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What does it say about us, as Americans, that we’ve been so easily distracted and changing? Or that we’re leaving Afghanistan – some 20 years, thousands of lives and billions of dollars later – much the same as we found it? It’s a question well worth pondering and considering amongst all Fort Bend County residents.

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By the time you’re reading this, we’ll be fresh off of the Labor Day holiday weekend. I, for one, will have spent the weekend out on the lake – grilling, reading and enjoying the end of summer.

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Last Monday, more than 50 people crowded into the Fort Bend ISD administration building, passionate to speak for or against a proposed mask mandate. Many of them bore signs and showed up hours before the 6 p.m. meeting, spending the time before the meeting going over talking points.

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The lack of planning for this worst-case scenario, the lack of communication and ever-changing guidance might be the most glaring they’ve been at any point during the pandemic, with schools set to reopen in coming days.

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Fort Bend County leaders have shown it is possible to both invest in the renewable future, while still supporting our state’s oil and gas industry. 

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Fort Bend ISD has launched a fascinating new initiative in local governance, asking students, parents and staff how it should spend some $94.7 million in federal funding it received through the American Rescue Plan.

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When I first started covering local politics almost a decade ago, I had this thought that they were inherently less partisan than much of the national conversation.

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Just before the Fourth of July weekend began, I found myself thinking about the Founding Fathers and journalism, as one is wont to do.

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Reporting on crime is more art than science, but it seems to me that caution and a desire to prosecute and fully vet each piece of information is critical.

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Those of us who’ve called this region home for any extended period of time are familiar with the challenges of living along the Gulf Coast. Whether it’s the barrage of tropical storms, flooding or the coronavirus pandemic – Fort Bend County residents are a resilient bunch.

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Editor's note: A quote from Missouri City council member Vashaundra Edwards that was originally abbreviated for brevity and clarity has been included in its entirety to provide additional context. 

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  Whether it was an accident of fate or a sign of some deeper connection, one thing I know happened on Monday was this: I made my first visit to Sugar Land Memorial Park on Memorial Day. 

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  The reason I volunteered to coach my oldest son’s youth baseball team this year was to pay back what some wonderful men gave me when I was a long-haired, baggy-socked, rail of a kid more than three decades ago. Without a second’s hesitation, I can list them all.

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 Parents of school-age children have a lot going on. I’m sometimes too caught up with work to follow along with live tweet threads of Fort Bend ISD board meetings that are going on into the middle of the night, and that’s without having to change diapers or pack lunches or help kids with homework. 

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  A frustration I have shared with journalism friends and colleagues going back to my college days that persists ever so stubbornly is the question-begging and strawmen that reporters are often faced with when they report on topics that are “bad news” or “negative.”

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Almost exactly a year ago today, my family took a leap of faith at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and a period of great uncertainty, doing something they had joked about for years. 

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  One thing I’ve observed that has never sat right with me is that decisions deemed to be made in the best interests of children are often made without actually consulting the children who are affected by the outcomes of the choices made by decision makers. 

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  I can still remember being an elementary school student and being excited to sit on a cold gymnasium floor while a police officer or firefighter or another local community member came to visit my classmates and I for what we called “assemblies.” 

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While I’ve never quite understood the need to switch between Daylight Savings Time and Standard Time, I’ve become quite accustomed to the mantra of “spring ahead, fall behind” having lived in the Central Time Zone for most of my life.

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Just a week ago, many of us were shivering through at least one night without power and heat and mesmerized by the record cold temperatures that were brought upon by Winter Storm Uri. And it was a bit jarring to think about how I used a credit card and a shoehorn to scrape snow and ice off m…

It is disappointing, but entirely unsurprising to see political squabbles find their way into the midst of yet another emergency in the Houston area as Winter Storm Uri’s unsparing wrath has knocked out power for nearly half of Fort Bend County electricity consumers, and many find themselves…

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Until recently, I’d never thought of Valentine’s Day as a particularly family-oriented holiday. Nor, frankly, had I given it much consideration at all beyond the sugar-high I received after exchanging boxes of “conversation hearts” in elementary school. 

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By Jonathan McElvy jonathan@mcelvypartners.com The refrain from every person – every creature – with a smart phone and social feed was simple: “So long 2020.” Come to think of it, that’s rather tame language for how most of us sent the past year packing. In the four corners of your home (assuming you followed government […]

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By Elsa Maxey Yes, the pandemic did dominate the headlines this past year. So, what do you think will do it in 2021? We started the first day with a new lineup of elected officials in Fort Bend County. “A first-ever virtual installation ceremony for our new elected officials,” said Fort Bend County Judge KP […]

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By STEFAN MODRICH  smodrich@fortbendstar.com There exists in our collective psyche an idea that we somehow can shed the baggage of the previous year when heading into the next one. It seems to function as an easy way of reassuring ourselves that a fresh start will fix everything. Understandably, 2020 is a year many would like […]

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By Elsa Maxey Just the other day, I heard that someone’s work position had reached its expiration date. In this case, it was being suggested that the person needed to step down from a particular job because of his long-term tenure in that role. It had nothing to do with his accomplishments or even age. […]

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by Elsa Maxey  Even before we entered the Christmas season, we were collectively undergoing what was called holiday fever because we began it much earlier this year, as it did in other parts of the country starting in September. If you drove around Fort Bend County’s neighborhoods shortly after Halloween, you probably saw Christmas outdoor […]

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    Mila Anez has learned a lot in her 7 years, including how to read the reactions of her older relatives while they are engaged in phone conversations. So when her grandma received a call on the evening of Thanksgiving, during a small family gathering in Fort Bend County, Anez did not need an […]

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By STEFAN MODRICH  smodrich@fortbendstar.com As someone who has oscillated between a pessimist and an optimist over the years, I find myself obligated to express my gratitude for just how many things I am fortunate to have going my way in this life. I am gainfully employed, doing work I enjoy and appreciate, and receiving unprompted […]

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by Elsa Maxey  In Fort Bend County as in many other places, gatherings during the holidays is a time to reconnect with family and friends. This week’s sacred American tradition, Thanksgiving, will have been non-traditional for many.  But we’ll still be connecting. Ever had a Zoom Thanksgiving? I’m not sure how we’ll handle passing the […]

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By Elsa Maxey  We celebrate American veterans like former Sugar Land City Council member Don Smithers, who retired as a Texas Air National Guard State Command Chief, and Patrick A. Houck, also a Sugar Lander and a retired Master Sergeant of the United States Marine Corps. Both are honorably discharged x-men, that is ex-military men, […]

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By Elsa Maxey   The local outcomes of Election 2020 came literally to light last Wednesday morning on a beautiful fall, sunny day in Fort Bend County. We knew there would be changes in Sugar Land, Missouri City and the county among other jurisdictions in part due to vacated offices or because an office holder opted […]

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By STEFAN MODRICH  smodrich@fortbendstar.com Fort Bend County saw record voter turnout through the close of early voting. Regardless of the results of Tuesday’s election, which were not complete by press time (please visit fortbendstar.com for local election results), there are a few things we should all remind ourselves for the coming weeks and months ahead. […]

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By STEFAN MODRICH  smodrich@fortbendstar.com Washington Post President and Publisher Philip L. Graham is credited for being the first to describe journalism as “the first rough draft of history.” Malcolm Gladwell, bestselling author and journalist, has a podcast called “Revisionist History” which attempts to explain things that have been overlooked or misunderstood. And there is, in […]

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By STEFAN MODRICH smodrich@fortbendstar.com I know you’re sick of the never-ending news cycles of our election season. They seem to blend together, don’t they? Rinse, repeat. We have something of an antidote for you today in the form of a pair of stories of exemplary work being done in the community. The first comes from […]

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By STEFAN MODRICH  smodrich@fortbendstar.com As you’ve likely already read, our editor Adam Zuvanich first reported the news that Fort Bend County Judge KP George announced he was going to opt-in to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order that establishes a pathway for bars, brewpubs and wineries within George’s jurisdiction to reopen for on-site consumption today. […]