Category: Viewpoints

Personal Finance Article: Six Ways to Save On Your Next Car

Looking for an eco-friendly subcompact or the thrills that come with a sports car? Perhaps the practicality of a sedan or a spacious SUV better fits your needs? No matter what type of vehicle is calling your name, planning your purchase can help you save as much money as possible. Consider these six savings tips while shopping for your next car. Whether you’re concerned about upfront, monthly or long-term costs, there’s something here that can help you. 1. Look for a fuel-efficient car. Buying a hybrid or all-electric vehicle rather than a gas guzzler could help you save money on long-run fuel costs. Plus, state and federal tax credits might give you some additional upfront savings. If you’re sticking to a fully gas-powered car, you can still save money by choosing a fuel-efficient model. Once you pick a class of car and determine your budget, use the Environmental Protection Agency’s miles-per-gallon rating for each vehicle to estimate and compare the monthly fuel costs. 2. Compare the long-term costs of different cars. In addition to fuel, consider the long-term costs of maintenance, repairs, insurance, taxes, depreciation, fees and financing. To help you with the calculations, Kelly Blue Book has a 5-Year Cost to Own tool that lets you compare long-term costs for 2015 and 2016 models. Edmunds’s True Cost to Own® tool does a similar thing for 2010 and newer...

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Reflections from Red Oak Ranch

If you remember the movie, “The Birds,” an Alfred Hitchcock thriller, you will understand this week’s column!  The swarm came in on at least two different evenings, The Colonel saw them both times.  I only saw them once but he told me about it the first time he saw it…I thought he was making it up or was exaggerating the whole thing.  Well, neither of those thoughts was correct. It was almost dusk, still bright enough outside to see everything clearly, but heading towards nighttime.  He told me there was a big swarm of birds that were just flying all around the front yard, over the house, through the trees, everywhere!  He thought they were swallows, the kind we don’t like that make mud nests on the porches.  He said there must have been at least 50.  I thought to myself, the only kind of bird that comes around here in that number is crows and I knew he knew what a crow looked like.  When I looked out I didn’t see anything but he said they had all just left.  So, Friday night, The Colonel came running in saying come look at these birds.  I opened the Sun Porch door that he had just gone out of and when I saw the birds that movie is the first thing that came to my mind.  There was not just...

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Dear Editor: Dog Safety in the Heat

Dear Editor,  Dog Safety in the Heat For those who leave their dogs in the bed of your pick-up, when the temps reach 90 to over 100 degrees, I want you to take off your shoes and stand bare-footed in the bed of the truck. Just because your dog has pads on their feet does not mean they protect the dog from burning their feet. Not to mention the extreme heat from the sun causing a heat stroke. And for the lady sitting in the white pick-up on Wednesday 8/10 with the AC running in Brookshire’s parking lot while your dog suffered in the hot bed of the pick-up; shame on you! Nanette Piotrowski Fairfield,...

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It Seems to Me: Death Before Sin

The first great principle of Bible study is a reliance on the Holy Spirit to guide you. There are other important principles.  One is to let Scripture interpret Scripture rather than letting tradition interpret.  Another important principle is to accept the plain reading of Scripture.  Sometimes that is literal; sometimes it is not.   Genesis 1 and 2 is a case where the plain reading is literal.  Some (perhaps well-meaning) Christians have attempted to find millions or even billions of years between the first and second verses of Genesis.  It is my contention that there is no Biblical evidence for that nor is there any other kind of evidence either. The problem arises when Christians try to help God out by trying to contrive a way to make the Bible match current “scientific” understanding.  I placed quotes around science because it appears to me that this so-called science is not very scientific.  It seems apparent to me that this science has been tainted by the need to retain tenure in teaching positions and also in keeping government grant money flowing.  As Christians, we are always on solid footing when we hold fast to the idea that it is science which must conform to Scripture not vice versa. The plain reading of Genesis 1 gives absolutely no indication that there was a long period of time between the first two verses. ...

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Dear Editor -Health Hazard

  Dear Editor, Has anyone ever driven by the Food Pantry in Fairfield, Texas?  I live across the street on the back side the food pantry!  One occasion I returned home and could not enter my driveway until I got out of the vehicle and asked “please don’t pull forward so I may get to my home.”  Various times I have had difficulty leaving because of trucks, be it food trucks or Dollar Store trucks.  Trash is blown across the street into our ditch, resulting in various types of boxes and paper.  There is always left over food discarded BY THE  DUMPSTER BUT NOT IN THE DUMPSTER.  I have photos available should the editor not feel necessary to print.  I am NOT against the “Food Pantry” and think it is a blessed thing to do for the needy.   We have issues with raccoons and skunks at our home that must delight in their midnight snacks!  I go to city hall and they call and it is eventually cleaned up but the same thing happens over and over again! Should I be able to “twitch” my nose and go back in time, as a little girl, I would see a field across the street with a large oak tree.  Family stories, passed down, tell of Sam Houston once giving a speech under that tree. I believe truth to the story,...

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