Camp SCRAP builds good habits

Why do we throw away so much useful stuff? We asked ourselves that question recently after learning about Camp SCRAP, a class to teach kids about reusing items that might otherwise be thrown out.

Realistic training aids firefighters

The demolition of commercial structures to make way for the expansion of Interstate 35E promises unexpected benefits for area firefighters, and we encourage officials to continue to explore training opportunities as the project proceeds.

Time to count our blessings

We don’t spend enough time counting our blessings. If you disagree, then name a country where people have more freedom than we enjoy here in the United States of America.

Holiday travel requires caution

We may not plan to journey over the river and through the woods to visit a grandparent, but the old song from our childhood is accurate in one respect — travel is a key part of Thanksgiving for many of us.

Employment rates looking good locally

The latest employment figures released by the Texas Workforce Commission provided some good news just before the start of the Christmas shopping season.

Graffiti program holds promise

Sometimes it seems like the secret to effective law enforcement is separating the good who do bad from the bad who are just bad.

Program helps students succeed

Congratulations to University of North Texas students who are mentoring Denton school district Hispanic students who are English language learners and encouraging them to pursue college degrees.

Be aware when out over holidays

Remember when your parents cautioned you to always look both ways before crossing the street? With the holidays at hand and more people crowding city sidewalks and ducking in and out of stores and restaurants, it might be a good time to remember that old adage.

Help kids stay warm this winter

The faces of the little ones tell a story that is all too familiar in Denton County. A photograph released by Denton’s Interfaith Ministries shows children protected from the cold by new coats they received during the agency’s annual Coats for Kids project on Nov. 15, and their happy smiles reflect a joy typically reserved for gifts of toys or candy.

Back-in parking may cause problems

We’re not convinced that the move to back-in parking along portions of East Hickory Street will accomplish what city officials hope it will, but as several people have pointed out, it should be entertaining.

Fill red kettles to aid community

The Salvation Army red kettle is about to make its seasonal return to the area, and we urge each of you to be generous in supporting the fundraising campaign it represents.

Downtown needs parking garage

We hope that city of Denton officials noted last week’s announcement that a new parking garage is officially in the works at Texas Woman’s University.

Get handle on methane leakage

Texas environmental regulators have an opportunity to show leadership on controlling methane emissions from natural gas production. If they don’t step up, they’ll have no one else to blame when the federal government steps in with a one-size-fits-all policy.

Ban texting while driving in Texas

The Texas Legislature convenes in January. Lawmakers have pre-filed hundreds of bills, and most of them will never become law.

Schools get option for snow days

The cold snap that left us shivering this week probably had some area students watching the sky and hoping for an unscheduled holiday from school.

Volunteer effort a boon to city

We appreciate the efforts of all who took part in Denton’s annual “Stream Clean” event Saturday — each of you went above and beyond.

Adoption events help children

We like the caring attitude of those involved in an adoption-awareness party held Saturday at a Denton elementary school.

TWU leader looks to future

We want to welcome Carine Feyten, president and chancellor of Texas Woman’s University, who was inaugurated Monday.

Keep veterans in our hearts

How do you thank someone for preserving our way of life? Each of us must answer that question as we prepare to celebrate Veterans Day.

Pope’s timely reminder

When Pope Francis said last week that evolution and the Big Bang theory did not conflict with Catholic teaching, it really wasn’t news. This pope just has a talent for framing long-held beliefs in a fresh way, as he has done before in taking up the cause of the poor. Instead, this news was more a timely reminder.

Little Chapel still shines brightly

This iconic building tops the list of must-see local landmarks for many visitors to Denton, and to many residents, it is beloved both for its beauty and its historical value.

Security vital for school polling sites

Parental concern about security at schools that serve as polling places is an indication of how our society has changed, and not for the better. Schools have traditionally been centers for community activity, including voting. When a centrally located polling place is needed for an election, the neighborhood school is often the best choice.

Old classmates and friends reconvene

Alot of old friends from out of town are expected in Denton this weekend, and we encourage our readers to do all they can to make them feel welcome.

It’s time to decide what comes next

After weeks of campaigning for and against a ban on hydraulic fracturing, Denton residents awoke Wednesday to find themselves back on the same side once again.

Student’s drive gives warm fuzzies

We can all learn a valuable lesson from Aubrey fifth-grader Zachary Hamilton — a determined youngster who is proof that a caring heart can find a way to do a lot of good.

Raise your voice with your vote

Today is Election Day, and area polling places are expected to be busy. If you aren’t among those who took advantage of early voting, we urge you to visit your polling location before 7 p.m. to cast a ballot.

No Social Security for former Nazis

Jakob Denzinger gets about $1,500 a month in Social Security payments, but the 90-year-old retiree isn’t a typical senior citizen.

Other voices: Anti-abuse classes hold promise

Dallas women, you live in Texas’ most dangerous county. Per capita, Dallas County reported the highest number of women killed by an intimate partner in 2013.

State needs new STAAR strategy

Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams has an ear for political talk, having held statewide office. He hears what candidates are saying about the business of testing kids — his core responsibility — and some of it gets pointed.

Housing industry steps backward

The clearest lesson of history, it has been said, is that people never learn the lessons of history. As if to prove that aphorism, federal regulators are relaxing rules governing the mortgage-backed securities business — less than a decade after an epic financial crisis, rooted partly in government indulgence of excessive risk-taking in the mortgage-backed securities business.

Search for killers doesn’t end

Unsolved murder cases eventually fade from public scrutiny. Leads in the cases dry up, the news media stop reporting about them and the cases gradually drop off the radar.

Lesson on money in politics on way

Heated debates about the role of money in American politics will never go away.We’re familiar with all the old sayings.“Money is the mother's milk of politics.”“Money talks. Bullspit walks.”

Play it safe on Halloween

The scariest thing about Halloween is the risk involved in observing many of its customs — costumes that can inhibit movement and vision, candlelit decorations that pose a fire risk, trick-or-treating excursions that send small ghosts and goblins roaming sidewalks and crossing city streets — and we urge all Denton County residents to be on high alert this week.

Pay-for-play inches closer

To put to rest the recent online kerfuffle, the University of Texas isn’t about to open its impressive checkbook to start paying its student athletes for scoring touchdowns and sinking three-pointers.

Gifts add up to collective impact

For many, the harvest celebrations that surround Halloween signal the arrival of the holiday season, and area families will begin juggling their finances to cover special family activities and gifts.

Code enforcement too selective

We believe the city of Denton is too selective in its code enforcement actions, and we’ve said so before. The latest example of the city’s heavy-handed tactics was citing longtime local business owner Andre “Frenchy” Rheault on Thursday for flying too many American flags. Yes, you read that correctly — American flags.

Don’t take chances with flu

The Ebola virus has been dominating news reports recently and rightfully so, but as area authorities continue to refine their strategies for guarding against a possible outbreak, we fear that another, more common health threat may soon be wreaking havoc.

Guyer spreads anti-bully message

The Guyer High School anti-bullying committee has taken its message on the road, and we hope there are many repeat performances.

Support liquor sales proposition

We urge Denton voters to join us in supporting the Nov. 4 ballot proposition on liquor sales that would bring Denton into modern times. It would do two things: Bars and restaurants could stop the private-club charade that allows them to sell mixed drinks and, secondly, liquor stores could come into Denton and become part of the local economy.

Vote to improve Denton’s future

We urge Denton residents to approve all four bond propositions on the Nov. 4 ballot and clear the way for much-needed improvements.

Aviation drama comes to end

President Jimmy Carter signed the Wright amendment into law, George W. Bush signed the pact to end it, and Barack Obama is president on the day it finally ends. In fact, a person born the year Love Field flight restrictions went into place is now nearly old enough to run for president.

Vote ‘No’ on fracking ban

We urge Denton residents to vote “No” on the Nov. 4 ballot proposal to ban hydraulic fracturing.

Stick with facts, not opinion

Dishes rattle; walls crack. In earthquake-prone Japan people know what is happening. In Texas, these tremors are something new, and people are trying to understand their relationship to hydraulic fracturing, commonly called “fracking.” Fracking requires vast quantities of wastewater to be injected underground.

Help decide critical issues

You may have already voted in the Nov. 4 general election — officials told us that requests for mail-in ballots from Denton voters are up substantially over the total reported last spring — but it’s more likely that you’re still waiting.

Refine methods to combat Ebola

Asecond confirmed case of Ebola transmission in Dallas emphasizes the need for local, state and federal health officials to ramp up efforts to review hospital treatment procedures and eliminate opportunities for error.

Join walkers on White Cane Day

We urge you to join a walk on the Denton Square today to encourage a commitment to improved access to basic services for blind and visually impaired people.

Band learns life lessons

Anyone who doubts that the arts can be used to motivate students to achieve excellence in other areas could learn a thing or two from McMath Middle School’s jazz program.

Those with less give more

Here’s news to warm Scrooge’s heart. Americans who have the most are giving more — to themselves. Even as the income inequality gap yawns wider, the wealthiest Americans have reduced the percentage of income they give to charity while the poor and middle class are giving more.

Planetarium too good to waste

Last week’s lunar eclipse may have occurred well before daybreak, but it helped spotlight a unique Denton asset that is virtually unknown by many area residents.

Cole leaves lasting legacy

Buddy Cole was known for many achievements — Denton County judge, county commissioner and a member of the Pilot Point City Council — but friends and family remembered him Thursday as a good father and a man who loved his community and neighbors.