We are almost there — almost to the weekend. We've had one spectacular day after another over the last few weeks, and it looks like the dry spell will continue into next week. Highs again in the low 70s. In the words of Pct. 4 Commissioner Don Harris, "we sure could use the rain," but 70s in December isn't bad.
ON TODAY'S SHOW
Delayne Sigerman takes over The Lead Live at 9 a.m. this morning, and she will interview Kerrville City Manager E.A. Hoppe, who is approaching the end of his first six months on the job. This will be Hoppe's first interview on The Lead since we re-launched in August, and there's plenty to discuss.
We're going to be joined by Dr. Jeremy Faust, an emergency medicine physician at Harvard University's Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, to discuss the latest with COVID-19, including what's happening with the omicron variant. The crew from Stretch Zone will also visit to share their business concept with us. Finally, Jeremy Walther and Kayte Graham will take over the show to interview Louis Amestoy about why he started The Lead.
OUR DECEMBER E-EDITION IS AVAILABLE
Once a month, we attempt to curate our best work and place it into an online magazine called The Lead. The magazine features Clifton Fifer on the cover and has 44 pages of content. We estimate it's about 60% of what we published online in November. So, if you'd like to see the rest of the content, we ask you to consider subscribing to this newsletter — it's just $5.99 per month or $54.99 annually.
LOVE AND DEATH
The HBO limited series "Love and Death," which stars Elizabeth Olsen, started filming in Kerrville on Tuesday. On Wednesday, it was apparent that something was going on because of the sheer size of the production camped out at Inn of the Hills. There were dozens of classic cars and lots of green screens around the landmark Kerrville hotel to block some of the newer facets. The production continues today and will require a portion of Junction Highway and Harper Road between 6 a.m to about 3 p.m. We captured some of the early action on Wednesday morning. Here's a couple of observations:
For those who doubt the economic power of a Hollywood production, all you needed to do was to drive around Inn of the Hills to see production trailers, makeup trailers, craft serves and scores of grips working the set. We won't know the economic impact of the production, but we're certain that Inn of the Hills was probably having a good day.
It's also a reminder of the work that goes into a movie or television series. The camera operators and their assistants spent a good hour getting themselves into position while others moved lights, set up a green screen, and moved equipment. It was pretty awesome for those of us who enjoy the backend work of filmmaking.
COVID-19 IS EITHER REALLY BAD, OR IT'S NOT
Peterson Health didn't update its COVID-19 numbers for Wednesday, but the Texas Department of State Health Services dropped another stunning round of totals on our heads.
On Wednesday, DSHS said there were more than 400 active cases of COVID-19 in Kerr County. Most of these cases are probable, either rapid results or home tests, but it's almost impossible to know the severity of the situation. Since Nov. 19, DSHS has reported more than 300 probable cases. Is the number accurate? It's hard to say at this point, but Peterson's number doesn't confirm that. If anything, Peterson's statistics suggest we're on the other side of the delta variant. However, if it is accurate, we should see an increase in hospitalizations, and that's never a good sign.
One possible bit of bad news is that it may be in nursing homes. Data from Nov. 17 from the Texas Health and Human Services shows that three patients had COVID-19. The virus had been relatively dormant in the nursing homes over the last few weeks. However, when it gets loose in those homes, it can spread very fast.
SPEAKING OF COVID-19
Peterson Health is offering people a chance to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, including booster shots, starting at 7:30 a.m. on Dec. 4 at Kerrville's First United Methodist Church, 321 Thompson Dr.
Peterson said this clinic is for people 12 years and older that need their first dose, second dose, or booster, as well as the newly approved Pfizer pediatric COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11. The FDA and CDC have approved booster vaccines for anyone ages 18 or older.
If you have received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, a booster can be administered after at least six months from completing the primary COVID-19 series. If you have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you are eligible for a booster if you are 18 years or older and have received your initial vaccine at least two months prior.
The CDC said vaccines can be interchangeable as boosters. If you received one from the first series, you could receive a different vaccine as a booster. In addition, Peterson Health will be offering the newly approved COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5-11. Currently, Pfizer is the only approved vaccine for children in this age group at this time.
You may register for all of the vaccines described above on the Peterson Health website at www.petersonhealth.com. From the homepage, go to the top blue banner and click on the COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic Registration link in bold red type. Registration is quick and easy.
THE PUBLIC SAFETY BUILDING ISSUE
We sat through Tuesday's meeting of the city of Kerrville's public safety building bond committee, and we came away thinking this was a mess. It's a fixable mess, but it's a mess. It's easy to blame both the city (for failing to communicate intentionality properly) and the Let Us Vote group (another story altogether). Still, the truth is that the city has deferred this project for so long that now it's going to be expensive. Here are some takeaways:
- The idea of having a combined police, fire and court building might make sense, but it turns out that it's probably not that efficient. There is one exception — a unified command center in an emergency. As the committee went through the plans, it became more and more apparent that the police department may need its own building — separate from everyone else. The reason? Privacy and chain of custody. The police department has to maintain sensitive records, which means rightfully restricting access to people.
- This is one of the square pegs in a round hole or vice versa, and this plan may not fit. When the city pursued this plan in 2019, it was clear that land was an issue, and two of the three proposals didn't work. It may be wiser just to build a police station and re-think the fire department's needs. It's not what we all wanted, but the truth is finding the right site to fit all of those needs in downtown Kerrville sounds daunting and expensive.
More to come on this.
WE DON'T WANT TO HEAR COMPLAINING ABOUT NOTHING TO DO IN KERR COUNTY, LOOK AT THIS LIST:
Hill Country Christmas Concert
Calvary Temple Church
Pastor Del's Annual Christmas Concert. Start the Christmas season off with some wonderful Christmas songs. Admission: One non-perishable food item. Dessert reception to follow. https://www.ctc.church
Symphony of the Hills: "Holiday Hopes Dream Pray Love"
In this concert, a professional symphony orchestra drawn from the Hill Country and Central Texas celebrates brother and sisterhood's thoughts and prayers, featuring the Grand Symphony Chorus. Tickets are $25. https://www.symphonyofthehills.org
Kerrville Farmer's Market
A.C. Schreiner Mansion and Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library campus
Get your goods for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Or, even better, enjoy a freshly made pizza and a glass of beer.
Live Music by Voodoo Lengua
The Hunt Store
The Hunt Store's description is short and sweet: Musically speaking, a different kind of band. https://www.thehuntstore.com
First Friday Wine Share
Kerrville Aviation, Kerrville-Kerr County Airport
6 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Share a glass of wine, discover a new varietal and enjoy a night of great wine. https://www.firstfridaywineshare.com/
Possessed by Paul James and Ian Moore
Here's what Arcadia Live executive director Mike Kelliher said: "Ian Moore is a super guitar player. He's got a new album out, and he's touring. Of course, our local Possessed By Paul James is opening up the show. This should be an amazing show." https://www.thearcadialive.org/show/ian-moore-dec3/
Travis Pierce Band
La Escondida, 516 Jefferson, Kerrville
The Travis Pierce Band has been playing around Kerrville, but their first stop is at La Escondida.
The Four Freshmen: Christmas
Celebrate the holidays with the Legends of Four-Man Jazz. For more than 50 years, The Four Freshmen have performed with the same unmistakable sound of the original group – a vocal harmony like no other. As the 22nd incarnation of the Four Freshmen, their longevity proves they are doing it right. Tickets are $15 to $150. https://www.caillouxperformingarts.com
"A Christmas Carol"
The Point Theater, Ingram
7:30 p.m., also on Saturday night
No Christmas season is complete without a visit from old skinflint Ebenezer Scrooge and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future who bring about the most famous transformation in literary history. Join a small group of actors who re-create the dozens of characters populating Dickens' timeless tale of the redemptive power of Christmas. This performance is indoors. https://www.hcaf.com