New financial program available for Texas communities

New financial program available for Texas communities

A new financial assistance program will soon become available to assist in the funding of drainage, flood mitigation, and flood control projects. On Nov. 5, Texas voters approved Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the Flood Infrastructure Fund (FIF). In conjunction with the constitutional amendment, the legislature made a one-time transfer of $793 million from the Economic Stabilization or “Rainy Day” Fund to the FIF via Senate Bill 500 and passed Senate Bill (SB) 7, which outlines…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
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.…

Read More
Historically high numbers of Americans approve of hunting

Historically high numbers of Americans approve of hunting

The vast majority of Americans approve of hunting according to Responsive Management, an internationally recognized survey research firm in natural resource and outdoor recreation issues. A recent survey in conjunction with the National Shooting Sports Foundation revealed the current approval rating of hunting by Americans 18 years of age and older is the highest it’s been since Responsive Management began monitoring approval rates in 1995. During the past 25 years, overall approval of hunting has steadily grown from 73 to…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
Eastern monarch butterfly population plunges below extinction threshold

Eastern monarch butterfly population plunges below extinction threshold

The yearly count of monarch butterflies overwintering in Mexico, released today, shows a decrease of 53% from last year’s count and is well below the threshold at which government scientists predict the migration could collapse. Scientists estimate that 6 hectares—about 15 acres—is the extinction threshold for the migratory butterflies’ survival in North America. The latest count, conducted by World Wildlife Fund Mexico, found overwintering monarchs occupying just 2.83 hectares, or 7 acres. Read more from Tierra Curry, of the Center for…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More