Columns/Opinions

Thu
03
Oct

"Matagorda Bay assessment aims to bridge knowledge gaps" by: Mike Reddell

   A presentation on the preliminary stages of the Matagorda Bay Ecosystem Assessment drew an interested audience of about 60 people in Palacios last week.
   The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts (CPA) contracted with Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi in 2019 to conduct research on two main areas.
   One is “to inform the development of effective conservation strategies for endangered sea turtles.
   And, second, “to perform a multi-disciplinary assessment of West Matagorda Bay.” 
   That multi-disciplinary approach was evident at the informational meeting and discussion at the Matagorda County Navigation District Thursday, Sept. 26.
   In addition to the researchers and scientists from CPA and Texas A&M Corpus Christi, there are researchers from that University’s HARTE Research Institute, Texas A&M-Galveston and the research firm BIO-WEST. 

Thu
03
Oct

"Spoon Theory aides in understanding energy-sapping illnesses" by: Jessica Shepard

   As someone with many friends who have anxiety and depression, we’re often comparing our methods for coping with said problems.
   Even though each different instance of anxiety garners its own coping mechanism and some aren’t interchangeable, but shared information is always helpful.
   My friends often ask me how I manage to do my job when I have to cover events with large crowds.
   And I really don’t have much of an answer aside from telling them that I just do my job and spend time after recharging my introvert batteries.
   Most nod along and understand and only a few have ever needed a better definition.
   That need lead me to scour the almighty Internet for a better description.
   I came across something called “Spoon theory.”

Thu
03
Oct

"Focus past the distractions" by: John Sample

   The third quarter was a wild ride. Despite innumerable distractions the various indexes and averages will close out the third quarter near record highs.
   One should note though that the NASDAQ had the worst week in the last two months.
   This is a reflection of the Congressional scrutiny that many of the FANG stocks have undergone.
   It should also be noted that many recent Initial Public Offerings have dropped below the issue price.
   It is understandable that investors could be distracted with trade wars, impeachment inquiries, slow growth in Europe and unrest in the Middle East.
   The Wall of Worry is starting to look like the Great Wall in China. It is no wonder that there is so much capital in cash.
   That cash though can be the fuel for moving the market upward. 
   Investors are perplexed as to whether to run or jump on the train before it leaves the station.

Thu
03
Oct

How to become a long-term investor

   When you invest, you will experience declines in the financial markets.
   But the longer you hold your investments, the less impact these drops can have on your portfolio.
   So take some steps to become a long-term investor.
   First, only invest money you won’t need for a long time.
   This will help you overlook the inevitable down periods in the market.
   Also, keep your focus on what matters most to you.
   For example, if you want to travel extensively when you retire, keep thinking about what that might look like.
   By doing so, you’ll find it easier to keep working toward your goals.
   Finally, don’t spend too much time examining short-term results in your investment statements. Instead, look at some of the report’s longer-term trends, such as the possible increase in the number of investment shares you own.

Thu
03
Oct

"Morning, noon, night we need to pray for solutions to our problems" by: Betsy Monico

     After I spent seven years in the classroom at Agnew Middle School in Mesquite, the Lord awarded me the desires of my heart with a part-time job in education at Region 10 Service Center. 
   I trained new teachers by creatively delivering the various modules they had in place regarding effective teaching. 
   I remember a video we watched of Harry Wong. 
   He stressed the importance of procedures. You teach them, practice them, and live by them. Procedures make life run more smoothly. I needed them in my classroom! 
   Well, I got a second chance and my own library full of books, kids, and classes to practice procedures. 
   Everything we do at FES now is based on procedures. When classes walk in…they know where to go. 
   After I read to them, they know that the bottom row stands up first and files out to the yellow lines across the library. 
   The top row then stands, always more crowded, and does the same. 

Thu
03
Oct

"Always pray with reverence to the Lord and without fear" by: Caleb Gibson

   The Lord’s Prayer is the most familiar prayer we have heard. People everywhere have heard it, yet it holds so much truth. 
   It’s similar to how people live by a train. 
   If you never were around one you may say, “Do you hear that sound?” 
   “What sound?” they may reply. You will tell them, “The train! The train! How do you not hear it?” 
   They’ll say, “Oh, well I live by it. I hear it all the time, so I am not aware of it.” 
   In a way to look at the Lord’s Prayer is to see what we have become used to. 
   Let’s look at the first part of the Lord’s Prayer.
   Jesus once said, “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven….And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors…“(Matthew 6:9-13).
   Now the Lord’s Prayer is actually not a prayer that Jesus would have spoken. 

Thu
03
Oct

"Reel Reviews: ‘Rambo: Last Blood’ continues sad story of John Rambo" by: Jessica Shepard

   The final chapter in John Rambo’s blood-soaked saga gives a lethal dose of revenge and predictable Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder behaviors to end the series.
   The film is rated R for strong graphic violence, grisly images, drug use and language.
   Last Blood is based on the character John Rambo created by author David Morrell for his novel First Blood.
   The story follows the titular Vietnam War veteran (reprised by Sylvester Stallone) as he travels to Mexico to save his adopted daughter, who has been kidnapped by a Mexican cartel and forced into prostitution.
   A sequel to Rambo (2008), it is the fifth installment in the Rambo franchise and co-stars Paz Vega, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Adriana Barraza, Yvette Monreal, Fenessa Pineda, Marco de la O, Genie Kim, Joaquín Cosío, and Oscar Jaenada.

Thu
26
Sep

"Fall traditions: Some stick around while others fade" by: Jessica Shepard

   The first official day of autumn was Monday this week.
   Sadly, there’s not much change in the temperatures or abundance of mosquitos.
   I even overheard mom whining for cooler temperatures last night and that’s a rarity coming from her.
   Oddly enough mom spent the first few years of her life in Minnesota before migrating quickly to Texas – or so she says!
   Still, there has to be some sort of happy medium where we can experience all four season somewhere?
   I’m all for drier heat instead of all this moisture that sticks to everything.
   Regardless, with autumn comes a lot of traditions – fall decorations, pumpkin-spiced everything, pecan harvests and a slew of local heritage.
   Homecoming is a big deal across all school districts, but, I have to admit that I wasn’t one to have a lot of school spirit when I was a student, much less now.

Thu
26
Sep

"Is there a better alternative to capitalism?" by: John Sample

   We are back within striking distance of record-high levels for the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock-index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average. 
   We are only 1% short of those previous levels. The return is credited to belief the China trade war can reach a positive conclusion. 
   I don’t see the Chinese agreeing to anything until after the election next year. 
   I don’t see the Administration giving in, since the U.S. economic climate is far better than predicted. 
   What many are realizing is that our trade partners are Mexico and Canada. Combined, these two countries far exceed China. 
   That is no reason to ignore the fastest-growing market in the world, but it does temper the fear.
   What will be interesting is the impact from Europe’s slowing economy. 
   There is little the Central Banks in Europe can do to stimulate the economy. 
   They are virtually at zero or negative rates, so there is nowhere to go. 

Thu
26
Sep

How can you make your money last during retirement?

      Like many people, you might be concerned about having enough money to cover your retirement years.
   What can you do to help alleviate these fears?
   Your first move is to create a retirement income strategy.
   As part of this strategy, you’ll need to ask yourself a few key questions.
   First, how much of your overall retirement income will come from your investment portfolio, including your IRA and 401(k)?
   These accounts are important, but you don’t want to rely exclusively on them, as their value will fluctuate.
   Second, how much can you afford to withdraw from your portfolio each year?
   Since this withdrawal rate is a key factor in how long your money will last, you’ll want to make sure you don’t take out too much, especially during the early years of your retirement.
   And third, how many sources of income can you count on?
   You’ll have Social Security, but you may require another income stream.

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