We're one day closer to the big day. We believe that little or no work will get done today, and people will be doing nothing on Friday. It will be so warm that most will be on the golf course, playing tennis or heartily jaunting along the Guadalupe River Trail.
SINCE SOME OF YOU DON'T COOK
The folks over at the Kerrville Convention and Visitor's Bureau developed this list for those who don't want to make a mess, set their house on fire or poison themselves with Christmas dinner.
- Y.O. Ranch Hotel and Conference Center, 2033 Sidney Baker St.
- 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
- Reservations are required for this buffet Christmas dinner. Give 'em a call at 830-257-4400.
- 209 Sidney Baker St.
- Open 24 hours
- America's holiday favorite is always open on Christmas. We wonder if they have a waitress named Judy?
Good Taste Asian Buffet
- 1303 Sidney Baker St.
- 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- A holiday tradition for many, nothing beats a good Chinese restaurant for Chinese dinner, especially after the Bumpus hounds consume your turkey.
- 1429 Sidney Baker St.
- Open 24 hours
- Another Holiday favorite — pancakes.
- Inn of the Hills Hotel and Conference Center
- 1001 Junction Hwy.
- 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
- Now that Hollywood has left, the hotel has returned to normal for this reservations-only Christmas dinner. Give 'em a call at 830-895-5000.
Thai Bistro and More
- 1201 Broadway
- 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., 5-9 p.m.
- 417 Water St.
- 11 a.m. to 2:3 0p.m., 5-9 p.m.
The Boat Oyster Bar and Grill
- 1483 Junction Hwy.
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JAN. 11 FIGURES TO BE A BIG CITY COUNCIL MEETING
The legal notice filed by the city of Kerrville for its Jan. 11 City Council meeting shows it will be one long and interesting meeting. The Council will consider an appeal on an annexation in north Kerrville, a slew of conditional use permits and a possible change to short-term rental policies.
The Jan. 11 meeting also features the presentation by a committee studying the city's needs for a public safety building. We did a deeper dive into the subject based on The Lead's interview with the committee chairman John Harrison, Police Chief Chris McCall and Fire Chief Eric Maloney. You can read that story here: https://kerrcountylead.com/chiefs-committee-chair-discuss-kerrville-s-proposed-public-safety-building
However, the City Council's heavy lifting on that meeting will be 12 items that require public hearings.
The annexation issue split the planning and zoning commission on Oct. 7. The plan was to change the zoning from residential estates to RE-1, which allowed the development of more than 40 homes behind Mountain Laurel View off of Coronado Drive. The neighbors opposed the plan, citing concerns with flooding. Even after the developer proposed significant changes to the drainage plan, the homeowners objected to the annexation and zoning change. The planning and zoning commission voted 4-3 to recommend denying the zoning change — leading to next month's hearing about the changes.
When it comes to short-term rentals, a steady increase of these vacation-type properties has come before the planning and zoning commission in recent months. Kerrville has about 70 properties recognized by the city, including those that pay hotel occupancy taxes. During a planning and zoning meeting earlier this month, a speaker called the short-term rentals a "clear and present danger" to the city's neighborhoods. The public announcement doesn't clarify what changes the city is considering in the short-term market, but it will be a significant discussion.
KERR COUNTY MAKES A STATEMENT ABOUT COVID-19
As the omicron variant of COVID-19 swept across Texas this week, Kerr County made a seemingly cheerful statement about the state of the virus here.
"Our active cases of the novel coronavirus have dropped to 154 from the 254 cases reported on Thursday of last week (Dec. 16)," said Dub Thomas, the county's emergency management coordinator. "This is a great indication that we're keeping COVID-19 in check here through a busy gathering season of the holidays."
The reality is that it's hard to determine the accuracy of the Texas Department of State Health Services counts. As Thomas commented, the omicron variant of the virus was overrunning hospitals in Houston. With the addition of at-home testing kits, it's increasingly difficult to determine how many people have the virus. Still, the one certainty is Peterson Regional Medical Center's hospitalizations remain low.
The truly cheerful part of Thomas' message was about the importance of mRNA vaccinations recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"With this recommendation being made, it is important that all providers of vaccines maintain adequate stock levels of the Pfizer and Moderna doses in order to give initial shots and boosters for all eligible adults," Thomas said.
SO, WHAT IS A COVID-19 CIRCUIT BREAKER?
Harvard emergency room physician Dr. Jeremy Faust, who belongs to the same Facebook-writing program as The Lead, wrote on Wednesday about the importance of issuing "circuit breakers" to slow the spread of the omicron variant. Faust, a guest on The Lead Live earlier this month, doesn't advocate for the extreme lockdown measures but suggests more substantial efforts to protect health care workers.
"[Circuit breakers] are short-term restrictions on high-risk activities, meant to disrupt and slow down the transmission of the virus," Faust wrote. "That, in turn, would allow hospitals to continue taking care of not only COVID patients but people with other acute conditions."
Faust and a team of scientists developed a dashboard that measures each county's risk before enacting any circuit breakers. For Kerr County, that would mean 56 people per day testing positive — a number we're not close to reaching currently. However, it's not unrealistic considering the high transmissibility of omicron and the high number of unvaccinated people in Kerr County.
LEGOS ARE GOLD — WE ALWAYS KNEW IT
National Public Radio had a report that suggested that the old reliable toy Lego is worth its weight in gold — literally. The Russian-based economics institute report says that the return on an unwrapped Lego set is 11%. That's also better than some stocks. The Danish toymaker has had its ups and downs, but it's still one of the great toys ever made. It's also an effective deterrent to bare-footed thieves.
SPEAKING OF LEGO
Here are the four greatest Lego-made battleships ever made.
French battleship Alsace