Columns/Opinions

Thu
07
May

"COVID-19 threat has to loom large amid reopening plans" by: Mike Reddell

   For a pandemic that has forced most Americans to shelter away from work, there are many moving parts to COVID-19 and few are encouraging.
   Specifically, I’m referring to state and national reports that show the disease is picking up steam in the number of cases and deaths.
   COVID-19 cases and deaths in Texas spiked last week and so much is unknown, yet Gov. Abbott pushed ahead with reopening Texas last week.
   Nationally, even the Trump Administration is projecting a rise in deaths.
   Look, I’m looking forward to Texas reopening as much as anyone else.
   COVID-19 and the resulting quarantine has severely punished the economy.
   Matagorda County’s predicament is that it had the state’s first reported COVID-19 case and death and that put us in the state’s spotlight.

Thu
07
May

"Mother’s Day deserves more than just a weekend" by: Jessica Shepard

   It’s Mother’s Day this weekend and I’m at a loss for what to get or give my mom. 
   Luckily, my brother came back home and is on hand to do handyman tasks that neither myself nor Mike is really prepared for. 
   I’ve never been really good at that sort of thing, but have no problem with cooking or baking and basic indoor chores. 
   And I can lift heavy things – on that note, had they allowed girls to compete in powerlifting when I was in high school, I would have kicked butt. 
   Still, that’s really about the limit of my household skills. 
   You know outside of things like painting or changing a light bulb or something. 
   That didn’t stop mom and my brother from buying a replacement door to hang for a day’s worth of pain and suffering a week in advance of Mother’s Day. 
   Well, at least from where I was standing. 

Thu
07
May

"Sometimes change will happen whether you like it or not " by: John Sample

   April went out on the upside adding 13%. 
   The old adage to buy in April and sell in May seemed correct, yet again, as last Friday saw the month of May dropping significantly on the first day of the month trading. 
   That made two down days in a row last week wiping out all the gains. 
   I know the President seemed optimistic about the future of the economy but it is hard to jump on the band wagon.
   The Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett, revealed at his annual shareholders meeting that he had thrown in the towel on the airline industry. 
   He just felt that the industry would take years to recover and that it may never be the same. Moreover, the industry is now deeply in debt with little or no traffic. 
   I would like to say that he is being overly pessimistic, but I don’t plan to fly anytime soon and neither does anyone I know. 
   This can change quickly but it sure seems to be the new normal.

Thu
07
May

Smart moves for women who own businesses

   Mother’s Day is upon us. 
   As we all know, mothers have a difficult job. 
   And many mothers also run their own businesses – another demanding task, especially during these days of the coronavirus. 
   What special challenges do women face who embark on careers as business owners? 
   For one thing, many women business owners still have family responsibilities – not only for their own children, but often for elderly relatives. 
   These duties can create a time crunch, which can affect a woman’s ability to work toward her financial goals. 
   If you’re a business owner, though, you can take steps to help yourself. 
   For one thing, try to network with other women in business – you might get some valuable tips. 
   Another key step: Set up a retirement savings plan for yourself, such as an owner-only 401(k) or a SEP-IRA. 
   Also, be particularly careful when you invest. 

Thu
07
May

"We learned some valuable lessons from shutdown" by: Betsy Monico

   I still remember where I was on 9-11. 
   I was at Agnew Middle School in Mesquite in a meeting with the parents of twin 7th grade boys. Their dad was a military man all the way. 
   We knew that going into the meeting. His sons spoke often of his background. 
   Somehow during the conference, we found out about the first plane. His demeanor instantly changed. 
   He ended our meeting. My team of teachers headed to the lounge for the news. 
   Our principal was wise. He told us not to discuss it with the kids. 
   Smart phones did not exist; therefore, they needed to wait until they made it home with their parents to find out what was going on. Alan Jackson’s song comes to mind. “Where were you when the world stopped turning that September Day?” 
   People got right after 9-11. There is no other way to put it. Churches were full. Patriotism trumped everything. 
   Life became more appreciated and valued. 

Thu
07
May

"Shed upsetting names and go with the name God calls you: Yahweh" by: Caleb Gibson

   While I was at the Bethany Conference in Louisiana, I saw an old friend whom I hadn’t seen in 10 years. 
   Sadly, I couldn’t remember his name. His name was Estafan, but I couldn’t remember it. 
   I felt bad scrambling through Instagram to remember his name. When I saw him the next day, I shouted his name across the room and his face lit up. 
   Your name is your favorite word in the dictionary. A name is important to a person. 
   What name do you look for in souvenir racks of key chains, mugs, or spoons? Your own.
While we read our Bible in English, our Old Testament Scriptures actually were written in Hebrew. 
   To understand God more, let’s understand His name. Let’s ask this question, “What is God’s Hebrew Name?” 
   God has many names and I encourage you to look for them. 
   In this column, we will to study the word Yahweh. 

Thu
07
May

"Reel Reviews: ‘Guns Akimbo’ a blood-soaked mayhem fight for justice, freedom" by: Jessica Shepard

   I have to admit that it’s hard trying to find a movie to rent that I hadn’t seen in theaters before COVID-19 struck our county. 
   Luckily, Redbox keeps a fairly decent supply of well-known and little-known movies on hand. 
   It’s just a struggle to decide which on gets watched this week. 
   “Guns Akimbo” is a New Zealand action comedy film written and directed by Jason Lei Howden. 
   The film is rated R for strong bloody violence throughout, pervasive language, drug use, sexual references and brief graphic nudity and clocks in at a total 98 minutes run time. 
   It stars Daniel Radcliffe, Samara Weaving, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Ned Dennehy, Grant Bowler, Edwin Wright, Mark Rowley, Rachel Ofori, Set Sjöstrand, Milo Cawthorne, Richard Knowles, and Rhys Darby. 

Thu
07
May

"The road back to normal: Traffic heavier, people aren’t wearing PJs"Aaron Sumrall, PhD Matagorda County Extension Agent – Agriculture/Natural Resources Texas A&M AgriLife

   As I write this, I can tell that something has changed outside. 
   For weeks the traffic on Texas 35 right outside my window was markedly reduced due to the alterations to our daily routine brought on by COVID19. 
   Traffic is much heavier and, from what I can tell, folks are not in their PJs but work attire with a different purpose to their travel – Back to work, finally! 
   The road back to normal following the restrictions set in place for our health will not happen immediately but, depending on the nature of “normal,” may take a while and look completely different following this significant input on the timeline of our lives. 
   Now is really the time to remain patient and recovery from this will happen.

Thu
07
May

"Spirit of Travel: National Tourism Week" By Heidi Martinez City of Bay City Tourism Manager

Contributed photo
Bay City Tourism Manager Heidi Martinez models the new red "Love Where You Live" shirts as part of National Travel & Tourism Week. She encourages everyone to wear red in support of local hotels, small businesses, restaurants and other tourism businesses. For more information on the shirts contact the City of Bay City Tourism Department at 979-323-1176.

   Travel. The word doesn’t typically strike a chord the way it has these past few weeks. 
   The coronavirus pandemic is having an overwhelming effect on the U.S. travel and tourism industry. 
   Locally is no exception. Tourism businesses have had to make difficult decisions and the workforce has been directly impacted. Our hotels, restaurants, and small businesses are some that have been hit the hardest during this time. 
   Each year we celebrate National Travel & Tourism Week to bring attention to the importance of the tourism industry and its economic influence. 
   In 2020 we are honoring the spirit of travel in recognition of the industry’s strength, selflessness, and resiliency. 
   The spirit of travel isn’t found only in other countries across the sea, it is right here where we live in Matagorda County. 

Thu
30
Apr

"Navigating a Saturday from courthouse protest to beach" by: Mike Reddell

   Saturday was quite the day of contrasts for me.
   Around noon I drove to the courthouse square to photograph a group protesting orders closing businesses and keeping people at home to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
   I had just minutes earlier read an email from the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) reporting that another three people had been stricken with COVID-19, the disease spread by the coronavirus.
   The next day (Sunday), by the way, there were two more confirmed COVID-19 cases – both of them were children under five.
   Getting back to Saturday’s protest, the handful of protesters – six by my count – held up signs declaring “Free Matagorda County now,” “Texans would rather die on our feet than live on our knees,” “Open our economy Now!!” and “The Bill of Rights is not conditional.”
   Interestingly, I was taking photos from across 7th Street and the heavy traffic occasionally made that difficult.

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