Columns/Opinions

Thu
30
Apr

"Learning new lessons every day doesn’t stop with a pandemic" by: Jessica Shepard

   With COVID-19 still dominating my life – business and private – it’s a struggle to find a silver lining.
   If anything, this entire experience has reinforced certain life lessons that I was taking for granted or had forgotten about altogether.
   I mean, part of me probably already knew the lesson or experience I was presented with, but, I’d forgotten or had to dig deep to recall the proper way to handle the situation.
   And I have to admit that every time I’m presented with some road rage-inducing moment or episode, it’s a short-lived deep breath in and out before I’m cursing at the other driver.
   I’ve got a bit of a short fuse when it comes to following the law when driving and paying attention to one’s surroundings.
   Plus, how do you not see a bright red vehicle crossing an intersection with the right of way on their side?

Thu
30
Apr

"Beware the coming public versus private sector battle" by: John Sample

   We gave back a little ground last week in the equities markets and that almost felt good. The volatility remained but for once Friday came and went and the markets were positive. 
   Most weekend came with the bears ruling the roost as no one wanted to be long the market over the weekend. 
   On top of that the early trading in the equities market was positive. I still believe that the tipping point was April 15. 
   I know that most have set May 1 as a date to possibly open up society but I am looking at the statistics demonstrating drops in many states in the numbers impacted by the corona virus. 
   The real attention is going to move to the public sector that has had a paid vacation to a certain degree during this self-distancing period. 
   What is happening is that these bureaucrats are starting to look toward budget time coming this summer with the fiscal year starting in October. 

Thu
30
Apr

"Lessons learned from kids show importance of building up each other" by: Betsy Monico

   Many locals from Fairfield traveled to and from San Antonio to watch the Lady Eagles Basketball team win state about six weeks ago. 
   We never dreamed after spring break that we would not reenter our school buildings and celebrate the girls and their amazing victory! 
   Covid-19 stepped in and changed the school year of 2019-2020 in ways we never could have expected. 
   The elementary kids miss their teachers. The teachers are dying to hug their babies and get them in straight lines for recess. 
   The intermediate crew might thank God that the Starr test did not happen, but they miss school too. 
   The junior high is on pause as well. The 8th graders will head across the street next fall to the high school without finishing out their crazy, adolescent days as junior high kids. 
   Zoom lessons took the place of face to face instruction. Everyone is working hard. 

Thu
30
Apr

"King Josiah one of Bible’s great kings and was a picture of Jesus" by: Caleb Gibson

   We know the story of David and Goliath, Daniel and the Lion’s Den, and Moses and the burning bush. 
   But what are some underrated stories in the Bible? One story that may be overlooked is about an 8-year-old who became king. 
   He is one of the greatest Kings of Israel; his name is Josiah.
   2 Kings 23:25 says, “Before him (Josiah) there was no king like him who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the laws of Moses; nor did any like him arise after him.” (Italics mine).
   What an amazing statement.  
   What made Josiah a good king? He followed the Lord with his heart. C.S. Lewis once said, “Look for Christ and you will find Him. And with Him, everything else.”
   When he was 16 years old, “he began to seek the God of his father David” (2 Chronicles 34:3). May we be like Josiah and look for Christ and find peace.

Thu
30
Apr

"Reel Reviews: ‘Like a Boss’ highlights importance of communication between friends, coworkers" by: Jessica shepard

   I’m not going to lie, this isn’t really a family-friendly film or something for most adult audiences. 
   But, I highly encourage giving it a chance for a few good laughs. 
   And with everyone practicing self-distancing, COVID-19 updates every few hours and plenty of stress – laughter is my go-to medicine. 
   There’s plenty of laughs to be had, especially if you’re a fan of Tiffany Haddish or Rose Byrne. 
   The film is rated R for language, crude sexual material, and drug use. 
   Like a Boss is a comedy film directed by Miguel Arteta, written by Sam Pitman and Adam Cole-Kelly, and starring Haddish, Byrne, Lisa Kudrow, Billy Porter, Jennifer Coolidge, and Salma Hayek. 
   Two friends with very different personalities run their own beauty company, Mia&Mel. Mia (Haddish) is more practical and inventive, while Mel (Byrne) wants to earn her fortune quickly and live a lavish lifestyle. 

Thu
30
Apr

"Despite present crisis, it’s time for hurricane preparedness " By Nicole Pilson Coastal & Marine Resources Texas A&M AgriLife Matagorda County

   Howdy Matagorda County! 
   I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy during this unprecedented time. 
   If you are like me, the word “preparedness” has taken on a new meaning. 
   We have now had to learn how to be prepared in a global pandemic, something I am sure none of us thought we would see in our lifetimes. 
   But as a community in coastal Texas, preparedness is something we all keep in mind. 
   In the midst of the coronavirus craziness, I have almost forgotten about the upcoming hurricane season. 
   The season will kick off June 1 and end on Nov. 30.  
   There are 16 named storms, including eight hurricanes, forecasted for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. 
   This does not mean we all need to run out to the stores and overstock our pantries and bathrooms - especially given the nation’s current situation. 

Thu
23
Apr

"Old photography tip applies to teleconferencing" by: Mike Reddell

   Monday was a day for local governments’ teleconferencing.
Commissioners Court, plus Bay City and Van Vleck ISD trustees all held their meeting with officials dispersed for social distancing purposes at different locales.
   It’s a strange world indeed and not the easiest format to cover, but that’s the hand everyone has been dealt under this pandemic.
   One of my earliest lessons as a young news photographer was to avoid photographing from a vantage point looking up.
   It’s almost always preferable to take a photograph of someone straight on, or even from above the subject.
   The reason? Well, the vantage point of photographing below a person is rarely flattering – especially as people, ahem, get older.
   I got off on this path after watching various people in these teleconferencing episodes.
   Several people are looking down at the camera that beams their images to everyone else participating in the forums.

Thu
23
Apr

"Missing music streaming site, looking for other ways to cope " by: Jessica Shepard

   As I’ve mentioned before, I have a really nagging and gnawing problem with silence when I’m working. 
   I’ve always got to have some sort of background noise, but, prefer music. 
   If it’s a TV show or a movie, I’m more likely to get distracted and end up watching it instead of working. 
   Apparently, such an inclination is also a symptom of Attention Deficit Disorder. 
   Color me a little bit surprised, but, overall I figured it was some sort of disorder. 
   And that’s not a professional diagnosis, but something I’ve corroborated with close friends who have ADD/ADHD, anxiety, depression and a variety of other illnesses. 
   Sadly, one of my favorite music streaming sites finally went down and is no longer providing service to its users. 
   And that really ticks me off! 
   The site, called 8tracks, was a hub of independent musicians and music to catalog into playlists to enjoy. 

Thu
23
Apr

"Pushing ahead in the worst of times for market" by: John Sample

   As things weren’t bad enough, this week opened with West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude prices dropping below $12, which is the lowest price since 1999.  The price drop on Monday was down 33% falling over $7. 
   It would nice to blame some bad guy, but the real culprit is supply far exceeding demand. 
   We literally have no place to store crude. 
   The Permian Basin will be crippled for quite some time as there is no quick fix. 
   Not wanting to be all bad news, Netflix had one of its largest increase in subscriptions.  Amazon is hiring to meet the demand. 
   An unfortunate reality is that there will be winners during the most stressful times. 
   As an investor it is important to remain cautious but to also explore where we are headed in the future. 
   This pandemic will have a lasting impact. 
   Many will continue to work at home. 
   Education will move toward online courses, especially for college degrees. 

Thu
23
Apr

How should millennials respond to market decline?

   The coronavirus crisis has unsettled everyone, as we think about the health of our loved ones. 
And if you’re in the millennial generation, you might also be worried about your financial future, given the decline in investment prices. 
   How should you respond to what’s happened? 
   First, enjoy the benefit of having time on your side. 
   With decades until you retire, you’ve got many opportunities to overcome the periodic drops in investment prices, and your investments have time to grow. 
   You might also want to invest systematically by putting the same amount of money at regular intervals into the same investments. 
   This strategy can help you reduce the impact of volatility on your portfolio, although it can’t guarantee a profit or protect against loss. 
   And it can give you a sense of investment discipline, though you’ll need to consider the ability to continue investing when share prices are declining. 

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