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All comments by Liz Ashby
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There was a post on Facebook yesterday in the Bridge People group announcing the reopening of a club in rural east Texas. No specific information about which club. I can't think of a worse time to open a club when cases in Texas are at an all time high.
July 1
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Link on the power ratings site about clubs that have reopened:

https://www.bridgepowerratings.com/reopen.HTM
June 28
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Their website shows pictures from the opening:
https://www.bridgewebs.com/hiltonheadisland/
June 18
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Pleased, Ray? That would be a rather spiteful reaction. I appreciated the letter from Georgia and I am satisfied that decisions have been made so that the future of ACBL is not jeopardized. The only omission was mention of Tampa.
April 30
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It would be good if ACBL extended their recommendation for clubs to remain closed later than May 11.
April 15
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The article also mentions a high rate in Scottsdale. Could this have been influenced by the two bridge clubs there?
April 14
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After failing to connect with an ACBL board member, I reached out directly to ACBL and received a callback from ED Joe Jones.

With the volatility in the world with the pandemic, Joe is involved in meetings with the board every two weeks to assess the situation and how it is affecting the bridge community. No decision has yet been made about canceling Montreal. Currently, the government has a ban on large gatherings until early July. If this is extended, a cancelation is inevitable. If the ban is lifted, then proceeding will be determined by other factors.

Beginning this week, ACBL staff are working reduced hours, now 32 hours per week.

I appreciated Joe's openness in answering my questions. While many others have not been concerned about what ACBL has been doing with the pandemic, I believe communication is key. Regular updates on their website or emails would provide reassurance for members and give them confidence that ACBL is doing their best in these unprecedented times and eliminate speculation.
April 9
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Donald - Two messages and I have not received a reply.
April 8
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JoAnn - I am not asking for employees to be furloughed now. I am asking what conditions would warrant furloughing them or reducing their hours. Do you think it is premature to consider the issue now? Would you rather wait 3 or 6 months when cash reserves have dwindled?
April 8
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One player from the Austin bridge club has died from Covid-19.
April 6
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Last summer there was no coronavirus.
April 5
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David - thanks for the support. The issue is much more than the necessity of furloughing or laying off staff. I merely titled the article as such to get attention. A better question would have been “Does the ACBL have a financial plan amidst the pandemic over the short to medium term?” Doesn't quite have the same punch to it but perhaps I would have received fewer personal attacks. :)

Health experts advise the pandemic will continue for months, so what does this mean for FtF bridge? At what point would the staff leveling need to be be examined? Would it be in a certain period of time? When cash reserves and investments fall to a certain level? What long term effects will the pandemic have on membership levels? Club and tournament attendance? Is it likely that club play and tournament attendance would ever return to the same levels? These are the questions that need to be considered now. For me personally, I have people around me with compromised immune systems and I am not prepared to return to a club or a tournament until there is a vaccine.
April 5
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Donald - do we know if anyone involved in finance has a plan in place if this pandemic continues? Sometimes you have to throw a dart to get another's attention.
April 5
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Yu - anyone can ask a question. My goal is to stimulate discussion on the issue and perhaps have those that make the decisions consider furloughing a a possible option if the circumstances warrant it. Given the drastically different environment from three months ago, isn't it better for those in authority to consider options now and have a plan in place? I never said employees should be furloughed or laid off immediately but the consideration should be made as to when those decisions would be warranted. Would it be when the clubs and tournaments have been not operational for three months, six months or would you prefer for them not to consider it until ACBL finances have been exhausted?
April 5
Liz Ashby edited this comment April 5
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Yes, it is awful if people lose their jobs but sometimes the situation requires it for economic survival of a company or organization. Is bankruptcy a better alternative?
April 4
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I guess since I am at least 20 years younger than the average bridge player, I have more of a vested interest in making sure ACBL doesn't go bankrupt in the next few years.
April 4
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ACBL has 34 full-time, salaried field staff and 118 part-time (hourly, independent contractors). In the office they have 57 full-time staff. What the heck are they all doing now? Also, why ACBL membership has been declining, ACBL salaries and wages have been increasing.
April 4
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Ray - I am self-employed so I have to look out for myself and not depend on anyone else. As a result of the coronavirus, my income is currently zero. ACBL needs to look out for its members, not go bankrupt supporting its staff.
April 3
Liz Ashby edited this comment April 3
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Given that club openings and the running of tournaments are likely many months away, why isn't the ACBL furloughing their employees? At a minimum the full-time salaried directors should be furloughed. There is no reason that they should be continuing to receive full-time salaries. It also seems that many of the ACBL office staff could also be working reduced hours. How long can ACBL continue to pay these employees when revenues are reduced?
April 3
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