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We're Denton Dammit: Aug. 3, 2017

Profile image for Lucinda Breeding
Lucinda Breeding

The audacious members of Denton Matters — an oft-fiery Facebook group that grew out of the local  anti-fracking movement — had their fun at the expense of city leadership last week. Member Kyle Eaton joshed about starting a petition to name each of the 12 turbines that will power the beleaguered Denton Energy Center after a City Council member or city staffer who pushed the Renewable Denton Plan last year. Denton Matters member Ken Gold suggested 11 names. For departed city employees: George Campbell, Phil Williams, Mike Grim and Jim Maynard. For council members who green-lighted the pricey project: Kevin Roden, Kathleen Wazny, Joey Hawkins, Dalton Gregory and Greg Johnson. Gold also suggested former Mayor Mark Burroughs and former City Attorney Anita Burgess get a turbine. That leaves one turbine without a shame-name. 

Bob Ross: The Art of Chill. Need a relaxing game? Target is selling a new board game that challenges you to take it down a notch.Target
Bob Ross: The Art of Chill. Need a relaxing game? Target is selling a new board game that challenges you to take it down a notch.

Anyone jonesing for 1990s nostalgia? Target will soon have a theme for your next smart dinner party. The retailer just announced a series of classic games based on 1990s television shows. The following games should be in stores right about now: Bob Ross: The Art of Chill ($24.99); Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? ($14.99); Legends of the Hidden Temple ($14.99);  Saved by the Bell ($19.99); Rustic Operation ($29.99); and Rustic Candyland ($19.99). Oh, and on the cover of the Bob Ross board game? His signature afro is filled with happy little trees.  

A Flower Mound father-son duo has created a web series called Go-Kart Alley. Dad Dennis Van Vleet handed down his love of go-karts to son McCormick. The web series is a handy way to showcase the restored go-karts Van Vleet sell in kits. And before you get steamed over the Confederate flag painted on the body of one of the featured vehicles, take note: Go-Kart Alley is a tribute to The Dukes of  Hazzard. Only instead of Boss Hogg, a cranky security guard in a golf cart is the young drivers' foil. Watch at

Ahem. A member of Club Triune wants a good Catholic adult (or a dozen) to teach adolescents religious formation by Labor Day. Immaculate Conception Catholic Church dropped an ad in its weekly newsletter that says exactly this: "Hello! This is the HOLY SPIRIT, knocking at your heart! The ICC youth in grades 6-12 NEED adults to teach them the faith." That sound you heard? The noise of Catholic souls shuddering at the thought of being trapped in a room with primates in all phases of puberty, who act like they need an exorcist, not a well-meaning, middle-aged Catholic who just wants some blasted peace and quiet and maybe a craft beer. 

Oak Street Drafthouse and Cocktail Parlor is sure looking spiffy. The popular downtown bar (which has one of the best patios in Denton, if we may say so) has gotten a new roof and is getting a new coat of paint — this time a dignified gray. Kudos to owner John Williams for treating the old Victorian house like a classy dame who can pour you a stout or serve you a cordial.  

When District Clerk Sherri Adelstein went to Commissioners Court to ask for another employee, she wound up in an exchange with Commissioner Hugh Coleman about public records. We've repeatedly had issues getting records out of her office, and apparently so has Coleman. 

As Adelstein talked about implementing a new system for lawyers to access criminal records online, which are currently only available by request in person, Coleman pushed back that the system should be open to the public, too. After all, it's all public information. 

"So you don't want to give the public access?" Coleman pushed during the exchange. Adelstein responded with a simple "no." Looks like we'll be taking more unnecessary trips to the courts building for the foreseeable future.

The Texas Woman's University School of Arts is headed back to Scotland for another whirl with the Edinburgh Fringe Festal — a huge fest that features new and emerging performing arts by all sorts of companies. TWU is staging a play devised by students: Gun Show. The play explores the American obsession with firearms in a collection of vignettes. 

Speaking of the Fringe Fest, it's been a minute since Dena Bruton-Claus called Denton home, where she used to own Springbok Academy. But her daughter, Madison, is performing in the show Edison, which was recently named among the "50 Unmissable Shows" at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The  play posits that Thomas Edison stole the glory that rightfully belonged to Nikola Tesla.

Usually, to the victor belongs the spoils. But in usual Denton style, unsuccessful candidates for City Council have been appointed to important posts on city boards and commissions. On Tuesday, council member Sara Bagheri appointed UNT English professor Deb Armintor to the Public Utilities Board. Paul Meltzer, a retired business executive, had his choice of plum assignments. Meltzer may have lost by a slim margin to newbie council member Don Duff, but he also mobilized hundreds of new voters on Denton's west side. 

Bagheri nominated Meltzer for the board that oversees the downtown tax-increment reinvestment zone, and council member Gerard Hudspeth nominated him for the board that oversees important federal grants for housing and community development. Although there's no rule against a single volunteer serving on two boards, Meltzer opted to follow custom and accepted only the nomination for the downtown board. In all, council members nominated 20 new volunteers and reappointed 23 current volunteers to serve.

The UNT Health Science Center landed two icons of soft rock for the Nov. 7 "Legends" concert at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth: Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald. The concert is the center's signature fundraiser. Tickets cost $170 to $286. 

D Magazine named local realtor Leigh Anne Stadt a top producer in real estate for the year. Stadt sells real estate in Denton with Keller Williams Realty.

Since this is our back-to-school edition of Denton Time, why not offer a little something for the kids prepping for English composition class? Allow us to offer an example of writing that obfuscates in passive voice.  We present it to you with a box of aspirin tablets (with apologies to Tennessee Williams). 

Parting Shot

"'Oh, you and your imaginary sky God! How about reason and science?" Well,  how about it?  An open-minded person would concede that science and reason aren't the monopoly of the skeptic. In fact, though I have my differences with some denominations, it's clear that the cult  of the imaginary sky God comprehends the human condition far better than the gods of secularism do."

David Harsanyi, an atheist  and a senior editor at The Federalist