We've got a spectacularly busy today with a ton of events to get to, including the grand opening of the renovated Doyle Community Center at 5 p.m. Let's start the day with some key headlines:
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.
- KPUB's Bucket Truck Ride, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Louis Hays Park. Ever wanted to ride up in the lift in KPUB truck? It sounds like fun to us, but the good folks at KPUB are augmenting the experience with hot dogs, face painting and playing with electricity — literally.
- The Doyle Community Center's grand opening, 5 p.m. The much-anticipated re-opening of the renovated Doyle Community Center is going to be a remarkable event. Expect a lot of smiling faces on this project.
- Dedication of Hal Peterson Middle School, 3 p.m., the dazzling new middle school campus is dedicated. Expect a lot of dignitaries.
COVID-19 DEATHS CONTINUE TO CLIMB
The Texas Department of State Health Services reported two additional deaths of Kerr County residents from COVID-19. One death happened in August, while another in September. The Lead now believes the death toll is 40 people since Aug. 1 and approximately 182 deaths since the start of the pandemic. The only good news about the ongoing pandemic is that new cases are starting to wane, along with hospitalizations.
MIKE WITTLER HAS WEATHERED PLENTY OF STORMS
We chatted with Kerrville Public Utility Board's Mike Wittler and Allison Bueche about Public Power Week, which wraps up today. Wittler, KPUB's CEO, discussed the ongoing fallout from the great winter storm of 2021. We also pinged or badgered him (depending on how you look at it) about the future of energy. The KPUB crew will be on hand from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at Louise Hays Park for an event celebrating Public Power Week. Read the story here: https://kerrcountylead.com/351702436751096
Or watch the video:
BRING A DOG TO THE KERRVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT
The Kerrville Police Department is inching closer and closer to its goal of $80,000 to fund a new K-9 unit. The department has raised about $30,000. The department has been without a K-9 unit for the last few years, and the price tag covers the training costs for the dog. The department will take donations at the department, or secure donations can be made through The Community Foundation: https://www.communityfoundation.net/?fbclid=IwAR37ZEFGcOfxXRwNbJ2ljr9qHGqpfoL_BQ_4zTAVnr-4YTm3F98tACMkbMI
ABORTION WIN FOR TEXAS — FOR NOW
The Fifth District Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Texas' abortion ban — at least temporarily. The decision restores the state's fetal heartbeat bill, which basically restricts all abortion by handing enforcement to private citizens. Earlier this week, a federal judge blocked the implementation of the bill. The decision will ultimately rest with the Supreme Court. However, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was in a celebratory mood on Friday night.
FOOTBALL FRIDAY NIGHT
- Tivy snapped its five-game losing streak — at a crucial time — with a 50-43 victory over Lockhart on the opening night of district play. The victory actually snapped a seven-game losing streak dating back to last season.
- Center Point was punched out on the road by Mason, 54-0.
- In the second half, Ingram held a 12-6 lead but gave up a series of big plays in a 30-12 loss against visiting Sonora. The interesting thing about Ingram is they are loaded with talented freshmen, including quarterback Aiden Rendon, who threw for 270 yards and two touchdowns.
MIKE IS MAD AT US
Kerrville Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman Mike Sigerman is mad at our characterization that a decision on Thursday night was "kicking it down the can." In a Facebook comment Sigerman said:
Planning and Zoning Commission did their job and made a motion on recommended zoning for the property in question. This was always going to City Council for a final decision so before you make a statement like that please get your facts straight and understand how the system works. As chairman of P&Z I I resent your stating we kicked the can down the road as that is 100% false. You obviously don't understand how these decisions are made.
BUT THE BIG PICTURE
We don't disagree that the planning and zoning commission did their job on Thursday by voting to recommend changing a proposed housing development zoning from R1 — which would allow for smaller parcels and single-family homes — to a lower density residential estate zone. The proposed development is on the north end of Coronado Drive, just north of Mountain Laurel View. Neighbors led an impressive and coordinated effort to fight the plan. Now, the way we look at this is that there are plenty of mixed messages here:
- There wasn't unanimity in the decision by the commissioners. The motion was on recommending re-zoning to the less dense option to the City Council.
- The city staff made a presentation that seemed to support the plan, including comments by the city engineer that the proposed development had gone above and beyond in preliminary efforts to mitigate concerns over flooding in the area.
- There is also the argument that the developer was overly transparent in its efforts to get the project approved. You could also argue the developer could have backed off from the preliminary plat, asked for annexation and then submitted a plat that would have been easier to pass through the P&Z and the City Council.
In the end, the City Council will have to deal with the same level of discussion — unless the developer pulls the project — that was experienced at the P&Z level, but do it without consensus from the commission and the staff.
THINGS TO DO TODAY
The Sunrise Lions' Steve Hamilton Memorial Color Fun 5K Run
7:30 a.m., Texas Lions' Camp, Kerrville.
Who doesn't like a little color in their lives, especially to start the morning? Proceeds support the Kerrville Sunrise Lions Club, a non-profit organization providing programs for our community and the Texas Lions Camp. To Register: https://www.runsignup.com/Race/TX/Kerrville/SunriseLionsColorFunRun
Mountain Home Volunteer Fire Department's Steak Dinner Fundraiser
4 p.m., Mountain Home Volunteer Fire Department, Mountain Home.
OK, who doesn't like a good barbecue steak? Better yet, a firehouse barbecue steak. Help the volunteers to provide critical services to West Kerr County. Call: 830-866-3310 for more information.
Kerr County Celtic Festival
9 a.m.-6 p.m., Hill Country Arts Foundation, 120 Point Theatre Road, Ingram.
With men attired in kilts, there will be throwing things and playing pipes. The pandemic cut this event short last year.