Commentary

Tue
24
Nov

Sorting and giving

Volunteers, in the front row from left to right, Hermina “Minnie” Car-rion, Philomena “Pat” Boulette and Dottie Weber are the longest serv-ing volunteers at St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store. Other volunteers include, from left to right, include Carol Smith, Joy Noble, Gladys Edwards, Francis Pfiester, Diana Koch and Hailey Koch. – Stand-ard-Radio Post/Ken Esten Cooke

 

By Christine Granados

 

Lottie Weber, Hermina “Minnie” Carrion and Philomena “Pat” Boulette reflect the spirit of the holiday season year round through their volunteer efforts. These three women are not only the oldest working volunteers at the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store, but the longest serving.

The trio has been working a combined total of 96 years at St. Vincent’s. Weber and Carrion have volunteered there for 36 years each and Boulette for 24.

                The store’s namesake St. Vincent de Paul is the Catholic patron saint of charitable societies. The thrift store first opened in 1970’s inside the late Margaret Schnappauf’s garage. The store moved to a space on Tivydale Road, then later expanded to Main Street and moved to its present location on West Live Oak Street in 2012.

Tue
24
Nov

Small business are our economic engine

As “Black Friday” creeps onto Thanksgiving Thursday and beyond, solicitations from the country’s wealthy and marketing-savvy big businesses hit us at every turn.

Yet instead of driving down I-10 to hit the mega-retailers after you digest your bird, we hope you will give thanks for and patronize our small businesses right here in Fredericksburg.

In our country, we tend to treat large-company CEOs like royalty or rock stars. Yet for every billionaire who makes their mark on CNBC or Fox Business, there are thousands of bosses outside the spotlight who do what it takes to keep revenue flowing and expenses in check enough to make for a profitable bottom line.

For many small-business owners, their craft is a labor of love.

Tue
24
Nov

Destroy the terrorists, but not American ideals

By Ken Esten Cooke

 

Immigrants, whether voluntary or in a refugee situation, have always had a rough go. Irish, Italians, Polish and many others were always viewed with a degree of derision by those who had been here longer.

Even some long-settled Germans were viewed with suspicion when their Vaterland was at war in the last century.  

It seems fear is the biggest motivator of opinion today, especially among our presidential hopefuls hoping for air time. And if we let it, could well be a driver of policy.

People are scared, understandably so. But we shouldn’t let fear become larger than ourselves, our values, no matter the threat. One has to admire the French response to the recent attacks in Paris: Go out and enjoy “liberte, egalite, fraternite” (liberty, equality, fraternity).

Tue
24
Nov

Heading out for one last battle

Cinematic Considerations by Matt Ward

 

After four feature-length films about the ravages of state-sponsored murder and outright civil war, today’s premiere young adult movie franchise has come to a close with the release of “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2.”

What makes this franchise stand apart from its young adult dystopian apocalypse franchise brethren – most notably the “Divergent” and “Maze Runner” empires – is the casting of then-unknown actor Jennifer Lawrence. The 2012 Academy Award winner Lawrence plays the leading role of Katniss Everdeen, a Joan of Arc-esque female warrior, who is forced into combat time and again for the survival of her family and her people.

Lawrence brings a gravitas to the role that few other actresses her age could aspire to. She is able to create a complex character in a genre lacking in depth.

Wed
18
Nov

U.S. must take fight to terrorist factions

By Ken Esten Cooke 

 

The main lesson of history during this era may be “be careful what you wish for.”

The U.S. deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and has tried to rid Syria of its own leader Bashar Assad. Yet nature abhors a vacuum, and those supposedly good moves have been filled with more ruthless leaders, ones who are willing to export their evil intentions.

Iran, Russia and others on the “do not trust” list are filling voids, as are Islamic State terrorists. It is difficult to know who to trust in that region, but ignoring the problem will not help.

With this particular strain of terrorism, there can be no trust. This depraved ideology relies on amping up the fear factor, using social media to post gruesome killings to try and recruit more lost young Muslim men to their sick cause.

Wed
18
Nov

Boycotts, schmoycotts: It's just a red cup

By Richard Zowie

 

It’s too bad getting offended isn’t a lucrative profession. If it were, many Americans — conservatives, liberals, Christians and atheists alike — could start working at 22 and could easily retire at 30.

I’ve been a Christian since 1981, and I’d like to focus on Christians getting offended. It seems like a regular ritual in my circles to be told something’s offensive and to act appropriately with a boycott.

Granted, Jesus tells us in John 15:18 the world would get nasty and hateful, but I don’t remember any New Testament passages where He tells us to respond by getting offended and boycotting. Matthew 10:14 talks of walking away from people who absolutely won’t hear the gospel, while 1 Corinthians 5:11 talks of not having fellowship with a Christian who insists on dwelling in sin.

Tue
10
Nov

Nation must get a grip on healthcare costs

By Ken Esten Cooke
 

Popular syndicated financial columnist Scott Burns hit the nail on the head recently when he cited a recent study of lifetime healthcare costs. He said most politicians and many in healthcare miss the point about how healthcare costs have spiraled out of control.

“There is a limit here, and we have reached it. The cost of healthcare has become an administrated tyranny, a national extortion. It threatens our ability to lead a normal life. People live in fear of any kind of health event, in fear of changes in insurance policies, in fear of cancellation of policies.

“People live in fear of health care itself. It’s time for change. Big change.”

Tue
10
Nov

Second day of deer camp and the gang's all here

By Sherrie Y. Geistweidt

 

While the 2015-2016 big game hunting season began last weekend, there was a time when it would only be opening this weekend.

Stepping back in time 75 to 80 years or so, it would be opening bright and early Monday morning.

Yes, there was a time when, instead of the first Saturday in November, the season opened on Nov. 16, no matter on which day of the week it fell.

All of the die-hard hunters planned their vacations around that date so as not to miss the first day of the season. Sometimes, school students would be absent with a “mysterious” bug.

And, here in the Hill Country back in the early years, it was illegal to shoot spike bucks or does. Add to that the fact that there weren’t many deer to begin with, and it was a real challenge for a hunter to even see a legal buck to shoot.

Tue
10
Nov

A love letter to James Bond

 By Matt Ward

For all of the explosions, near death experiences and high speed car chases in the blockbuster smash hit “Spectre,” Daniel Craig’s fourth performance in the longest running film franchise in history is — at the end of the day — a love letter to James Bond.

There’s the iconic hand-to-hand combat scene on a train lifted from “From Russia With Love,” gadget-rigged luxury sports cars and picturesque secret bases stashed away in remote foreign locales.

Expert fans can probably find a reference or two from every single previous Bond film, right down to the skeleton suit Craig dons in tribute to the recently deceased Geoffrey Holder, who played the memorable villain Baron Samedi in Roger Moore’s Bond debut “Live and Let Die” in 1973.

Wed
04
Nov

Movie that's a game changer

Netflix is changing the entertainment business. Again.

After revolutionizing how we consume home video with their DVD mailing and online streaming services, the Internet mega-power broke barriers with their original television content, winning Emmys for “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black.” This massive change allowed viewers to binge watch an entire season within days of watching the season premiere while never having to stop for a commercial break.

Netflix is back again with another groundbreaking endeavor, seeking to revolutionize feature films once again by producing their own full length feature films and releasing them simultaneously online and in theaters. While a major threat to the movie theater industry, such efforts could be game changing for audiences and for independent filmmakers trying to expand their reach.

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