The days of the Denton City Council casting unanimous votes with little debate are a fading memory. But all those split votes means that the way they get along as they handle the public’s business matters. Most of the time the rules of procedure, which include Robert’s Rules of Order, make for great inside baseball — interesting only to those who want to tally the balls and strikes of maneuvering and decorum. This week, though, one of their long-running courtesies to each other fell flat.
Council member Deb Armintor signaled that she wanted to make a motion in a controversial zoning case, but was usurped by council member Jesse Davis. Mayor Chris Watts held off on acknowledging Armintor, instead giving Davis the floor to speak. Davis hadn’t signaled that he intended to make a motion before he did. Watts explained what was at stake, but the horse had already left the barn.
The next round, council member Gerard Hudspeth covered all the bases, signaling both a desire to speak and to make a motion so as not to be left behind. “I learn quickly,” he quipped.
Argyle resident Beverley Bass, a retired pilot who has been immortalized in a Tony Award-winning musical, is now a children’s book author.
Bass, the first woman to be an American Airlines pilot, was flying passengers from France on Sept. 11, 2001. Hers was among the international flights diverted to Gander, Newfoundland, when American airspace closed after two jets crashed into the World Trade Center.
Bass penned the children’s book Me and the Sky: Captain Beverley Bass, Pioneering Pilot with Cynthia Williams. The book, which features charming retro-style illustrations by Joanie Stone, tells the story of Bass’ passion for flying. The title is borrowed from the musical Come From Away, which features a song of the same title sung by the musical’s Bass character. Me and the Sky, published by Random House, started hitting bookshelves on Tuesday.
Beginning this week, the Texas Department of Transportation will launch a pedestrian safety campaign to remind drivers and pedestrians to slow down and to be alert. Last year, there were 5,694 traffic crashes involving pedestrians in Texas. Among those crashes, 632 people died and 1,205 sustained serious injuries. In the Dallas last year, there were 955 traffic crashes involving pedestrians, resulting in 89 fatalities and 238 serious injuries. And in the Fort Worth area in 2018, there were 434 traffic crashes involving pedestrians, resulting in 60 fatalities and 93 serious injuries.
TxDOT says the top factors in these crashes were pedestrians failing to yield the right of way to vehicles, drivers failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians, driver inattention and speeding. The new safety campaign stresses that drivers should stay alert (put your phone in the back seat, folks) and obey traffic laws. And pedestrians should stay on sidewalks — or walk on the left if there isn’t a sidewalk.
Denton, thank your lucky stars — or the rains we had earlier this year. In its latest report, the Texas A&M Forest Service communications office said that significant wildfire potential has spiked across West and Central Texas, thanks to soaring temperatures. But Denton is no stranger to grass fires, and as we burn through September, locals should exercise caution when creating any sparks outside.
Denton Main Street Association is getting ready for the fall leg of Twilight Tunes, the free Thursday evening concert series on the Square in summer and fall. Denton’s Raised Right Men will play the first show at 6 p.m. Oct. 3.
Reggie Watts is headed back to Denton. Watts — a musician, beatboxer, singer and comedian — was a headliner at 35 Denton music festival years ago. He’s clever, and ended up being a fan of the local band Record Hop.
The University of North Texas Fine Arts Series is bringing Watts back for a performance April 14 at the UNT Lyceum. Tickets will be available March 2 and are $20 for the general public, free for UNT students, $5 for UNT student guests, and $10 for UNT staff, faculty and alumni.
“The Facebook algorithm thinks I am a person who needs to see various advertisements about private jet rental. I’d like to have those kind of problems. Hmmmm. Which private jet company should I use?”
— Denton resident Casey Cavalier