Columns/Opinions

Thu
12
Jul

"Economic measures better, but don’t overlook potential problems" by: John Sample

   I was absent across the pond last week playing golf in the southwest portion of Ireland. 
   I don’t know your feelings about global warming, but 85 degrees in Ireland is flat out hot for those people.
   Moreover, they rely on Mother Nature rather than an irrigation system to provide water for the grass. The courses were very dry and brown.
   I hate to say it, but it had a very Texas look to it. That makes it a quick transition into the announcement this morning that Texas was rated the No. 1 state for business in the U.S. as calculated by CNBC.
   It does not take much of an economist to note that oil prices have risen over 60 percent in the last year, climbing above $70 per barrel for West Texas Intermediate before settling above $65. 

Thu
12
Jul

What should you do with an inherited IRA?

   Individual Retirement Accounts, or IRAs, are quite popular – which means you might inherit one someday. 
   But what should you do with it?
   First, be aware that you will be required to take at least minimum distributions each year. 
   Depending on what type of IRA you’ve inherited, these amounts may be taxable, so before you start accepting them, consult with your tax advisor.
   Of course, you could take out more than the required minimum and use the extra money to help with your other investment goals, but again, you’ll need to consider tax consequences.
   Also, you are free to change the investments within your inherited IRA to fit more closely with your risk tolerance, time horizon and long-term goals.
   Finally, you may want to consult with a financial professional to determine how your newly inherited IRA fits in to your overall financial strategy. 

Thu
12
Jul

"Reel Reviews: Sicario: Day of the Soldado earns its R-rating" by: Jessica Shepard

   “Sicario: Day of the Soldado” serves as an unnecessary, but bloody sequel to 2015’s “Sicario” film and I’m glad they made the film anyway.
   Soldado was released June 29 and has grossed over $43 million worldwide.
   The film features Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, and Jeffrey Donovan reprising their 2015 roles, with Isabela Moner, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, and Catherine Keener joining the cast. 
   The storyline alternates between the drug war at the U.S.-Mexico border and an attempt by the United States government to incite increased conflict among the cartels.
   As you can imagine, with such a violent plot, the film is rated R for strong violence, bloody images, and language.
   Every single action scene is an exchange of curse words, bullets and violence – definitely making that R-rating worth it.

Thu
12
Jul

"God's sacrifice of his only son shows how powerful his love is for us" by: Betsy Monico

   Life for me is predictable. I know that may sound comical since there are six of us here. 
   My husband’s job is stable. I begin year four this August at the elementary in the library. I flit around and have a great deal of fun everywhere I go, but I do not take many risks. 
   My kids are involved in various activities, but two of them drive and move around independently. 
   Confession…I partner with a few moms on a daily basis. We take kids here and there without even asking for permission. 
   We go into each other’s homes without asking. We help ourselves to whatever food is on the counter. It is beautiful! 
   With this being said, today totally threw me for a loop. I mean a complete, 360 loop…like riding the Shock Wave at Six Flags over Texas.  Those two loops are nothing to mess with! 

Thu
12
Jul

"Because of the Cross, we are able to walk in freedom" by: Caleb Gibson

When the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by Abraham Lincoln, all American slaves were freed. 
   It had been two and a half years since this executive order had been issued. Yet there were documented cases where some slave owners tried to hide this news, and slaves remained in bondage because they didn’t know they were free. 
   According to the National Public Radio, “Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, with 2000 troops and a message - slaves were free.”
   Many slaves were held in bondage because the news was hid. In a similar way, I believe the enemy is doing the same thing today. He wants to hide this knowledge that you have been made a new creation in Christ. I’m here to proclaim the news to you today that because of the Cross you are made completely new! You are no longer a slave to sin, but you are a servant of the king! 
   Now walk in the freedom you already have!

Thu
12
Jul

"County Agent: Dynamics of Matagorda County fields, farms" By Aaron Sumrall, PhD County Extension Agent Agriculture & Natural Resources

   Just a short two weeks ago, farmers in Matagorda County were measuring cracks in the ground up to and exceeding seven feet because of a concerning stage of drought.  
   Oh, how things can change in such a short period of time. 
   In the past two weeks most locations across Matagorda County have seen more than a foot of rain in a culmination of just two rainfall events.  
   Obviously, rain is critically needed in all areas of agriculture but excesses can be catastrophic in certain instances. Matagorda County crops are currently in one of those instances.  
   Grain sorghum is very near harvest-ready where excess moisture levels affect maturing grain unique to the crop.  
   The producing seed head of the plant is exposed at the top of the plant and open to the elements.  
   When the crop is at the current stage, excess moisture followed by prolonged periods of high humidity and cloud cover, the grain cannot dry.  

Thu
05
Jul

"Symphonic metal combines music from opposite ends of spectrum" by: Jessica Shepard

  Even though I like nearly all genres of music, there’s one that is nearer and dearer to my heart than most – Symphonic Metal. 
   Now, the basic definition of “symphonic metal” is that it’s a type of rock music featuring heavy metal, classical, symphonic and sometimes even operatic elements. 
   The technical definition says that it’s subgenre of heavy metal music which combines the heavy drums and guitars of metal with different elements of orchestral classical music, such as symphonic instruments, choirs, keyboards and sometimes a full orchestra. 
   So, it not only speaks to my love of rock music but the choir nerd in me as well. 
   Granted, I haven’t been in a choral group for years, but, some of the teachings still ring true and linger. 
   I guess that’s why I’m not terribly fond of auto-tuned pop music. 
   Digitally synthesized and tuned voices just make me cringe! 

Thu
05
Jul

"Half-century high school reunions: A brief sojourn in time travel" by: Mike Reddell

   The weekend of my 50th high school class was over as quickly as time has traveled since we graduated a half-century ago.
   Graduation night in Antler Stadium in Kerrville somehow is made more memorable by what my sister-in-law told me.
   She told me, more or less, that time from that point on would begin speeding up.
   My sister-in-law then, as today, is the sister I never had.
   And her words were something of a prophecy, or perhaps an advisory.
   They were the same as I’d heard from my parents, who were the same age as my contemporaries’ grandparents. 
   And, yes, they were right about time.
   So, as we gathered for the reunion at the  YO Hilton in Kerrville, faces from the past came swimming up, aided a lot by badges bearing our images from the 1968 annual.

Thu
05
Jul

Help protect vulnerable family from scam artists

   It’s unfortunate but true: Older people are vulnerable to financial scams. 
   How can you help protect your older relatives? 
   For one thing, encourage them to have all checks, such as Social Security, directly deposited into their checking or savings accounts. 
   And you might try to get your name on those accounts, too, if your older family members are willing. 
   You’ll be able to review statements for suspicious activity. 
   You might also get your loved ones on a “do not call” list, which can offer some protection against telephone scammers. 
   And be careful when hiring caretakers for your loved ones. Insist on references, and check them out. 
   Be suspicious of caretakers who show a great interest in your loved ones’ financial affairs. 
   Here’s another suggestion: Consider asking your older family members for power of attorney. 

Thu
05
Jul

"Reel Reviews: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom reverts to stale themes" by: Jessica Shepard

   After the success of 2015’s “Jurassic World” movie, I had high hopes for the newly released sequel “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.” 
   Even with the film rated PG-13 for intense sequences of science-fiction violence and peril and has generated over $934 million since it opened June 22, I think I might have reached my limit on dinosaurs. 
   Fallen Kingdom features Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, B. D. Wong, and Jeff Goldblum reprising their roles from previous films in the series, with Rafe Spall, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda, James Cromwell, Toby Jones, Ted Levine, Isabella Sermon, and Geraldine Chaplin joining the cast. 
   The film opens six months after the Jurassic World theme park incident on Isla Nublar, a small team of mercenaries arrives on the abandoned island to collect DNA from the remains of the Indominus rex, skeleton at the bottom of the park’s lagoon. 

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