Columns/Opinions

Thu
04
Jun

"There’s lot at stake by taking care of beach business" by: Mike Reddell

   A recent trip to Matagorda Beach for MaLinda and I brought back the reality for me that no matter how beautiful nature may seem, people will try to spoil it. 
   We arrived on the Memorial Day weekend shortly before noon at Jetty Park and saw a worker collecting bags of garbage that already were piling up. 
   As we walked to the beach through the dunes, we started to see empty water bottles and soda cans. 
   There was nothing long-ago discarded about this – the refuse was recent. 
   There are two types of visitors to the beach – or any other outdoor attraction – those who care and those who don’t. 
   Think of that, to litter you have to consciously toss an empty object onto the sand. 
   And then forget it. 
   Then consider the thousands who come to Matagorda and Sargent beaches. 

Thu
04
Jun

"Tired of fashion, COVID-19 restrictions dictating my life" by: Jessica Shepard

   After not being able to get a haircut for two months, I’ve noticed something now that the salons are back open. 
   A lot of places charge women double what they charge a man for a haircut. 
   Now, if you’re getting some color done or a hair treatment, I understand paying for that service and the time it takes to do said service. 
   I even understand footing the bill for all the bells and whistles like shampooing and a blow dry and style afterward. 
   But, as someone who only ever wants a trim on already fairly short hair – I find it ridiculous! 
   Not to mention that with the unpredictable nature of my job, it’s hard to schedule an appointment and keep it due to the fluid nature of journalism. 
   A lot of local salons have stylists booked for an entire week already! 
   I just need to carve out about a half hours’ worth of work and find myself unable to be squeezed in at all. 

Thu
04
Jun

"Though the train left the station, there is still time to enjoy the ride" by: John Sample

   Another week and with all that seems so concerning, the equities markets keep going up.  
   Last week the S&P 500 stock-index moved above 3000 and the Dow climbed back above 25,000. This all happened as the FANG stocks, which compose 20% of the S&P 500 stock-index, pushed the market.  
   These companies were enriched by the Covid-19 pandemic. It is remarkable how quickly our world evolves in front of our eyes.  
   It is disconcerting how quickly our attention, as a society, switches from one issue to another.  
   We apparently to have forgotten about viruses and now are focused on discrimination.  
   I wonder what we will be interested in next week.  
   It is almost like most people are focused on one thing while a small cadre of investors are making money on the equities markets.
As bad as things are these days you have someone like Elon Musk sends men to the space station.  

Thu
04
Jun

"Fighting the life-long battle of taking it a notch too far" by: Betsy Monico

Last night I did a good deed, not that I am bragging or anything!  I walked over and turned off the water on the berries for my hubby. I still had on my shoes and there was no reason not to lend a helping hand. 
   I also absolutely love making, baking, and especially eating fresh berry cobbler. 
   Hopefully, I earned a nice batch of berries on down the road. 
   When I reached the water faucet, I used one of the greatest lessons my Dad ever taught me. “Righty, tighty, lefty loosey.” The practical tip comes in handy on nearly a daily basis. 
   My Dad also taught me how to drive a golf cart at some point during my childhood. 
   One night I must have begged to park it in the garage. 
   I do not remember the details, but I do recall what happened when I ever so gently crashed the golf cart into the garage wall. 
   It just so happened that the point of impact was at the water faucet, and water went everywhere. 

Thu
04
Jun

"Find peace in stressful times by seeking refuge in Christ" by: Caleb Gibson

   A group of painters were in an art contest to see who could create the best painting of peace. 
   They had many beautiful paintings of the sun setting, palm trees, and lush green hills. 
   As great as these were, there was one that stood out. 
   It was Jack Dawson’s painting. His canvas showed a ravaging storm. 
   There is water raging, dark clouds, and lightning. How is this a picture of peace? 
   Throughout all of this the painting shows a small bird hidden in the cleft of the rock. 
   As this whole storm is going on around it, the bird is protected and secure. 
   This shows us one of the best definitions of peace. It is not just the absence of a storm. 
   It is knowing that God is with us during the storm. This is the peace that Jesus came to bring us. 
   Before Jesus left the earth He told His disciples, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. 

Thu
04
Jun

"Reel Reviews: ‘The Way Back’ is an inspirational journey too long" by: Jessica Shepard

   I’ve seen my fair share of “inspirational” sports movies that show triumph over adversity. 
   And all of them get to the point relatively quickly and end on a high note. 
   Sadly, “The Way Back” really doesn’t do either of those things and seems to stretch onward forever. 
   The Way Back is an American sports drama film directed by Gavin O’Connor and written by Brad Ingelsby. 
   It stars Ben Affleck, Al Madrigal, Michaela Watkins, John Aylward, and Janina Gavankar. 
   Jack Cunningham (Affleck) is an alcoholic construction worker who is separated from his wife, Angela (Gavankar). 
   While at Thanksgiving dinner with his family, his sister Beth (Watkins) reveals that friends, including Angela, have expressed concern about his drinking and isolation from friends and family. 

Thu
04
Jun

"Remaining vigilant, prepared" Aaron Sumrall, PhD Matagorda County Extension Agent – Agriculture/Natural Resources Texas A&M AgriLife

   It is hard to believe that it is already June 1 and halfway through 2020. 
   I am well aware that it is taboo to mention storm season in Matagorda County, but it is something that we need to remain aware of and prepared for in the event that a storm takes aim on the central Texas coast. 
   The outlook for the 2020 season is indicating a 60% increase in likelihood for an active season with a prediction of 13-19 named storms, 6-10 hurricanes, and 3-6 of those reaching major hurricane strength of Cat 3 or higher. 
   This prediction is the 5th consecutive above-normal season. 
   Hurricanes are not the only concern that we need to remain prepared for should something happen, but we are not exempt from other concerns of flooding, fire, tornadoes, chemical spills, and others. 
   June 1 is a good time to reassess your preparedness should something happen requiring your response. 

Thu
28
May

"Applying sunscreen makes summertime safer, less painful" by: Jessica Shepard

   Recently, I got my first actual sunburn of the season that made me peel.
   Luckily, it was only on my face and shoulders!
   And it wasn’t too painful either.
   Though, I chalk that up to me not being in the pool for too long either.
   But, it was still enough of a problem that I had to re-evaluate my sunscreen stock.
   I’d found that using mom’s bottle from last year was not up to code, so, I bought my own.
   After years of smelling like artificial and chemical coconuts, I found a sunscreen with a high enough sun protection factor (SPF) that didn’t make me gag.
   SPF is a measure of the protection provided by the individual type of sunscreen.
   The SPF number indicates the amount of sun exposure needed to cause sunburn on skin protected with sunscreen compared with skin that is not protected with sunscreen.

Thu
28
May

"People emerged en masse for start of summer despite pandemic " by: John Sample

   Another holiday shortened trading week during these very difficult and unusual times.
   I have always looked fondly toward the Memorial Day weekend as the beginning of summer and it happens that my daughter’s birthday was on the 28th.
   I hope that it is not the onset stages of senility, as the holiday seemed to come a week too early. 
   No matter my mistake, the summer is upon us and the pandemic be damned, people came out of the woodwork to celebrate.
   I am not sure what that is a sign of but it probably was cabin fever. While we moved into a different metric, it may not be the end of the world.
   Last week, Southwest announced that, for the first time, reservations exceeded cancellations.
   Restaurants served more than takeout. Bars and other businesses that accommodate social gatherings reopened.
   The outcome of all these self-isolating people reunited will be the next important metric. 

Thu
28
May

Sticking to budget can boost your emergency fund

   During the coronavirus pandemic, health concerns may have been at the top of your mind.
   But finances were an issue, too.
   And one aspect of your financial picture has become quite clear – the importance of an emergency fund.
   Even in normal times, it’s a good idea to keep three to six months’ worth of living expenses in a liquid, low-risk account.
   Having an emergency fund available can help you cope with large, unexpected costs, such as a major car repair, without dipping into your IRA or 401(k).
   Of course, you already have bills to pay. But if you create a budget and stick to it, you may find ways to reduce your spending.
   For example, if you budget a certain amount for food each month, you’ll be less likely to make repeated trips to the grocery store each week.
   This could free up money for your emergency fund and, possibly, for other, longer-term investments.  

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