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We're Denton Dammit: Dec. 7, 2017

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Lucinda Breeding

It turns out that Denton architect Jim Kirkpatrick, owner of Kirkpatrick Architecture Studio, was in Paris, France when he saw a Denton High School hoodie in a French thrift shop window. His wife (and vice president of Kirkpatrick Architecture Studio), Glenna, snapped the photo that ended up on Reddit.

A 1972 graduate of Denton High School saw a Broncos hoodie in the window of a thrift store in Paris.
A 1972 graduate of Denton High School saw a Broncos hoodie in the window of a thrift store in Paris.

Circle Theatre is among companies that announced they would not produce work by playwright Israel Horovitz after nine women accused Horovitz of sexual misconduct. The Fort Worth company, which has worked with a number of University of North Texas theater faculty in the past, announced that it will not stage Horovitz's Out of the Mouths of Babes in 2018 as previously planned. 

"Circle will be as transparent as possible when discussing the issue," executive director Tim Long said in a statement. "We are saddened by this development, but encouraged by the stories of these brave women."

Plano-based Prestonwood Baptist Church is presenting seminars on church security — an especially relevant service after the mass shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. It turns out a lot of congregations were interested. Roughly 650 people attended Tuesday, representing more than 210 churches  across the country. The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention was a co-sponsor. 

Denton Police Department will have a church safety workshop next week at the Public Safety Center. The time and date is pending. 

Well, shoot. WinStar World Casino announced that ZZ Top, the bearded Texas blues rockers, had to cancel the band's Dec. 29 concert at the Thackerville, Oklahoma, casino. Patrons who purchased tickets through Ticketmaster can get refunds. WinStar's box office started contacting patrons to refund tickets bought through the casino's Global Events Center.   

You've heard of hip-hop artists and their beefs. Well, as of last week, Denton's comedians launched a fiery debate over which fast-food joint slings the best fried chicken. Friendships were strained. Names were called. And finally, Denton comedian Joey Johnson got some folks together at the Bearded Monk for a live blind taste test of fast-food fried chicken late Wednesday night. We'll post the winner as soon as it's announced. 

There's a lot to love about Denton Community Theatre's upcoming staging of A Christmas Story. But there are some things we really love about the show. Young actor Jackson Blanton, who plays the lead role of Ralphie Parker, wonderfully mirrors the mannerisms and voice of the actor who plays the grown and graying Ralphie, Danny Armitage — who is the narrator of the story. In turn, Armitage (the vice president of Student Affairs at UNT by day) deftly adopts Jackson's cerebral enthusiasm for a certain famous BB gun. And then there is Bryan Patrick, who performs a pitch-perfect Old Man, and Ash Robbins, who hits all the right notes as Ralphie and Randy's harried but loving mother. 

Here's hoping director Richard Dennis gets another shot at directing Denton theater. If you're in the market for a show that honestly projects the anxieties of the holiday season — but also celebrates the warmth and hope of it — pick up a ticket to the show.  

Sprockets Bicycle Shop in downtown Denton has a four-legged security guard. Our guess is that the dog is a Shiba Inu. He (or she) was pretty much glued to the door on Tuesday night.  

Sprockets Bicycle Shop in downtown Denton appears to have a four-legged security guard. This Shiba Inu took its post very seriously on Tuesday night.DRC
Sprockets Bicycle Shop in downtown Denton appears to have a four-legged security guard. This Shiba Inu took its post very seriously on Tuesday night.
DRC

Have you seen the UNT  website lately? A stop-motion film depicts students and faculty (and Scrappy, the UNT mascot, too) preparing the campus for the winter holidays (complete with snow, which is the most fanciful part of the 58-second film.) The filmmakers used more than 15,000 Lego pieces to create the University Union, the  Hurley Administration Building and Willis Library. The figures are playing on the library mall. 

The University of North Texas has a special stop-motion holiday greeting on its website. A Garland company built the Lego model that is the setting of a snowy scene in front of McConnell Hall, with students, faculty and Scrappy the mascot pulling a big sign reading "Happy Holidays" into view. UNT employee Cris Bryan animated the 58-second scene, which uses more than 15,000 Lego pieces, more than 32 Lego characters and 650 photos.UNT
The University of North Texas has a special stop-motion holiday greeting on its website. A Garland company built the Lego model that is the setting of a snowy scene in front of McConnell Hall, with students, faculty and Scrappy the mascot pulling a big sign reading "Happy Holidays" into view. UNT employee Cris Bryan animated the 58-second scene, which uses more than 15,000 Lego pieces, more than 32 Lego characters and 650 photos.
UNT

A Garland company called Dallas Bricks LLC built the model, using 32 Lego characters. More than 650 photos were used to create the scene. University Relations, Community & Marketing staffer Chris Bryan did the animation. UNT President Neal Smatresk  said the short film is a tribute to the creativity that fuels the imagination of students. UNT doesn't own the model or characters, university marketing staff said. 

On Monday, Dec. 18, the Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship plays host to climate activist Mike Foster, one of the "Valve Turners" who shut off pipelines carrying tar sands oil last year. He will explain the reasons for his activism during a public talk that begins at 7 p.m. at DUUF, 1111 Cordell St. Foster has since been convicted of two felonies and a misdemeanor in connection with that action, and faces sentencing early next year. 

Denton is no stranger to climate activism. However, the eight people arrested for criminal trespassing, ostensibly defending the city's ban on fracking in June 2015 — Adam Briggle, Niki Chochrek, Tara Linn Hunter, Rodney Love, Theron Palmer, Violet Palmer, Elida Tamez and Jonathon Vann — are no longer under a cloud. The statute of limitations for misdemeanors in Texas runs out after two years.

In semi-related news, sometimes you get prompt responses from your elected officeholders. And sometimes that prompt, polite response is also a sick burn. A commenter named Tina Walls piped in with a (rhetorical?) question on the Denton Record-Chronicle's Facebook post about U.S. Radiopharmaceuticals. "Where are our eco-activists council members? The two women who seem to want to make Denton high-taxes and outrageous cost-of-living cities?" 

Within the hour, both women members of the Denton City Council had responded. From Sara Bagheri: "Here I am. I voted for the effective tax rate" — i.e., the rate that would keep a property owner's tax bill basically the same even after the property's valuation changes — "for the last 2 budgets. Have a blessed day!" Shortly thereafter, Keely Briggs checked in: "Here I am as well. I also voted for the effective tax rate."

Spiderweb Salon, a local creative collective, wants to put the pedal to the metal in 2018. The group has hosted monthly events for the last several years. In 2018, the group wants to stimulate local creatives with more workshops, more public and private shows and the continuation of The Literary Podcast. The salon is raising money through Patreon, an online subscription service that gives donors the ability to donate as little as $1 a month. 

Denton artist Paula Blincoe Collins, known for her large-scale brick sculptures, got a tile in the Denton Arts Walk of Fame. The arts walk lines East Hickory Street. Collins has brick sculptures in Denton parks, the Denton Civic Center and across the country. 

Parting Shot

"I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape. Something waits beneath it; the whole story doesn't show." 

— watercolor artist Andrew Wyeth

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