draftsman,” which reviewed his works on paper, in 2018. Thiebaud continued to play tennis regularly and paint every day in his later years. “I consider myself to be a beginner,” he said. “Sometimes it’s all the joy. If you could just do it, there would be no point in doing it.


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Vancouver’s Salvation Army sees donations drop 40%

The Salvation Army Vancouver’s Red Kettle Campaign – the annual holiday fundraiser where volunteers collect cash donations outside grocery stores and other businesses – records 40 percent fewer donations compared to to last year.

“Although we have already made a commitment to help hundreds of families with food and Christmas gifts, this drop in income will have a serious impact on our ability to help families throughout the year,” said Steve Rusk, Salvation Army Vancouver business manager.

Last year, the organization raised approximately $ 308,000 by the end of the campaign, which ends today.

This year, the organizers aimed to raise $ 300,000, which represents 15% of the organization’s annual budget. On Thursday, Rusk said achieving that goal would be a challenge.

“It really puts us in a difficult position,” he said. “From what I’ve seen, donations are also below average for our virtual campaign. “

The Salvation Army Vancouver has sought to raise $ 10,000 as part of its Virtual Red Kettles campaign. By Christmas Eve, the campaign had raised $ 1,886.

Solicitation by mail makes up the remainder of the organization’s annual budget, and those funds are so far down 50% from last year, according to Rusk.

However, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are generally great fundraising days for the Red Kettle campaign. On Thursday, Rusk said donations for that day matched last year’s levels. In addition, the organization generally sees an increase in donations during year-end donations.

“We have some ground to catch up,” said Rusk. “It’s unlikely to catch up with the days before when the Red Kettle campaign ends, but the year-end donations could definitely help. “

Multiple factors could explain the decrease in donations to the organization, such as the COVID-19 pandemic limiting in-person purchases.

A Wall Street Journal Editorial published on December 16 criticized the Salvation Army nationwide for being ruled by “awakened ideals”, pointing to a guide to discussing racism published by The Salvation Army’s international headquarters in London and withdrawn later.

The organization’s national commander, Kenneth G. Hodder, refuted this claim in an open letter Wednesday, writing: “The Salvation Army has never been in politics. Hodder wrote that the editorial negatively impacted Salvation Army donations across the United States.

Rusk declined to comment on the controversy, saying he was not authorized to represent the organization nationally.

“We can only speculate on the reason for this reduction,” he said. “There is no really solid way to measure the motivation of donors to give or not. “

In Vancouver, if the Red Kettle campaign does not meet its goal of raising $ 300,000, Rusk said donations at any time of the year will go to the organization’s annual budget.

“Please consider a gift today to help us make up for this loss,” he said.

Those interested in donating to The Salvation Army Vancouver can do so on their website and on its virtual Red Kettle Campaign Website.

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