Times Editorial Board

Yes, our headline is celebrating the can-do Christmas spirit that we all possess year round, and thanks to George Eychner, we may get there.

Eychner is helping to lead an effort to improve the Christmas lighting situation in Kerrville, and we’re glad to say yes, this is a good idea. While George won’t admit to wanting to compete with other Hill Country communities when it comes to Christmas, we’re going to go out and say it: We want to compete. The heck with Fredericksburg and Johnson City; we’re the capital of the Hill Country, and we’re going to light it up. 

Let’s get it done. 

All kidding aside, Eychner’s idea is to improve the overall light displays in Kerrville, and he’s gathered a coalition of people who can help realize this project. The group, also known as the Kerrville Christmas Lights Corporation, has a small amount of money to get started, will probably solicit donations as it goes forward and has a lot of good ideas to light the town up. 

We look forward to seeing how this group moves forward with the project. 

HITS: An admission of civility

During Tuesday night’s Kerrville City Council meeting, emotions were running high during the pointed discussion about the proposed Vintage Heights development. It’s a highly emotional issue for some, including members of the council, and there was some pushback. 

It was refreshing to see Councilwoman Kim Clarkson present an apology to those she had argued with. Leadership is sometimes about saying there’s a better way of handling things, and Clarkson did exactly that. 

Also, there was a moment during the meeting when Bruce Stracke, who had been critical of the city’s compromise on the project, drew the ire of Councilman Gary Cochrane, who fired back at Stracke’s assertion the city hadn’t done enough to combat traffic concerns on Riverhill Boulevard. Cochrane rejected that notion. In turn, Stracke apologized for his comments and, after the meeting, the two men shook hands. 

It was another key moment of where we need to be when it comes to civic engagement. We can agree to disagree, but a handshake is a surefire way of ensuring that we keep it civil. 

MISSES: The preponderance of misinformation at city council meetings

It’s bad enough when a city consultant makes a mistake on earnings information and taxation, but the continued misinformation by speakers decrying the Vintage Heights housing project is astounding. 

One speaker claimed that nurses in Kerrville make $40,000 per year. This seems to have been a claim throughout the proceedings, especially those in opposition. 

It can’t continue to be unchecked. 

As we mentioned in a previous editorial, there are 31 nursing positions open at Peterson Health, there’s another two open at the Kerrville VA Hospital. Right now, in Texas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for nurses is $72,000. 

The federal report also says that a starting wage for a nurse is more than $55,000. 

A starting salary for a teacher with no experience is $45,000 in the Kerrville Independent School District. Teachers in Kerrville, compared to other places, including Boerne, are paid less, but still within the range of the median affordability to purchase a home at Vintage Heights. 

HIT: Congratulations to a top cop

It’s always good to see good work recognized, and we’re particularly grateful for Kerrville Police Officer Jaron Ince, who was named the Kerrville Police Officer of the Year by the department. In comments made by Police Chief David Knight, Ince was cited for his hard work and tireless efforts to keep Kerrville safe. 

We thank Officer Ince for his service to our community. 

MISSES: It’s not a beer flu

The coronavirus is no joke, but some people don’t understand that it’s not related to Corona beer. The supposed link was trending on Google for a chunk of the week, because the coronavirus term was apparently confusing. Forbes magazine presented this sage advice: 

How to prevent coronavirus?

Currently there is no vaccine against any type of coronavirus. Therefore, the best things to do are to avoid close contact with those who are sick and to wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Also, refrain from touching your eyes, nose and mouth with your filthy paws. For example, if you want to show affection, instead of blowing kisses or touching your eye to say, “I love you,” use your fingers to form the shape of a heart on your chest and tilt your head slightly to the left while smiling. You should probably still wash your hands before you do this, just in case you use your disgusting fingers to dab tears from your eyes. 

How to prevent Corona the beer?

Don’t buy it. Or ask the person throwing the party to get some other brand of beer. Alternatively, you can serve kale and kelp smoothies instead. No one will notice the difference, right?

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