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Some poor soul was the victim of a grackle attack at the Kroger on University Drive recently. The unhappy bird thwacked Ena Richmond on the head with its feet (sounds harmless, but velocity can make tiny talons sting). She asked an employee nearby if he’d witnessed the airborne attack, and he said “it happens all the time.” The only advice we have is to distract them by tossing stale French fries onto the ground before you get out. And if you don’t have stale French fries on your floorboards, don’t judge those of us who do. Duck and cover, Denton.

Denton resident Matt Sallack found a message spray-painted on the pavement along Bolivar Street: “Make Denton edgy again.”

Make Denton edgy again

Someone has a message for Denton, and resident Matthew Sallack saw it.

Award-winning poet Joaquin Zihuatanejo, a former Denton High School teacher, recently learned that his poem “We Are Because They Were” will be included into a new curriculum for high school sophomores in Chicago. His poem will appear alongside the literature of Tato Laviera, Bassey Ikpi, Nate Marshall, Gwendolyn Brooks, Nikki Giovanni and Kush Thompson.

“The poem is about my abuelita Juanita. I’m so happy that students in Chicago will read of her strength,” Zihuatanejo said to his Facebook followers.

Officials with the State Fair of Texas announced Tuesday that the massive fair is canceled. The North Texas Fair and Rodeo has some schedules up that appear to be for this year’s events, but no music schedule or attractions are live on the fair’s website, and no tickets are available. The fair’s Facebook page is active, but no plans for the 2020 event have been announced since the pandemic began causing organizers to cancel festivals and events that would violate mass-gathering prohibitions. With local and statewide COVID-19 infections rising, we’re bracing for more cancellations.

University of North Texas professor and filmmaker Melinda Levin won a total of six Telly Awards this year. “Cuban Earth” earned a silver and two gold Telly Awards while “Mongolia: Earth and Spirit” took a gold and two bronze awards in the general non-broadcast category. Levin joins some heavy hitters in the awards, including Disney, Warner Bros. and Sony Music Entertainment, which also were recognized in the 41st annual Telly Awards.

Levin, who is director of the Master of Fine Arts in Documentary Production and Studies program in UNT’s Department of Media Arts, spent more than five years developing the films along with UNT students and alumni. Both of the films confront environmental changes and how communities are responding to environmental changes. Her latest documentary shorts were filmed on location in Cuba and Mongolia. “Cuban Earth” follows arts group Teatro Callejero Medio Ambiental (“Street Theater About the Environment”) as it uses colorful, jubilant street performances in Havana and Pinar del Río, Cuba, to garner respect for the environment and animals.

“Mongolia: Earth and Spirit,” which Levin co-produced and directed with UNT MFA documentary alumna Liz Daggett Matar, profiles Buddhist monk Delgar Mondoon, who has dedicated his life to cultural and environmental work. The film aired on KERA and won a Best Documentary Award at the Female Filmmakers Festival Berlin. It also was an official selection at the Jaipur International Film Festival and the ARFF Festival of Berlin.

Levin won a bronze Telly Award in 2011 for “River Planet,” a film she directed and co-produced. The Telly Awards recognize excellence in video and television. Each year, the Telly Awards receive more than 12,000 entries from all 50 U.S. states and five continents around the world.

Autumn Natalie, program manager for Keep Denton Beautiful, said Denton artist Dan Black can start repainting the mural of Betty Kimble, Ruby Cole, Alice Alexander, Alma Clark and Dorothy Minter on the Union Pacific Railroad Bridge at Robertson Street and Bell Avenue as soon as Union Pacific gives the city’s public art committee and Keep Denton Beautiful the thumbs-up. Natalie said she hopes the mural, which was first painted on Denton activist and business owner Willie Hudspeth’s shop last year, can be repainted this summer. The original mural fell apart when Hudspeth tried to preserve it after the owner of the building sold it and Hudspeth was forced to vacate.

Parting Shot

“In times of stress and danger such as come about as the result of an epidemic, many tragic and cruel phases of human nature are brought out, as well as many brave and unselfish ones.”

— William Crawford Gorgas, Sanitation in Panama

Denton Dammit is an old-fashioned gossip column about people, places and things in and around Denton. Send your submissions to Lucinda Breeding at cbreeding@dentonrc.com.

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