Columns/Opinions

Thu
18
Jul

"Letter to the Editor: A&M letter to editor: We’ve had tuition-free program for decade"

Dear Editor, 
   Several of you have asked if Texas A&M University has plans for a tuition-free program for students from low-income families similar to what the University of Texas recently announced. 
   In fact, Texas A&M University implemented virtually the exact same program 10 years ago. 
   The Texas A&M program is called Aggie Assurance. 
   And since 2008, the program has allowed 33,447 undergraduate students from families earning less than $60,000 a year to attend college tuition free.
   In addition, Texas A&M University System regents set aside $30 million additional dollars in 2018 to provide help for students of families who earn $100,000 or less, or who are stricken with financial hardships such as losses during natural disasters, death of a breadwinner or some other calamity. 

Thu
18
Jul

"Evening out with Mom, laughing at comedian a happy time" by: Jessica Shepard

   School starts in just around a month for most local families. 
   When I was younger, the end of summer was depressing. 
   Now, I’m excited and happy to see it. 
   Mostly because it means that we’re getting closer to cooler temperatures, family birthdays and holidays that I can actually decorate for a month-long celebration. 
   It also means that I get to watch my friends who have children work feverishly to squeeze in one last family vacation or adventure before having to buckle down and prep for school. 
   There’s plenty to contend with including dress codes and classroom supply lists to keep in mind along with signing up for bus routes or campus lunch meal accounts. 
   Some make me feel even weirder to know that said children are in junior high and high school already. 
   It also makes me feel a lot older than I initially thought. 

Thu
18
Jul

"Consumers didn’t get memo on better than expected retail sales by: John Sample

   We are literally half way through the summer and it is getting hot and muggy. We even experienced our first tropical storm/hurricane in the Gulf. 
   If that wasn’t enough, in the sporting arena Wimbledon ended in an epic battle, the MLB All Star game encompassed a captivating home run derby and we are now looking forward to football season after an unprecedented week of player movement in the NBA. 
   So much for the lazy hazy days of summer. 
   I would be remiss in all these distractions didn’t stop the equities market found the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index move above 3000. This supposedly was attributed to Chairman Powell’s testimony before Congress indicating an interest rate cut coming sooner than later. 
   Did I mention that the trade wars while impactful have yet to stop economic growth. 
   I suppose if you say it long enough, sooner or later you will be correct. 

Thu
18
Jul

Estate plans can help you answer questions about the future

   You may have many questions about what will happen to your family when you’re gone.  
   These questions can be worrisome – but you can answer them with a comprehensive estate plan. 
   Your first question may be something like this: What will happen to my children if I’m not around?  
   Within your estate plan, you may want to name a guardian to care for your children and a conservator to manage any assets they might inherit. 
   Here’s another question: Will there be a fight over my assets?  
   It’s possible, if they go through the very public process of probate.  
   You could avoid this problem by establishing a living trust. 
   One last question: Can I afford to leave money to my children and to the charities I support? 
   The answer is yes – if you establish the appropriate arrangement, such as a charitable remainder trust. 

Thu
18
Jul

"We should all live a life worthy of our calling, purpose" by: Betsy Monico

   We planned the precise location of our home with three things in mind: the lake in front, the open field in back, and the canopy of shade trees. 
   Fast forward…the deer feeders in the back are constantly full and keep the deer happy. 
   The lake provides us with fishing, swimming, and gives our dogs a much needed cool off. 
   Our trees are where we gather to cut watermelon, eat crawfish, and even roast s’mores. 
   Being the thrifty one of the family too, I often thank the Lord for our shade when our summer electric bills arrive. 
   Jeremiah 29 comes to mind: “For I know the plans I have for you…” I believe this even includes the trees around us! 
   Last Wednesday, we all laid down peacefully about 10 p.m.
   A few minutes after most of the Monicos began snoring or got too engrossed in Netflix to care, a storm hit. 

Thu
18
Jul

"We should be conscious of the cleansing of our sins" by: Caleb Gibson

   The Prophet Isaiah once had a vision where he saw the Lord, “sitting on a throne” and Angels sang out, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” (Isaiah 6:3). 
   This was an amazing scene. Yet things take an interesting turn. 
   He began to hear the doorpost shake from the voice of these angels. 
   The room is filled with smoke and Isaiah begins to have fear saying, “Woe is me, for I am [a]undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.” (Isaiah 6:5). 
   He is in fear because of his sin. He is aware that he needs to be cleansed. 
   Sometimes we feel unworthy to go to church, worship, or speak to God because of our mistakes and sins. 
   Other times we feel timid because of what we have heard on TV, at work, or simply waiting in a line with people.  

Thu
18
Jul

"Reel Reviews: ‘Stuber’ shows off Bautista’s comedic side" by: Jessica Shepard

   So, I didn’t know what to expect when heading in to see “Stuber,” but judging by the trailer, I figured I would laugh once or twice.
   Well, I definitely did more than that and probably at more jokes than anyone else in the audience, too.
   If you’re a fan of Dave Bautista’s “Drax” character from Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie series – there’s plenty of that in this and a side of him I didn’t expect to see either.
   Just buckle up and keep your eyes wide open for this one!
   Stuber is an action comedy film directed by Michael Dowse and written by Tripper Clancy. 
   It stars Kumail Nanjiani, Dave Bautista, Iko Uwais, Natalie Morales, Betty Gilpin, Jimmy Tatro, Mira Sorvino, and Karen Gillan.
    A meager Uber driver named Stu (Nanjiani), hates his job at a retail sporting goods store.

Thu
11
Jul

"Salt grass fire photography: Darkness, dunes, reptiles" by: Mike Reddell

   I’m trying to make MaLinda feel better after her attack by Yellow Jackets Monday while she was mowing.
   As she circled a crepe myrtle with the mower, the varmints struck her on the face, hands and arms.
   The only times in my memory that I’ve been stung, it’s been by a Yellow Jacket. She later got her revenge – after getting some medical treatment for her wounds.
   Since we have lots of flying, stinging insects around our place, we also have massive amounts of retaliatory and, more importantly, pre-emptory sprays.
   MaLinda applied an appropriate dosage – think baseball glove size - to the Yellow Jacket nest. OK, I didn’t actually see how much spray she put on the nest. I was merely mentally projecting how much chemical I would have applied.
   Whenever a nest appears on our back porch, I’m more circumspect and use only half a can of spray on the trespassing terrors.

Thu
11
Jul

"‘Stranger Things’ tops lists of things to do to escape from summer" by: Jessica Shepard

   We’ve now reached that part of summer where nearly five minutes of direct sunlight results in a sunburn. With temperatures in the high 90s and low 100s – it certainly brings out more of my night owl side.
   Unfortunately not enough, but at least we’re running the air conditioner at an acceptable range now.
   But, it might not be enough for the long-term scorching heat.
   With a possible tropical storm headed our way, we’re watching the weather reports closely.
   Granted, Bay City and almost all of Matagorda County has some sort of drainage problem, but I’m down with slow, easy rain.
   I mean, nine-plus inches in the span of a few hours is too much, but somewhere in the neighborhood of up to three inches? 
   That’s not so bad really. As long as we don’t lose power, we can hunker down and ride it out here at Casa de Reddell.
   I’ll just get mom and dad hooked on another Netflix TV series like I did this weekend.

Thu
11
Jul

"Trying to find the right solution to market problems always has obstacles" by: John Sample

    A holiday-shortened week of trading and, after hitting another record high, we pulled back for three straight days - a repeat performance over the last nine months. 
   Most of the reason was attributed to the concern that the Federal Reserve might forego a rate cut. 
   I see little or no reason to cut rates to support the economy. 
   My reading of the recent economic reports indicates a rather strong economy that is experiencing low unemployment and little or no inflation. 
   You would think that would make investors happy but as usual, they are more focused on what is going to happen six to nine months from now. 
   I can only say that you might reverse the rate increase made in December, as that was universally judged to be imprudent. 
   However, I would hold the rate reduction for when the economy really displays signs of stress.
I am not saying there are no concerns. 

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