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The Lead Oct. 11, 2022: We talk about truth in banned books; Meetings galore tonight; Kerrville Chalk Festival countdown

We are ready for a full weekend of artistic glory!

Good morning, Kerr County!

The forecast looks like much of the same — sunny and mild. The National Weather Service says there is a slim chance of rain for the weekend, but it could result in a very pleasant Saturday and Sunday.

On today's The Lead Live!

We welcome Sarah Derousseau of the Hill Country Arts Foundation. Derousseau, the executive director, will update us on the 2023 season that the foundation announced on Sunday. The Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau's Julie Davis visits to update us on events, and Andrew Gay provides the latest in financial news.

5 days to Kerrville Chalk Festival

Kerrville City Hall's Peterson Plaza transforms into a temporary outdoor gallery of art as the sidewalks transform into colorful street paintings. Many artists enjoy interacting with people attending the Kerrville Chalk Festival, and others prefer to work uninterrupted as onlookers observe their progress. The completion of extensive and detailed chalk art may take the entire weekend.


The festival kicks off at 10 a.m. on Saturday and runs until 5 p.m. The festival concludes on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This year there will be a large 7×14 foot patriotic-themed street painting created by Kelly Faltemayer and Russ Gobel, of Houston, TX. Other guest artists will be Ever Galvez, and Jennifer Ripassa, and Lysa Ashley all from Los Angeles, Calif.; Jessi Queen and Zach Herdon, both from Atlanta, Ga.; Joel Yau, of San Francisco, Calif.; Henry Darnell and Carrie Dziabczenko both from Dallas; Kayla Kilmartin of Corpus Christi; Julie Mangum of Llano; Tish Miller of Kerrville as well as Hung Pham and Marcos Hernandez from Houston.

Local professional artists Marty Garcia, Vivian Gray, Aurora Joleen, Vicki Keese, Stephanie Keller, and Liz Painter are also participating this year. Groups from Peterson Middle School, Tivy High School, Ingram Tom Moore High School, Our Lady of the Hills College Prep, The Hunt School, Fredericksburg High School and the Hill Country Youth Ranch will all be chalking squares.

There is no admission charge and the festival will have many free activities for children, free guided tours of the adjacent Schreiner Mansion, and six established food truck vendors. The Kerr Arts and Cultural Center is the 2022 recipient of the festival's donations.

Things to do today!

Live Music

The arts

  • KACC Exhibits — Kerr Arts and Cultural Center, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Information: The details: Three art exhibits. "Artwork by Phyllis & Doug Garey," "Kerrville Art Club Member Show," local artist exhibition and art sale, and "Quilts and Other Art Forms," local quilters exhibit.
  • 39th Annual Western Art Show and Sale — Museum of Western Art, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Information: The details: The Exhibition and sale will bring together more than 40 top Western Artists presenting more than 100 original works of Western Art.
  • Seeing Blue — Hill Country Arts Foundation, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Information: The details: The HCAF juried art show.

5 events to consider this week!


  • Cody Canada and the Departed — Arcadia Live!, 7:30 p.m. Information: The details: Cody Canada & The Departed is a three-piece Americana roots-rock band based in New Braunfels, Texas. Opening act featuring The Damn Quails.


Live Music


The performing arts

  • The Legend of Sleep Hollow — Hill Country Arts Foundation and Point Theatre, 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. on Sunday through Oct. 23. Information: The details: Held in the Elizabeth Huth Coats Indoor Theater, it begins when Ichabod Crane, a slightly goofy schoolmaster, comes to the farming community of Sleepy Hollow with all his worldly possessions. He's looking for a good life and a wealthy wife who will supply it. Once he sets eyes on the local beauty, Katrina Van Tassel, he's sure his dream will come true. Unhappily for Ichabod, Katrina has a boyfriend… the boisterous Brom Bones. At a party, Ichabod proposes marriage to Katrina, but is booted out by Brom and forced to make his way home through a terrible storm. In the dark, there's something shadowy and towering intent on taking Ichabod's life — the Headless Horseman! Poor Ichabod has to outrun the galloping phantom! Does he? No one knows for sure because the schoolmaster is never seen again.


  • Ghoul Pool — Kerrville Olympic Pool, 5p.m. Information: The details: Join us for a night of goosebumps, spooks, and screams as the Olympic Pool is transformed into a ghoulish haunted house. Family-friendly tours will run from 5-7 p.m. After 7 p.m. parental guidance is suggested for ages 13 and under, as the haunted attractions will come to life. No Swimming Allowed.
  • Mutts Gone Nuts — Cailloux Theater, 2 p.m. Information: The details: To help raise needed funds for animal welfare support group Kerrville Pets Alive!, nine of the world’s most talented 4-legged performers will present an uproariously funny doggy spectacular that is leaving audiences across America howling for more. The all-star lineup – all “rescue dogs” – includes two Guinness World Record champions, a tiny, hilarious Pomeranian mix, and a host of previously discarded dogs that will dance, prance, flip and skip their way into your heart! Deemed a “Must see by The Washington Post, Mutts Gone Nuts is sure to win Best In Show!

Meetings galore to start the week

Today is one of those rare occasions when the Kerrville City Council and the Kerr County Commissioners Court will have meetings on the same day. Of course, we can thank the Columbus Day holiday for pushing the court's meeting back a day, but this still means it will be a busy day of local legislating.

Here's what's on the docket for the Kerrville City Council:

  • Short-term rentals are in the first part of tonight's meeting, and that number should trickle down as we begin closing out the year. There are seven short-term rental approvals for the 6 p.m. portion of the meeting.
  • The City Council will consider forming a public facilities corporation. The structure allows the city to partner with a developer to construct affordable housing. While the guise is creating an affordable and tax-exempt property, there are plenty of questions about how this plan could work. It's particularly tough on school districts. What's interesting here is that the city seems determined to create one of these entities.
  • Then there's the possible adoption of a plan to manage public improvement and municipal utility districts — otherwise known as PIDS and MUDS. Yes, we are into the alphabet soup of PFCs, STRS, PIDS, and MUDS. Got it?

What's on the commissioner's court agenda?

  • Growth and development are driving the conversation for Kerr County Commissioners today. They will hold a 9 a.m. public hearing on the county's subdivision plans.
  • There's also a planned effort to prop up the efforts to have the county exit its agreement with Kerrville over library services. "The local media, along with Judge Kelly and Mayor Eychner have done a lot of work this week to sweep this under the rug, and shame anyone who opposes them," wrote Bethany Puccio, who leads the logic-defying "We The People, Liberty in Action. "They have chosen to defend pornography for children and stand for sexually grooming children."

Uh . . . about that grooming!

One of the narratives propagated by "patriot" groups is that there's grooming going on in the library. As we've explained previously, the term grooming is a right-wing term that suggests all gays and lesbians are preparing children for sexual servitude. It's actually derived from a Qanon conspiracy that Democrats are behind blood-sucking pedophile rings.

Without evidence, Bethany Puccio and her band have repeatedly called the staff at the Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library groomers, pedophiles and "marxist lesbians." It's a malicious effort.

Further evidence of this attempt to slander the librarians was delivered by Zach Sumrall, a Kerrville chiropractor, who lost a bid in May to gain a seat on the Kerrville Independent School District board of trustees. On his candidate Facebook page, Sumrall showed an LGBTQ-themed graphic romance novel but said it was part of banned book week and within easy reach of children.

One problem — it wasn't where he said it was, and it's not a banned book. The image Sumrall showed was from a book called "Chef's Kiss." Not banned and not readily available to kids — unless you're an adult trying to make a point or virtue signal. And, by the way, this book has no sex scenes and one romantic kiss. A reviewer on Good Reads, a book review website, described the book "Chef's Kiss" this way: "This book has no sex scenes — just one kiss at the end. The New Adult label is because all the characters just graduated from college and are trying to find their way with first jobs (or the lack thereof)."

However, there's been no one to defend the library staff — until today. The virtue signal here is clear — anything that is not straight is "porn."

This isn't the first time these groups have used obfuscation to inflame an issue. It is almost non-stop, from Kerrville's debt to suggesting that Kerr County mismanaged a sewer project. However, when you believe you're sitting on the moral high ground, it's probably easy to rationalize and justify a little lie here and there.

The Hill Country Scholarship Fund campaign begins

Schreiner University kicks off its Hill Country Scholarship Fund tonight. Greg Appel, Divisional President of Happy State Bank, has been named Chairman for the 2022-2023 Hill Country College Fund Campaign. The Leadership Gifts Division Leader (Chair-Elect) is Larry Howard, a Kerrville entrepreneur.

This year the Hill Country College Fund's goal is $700,000. With a record first-year class and a 100% increase in incoming freshmen from the Hill Country, grants from the Hill Country College Fund are more critical than ever. The Hill Country College Fund has raised over $32 million since 1992 and $725,000 last year, surpassing the goal of $700,000.

"The Hill Country College Fund is truly a community initiative," said Danielle Jenschke, Schreiner University's assistant development director. "This year, over 50 individuals will work as volunteers to further the fund's campaign objectives. These volunteers come from across the community. Many are Schreiner University alums."

Community members wishing to donate can do so at


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