Supporting local Hill Country news

Supporting local Hill Country news

As the country reacts to a global pandemic, we know that finding regionally appropriate and accurate news sources is a priority for our readers. Our local newspapers are working overtime to make sure we have all the coverage we need during this strange time. Now is also a great opportunity to subscribe to your local media! Whether it’s through online news or physical papers, these news sources help keep us informed and are critical small businesses throughout the Hill Country.…

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Director’s Notes – March 2020: HCA in the era of Coronavirus

Director’s Notes – March 2020: HCA in the era of Coronavirus

Dear Hill Country Neighbors, It’s hard to start a letter addressing the unprecedented reality we find ourselves in. The Covid-19 outbreak has shown us just how critical our Hill Country community is to the work of the Hill Country Alliance. There is no replacement for the riparian management workshops, landowner potlucks, Hill Country Living Festival, star parties, Texas Water Symposia and myriad other team meetings, community gatherings, and in-person conversations that HCA is a part of every single day. While…

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Is it okay to visit Texas Parks during the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Is it okay to visit Texas Parks during the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Earlier this month, I went shopping at H-E-B and bought more food than I needed. But I wasn’t stocking up my bunker; I was buying supplies for a camping trip at Big Bend National Park. Back then—a whole couple of weeks ago—the new coronavirus still felt relatively abstract. I was planning to spend spring break with my boyfriend, a teacher, under the West Texas stars, hiking along the Rio Grande, and climbing the classic South Rim trail to gaze at…

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No flights cancelled for birds or butterflies

No flights cancelled for birds or butterflies

South Central Texas and the Texas Hill Country are in the central flyway for migratory birds flying north for spring and summer breeding, according to Bexar Audubon Society (BAS) in San Antonio, which is officially the local National Audubon Society (NAS) chapter for Comal, Guadalupe, Kendall, Medina, Bandera and Wilson counties. “While the world’s thoughts this Spring turn to social isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic, colorful warblers, bright red tanagers, orange orioles, and other avian gems will still be…

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Americans coping with the Coronavirus are clogging toilets

Americans coping with the Coronavirus are clogging toilets

Many Americans seem to be following the recommendations of public health officials to clean and sterilize countertops, doorknobs, faucets and other frequently touched surfaces in their homes. The problem? Many are then tossing the disinfectant wipes, paper towels and other paper products they used into the toilet. The result has been a coast-to-coast surge in backed-up sewer lines and overflowing toilets, according to plumbers and public officials, who have pleaded with Americans to spare the nation’s pipes from further strain.…

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Getting groceries in Austin during a pandemic: Where to shop, how to help employees

Getting groceries in Austin during a pandemic: Where to shop, how to help employees

Grocery store employees are working overtime, and it’s nearly impossible to schedule a curbside pickup or delivery from Austin’s major supermarkets and stores. Local community-supported agriculture programs are full, and one of the biggest local food delivery companies, Farmhouse Delivery, also is not taking on new customers. Although many supermarkets are hiring extra staff and food delivery companies are scrambling to expand capacity, there are things that shoppers can do, both to help grocery store employees keep up and to…

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Rural Texas hospitals should be staffing up to face coronavirus. Many can’t afford to.

Rural Texas hospitals should be staffing up to face coronavirus. Many can’t afford to.

At a time when most hospitals are ramping up capacity to treat a massive number of patients who may become infected with COVID-19, rural hospital administrators say financial hardships could force them to do the opposite. Before the contagious new coronavirus arrived in Texas, rural hospitals already faced a bleak financial forecast. Demographic shifts, high shares of uninsured patients and cuts to the facilities’ Medicare payments have for years led hospital administrators to abandon small-town markets where they could not…

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These Texas organizations are helping people during the pandemic — and here’s how you can, too

These Texas organizations are helping people during the pandemic — and here’s how you can, too

As schools close and thousands of people across the country are being laid off due to the new coronavirus pandemic, many Texans are finding themselves stuck at home with no income or access to necessary resources like food or medical supplies. In response to growing concerns around the nation, President Donald Trump recently signed a bill mandating 12 weeks of paid leave for people quarantining or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms that applies only to companies with less than 500 employees. The…

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Kerrville Folk Fest rescheduled for October 8-18, 2020

Kerrville Folk Fest rescheduled for October 8-18, 2020

It is with heavy yet hopeful hearts that we are rescheduling the 49th celebration of the Kerrville Folk Festival. Our 2020 Festival will be held at Quiet Valley Ranch on October 8 thru October 18. This replaces Welcome Home Fest, which will not be held in 2020. The great advantage of “flattening the curve” that we have all heard so much about is that it keeps COVID-19 from devastating our population and overwhelming our medical facilities. The disadvantage is that…

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Getting out: At a time of social distancing, people look to nature

Getting out: At a time of social distancing, people look to nature

With the spread of the new coronavirus causing school closures and mandatory work-from-home measures across San Antonio, people are looking to nature as a place to get exercise and find a source of peace, even while staying at least 6 feet away from each other, as recommended by health experts. “As far as we know, the outdoors is relatively safe for all of us,” said Jeanette Honermann, a San Antonio local director of community outreach for outdoor retailer REI. “It’s…

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