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Mark Porretto was helping out with the beach service umbrellas early in the morning one day last weekend at 47th Street. You may recall that the water was extremely rough, and on this day the current was running from west to east with big surf. Mark and I grew up together on the beach.

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While the Lords of Commerce would lead us to believe the celebration of Father’s Day is best addressed by a special sale on power tools, a funny card written with marginally funny puns or maybe a colorful new tie, the truth is much different for many of us.

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The beach patrol has had a rough season so far. Much of this has been covered in the news and I’ll cover some of this in a future column. But last weekend we saw what is probably the busiest weekend we’ve had in a few years. Many have attributed this to the news stories that happened during …

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A woman on the phone woke me up from a lovely nap and kept on talking and talking even when I tried to interrupt to tell her she was preaching to the wrong congregation.

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Sometimes, the most valuable physical objects in our lives are worth the least when measured in dollars and cents by the outside world.

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It’s rare that all the elements come together for a perfect weekend on a holiday. This year’s Memorial Day weekend did. Three perfect days in a row. The sun was out, and the winds were light. It was warm but not hot. And the water ranged from all the way flat to a slight groundswell rolling …

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Grown men generally do not have tears in their eyes at the car wash.

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All the preparation is done. The equipment is ready, the planning is over, and the time for preparation transitions to the time for action. This week, we had a great drill to help sharpen our communication strategies and rescue techniques among our group and between our emergency response pa…

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So, last week you heard about all the sunshine and roses associated with my move to a new home. Today, you get the clouds and the stinkweed, because there was plenty of contention going on. I came really close to becoming a real witch before it was all over.

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Mr. Shooter, I am not going to mention your name in relation to the deadly and repulsive event you wrought at Santa Fe High School. You do not deserve this acknowledgment in neither my eyes nor ink.

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We’re putting together the final pieces for the busy season. We’re finishing up a lifeguard academy, finalizing our recurrent training for seasonal lifeguards, planning an awards and promotion ceremony for our staff, and scrambling to put all the pieces in place before summer kicks in for real.

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On Jan. 24, 2017, then-national security adviser Michael Flynn was questioned by the FBI in his White House office. The session, focusing on Flynn’s transition talks with the Russian ambassador, led to Flynn pleading guilty to a charge of lying to investigators. He is now awaiting sentencing.

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Daniel Ortega and the rest of the scruffy Sandinistas didn’t look a lot like heroic Latin American “revolucionarios.” The “jefe,” Daniel, as he was called everywhere, had a big mustache and tried very hard to look presidential, but he always looked sleepy and about to doze off — not at all l…

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It was an absolutely beautiful evening with clear skies and a stiff wind. The elderly couple and their neighbor sailed around the south jetty and prepared to watch a beautiful sunset. Unfortunately, things went horribly wrong when their boat began having problems and they started drifting un…

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A group of people stood near the end of the rock groin at 37th Street. They took turns removing the ring buoy and attached throw bag from the rescue box and throwing it to an imaginary victim in the water. The trick is to make sure the loop on the outside of the bag is secure by holding it i…

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If you have been following the tweets of a certain president, you may have noticed his choice of insulting words is a bit limited. How much news can you call fake? How many people can you call grandstanding liars?

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Glancing at the driver’s side rearview mirror, I noticed a yellow banana sitting on the mirror of the pickup truck behind me. The light ahead remained red and I found myself watching the image.

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The group of 10 or so middle school students came to the 24th Street beach early. They were well away from the designated “no swim” area, about midway between the rocks and the Pleasure Pier.

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We tend to refer to the collective paintings by an artist or writings by an author as a body of work. In doing so, we form opinions or project a value to their efforts. This exercise allows us to believe our conclusions are based on true substance.

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I’m reading an article about a new sports sedan coming to the market. Low-slung lines, throaty exhausts, lines that appear to be in motion while the car is in park. As happens with many males, involuntary sounds erupt from the deepest spaces inside, eventually finding a way into an open room…

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I went for a run really early the other morning on the West End. This is the time of year that the beach is just perfect. The temperature is cool, but not cold in the morning, and the water is warm enough to swim in without a wetsuit.

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Everybody with any kind of clout about what happens in the greater Houston-Galveston area is in agreement that we need to build an Ike Dike sooner, rather than later. As soon as possible.

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Spring break ended up being very “spring break-ish.” The weather ended up being absolutely perfect and last weekend the beaches were full. We scrambled to keep swimmers safe, getting to hundreds before they got themselves in trouble in the rip currents by the groins.

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Special counsel Robert Mueller is authorized to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.” The popular word for that is “collusion,” and it remains at the heart of both the Mueller and the…

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During my high school days, students brought guns to school without a second thought. Earlier this week, students at my old high school in Missouri walked out of classrooms in a plea against gun violence. What a difference a generation or two can make.

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It’s was so nice all week to see good weather and everyone out enjoying the beach. There’s always such a quick transition from winter’s empty beaches to spring. Seeing kids on the playground at Stewart Beach, teens playing Frisbee or throwing a ball on the shoreline, people fishing and bird …

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Spring break is here! We have lifeguard tryouts (rain or shine) at 7 a.m. Saturday at the city of Galveston pool at Lasker Park at 2016 43rd St. Those who pass the swim, drug test and interview will start the same day in the Lifeguard Academy and will be paid for their training time. Informa…