Columns/Opinions

Wed
20
Mar
Edgar's picture

Hill Country Naturalist

A lot of folks seem to think that the natural landscape or habitat isn't beautiful enough or interesting enough or different enough so they "improve it" by introducing exotic or non-native species. Some of these introductions are indeed harmless and create no significant problem in the native habitat other than taking up space that native species might otherwise occupy. And, here I am talking about both plant and animal species.

But the problem is that we usually don't know enough to predict the effect a given exotic species will have on a particular native environment. Here is an interesting story to illustrate the point.

You probably know that several years ago wolves were re-introduced into Yellowstone National Park. Until wolves were exterminated in the earlier part of the 20th century, they had been part of the Yellowstone natural habitat for hundreds, probably thousands of years.

 

 

 

Thu
14
Mar
Edgar's picture

The Richland Springs Report

I sprang all my clocks forward, but I didn’t notice a spring forward in my steps. I am intending to accomplish a multitude of chores that have needed help for months now. The Indian Wells tournament is underway, and I intend to watch as much as possible and still get the tasks done. I can wash windows while watching tennis through the clean glass.

My chickens have arrived thanks to Donna Taylor. They are lovely black and white striped creatures. I remarked to Donna that they were big enough to escape the hawks, but she laughed and said they were no match for the big hawks. That puts them in danger for sure. Of course, the more immediate danger is old Fuzzy. I’m not sure how that is going to work at all. They may have to be removed to the orchard, or he may have to be penned up during grasshopper season.

 

Thu
14
Mar
Edgar's picture

Hill Country Naturalist

Lyndon Johnson said that back in 1947, before he ever went to Washington. He was right back then and it is still true today. And, where does the first raindrop fall? On the land. And, in the Hill Country, the land generally means rangeland.

So, what is on the land, or what is not on the land, and its condition makes all the difference in the quantity and quality of the water available to us all. Here is why that is.

Thu
28
Feb
Edgar's picture

Social Security and Self-Employment

If you are not self-employed, Social Security taxes are typically taken out of your paycheck automatically. You and your employer each pay a 6.2 percent Social Security tax on up to $132,900 of your earnings and a 1.45 percent Medicare tax on all earnings in 2019. You don’t have to do anything extra for the coverage you will one day receive because your employers handle the deduction as well as matching that contribution. Then they send the taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and report your wages to Social Security.

If you’re self-employed, the process is a little different. You report your earnings for Social Security and pay your taxes directly to the IRS when you file your federal income tax return. You pay the combined employee and employer amount, which is a 12.4 percent Social Security tax on up to $132,900 of your net earnings and a 2.9 percent Medicare tax on your entire net earnings in 2019.

Thu
21
Feb
Edgar's picture

IRS Tax Tip - Here’s what taxpayers do when they have to file a new W-4

The IRS reminds taxpayers to look into whether they need to adjust their paycheck withholding. Taxpayers who do need to adjust their withholding should submit a new Form W-4, Employee’sWithholdingAllowance Certificate to their employers. Taxpayers can use the updated Withholding Calculator on IRS.gov to do a quick “paycheck checkup” to check that they’re not having too little or too much tax withheld at work.

Among the groups who should check their withholding are:

• Two-income families

• People working two or more jobs or who only work for part of the year

 

 

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Thu
21
Feb
Edgar's picture

Happy Herman's Hideaway

Hello dear San Saba friends! Well I survived mom’s weekend away! I actually had a fairly decent time with dad and he pretty much devoted his time to me as if he had turned into mom! If I did go out to dachshund jail, he came right out there with me; yep, he imprisoned himself! Of course, there we were in dachshund jail while mom was enjoying gorgeous NYLO Hotel in Irving. . . having an outrageously luxury experience with an amazing, accommodating staff and incredibly great amenities!

I have to say I did miss being hand fed my boiled egg, but if I am being honest I am nitpicking the point of eating my egg is to get things in my mouth and into my tummy. Dad slices it up and puts it in a bowl; whereas mom and I sit on the couch and she breaks off little bites and I eat it over a paper plate from her fingers. I suppose I feel a bit of a king with mom's way.

Thu
07
Feb
Edgar's picture

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor:

I am writing to thank San Saba residents for sharing the true meaning of Christmas with children in need this past holiday season.

Because of the generosity of donors in San Saba and across the United States, Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan's Purse, collected more than 8.8 million shoeboxes in 2018. Combined with those collected from partnering countries in 2018, the ministry is now sending more than 10.6 million shoebox gifts to children suffering from poverty, natural disasters, war, disease and famine.

These simple gifts bring smiles to the faces of children around the world. Packed with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items, these gifts bring joy and are a tangible expression of God's love. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 157 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.

 

Thu
31
Jan
Edgar's picture

What about Super Bowl 53?

This coming Sunday in Atlanta, the New England Patriots will battle it out with the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl

53. History will be made in that it will be winner take all! Two mighty, well equipped, well prepared teams will suit up for one last final battle.

Battle is not new for either team and both teams have been to the point of seemingly defeat but refusing to concede they came back.

 

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Thu
31
Jan
Edgar's picture

Hill Country Naturalist

I have written several columns over the years about the unpredictable nature of our rainfall. I guess it is because it is a topic everyone talks about, complains about, and worries about. And, last year was just an example of another weird rainfall year.

At our house last year, the first five months were about as "normal" a possible, with a total of about nine inches, which gave us reasonable spring flowers and a good start for most grasses. Then, just as all the vegetation was at its peak growing/water utilization rate and hottest temperatures, we had two of the driest months in June and July with no significant rainfall for almost 90 days.

Thu
24
Jan
Edgar's picture

Notes from the Spring Creek Arts Guild

Last night was the Super Blood Wolf Moon, but no one in my house stayed up late enough to see it fully eclipsed. I did go out to see it after it first rose, again about a half hour later when it was almost dark, and once more when it was partially eclipsed. The great thing about celestial events this time of the year is that not only can you see them through the bare branches of the trees, those same bare branches make very picturesque frames for full moons, sunrises, and sunsets. Yes, I am going to once more extol the glories of winter.

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