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We're Denton Dammit

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Lucinda Breeding

We have it on good authority that this year's music for the annual Kiwanis Fireworks Show will have a noteworthy music lineup, with a band made up of Brent Best from Slobberbone and Americana artists Daniel Markham and Isaac Hoskins

Newly elected District 1  City Council member Gerard Hudspeth calls himself "a free-range chicken," meaning that constituents shouldn't expect him to toe any particular party line on issues. He then posted a criticism of another newly elected council member, District 3's Don Duff, after Duff told the Denton Record-Chronicle that he figures his opponent, Paul Meltzer, wanted the post more than Duff. "The honest-to-goodness truth is Paul wanted this a whole lot more than I did, but I wanted him to not have it a whole lot more than it," Duff said after the runoff.

"I've lost before and it SUCKS!" Hudspeth wrote on his Facebook page.  "Then to have someone rub it in SUCKS."

To Hudspeth's credit, he said he intends to talk to Duff about his complaints. 

Denton storyteller Shelly Tucker made a discovery to fit our times and shared it in a local political Facebook group:  "Did you know that 'Election results' has an anagram? Rearrange the words and you get 'Lies. Let's recount.'"

Local resident Margarete Neale has started a petition. She's lobbying Mayor Chris Watts to add Denton to the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda, described as "a mayor-to-mayor network of U.S. mayors collaborating on climate." The petition specifically urges Watts to "keep Denton on track with the Paris Agreement."As of Tuesday, the local petition needed just 58 signatures to move to the mayor's desk.  The council is supposed to talk about the petition in a June 20 work session. Read the petition here.

Art historians are often behind efforts to preserve and promote the work of minority artists. This summer, the Texas Quilt Museum will exhibit quilts by 11 black artists. "Dynamic Diversity: Quilts by African-American Artists" features the artists' favorite works. The museum is located in La Grange. Learn more at the museum's website

Retired American Airlines pilot Beverley Bass, an Argyle resident, went to New York City to cheer on her doppelganger, actress Jenn Colella, at the Tony Awards on Sunday. Colella plays Bass in the Broadway musical Come From Away, which tells the story of Gander, Newfoundland, opening its doors to 7,000 airline passengers left stranded after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Colella lost to Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City's Miranda) for her performance in Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes, but Come From Away won for best direction of a musical.  

Local photographer Sarah Gibson loves doing different photographs of babies smashing things, because adorable, right? One of her most recent smashes went viral — a baby eating colorful doughnuts earlier this month. Talk show host Ellen Degeneres shared the post and its garnered more than 477,000 likes on Instagram and thousands of comments and shares on Facebook. What better way to represent Denton than doughnuts and cute babies?

Local musician Jesse Coulter is probably better known by his rap persona, Juicy the Emissary. On Monday, Juicy's latest record, Attention Kmart Choppers, was featured on's "Album of the Day." The record highlights Juicy's deft ability to create something new and fresh out of music samples. The record reimagines the Muzak-style arrangements of Top 40 hits the retailer piped into its stores in the 1980s and '90s, in between upbeat store ads. 

Too many people dismiss hip-hop as non-music. Juicy's efforts here remind us that in the heart of every beatmaker is a serious jazz cat. Oh, and the album was made in part with a micro-grant Coulter got in 2016 from the Greater Denton Arts Council. So that brand-new program is already getting attention beyond Denton. 

Dancer Rachel Cummings Wade grew up dancing with Denton Dance Conservatory's company, Denton City Contemporary Ballet, for 12 years, dancing the title role in A Gift for Emma with the company. She was just awarded the 2017 Broadway at the Bass Chair for Teaching Excellence in Performing Arts in Theater and Dance. She has run the dance program at Arlington Heights High School for the past five years. 

Texas Poet Laureate Karla K. Morton has a new book out. Wooden Lions is a poetry collection that imagines the lives and experiences of animals. Published by Texas Review Press, the collection will raise money for international, national and regional nonprofit organizations that promote animal welfare. It is her 12th book. The collection costs $10.95 and is in paperback. Learn more at Morton's website.

Denton City Coulcilwoman Keely Briggs spotted a design flaw in one of the 54 designs for downtown signage. An image of the courthouse "looks kind of like a poop emoji. Emoji Island
Denton City Coulcilwoman Keely Briggs spotted a design flaw in one of the 54 designs for downtown signage. An image of the courthouse "looks kind of like a poop emoji. 
Emoji Island

Sometimes, it helps to have a friend with a bit of a dirty mind. Recently, that person was City Council member Keely Briggs. At a recent council meeting, the council members looked over  54 newly designed signs for downtown Denton. Briggs noticed that one of the designs  included an image of the Courthouse on the Square that "looks kind of like a poop emoji." The staff chuckled and acknowledged the design could use a tweak. The full poop emoji discussion (it ends around 5:30:16) is here

If you've been in Denton for a minute, you've probably at least driven past the Denton Depot. The small business makes promotional products at its College Street location. The business turns 30 this month. Co-owners Larry and Tonya Parker bought the depot from founder Sherrie Day in 2007. The couple is still making everything from branded pens to clothes. The shop will have a 30th-anniversary ribbon-cutting from 5 to 6:30 p.m. June 29 at the Best Western Premier Crown Chase, 2450 Brinker Road.

Denton Dammit is an old-fashioned gossip column about people, places and things in and around Denton. Send your submissions to Lucinda Breeding at