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We're Denton Dammit - July 27, 2017

Profile image for Lucinda Breeding
Lucinda Breeding

Government work can be a thankless job, and both politicians and civil servants sometimes get more stings than praise. At a charity karaoke event last Friday, Former Place 4 City Councilman Joey Hawkins saw a chance to extend an olive branch to one set of ruffled constituents. Between the last verse and chorus of "Hey Man Nice Shot" by Filter, Hawkins leapt from the stage and tore out of Dan's Silverleaf. In a few moments, he re-appeared through the back door, shirtless and panting. He vaulted the stage to scream the last chorus with a message written in black magic marker on his torso: I'M SORRY ABOUT BACK-IN PARKING. 

And while we're on the subject of Hawkins' torso, we'd like to report that it reminded us of a famous scene from The Simpsons. Hyper-Christian Ned Flanders shucks his shirt to reveal a chiseled six-pack. Hey-diddly-ho, Joey. We weren't expecting that kind of fitness from a contrite bureaucrat. 

Only in Denton: We saw a dark burgundy Honda Pilot at the corner of McKinney and Bell around noon Tuesday. At first, a large circular decal on the driver-side door looked like a government agency logo. Upon closer inspection, it said, "Zombie Outbreak Response Team." Can we join the team?

Denton residents who advocate for the legalization of cannabis oil circulated the news Tuesday that Texan Alexis Bortell, 11, is among the plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The suit challenges the constitutionality of the Controlled Substances Act as it pertains to cannabis/marijuana. Alexis, who suffers from intractable epilepsy, had virtually no luck controlling seizures with typical prescriptions. After middling results from cannabis extract, the Bortell family moved to Colorado, where they could legally use whole-plant medical cannabis. She has been seizure free for two years. 

Well, the Public Works department in Denton County applied a spit of oil to the wheels of justice. The department recommended that only the damaged portions of the sidewalk around the downtown Courthouse on the Square be replaced. Denton resident Susan K. Vaughan tripped on a crack in the sidewalk around the Square on January 2016. The fall damaged her front teeth and required more than $9,000 in treatment. Yvette Spicer broke her arm in a fall on the same sidewalk. But get this: Public Works recommended that the county only replace damaged portions because some sidewalk panels bear Works Progress Administration stamps. (Insert your own snarky joke here about our thoroughly GOP county government cherishing something Roosevelt built with New Deal money.)  It hasn't been said aloud that we know of, but the county might also want to avoid costly compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act. Public works says that replacing just the damaged sidewalks will cost about $135,000. 

On Tuesday, the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association gave the North Texas Tollway Authority the 2017 Toll Excellence Award for Social Responsibility. What did our regional tollway leaders do to deserve that? The worldwide group said its awards "recognize innovative strategies to help ease traffic flow, relieve congestion and increase safety for the global driving public." Specifically, the North Texas Tollway pursued a campaign to reduce "intexticated" driving. Well done, we guess. 

Hey, Denton? See to your landscaping, yeah? And remember to put your recycling and trash cans away after collection. Because August is National Curb Appeal Month. That's also the month Denton landscapes get wilted from the insane heat. 

If you'd rather not spend all of August sweating over your parched yard, cast an eye to Friday, Aug. 4, also known as International Beer Day. Denton, we know you can handle this one.

Place 6 City Councilwoman Sara Bagheri repurposed a discarded dustpan into a pooper scooper.Courtesy photo
Place 6 City Councilwoman Sara Bagheri repurposed a discarded dustpan into a pooper scooper.
Courtesy photo

Place 6 City Councilwoman Sara Bagheri recycles with a side of sass. Bagheri found a long-handled metal dust pan in front of her family's restaurant. Bagheri slapped some white supremacist stickers on it and turned it into a pooper scooper. She posted the results on her Facebook page, and added the drole hashtag, #heilno.  

The American Family Association hasn't dropped the grudge it's had with Target since the retailer said it wouldn't police its bathrooms and fitting rooms for statistically nonexistent transgender assailants (by which they mean transgender women). "Picking up school supplies and dorm decor isn't worth the risk," a press release says. It's all a part of the #BoycottTarget campaign the evangelical Christian group has been pressing since transgender Americans have achieved greater visibility and have agitated for civil rights and accommodations. We expect the local Target to be as busy as it always is during back-to-school season, even with its current remodel underway. 

Parting shot

"Rusty Taco? Never heard of 'em. And I don't know what Oaktopia is, either." A woman walking east on Hickory Street was learning a lot on Tuesday night.