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THE LOCAL SUMMER 2018
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2 | THE LOCAL
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4 | THE LOCAL
contents J U N E - J U LY - A U G U S T 2 0 1 8
11 Day Trip
Explore the great outdoors at Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge
32 Summer Bucket List
25 fun and memorable things to do before the kids go back to school
41 The Veins of Industry
Environment and economy along the Gulf Coast by Seth Beaugh
07 Editor’s Note 16 Outdoors
Summertime topwater baits
by David Roberts | Texas Kayak Chronicles
20 Local To Know
Shields of Strength: How one local man overcame fear and encouraged others by Destiny Martin
28 Aroma: What’s Cooking
The world’s first food-focused search engine is developed in Beaumont, Texas by Chris Roach
44 Summer Style Guide
A look at this season’s hottest accessories by Melissa Roberts
What’s happening locally this Summer
52 Directory 54 Sea & Be Seen
THE LOCAL | 5
Let’s go outside GROWING UP, my family lived out of state from the time I was
two until my freshman year of high school. In the summertime, we always made a trip back “home” to Southeast Texas to visit our extended family and vacation at Crystal Beach. Some of my fondest memories of summer trace back to the salty shores of the Texas Gulf and looking back, I feel blessed to now share those same memories with my children. Summertime is all about making memories, and the truth is you don’t have to venture far from home to make some pretty impressionable ones. Our area offers a dynamic variety of things to do, places to see, and adventures to take that will no doubt make your summer memorable. In this edition of The Local, we’re taking a day trip to the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge to explore nature and have a picnic! Turn to page 11 to see what we discovered and how to plan your visit. We’ve also compiled a summer bucket list of things to do before the kids head back to school on page 32. And summer just wouldn’t be complete without adding water! Turn to page 16 to learn how topwater baits can heighten your next fishing experience and take a closer look at the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway to see how it impacts our local environment and economy (p. 41). Then, for a truly inspirational story about how one Beaumont-based man overcame his fears and went on to impact the world with a divine mission, flip to page 20 for this edition’s Local To Know feature. The Local magazine is proud of this place we call “home” and we’re here to serve the communities that make Southeast Texas a truly unique place to live. If you have ideas, comments, or a story you’d like to share with us, please send us an email. We’d love to hear from you! Until next time, keep it local. Sincerely,
Destiny Martin FOUNDER & EDITOR firstname.lastname@example.org
THE LOCAL | 7
THE LOCAL CONNECTING YOU WITH SOUTHEAST TEXAS FOUNDER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Destiny Martin CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Seth Beaugh Chris Roach Dave Roberts Melissa Roberts CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS
Chris Roach Joseph Drago Luke Mauldin Dave Roberts ON THE COVER
Photographer Destiny Martin Location Crystal Canal in Crystal Beach, Texas Special thanks to Margaret Beasley and family for allowing us to capture their favorite summertime hangout, the Krusty Krab in Crystal Canal.
The Local Magazine is produced by 650 Media Group, LLC. All rights reserved. The Local is not responsible for facts represented by its authors or advertisers. No part of this publication may be used or reproduced without written consent of the editor.
ABOUT The Local Magazine is a locally owned and operated quarterly publication that strives to connect its readers with helpful information and inspirational stories about local individuals, businesses, and places of interest.
CONTACT US To advertise in The Local, call (817) 505-8208 or email us at email@example.com to request more information. News releases and story ideas to may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOLLOW US Facebook @thebolivarlocal issuu.com/thebolivarlocal
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8 | THE LOCAL
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ex•plore verb. to travel through unfamiliar territory in order to learn about it
Photo: Luke Mauldin
THE LOCAL | 11
TA K E A DAY TRIP TO
Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge On the map, Anahuac might look like an otherwise rural Texas town, but it is home to some of the most fascinating and diverse wildlife in the country. Here, the vast expanses of coastal marsh and prairie that make up the 34,000-acre Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge surrounding Galveston Bay boast all walks of wildlife, from alligators to waterfowl, bobcats to 300 species of resident and migratory birds, and more. With so much to see and do, itâ€™s a great opportunity to get outside and explore the rich, natural resources right in our own backyard. words by destiny martin | photos by luke mauldin fm 563
Anahuac NWR visitor center 63 anahuac fm 562
main entrance 124 high island
east bay gulf of mexico
12 | THE LOCAL
Anahuac NWR Headquarters is located east of Houston approximately two miles south of I-10. Here, visitors can pick up information about the Refuge and tour a meandering boardwalk that leads out over Lake Anahuac. Travel to the Refuge’s main entrance off of FM 1985 for more explorative opportunities.
Scattered among towering pines and cypress trees, as well as under the pavilion of the Visitor’s Center, educational signage leads the way at the Anahuac NWR. Stop, read, and learn about the vast outdoors, local wildlife, and indigenous plants of our region. The signs are engaging and colorful, complete with photos, and will help you better understand all that’s out there!
THINGS TO PACK FOR YOUR VISIT Sunscreen
Visitors are encouraged to explore the conservation area by foot and vehicle along the 3.5-mile walking trails and 14-mile auto tour. These designated trails include places to park, hike, and explore the terrain via lookout points. Enjoy activities like wildlife-watching, hiking, fishing, and photography from these diverse points of interest.
Anahuac NWR is host or home to a wide variety of species, and every visit will be unique depending on what time of year you go. Witness alligators sunbathing along the banks of the marsh, wading shorebirds taking advantage of the mudflats, hummingbirds and butterflies taking flight in their designated habitat, sightings of turtles, bobcats, waterfowl, songbirds, and much more. Don’t forget the binoculars!
ANAHUAC NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE HQ 4017 FM 563 Anahuac, Texas 77514 www.fws.gov/refuge/anahuac
Scavenger hunt for kids
Wagon/stroller for tots
Comfortable walking shoes
FOR THE OUTDOOR ENTHUSIASTS Fishing, crabbing, kayaking, and hunting are permitted in designated areas of the Refuge when in season. State regulations and conditions apply. All visitors are encouraged to enjoy and respect the habitats and wildlife that make up this amazing ecosystem. For more information, including park rules, hours and location, please visit www.fws.gov/refuge/anahuac.
THE LOCAL | 13
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Summertime Topwaters words and photos by dave roberts / texas kayak chronicles
ONE OF THE MOST APPEALING THINGS
about fishing is that it offers various rewarding aspects that keep anglers captivated for decades. For some, it’s being surrounded by Mother Nature, while others enjoy watching the sun rise and set over the water. And the rest of us, well, we just like catching fish! One of my favorite things about fishing—and in this world for that matter—is throwing a Super Spook at daylight while wadding waste-deep 16 | THE LOCAL
in the warm Texas Gulf. By far, one of the most dynamic experiences for any angler is topwater fishing. Throwing these types of lures not only offers an effective way to catch a limit, but it also presents itself unlike any other style of fishing. When that fish strikes, there is nothing subtle about it, and in fact, an angler will likely experience most of his five senses in a mere split second. Throwing topwater is an audible form of fishing. These baits make a
sound that is unlike any other lure. When working a spook or other topwater, they make a loud knocking sound, and when worked properly, the constant cadence is irresistible to fish. We call this “walking the dog.” On calm mornings, the click-clack of the beads inside the lure seems to drown out everything else around you, and that sound becomes your sole intent. Then when a fish strikes, the rhythm is interrupted, often abruptly. Get ready when you hear the smack! Once you’ve heard the blow-up, next comes the most exciting aspect of throwing a topwater: the sight of it! Seeing the power of a hungry fish attack a lure on the surface of the water is an awesome way to witness nature’s food chain. Fish sometimes
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IPVST come completely out of the water during their attack to ensure they capture their prey. I have also seen fish hit just beneath my lure, popping it three feet into the air only to slam it again once it lands on the water. In the great world of fishing, seeing a topwater strike ranks among the most visually stimulating experiences for any angler. Once you’ve seen it, it’s hard to replicate the feeling. Now that you have heard and seen the blow-up, it’s time for the feel of it. When a redfish or trout strikes a lure dancing on top of the water, they don’t plan on missing it! The result is a heavy, fast attack. When it happens, you need to keep a firm grip on your pole because the initial fight after the strike is explosive, but also fun and entertaining at the same time, so hold on tight! The most exciting thing about all of this is that it happens so quickly. You may go minutes or even hours throwing a topwater before catching a fish, but it is all worth it when you finally get to hear, see, and feel the strike. A split second of intense action is worth every bit of effort that goes into your day of fishing. Summertime is right for hitting the Texas Coast, so get out there and get your topwater on! TL Dave Roberts is an avid kayak fisherman, writer and photographer who travels the Texas Coast documenting his experiences along the way. For more info, visit his blog at texaskayakchronicles.com.
Sunday: 10am-10pm Monday: noon-10pm Tuesday: noon-10pm Wednesday: noon-10pm Thursday: noon-12am Friday: noon-12am Saturday: 11am-12am SUNDAY BRUNCH 10am-2pm Saturday lunch begins at 11am Dinner every night at 5
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THE LOCAL | 17
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ONE THE LOCAL | 19
LOCAL to know
Shields of Strength: H O W O NE LO CAL MA N OVERCA ME FEA R A ND WE NT O N TO ENCOURAGE OT HERS words by destiny martin | photos by joseph drago
KENNY VAUGHAN greets me with a firm handshake and a smile when I arrive at Shields of Strength headquarters on the outskirts of Beaumont, Texas. It’s a sunny Tuesday afternoon as we sit in his office, the khaki walls densely covered with family photos and tributes to his lifetime of outdoor adventures. “So, tell me how your business came to be,” I ask, already knowing a little bit about Kenny’s backstory, but wanting to hear it in his own words. I first learned about Shields of Strength on Instagram three years ago. Their simple yet beautifully designed fitness jewelry is worn by professional athletes like Tim Tebow, Ray Lewis, Robert Griffin III, and Jamie Eason, among many other high-profile names. I saw it repeatedly on my feed but had no clue that the popular Christian brand that was taking social media by storm had been founded in my hometown some 20 years prior. “My dad was a water skier, a show skier,” Kenny starts. “He was an amazing athlete. Dad taught my brother, sister, and me how to ski when were young, pulling us on a sheet of plywood behind a 14-foot flat bottom boat with a 15-horsepower Evinrude motor,” he chuckles looking up out of the corner of his eye as if he might grab the memory right out of the air. From Kenny’s youth into his early 20’s he became immersed in the sport of water skiing and remembers meeting Charlie Fontenot, a man who would later
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Kenny’s father show skiing, circa 1950; inset at right: Kenny modern ski jumping and building on what his dad taught him (both courtesy of Kenny Vaughan)
become his mentor and lifetime friend. “Charlie had won a championship medal, so knowing him, it became a dream of mine to win a medal one day, too.” But after a series of lost competitions and a few injuries, Kenny decided to walk away from the sport he loved most. “Because of fear and my fear of failing I quit for five years. I never lost the desire, I just lost the will to fight the fear,” he tells me. Then Kenny met his wife Tammie, and everything changed. “I had taken Tammie out to Charlie’s lake one day just to show off, you know, and she immediately knew what I needed.” Tammie began writing scriptures on Kenny’s gear...“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”...“God has not given me a spirit of
BECAUSE OF FEAR AND MY FEAR OF FAILING I QUIT. I NEVER LOST THE DESIRE, I JUST LOST THE WILL TO FIGHT THE FEAR.
THE LOCAL | 21
fear but of power, of love, and of a sound mind.” She encouraged him to pursue his dream again, and in 1996, Kenny went on to win a gold medal at Nationals in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. He had accomplished his goal, but what God and Tammie had stirred up in Kenny’s heart was preparing him to become a champion in a new way. “I was amazed how God’s word had strengthened me at that moment when I needed it the most,” Kenny recalls. “I was on fire for God’s word and how it had helped me overcome fear, but I couldn’t carry around my ski equipment every day, so I went to the GI surplus store on College Street and bought a dog tag. I had it engraved with Philippians 4:13 and began wearing the necklace as a daily reminder of the power God’s word had over my life.” It wasn’t long before people began asking Kenny about the inspirational dog tag he had hanging around his neck. “I realized that others needed it as much as
I did, so I made another, and another.” Kenny found himself giving the necklaces away faster than he could make them, so he began researching ways to mass produce them, and within a few short months, Shields of Strength was born. The necklaces were placed in local retail shops at first and eventually made their way to 500 Christian bookstores nationwide by early 2000. Today Shields of Strength can be found at over 1,000 stores and army and air force exchanges worldwide. Since their inception, the company has made a significant impact on the military and law enforcement, donating nearly 1 million necklaces that have graced countless soldiers, police officers and first responders. “We don’t say ‘no,’” Kenny tells me. It’s that spirit of generosity that could attribute to Shields of Strength next impressive swoop of success when Kenny was approached by a local high school strength training coach to make a weight plate design with scripture on it. “I speak to high school football
I REALIZED THAT OTHERS NEEDED IT AS MUCH AS I DID...
22 | THE LOCAL
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THE LOCAL | 23
Look for Kenny’s new book The Right Fight: How To Live A Loving Life releasing this fall @johnkennedyvaughan
teams all the time. Knowing that this piece would be investing in the lives of kids, of course, we went to work on making them,” he recalls. Within a few short months of production, the new weight plate, dumbbell, and kettlebell designs went viral on IG and catapulted the business by 400% in a little over a year. “It’s always exciting to see an athlete on TV wearing our product,” Kenny says, “but it’s no different than seeing a kid somewhere with one on and knowing that God’s word is being implanted in his heart in the same way.” Over the years Kenny has experienced first-hand just how much people love God’s word and how they cling to it, no matter what their circumstance. “In the beginning, the world had lead me to believe that I was going to offend people if I approached them about Shields of Strength. But when I did it anyway, I found something totally different,” Kenny says about his mission. “At first, I was afraid to give them away— now I’m afraid not to.”
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When asked how much of his success he attributes to Tammie writing the scriptures on his ski handle, Kenny admits none of this would have happened if it weren’t for the act of love his wife took that day. “She led me to truth and courage and away from my pride and foolishness. Next to Jesus, she is my rock,” he affirms. Shields of Strength has made and shipped an astonishing 5 million pieces of inspirational Christian wear in the past two decades, with no plans of slowing down anytime soon. “When I stop and think about it, it’s so very humbling,” Kenny tells me. “That somehow God could use such a broken vessel like me. But it’s His word,” he says fighting back a tear. “And it doesn’t return void.” TL Visit www.shieldsofstrength.com to learn more about Shields of Strength or shop their wide variety of products. Follow on Instagram @ShieldsofStrength.
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26 | THE LOCAL
DEST INAT I O N: E AT
Family owned and operated restaurant opens Cajun Steakhouse on Bolivar Peninsula
IF YOU’VE DINED OUT in Crystal Beach in the last thirty years chances are you’ve eaten food prepared by Jose Cruz. He’s been cooking up culinary creations on Bolivar Peninsula since the early 1990s, working as a chef for well-known restaurants like Steve’s Landing, Stingaree, and Coconuts before Hurricane Ike in 2008 to now managing two family-run eateries he is proud to call his own. Jose’s Cantina Mexican Restaurant has been pulling in large crowds since they first opened their doors in May 2015, offering a wide variety of traditional Tex-Mex dishes with the addition of a few local favorites listed on the menu. When in season, you can’t beat Jose’s boiled crawfish! The Mexican food establishment is also well known for their breakfast, being one of the few places on the peninsula that opens daily at 7 am. Earlier this year, Jose ventured out to open his second restaurant: Jose’s Cantina Cajun Steakhouse
located in the original Coconuts building at 1021 Hwy 87 in Crystal Beach. The newly renovated restaurant offers patrons locally sourced seafood, steaks cut in-house, and a full-service bar. They also serve lunch daily starting at 11 am offering hearty portions at affordable prices. Order the strawberry walnut salad topped with steak for a fresh but filling meal before hitting the beach. Jose says, “If the parking lot looks full, stop anyway. There is additional parking behind the building and a staff of friendly faces ready to serve you.” The restaurant is available for catering and private parties and hosts monthly wine tastings. Visit the restaurant’s Facebook page @JosesCajunSteakhouse or send an email to josescantinarestaurant@ gmail.com for more details, and don’t forget to mention their ad in this edition of The Local for buy one, get one half-off appetizers good through July 21, 2018. TL
From top: Jose’s Cantina; a selection of menu items including strawberry walnut salad, cajun ribeye, and crab claws appetizer; signature cocktails from Jose’s full-service bar; and red velvet cheesecake dessert.
JOSE’S CANTINA CAJUN STEAKHOUSE 1021 Hwy 87 Crystal Beach, Texas 77650 email@example.com
THE LOCAL | 27
WHATâ€™S COOKING Beaumont-based group of developers are busy whipping up an app for that words by chris roach | photos courtesy of Aroma App
Green Light Americana Beaumont, Texas
28 | THE LOCAL
How many times have you done the shuffle through the same restaurants you always rely on when it’s time to go out for a bite to eat? Though we don’t always like to admit it, familiarity
is something we love as humans, and it’s really easy to rely on those old fan-favorites when you just can’t find a new and exciting place to fill that craving you have. But what if you didn’t have to run through your mental list of those familiar haunts when it’s time for breakfast, lunch, or dinner? Instead, imagine searching for the meal you’re craving, and getting back a real list of restaurants, right by you, that serve exactly what you want. Enter Aroma: the world’s first food-focused search engine...and it’s being built right here in Beaumont, Texas. If you were to ask any of the seven members of the Aroma team what the mission is that the smartphone application plans to accomplish, the answer typically remains the same; “Search for what you crave, we tell you where you can get it.” The application was born out of the realization that it is sometimes just plain difficult to find the foods you want, and harder to find the restaurant near you that serves up your craving. “It’s incredibly common to ask yourself what the restaurants you already know are serving, and from there you decide what you are going to eat. We are trying to flip that on it’s ear,” says Chris Roach, marketer and one of the two in-house photographers at Aroma. “We want you to get exactly what you’re craving, and we want to bring you to places you might not have known about right in your own city,” adds Matt Vacarro, the graphic designer for Aroma.
The smartphone app, which is available on both Android and iOS mobile operating systems, shows you exterior photos of restaurants, as well as interior atmosphere photos, and a few photos of dishes to help users understand what to expect with exploring new locations. Aroma lets users view full menus, gives an average price of a meal at each location, and even shows what type of payments each business accepts. The development team behind Aroma says this will eliminate any “unexpected surprises” that usually result from finding new restaurants by other means. The team plans to release Aroma right here at home in Southeast Texas first, and is excited to gradually release in new markets after. “We want to make sure we are delivering the best experience possible for both users and restaurant owners, and after we feel the experience is perfected we will introduce it in new markets.” says Chris. If you are a business owner in the surrounding Southeast Texas area and would like to participate in the Aroma application, the team invites you to reach out to them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Download the app and start exploring the culinary culture around you! Available via the iOS App Store, as well as the Google Play App Store.
THE LOCAL | 29
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THE LOCAL | 31
PLAN A PICNIC IN THE PARK A great way to spend the day! Visit your favorite local park, throw down a blanket or large beach towel and enjoy a refreshing snack outside while enjoying the natural scenery that surrounds you.
Summer Bucket List 2 5 F U N AND CR E ATIVE WAYS TO S P END YO UR SUMME R words by destiny martin
e believe that you don’t have to travel far to make your summer memorable. We’ve compiled a list of fun family activities and ways to enjoy the simple pleasures of summer without breaking the bank.
32 | THE LOCAL
FIND A SHARK TOOTH If you’ve never found one, the shores of Bolivar Peninsula are a great place to start. Look for black triangular shapes, like that of a whale’s tale, in the sand just along the water’s edge.
FLY A KITE Kites and Flagpoles Unlimited 1815 Hwy 87 Crystal Beach, TX 409-684-1010
On days when the wind is right, go fly a kite! Visit Kites and Flagpoles Unlimited for a wide selection of unique and colorful kites that will have you feeling like a kid again.
PICK BERRIES Berryland Farms 2877 FM 1941 Winnie, TX 713-551-6360
Nothing says summer like berries fresh off the vine. Visit Berryland Farms of Texas in Winnie where you can gather blackberries, blueberries, tomatoes and other seasonal vegetables.
MAKE HOMEMADE ICE CREAM A family-favorite tradition that is refreshing, tasty and delightful on a hot summer day. Look on Pinterest for delicious recipes and creative ways to get the kids involved.
VISIT A MICROBREWERY Microbreweries are fun to visit because each is unique and offers the opportunity to taste original, handcrafted beer. The Neches Brewing Company is a familyfriendly environment that boasts local art, homegrown musicians, and has an exceptional food menu. Neches Brewing Company 1108 Port Neches Ave. Port Neches, TX
GO BAREFOOT Research shows that going barefoot can actually be beneficial for your health and improve chronic pain, fatigue, and other ailments. Earthing is connecting to the earth’s natural energy by walking barefoot on grass, sand, dirt, or rocks, so go ahead, kick those shoes off!
WRITE A LETTER AND MAIL IT A thoughtful and personable form of communication.
WATER PARK ALL DAY ROAST S’MORES Bonfires are permitted on Bolivar Peninsula. Gather up some chocolate bars, marshmallows, and graham crackers for a nostalgic summertime treat. Please “roast” responsibly and properly extinguish your fire when done.
WATCH AN OLD MOVIE Have your family put down the tech devices and curl up with an old classic. Share popular titles from your childhood with your kids for a walk down memory lane.
EAT AT A NEW RESTAURANT Download the Aroma app and give a new local restaurant a try. This user-friendly application allows you to search by food categories for restaurants available in your area and is a cool and interactive way to expand your palette.
CRYSTAL BEACH Facebook @FunSpotWaterslide Facebook @CBfuntown GALVESTON schlitterbahn.com
EXPLORE GALVESTON GALVESTON ISLAND VISITORS CENTER 2328 Broadway Galveston Island, TX 77550 www.galveston.com
CHILDREN’S MUSEUMS GALVESTON www.galvestoncm.org BEAUMONT www.beaumontchildrens museum.org
GO TO A CONCERT/ LIVE MUSIC
Summer is the perfect time to fire up the pit and feed a crowd, especially when spending time at the beach. Think outside the bun with foil pack recipes like Coconut Lime Shrimp with Summer veggies.
Even more fun if you can find an outdoor venue! Enjoy a night under the stars listening to your favorite artist perform.
WATCH A FIREWORKS DISPLAY Fireworks light up the night sky at the beach on Fourth of July. Cruise down to the water’s edge and take in the patriotic spectacle.
SET UP A LEMONADE STAND Teach kids the power of entrepreneurship! For how-to’s and helpful resources, visit lemonadeday.org
FEED A GATOR Gator Country 21159 FM 365 Beaumont, TX 409-794-9453
Learn about alligators and other reptiles at Gator Country, a 15-acre preserve that houses Big Tex, the nation’s largest live-captured nuisance gator measuring in at 13 feet, 8 and a half inches long! For more info, visit gatorrescue.com
TAKE DAD GOLFING Honor dad this Father’s Day with a round of golf, or even a friendly competition of miniature putt-putt.
VISIT THE FARMERS’ MARKET Beaumont Farmers’ Market 148 S Dowlen Rd., Beaumont, TX beaumontfarmersmarket.org
The Beaumont Farmers’ Market is a place for the community to meet and to support their local farmers. Vendors are all from within a 150 mile radius of Beaumont and the produce they offer is grown fresh from their own farms.
PLANT SOMETHING AND WATCH IT GROW A fun activity that teaches responsibility and patience, plus itâ€™s good for the environment. Consider planting nectar flowers that help provide natural habitats for butterflies, bees and hummingbirds.
READ A BOOK The beach is often the best place to escape reality and dive into a good book. So relax, enjoy some sunshine, and get lost in a story.
GO CRABBING/ FISHING Enjoy a day on the water and catch your dinner! Popular spots on Bolivar Peninsula include Rollover Pass, Stingaree Road, and Frenchtown Road near the Bolivar/Galveston Ferry landing. Some local restaurants will even cook your catch for you!
GO FOR A WALK A great way to raise your endorphins and explore the great outdoors. If youâ€™re at the beach, give beachcombing a try for the excitement and fun of finding new treasures.
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Wines Looking to lighten up your wine selection this summer? From semi-sweet RosĂŠ to sparkling citrus, give these refreshing picks a try.
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SEMI-SWEET Vine 2 Wine Black Spanish Semi-Sweet RosĂŠ Aromatic hints of candied apples meet the taste of sweet-tarts on your palette. A delicate balance of tartness finished off with slightly sweet after notes. SWEET Los Pinos Ranch Colibri Texas Sweet Blush Wine A rare blend of estate grown Blanc Du Bois and Black Spanish grapes combine to make a divine sweet blush wine. SPARKLING Santero Elana Moscato & Pink Grapefruit An Italian dessert wine that is delicately sweet with fruity notes and a fragrant bouquet.
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SPOTLIG HT ON: BAYSIDE CHIC GALVESTON
BRING THE ISLAND HOME Meet Dena Suis, owner of Bayside Chic Galveston and her design consultant Clifton Hawkins. Together, the home decorating duo shares over 55 years of professional experience and are here to help you bring the island home. photos by destiny martin
As design consultants, what is your approach to styling an island-inspired home? DS: In our experience, we’ve found that most people don’t know where to start because the beach might not be their primary residence. Some are shopping for a second home or vacation rental property, both of which typically lend themselves to smaller spaces than your traditional inland home. We first like to assess what we’re working with regarding space and existing furniture. Then by introducing a few new pieces that provide both form and function, we can design a space custom-tailored to fit your needs. From there, it’s a matter of selecting the right fabrics, colors, and textures that feel authentic to the natural environment. When investing in seaside décor, what do you typically recommend? DS: First and foremost, furniture made from the right material is everything. Consider the conditions of where we live: the humidity on the Texas coast takes a toll on just about anything after an extended period of time. Bayside Chic carries only solid wood furniture because it can withstand our coastal climate and will last a lifetime. CH: Beyond that, designing a home away from home is a great opportunity to have fun and be a little more whimsical. Think about elements that give you a sense of being on vacation! With more than 100 brands of unique coastal furnishings, Bayside Chic offers everything from bedding to shower curtains, lighting to original artwork sourced right here on the island. And we can help you with it all—like walking into a blank canvas and making it turn-key ready.
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What’s the furthest you’ve traveled to style a home? DS: We’ve helped clients as far as Destin, Florida, but the majority of our business is focused here in Galveston and Crystal Beach. We have customers come from all over the state of Texas shopping for coastal inspiration, and we’re happy to service their design needs, big or small. While they’re here visiting our store, we will assist with picking out a few key pieces. Once clients return home, we can work with them virtually to concentrate on the finishing details of their space by providing computer renderings via email. And if they’re in the process of building or remodeling, we can even store their furniture selections until they move in.
What else should readers to know about Bayside Chic? DS: We have great incentives for customers including our design services, custom furniture available in hundreds of fabric choices (all made in the USA), zero percent financing, layaway, and delivery. Plus, we’re locally owned and operated. That makes the furniture shopping experience with us more personal than your big box stores. Bayside Chic is located at 4002 Broadway in Galveston and offers 10,000 square-feet of coastal furnishings, gifts, home décor, and more. They are open seven days a week. For more info, visit their website at www.baysidechicgalveston.com TL
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Photo: Destiny Martin
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N A MAP, the Gulf
The Veins of Industry Environment and economy along the Gulf Coast words by seth beaugh
Intracoastal Waterway may look like a bit like one, long artery, branching off in smaller veins to ports along the Gulf Coast. It consists of a combination of several inlets, bays, rivers, and artificial canals, providing a continuous inland waterway for commercial ships to traverse without exposing themselves to the dangers of open sea travel. In a way, the Waterway acts as a kind of cardiovascular system for the Gulf Coast: transporting vessels all along its stretch and depositing goods and products at various ports, only to pick up even more cargo and continue to its next destination. One of those veins pulses directly through the Bolivar Peninsula, bridging the gap between Louisiana and Galveston. You may have noticed the occasional ship passing through that narrow, shallow stream on the side of the island facing the bay, but you may have never really thought about the long and winding journey it took to get there. The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway runs from the Southern tip of Florida all the way to Brownsville for approximately 1,050 miles, and 379 of those miles comprise the Texan portion of the waterway, which, according to the Texas Department of Transportation, handles around 90 million tons of freight annually. The Waterwayâ€™s history carries a similar magnitude as well. Proposals for a robust inland waterway system date back to the 19th century, but due to funding concerns, as well as obstacles like wars and the railroad industry, which feared competition from this new type of infrastructure, construction on
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Gulf Intracoastal Waterway at High Island, circa 1935 (courtesy of Rosenberg Library, Galveston)
a waterway was delayed significantly. The discovery of oil at Spindletop served to catalyze the development of a Texan waterway for the transportation of goods, and, after years of land purchases, surveys, and dredging, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finally completed the Texas portion of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway in 1949. Now, Texas is a titan in waterborne freighting. The Texas Department of Transportation boasts that Texas inland waterways alone have the capacity to handle 50% of the Intracoastal Waterway’s annual traffic. That includes both the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Coast portions, which is 3,000 miles of ports and canals starting from Boston. Some of the busiest ports in the United 42 | THE LOCAL
States are located in Texas along the Waterway: Houston is ranked second in the total amount of cargo tonnage that passes through; Beaumont is fifth and Corpus Christi came in eighth, according to a 2016 ranking created by the American Association of Port Authorities. Using the Waterway is a huge savings for industries that rely on it to transport their products. It circumvents the need to move it on the highway system, where a platoon of much smaller trucks would be needed to move the same amount of cargo as a tanker. Maintenance of the Waterway is completely subsidized by the state government as well, meaning companies don’t have to bear that load. Consequently, it is a major boon to the economy
THE WATERWAY IS A MAJOR BOON TO THE ECONOMY OF THE TEXAS GULF COAST, FACILITATING MOVEMENT OF THE AREA’S FINANCIAL LIFEBLOOD: PETROCHEMICALS
of the Texas Gulf Coast, facilitating the movement of this area’s financial lifeblood: petrochemicals. But with all that commerce comes environmental concerns. Though 90% of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway’s barge traffic consists of petroleum products, according to the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, an oil spill in the aquatic corridor is not the most pressing concern currently. It’s the effect on the wildlife who make their habitats along the route that is more prone to raise eyebrows. Take the McFaddin Wildlife Refuge, just east of the Bolivar Peninsula, located on what the U.S. Fish and Wildlife calls the Chenier Plains Focal Area. Many different species of fish and waterfowl make their homes in the refuge, relying
on the vegetation in the area for food or nesting. Natural processes brought sediment to the area from which this vegetation flourished, but as canals throughout the area were constructed and now continue to be dredged, this sediment is taken from its natural resting place and deposited elsewhere, damaging the seagrass and other vegetation and, in turn, eradicating the habitats of many creatures. In addition, the sediment from other bodies of water upstream that would typically float down to rebuild this area after these processes are blocked by dams and other structures built in the canals. If that wasnâ€™t enough, this delicate ecology must survive the natural devastation that comes from major storms. It doesnâ€™t have the option to evacuate during a hurricane. Storms like these dump vast amounts of saltwater into areas, like the McFaddin Wildlife Refuge, where there are freshwater habitats. Vegetation in these areas have evolved to survive some saltwater intrusion, but without the proper sediment to bulk up the beaches and dunes that would typically shield inland bays from ocean overflow, saltwater inundates these areas and spreads across marshes via the direct routes created by manmade canals. Fragile environments that once held only fresh or even brackish water now find themselves battling high salinity, which strangles the plants that once grew there.
But what man damaged, man can maybe fix. Wild whooping cranes are an endangered waterfowl species who, every winter, fly to a few select spots to nest, one of these spots being the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, just down the coast a bit. In 2015, Friends of the Wild Whoopers, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the whooping crane population in this area, reported that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would use dredged material from the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway to rebuild eroding marshland in the Aransas Refuge. As silt is dredged up to clear the way for barges in the canal, it is then dispersed among the surrounding wetlands to preserve the habitats for the whooping cranes, who travel there every winter. Despite the economic vitality the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway provides to the Gulf Coast, it has also brought with it many environmental challenges. But it has become clear that, as wildlife and vegetation along the coast work to adapt to both natural and manmade changes in their habitats, man must adapt as well, careful not to disrupt the surrounding ecosystem of which we are very much a part. TL
Seth Beaugh is a freelance writer living in Austin who enjoys writing about culture, movies, and Texas history. He grew up visiting Bolivar Peninsula with his family, and can be contacted at email@example.com
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SUMME R STY LE GUIDE
Accessories Letâ€™s talk accessories! Summer means sunshine, beach time, and fabulous outfits. This season I encourage you to try the hottest style trendsâ€” adding bright colors, lots of new textures, and geometric shapes to your wardrobe. words by melissa roberts
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NAT U RA L T EXT U RES
If you are an active Instagram user, you may have noticed that straw bags are this season’s trend. I love my Mar Y Sol bag I found on shopbop.com. The bright colors, tassel accessory, and straw material make it the perfect beach bag which can also double as a casual purse. You can easily pair this bag with a neutral outfit for brunch with your girlfriends. I plan to wear a white tank—a summertime staple—and skinny jeans coupled with nude wedges to let this bag do all the talking! Wouldn’t it be fabulous with fringe earrings too? After brunch, simply throw your beach towel and sunscreen in it and you’ll be ready to hit the beach.
THE B O LDE R THE BE TTE R
Speaking of fringe, it’s making a surprise comeback this season; going over the top with this movement. Fringe will be seen everywhere, from purses and jewelry to shirts and shoes. I love these fringe earrings which come in many different colors at Bungalow Boutique in Beaumont, Texas. With accessories this summer don’t be afraid to make bold selections, choosing oversized and colorful earrings styled with a geometric necklace and a set of bangles to tie it all together. Purchase a few staple pieces that will get you through the season. When reusing accessories, it can sometimes be difficult to curate an original look but it’s also not feasible to have new accessories for every day of the season. No need to worry, I have a simple trick! Start with a couple neutral options that are versatile and fashionable then build outfits around these pieces. Check out these strappy sandals and the chevron loafers which both make it easy to style several day and night time looks. The chevron print on this shoe is so fun and can really jazz up your outfit. Black, futuristic sunglasses are such an exciting look that also are easy to use in different looks. These are all great options that you can wear all season!
photo courtesy of Bungalow Boutique
BUNGALOW BOUTIQUE 6385 Calder Ave. Suite E Beaumont, TX @shopbungalowboutique Melissa Roberts is an interior designer and stylist who specializes in residential interiors. She is originally from Port Acres, Texas and now lives in Houston, allowing her to fully service both areas. Melissa believes in living life beautifully and enjoys blogging about fashion and style. For more info, visit her website at melissarobertsinteriors.com
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LOCAL community & events
TOP TEXAS BEACHES
CRYSTAL BEACH, TX COMES IN AT
USA TODAY RANKS 10 BEST BEACHES IN THE LONE STAR STATE USA TODAY has come out with another of their 10Best Readers’ Choice lists, and this time, we’re talking Texas beaches. Crystal Beach/Bolivar Peninsula ranked fourth in a competitive lineup of nominated seaside destinations along the Texas Gulf coast. Though the initial list of 20 beaches was put together by editors, the readers’ votes helped determine the rankings, according to the list. Crystal Beach/Bolivar Peninsula is known for its seclusion and is a popular destination for birdwatching. photo credit: Luke Mauldin
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Area Information Live Webcams Local Events Business Directory Beach Rentals Fishing Reports
LocalNe ws.com THE LOCAL | 47
Where The Ghosts Tread An excerpt from the new novel Where The Ghosts Tread written by Bolivar Peninsula local Zechariah Turk
his area is fine, he thought. There is cover to protect me from the rain and sun alike. The water is not likely to come over the island. Although this island is low, I do not worry about it sinking. The rain must be coming within the next several days, but I have prepared for it. I do not fear nature, for I have come to live within it peacefully. I never take more than I need, and I always give back to her. After making the camp, he set out around the island on foot to explore its size. The island was ten acres at the most, and the up-river side was very high in case the water was to rise. He rigged and baited four trot lines, each with twenty-five hooks. He placed one on each side of the island opposite each other as though points on a compass. He moved back to the south side of the island where his camp was set up. He placed a single fishing pole with its line traveling out into the water and leaned it against a small forked tree near the riverâ€™s edge. He made a fire with the flint and his knife, then waited
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for the sun to begin its final descent into the night. The sun disappeared from the sky, leaving only traces of its brilliant colors lingering high above the young man. Brilliant streaks of red and orange reached across the sky. The river, envious of the sky, reflected the brilliant colors that were so high above it. It was truly something that was indescribable. He had witnessed this many times on the ocean. On the ocean, though, the sky and water fused as lovers and were inseparable on calm days. On the river, there was a firm separation between the sky and the water where the land was. The trees cast their giant dark silhouettes to create space and separation between the colors, as though the colors were not meant to blend. The young man thought of the two-color canvases as lovers trying to come together, but unable to meet. He knew that they would eventually come together as all rivers flow back to the ocean. For now, though, they could not touch. I wonder, he thought, why they are to be separated when they are most beautiful. The river is brown during the day, and that is when
the sky brings out the worst of her and shows all her imperfections. In the evening though, she is beautiful and matches the sky in brilliance. It is only when the river falls into the ocean that they are together. The sunrises, sunsets, and night time they fuse. On calm days too, they come together and are completely uniform in color. They are like lovers arguing when the sea is rough. A young man suffering from a lost lover ventures into the wilderness to overcome his inner demons. While there, he is met with turmoil and must find his way back to civilization in order to make peace with his past. Zechariah Turkâ€™s first book, Where The Ghosts Tread, is available for download on Amazon Kindle and for purchase at amazon.com
events W H AT ’ S HAPPENI NG LO CAL LY
editor’s pick BOLIVAR PENINSULA Lions Club
Golf Cart Poker Run
ET YOUR GOLF CARTS READY and put on your best poker face! The annual Bolivar
Peninsula Lions Club Golf Cart Poker Run will be held on Saturday, August 4. Golf carts line up at 10 am at Coconuts/Bamboo Bar, then will proceed to Tiki Beach Bar & Grill, The Eagles, Steve’s Landing Restaurant, and end at Stingaree Down Under. Awards given for Best Hand, Best Decorated cart and Traveled The Longest Distance to participate, as well as a live auction! Proceeds benefit Crenshaw and High Island schools and help to provide supplies for students. Visit www.bplions.org for more information.
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LOCAL community & events
Fajitas and Ritas Vine 2 Wine, Winnie
Winnie vs. the World Vine 2 Wine, Winnie
90s Night with DJ Paul Productions Neches Brewing Company
Red, White & Wine Vine 2 Wine, Winnie
Fourth of July Washers Tournament Crystal Beach
Lions Club Golf Cart Poker Run Crystal Beach
Botox and Wine Vine 2 Wine, Winnie
CCA STAR Tournament Texas Coast
Now-Dec Beaumont Farmers Market Beaumont
FOURTH OF JULY
ROLLINS VINE 2 WINE
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BEAUMONT FARMERS MARKET
Where Memories Are Made ď ™ Celebrating 5 Years! Bolivar RV Resort 731 Hwy 87 Gilchrist, Texas 77617
Bolivar RV Resort is a memorable vacation destination. Our 60-acre resort style complex offers an exquisite 2,700 sq ft executive beach home, pristine RV campgrounds, state-of-theart clubhouse, and a storage facility conveniently located on the premises. If you're looking for the premier RV park, look no further. Bolivar RV Resort has 36 all-concrete sites featuring full hookups, WiFi, and access to our Clubhouse where guests can enjoy the community room, private showers, and full laundry. Take in commanding views of the Intercoastal Waterway and Gulf of Mexico from our Sky Pool and adults-only Serenity Deck.
5 Year Anniversary
& Independence Day Celebration Join Us Saturday, 6/30/18, 7-11 pm At The Reserve Beach House
Live Band and Fireworks Bring your favorite snacks, drinks & chair
Vine 2 Wine 14773 Coon Rd. 409-719-8781
Local Directory ATTRACTIONS Fun Spot Water Slide 2061 Hwy 87 409-684-2384
VACATION RENTALS Aloha, Little Fish 2840 Hwy 87 409-684-3345
Fun Town Water Park 965 Noble Carl 409-466-1262
Gone Coastal 2290 Hwy 87 409-684-3790
RESTAURANTS/VENUES Jose’s Cajun Steakhouse 1021 Hwy 87 409-684-8612
Heavenly Horizon 2840 Hwy 87 409-684-3345
Jose’s Mexican Restaurant 1698 Hwy 87 409-684-1180 Neches Brewing Company 1108 Port Neches Ave. 409-237-5700 Steve’s Landing Restaurant 1290 Bay Vue Rd. 409-684-1999
Texas Marine, Conroe 1107 I-45 S 888-486-7840
Luz Gray, Broker Associate 2290 Hwy 87 409-457-6820
Texas Marine, Seabrook 2700 NASA Rd. 1 888-524-2859
Mary Ellen Smith, Broker 2290 Hwy 87 409-457-1070
SERVICES 3rd Coast Internet 4298 Hwy 87 409-684-7021
Pelican Point 200 Hwy 87 409-767-4464
A Shore Venture 409-926-2914
Swede’s Real Estate 2840 Hwy 87 409-684-3345
Dan Priest Insurance 347 S Main St. Ste. 100 409-755-7600
HOMEBUILDERS Brint Construction 970 Surfside Dr. 409-767-4464
Frontier Pest Control PO Box 277, Midway 866-400-7378
Cobb Homebuilders 2290 Hwy 87 409-651-6004 HOME DÉCOR/FURNITURE Alyson Jon Interiors 6430 Phelan Blvd. 409-866-3171 Bayside Chic Galveston 4002 Broadway 409-621-9540 Coburn’s Kitchen & Bath Showroom 2912 Eastex Fwy 409-899-9911
Ocean Blu 2840 Hwy 87 409-684-3345
Galveston Furniture & Flooring 4214 Broadway 409-762-5244
The Flight Deck 2840 Hwy 87 409-684-3345
The Blind Factory 7396 College St. 409-866-4055
The Reserve at Bolivar 731 Hwy 87 409-974-0064
BOATING/RV Bolivar RV Resort 731 Hwy 87 409-974-0064
The Ship’s Wheel 1021 Hwy 87 409-684-8612
REAL ESTATE Amy Chance Team 8245 Gladys 409-350-5650
Vine 2 Wine 14773 Coon Rd. 409-719-8781
Cobb Real Estate 2290 Hwy 87 409-684-3790
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Kelli Untermeyer, Realtor 2290 Hwy 87 409-795-7257
Harold’s Tackle Shop 1755 Hwy 87 409-684-1755 Texas Marine, Beaumont 1140 IH-10 N 888-620-8097
Gabourel Insurance 6454 Concord Rd. 409-898-2693 Galveston College 4015 Avenue Q 409-944-4242 Giglio Distributing 155 S ML King Jr. Pkwy 409-838-1654 ICM Air Conditioning 4445 Westpark Ave. 409-853-3513 Landry Insurance 1717 Magnolia Ave. 409-724-2454 GROCERY/SHOPPING The Big Store, Gulf Coast Market 2385 Hwy 87 409-684-2400 BANKING Texas First Bank, Crystal Beach 2385 Hwy 87 409-684-3523 Texas First Bank, Galveston 2401 Broadway 409-762-7974 Texas First Bank, Winnie 210 Hwy 124 409-296-2111
Gated beachfront community LOTS NOW AVAILABLE
A BRINT DEVELOPMENT
Private Road â€¢ Gated Subdivision FEMA & TWIA Insurable
409.767.4464 CALL FOR MORE INFORMATION
Located at Boyt Road and Hwy 87 CRYSTAL BEACH, TX 77650
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sea & be seen
The Sunbathers by David Lambert
By Dawns Early Light by David Lambert
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Galveston Ferry Ride by Tamia Cooper
Untitled by Scott Mistrot
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LOCAL sea & be seen
Snowy Egret in Gulf by Paul Noland
Share your local scene.
Send us photos of your favorite places, people, and past times. Submit high resolution images (300 dpi minimum) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Donâ€™t forget to include your name and picture title.
Jump In Sun by Helen Marston
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Untitled by Meranda Leigh Bartosh
B:12.5” T:12” S:11.5”
It’s the beer that Moctezuma It’shimself the beer that Moctezuma called “Super yummy!”
himself called “Super yummy!” Shazam for a story from a famous new friend Must be 21+to scan.
Shazam for a story from a famous new friend Must be 21+to scan.
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CLOSE TO HOME
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BOLIVAR PENINSULA VACATION RENTALS | REAL ESTATE & PROPERTY MANAGEMENT
Call 409.684.3790 to discover the COBB difference.