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The Lead Dec. 16, 2021: Parks and recreation leads the discussion for Kerrville

The city holds a listening session to determine future of parks and recreation.


Is rain headed our way? The National Weather Service is saying that could happen Friday night and through the weekend. Let's just say that's a welcome forecast. While the rest of the country has been walloped by storms, Texas has remained relatively calm — shocking. However, this front could bring thunderstorms and a 60% chance of rain into the weekend. By the way, we're now nine days away from Christmas, but who's counting?


The Lead Live Thursday host Delayne Sigerman welcomes Kim Richards to discuss the growth of Kerrville's short-term rental properties. The Kerrville City Council approved a multi-home property as short-term rentals on Tuesday night, becoming increasingly important as a hotel occupancy tax driver. When it comes to getting a short-term rental in Kerrville, one of the busiest times of the year is during the Kerrville Triathlon Festival. It shows the power of Kerrville as a recreation destination. Kerrville Parks and Recreation Director Ashlea Boyle will talk to us about the city's recreation plans in the coming years. The show starts at 9 a.m.


We made it out for our 11th consecutive night of searching for some of the best Christmas lights in Kerr County. We found 15 more in Kerrville and Ingram. We're heading down to Center Point on Thursday for our final night of searching. We realize we didn't get to all of them, but we've seen a lot of great work on this first-time adventure. We stand at 179 homes photographed. Our map:


Kerrville Parks and Recreation Director Ashlea Boyle speaks at Wednesday's night's planning meeting

Kerrville's Park and Recreation Department hosted a listening session to update the city's master plan for parks. Led by Parks and Recreation Director Ashlea Boyle and former director Malcolm Matthews, the city wants to redefine the community's needs for recreation over the next decade.

Working from a list of 55 major projects, many of them capital facilities, the plan was to narrow them down into a plan presented to the City Council.

Matthews, who formerly ran parks and recreation in San Antonio, is serving as a consultant, and he shepherded the discussion on Wednesday night at the Dietert Center. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Kerrville has seen an uptick in activity along the Guadalupe River Trail, Scott Schreiner Golf Course and the Kerrville-Schreiner Park. The city is working from data showing revenue increases for the golf course and camping and use fees at Kerrville-Schreiner Park.

The Guadalupe River plays a significant role in many of the conversations. At least 14 of the items involved the river trail or improving access to the river for water recreation.

Matthews told the approximately 40 people who attended the meeting — including Mayor Bill Blackburn and City Councilwomen Brenda Hughes and Judy Eychner — that the plan developed would complement the city's 2050 Plan and meet guidelines for approval by Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Each participant ranked their choices of importance. Judging by the initial responses, those in attendance listed these priorities:

  • Repurpose softball fields at Singing Wind Park into a dog park, disc golf course or another recreational opportunity.
  • Use only native plant species in the landscaping of city properties.
  • Maximize public-private partnerships to expand fee-based opportunities from zip lines, food trucks, bowling or others.
  • Singing Wind Park skate park expansion.
  • Expanding the river trail.

The next phase will be a broader survey of the community about their interests. That survey is expected to be released early next year.


On Tuesday night, Kerrville Mayor Bill Blackburn asked Fire Chief Eric Maloney if a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention metric identified Kerr County as a COVID-19 hotspot. Maloney said he wasn't aware of one off the top of his head.

So, we dug back into the CDC website, and sure enough, they rate Kerr County as a substantial risk for COVID-19 transmission. This should come as no surprise because most of Texas is at significant risk for transmission. Six Texas counties are considered low risk.

The data tells an interesting story about how the delta variant of COVID-19 appears to have kept people hospitalized longer compared to the previous 2020 spike. The data shows Peterson Regional Medical Center routinely had more than 30% of its beds filled with COVID-19 patients. The intensive care unit was even more impacted. Hospital utilization shows that Peterson Regional Medical Center is nearly full — without COVID-19 patients.

The good news is Kerr County's positivity rate is now about 6%, but that could also be misleading. Self-test results are not required to be reported by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Of course, all of this comes as omicron shows up in Bexar County two weeks before Christmas.

On Wednesday, Peterson Health said it had 10 new positive cases (seven of those unvaccinated) and the four hospitalized, including one in the intensive care unit. Across Texas, it proved to be another day of more than 3,000 new cases. Since Thanksgiving, Texas has had 2,000 cases or more every day.


We had a terrific conversation with Christian Men's Job Corps Executive Director Tom Jones about the organization's direction. It was a candid chat about how Jones initially turned down the opportunity to interview for the position but reconsidered minutes later. For more on the story, please visit here:



Peterson Regional Medical Center's Bistro

7 a.m.-5 p.m.

For just $5, pick up jewelry and accessories and lots of great items for Christmas and all just $5. Peterson Health Auxiliary sponsors this event; all proceeds benefit scholarships and hospital equipment. Cash, debit/credit accepted.

Art Mart

Hill Country Arts Foundation, Ingram

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The annual Hill Country Arts Foundation showcases hand-made arts and crafts by area artists. Gift ideas that are perfect for holiday giving. The show runs Tuesday through Saturday.

Hill Country Youth Orchestra Tours of Schreiner Mansion

Schreiner Mansion, Earl Garrett St., Kerrville

10 a.m.-2 p.m.

The Hill Country Youth Orchestra members guide you through the historic Schreiner Mansion downtown. All proceeds benefit the HCYO.

The Schreiner Mansion holiday tours benefit the Hill Country Youth Orchestras program during December. Tours include wassail, cookies, holiday sled photo opportunity and holiday carolers.

The Texas Furniture Makers Show

Kerr Arts and Cultural Center, Kerrville

10 a.m.-4 p.m.

After, or before you tour the Schreiner Mansion, visit the Kerr Arts and Cultural Center to experience the 22nd annual Texas Furniture Makers Show. There's other offerings in the center, including shopping. Admission is free.

Dec. 17

Kerrville Farmer's Market

Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library Campus

4-6 p.m.

Come find a Christmas gift or a pork chop. We're thinking pork chop, but there will be a wide range of items for sale at this pre-Christmas market.

Dave Kemp

Cafe at the Ridge

6 p.m.

A gifted singer and songwriter, his original material is some of the best music you've probably never heard. From public shows and house concerts, no one does it better. Except maybe James Taylor. But he's probably too expensive so yea, go with Dave.

Other live music around Kerr County

6:30 p.m. Music by Modal Mojo at the Southern Sky Cafe, Ingram

7 p.m. John Earle Mainord at Trailhead Beer Garden, Schreiner University


Arcadia Live, Kerrville

7:30 p.m.

Here's what Arcadia Live Executive Director Mike Kelliher said: "It's going to be a real fun show. If you've seen them at a normal event it's a really fun time. Lead singer Kevin Russell he used to be with "The Gourds." He plays a lot of funky instruments, and he's got the Shiny Soul Sisters backing him."


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