Columns/Opinions

Thu
06
Dec

"Remembering an all-too brief greeting with the Bushes" by: Mike Reddell

     I’ve been fortunate in my reporting career to have met several high-profile personalities, most of whom were politicians of different stripes.
   But I did get to meet former President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara when their airplane landed in Kerrville in the early 1990s.
   I was on city council then and part of an entourage greeting the Bushes who were en route to the Admiral Nimitz Museum in Fredericksburg.
   A 23,000-square-foot George H.W. Bush Gallery was dedicated there in 2009.
   Getting to meet Bush was an honor and I can assure you he and his wife were gracious and friendly, greeting all of us personally.
   As an Aggie, I’m glad he placed his library at A&M, enabling it to be part of his rich legacy.
...
   The Austin American-Statesman’s Tuesday edition had a lengthy article on the LCRA and its downstream water plans.

Thu
06
Dec

"Not thrilled with the workplace Christmas music takeover" by: Jessica Shepard

   As I’ve said before, I’ve got a weakness for listening to music while working.
   Depending on the urgency of the deadline I’ll listen to everything from instrumental soundtracks and rock music to 80s classics and catchy pop renditions.
   But, country music and seasonal/Christmas music are my hard limits.
   And since it’s just the first week of December, I’ve heard enough Christmas music between retail stores and my mom.
   Mom has been playing Christmas music since before Thanksgiving and it’s been a struggle not to hide every CD I can find. 
   Unfortunately, she’s taken to using YouTube to listen to hours-long collections online and it’s driving me crazy.
   There’s only some many versions of “Joy to the World” or “Little Drummer Boy” that I can stand.
   Now, to be fair, I’ll endure instrumental Christmas music more than some filled with actual lyrics.
   And I’m especially fond of acapella carols.

Thu
06
Dec

"Stock index improves to its best in 7 years" by: John Sample

   Well things certainly look better in my brokerage account after last week. 
   The Dow climbed over 1200 points and moved close to 26,000. 
   For the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index, the week was the best in seven years with stock indexes being up four out five days. 
   All of this was attributed to the G-20 meeting and hopes that the U.S. and China would move toward a trade agreement that avoids even higher tariffs. What happened was an announcement that there would be a 90-day hiatus starring Jan. 1 to work on a new trade deal. 
   That sent the equities markets off to a strong start this week until more rational eyes speculated that nothing has or will be accomplished. At least the 25 percent of tariffs were postponed. 

Thu
06
Dec

Three factors to consider when making charitable gifts

   During this season, gift-giving is probably on your mind. 
   But before you donate financial assets to charitable groups, you’ll want to consider three key factors.
   First, think about taxes. 
   By donating appreciated assets, such as stocks, you may receive a charitable deduction for the full market value of your gift. 
   Also, you may not be subject to the capital gains tax you might have to pay if you eventually sold the stock. 
   However, with recent tax law changes raising the standard deduction significantly, you may be less likely to itemize deductions, so talk to your tax advisor before making any large gifts.
   Your second consideration is your portfolio balance.
   If you repeatedly donate a certain type of asset, such as growth stocks, it could affect your investment mix in a way you hadn’t planned. 
   Consult with a financial professional to help ensure you maintain balance in your portfolio.

Thu
06
Dec

"Gather this month to be encouraged by God’s glory" by: Betsy Monico

   I have lots of stuff on my mind today. Thankfully, my mind has room to have “something” on it. 
   My college daughter suckered me into editing two of her essays that were due sooner than later and worth a major part of her grade. 
   Her God-given talents lie in speaking and not writing; therefore, my evenings have been consumed with editing. 
   Coincidentally, today is her 19th birthday. 
   Other than keeping my brain busy with grammar, it has been quite blah! Maybe… I am in a mid-40s slump. It could be the “need to shop for Christmas-but don’t have any extra money slump.”  
   However, my slump is most likely though due to a personal pity party that has resulted from my own sin and not always adjusting well to this season of life. Several factors usually contribute to where we find ourselves, if we are honest. 
   Most of life is spent saying we are good, when we are really not good.  

Thu
06
Dec

"The veil is torn, we all have access to being close to God" by: Caleb Gibson

   Ever been watching a great show on DirecTV and lost the signal? 
   Early television had an antenna on top that you adjusted to get the proper signal. In a similar way, if you do not see God for who He really is, you will not be getting the right signal. 
      The problem is that we need to change the channel and renew our mind. God doesn’t change but our awareness and perception of Him does. 
   God’s presence is everywhere, but His manifested presence during the time of old covenant was in the holy of holies. Why was it said that no man could see the face of God? Just as our eyes can be damaged by looking at the Sun, I believe that our mortal bodies cannot contain the glory of the Lord. 
   For many years they knew that no man could see the face of God. Yet 2,000 years ago, Jesus was born in small manger and even scruffy shepherds could see God’s face. 

Thu
06
Dec

"Reel Reviews: ‘Robin Hood’ has tons of action but isn’t the story you remember" by: Jessica Shepard

   “Robin Hood” is the latest attempt at telling a centuries-old story and it flops at that.
   The film is rated PG-13 for extended sequences of violence and action, and some suggestive references and has only grossed $49 million against a budget of $100 million.
   Robin Hood is an action-adventure film directed by Otto Bathurst and written by Ben Chandler and David James Kelly, from a story by Chandler. 
   It is based on the tale of Robin Hood, and follows his training by John to steal from the Sheriff of Nottingham. 
   The film stars Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Ben Mendelsohn, Eve Hewson, Tim Minchin, Paul Anderson and Jamie Dornan. 
   Robin of Loxley (Egerton), Lord of Nottingham, enjoys a good life with his lover, Marian (Hewson), before he is enlisted by the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham (Mendelsohn) to fight in the Crusades against the Moors. 

Thu
06
Dec

"The Fast and Furious in slow motion" By Aaron Sumrall, PhD County Extension Agent Agriculture & Natural Resources

   I know this article’s title makes absolutely no sense until you think about the time of year and it is coming from an Agriculture Extension Agent. 
   What I mean by the title is this time of year is full-tilt wide open with not enough time in the day, but can seem to be in slow motion with many tasks needing to be accomplished with no specific timeline. 
   Now that I have confused you, I will try to bring this back around. Yes – spring and summer are not on the radar right now, but what you do now will help you enjoy that time of the year just a little more. 
   Test your soil. When grass is growing and looking good everyone is happy, but when things start to go south my phone lights up. The first question I will ask, is have you tested your soil. Plants are a living organism that needs feeding. Young plants are like teenagers in that they eat constantly and can lose performance quickly when quality nutrition is not available. 

Thu
29
Nov

"Tidehaven, Van Vleck fans will show up in force for playoff" by: Mike Reddell

   There’s plenty of excitement generated by the UIL Regional playoff between Tidehaven and Van Vleck this Friday night.  
   Never mind the two District 14-3A-2 teams played Oct. 12, with a Tiger loss. 
   Tidehaven didn’t lose a game after that and Van Vleck continued its string of wins. 
   Now they’re three deep in the playoffs – a mark of success for both. 
   The game will be in Rosenberg’s Traylor Stadium and the fans of both teams travel well. 
   There were questions I heard and read over why the game won’t be played at Memorial Stadium here. 
   I’ve learned a lot of factors are considered in playoff site selection. 
   One primary consideration is most coaches’ preference for an artificial turf field, which Memorial Stadium doesn’t have.  
   The new Memorial Stadium will when it’s constructed at BCHS. 

Thu
29
Nov

"Illness lingers after Thanksgiving break and makes work hard " by: Jessica Shepard

   Unfortunately, our non-traditional Thanksgiving celebration was weird and out of the ordinary. 
   It featured both mom and I getting sick and a little contagious. 
   Both were variations of each other; a respiratory infection with a touch of bronchitis and a kidney infection of sorts. 
   Either way you look at it, it wiped both of us out and left Mike as the only adult not heavily medicated or surviving on tissues for the entire break. 
   It also changed our dinner plans to chicken and dumplings and a lot of soups instead of decadent lasagna. 
   To be fair, I haven’t been this sick in months and it also forces me to take inventory and slow down a bit during a very busy time. 
   That also means there was lots of sleeping going on and little else, unless we wanted to watch a movie. 
   Even then, the desire to do much was slim to nothing which is hard to settle down and stick to. 

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