Columns/Opinions

Thu
15
Aug

"Reel Reviews:‘The Kitchen’ heats up as mob family splits" by: Jessica Shepard

   “The Kitchen” is a crime drama film written and directed by Andrea Berloff, in her directorial debut. 
   The film is based on the Vertigo comic book miniseries of the same name by Ollie Masters and Ming Doyle. 
   The film stars an ensemble cast, featuring Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, and Elisabeth Moss as the wives of Irish mobsters who take over organized crime operations in the 1970s in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood after the FBI arrests their husbands. 
   The film also features Domhnall Gleeson, James Badge Dale, Brian d’Arcy James, with Margo Martindale, Common, E.J. Bonilla, Myk Watford, John Sharian, Brian Tarantina, and Bill Camp in supporting roles.
   In 1978 in Hell’s Kitchen, three women are married to members of the Irish mob: Kathy Brennan (McCarthy) and her husband, Jimmy (James), have two kids. 

Thu
08
Aug

"Council was to consider interim city manager hiring Wednesday " by: Mike Reddell

   City council met in special meetings last week with two finalists for the interim city manager job.
   At council’s regular meeting that was switched to Wednesday instead of Thursday this week, Mayor Robert Nelson has an agenda item for interim city manager job.
   I shy away from saying they’ll hire someone, although that’s what I presume, because the agenda item calls for “discuss, consider and/or approve” whomever for the position.
   If that works out, next up is the process of hiring a permanent city manager.
   I was told the two finalists for the interim job would be considered, but there’s many a slip betwixt the cup and the lip, as they say.
   As I’ve grown older, I’m fond of that saying that describes how things that seem certain can go awry.
   Back to the city manager, we’re first bringing in a consulting outfit to explain the process.
   I get that since this is new to most everyone. 

Thu
08
Aug

"Zoo experience doesn’t match up with childhood memories" by: Jessica Shepard

   Since Mike’s birthday was Monday, we celebrated it the weekend beforehand.
   That includes both of my errant siblings coming down for some family time.
   The hardest part was figuring out what to do or how to have fun.
   Granted, we’re usually a lot of homebodies who prefer watching movies together or lounging out by the pool.
   But, this time, Mike wanted to do something else – he just didn’t know what.
   We spent a good chunk of Saturday morning just brainstorming possible adventures before finally landing on going to the Houston Zoo.
   Now, while Mike said it had been years since he went, I had a hard time trying to remember the last time I was at a zoo at all.
   And I’m not counting those petting zoos from the fair or Rice Festival.
   During the drive there, my sister and I did some math troubleshooting and surmised that it was at least 15-20 years since I had been.

Thu
08
Aug

"Economy moving along at strong pace, but recent trading no fun" by: John Sample

   August and September are historically poor months as it relates to performance in the equities markets. 
   The start of this period better not be a foreshadowing of what is to come or we are in for real pain. 
   I don’t think that is the case. We again moved back from record highs for the fourth time in less than a year. 
   The economy is moving along at a relatively strong rate. 
   It is however no fun in a mere three or four trading days to drop 6 to 7% from last month’s record highs. That is far from a correction but it certainly gets your attention. 
   The rubber meets the road on what will happen next. I do not foresee a substantial move down. I see this as a move by money managers to take their profits. Even at these lower levels, the multiples on the various indexes and averages have not moved back to value levels for me. 
   I suggest that we will use the rest of the year to move back to those record high levels. 

Thu
08
Aug

Business owners need their own retirement plan

   As a business owner, you’re always busy, thinking about ways to attract new customers, deal with the competition and cope with the trends affecting your industry. 
   But you also need to think about yourself. Specifically, how will you pay for your own retirement?
   Fortunately, you have some attractive retirement plan options. 
   For example, depending on your circumstances, you could contribute to either a SEP-IRA or a SIMPLE IRA. 
   Both of these plans offer the potential for tax-deferred earnings, and any contributions you make on behalf of employees may be tax deductible.
   You might also want to consider an “owner-only” 401(k), which functions similarly to a 401(k) offered by large employers.
   In choosing an appropriate plan, you’ll need to weigh several factors, such as whether you have any employees and how much you can afford to contribute. 
   You may want to consult with your tax and financial advisors for help.

Thu
08
Aug

"Borrowing a Bible verse to live by: Be strong, do everything in love" by: Betsy Monico

  The topic around town is “Back to school.”  
   Yesterday at the volleyball games, I heard it.  Volleyball season kicked off last week. Football begins tomorrow.  
   It is time to rock and roll, as my Dad would say. Summer flew by. It does every year. 
  Getting my crew back in gear is going to be a challenge!  
   When the kids were young, I was an enforcer of bedtime, room cleanliness, and order. 
   The first day of school was not much different than any other summer day. My “mom” helicopter crashed at some point.  
   I learned that failure is good. I would rather my kids fail, get in trouble, and make some questionable decisions when they are under my roof than alone in the real world. At least when they “goof up”, we can talk through it.  
   Having a college age kid come home reinforced my decision to not control every aspect of my kid’s lives. Banner was a messy kid! Her room and organizational skills were a joke!  

Thu
08
Aug

"Go back and read Bible’s familiar stories to see hidden details" by: Caleb Gibson

   Did you know that in the final action scene of the movie Jurassic Park a raptor disappears? 
   That’s right if you go back and rewind that movie, as the T-Rex is picking up the raptor, there is one frame where the raptor is not seen. 
   Perhaps it did not get rendered or an employee forgot to add it in. Film is typically shot in 24 frames per second, so it would take a quick eye to spot it. 
   It’s fun to rewind movies to spot what we missed when we saw it the first time. 
   In a similar way, as believers, we are called to rewind the stories of the Bible, remember what happened, and perhaps see what we missed. 
   In 2 Peter 1:12, he tells us, “Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you.” 
   One of the many goals of the church is to remind each other what God has done. 

Thu
08
Aug

"Reel Reviews: ‘Hobbs & Shaw’ nice sidetrack in ‘Fast & Furious’ franchise" by: Jessica Shepard

   I have to preface this review by telling you all that I’m an avid fan of the “Fast & Furious” movie franchise.
   I love everything about it from the cars and fight scenes to the slight science fiction weapons and the music.
   Keeping that in mind, “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw,” only has a few of those instances.
   The film is a spin-off of The Fast and the Furious franchise centered on Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw, characters introduced in the main series. 
   Starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham as Hobbs and Shaw respectively, the film follows the unlikely allies with co-stars Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby, Eddie Marsan, and Helen Mirren.
   A crew of MI6 agents attempt to retrieve a virus, Snowflake, which can be programmed to decimate millions of people, from terrorist organization Eteon. 

Thu
01
Aug

"Waiting on late summer chicks to hatch, hoping for no more roosters" by:Shepard

   One of mom’s chickens has gone “broody” for several weeks now.
   That means we’re waiting to see if the eggs she’s sitting on will hatching into little chicks.
   We should know for sure in the coming days how many made it and how many were just duds.
   The next hardest part includes keeping the babies from being carried off by a hawk or killed via snake, raccoon or something. 
   Mom is a little more sensitive about her chickens than I am.
   I mean, we have 15 hens laying eggs already and really, I don’t think we can support many more. 
   But, she cries every time we lose a hen to predators or the bird’s own stupidity.
   Regardless, we’re hoping for a few more layers instead of dumb roosters.
   I only ever really dislike roosters when they crow earlier in the morning than I’ve got my alarm set to go off.

Thu
01
Aug

"Consumer saving, spending belie predictions of recession" by: John Sample

   We have just about put another month in the books and the tech sector has moved up 25% in value.
   If that is supposed to be a recession, I missed something getting my masters in economics. Of course mine came in the agricultural school where you had to understand and use calculus to determine projections through regression analysis.
   I just don’t understand how anyone can project a recession when consumers are actually saving money while still spending.
   The U.S. economy is basically in two sectors of manufacturers and consumers.
   The first cannot compete with the second sector.
   Earnings reports this week in the restaurant sent those stocks north. All these positive earnings reports are coming with the Federal Reserve meeting and discussing whether to cut interest rates.
   I see little or no reason to lower rates. I am sure the President would have a text meltdown to explain what a mistake such a thought could be.

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