Columns/Opinions

Tue
26
Mar
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Carroll Shelby before the Cobra and all that chili

The cover of the Mar. 25, 1957 issue of Sports Illustrated featured a former chicken farmer, the magazine’s choice for “driver of the year” for the second year in a row. Nowadays most people associate Carroll Shelby with the classic “muscle cars” he created or the chili concoction that bears his name. But half a century ago he was the American race-car king who had the audacity to win Europe’s most grueling road race.

Tue
26
Mar
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Senate OKs budget, now falls into the House’s hands

AUSTIN — March 18 was day 70, midpoint of the 140-day regular session of the 83rd Texas Legislature. On March 22, the Senate approved its version of the state budget, a plan to spend $95 billion in general state revenue in 2014 and 2015. The Senate version would spend $7 billion in general revenue more than the current 2012-2013 budget. The full budget is close to $195 billion, counting dedicated funds and federal dollars.

Tue
19
Mar
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Full Senate to consider state budget in legislature

AUSTIN — Continuing to inch closer to the Legislature’s most important act — the making of a state budget for the next fiscal biennium — the Senate Finance Committee approved CSSB 1 on March 13. Some 865 pages in length, the budget tops out at $195 billion, the sum of $94 billion in general appropriations plus federal and dedicated funds. The bill will be debated on the Senate floor this week, and if passed, the document’s next stop will be the House Committee on Appropriations.

Tue
19
Mar
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Houston’s former slave held ex-master in high esteem

A 97-year old ex-slave told a newspaper reporter on Mar. 13, 1938 that his “proudest possession” was the memory of his famous former master, Sam Houston. Jeff Hamilton was born into bondage in 1840 on a plantation in Kentucky. Three years later, his owner moved lock, stock and chattel, which included the little boy, his mother and older siblings, to the Republic of Texas. When Jeff’s original master met an untimely end, his widow replaced him with a real-life Simon Legree.

Tue
12
Mar
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Four Texas brothers break banks and trains, too

Breaking their night-owl habit of working strictly at night, a bandit band of brothers robbed the bank at New Braunfels in broad daylight on Mar. 9, 1922. If Willis Newton can be believed, and that is a big “if,” the Newton Boys were the most successful bank and train robbers of all-time stealing “more money than the Dalton Gang, Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch and the James-Younger Gang combined.” That was the total take from 87 banks and six trains in a five-year crime spree.

Tue
12
Mar
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Work of state budget writers continues in committees

AUSTIN — Movement toward passing a state budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal biennium continued in committees of both chambers of the Texas Legislature last week. After two months of hearings, the Senate Finance Committee on March 7 approved workshop recommendations for a two-year budget of about $90 billion, paving the way to a final committee vote before moving to the full Senate for consideration.

Tue
05
Mar
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Has basketball coach Guy Lewis' time finally come?

 

The Associated Press announced on Mar. 4, 1968 that Guy V. Lewis of the undefeated and number-one ranked Houston Cougars had been elected the college basketball “Coach of the Year” by the nation’s sportswriters. Twenty-one years earlier, the World War II vet played in the University of Houston's very first basketball game. The 6-foot-3 center and team captain scored 19 points that night in the victory over North Texas and averaged 21 points a game to lead the Cougars to a Lone Star Conference championship.
Tue
05
Mar
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Sequestration happens, effects to be felt in Texas

 

Tue
26
Feb
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House votes to supplement Medicaid funding

AUSTIN — Legislation proposing emergency supplemental appropriations to keep Medicaid funded for the rest of the year was approved by the Texas House on Feb. 21. House Bill 10 authored by Reps. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, and Helen Giddings, D-DeSoto, now moves to the state Senate for consideration. Medicaid serves the poor, the disabled, and older Texans. State funding to Medicaid, like education, transportation and other budget areas, was reduced by the Legislature in 2011 to address a projected budget shortfall. But a robust state economy over the past 18 months and brisk tax collections have improved the fiscal outlook. In response, HB 10 proposes to tap the state’s general revenue fund to the tune of $4.8 billion, $3.2 billion of which is designated for acute care services to be administered by the state Health and Human Services Commission, and a little over $1 billion for long-term care services to be administered by the Department of Aging and Disability Services.

Wed
20
Feb
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The process of preparing for a long retirement

When you retire, what’s the money for? Sounds like a simple enough question, but the key is to have a process that turns your unique answer into actionable steps. Typically, it’s designed to help you to achieve a life of independence and dignity. The process helps you determine how retirement may affect your family. It explores the influences of your current or past occupation while defining what recreation activities you’ll pursue in retirement. Also, it serves to outline your life mission — what you would like to do before you die. The process assists with establishing how much money you’ll have to do what you want to do. It guides the implementation and monitoring, helping to make the money available over time.

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