Good morning, Kerr County!
We will likely see some heat records fall thanks to this heat wave when everything is said and done. Tuesday's high of 101 breaks the previous high of 99 set in 2011 on June 7. Today's forecast could also be a record-breaker. Here's a look at the record highs since 1975 for the next few days:
- 99 — June 8, 2011 | Forecast: 101
- 98 — June 9, 1994 | Forecast: 98
- 104 — June 10, 1988 | Forecast: 102
- 98 — June 11, 2012 | Forecast: 104
- 98 — June 12, 2012 | Forecast: 104
- 97 — June 13, 2011, 2009 | Forecast: 103
The National Weather Service's 14-day outlook shows that we're in for an extended heat wave. We won't have it as bad as other parts of Texas, but it's not going to be fun. Here's our forecast and a look at what the National Weather Service thinks will happen:
On today's The Lead Live!
So, this will be an exciting show with Pint and Plow's Jeremy Walther serving as the guest host today. Walther has a wide range of guests planned for this event today, but you will have to visit us at 9 a.m. to find out. On Thursday, Texas Hill Country Advisors Andrew Gay will be the guest host and will give an update on the Leadership Kerr County program sponsored by the Kerrville Area Chamber of Commerce. Coming Friday, Louis Amestoy returns with the Community Foundation of the Hill Country's Austin Dickson and JK Bernhard's Kevin Bernhard.
Note about this week's newsletter
Due to our travel schedule this week, we may not be able to provide a newsletter on Thursday and Friday mornings. However, we're going to provide a newsletter on Saturday.
Today's newsletter is sponsored by
Events we're thinking about today!
Coming Sunday, Together With Hill Country Veterans will host an event aimed at women veterans. The event starts at 2 p.m. at the Hill Country Veterans Center and RSVP to Kathie Anderson at (541) 913-7339.
More events are headed your way TODAY!
Markets and Sales
- Friends of the Library Book Sale — Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library, 1–3 p.m. Information: https://kerrvillet.gov/349/FOTL-Book-Sale The details: Looking for a great read? Or better yet, come down and support the work of Friends of the Library. Maybe find a banned book? That sounds like a fun day to us.
- Kerr County Produce Market Day — The Big Red Barn, 10 a.m., Information: 830-896-7330 The details: Kerr County Produce Market Day (The Big Red Barn). Local Hill Country wholesale warehouse distributor for the finest fruits and vegetables. Open to the public.
- Reptile Adventures — Cailloux Theater, 10 a.m. Information: (830) 258-1274. The details: Critters. Lots of critters.
- Eduscape Talks — Riverside Nature Center, 10:30 a.m. Information: https://www.riversidenaturecenter.org The details: Native Plant Society of Texas member Veronica Hawk will speak about the importance of using native plants in landscaping.
The Kerrville Folk Festival
8 p.m. The Threadgill Theater, Sundown Concert
- Bernice Lewis
- Walt Wilkins
At our museums:
- Texas Watercolor Society Annual Exhibit — Hill Country Arts Foundation., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Through June 30. Information: https://www.hcaf.com The details: The Hill Country Arts Foundation is hosting the Texas Watercolor Society's 73rd National Exhibit. This exhibit features watercolor pieces by over forty artists from across the United States. In 1949, TWS was founded by Margaret Pace Willson and Amy Freeman Lee with the mission to advance the art of painting in watercolors, and hold annual exhibitions of watercolor paintings. Today, more than 60 years later, TWS continues to promote the high standards set by its founders. Thus, as a national exhibit, TWS proudly takes its place among the elite watercolor organizations in the nation.
- Heaven's Declare Art Exhibition (Recurring through Saturday) — Museum of Western Art, 10 a.m. Information: https://www.museumofwesternart.com 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.
- Southwest Gourd Show — Kerrville Arts and Cultural Center, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Information: https://www.kacckerrville.com The details: See some of the finest examples of gourd-based art and uses during this unique exhibit that runs through July 9.
Arcadia Live's Featured Event
Thursday, June 9, 2022
7 p.m. doors open
7:30 p.m. — Pat Byrne Band
- Pat Byrne, along with his string trio, is coming off a memorable set at the Kerrville Folk Festival, and now he's back for more.
9 p.m. — Reckless Kelly
- Reckless Kelly has graced the musical landscape with a high-powered form of Americana, equally rooted in raw passion, refined musicianship, and gritty authenticity. With the dual release of two new albums—American Jackpot and American Girls—the Idaho-bred band presents a beautifully detailed portrait of their beloved country, turning their nuanced songwriting to its many glories and tragedies.
News around Texas
- In the wake of the Uvalde shooting, Texas officials have tried to encourage more schools to arm teachers, but the program hasn't been met with enthusiasm, according to the Texas Tribune. As a note, Ingram is one of a handful of Texas districts with armed teachers. https://www.texastribune.org/2022/06/07/texas-school-marshal-program/
- It was an interesting day on the political front, with Attorney General Ken Paxton pursuing legal action against Twitter over the number of fake accounts on the platform, a move by a Texas state representative to ban drag queens from reading to children, and the Matthew McConaughey made a heavyweight speech at the White House (which sucked most of the oxygen away from other Texas politicians). Here's the Tribune's story on Paxton: https://www.texastribune.org/2022/06/06/texas-ken-paxton-twitter-fake-bots/
- By the way: Monkey Pox has arrived in Texas.
Building with steel is how Bernhard rolls
JK Bernhard Construction and Steel Frame Solutions, LLC President and CEO Kevin Bernhard shows off his yard and production facilities where steel trusses and frames are constructed.
Kevin Bernhard is steely.
His vision for the future of construction is simple — steel.
It's also simple — literally.
If you've ever built something from Ikea, you know that it's a marvel of form and function, and that's how Bernhard sees the future of building — machine-drilled and pre-fabbed steel framing assembled quickly and easily.
Kevin Bernhard is plenty busy with his main hustle — JK Bernhard Construction, but he's not one to rest. Bernhard diversified his company by opening Steel Frame Solutions, LLC.
The strategy for the company is simple — simplified construction solutions.
"If we can get those wood framers interested in how to do this," Bernhard said.
The way Bernhard sees it is all about improving a product, improving labor and, ultimately, the process. The technology harkens back to those school-aged Erector sets.
He's starting to see some movement.
"A lot of it changed when lumber went up," Bernhard said. "I think once they figure out the ease of it."
Steel trusses are ready for shipment. The simple design and construction makes it an attractive alternative to wood-frame housing.
That ease is lining up the pieces and bolting the work together. Pre-made joists, windows and trusses are manufactured in hours. The barrier to entry is following the instructions — like hot to make the KLIMPFJÄLL dining room table at Ikea.
The improved efficiency of the technology has put Bernhard in place to provide steel fabrication for construction projects big and small. The investment is clear at his Goat Creek Road factory — a clean setup where the technology can produce pieces within hours.
However, plenty rely on the familiarity of building a house out of sticks, including production-scale builders.
"They're used to doing it this way, and this is how they've always done it," Bernhard said. "If we can get in front of them and they see from multifamily to production builders to even custom homes, it all works through this because it's all driven from your original plans."
Despite the strength of steel-framed construction, builders still use wood. In 2020, about 91% of housing was wood frames. The steel-frame market capture about 1%, but that's expected to change, according to industry analysts. One analyst, Grand View Research, suggests the light-gauge steel market will grow by about 5% between now and 2028.
The company also markets steel framing for the interiors but isn't afraid to offer other design solutions.
Bernhard's campus is an example of his commitment to the process — combining the classic features of a Hill Country architectural aesthetic, including stone and metal. It's also a high-tech operation.
"We make it look like it's not just a metal building," said Bernhard, who earned a construction science degree from Texas A&M. "We add a lot of glass."
Kevin Bernhard checks the progress of two of his employees setting up a machine for production.
The company's offices look more like a tech company, with a Texas flair, than a construction firm, and Bernhard stresses the company is moving forward with more innovations. Software programs help drive a builder's vision to the precision of the manufactured project. Finalized plans tell the machines where to place the holes and how to fabricate the pieces.
Bernhard believes this is the future, and he's already delivering plenty of product across Texas and into Oklahoma, but more is on the way.
Wonder why there are no houses for sale?
Data from the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank and Realtor.com demonstrated just how tight the nation's housing market is, especially here in Texas.
In May, according to the data, Texas had 46,100 homes or townhouses available on the market — that was actually an improvement. According to Realtor.com, the data shows Texas bottomed out in March with its tightest inventory in six years, with 34,000 homes listed. In 2017, more than 100,000 homes were available. There are more than 11 million households in Texas.
Texas wasn't alone with tight inventories — it's everywhere. Just some of the Texas takeaways:
- The median listing price per square foot was $190. That still makes Texas affordable compared to most of the Western and Northeastern sectors of the country. New York's median price per square foot was $464.
- The median days on the market is 31 — and that's down 17 days from 2021.
- The average Texas listing price was $569,000 in May. Eight states had averages topping $1 million, and Washington was close at more than $900,000.
- The median home size in a Texas listing was just over 2,000-square feet.
As a responsible gun owner, McConaughey has seen enough
Academy Award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey previously said he wasn't ready for a run at political office in Texas, but that was before 19 children and two teachers died in the massacre at Uvalde's Robb Elementary School.
During an impassioned, sometimes furious, speech at the White House press briefing, McConaughey challenged leaders across the country to develop gun regulations that could prevent another mass shooting.
Returning to a theme, he pitched in an editorial for the Austin American-Statesman; McConaughey said he believes in the Second Amendment, yet tempered by responsible gun ownership.
"We need to restore our American Values and we need responsible gun ownership," McConaughey said. "Responsible gun ownership. We need background checks. We need to raise the minimum age to purchase an AR-15 rifle to 21. We need a waiting period for those rifles. We need red-flag laws and consequences for those who abuse them."
During a 15-minute speech, McConaughey, who was born in Uvalde and spent part of his youth there, tearfully directed his early speech to the victims.
He singled out the story of Maite Yuleana Rodriguez, 10, who wore green high top Converse basketball shoes with a heart, and who wanted to be a marine biologist. McConaughey noted that Rodriguez had already decided she wanted to go to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi because it was near the ocean.
"Maite wore green high-top Converse with a heart she had hand-drawn on the right toe, because they represented their love of nature," McConaughey said before asking his wife, Camilla, to show the shoes to the media. "She wore these every day. Green Converse with a heart on the right toe."
With his voice wavering, McConaughey continued: "These are the same green Converse on her feet that turned out to be the only clear evidence that could identify her after the shooting."
At that point, McConaughey pounded his fist on the lectern, saying, "how about that?"
He continued his eulogy and recognition of the others lost at Uvalde's Robb Elementary School on May 24. The day after the shooting, McConaughey and his family traveled to Uvalde to mourn the victims and meet with the families.
The actor directed fury at the high-velocity impact of the AR-15 rounds that struck 37 people that day. He told the story of a mortuary cosmetologist who had the job of rebuilding faces and bodies for open-casket funerals.
"These bodies were different," he said. "They needed extensive restoration. Most of the bodies were so mutilated that DNA tests or green converse could identify them."
But then McConaughey discussed taking action in the wake of the shooting. Wearing a dark blazer with a Texas-shaped pin emblazoned with the state's Lone Star flag, McConaughey drilled down into specifics, including excoriating political inaction.
"These are reasonable, practicable, tactical regulations to our nation, state, communities, schools and homes," he said. "Responsible gun owners are fed up with the Second Amendment being abused and hijacked by some deranged individuals. These regulations are not a step back. They are a step forward for civil society and the Second Amendment.
"Look, is this a cure-all? Hell no. But people are hurting. Families are, parents are. Look, as divided as our country is, this gun responsibility issue is one that we agree on more than we don't.
"This should be a nonpartisan issue. This should not be a partisan issue. There is not a Democratic or Republican value in one single act of these shooters. But people in power have failed to act. So, we're asking you. I'm asking you to please ask yourselves: can both sides rise above? Can both sides see beyond the political problem at hand and admit that we have a life preservation problem on our hands. We've got a chance right now to reach for and grasp a higher ground above our political affiliations. A chance to make a choice that does more than protect your party. A chance that protects our country now and for the next generation.
"We've got to take a sober, humble and honest look in the mirror and rebrand ourselves based on what we truly value. What we truly value. We've got to get some real courage and honor our immortal obligations instead of our party affiliations. Enough with the counter-punching. Enough with the invalidation of the other side. Let's come to the common table that represents the American people, find a middle ground — the place where most of us Americans live anyway, especially on this issue."
McConaughey, of course, acknowledged his own belief in the Second Amendment, noting he learned to handle a gun as a boy in Uvalde. However, he said things need to change — something that Texans have agreed with in years past.
Polling data continually suggests that Texans are uncomfortable with the rollback of gun restrictions, including the state's adoption of "Constitutional Carry."
How this plays out is anyone's guess, but McConaughey's remarks sparked an intense reaction on social media.