As we head into 2020, there is plenty to look forward to when it comes to new projects and development. One that intrigues us is Schreiner University’s proposed Trailhead project that will bring together several groups in creating a beer garden and food truck plaza. 

If everything goes to plan, the Trailhead project would be ready by spring or early summer. The plan envisions an entertainment, dining and community spot where the Guadalupe River Trail connects to Schreiner University — the extension of the trail is just about complete.

Schreiner is leveraging a partnership with Pint and Plow Brewery co-owner Jeremy Walther to help the vision become a reality. Walther has already shown community leadership through the development of the Kerrville Urban Trails System and the Big Seed Arts Festival, and this is just another natural extension of what Walther’s professes — that food and drink can help bring a community together. 

More importantly, this represents another example of Schreiner’s interest in being a broader community partner, by making the campus more accessible and by connecting with those who can help evangelize the university’s place as an important, if not an essential, civic asset. 

While it’s still early, it will be exciting to see how this plan shapes up and how the community embraces the idea. It’s a good start to bigger and better things for Schreiner and the community. 

 

HIT AND MISS: The Kerr County Commissioners Court

This could probably be a weekly column when it comes to talking about the court and the commissioners, because it seems like everytime they have a good idea, there’s another that makes less sense. 

The good idea is talking responsibly about floating a bond to pay for infrastructure needs in the coming years. Clearly, the court has struggled to regain footing from its fiasco on the animal shelter, but acknowledging that they can’t keep the shelter small is a step in the right direction. A new shelter is badly needed. 

There are others where they want to spend, including at the Hill Country Youth Event Center, where commissioners have taken a smart approach by offering naming rights for the venue. This bond could make things easier as the county continues to grow, and if it’s smartly managed it should not be painful to taxpayers. 

Now the miss. Just when you think the court will take the high road on things, the decision to hold back a small donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters out of concern the group may be serving undocumented children  just seems petty and beneath the dignity of the court. 

Regardless, Big Brothers Big Sisters works hard to benefit all children. It does not actively seek out undocumented children to serve; the program’s application has not included a question about nationality. 

One step forward, one step backward seems to be course of action for the court. 

 

HIT: INGRAM POLICE MAKE PEOPLE SMILE

If there’s one event we saw that brought a smile to all of us it was Ingram’s Blue Santa program this year, especially the smiling face of 16-month-old Lucy Romero, who got a teddy bear from Santa Claus, and who enlivened the city of Ingram Council Chambers with a big smile and boost of energy. 

There were lots of incredibly generous moments during the Christmas season, and we could go on and on about the importance of these marvelous efforts, but the one in Ingram was a chance for the police department to give something back, and to do it with a smile. That’s an important part of being a police officer, demonstrating that you’re a good guy and that community matters. 

We suspect that Lucy and her older sisters will have a fond memory of the officers and the Blue Santa himself, and that makes for a better city. Congrats to Ingram for making everyone’s day better. 

 

HIT AND MISS: CYBER SECURITY IS A REAL THREAT

After 22 Texas communities were hit with a ransomware attack earlier this year, we thought it would be a good idea to ask our local officials about what they’re doing to protect the taxpayers of the region from a similar attack. Our story pointed out that there is some good thinking and practices in place when it comes to protecting networks of our city, county and local schools. 

After all, cyber security is an issue that all of us need to be mindful. In these pages, there have already been multiple stories told about the threat of scams targeting people with lotteries, or unclaimed money or simple confidence schemes. However, everyone is susceptible to cyber attack, and knowing what to look for is helpful for all residents. 

The reason why this is also a miss is because our reporting of this story earned a rebuke from some information technology folks, who worried that publication of an article would make them susceptible to attack. 

Sorry, everyone is on the radar for attack — not just the city of Kerrville. What’s helpful is education and constant communication about the dangers of these threats for all, because the threats are real. 

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