• January 19, 2017

Minding Your Business

Jennise Colin-Ventura
  • Jennise Colin-Ventura
  • Blogger
  • E-mail: jennise@kdhnews.com
  • Phone: 254-501-7515
  • I am here to make your life easier using coupons! I believe in the "realistic" couponing - buying what you need.
Rachel Kaser
  • Rachel Kaser
  • Blogger
  • News, reviews and commentary on video games.
Friday 09/14/2012
Lone Star Pin-up

A collection of retro pin-ups created by Erin Shephard, owner of Lone Star Pin-ups

Posted in Minding your business on Friday, September 14, 2012 10:36 am. Updated: 1:23 pm. Comments (0)

Thursday 09/13/2012
Good Girls Gone Glam: Lone Star Pin-ups set to open new location

Lone Star Pin-up Opening Up in Salado

I will be featuring a very unique local small business in this Sunday's Spotlight. A few years ago, Erin Shephard decided it might be fun to dress up and use her creative skills to make some retro, 1940's style pin-ups with her friends. Next thing she knew, she doing it for a living. She will be opening her second Lone Star Pin-up Photography location in Salado this October.

Not bad work if you can get it.

You will have to check in on Sunday to read her story and see some really cool pictures of her glammed out in her studio. But that doesn't mean you have to wait until Sunday to meet Erin and see what Lone Star Pin-ups is all about. She is unveiling her new studio with a soft opening on Saturday, September 15 in Salado. There will be free wine, food and ambiance provided by The Range Restuarant, Tenroc Ranch, Lone Star Pin-up, The Venue by Inn On The Creek, Salado Inn and others. If that is not enough to get you out there, a chance to meet Erin should be. She is a dynamic local entrepreneur, and she is pretty funny. If you don't like her sense of humor, you can just pretend to laugh and stuff your face with free grub.

Here are the deets:

When: Saturday, September 15, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: 418 North Main St. in Salado

Why: I believe I mentioned the free booze.


Posted in Minding your business on Thursday, September 13, 2012 6:13 pm. Updated: 11:09 am. Comments (0)

Thursday 09/06/2012
Spotlight Preview: Copperas Cove Bounty Hunter in Action

Spotlight Preview: Trouble is His Business

I write a Spotlight feature about a local entrepreneur for the business section every Sunday. A lot of times I feel like I am not able to express how dynamic the people I write about are in just a few hundred words. So my solution is to try and publish a Spotlight Preview on my blog every Thursday. The preview will feature aspects of the featured entrepreneurs that might not otherwise make it into the paper.

This Sunday, I will feature Copperas Cove private investigator Tremell Pittman. While you will have to tune in on Sunday to get the scoop on Pittman, this video of him busting on a bail jumper should whet your appetite.

It is not every week I feature someone who puts their life on the line to earn a living.

Check out the video of Tremell in action:

Posted in Minding your business on Thursday, September 6, 2012 4:59 pm. Updated: 5:30 pm. Comments (0)

The Texas Miracle: Where are the GOOD jobs?

Job Growth in Texas: Miracle or Curse?

It is no secret that the recession didn't hit Texas as hard as most of the country. Thanks to a strong energy sector and highly regulated home lending practices, Texas avoided mass unemployment and the housing bubble. And if you believe the hype, the "Texas Miracle" has attracted talent from across the country to help meet the demand created by our emerging job market.

While it is true unemployment in Texas remains significantly below the national level, 6.9 percent to 8.2 percent respectively,  numbers are emerging that seem to verify what I have long suspected: Yes, Texas is creating a lot of new jobs, but they are not good jobs. In fact, most of these new jobs are making it impossible for hundreds of thousands of hard workers to make a living much less get ahead.

Here is the proof:

Texas Miracle = Abundance of Low Wage Jobs

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Of the 5.9 million workers paid hourly rates in Texas in 2011, 259,000 earned exactly the prevailing Federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, while 214,000 earned less, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Stanley Suchman noted that the 473,000 workers earning the Federal minimum wage or less made up 8.0 percent of all hourly-paid workers in the state. Nationwide, those earning the Federal minimum or less accounted for 5.2 percent of the hourly-paid workforce. (The Texas minimum wage is equal to the prevailing Federal minimum wage.)

In 2006, 173,000 hourly-paid workers earned the prevailing Federal minimum wage or less in the state–the lowest level since data were first available in 1998; they accounted for 3.0 percent of all workers paid an hourly wage. (See chart 1.) In 2007, the Federal minimum wage began increasing after holding steady for nearly a decade. The initial result in Texas was that more workers fell into this category, peaking at 550,000 in 2010.


Construction Jobs in Texas = Poor pay, poor conditions

According to the Worker's Defense Project:

Construction work in Texas is predominately low-wage work (45 percent of full-time workers live below the poverty line). Texas is the most deadly place for construction workers in the country, with a worker dying every 2.5 days, and it is estimated that 60 percent of the workforce is Latino.


Texas is creating jobs for the uneducated:

According to witnesses who addressed the legislature's a special committee on economic development on Wednesday:

Keith Phillips, an economic policy advisor with the Federal Reserve Bank, said Texas has created jobs at twice the national average for decades because of several advantages: The low cost of living and doing business, as well as its high-tech and energy industries.

On the other hand, Texas ranks 30th in providing a skilled workforce and that could grow worse over the next two decades.

Today, 18 percent of the Texas workforce doesn't have a high school degree. By 2040, Phillips said, that could be as high as 30 percent.

Likewise, the percentage of Texans with college degrees is projected to drop from 18 percent to 13 percent.

These numbers confirm my worst fears. Texas is adding jobs, but they are not the types of jobs that will allow Texans to prosper. Rather they are the types of jobs that make it almost impossible for someone who works 40 hours a week to make ends meet.

Locally, it is great to read about new call centers and emerging retail markets, but these are not the types of jobs that support families. These are not the types of jobs that support growth. These are not the types of jobs that allow hard workers to get decent healthcare.

These are the types of jobs that allow workers to barely survive from check to check. Maybe. They certainly do not foster economic or educational growth for laborers.

When these new jobs offer competitive salaries, decent health care and upward mobility, I will buy into the Texas Miracle. Until then, I think we need to stop patting ourselves on the back for avoiding the recession and focus on real job creation. The type of job creation that lives up to the American Dream. If we do not do that, an entire generation of Texans will go to waste.

But that is just my opinion. What do you think about the Texas Miracle?

Posted in Minding your business on Thursday, September 6, 2012 3:00 pm. Updated: 4:50 pm. Comments (0)

Thursday 08/16/2012
Global Business Executives Back Obama

International Business Leaders Leaning Toward Obama

The Financial Times-Economist Business Barometer for August 2012 found that international business leaders overwhelmingly lean toward Barack Obama.

But in North America the results were not so clear cut.

The Business Barometer is published quarterly by the Financial Times and the Economist. The barometer reflects interviews conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit with more than 1,700 business executives around the world.The idea is to report changes in business sentiment and differences between geographic regions.

According to the barometer, about 20 percent of the executives surveyed thought a Romney administration would be better for their company. Just under 30 percent think a second term for President Obama would be better for their company. About half of the executives interviewed don't think it matters either way.
Why do I get the feeling they are the smart ones?
About 20 percent of the executives think a Romney administration would be better for the world economy. Just over 40 percent prefer a second term for President Obama. A savvy 37 percent do not think it will matter either way.
Interestingly, the numbers for North America are a lot closer. Just over 40 percent of the executives surveyed chose Romney. About 30 percent chose President Obama. Romney not only edged out the president, he also beat the "it doesn't matter" contingent. That must warm his heart.
This is where it gets a bit weird. Although North American executives prefer Romney over President Obama by a fairly wide margin, those same executives think Obama II would be better for the world economy. About 40 percent favored the president while around 30 percent went with Romney. "It doesn't matter" ate up the remaining 30 percent.
The barometer is likely meaningless as far as gauging the election. But it is a cool look at a perspective that can be hard to consider from my desk in Killeen.
Uh oh!
This survey released Thursday by the Gallup Poll might be more relevant. Only 36 percent of Americans surveyed approve of the president's handling of the economy.
Ouch. I bet President Obama wishes "It doesn't matter" was an option on that one.
Cheapest Gas in Killeen, Thursday, August 16, 2012
According to GasBuddy.com: H-E-B, 511 Trimmier Rd & Lowe's Blvd.,
$3.45 per gallon
Editor's note: 100% of the Mason Lerners interviewed think this is still way too expensive. We are 50 cents away from being a less beachy California.
Links that interest me/maybe they interest you too:

Posted in Minding your business on Thursday, August 16, 2012 2:57 pm. Updated: 5:20 pm. Comments (0)

Gail Dillon
  • Gail Dillon
  • Gail Dillon, an Army spouse, writes about life at Fort Hood from a spouse's perspective. She has been married to her soldier for 14 years and lives on Fort Hood with him, their two zany sons and a Goldendoodle named Murphy.