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We're Denton Dammit: Sept. 28, 2017

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Lucinda Breeding

Will run for beer? The Oak Street Drafthouse Social Run has gotten really big. It's so well attended now that each Wednesday night it's like a race is happening in downtown Denton. The Denton Area Running Club presents the weekly run that fills the East Oak Street parking lot. Runners sign up for a 5K course that starts at 7 p.m. in fall and winter, 8 p.m. in spring and summer. Afterward, the runners (and their dogs, too) head to the drafthouse for a beer.  

It's been 615 days since former Denton resident Susan Vaughan tripped and fell on a crack in the sidewalk at the Square. The damage to her front teeth required surgery and follow-up care that cost more than $9,000. After Yvette Spicer tripped and broke her arm a few weeks later, Vaughan began a campaign for the sidewalks to be repaired. Recently, Vaughan was diagnosed with an advanced-stage cancer and she has moved to be closer to family. 

County officials announced in July that repairs were coming. They said they were working with the Texas Historical Commission to get approval for the project, since the Square is a state historic site. This week, the Denton Record-Chronicle made an open records request of the commission for documents related to the project. The commission said it has no records, no application — nor any correspondence — related to the project.

Can we pause for two farewells? One makes us envious: Lauren Barker left Denton after working for six years with Keep Denton Beautiful, serving as its program manager since 2013. She has moved to Lower Cape Cod and accepted a post as the executive director of Cape Cod Young Professionals beginning Oct. 9. The other makes us wistful: Amanda Simpson, who was the director of communications at Texas Woman's University for the last 12 years, is the new director of communications for Coppell ISD, where both both her children attend school. We've worked with many fine PR folks, but Simpson was resourceful, astute about both media and her university, and perpetually unruffled.  

Texans did better this year where water safety is concerned. The U.S. A. Swimming Foundation has been collecting data on drownings this summer, and found that at least 163 children under the age of 15 drowned in a swimming pool or spa between Memorial Day and Labor Day. That's roughly a 30 percent decrease from 2016. Texas saw 14 children drown in pools or spas, down from roughly 28 drownings for children last year. That's a positive move, but Texas needs to step it up even more when it comes to teaching children to swim. 

How nice is this? Rock Lottery 16 — that Denton-born tradition of pulling the names of 25 North Texas musicians names out of a hat to create five bands for a day — will be a benefit for Denton's brand-new low-power FM radio station, KUZU (92.9). It makes so much sense, because KUZU is a champion of Denton creativity, interest and music, and probably doesn't have an endless supply of cash in the till. This year's musicians have been announced, and the event starts 10 a.m. Oct. 14 at Dan's Silverleaf.  

Score one for government transparency. The newest member of the Denton Public Utilities Board, Deb Armintor, is trying to make the oversight of the water, wastewater, drainage and electric departments a little more sexy by blogging about their doings. This week, she took the city to task for failing to post a document about how Denton, Greenville, Garland and Bryan will run their coal plant in the future. How was she sure it was public? Because the city of Greenville posted the document. "When it comes to transparency in public utilities, I say if it's good enough for Greenville, then it's good enough for us," Armintor wrote. (Ding, ding, ding!) 

It's time. The State Fair of Texas opens Friday in Dallas. The Funnel Cake Bacon Queso Burger (which won both Best Taste–Savory and Most Creative from the panel of six judges who taste-tested fair food) is just what it says it is. It's a hamburger topped with bacon and queso, slapped between two small funnel cakes as the bun. You can also try deep-fried chicken noodle soup on a stick, deep-fried Froot Loops (what?) and fried Texas sheet cake. Fried. Texas. Sheet cake

Readers flocked to our Denton Time story about homecoming mums last week. Get a load of this: (On second thought, get a wheelbarrow for this) Alvarado High School senior Brittany Eickers worked two jobs to pay for her $575 homecoming mum. It's really, really big. 

Who knew that mums were a divisive issue?  When Denton Twitter user Shelly Minter (@wolfnchiclothing) declared that mums are a bit of an eyesore, a Texas patriot lit into her for criticizing a Texas tradition. Denton's Andy Odom, who is also not on Team Mum, put it well when he borrowed Ron Burgundy's famous movie line: "That escalated quickly." 

Is it just us, or does trumpet virtuoso Herb Alpert not look like he's 82 years old

Denton gets another shout-out for being a town where good music happens. This time, from Maybe at some point the recognition will turn into karma points and housing costs won't outpace the money Denton musicians make at their largely non-music jobs. 

Parting Shot

"I want to cry so bad, but I don't think I can spare the moisture." 

— Lucille Bluth, Arrested Development

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