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We're Denton Dammit: Sept. 7, 2017

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Lucinda Breeding

John Turner-McClelland, a University of North Texas graduate student, was all of us last week when he shook his head at Lone Star politics. "Now I can carry a sword but can't read or send a text in my car. Because Texas," he said in a Facebook status update.

Uh oh. Denton sidewalks have claimed another victim. Denton resident Roddy Wolper tripped on a local sidewalk — we're not sure where — and broke his knee. He also required stitches on his nose.

A philosophical graffiti artist left his mark on a fence in the Aubrey area. The vandal left a smiley face in dark paint on a white fence, and a message on another panel that read: "I'm staring at the sky but I can't tell which way my thoughts are traveling." Aubrey police erased the graffiti and posted a Facebook message to the vandal: "Put your talents to good use. You clearly like poetry and/or astronomy... Next time please use a pen/paper and a telescope."

One Aubrey resident came up with a head-scratching suggestion that locals scrutinize the message and match the "handwriting" to their teenagers'. Except a spray can isn't a pencil, and we'd wager almost no one's handwriting matches what they'd produce with a can of paint.

Add Denton resident Robin Meyer to the grand list of animal lovers. Meyer, who is the secretary of the Denton Noon Kiwanis Club, loaded a trailer with hay and packed a pickup with supplies that she and her husband drove to the Houston area. But get this: They loaded the truck and trailer onto the couple's personal 18-wheeler (Meyer's husband owns a car hauling business) to get more supplies packed for the trip. Meyer and her husband took pet carriers to Pasadena, and reported that animal rescue groups around Port Arthur and Beaumont are in need of supplies.

Neo-soul musician Quentin Moore, a UNT grad, opened for blues legend Buddy Guy last weekend at the Bedford Blues & BBQ Festival. Moore's resume is getting pretty distinguished.

District 26 U.S. Congressman Michael Burgess supports Donald Trump's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Burgess has been a committed supporter of the president, and takes a dim view of DACA.

"From the start, DACA was irresponsible policy that incentivized illegal border crossings," Burgess said in a statement. "It is the role of the Congress, not the executive branch, to consider and pass legislation. President Obama clearly overstepped his role when he enacted DACA as an executive order."

Burgess didn't think Trump overstepped his role when the president signed an executive order to enact a travel ban on citizens of Muslim-majority countries. Back in January, Burgess said this about the travel ban: "As he has made clear, President Trump is taking the steps well within his authority, and based off intelligence gathered in the Obama Administration, to keep our country safe. Congress should remain involved in the process and provide legislation to strengthen not only border security but vetting those who wish to enter the country through any means."

Do you have a working computer sitting around that you don't want to toss? Computers for the Blind can use it. The group's volunteers wipe the hard drives of donated computers and install software that make them accessible to people who are blind. The North Texas nonprofit is poised to give its 10,000th computer to a recipient on Sept. 12 in a ceremony in Richardson.

To donate computers or to volunteer, contact David Jeppson at 214-293- 8819 or To request a computer, call 214-340- 6328.

Denton High School alumna and novelist Libba Bray wrote a sweet, withering and depressing response to the news that Scott McGehee and David Siegel will write and direct an all-girl version of Lord of the Flies for Warner Bros. Bray's essay details what happened when her book -- a comedic version of an all-female Lord of the Flies scenario titled Beauty Queens (about a downed flight of beauty pageant hopefuls) — was optioned for a movie and The Suits, as she calls the men in charge, could not fathom her female characters outside of typical Hollywood tropes. Do yourself a favor and read Bray's essay for Entertainment Weekly

Newspaper readers know Nancy Churnin as the theater critic for The Dallas Morning News. Young readers know her through her debut book The William Hoy Story: How a Deaf Baseball Player Changed the Game. Churnin has done a Q&A with Lone Star Literary Life.

The contractor building the splash pad in Carl Young Jr. Park has been under water, literally. Kraftsman is based in Spring and a subcontractor building concrete tanks for the project is in West Houston. The company notified the city of the delay. A new construction schedule will be announced soon.

Former Denton City Council member Roni Beasley received the Denton Community Theatre's Lifetime Achievement "Josh" Award. Beasley is one of many volunteers who works offstage to promote the city's theater scene.

The contractor building the splash pad at Denton's Carl Young Jr. Park has been underwater, literally. Kraftsman is based in Spring, and a subcontractor building concrete tanks for the project is in west Houston. The company notified the city of delays because of flooding. A new construction schedule will be announced soon.

Locals found ways to grin through the horror of Hurricane Harvey. Enjoy:

Denton actor-director Pat Watson said what was in all of our hearts last week during the social media-driven gasoline panic: "Cheap entertainment is sitting at a gas station watching people who are unaware what side their gas cap is on." We just avoided any nonessential driving until Saturday.

Former comedian Josh Johnson, who recorded his comedy album Tabitha through Denton's Gitmo Music, wondered if any hip-hop cats saw a waterlogged and captive audience in the Houston floodwaters.

"Anyone else surprised we haven't seen a local Houston rapper in a canoe trying to sell people his mixtape yet?"

We were a little surprised, yes.

Denton resident Ben Huttash winked about the madness over the social media-driven panic over gasoline

Denton resident Ben Huttash deployed a morsel of wry humor about the faux gasoline shortage last week. Lines were long when North Texas decided to panic about the availability of gas as refineries shut down after Hurricane Harvey.Ben Huttash
Denton resident Ben Huttash deployed a morsel of wry humor about the faux gasoline shortage last week. Lines were long when North Texas decided to panic about the availability of gas as refineries shut down after Hurricane Harvey.
Ben Huttash

Parting Shot

"What if evil doesn't really exist? What if evil is something dreamed up by man, and there is nothing to struggle against except out own limitations? The constant battle between our will, our desires, and our choices?" 

— From Rebel Angels by Libba Bray

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