Another great day to talk about all things Kerrville. We were knocked offline for hours on Monday thanks to the weird Facebook outage. However, we will be online today for The Lead Live at 9 a.m. today, but we have no idea who will be our guests. It's going to be an adventure.
NEWS AND NOTES
ABORTION POLLING: Texas continues to draw attention for its abortion law, and a poll found a majority of Americans opposed the restrictions, including 57% of Republicans. The poll is from Marist/NPR PBS News Hour and found 58% of all respondents were opposed to limiting abortion in the first six to eight weeks.
- According to the Marist Poll, Americans across party lines oppose only allowing abortions until about 6 to 8 weeks into pregnancy. 61% of Democrats, 59% of Republicans, and 53% of independents are in opposition. Majorities of both women (63%) and men (53%) oppose the limits as well.
- Read more here: https://maristpoll.marist.edu/polls/npr-pbs-newshour-marist-national-poll-abortion-texas-abortion-restrictions-october-4-2021/
TEXAS WILL GET A LOT REDDER: Rep. Chip Roy's 21st Congressional District will be a lot safer for him if a proposed map holds up — likely. Despite threats from liberal-leaning groups, Texas is controlled by the Republican party, and they have carved for themselves a very safe map that creates just one competitive district. Roy, as he predicted, will lose much of Austin from his district and now puts him in a district with a 21-point GOP advantage. Of course, Texas picked up two seats in the House of Representatives with apportionment. FiveThirtyEight has a terrific analysis of the map with before and after tabs. Take a look: https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/redistricting-2022-maps/texas/amended_plan/
YEAH THIS IS JUST WEIRD: Just when you thought our public discourse couldn't get any weirder and NBC Sports reporter mistook a chant as a NASCAR as "Let's Go, Brandon." What was being said was: "F&%^ Joe Biden." The crowd was saying this during an Xfinity Cup race at Talladega, Alabama. The winner of the race was Brandon Brown. Anyway, this was an embarrassing moment for NBC reporter Kelli Stavast. Of course, this didn't stop U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz from jumping on the crude bandwagon by Tweeting this:
PAXTON'S VOTER FRAUD QUEST: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton continues his effort to expose voter fraud, and he touted the state has had 535 cases of voter fraud since 2005. However, he avoided specifics because the specifics are relatively limited. However, if you want to read what Paxton has to say, here it is: texasattorneygeneral.gov/initiatives/election-integrity
Facebook and its affiliated websites — Instagram and WhatsApp — were down for hours on Monday after something or someone wiped out the internet pathways connecting users to the sites.
The outage was so severe that Facebook's stock plunged 4% on the news and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by about a point, while NASDAQ fell two points.
Twitter, of course, took full advantage of the situation and trolled its competitor. "Hello literally everyone," Twitter wrote. However, by Monday afternoon Twitter, Gmail and Snapchat were all reporting problems.
The Lead is published via Facebook's Bulletin platform. Facebook is one of The Lead's financial backers.
Peterson Health reported 17 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, which has been about normal for the last few weekends. The good news was 11 people were hospitalized, but five were in intensive care.
NOT SO FAST ON MOVING OUT OF CITIES
A study by the U.S. Census Bureau and real estate website Zillow splashed cold water on the notion the coronavirus pandemic was leading an exodus from large cities.
If anything, the researchers found the opposite. And the shocker was that a lot of people were living in heavily urban areas and then working in suburban or rural areas. San Antonio was among the top 20 markets where this was occurring, according to the study. More than 50% of commuters were driving from urban areas to suburban or rural areas — we probably see a lot of that here in Kerr County. The study called this reverse commuting.
The results were not surprising to Gil Salinas, chief operating officer for the Kerr Economic Development Corp.
"It's not surprising to see people from the San Antonio area commuting to Kerrville for work," Salinas said. "The cost of our housing market and a pretty small inventory of homes are keeping working people from moving into the area. So the next best thing is to commute in and out of Kerrville for a job, which is relatively easy from San Antonio."
The Zillow survey said most people are willing to commute 30 minutes one way and placed a lot of importance on the proximity of their home to their work. One surprising finding: Pre-pandemic remote workers were more likely to buy in urban areas.
If you look at the situation in Texas, there are 41 cities with 100,000 or more residents, and all of those places saw population increases in the 2020 census. Texas is home to five of the 25 largest cities in America — Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth and El Paso.
So, how exactly will COVID-19 change things locally?
"COVID-19 has been the biggest global disruptor in recent history, and we're still trying to figure its full impact in our local and regional economies," Salinas said. "We have to wait at least another year or two to fully determine the impact of Covid and what sectors and industries benefited from the global pandemic as well as those which didn't."
FREE UP YOUR CLOSETS FOR A GOOD CAUSE
The students at Hal Peterson Middle School and B.T. Wilson School are holding their annual shoe collection drive. So, that means clean your closets out of excess shoes.
While some of us hold fast and true to the concept, one can never have enough shoes; there are those in other parts of the world who can't afford to have multiple pairs. So, here are the details:
The event ends on Oct. 12, and you can drop off shoes at Fidelity Abstract and Title, 829 Jefferson St. There will be a drive-thru drop-off event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 9 at B.T. Wilson, 605 Tivy St.
BY THE WAY
We are starting to make our morning webcast available as an audio-only version via Anchor, Spotify and Apple podcasts to start. You can listen to Monday's show here: https://anchor.fm/louis-amestoy/episodes/The-Kerr-County-Lead-Live–Oct–4–2021-e18anov