Last week, we pointed you to a Texas Monthly Q&A with actor and Denton transplant Jason Lee. A note at the end of the story said that Lee told the magazine he was leaving Denton for California at the end of the year. Last Friday, local culture blogger Sara Button tweeted that Lee confirmed to her that he is not leaving Denton. Button and Lee are both members of the Greater Denton Arts Council board.
Texas Monthly has not changed the footnote in the Q&A, which you can read at www.texasmonthly.com/the-culture/candid-cameraman. And the commenters on the article took a moment to bash both Lee and the religious North Texans Lee said he liked. No surprises, there. Some of the chief uses of the Internet are sniping at celebs and taking pot-shots at pious Christians, right?
The new local low-power FM radio station KUZU (92.9) won't start broadcasting this week, board members told us. The official launch date is July 22. Also, the leadership told us that their preliminary test -- after the community radio station's antennas went up last week in downtown Denton -- showed that the station's range is broader than they initially predicted. This means you might be able to tune into the station farther than a city block, or maybe even farther, than the station's 3-mile radius.
By 5:45 p.m. Wednesday, Indivisible Denton reported that roughly 200 people had gathered near the Sheraton in McKinney to demonstrate their objections to Sen. Ted Cruz's support for President Donald Trump and to decry the controversial health care bill currently clogging the docket at the U.S. Senate. Indivisible Denton is the local iteration of a national movement built on resistance to the Trump administration and the priorities of GOP lawmakers who hold majorities in Congress. Signs were pointed. One man brandished a poster with the image of a chagrined Cruz making campaign calls after defecting from the "never Trump" camp during his own bid for the White House. The poster asked, "Can we buy you back?"
There's already a lot for Denton residents to love about WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma. The gambling options top the list of attractions, plus the concerts by world-renowned talent -- Bob Dylan, Tony Bennett and Dolly Parton have performed at the casino's Global Events Center. The casino just announced one more attraction: Kirby's Prime Steakhouse and Mickey Mantle's, a steakhouse and bar combo already under construction on the first floor of WinStar World Casino Hotel. Another Texas-based restaurant, El Fenix, opened in the casino's Paris Gaming Plaza in 2012.
The city of Denton announced that it will be rolling out a new payment portal for locals to pay their utility bills online. Residents recently received news of the new portal in their latest bill, which promises "enhanced account and payment features." No idea if this means the online payment portal will debut with a fresh new look, like the city's website got with the latest redesign, or if the new portal will look like the old one with more options and features. (Ahem. We just tried the new portal, which requires you to register. It wouldn't let us register, objecting to every password we tried. The portal declared all of our password selections "strong" but kept insisting we weren't following the directions to use an alphanumeric word with at least one number.)
Champ D'Or, which is fabled to be the biggest house in Texas, sold at auction recently for an undisclosed amount. The 48,000-square-foot mansion in Hickory Creek recently went up for auction a second time. Dallas developer Zaf Tabani bought the massive house at auction in 2012 and sold it the same way. Inspired by Vaux-le-Vicomte near Paris, the Denton County chateau is named for the French phrase for "field of gold," from the surname of Alan and Shirley Goldfield. The couple built the house in 2002.
Sarah Jaffe, a Dallas indie-rocker who got her start here in Denton, releases her fourth studio album, Bad Baby, on Friday. A gaggle of local musicians were overheard at the charity hot dog eating contest on Monday asking each other if they'd ever seen a photo of Jaffe smiling. Her promotional shots do tend toward the inscrutable.
"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
--Alexis de Tocqueville, 19th-century French diplomat and admirer of American
Denton Dammit is an old-fashioned gossip column about people, places and things in and around Denton. Send your submissions to Lucinda Breeding at firstname.lastname@example.org.