Good morning, Kerr County!
Today's newsletter is a bit short and about a five-minute read. The weather forecast is simple — hot. There's no rain in sight.
On today's The Lead Live!
After an epic eight-hour show on Thursday, we return to a more uncomplicated show today with American Red Cross meteorologist Richard McAllister, who will tell us why it's so hot (we know it's Texas), but this seems more foreboding. Join us at 9 a.m.
- Kerrville Farmers Market — A.C. Schreiner Mansion, 4 p.m. Information: https://kerrvillefarmersmarket.com/ The details: Come down and enjoy a complimentary beer, or buy a handcrafted pizza and enjoy the market.
- "Last Gas" — Playhouse 2000 VK Garage Theater, 7:30 p.m. Information: https://www.playhouse2000.com The details: Nat Paradis is a Red Sox-loving part-time dad. He manages "Paradis' Last Convenient Store," the last place to get gas (or anything) before the Canadian border in northern Maine. When an old flame returns to town, Nat gets a chance to rekindle a romance he gave up on years ago. But sparks fly as he must choose between new love and old. This play takes a hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking look at love lost and found and what it means to "get back to happy."
- "Matilda" — Hill Country Arts Foundation Point Theater, Ingram, 8:30 p.m. Information: https://www.hcaf.com The details: Matilda is a little girl with astonishing wit, intelligence and psychokinetic powers. She's unloved by her cruel parents but impresses her schoolteacher, the highly loveable Miss Honey. For her first term at school, Matilda and Miss Honey profoundly affect each other's lives, as Miss Honey begins recognizing and appreciating Matilda's extraordinary personality.
Science and Nature
- 1-on-1 with a naturalist — Riverside Nature Center, 10 a.m. Information: https://www.riversidenaturecenter.org The details: Naturalist, author, and columnist Jim Stanley and Texas Master Naturalist and native plant enthusiast John Hucksteadt will be available to meet one-on-one to answer questions, discuss various topics, or listen to ideas about nature.
- Tim Porter and Gary Hatch — Cafe at the Ridge, 6 p.m. Information: https://www.shopsattheridge.com
- Exit 505 — The Hunt Store, 7 p.m. Information: https://www.thehuntstore.com
- Sam Lewis — Pint and Plow, 6 p.m., Information: https://www.pintandplow.com The details: Singer/songwriter from Kerrville, Texas. Plays both covers and some original work.
- RXS Band — Pier 27 River Lounge and Pizzeria, 8 p.m. Information: 830-896-7437
- Ellis Bullard — Trailhead Beer Garden at Schreiner University, 7 p.m. Information: 830-307-5990 The details: Ellis Bullard is a True – Blue Honky tonk experience with unapologetic throwback style and real deal sound.
- Carlos Cuellar — Joanne Marie and Me Wine Boutique, 6 p.m.
The Health, Wellness and Beauty Show recap
You may have watched our massive Health, Wellness and Beauty Super Show on Thursday, but if you missed it here is the link:
Here are some of our takeaways:
- The underlying theme of Thursday's show was a lack of mobility is a real killer, but there are ample resources in Kerr County to help prevent that from happening. From Peterson Health to Fresh and Fit to The Center For Fitness, there are longtime providers to help recover mobility. There are also a slew of others here to help, and we learned about Big Game Training, Stretch Zone, Attainable Fitness and others who are ready to help. Russell Nemky, our first guest, said his most rewarding work as a physical therapist is helping those regain that mobility after a fall.
- Peterson Health shared a bit of news that they are adding a sports medicine department in the coming months.
- MHDD of the Hill Country's Amy Anderson shared that the program offers classes in Mental Health First Aid, designed to help everyone know the signs of mental health duress.
- Peterson Health Vice President Tim Rye, who manages the medical associates, said Peterson is successfully attracting new physicians. Still, housing remains an obstacle in hiring staff to support those doctors.
Finally, we have so much content that it's going to take us another day to sift through all of it, but look for individual stories about each of our guests in the coming days.
Short-term rental ground rules are set for Monday
On Monday, short-term rentals will take center stage during a town hall meeting at 6 p.m. at the Dietert Center. The city of Kerrville issued guidelines for this meeting on Thursday afternoon.
Starting at 6 p.m., city staff presentations will include:
- Zoning issues.
- Conditional Use Permits.
- Authorized districts under the Land Use Table.
- Density and distances from each short-term rental.
Residents may contribute individual written comments on topics related to short-term rentals at various public input stations beginning at 6:30 p.m. Comments must be relevant to the station topic. Staff will be on hand to answer questions.
A public comment section will begin at 7 p.m. This section is for those who want to verbally communicate ideas, concepts, and solutions to deliver potential short-term rental regulatory guidelines and zoning changes. Before speaking, each speaker must complete and submit a speaker request form to the city secretary by 6:50 p.m. Each speaker is limited to three minutes.
As we've written previously, the short-term rental is befuddling to the City Council and the planning and zoning commission, leading City Councilman Joe Herring Jr. to say, "you can't run a railroad this way."
We posted an informal survey about the issue, and we think the results speak to the City Council's challenge. Of those who participated, 64% said they didn't believe a moratorium on short-term rentals was necessary.
However, we also asked about placing short-term rentals in designated zones — and that was split. We could have asked that question better, but it was telling because of the split. Of the respondents, 40.4% said that short-term rentals must be in specific zones. However, 38.5% said it wasn't necessary. The rest are undecided.
Once again, this issue is not Kerrville's alone — it's an emergent problem across the state. It's been a longstanding issue in many communities across the country.
It also speaks to some of the long-held beliefs that government has no right to infringe on property rights. Here's a sample of some of the comments we scraped from our Facebook page and the survey.
- "Let people do what they want on their own property."
- "Get the city out of it like long-term rentals."
- "More government intrusion on what we can do with our own property! How exciting!"
- "I should be able to use the home I own as I please. I'm all for paying taxes etc, but don't restrict my freedom to operate a business."
We believe these sentiments are actually a small minority but represent three trains of thought about the struggle ahead. Here's how this could play out:
- There is a consensus for regulating short-term rentals through a strengthened conditional-use permit process.
- Short-term rentals are inappropriate in single-family residential neighborhoods and restricted to specific zones.
- There should be no restrictions; property rights are paramount and regulatory action is a potential violation of the Fifth Amendment's Takings Clause.
They don't want contraception?
On Thursday, 96% of House Republicans voted against a bill to codify contraception protections, including Rep. Chip Roy, who represents Kerr County in Congress.
Here's the simple text attached to the Bill: "To protect a person's ability to access contraceptives and to engage in contraception, and to protect a health care provider's ability to provide contraceptives, contraception, and information related to contraception."
We asked our readers about the issue of contraception; not one said they supported a ban or overturning of contraception protections. Now, our poll is not scientific. However, the University of Texas asked a similar question in June and found that 88% of Texans supported protecting contraceptive rights — for women. Of that sample, just 4% said those rights should be overturned.
Usually, you will hear the apologists saying Republicans are voting against other items wedged in a bill, but that wasn't the case. At least one Republican member said the bill was another example of "radical" efforts by the Democrats.
More Chip Roy
There's a theory that Republicans like to "own the libs" or make "libs cry," and Roy is one of the provocateurs. But Roy ran into Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin and was later called out by Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg, who was thrown out of the hearing. Raskin called out Roy in a constitutional argument about the Second Amendment.
And more from Chip
It's well documented that Roy texted White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows about the Jan. 6 riot calling it a "shitshow." Roy, however, was featured during Thursday night's prime-time Congressional hearing. After the Jan. 6, 2021 riot, Roy spoke out against the attack — calling it an attack on the Republic.