Columns/Opinions

Thu
06
Sep

"It’s fast approaching time for Rice Festival" By Stan Eldridge Bay City Lions Club Rice Festival Chairman

   As you read this, the Bay City Lions Club is busy preparing for the 2018 version of the annual Rice festival.  
   The Lions of the Bay City Club have been busy planning the event for the past several months and will enlist the other clubs in the area to help. You may ask, “why should I come to this year’s event when I went to last years”? 
   Good question. First let me share with you where we spend the money you spend at the festival.  
   First; some you spend is used to provide for free eye exams for school children: 5,000 last year: and when needed, glasses.  
   Some funds are used to take physically handicapped children to camp in the summer where they can be free to do what they want, with-in the limits of their handicap.  

Thu
06
Sep

"My excitement mounts as Fall months begin arriving" by: Jessica Shepard

   With each day that passes in September, we’re getting closer to my favorite month and time of year. 
   October, November and December are by far my favorite months out of the year. 
   And not just because the weather “usually” calms down and the sun isn’t trying to kill me as much. 
   The fall months also feature several family member birthdays and the usual holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and Halloween. 
   As all of my friends and family know, Halloween is my favorite holiday and I look forward to it every year with excitement that rivals any football fanatic. 
   Any excuse to decorate with skulls, pumpkins and black glitter is the best time of year for me. 
   In fact, I might have worn down mom enough to let my plan and execute a Halloween-themed wedding when the event rolls around. 
   Regardless, Halloween has grown to include more and more days over the years – at least in our household. 

Thu
06
Sep

Consider financial gifts for your grandchildren

   National Grandparents Day is observed on Sept 9.
If you’re a grandparent, you may get some gifts or cards. 
   But you might feel that it’s better to give than to receive, especially when it comes to your grandchildren. 
   And you can make a real difference in their lives by making a financial gift for their future.
For example, you could contribute to a 529 education savings plan, which offers potential tax advantages and higher contribution limits. 
   Plus, as the account owner, you have control over the money – if one grandchild decides not to go to college, you could name another member of the same family as a beneficiary.
A 529 savings plan isn’t the only financial gift you could give to your grandchildren. 
   You also might consider giving them shares of stock, possibly held in a custodial account, usually known as an UTMA or UGMA account. 

Thu
06
Sep

"Reel Reviews: Operation Finale: Mossad’s hunt for Eichmann" by: Jessica Shepard

   “Operation Finale” touches on a part of World War II that is rarely discussed in public view. 
   It’s also a bit of a historical/political thriller that can make you wonder or think about the consequences of war. 
   I’ll start off with saying I really, really enjoyed this film for its skilled actors and the way such a historic event is portrayed. 
   Throughout the movie, you get a chance to see the struggles the Mossad agents have to endure keeping their personal views and ideals out of their work and how Eichmann was able to exemplify that skill during his time as a Nazi lieutenant colonel. 
   But, be warned, there’s plenty of violent imagery consistent with historical accounts of the Holocaust and Nazi “Final Solution” tactics. 
   The film stars Oscar Isaac (who also produced), Ben Kingsley, Lior Raz, Mélanie Laurent, Nick Kroll, and Haley Lu Richardson. 

Thu
06
Sep

"We can always rest easy knowing God is at work" by: Betsy Monico

   I claim and wear many titles: wife, mom, teacher, writer, runner, procrastinator, messy housekeeper, baker, reader, kid at heart, fisherman, and storyteller.  
   One that may not be as obvious to many who see me hopping about in town full of energy is napper.  
   Yes, I am a napper! When my kids were young and we lived in Dallas, I spoon fed them lunch and wanted them to crash.  
   Some moms love naptime so they can catch up on laundry, read, pay bills, or start dinner. I treasured naptime so I too could nap!  
   Nothing stopped me. I wasted many tanks of gas driving Brazos around the block in Dallas praying he would sleep.  
   He decided at a young age that naps were not his thing. I should have known at that point that he would be the worker of the family. God created him that way. 
   My desire to rest did not disappear when my kids got past it. They graduated, but I did not! I still love a nap.  

Thu
06
Sep

"God is greater than our highs, lows: He has a plan for us" by: Caleb Gibson

    God looks for people who will follow His calling and fulfill His will on this Earth.  
   What is God’s will? And what does God define as a blessing and a curse? Knowing the answer can help us understand what to fight for or against.  
   A lot of people see the conclusion of someone’s life and believe that everything that happened must have been for a purpose because everything worked out alright.  
   The reality is that not everything that happens in this life is God’s divine plan. This is why we are so needed on this Earth today.  
   We can look at the life of Joseph in the Bible and see how God took care of him. He went from prison to the palace through the hand of God.  
   But just because Joseph became second in command of Egypt does not mean that everything that happened along the way was God’s will. His brothers sinned by selling him into slavery and telling their father Joseph was dead.  

Thu
06
Sep

"Downtown Bay City shops filled with unique items" by: Shelly Story

   If you haven’t been to downtown Bay City lately, you don’t know what you have been missing. 
   The downtown shops are filled with unique items, gift ideas, clothing, decorations and more that you won’t find anywhere else. 
   You also are in luck if you are looking for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert or coffee. 
   Added to all the everyday reasons to go downtown are the many events, starting with those scheduled for September. 
   The second Thursday of every month is Shop the Block where the stores stay open late with great sales, refreshments and fun from 5-7 p.m. 
   The theme for Sept. 13 is “Senoritas and Margaritas,” and is sure to be a great time. 
   Relay for Life will be downtown for the first time this year with teams walking and raising funds for cancer research from 4 p.m. to midnight Sept. 15. 
   The Heritage of the Americas Festival will be from 1-6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23 in downtown Bay City.  

Thu
30
Aug

"Letter to the editor: Council should be commended for making the mayor accountable"

Dear editor,
   A recent writer to the editor mentioned living in Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Tulsa. 
   I would like to point out that city council positions in those cities are full time jobs with good salaries. 
      Bay City council positions are part-time mostly volunteer positions. 
   Council members are paid a stipend of $85 for each City Council meeting or City Council workshop they attend. Additional time spent on city business is uncompensated. 
   All members serving on the Bay City Community Development Corporation Board receive no compensation, including the city council members.
    I believe the citizens of Bay City are fortunate to have dedicated, conscientious council members who continue to give tirelessly to our community despite public criticism and very little compensation.
   The mayor’s position is a different story.

Thu
30
Aug

"Wondering how Bay City residents fared without air conditioning" by: Jessica Shepard

   Late Monday night, one of my best friends messaged a group of folks on Facebook asking for help.
   Her air conditioner had gone out and she needed someone to help get a window unit for the time being, since she’s medically restricted when it comes to lifting heavy things.
   Since I happened to be the closest and quickest person to help, I loaded up my brother’s spare window unit that we were storing and headed over.
   In less than 10 minutes we had the window unit in and working.
   Which given how long she’d been without air conditioning and how close it was to midnight, she was pretty grateful for anything.
   Personally, I was grateful that we had a little unit for her to borrow and that I was awake.
   I’d hate to think of her trying to make it all night with only a tower fan and one overhead.
   Mostly because I’m a pretty heavy sleeper late at night.

Thu
30
Aug

"A little bit of luck will only go so far in this market" by: John Sample

   Another week and the equities markets just keep moving forward. 
   All the concerns over trade wars and the growing legal problems of the executive branch were brushed aside as the Dow climbed above 26,000 and the NASDAQ moved above 8,000. 
   What in the world is going on?
   The sugar high from the tax breaks was supposed to subside and the GDP would fall back below 3 percent. 
   Not so fast my friends. 
   Just this week an analyst, who had been a critic of the current economic expansion having any legs, came on CNBC and reversed course. 
   He projected over 3 percent growth continuing through 2020. This is the point when I grow concerned. 
   I find great comfort when the majority are predicting gloom and doom. 
   When they start coming over to my side, I figure I need to get off this ship quickly. 
   If nothing else, it really makes me nervous.

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