Intriguing planets offer possibilities

To adapt the Bard: “O, wonder! ... O brave new world.” Or seven of them, as it happens.

UNT Board of Regents needs Denton voice

We’ve spent the last year vocally protesting the composition of the University of North Texas Board of Regents. Not even one of the nine regents lives in Denton.

New carbon plan holds promise

After decades of overwhelming scientific evidence showing that man-made emissions are endangering the planet’s future, there should be no climate change deniers left.

Lawmakers shouldn’t derail bullet train

The Texas bullet train project is moving ahead, hitting milestones and keeping alive the audacious promise of a 90-minute train ride between Dallas and Houston. But yet again, a big potential roadblock has emerged in Austin.

Bad ideas have consequences

We are perpetually dumbfounded by the chaotic randomness of what makes news in the world.

Anti-vaccine efforts harmful to kids

An increasing number of Texans suffer from delusions. The victims include a variety of people from all walks of life — auto mechanics with a high school education, actors and celebrities with bachelor degrees and retail clerks who sell shoes and clothes.

After decision, ‘Roe’ never found her place

Norma McCorvey was a sad character. She was the pregnant woman who became Jane Roe in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that legalized abortion in 1973.

Texas gets better at corporate incentives

Ideally, Texas wouldn’t have to dole out big tax breaks to recruit new companies and investment. Businesses have many reasons to expand here without any public sweeteners.

Politics fuel our immigration issues

The amount of smoke surrounding the immigration issue is bewildering. But where’s the fire?

Cut restrictions on nurse practitioners

Tanya Marin, a pediatric nurse practitioner, wanted to open her own clinic in El Paso. But when she looked into the requirements, Marin discovered that state law required her to shell out anywhere from $20,000 to over $100,000 to get a doctor to oversee her operation.

Government pension plans need reform

We strongly support a provision of Republican state Sen. Van Taylor’s proposed ethics law that would prohibit elected officials convicted of felonies from receiving taxpayer-funded pensions.

City workers deserve secure pensions

Financial disasters at the Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund have put public employee pension funds throughout Texas under a harsh spotlight. Some critics have asserted that problems with the Dallas fund could ultimately bankrupt the city if the situation is not brought under control.

Time to rethink class transferability

The Texas Legislature has got to get a grip on the escalating cost of higher education before it becomes unaffordable for a majority of lower-income and middle-class families.

Consider changes in Texas pot laws

Our local version of the war on drugs was splashed across Page 5A of Sunday’s Denton Record-Chronicle. On the surface, the report looked like a simple listing of indictments returned last week by a Denton County grand jury.

Broadnax will need steady hand in Dallas

Feb. 1 marked a changing of the guards in Dallas: T.C. Broadnax officially assumed the helm as manager of the ninth-largest city in the nation.

Girls deserve chance to be in Boy Scouts

Men and women began competing against each other long before Irving Berlin wrote the lyrics to this popular song for the 1946 Broadway musical Annie Get Your Gun. And so it still goes.

President misses on U.S.-Mexico policy

As we watch President Donald Trump lurch from one controversy to another, let us focus on one that is close to home — his disastrous beginnings with Mexico, our neighbor, friend and trading partner for whom he appears to have zero regard.

Open ranch land not a vacant commodity

Texas’ population was 14.2 million in 1980. It’s now 28 million, according to the U.S. Bureau of the Census. So our state’s population has doubled in the past 36 years.

Denton should monitor Taylor’s ethics law

We applaud the careful path state Sen. Van Taylor is walking to shepherd a new ethics law through the Texas Legislature.

Inappropriate conduct in education is baffling

Is it something in the air we breathe or in the water we drink? Have Americans become hedonists dedicated first and foremost to fulfilling lustful fantasies? Something has happened, but we aren’t sure exactly what.

Distracted driving must be stopped

The Denton Record-Chronicle reported Sunday that Denton County highways have gotten increasingly dangerous since 2014. This bad news comes after several years of improved crash statistics. We believe cellphones are responsible for the increase in fatal crashes.

Texas ethics reform bill marks progress

Today, a Texas lawmaker can leave office on a Monday and become a registered lobbyist on Tuesday. Lobbyists can use a loophole to split the tab when wining and dining lawmakers, to avoid having to disclose big expenses. And lawmakers convicted of a felony are allowed to keep their state pension.

Transgender mayor sign of times

New Hope, a tiny town of 700 people just east of McKinney, has not been known for anything special. Now comes New Hope Mayor Jess Herbst, who used to be Jeff Herbst. Herbst, 58, appears to be the first transgender mayor in Texas. “He” came out as “she” during last week’s Town Council meeting, dressing as a woman for the first time in public.

Accuser’s confession matters in Till case

It’s been more than 60 years since Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black teen from Chicago, was brutally beaten and lynched after flirting with a white woman while visiting relatives in the Mississippi Delta.

Trump proclaims new month name

February is no longer Black History Month. President Donald Trump, in a proclamation issued this week, has renamed it African American History Month. President Gerald Ford issued the first proclamation on Black History Month back in 1976.

Coleman shines light on special districts

Real estate developers who use special districts to create their subdivisions spent a lot of money last year to defeat Denton County Commissioner Hugh Coleman’s bid for re-election.

Felines find a way into dog territory

Slowly but surely, cats are taking over the world. Now, they’ve insinuated themselves into the famous Westminster Dog Show coming up later this month in New York.

Texas should scrap law of parties

We support Texas lawmakers who want to scrap the state’s so-called law of parties. In other states, it’s known by the common-law phrase, “The hand of one is the hand of all.”

Keep state-supported living center viable

Old-timers still call it “the state school.” The Denton State Supported Living Center has been an important cog in the local economy since it opened in 1960 with 1,700 residents with severe intellectual and developmental disabilities.

In face of turmoil, we must spread unity, love

We don’t know a single person who is not anxious and uneasy about the political turmoil that greets us each morning when we wake up to a Trump tweet or executive order.

Baylor must release investigation report

The Baylor family feud between university regents and powerful donors is obscuring the fundamental question that first sparked The Dallas Morning News concerns last spring: In the aftermath of the school’s sexual assault investigation, were the appropriate people punished and are existing leaders justly in the clear?

Safety first in sedation dentistry

No one likes going to the dentist. Some people, especially children, get so freaked out that a whole new way of marketing dental services has evolved over the last 20 years.

Volunteer from comfort of home

Technology has revolutionized just about every aspect of our lives — for better or worse. While constantly monitoring our emails often feels like an obligation, if not an obsession, technology has freed us in a lot of ways as well.

Restore law and order in Chicago

Cry for Chicago. Something must be done to stem the tide of gun violence in Chicago. The city’s mayor and police department are unable, or unwilling, to get control.

No widespread voter fraud found

Donald Trump’s obsession with the Nov. 8 election is a mystery. We all know Hillary Clinton received 3 million more votes than Trump, but lost the election in the Electoral College.

City must reach out to residents

We challenge the Denton City Council and new City Manager Todd Hileman to set a new civic engagement goal. Clearly, a vast majority of Denton citizens are disconnected from city government when it comes to voting in municipal elections and getting involved in city government committees and activities.

Fill spare time with area attractions

The Denton Record-Chronicle welcomes Todd Hileman to our fair city.

Senate rules impede press coverage

Covering the people’s business requires access. If given the chance, most legislative bodies would prefer not to have to deal with reporters and will turn gymnastics to limit access even to the point of rolling back accommodations that allow journalists to do their jobs.

New anti-smoking tactic not best bet

Some Texas lawmakers want to increase the legal age for buying tobacco products from 18 to 21, a move they hope would discourage youngsters from smoking.

We should give Trump a chance

Donald J. Trump became the third president to take this oath of office during the new millennium.

No easy fix for gun violence

As a society, let’s carefully examine the premise that the National Rifle Association uses as its foundation for advocating new state and federal gun laws.

Detective makes ultimate sacrifice

North Texas is mourning the loss of Little Elm police Detective Jerry Walker. He was among the officers who responded Tuesday afternoon to a report about a deranged man yelling and waving a rifle around in his backyard.

Inauguration boycott bad idea

Lyndon B. Johnson forged his reputation as a master politician during almost 40 years as a congressman, U.S. senator and president. He spent years identifying his enemies and converting them into friends.

Obamacare fix must do no harm

President-elect Donald Trump and House and Senate Republicans are on a bullet train toward repealing the Obama administration’s centerpiece health care legislative accomplishment but are far from a quick consensus on what will replace it.

How would Dr. King critique Obama?

Today marks the national holiday celebrating the life of Martin Luther King Jr. The Georgia preacher and civil rights leader would have turned 88 years old Sunday if he had lived. He was assassinated in Memphis in 1968 at age 39.

Hugs & shrugs

Hugs: Outgoing Vice President Joe Biden turned out to be a likable Joe. While in office, he suffered the untimely death of a son from cancer. He took up the fight against the disease. We were touched when he shed tears on Thursday as President Obama bestowed upon him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

401(k) no miracle retirement cure

The Wall Street Journal recently ignited an online forest fire when some of the early champions of the 401(k) surprisingly disclosed a change of heart, seeing that the retirement investment accounts haven’t lived up to their expectations.

Revisit gun rights of mentally ill

It’s time. Time to talk about the mentally ill and their Second Amendment rights.

Digital era changes how we connect

The internet is a wonderful thing. You can find a used car to buy. You can be watching a movie and instantaneously find out everything about who directed it, who starred in it and the year it was made.

Time ripe for City Hall change

Regime change is sweeping through Denton City Hall. We are optimistic that the new bosses will be better than the old bosses. They’ll be more open to including the public in their plans to manage the city’s growth, development and tax-and-spend policies.