"Matagorda Bay oyster reefs protect habitats, provide storm protection" By Nicole Pilson Coastal & Marine Resources Texas A&M AgriLife Matagorda County

   We are in the midst of the Texas oyster season, meaning it is likely you have seen an armada of oyster boats working the reefs trying to get their daily sack limit. 
   While many people think of oysters and immediately turn up their noses or dismiss the little guys, many people (myself included) love oysters and hate to see the season end. 
   But aside from being delicious or detested and providing essential nutrients (i.e. vitamins B12 & D, selenium, and iron) to our diets, oysters also provide essential habitat and water filtration services to our bay.
   The eastern oyster (C. virginica) may have a bad reputation for cutting feet/hands, scraping the bottom of boats, or causing illnesses, but the resilient oyster is so much more than what it appears. 
   These bivalves are a crucial component of bay health and host various marine species. 

"Starbucks soon to be one of many local coffee options available" by: Jessica Shepard

   With the recent reveal of an incoming Starbucks coffee shop, there’s been some discord on Facebook. 
   A lot of it has been politically charged and full of whining. 
   I’ve heard all the complaints about needing to shop local first, that Bay City can’t support more than one coffee shop, and more. 
   To be perfectly honest, I also heard the same kind of complaints when “Kate’s Coffee, Tea & More” came into town last year. 
   Main Street Coffee and Wine Bar has been a mainstay downtown for as long as I can remember. 
   And for a long time, it was the only place to get a fancy latte or frappe! 
   But, between then and now other options have arisen for diehard coffee drinkers. 
   To be completely truthful, I’m not even that much of a coffee drinker. 
   For me, I love the way it smells and enjoy the many options available for customizing. 
   But, it’s never been my go-to morning pick-me-up. 


"Look what a cold can do to world’s economy " by: John Sample

   We are seeing the impact of having a significant portion of the high tech supply chain being in one country. 
   This week, Apple announced that they are being hit on the production side of the equation, along with the demand side. 
   This closely approximates the fears expressed over a trade war’s impact on the U.S. economy.
   What we found is that price adjustments are absorbed more readily than supply restrictions. 
   Who could have predicted that a virus could cause this much damage?
   It was announced this week the Chinese government will call in cash and use it as fuel. 
      It shows you what can be done in a short time frame with a centrally controlled government.
Working amid all the virus concerns in China is Tesla. The car, rocket and battery maker has doubled in value in less than a year. 
   There are projections that the stock value will rise from its current value at over $800 per share to $7,000. 


Can you improve your relationship with money?

   In your life, you’ll have all sorts of relationships – with your family, your friends and even with civic groups and charitable organizations. 
   But have you ever considered another key relationship – the one you have with money? 
   As you know, money can stir up strong emotions. 
   You might get nervous about spending or feel concerned that you’re not investing enough. 
   But you’ll actually help yourself by taking the emotions out of your saving, spending and investment decisions. 
   One way to do that is to develop a solid financial strategy, based on your goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon. 
   By sticking to a long-term strategy, you’ll be less likely to make impulsive money-related moves. 
   In your relationship with money, you don’t have to go it alone – you can enlist some help from your partner or other family members, who can help you keep on track toward your short- and long-term goals. 


"It’s important to be still sometimes and let God take action" by: Betsy Monico

   My love affair with the sun began years ago.  
   My generation put iodine in baby oil and sometimes climbed onto rooftops with hopes that the black shingles would attract even more rays our way. 
   Even though I am in my late 40s now and should cut back my sun exposure,  
   I love it. I am not sure if I lack vitamin D or not, but I tell myself that is the issue. 
   Truth be told though, I just like baking in the heat and the sun on my skin. 
   Today was absolutely beautiful! The birds were singing.  
   I listened to a woodpecker in the distance and swore to myself that two birds on opposite sides of the house had a conversation going. 
   Since I am fighting a cold, a gift from my son, I intentionally spent the entire day outside on my lounge chair with my book, water bottle, and my dogs. 
   I feel better already. I considered working in my flowerbeds, but decided that could wait.


"Reel Reviews: ‘Fantasy Island’ provides new updates, twist ending" by: Jessica Shepard

   I have to confess that I’ve only watched re-runs of the 1970s TV version of “Fantasy Island” and even then, that was as a child. 
   Admittedly, I don’t honestly even remember many details about those episodes. 
   But, I saw the “Fantasy Island” movie based on vague nostalgic memories and excitement from the trailer. 
   The movie starts out rather slow and boring, but, as each guest experiences their fantasy something starts to go wrong and that’s when things get more interesting. 
   Fantasy Island is a supernatural horror film directed, co-produced, and co-written by Jeff Wadlow. 
   It is a horror reimagining of the television series of the same name, it stars Michael Peña as island overseer Mr. Roarke, alongside Maggie Q, Lucy Hale, Austin Stowell, Portia Doubleday, Jimmy O. Yang, Ryan Hansen, and Michael Rooker as guests on the eponymous island. 


"Make changes now to avoid cancer risk"By Gabrielle Washington, M.S. Matagorda County Extension Agent Family and Community Health

   The word cancer strikes fear in our lives. Fear because we all know of friends or family members who have dealt with the disease, and we are afraid that we, too, could be a victim. 
   Many people believe that cancer is a disease that you do not have control over, and that cancer may be inevitable because of family health history.
   The American Institute for Cancer Research states that cancer cases could be reduced by about one-third if everyone ate a healthy diet, was physically active every day, and maintained a healthy weight. 
   For most Americans, taking control of one’s life to achieve these behaviors may mean lifestyle changes. It may sound complicated, but it doesn’t have to be as hard as one may think. 
   A good starting point is to make dietary changes by choosing a varied meal plan and reducing the serving sizes of food. 


Edward “Bubba” Cook announces for Precinct 1 County Commissioner

Edward “Bubba” Cook

   Bubba Cook was born in Bay City, Texas and has lived in Matagorda County PCT 1 his entire life.  
   Bubba grew up working with heavy equipment as his family was involved in the agribusiness sector for several generations and as a certified electrician he has the experience necessary to address infrastructure needs in precinct operations. 
   And as a longtime business owner, Bubba has the budgeting experience it takes to conduct county business in a safe and fiscally efficient manner and he appreciates the concerns of the taxpayers.


Becky Barrett Cook announces run for County Tax Assessor-Collector

Becky Barrett Cook

   Becky was born and raised in Bay City. She took an accounting position at a legal and accounting firm shortly after high school, from 1981-2010.  
   She retired in May, 2010 to help take care of her mother.  
   The family has owned & operated Airtech Electric since June, 1998 to present as well as Bubba’s Bottles from 2005-2013.
  In 2011 she began part time contract accounting for several people. 
   She retired a second time in March, 2019. Later in the year she was approached to consider this office and after much prayer, her families support she felt she was ready to go back to work. 
   Becky was born and raised in Bay City, married to Edward “Bubba” Cook, and has a son Cody(Ashley), daughter Casey(Wayne) and 4 precious grandchildren Kailyn(8), Case(6), Barrett(5) and Camden(5). 
   “I am an active member at Calvary Baptist Church, Family of Faith Sunday School Class and WMU.  


"Changing seasons means changing home, body scents" by: Jessica Shepard

   I think the hardest part about changing seasons or holidays at our house is when it comes down to fragrances.
   I’m talking about what scents we us as plug-in air fresheners, potpourri, candles, incense, room sprays and so forth.
   Already, mom and I have preferred differences anyway.
   She seems to prefer clean scents and florals while I like more of the fruity or sweet-smelling ones.
   It’s really hard to find a happy medium for winter or Christmas-themed smells for the house.
      Mom’s got a love affair for evergreen and woodsy smells, while I prefer spiced or citrus ones.
   So, with the onset of Valentine’s Day and spring just around the corner, we’re making a few changes already.
   While neither of us can understand why people like anything that smells like burnt marshmallow, firewood, or chocolate, we’ve settled on nice floral scents like roses or peonies for now.


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