Columns/Opinions

Thu
14
Nov

"UIL 1st round pairings: Long road trips for some, not so much for others" by: Mike Reddell

   It’s interesting to look at the first round of UIL playoff pairings, otherwise known as bi-district. 
   Where Tidehaven and other playoff-bound teams in District 13-3A-2 teams, as well as those in District 14-4A-1 (Bay City’s district), are paired with Hill Country – and beyond – teams. 
   Tidehaven, for example, will play Johnson City Friday, in La Vernia, southeast of San Antonio. 
   It’s 149 miles from Tidehaven/El Maton to La Vernia and it’s 80 miles from Johnson City to La Vernia. 
   When I wrote this column earlier in the week, Tidehaven was to play Johnson City in San Marcos. 
   UIL moved the game to La Vernia – six miles farther for Tidehaven and 30 miles more for Johnson City. 
   East Bernard, the winner of Tidehaven and Van Vleck’s district, will play Sonora this week in New Braunfels. Sonora also was Van Vleck’s bi-district draw last year. 

Thu
14
Nov

"Debating the appropriateness of letter jacket after 30" by: Jessica Shepard

   With the recent drop in temperatures, something that’s been on my mind for a while has suddenly resurfaced. 
   Sort of like the Kraken from the abyss! 
   Is it a fashion faux pas to wear your high school letter jacket at the age of 30 – or above? 
   I mean, not that I follow many rules of fashion because I simply don’t care for them, but, it is something I’m curious about. 
   Luckily, I graduated from Bay City High School and that blue and gold varsity jacket is as glorious as ever. 
   And, truth be told, I’ve never been one for having much school spirit. 
   But, that expensive and very warm jacket still fits and has served me mightily since I received it. 
   It weathered the 2004 snow storm we had and several more when I was away at college in San Angelo. 
   Now, to be fair, I lettered in choir and had minimal patches put on the sleeves. 
   Plus, my university’s colors were blue and gold, too. 

Thu
14
Nov

"November is turning into a merry month for equities" by: John Sample

   Halloween did start the equity holiday season with record-high closes day after day. 
   All of this fun usually comes to a quick and unpleasant stop. 
   I think that will come early next year as all runs have to correct. 
   I find the constant stream of better-than-expected earnings and economic reports keep the bulls in charge. 
   While these earnings are positive they can only support reasonable multiples. 
   Of interest this week was the start of Disney-plus streaming service. It marks the Mouse House drawing a line in the sand and a long death march for its bundling service. 
   It is interesting for Disney as they have the creative capacity for content, much less a library bigger than anyone else, to fill time. 
   It does make you wonder how they will balance this new world with the fact that they have ESPN, which can’t work without the cable and direct companies. 

Thu
14
Nov

What can investors learn from Veterans?

   Each Veterans Day, we show our respect for the sacrifices our military veterans have made. And veterans can teach us a lot about how we conduct various aspects of our lives – such as investing. 
   For example, veterans have demonstrated perseverance. 
   And as an investor, you’ll need to persevere in the face of volatile markets and short-term losses. 
   Veterans also know that that their individual duties are part of a much larger landscape – namely, the security of their country. 
   As an investor, you too need to think about the big picture. 
   So each investment decision you make should contribute to your larger goals, such as a comfortable retirement. 
   Finally, veterans obviously have a sense of duty. 
   And when you invest to preserve your financial independence, you’re showing your own sense of duty by helping relieve your grown children of the possible need to help support you in your later years. 

Thu
14
Nov

"Listening to my heart to keep it simple since life is fleeting" by: Betsy Monico

   We traveled to Salado Friday for football, passed buses, and saw stadiums lit up. Texas football is big. 
   I began my column, but could not resist this one from 2013. 
   On Friday nights, there is a buzz in homes across the community listening to the radio that lasts all week. 
   In the stands at the games, there is an unexplainable energy that is so strong I think everyone involved could win a foot race against the Energizer Bunny if given the chance. 
   This town has been united an electrified, and I think it is based on more than just a good feeling. It is deeper. 
   My football knowledge is limited, but I can shake a water bottle full of beans, so I am going to call myself qualified and take a stab at examining the “roots” of this Fairfield Eagle team. 
   The roots of this organization run deeper in my opinion than many Eagle fans may know. 

Thu
14
Nov

"Jesus’ first miracle converting water to wine was to fill the spirit" by: Caleb Gibson

   One name of Jesus we should remember is Miracle Worker. Jesus did many miracles during his life. 
   From walking on water, healing blind eyes, and raising the dead, the list goes on containing so many stories of Christ. 
   He was not just another man, He is our savior. 
   Jesus’ first miracle is important because it shows us the heart of God.
   Out of all the miracles Jesus could have chosen to begin His public ministry, He choose to do a miracle at a wedding. 
   During this event Mary motions to Jesus that they ran out of wine. Jesus responds by saying that His hour has not yet come. 
   Through this we can see that we must submit to his timing. 
   This story also shows us that God cares about the small things. 
   Yes, it is a social embarrassment for the lord of the feast, but it isn’t life altering. 
   Jesus begins from private life to public friends. 

Thu
14
Nov

"Reel Reviews: ‘Doctor Sleep’ unsettling, creepy in all the right ways" by: Jessica Shepard

   I’ve always been a fan of Stephen King’s novels and the movies that have been derived from his books. 
   But, nothing ever surpasses my first Stephen King book flick, “The Shining.” 
   It was creepy, unnerving and very unsettling for pre-teen Jessica. 
   With that said, I saw its sequel, “Doctor Sleep” over the weekend and have to say that it came close to living up to the height of the first film. 
   I admit to not reading either of those novels, but, the movies definitely stayed true to the Stephen King way of scaring. 
   Doctor Sleep raked in just over $34 million in its opening weekend and is rated R for disturbing and violent content, some bloody images, language, nudity and drug use. 
   The film, following up the 1980 film adaptation of The Shining that was directed by Stanley Kubrick, is set several decades after the events of the original, and combines elements of the 1977 novel as well. 

Thu
07
Nov

"Christmas trees don’t come before Thanksgiving" by: Jessica Shepard

   Sadly, October is now over and we’re barreling straight into November with no chance at slowing down.
   Well, at least until Thanksgiving.
   The only problem I’ve noticed is that my mom is in the mood to decorate for Christmas early.
   And I’m seriously blaming Walmart for some of that!
   I mean, no sooner than they had Halloween decorations up, then they were clearing out aisles near the garden center for Christmas bits and bobs.
   Though, to be honest, mom asked to get those decorations down from the attic over the weekend.
   I protested loudly - naturally.
   Not just because I hate going up into the attic or hauling all 20-plus totes downstairs.
   No, I also protested because it’s messing with one of our time-honored family traditions.

Thu
07
Nov

"There’s no way of over emphasizing importance of great management" by: John Sample

   I know your retirement account has little appreciation for another record high. 
   I mean who likes looking at your monthly statement and seeing it grow in value. 
   While this is great for our holiday spirit, less than a year ago it only took the Federal Reserve to raise rates and send the markets south. 
   While it is nice to be here, it is a tenuous place to be. 
   I find more analysts agreeing there is no doubt that a recession is coming, but it may be a while before we see it. 
   Though a GDP of just over 2 percent is no great shakes, it can sustain this market to past the election next November.
I wanted to talk about value. 
   I have mentioned the trials that General Electric has been through over the last couple of years. 
   We have seen this great industrial stock drop from over 30 points to as low as 6. 

Thu
07
Nov

Take greater control of your 401(k)

   If your employer offers a 401(k) or similar plan, you’ve got a powerful retirement-savings tool. And yet, how well you do with your 401(k) depends greatly on your choices and actions. 
   What steps can you take to maximize the benefits of your plan? 
   For one thing, review the contribution rate that may have come with your plan if you were automatically enrolled in it. 
   If you can afford to contribute more than this level, consider doing so. 
   At the very least, put in as much as necessary to earn your employer’s matching contribution, if one is offered. 
   Next, you also should review the initial investment mix that may have come with your plan. Ideally, you’d want to spread your dollars among a mix of your 401(k)’s available investments to give yourself the greatest growth potential, given your risk tolerance and time horizon. 

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