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The Lead April 19, 2022: We chatted with 36 people on Monday, the conversations showed the best of Kerr County

The Lead Live's first Super Show showed the diversity and vitality of our community.

Good morning, Kerr County!

We are looking at a very slight chance of rain today across the Texas Hill Country — one that seems to be confidently slipping away. That's right; it's about a 10-20% chance today. The rest of the week shows some unpredictable weather but nothing concrete. We're likely to finish the week with a tenth-of-an-inch of rain so far this month. If that trend continues to hold, it could be one of the driest months in Kerrville's recent history — and a fifth consecutive month of less than an inch of rain. The driest April received .21 inches of rain in 2003. We stand at .19 with two weeks left.

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On today's The Lead Live!

After 36 guests on Monday's first-ever Super Show, we may have scared off people for a while, but the Kerrville Convention and Visitor's Bureau's Julie Davis will join us, and we'll ask her about some of the trends she sees in the travel industry. A surprise guest may show up — you never know.

Speaking of Monday's Super Show!

That's right; we had 36 people show up to chat with us over more than six hours of coffee and conversation. We had dog people, cat people, Republicans, Democrats, Yogis and dancers all come on the show, and we finished with a robust conversation about Bob Dylan.

Here's the full video from Monday's show:

Here's a sample of some of the talks from Monday's show:

Irene Van Winkle — Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Kerr County's Irene Van Winkle has led the effort to bring awareness to the issue, one that makes some uncomfortable, but her commitment remains true. On Monday, she said she'd got a spot in the Glory Community Garden to plant sunflowers in honor of her Ukrainian ancestry and determination.

Crystal Smith — While she's the owner of Billy Gene's Restaurant in Kerrville, Smith is actively involved in the Republican Women of Kerr County. The group hosts television news correspondent Lara Logan for an April 28 fundraiser at Arcadia Live. The event begins at 5:30 p.m., and tickets are still available. For information, email In terms of Republican women, Smith represents a decidedly younger demographic in the club. "I get that question all the time about why I joined," Smith said. Her response is simple: She wanted to get educated about the facts. It's a lesson she wants to continue for other younger women to help grow the club.

Judy Eychner — Eychner is running for mayor of Kerrville. In her 10-minute appearance, she articulated that affordable housing remains a top priority for the city. "If we don't look to the future and manage what's going on we're going to be in trouble," she said. Eychner reiterated her previous campaign statements that her only agenda is to work for Kerrville.

Kim Richards — Richards owns Dwell Well Experience, which manages vacation and short-term rentals, and she spoke about some of the community's challenges around this issue. "Vacation rentals have been here for over 15 years," she said. "There are over 400 here in Kerr County. We've literally never had an issue." Richards said she agreed with developing a stronger plan in Kerrville to manage the growing short-term market. "I was a little taken aback to not put a third one on a street," Richards said, referencing a recent Planning and Zoning Commission decision to reject two short-term rental conditional-use permits that would have led to multiple properties on the same streets. "That's not in the guidelines."

Barbara Veldhuizen — As the leader of the Kerr County Democrats, Veldhuizen represents a distinct but dedicated political minority. She said the Kerr County party is working hard to bolster voting registration and pushed back against voter-fraud claims posited by the Republican leadership. "When you pass a new voter bill when there is no evidence of fraud — at all — what happens is that you promote the idea that the voting system is untrustworthy," Veldhuizen said.

Sgt. Jack Lamb, Kerrville Police Department — Lamb provided an insightful story about dealing with young people who could have gotten in trouble with the police, but he went in another direction. "There's an old saying that there's no justice like mama justice," Lamb said. In that scenario, Lamb would call the parents to alert them that their child was potentially in trouble, and frequently a parent corrected the problem. "Sometimes, you just say, hey, this is what they're doing. Would you like to speak to your son or daughter?'" Lamb said. "Usually, you can hear them and that resolves a lot of issues."

Clifton Fifer — As part of the Super Show, guests and visitors were asked to make a small donation to support the Glory Community Garden in the Doyle neighborhood. Fifer told us the history of the garden, which once was an abandoned field but is now blooming nearly year-round. Fifer said the garden was established seven years ago as a Barnett Chapel United Methodist Church ministry. It is now flourishing with more than 30 tiny gardens and more on the way. All told, we raised $130.50 for the garden on Monday.

Richard McAlister, American Red Cross — Armed with goodies, McAlister broke some news that caught us off guard — your smoke detectors can expire. McAlister, who works for the Red Cross and in Kerrville, discussed the need for new smoke detectors, carbon monoxide monitors and emergency radios — all items the Red Cross can help obtain.

Phoenix Miller — The Schreiner University student and all-around great person sang this:

Check back throughout the week for more vignettes from our conversations with Dr. Bill Rector discussing the Heart of the Hills Heritage Center; Capt. Jeremiah Romack of the Salvation Army; Brenda Hughes, Kerrville City Council, candidate for Kerrville City Council Place 4.; Andrew Gay, Texas Hill Country Advisors financial services; Dale Leach, photographer extraordinaire; Kathryn Dover, Uniquely Kind Yoga; Tara Legenza and Karen Guerriero discussing a Kerrville Pets Alive fundraiser at La Escondida 1962 on April 30; Lynn Niles and Valerie Chambers to discuss a Board of Realtors event about buying and selling real estate; Monica Allen discussing volunteer opportunities at BCFS; Ada Brown to discuss the impact of the movie CODA, the 2022 Academy Award winner for Best Picture, on the hearing impaired community; Layng Guerriero discussing Prop. A — the bond issue to finance Kerrville's proposed public safety building; Mikeala Taylor and John Barrera discussing their podcast; Amber Thomason discussing the challenges of launching a small business; Jennyth and Axel Peterson discussing a Boy Scouts event; Darrell Beauchamp discussing the Museum of Western Art's latest show — The Heaven's Declare; Libbie Horton, Hillshapes; Charlotte Benson, Always Learning Tutoring; Kathleen Hudson, Schreiner University.

Parks and recreation is City Council focus

The Kerrville City Council meets at 10 a.m. today at the Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library to hear a presentation about the future of the parks and recreation department.

For the last several months, parks and recreation workers have met with Kerrville residents and other stakeholders to determine a new master plan for the city's recreational facilities. Led by Park and Recreation Director Ashlea Boyle, the department could reveal findings that center their efforts on improvements to Louise Hays Park, Nimitz Lake and the Guadalupe River Trail. Those were some of the initial suggestions from residents during focus groups meetings.

The city is nearing completion of one major upgrade at Louise Hays Park — bringing power to Tranquility Island. With the help of private fundraising by the Kerrville Christmas Lights Corp., the park could be lit year-round and open the park up to other events.

The City Council will also meet in an executive session to discuss candidates for a municipal court judge position.

On your calendar today

  • Collegiate golf — Riverhill Country Club, 8 a.m. Information: The details: The Western Athletic Conference Women's Golf Championships come to Kerrville with Chicago State, Dixie State (St. George, Utah), Grand Canyon, Lamar, New Mexico State, San Houston, Seattle, Stephen F. Austin, Tarelton, UT Rio Grande Valley and Utah Valley competing in the three-day tournament. After the first round, defending champion, New Mexico State took a five-stroke lead over favorite Sam Houston State. New Mexico State's Amelia McKee and Alison Gastelum shot 1-under 71s to share the lead. McKee got off to a rocky start by bogeying the first two holes but roared back over the next 16 holes.

  • Heaven's Declare Art Exhibition — Museum of Western Art, 10 a.m. Information: The details: Featuring works by renowned artists who celebrate the heavens. The exhibition will feature works by Phil Bob Borman, G. Russell Case, Tim Newton, Laurel Daniel, Linda Glover Gooch, David Griffin, David Grossman, Michael Magrin, Denise LaRue Mahlke, Phil Starke and John Taft.
  • Hill Country Arts Foundation, Ingram, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday-Friday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Information: Hill Country Arts Foundation, Ingram, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday-Friday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Information:
  • KACC Exhibits — Kerr Arts and Cultural Center, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Information: The details: "Monday Painters" members of the Monday Artists painters group exhibit, Paintings by Laura Roberts, "Guadalupe Watercolor Group" judged watercolor exhibit by members of the GWG. Artist reception April 30th, 1–3 p.m.


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