Columns/Opinions

Thu
25
Mar

"Life could seem fuller if we embrace the smaller things" by: Betsy Monico

   It’s the little things in life that mean the most to me and honestly make life more fun! 
   My four kids are all home today. They are currently playing basketball, taking pictures, and helping us with dinner. 
   The “little thing” about them is really a massive thing, a true miracle! They enjoy each other’s company and get along. Adulthood and teenage life suits them well. 
   I felt like a referee 24-7 during their early years.
Friendly card games always resulted in hard feelings, uncontrollably fits, and heated fights. 
   Movie nights and football games out back were no better! 
   If you ask one of us for a guided tour of our house, you would see the battle wounds that it endured. 
   If the walls, ceiling, table, and our windows could talk...
Onto another little thing - I love yard work during the spring and summer. 
   Thankfully, I tolerate the heat and drink enough water to keep me hydrated. 

Thu
25
Mar

"Reel Reviews: ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ has overall positive message for viewers" by: Jessica Shepard

   I expected the theater to be more crowded during spring break, but I did snag an early afternoon screening of “Raya and the Last Dragon” to enjoy by myself in a mostly empty theater.
   That decision was spurred on by not wanting to participate take part in Disney’s experiment on “premiere access” of newly released films on top of monthly subscribers’ usual costs.
   Plus, it costs me less than $30 to see the movie and get a drink; though I’m sure if you’re going out with friends or family you might want to consider watching the film at home.
   Raya and the Last Dragon is a computer-animated fantasy action film produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Walt Disney Animation Studios, and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.
   It’s rated PG for some violence, action and thematic elements and lasts 107 minutes long.

Thu
18
Mar

"Disappointment dampens Spring Break enjoyment" by: Jessica Shepard

   Even though we’re still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m pretty disappointed in the number of people celebrating Governor Greg Abbott’s “opening” of Texas and lifting of the statewide mask mandate. 
   Just as Italy is threatening its citizens with quarantine again and several new virus strains of COVID are popping up faster than the public can get vaccinated Abbott has left Texans vulnerable again. 
   Everyone in our household has either had their first vaccine shot or is scheduled to have it done by the end of this week. 
   We’re still also wearing our masks everywhere we go when we cover meetings, events, and games. 
   And though we don’t like the way they feel or how hot they make our faces, we know that there have been some positives to note. 
   I have asthma, chronic bronchitis and if I’m too active, a mask just hinders my ability to breathe – but, I do carry my emergency inhaler with me at all times regardless. 

Thu
18
Mar

"And just like that, everything in investments changed" by: John Sample

   So much for winter in Texas as the Redbuds started blooming this weekend.  
   You have to love living in Texas. Sort of like noting that NFL in Texas actually stands for Not for Long.  
   I say that today, but when summer starts in a week and lasts till October, I will have to recant such frivolous thoughts.  
   Maybe it is just the feeling of feeling like we are moving out from under this dark cloud that we have lived under for a year.  
   It was a year ago on March 11 that the world seemed to hit the brakes and go off the road. Well I am here to tell you that the economy is far from tapping the brakes any longer. 
   It will be interesting this week to see what the Federal Reserve chairman has to say about the economy.  
   There is a growing chorus of concerns about inflation not only coming but that it is here and we are not paying attention.  

Thu
18
Mar

PSA: Time for some financial spring cleaning

   Spring is just about here. 
   This year, as you tidy up your home and surroundings, why not also consider some financial spring cleaning? 
   You could begin by “de-cluttering” your investment portfolio and replacing investments that no longer meet your needs with ones that do. 
   It might also be a good move to “dust off” your investment strategy. 
   Over time, this strategy may have gotten outdated, especially if you’ve experienced significant changes in your life, such as a new job, a new child or even a new plan for retirement. 
   By periodically reviewing your investment strategy, you’ll be able to clarify your vision for the future. 
   Finally, just as you clear your garage or storage areas of hazardous objects, you may want to check for dangers in your financial situation. 
   To name just one: Are you leaving your family unprotected in case something happens to you?  

Thu
18
Mar

"As time passes quickly, pursue things to bring peace, build others up" by: Betsy Monico

   I cannot fathom the fact that today concludes Spring Break 2021. I blinked….fall and winter flew by. 
   Tomorrow I venture to work again and will gladly reunite with my students and teacher friends. 
   My two high school students may disagree with my enthusiasm when the alarm clock goes off bright and early in the morning. 
   Hey, I am just thankful that school still exists after our break. Last year, we left for Spring Break and never returned. 
   The Class of 2020 collectively dreamed of leaving this town and high school behind, but begged in unison to re-enter and finish “their” year in traditional fashion. My senior, Brazos, asked on numerous occasions if I could talk to someone for them. 
   They desperately wanted to see their teachers and walk the halls one more time. 
   Braz cracks me up. His faith in me as an influencer was trivial compared to Covid. 

Thu
18
Mar

"Reel Reviews: ‘Coming 2 America’ misses mark 30 years too late" by: Jessica Shepard

   I feel like the thing about sequels is that they shouldn’t be too far from the original movie that they’re following. 
   Granted, there’s a handful of animated movies with at least a decade between the first and second films. 
   And waiting that long on an animated film makes a little more sense to me than some of these other live-action movies. 
   After all, animated films take twice as much work as a live film and usually has stricter rules to follow. 
   But, as fan of the original “Coming to America” film from 1988, I thought I’d give its sequel “Coming 2 America” an honest try. 
   Plus, Eddie Murphy’s always been able to make me laugh. 
   Between still cleaning up after Winter Storm Uri and trying not to get sick before the entire family can get a COVID-19 vaccine, it’s difficult to find much comedy lately. 

Thu
11
Mar

Letter to editor: What was Governor thinking by releasing restrictions

Dear Governor Abbott, 
   With the vaccination campaign steadily progressing, we were filled with cautious optimism as it appeared we were on the verge of gaining control over the coronavirus!   
   Then you took us by surprise and riotously pulled the rug out from underneath our feet!   
   This immediately raised the baffling question of “WHY did you opt to release Texas from any and all Covid-protection restrictions… just as we were generating momentum in the war against this devious enemy?”  
   A football analogy which struck me hard following your press conference in Lubbock was, “We were beginning to dominate a cunning and powerful opponent, but mysteriously opted to leave the game in the 3rd quarter!”    
   Governor, your recent proclamation has me, and countless other citizens, fearing that Texas will experience another dark, disturbing surge in Covid cases within a few short weeks.   

Thu
11
Mar

"Daydreaming leads to rambling and want of a new holiday" by: Jessica Shepard

   Spring Break always serves to remind me that we’re about halfway through the second semester of the school year and soon we’ll be baking under Texas’ familiar sweltering summers. 
   It’s also kind of hard to believe that we just endured the worst winter storm in decades just two weeks ago. 
   That aside, I maintain that we need a Spring Break for adults. 
   It doesn’t even have to be the entire week, but, like the weekend at the end of regular Spring Break would be good. 
   Then again, that sounds like a lot of red tape and boring meetings to have to sit through to get approved. 
   But, it is nice to daydream about late Monday afternoon! 
   I mean, I don’t think I’d do anything productive or go to a party or something. 
   Unless mom wants something done and we’ll honestly just spend ours getting the pool ready for summer use. 
   However, I’m all about self-care and would fully embrace it for myself that weekend. 

Thu
11
Mar

"Note: Things are looking better until they don’t " by: John Sample

   If you thought that crypto currency is a passing fad, it’s time to wake up and hear the music. We are being introduced to NFTs, an acronym for Non-Fungible Token.  
   Essentially digital art is now sold for millions of dollars. The Token is proof of ownership that will be held by a particular site and protected like Bitcoin ownership.  
   For the rest of us, you can download the same piece, print it out and hang it on your wall.  
   I believe that a form of royalty - much like music - will be instituted where a song can be played anywhere, but a small sum will be paid to the artist that created the song.  
   Times are changing and they’re not about to slow down.  
   For all of my old friends, nostalgia for the old days won’t impress your grandkids.  
   Not only are they on speed dial to fix your phone and computer they will need to be there to explain everything else.  

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