Deborah Armintor, a Denton City Council member and a University of North Texas English professor, got into the rhetorical cross hairs of the controversial Jason Van Dyke, the Denton attorney best known for representing the Proud Boys, a group that identifies itself as a Western chauvinist group (but is defined as an extremist group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and said to have credible ties to white supremacist groups by the FBI). Armintor was among critics of the UNT Texas Marksmen club — a group that offers a fairly pedestrian program — for its weapons training and shooting competitions. The club also teaches firearm safety. Armintor criticized the club for having ties to Van Dyke, who was reported to be a coach for the Marksmen by the North Texas Daily. Well, Van Dyke (who resigned from the Marksmen) responded by posting a defense of his work for the club and his pro-bono legal work for fraternity members.
Van Dyke included a scathing criticism of Armintor and made sure it was generously laced with the sneering misogyny you can find all over the internet. Other social media posts showed Van Dyke texting homophobic slurs, threats and photos of guns to people who deluged him with texts after a Twitter user revealed Van Dyke’s phone number in a screenshot of a text.
Reasonable people can disagree about the political inclinations of your average college faculty and how universities should deal with tensions over free speech on campuses.
Reasonable people can also agree that Van Dyke seems like a real peach.
Dan Danzy lives in Dallas, but the comedian has had a big hand in the Denton comedy scene and two local comedy festivals. Over the weekend, Danzy made one of his regular appearances at Hyenas in Dallas, and he got a reunion with Christopher “Kid” Reid, the comedian most famous for his leading role (as Kid in the duo Kid ’n Play with Christopher Martin) in the 1990 comedy House Party. The two met more than 10 years ago at a Beaumont comedy venue before sharing hosting duties last weekend.
We’re wondering if a new development at Texas A&M could eventually reach the UNT Health Science Center. The Texas A&M Health Science Center is the first health science center in the nation to train students to administer naloxone to people who overdose on opioids.
Naloxone can be administered as a nasal spray or an injection. The A&M health science center has held 500 training sessions, and university officials report that five lives have been saved by equipping future health care professionals to administer the drug.
Denton resident Dave Coulter visited a secondhand bookstore last week. He was pleased to find a Ron Miles CD featuring Bill Frisell and Rudy Royston for 50 cents. He bought it. Later, he popped open the jazz CD and discovered a bonus: a burned CD with “LPdP TLFF” scrawled on it with a Sharpie.
Coulter was curious, and put it in his CD player. When what to his wondering ears should play? A 4-year-old recording of a performance by the Denton chicha band Los Patos Poderosos.
The recording was made during Thin Line film festival. How did Coulter know? His son, musician Jesse Coulter, played in the band. It was also one of the last bands former Denton percussionist Joe Cripps played in before he mysteriously disappeared in 2016 in Little Rock, Arkansas.
“Jesse didn’t know they recorded it and it just dropped into my lap, so to speak,” Dave Coulter told his friends on social media. “Thank you whoever you are for both recordings.”
Wow. The Denton Holiday Home Tour was a popular destination on the first Saturday of this month. Randy Hunt, a coordinator of the tour, reported that more than 550 people walked through the houses in Denton’s historical district. If you count the docents who directed foot traffic and shared information about the historical homes and the homeowners, Hunt said, more than 650 people participated.
District 26 Congressman Michael Burgess said he expects President Trump to sign H.R. 315, the Improving Access to Maternity Care Act. Burgess authored the bill, which expands access to maternity care.
Burgess has skin in the game when it comes to maternal health. He is an obstetrician and gynecologist, and Texas leads the developed world in maternal deaths. He’s also the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health. It behooves our congressional representative to act.
Finally a T-shirt that really depicts Denton at its core - the downtown Courthouse on the Square wearing a profusion of orange traffic barrels and cones. Now, can someone tell us if this is real and where to get one?
“We are a nation of communities ... a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky.”
— George H.W. Bush in 1988, when he became the GOP’s presidential nominee