Weekly Meanderings, 20 February 2021 | Jesus Creed

Good morning!

Thank you Dolly Parton:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Country superstar Dolly Parton has asked the Tennessee Legislature not to approve a bill that would erect a statue of her on the Capitol grounds in Nashville.

Representative John Mark Windle, a Democrat representing Fentress, Morgan and Overton counties, introduced House Bill 135 in January, aimed at honoring the music legend. The bill passed unanimously out of the Naming Committee earlier this month.

In a statement released Thursday morning, Parton asked the state legislature not to consider the bill and said she did not feel it was the appropriate time for a statue dedicated to her.

“I want to thank the Tennessee legislature for their consideration of a bill to erect a statue of me on the Capitol grounds,” she wrote. “I am honored and humbled by their intention but I have asked the leaders of the state legislature to remove the bill from any and all consideration.”

Dolly continued, “given all that is going on in the world, I don’t think putting me on a pedestal is appropriate at this time. I hope, though, that somewhere down the road several years from now or perhaps after I’m gone, if you still feel I deserve it, then I’m certain I will stand proud in our great State Capitol as a grateful Tennessean.”

Good for Kendall:

Right before her 18th birthday, Kendall Jackson was named one of the first Black females to become an Eagle Scout. She was 15 years old when the Scouts first started admitting girls in 2019, but she went on her first camping trip with the organization when she was just a toddler. At the time, she accompanied her mother and older brother. Since then, she has hurried to reach her goal of achieving the highest rank possible within the Eagle Scouts. At just 17 years old, Jackson is now successfully part of the inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts, which comprises young women who earned the rank between October last year and February 8, 2021, CNN reports.

“I was just ready to go,” she said in an interview with the news outlet. “I was eager to get started and be able to have this opportunity. I was overwhelmed with joy and I was ecstatic to be able to join.” The Boy Scouts of America also released a statement to commemorate their inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts. It reads, “We are thrilled that hundreds of diverse young women have attained the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout, which is widely valued by universities, employers, and other respected institutions around the world.” Jackson’s achievement is particularly remarkable as only about six percent of all Scouts go on to earn the rank.

Good for Lori!

PALMER, Mass. (WWLP) — A Massachusetts woman is making certain her neighbors have access to face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

All day, people stopped by Lori Hadlock’s home at 1095 Pleasant Street to get one of the many different face masks that she had created. Lori began sewing together these necessary wearables almost one year ago when Americans became familiar with the term, “coronavirus.”

Lori has made thousands of these masks, but no two are the same.

“Because everyone’s different, different styles. Makes everybody happy,” Lori said.

Once Lori finishes making a face mask, she places it outside on the fence for someone to come by and pick it up.

Townspeople have responded to her generosity by giving donations, allowing her to purchase the material for these many masks that she’s labored over since last March.

“Donations. A lot of people have left material on our front porch. That helps a lot,” Lori said.

Just awful:

People with learning disabilities have been given do not resuscitate orders during the second wave of the pandemic, in spite of widespread condemnation of the practice last year and an urgent investigation by the care watchdog.

Mencap said it had received reports in January from people with learning disabilities that they had been told they would not be resuscitated if they were taken ill with Covid-19.

The Care Quality Commission said in December that inappropriate Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) notices had caused potentially avoidable deaths last year.

DNACPRs are usually made for people who are too frail to benefit from CPR, but Mencap said some seem to have been issued for people simply because they had a learning disability. The CQC is due to publish a report on the practice within weeks.

The disclosure comes as campaigners put growing pressure on ministers to reconsider a decision not to give people with learning disabilities priority for vaccinations. There is growing evidence that even those with a mild disability are more likely to die if they contract the coronavirus.

Although some people with learning disabilities such as Down’s syndrome were in one of four groups set by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) which the government promised would be offered the vaccine by tomorrow, many were classified lower categories of need and are still waiting.

NHS figures released last week show that in the five weeks since the third lockdown began, Covid-19 accounted for 65% of deaths of people with learning disabilities. Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that the rate for the general population was 39%, although the two statistics are drawn from different measurements.

Younger people with learning disabilities aged 18 to 34 are 30 times more likely to die of Covid than others the same age, according to Public Health England.

At 90!!!!

SEATTLE (AP) — A rare winter storm that dumped a foot of snow on Seattle couldn’t keep a 90-year-old woman from her first appointment for the coronavirus vaccine.

The Seattle Times reports that Fran Goldman walked six miles round trip to get her shot.

“I have been calling to get an appointment anywhere, every morning, every afternoon and often I’ve been online at night,” Goldman said.

She finally secured a slot for Sunday morning, but Friday and Saturday a strong winter storm moved through the region, turning the city’s normally rainy streets into a winter scene of snowdrifts.

Goldman dressed in fleece pants and a short-sleeved shirt so that the nurse could get to her arm easily. Over that, she layered a fleece zip-up, then a down coat, then a rain jacket.

She then put on snow boots, took out her walking sticks and ventured onto the snowy streets.

“It was not easy going, it was challenging,” she told the newspaper.

But Goldman made it to her appointment, just 5 minutes late.

Her daughter Ruth Goldman, who lives in Buffalo, New York, wasn’t surprised by her mother’s actions.

“We’re outside people,” she said. “We love being outside. I was out yesterday at Lake Ontario with a wind chill of 6 degrees.”

At 101!!!

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF)— It’s been 101 years since Andre “Rube” Foster led the meeting at the Paseo YMCA in Kansas City, Missouri that created the Negro National League.

To celebrate, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum announced “Negro Leagues 101”, an initiative that gives people a way to learn about the Negro Leagues from anywhere.

Modeled after a 101-level collegiate course, it will include a series of programs, lectures and events and new virtual experiences. Among those, a virtual tour of the museum developed in partnership with Microsoft.

“Our story, folks, is not about the adversity, but rather what they did to overcome the adversity and that’s the real story,” Bob Kendrick, President of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, said. “It’s indeed a story that transcends race, it transcends age and it transcends gender. That is the story of the Negro Leagues and that is our mission, to make sure that the legacy of the negro leagues plays on long after there are no more negro leaguers to attest to the greatness of this story.”

The museum will also develop more digital content and digitize “Negro Leagues Beisbol” and “Barrier Breakers,” two of it’s acclaimed traveling exhibitions.

As part of the celebration, the museum announced new memorabilia they collected including some from actress and director Penny Marshall who willed her collection to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Her collection includes signed photographs, baseball programs and posters of Reece “Goose” Tatum as a Harlem Globetrotters.

The Jay Caldwell Collection that was acquired for the 100-year celebration last year was also made a permanent part of the museum’s collection.

Cold-stunned turtles being rescued:

Rescuers have saved thousands of “cold-stunned” sea turtles near South Padre Island in Texas after a record-breaking winter storm brought freezing air temperatures to the region, according to conservation group Sea Turtle, Inc.

As of Tuesday evening, the group says they were sheltering more than 2,500 turtles from hypothermia, but their wildlife sanctuary was still without power after losing it the day before.

“We’re undergoing one of the largest cold-stun events the island has seen in more than a decade,” Sea Turtle, Inc. Executive Director Wendy Knight said Monday. “Unfortunately, at 2 o’clock this morning we lost power, and as a result of that we have five 25-to-55,000 gallon tanks filled with these beautiful creatures that have lived here on South Padre Island for almost 40 years that are very close to perishing.”

The group is now using the South Padre Island Convention Center to shelter the turtles as they work to rescue as many of the animals as possible. A team of volunteers has been working to locate the stranded turtles and bring them to safety.

Back for some more sensitivity training:

The recent spate of violent anti-Asian hate crimes in the United States finally caught the attention of the media this week. Earlier this month in San Francisco, an elderly Thai-American man was killed. A 61-year-old Filipino-American man in New York was slashed across the face while waiting for the subway. Many more incidents, often involving the elderly, have been documented. Now, as celebrations for the Lunar New Year begin, many Asians fear for their safety.

Anti-Asian violence and abuse has sharply increased since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, especially toward vulnerable groups including the elderly, the youth, and women. Even Asian-American health care workers working to beat the coronavirus have not been spared from the abuse. This is largely due to the mischaracterization of Covid-19 as the “Chinese virus,” “Asian virus,” or “kung flu” by many people, including Donald Trump, who also promoted the idea that the coronavirus was leaked by a Chinese lab. This week, World Health Organization scientists reconfirmed that the virus was not released by a lab and has a natural origin, as experts had asserted previously.

Despite the scientific evidence, anti-Asian sentiment linking Asians and the coronavirus continues to circulate. Just this week, the editorial board of the New York Post called the WHO’s latest assessment of the coronavirus’s origin “whitewashing.”

I asked San Francisco State University sociologist Russell Jeung, PhD, why anti-Asian hate has continued during the pandemic and what allies can do about it. Jeung is the chair and professor of the university’s Asian American studies department and co-lead of Stop AAPI Hate, a center for tracking and responding to hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders that was created in response to increased xenophobia during the pandemic.

Jeung says two trends are driving anti-Asian hate: First, broad racism, fomented by fear of the pandemic and Trump’s political rhetoric, which led to hate speech and, in turn, hate violence. And then, racist policies, like barring the immigration of Chinese researchers, banning WeChat, and cutting racial sensitivity training. The effects, he said, have been “chilling”: Asian-Americans are reporting high rates of anxiety and depression, experiencing racial trauma, and losing their livelihoods as people avoid businesses like restaurants and nail salons. Seventy-five percent of the community has expressed fear about experiencing racism.

This is right and good:

The director of one of the world’s oldest and most prominent art museums, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, has suggested that religious artworks residing in institutional collections should be returned to their respective places of worship. Eike Schmidt, who has led the museum since 2015, told the Art Newspaper that “devotional art was not born as a work of art but for a religious purpose, usually in a religious setting.”

Schmidt cited a specific example from the Uffizi’s own collection, the “Rucellai Madonna” painted by the Sienese artist Duccio di Buoninsegna in the Middle Ages. The gold-ground panel of the Virgin and Child enthroned, the largest painting on wood from the 13th century known to date, was removed from the church of Santa Maria Novella in 1948.

Viewing such a work in the context for which it was created, says Schmidt, is not just appropriate from an historical perspective, but could also connect the viewer with its spiritual significance.

Skinniest house in London sells for what????

A house believed to be the skinniest in London — just six feet wide and five stories high — has hit the market for $950,000.

What do you get for the price tag? According to David Myers, of Winkworth Estate Agents in London, the home has “superb interior design detail,” similar to that of a luxury yacht.

In addition to its charming details, the 1,034-square-foot home boasts a leafy patio garden with trees and shrubs, a roof terrace, as well as two bedrooms and one bathroom.

The home was originally a hat shop, according to the sellers, but it was converted into a residence in the 1990s by fashion photographer Jurgen Teller. The residence’s balcony likely dates to the Victorian era.

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