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Posts published in “Day: June 12, 2008”

Crosby Fair and Rodeo returns

By LEWIS SPEARMAN
CROSBY – If the unprecedented large crowd at the Cook-Off Party Friday night is to be any indication, the 62nd Crosby Fair & Rodeo is to be the most successful presentation yet.
The real indication of the success of the Crosby Fair & Rodeo Board (that has work diligently preparing new facilities and buildings and ever adding new charities) is to be the Auction that will occur Wednesday night, after press time in which the largest surrounding area percentage goes directly to the students that raise the stock.

The purpose of the Crosby Fair & Rodeo is to raise funds for scholarships; however, and community attendance of the P.R.C.A. Rodeo and Concerts that follow in the show are utmost in importance.
Thursday night following the rodeo a local star making his way around the circuit is Cody Kouba playing before the resoundingly successful Kevin Fowler. Another charity to benefit from Thursday is the Shriner’s Burn Facility.
Friday night Johnny Cooper leads off for Jack Ingram after the cowboy sport of rodeo.
Saturday night, Tough Enough to Wear Pink Night, (benefitting breast cancer research) will feature Aaron Watson leading for Jason Boland, two rising stars for the college crowd. Wear pink Saturday!
A completely new livestock pavilion has been erected with state of the art lights and facilities and a new concession stand.
This year, the directors are recovering from a series of copper theft assaults on the fairgrounds and hopes are to surmount the expense with a successful gate.
At any rate, the 62nd Crosby Fair & Rodeo has due to the efforts of the community and directors begun to gain Crosby respect and notoriety throughout the greater Houston Area.
Those that enjoy the cowboy sport, music and/or helping see that area youth continue into higher education are welcome to enjoy the show. Season passes are $35.
Visit crosbyfairandrodeo.net for more information. Kids 6-12 are $5 admission, under free.

This Father’s Day, give Dad a financial toolkit

Father’s Day is almost here. If your father is handy around the house, you might be considering giving him tools of some kind. Of course, drills, sanders, saws and screwdrivers make excellent gifts, but this year, why not give Dad something that can help him build his future? Specifically, why not give him a “financial toolkit”?
What could go into this toolkit? Here are a few suggestions:
* Stocks – You may want to give shares of a company that produces products or services that your father uses.
If you’re going to give some of your own shares, you’ll need to know what you originally paid for the stock, how long you’ve held it and its fair market value at the date of the gift. Your father will need this information to determine gains or losses if he decides to sell the stock.

* Bonds – If your father is at or near retirement age, he might benefit from the interest payments provided by bonds. If you give your father a municipal bond, the interest is free from federal taxes, and if the municipality that issues the bond is located in your father’s state, the interest also may be exempt from state and local taxes.
However, some municipal bonds – particularly airport and housing bonds – might be subject to the alternative minimum tax (AMT), so you’d want to be pretty familiar with your father’s tax situation before giving him an AMT-susceptible bond.
* IRA contribution – As long as your father is working, he can contribute to a traditional or Roth IRA – and he should, because an IRA offers tax advantages and a wide array of investment options.
Your father can put in up to $6,000 to an IRA if he’s 50 or older, or $5,000 if he’s under 50. While you can’t make a deposit into your father’s IRA, you can give him some money for that purpose.
* Education – Even if your father has been investing for a while, he could probably still benefit from some additional knowledge.
Consider giving him a subscription to a magazine that focuses on financial issues. Or you might want to give a book on investing, such as Dr. Jeremy Siegel’s Stocks for the Long Run, generally considered one of the most valuable and “user-friendly” books for both new and experienced investors. A word of caution, though: Stay away from those books that seem to “promise” huge investment success if readers follow the techniques described by the author.
* Games – You can find a variety of investment-related games that are both fun and informative. These games often use real-life scenarios to depict the various factors that go into investment decisions and the equally various results that can follow. You can also choose games that focus on other financial issues, such as managing cash flow. You can find these games in the old-fashioned “board game” format and as computer software. A quick search on the Internet will turn up plenty of these games.
Put some of these suggestions to work to create a financial “toolbox” for your dad this Father’s Day. He’ll likely appreciate your generosity – and he’ll be able to put the “tools” to good use.

Chambers County studies nature- and agri-tourism

By Amy Condon
Strategy Team Recommendations
CHAMBERS COUNTY– The Strategy Team included Dr. Bob Randall, founder of Houston’s Urban Harvest; Amos Cooper, Assistant Area Manager, and Monique Slaughter, Natural Resource Specialist, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department; Miles Phillips, State Program Leader-Nature Tourism, Texas Agrilife Extension Service; Kristina Hardwick, Public Outreach Specialist, Houston-Galveston Area Council; and Will Abberger, Conservation Finance Associate Director, The Trust for Public Land.
The Strategy Exchange produced a series of recommended actions, some of which were overarching tools, such as:
Promoting the Greenprint as a unified conservation vision for Chambers County; Establishing a web-based site for the county and municipalities to use the Greenprint for planning purposes;
Increasing access to information and resources through a variety of venues; Creating small, manageable demonstration projects to achieve success and build upon them; Diversifying agricultural and tourism activities for sustainable economic development; Providing youth education in natural environment and agriculture to raise the next generation of leaders; and,
Increasing the County’s capacity for grantwriting, marketing and technology.
Specific strategies advanced by the Exchange Team involved the following:

Educating those who want to produce alternative products;
Helping youth develop an interest in farming;
Helping existing farmers who want to explore alternative markets;
Conducting an inventory of existing nature-based tourism opportunities;
Providing resources to landowners interested in creating nature-based experiences;
Earmarking existing funds to hire a wildlife/nature marketing and development professional;
Forming a landowner wildlife cooperative educational group;
Investigating and prioritizing land conservation and enhanced access funding program for Chambers County;
Establishing a dedicated source of county funding for land conservation and enhanced access;
Establishing dedicated funding in municipalities to leverage county, state and federal dollars for recreational access and conservation;
Providing information to landowners who could benefit from land conservation techniques;
Surveying industrial/corporate properties to assess the amount habitat land owned and managed by businesses;
Conducting a connectivity analysis of corporate lands for encouraging habitat linkages;
Establishing a county awards program for corporate stewardship; and
Reviewing subdivision guidelines at the municipal and county levels to ensure compatibility with habitat protection.
TPL will be combining the Strategy Exchange Report with a Conservation Funding Feasibility Analysis and the Greenprint Maps into a comprehensive Chambers County Greenprint for Growth report that, ultimately, will be presented to the County leadership for consideration.
The Trust for Public Land (TPL) conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. To learn more about the Chambers County Greenprint for Growth, contact Linda Shead at TPL’s Coastal and Southeast Texas Field Office, 713-226-7200, or at linda.shead@tpl.org.
The Chambers County Greenprint for Growth and Conservation Project was funded primarily by a grant from the Coastal Coordination Council, pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Award No. NA06NOS4190219, with additional support from the Galveston Bay Estuary Program of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and the Houston Endowment.