Columns/Opinions

Thu
31
May

"Blessings, benefits and the bane of rainfall" By Aaron Sumrall, PhD County Extension Agent Agriculture/Natural Resources

   The most recent weeks have seen the cracks in the ground swelling to the point that you could lose your pocket knife if you drop it. 
   All things changed quickly for many around Matagorda County beginning Tuesday, May 24, with observed rainfall totals up to six inches in some places in the county while others received none. 
   The rainfall was much needed and the blessings and benefits are easily known and observed, however, the bane of rainfall can be observed in days and weeks to follow should certain conditions exist. 
   High levels of moisture followed quickly by high heat and low-evaporation rates will set the stage for skyrocketing fungus levels. 
   Current crop situations are variable at best. The rain fell at the right time for much of the corn crop as kernels are filling. 
   The stress on corn from minimal rainfall leading up last week’s rainfall could have effects on yield, but the significance may not be known for some time. 

Fri
25
May

"Texas A&M AgriLife Extension serving Matagorda County" By Aaron Sumrall, PhD Matagorda County Extension Agent

   Texas A&M AgriLife Extension is positioned through the State to assist citizens with decisions that they may face that affect all areas of their lives. 
   Through the application of science-based knowledge, we create high-quality, relevant continuing education that encourages lasting and effective change to and in the lives of the citizens of Matagorda County. 
   The assistance provided to you though your Extension office is vast to include services associated with crops, livestock, horticulture, turf, wildlife and natural resources, marine ecology and management, aquaculture, pastures and forages, family sciences, family nutrition, healthy life styles, budgeting, emergency management and planning, 4-H and youth development, and so much more. 
   With the vision of helping Texans better their lives, the Matagorda County Extension office is poised, ready, and willing to speak with you about decisions that may be leaving you in a quandary. 

Fri
25
May

"Trying to stay awake on my big adventure" by: Jessica Shepard

   For the first time in several months, I finally got a chance to experience something new that wasn’t work related.
   Most Saturdays I just work early at the library then come home for a nap and get to work doing whatever else needs to be done after that.
   Instead, my friend Jessie offered to let me tag along on a trip to Houston with her friends to visit a few stores I’d never heard of or been to.
   The hardest part of the mini road trip was not falling asleep as she drove after my morning shift.
   After several months of working at the library on Saturdays, it’s become habit to just pass out for a nap as soon as I get home.
   And even though it was bright and hot outside, she endured my need for high-powered air conditioning despite how cold easily affects her.
   We got a chance to shop at 99 Ranch Market and Japan House.
   Both are Asian import stores with various grocery items and home goods.

Fri
25
May

"Facebook, Google faring well despite intense scrutiny" by: John Sample

   Well so much for selling in May and going away. 
   The Dow climbed back above 25000. We had not seen such heights since mid-March.
   It goes without saying that most of the strength came from the FANG stocks. 
   This is remarkable as both Facebook and Google are under intense scrutiny for harvesting personal information and monopoly practices, respectively.
   Apple has climbed to near $190 per share, which is an all-time high. Netflix continues to find strength as does Amazon. 
   This comes with chip stocks such as Nvidia leading the tech sector. It’s hard to fight the continued positive earnings reports.
   It did not hurt this week that China announced cutting some of its tariffs on various imports that impact U.S. companies. 
   Besides the Executive branch pulling back on trade rhetoric concerning NAFTA, the economic news could hardly be better. 

Fri
25
May

Saving for college? Consider a 529 Plan

   Do you know about 529 savings plans? 
   If you are not familiar with them, here are a few of their key benefits:
   First, a 529 plan’s earnings are not subject to federal income tax, as long as withdrawals are used for qualified education expenses, such as tuition and room and board. 
   Keep in mind, though, that you may be subject to ordinary income tax and a 10 percent federal penalty on earnings not used for these expenses.
   Here’s another benefit: If you’ve established a 529 plan for a particular child or grandchild who eventually doesn’t go to college, you may be able to switch beneficiaries.
   Plus, you’re free to invest in the 529 plan of any state. 
   But if you invest in your own state’s plan, you may receive some state tax benefits, such as deductions or credits. 
   Additional benefits also may be offered.
   Be aware, though, that 529 plans may affect financial aid packages. 

Fri
25
May

"Reel Reviews: ‘Deadpool’ definitely worth watching if you saw the first" by: Jessica Shepard

   First off, if you haven’t seen the first Deadpool movie, you should remedy that as soon as possible before seeing this one.
   After all, there’s no point in seeing a sequel first and just confusing yourself with the middle of the storyline.
   The film is directed by David Leitch from a script by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, and Ryan Reynolds, with Reynolds reprising the lead role alongside Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz, T.J. Miller, Brianna Hildebrand, and Jack Kesy.
   Deadpool 2 picks up right where the first one left off – with the mercenary mutant hunting down bad guys and still living with his girlfriend Vanessa (Baccarin.)
   After working as Deadpool for two years, Wade Wilson (Reynolds) fails to kill one of his targets on his anniversary with Vanessa. 
   That night, after the pair decide to start a family together, the target tracks them down and kills Vanessa on accident.

Fri
25
May

"Ask God for faith and to let his light shine on you" by: Betsy Monico

   I started off today with dishes. Most likely, I will end the day with dishes. We consume large quantities of “real food” here. 
   Even with paper plates, we still dirty up pots, pans, cups, and large amounts of silverware and Tupperware daily. 
   While I was scrubbing away, my husband watched whatever college softball game was on. I stayed focused on my job; however, one play in particular made me turn off the water and move closer to the television to catch the replay. 
   With a tied ballgame and a hard ball hit to the outfield, all eyes were on the centerfielder. She perfectly tracked the ball and performed an Olympic style, vertical jump to snag the ball, and right before it went over the fence. 
   The commentators celebrated and said it would be the catch she would never forget. One of them went on to say that “somethings in life are intangible and can never be forgotten or relived.” 
   This catch was that!  

Fri
25
May

"If God can form your physical body, why not allow him to guide, form your life?" by: Caleb Gibson

   If you were flying in a plane over a deserted island and as you came across a portion of the island, you saw on the sand rocks in formation of the letters, “H-E-L-P.” 
   By seeing the rocks in order, you would assume that there is someone down there that is in need. Perhaps you turn to toward the co-pilot and say, “Look there on the beach those rocks spell out help. We better radio the coast guard and investigate. ” 
   And if your co-pilot said, “Oh, you know the waves must have just thrown the rocks in that order. There is no one down there. Those rocks are there because the random placement of the water.” 
   Now the word, “help” is a very simple design. Now even in this simple design we recognize intelligence. Surely when it comes to much more complex designs it is irrational to deny the truth that there is a creator.

Thu
17
May

"Rembering how things were 50 years ago, I think" by: Mike Reddell

   I might have mentioned it before, but my high school class is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
   Yes, indeed, a half century ago I was like so many teenagers before and since - I couldn’t wait to graduate and be free from the crushing confines of high school and be out in the world.
   At least I think that’s how I thought. 
   At any rate, I’m going to Kerrville this weekend for a round of golf and camaraderie.
   Why, I’ll be able to brag about my brand new hip and the fact I’ve dropped two pounds since I started my class reunion weight plan last January.
   The golf game should be interesting - it’s been 11 years since I played. 
   The Big C played a role in that, but I’ve been swinging a club in our pasture with my collie caddy.
   She’s a big help. Soon as I hit the ball - there’s some wait if I don’t - she chases it down, brings it to me in her mouth, keeps it there and then secrets it away somewhere. 

Thu
17
May

"Conversations with pets and nicknames" by: Jessica Shepard

   Does anyone else talk back to their pets?
   I mean, my cat Domino is a crybaby and always meowing for attention.
   In fact, she often doesn’t stop until someone picks her up and lets her cuddle with them.
   She is the only cat I’ve ever known to do that.
   Plus, we check to make sure it isn’t anything important like food, water, or a clean litter box.
   Then again, we’ve only ever owned six cats in all, so, that’s hardly an accurate representation of the species.
   Domino also meows as she walks from one end of the house to the other to try and find me.
   Not that it’s hard, I’m usually in my room or occupied with work.
   Sometimes we even have whole conversations before she manages to reach me.
   And, to tell the truth, it’s not just her.
   Mike has this weird voice that he uses when talking to the dogs, Padme and Keechi.
   It’s almost like he’s speaking gibberish with an “animated baby tone.”

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