Have fun, safe Fourth of July

With the Fourth of July weekend upon us, let’s take a break from ISIS, Trump, Hillary, the firearms debate, LGBT issues, abortion politics and the myriad other issues that seem to dominate the news these days.

Pell Grants for prisoners not fair

Denton is a college town. Many students at University of North Texas and Texas Woman’s University are laboring under a mountain of debt to finance their college educations.

Court’s decision on abortion law correct

The U.S. Supreme Court stood up and did its job this week, handing down a 5-3 decision that a Texas anti-abortion law known as House Bill 2 is unconstitutional.

Explain vote to dismiss Campbell

The Denton City Council has made some tough decisions in the last couple of years: putting the fracking ban to a vote in 2014, tax incentives for Buc-ee’s and a convention center at Rayzor Ranch Town Center, and authorizing a $265 million expenditure on gas-powered engines and a power plant to house them to generate electricity.

VA probe shows same old problems

When it comes to the Department of Veterans Affairs, can anything really surprise us anymore?

Aussies offer good gun control path

Here is a stunning sentence in a New Yorker magazine story on gun control. “More American civilians have died by gunfire in the past decade than all the Americans who were killed in combat in the Second World War,” wrote Evan Osnos, a veteran reporter.

Politics aside, HPV vaccine a godsend

If science could provide parents with a means of protecting their children from the misery and devastation wrought by cancer, wouldn’t they line up to get it? It does. But they don’t.

Rethink City Council seating arrangement

With Denton City Manager George Campbell on his way to retirement, now seems the right time to address a City Hall issue that has been nagging at us.

Campbell helped to improve city

The George Campbell era at Denton City Hall officially ended early Wednesday when City Council members voted not to renew his contract as city manager.

STAAR failures show need for better way

It has been a tough year for Educational Testing Services. That is the company that a year ago won a $280 million, four-year contract to administer our state’s system of standardized testing for public schools.

Texas Democrats need new formula

The Democratic Party of Texas has been a dysfunctional mess since George W. Bush defeated Ann Richards in the race for governor in 1994.

Long waits for TSA screenings need fix

Have you heard about three-hour wait times in lines for Transportation Security Administration screenings? That’s the time period that late-night talk show hosts are using in monologue jokes.

End research ban on gun violence now

Working in concert, science and government can save lives. A classic case: Federally funded research has shaped policies that have slashed the number of auto fatalities, even as more Americans are driving more miles every year.

Trump must rally GOP for chance to win

Donald Trump’s chaotic presidential campaign shows no signs of gaining a solid footing among prominent Republicans.

A misguided soul?

What to make of Peshwaz Waise? Waise, a 28-year-old Muslim, picked up some English copies of the Quran after Wednesday’s early-morning prayer service at the Islamic Center of Denton. By midmorning, he had carried those copies of the Islamic holy book to a Denton medical center, where he caused a commotion by aggressively trying to hand them out to employees.

Theater rejuvenation great for Denton

Once upon a time, three movie theaters graced downtown Denton — The Campus, the Fine Arts and the tiny Student Arts Theater that once occupied the space where Andy’s bar now serves adult beverages.

We must resolve not to accept shootings

How do we even begin to sort out what happened early Sunday morning at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida? What does it mean to us here in Denton County? Are we destined to be nothing more than innocent witnesses to these tragedies? Or can we do something?

Scientists dive into uncharted waters

The images of damage from the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico focused on vast oil sheens on the surface or oil washed up on beaches, fouling plants and killing animals.

Energy plan must be transparent

Most thoughtful citizens, as a matter of philosophy, embrace moving away from burning dirty fossil fuels (coal and natural gas) to generate electricity and turning toward cleaner wind and solar power.

Texarkana story says a lot about Ali

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali died recently at the age of 74. He had been suffering from Parkinson’s syndrome for more than three decades and just before his death came down with pneumonia.

Time to give Clinton her due

The Denton Record-Chronicle does not endorse candidates for elective office. We let our readers make up their minds based on their own reading and analysis in a given contest.

Get tough on distracted driving

No one likes getting a traffic ticket. And we are hesitant to support another city ordinance that would expand police power to issue citations.

Backyard chickens have a downside

Country folks have always enjoyed raising chickens in the backyard. The hens play several roles — pet, source of fresh eggs or a tasty dish best served fried.

Trump writing off Hispanic vote

A certain brand of Republican still believes Donald Trump is a Trojan horse.

Paxton’s actions betray Texans

John W. Owens deserves a civilian medal of honor and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton needs to resign.

Residents need a tax break

Patience with TSA nears end of the line

Rain a mixed bag for Texans

Public officials should refuse lobbyists’ gifts

State lawmakers have taken lobbyist-paid junkets valued at more than $1.1 million since 2005, according to a story this week in the San Antonio Express-News.

Spieth renews our faith in athletes

A Texas star has been born and he shows no sign of flaming out while soaring higher and higher through the sporting universe.

Arlington swinging for the fences

Economists generally agree that sports stadiums don’t do a lot to lift the economy. But Arlington keeps trying to prove them wrong — not once, not twice, but three times.

Honor fallen by helping the living

Memorial Day is when we honor those who died for our country, but our nation continues to dishonor their memory by the way we treat the veterans still with us.

Check Baylor report for criminal acts

The Baylor University scandal involving athletes sexually assaulting female students raises a question we haven’t heard asked.

Overtime change long overdue

In this nation of plenty, it’s nevertheless distressingly easy to work very hard and stay very poor.

Baylor finally doing right thing

Congratulations to the Baylor University Board of Regents for finally holding football coach Art Briles and Chancellor and now former President Ken Starr accountable for repeatedly turning a blind eye toward athletes who sexually assaulted female students.

End holiday confusion

There appears to be some confusion in the land about the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

New names appear on political scene

The city of Denton and Denton County have witnessed a political changing of the guard this spring.

Buc-ee's to create jobs

The word “Buc-ee’s” became controversial last year during the debate on whether the Denton City Council should approve tax incentives to attract the high-profile travel center to Denton.

UNT in position for future success

University of North Texas President Neal Smatresk engineered Rick Villarreal’s departure after 15 years as UNT’s athletic director. We are surprised it didn’t happen sooner.

Obesity may impact national security

When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, America immediately began mobilizing for war. Millions of citizens showed up at military recruitment centers to volunteer in the Army, Marines and Navy.

Oil regulators refuse to face facts

Before you can solve a problem, you have to admit one exists.

Think before you label people

Political correctness — the avoidance of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.

Outlaw 'gassing' of Texas rattlers

It’s hard to gin up much in the way of tears and sympathy for poisonous reptiles, we know. You may not care, then, how Texas hunters go about catching the live-and-squirming specimens displayed at popular “rattlesnake roundups” — but maybe you should.

Important to solve cemetery mystery

Denton County values its history. Sometimes, though, finding our history involves solving a mystery.

Suit strikes blow for First Amendment

The Texas House of Representatives has always resembled a three-ring circus when lawmakers meet under the Capitol dome every other year. Each of the 120 state representatives is assigned a wooden desk and padded brown leather chair.

Baylor must release sexual assault report

This is when some outside entity, like The Dallas Morning News, would call for Baylor University officials to make full, public release of a long-awaited report into its institutional response to sexual violence allegations against its students.

Efforts to curb bullying grow

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin recently signed into law a bill that clearly defines bullying as it pertains to K-12 education.

Texas court punts on education

The Texas Supreme Court agreed Friday that Texas’ system of public education needs wholesale improvements. Unfortunately, the nine justices stopped well short of doing anything about it themselves.

Court answers drilling ban question

The Colorado Supreme Court recently weighed in on one of Colorado’s most contentious and long-running questions. Do local governments have the right to ban oil and gas drilling?

West fire arson ruling unsettling

One would hope that the city of West could find some measure of closure now that government investigators have finally announced the cause of the fire that sparked a massive fertilizer explosion three years ago, leveling homes, schools and businesses.