Columns/Opinions

Wed
01
Apr
Edgar's picture

Tools to get Americans through the COVID-19 pandemic

Tools to get Americans through the COVID-19 pandemic

Small businesses feed, clothe and provide services to our community. They help us thrive, and they employ our friends, family and neighbors. But, today, so many of our small businesses are facing a challenging time because COVID-19 has and will continue to wreak havoc on our entire economy.

Many of us have taken the difficult, but essential decision to social-distance ourselves in order to help slow the spread of this deadly virus. We have forgone our usual daily activities, like going to work and school, dining out at our favorite restaurants, visiting our corner coffee spot or going to our favorite shops. These decisions may seem like inconveniences to us, but they translate into so much more for the small businesses themselves, which are struggling. The entire business model for many of these community stores and restaurants are seemingly void until COVID-19 ceases to threaten the United States and our way of life.

 

Wed
01
Apr
Edgar's picture

Fancy Foo Foo Food

Fancy Foo Foo Food

I’ve always loved being able to identity things. Whether it was guessing state license plates from afar, parts of dead frogs in zoology, breeds of dogs, Democrats or Republicans, makes of cars, kinds of cattle or cats, and crops growing along the road. It’s one reason why I enjoy grocery shopping so much which I’ve done religiously with my wife for 46 years. We’re lucky to live in an area where hundreds of crops are grown and I love being able to identify all the different fruits and vegetables, as well as the cuts of meat. From yards away I can identify Chinese artichokes, bok choy, white asparagus, purple sweet potatoes, purple carrots, kumquats, calabash, fiddleheads, daikon radishes, rutabagas, Hass avocados, kohlrabi, jackfruit, star fruit, tomatillo, tripe, top sirloins and tiger nuts (Insert snarky comment here).

 

Wed
25
Mar
Edgar's picture

More than ever, local businesses need our support

More than ever, local businesses need our support

Friday morning I pulled up to one of the local breakfast burrito places, and wondered “How long will I get to do this?”

With all of us having to socially distance ourselves from each other, work from home, schools closed and the world watching to see what happens with COVID-19, coronavirus, I fear for our small businesses.

During this time, we must not forget them. They are the lifeblood to our country.

 

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Wed
25
Mar
Edgar's picture

The economic impact of COVID-19, coronavirus

The economic impact of COVID-19, coronavirus

The COVID-19, or the Corona Virus, has upset the apple cart for many folks and businesses. Aside from the obvious concerns for the health of those exposed to the virus, the country has reason to be concerned on an economic level. Newton’s third law says that “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

The opposite reaction to social distancing, self-quarantine, and especially government or medically mandated quarantines is found in two places: public panic and overreaction, and the negative effects on businesses, especially small businesses. As people (consumers) are encouraged (or forced) to stay home, they aren’t spending money. This hurts businesses. As people overreact or panic, they purchase in quantities that are excessive and unnecessary. This prevents other consumers from purchasing for their needs. Ultimately, either way, the business suffers.

Wed
18
Mar
Edgar's picture

Rep. Murr Shines a Light on Government Transparency

Rep. Murr Shines a Light on Government Transparency

Let the sunshine in!

This week is Sunshine Week, a week that emphasizes the importance of open and transparent government and the public’s freedom to access information.

It’s a way for taxpayers to shine a light on what’s happening within their government locally, statewide, and federally.

During the previous Legislative Session in Austin, members and I stood in support of legislation that sought to add more transparency to our government.

I was a coauthor of Senate Bill 1640, which addresses open meetings and reinforces provisions of the Texas Open Meetings Act.

This bill also makes it a criminal offense for governmental bodies to knowingly engage in a series of small private conversations outside of a properly called meeting (sometimes referred to as a “walking quorum”).

 

Wed
18
Mar
Edgar's picture

Sunshine Week: State transparency is getting brighter

Sunshine Week: State transparency is getting brighter

It’s Sunshine Week in America, and thanks to the leadership of key legislators, the sun shines brighter in Texas than it did a year ago.

The 2019 legislative session brought reforms to restore muscle to transparency laws that were pounded to mush by appeals court rulings in recent years. More on that in a bit.

Sunshine Week is observed annually to spotlight the importance of government transparency. By law, most government actions are supposed to be readily transparent via public meetings, public records and public notices so citizens can hold their government accountable.

During an election year politicians of all stripes vow to let the sun shine on government business. “I’m all for transparency” is as common a refrain as “I pledge allegiance...” But once they take office, too many officials add a word to that sentence: “I’m all for transparency, but...” And they look for ways to avoid revealing how they spend taxpayer’s money.

 

Wed
04
Mar
Edgar's picture

Governor gives update on actions to combat coronavirus

Governor gives update on actions to combat coronavirus

AUSTIN — As the worldwide threat of novel coronavirus increased, state agencies already were working together to ensure the health and safety of all Texans, Gov. Greg Abbott said Feb. 27.

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Wed
04
Mar
Edgar's picture

Rock Stars

Rock Stars

We live in a galaxy of superstars. Change your sex, write a tell-all-book, be 16 years old and lecture old fogies about how the world will end in 12 years because of farting cows, or “go viral” with your dog playing boogie woogie on the piano and you’ll gain instant worldwide recognition.

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Wed
04
Mar
Edgar's picture

Focus on when the First Amendment protects - and doesn’t

Focus on when the First Amendment protects - and doesn’t

When it comes to free expression and the First Amendment, it’s important for us to know when it protects what we say and write — and when it doesn’t.

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Wed
26
Feb
admin's picture

A Big Bull Shipper

A Big Bull Shipper

Back when I was travelin’ man people used to call me a big bull shipper. At least that’s what I thought they were saying. The reputation was well earned because I used to buy a lot of bulls every year for friends and customers. I worked bull sales all over the country as a ring man and I was the announcer for a big video auction company for over 20 years. I suppose my friends figured that I might say something nice about their consignment and powerful bull battery if I was the one who bought the bulls to begin with. I bought truckloads of bulls for some of the biggest names in the business who I’m sure would not want their names associated with mine.

My friends and neighbors thought as long as I had to go to the sales anyway I might as well do something constructive and buy their bulls. There were other factors at work. Most of my friends are as tight as I am and they didn’t want to spend the $12.99 Motel Six was charging for a room 20 to 30 years ago.

 

 

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