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VeoRide has been in Denton under the city’s new bike-share rules since August. Most of the rent-by-app bikes are stationed at the University of North Texas and have been rented for more than 27,000 trips. Where are the kids headed most when they go off-campus? The Square and Walmart.

George Getschow, the director emeritus of the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, made an appeal to supporters and past attendees of the conference, a yearly event that champions long-form journalism and literary nonfiction.

In a letter that went out to supporters and past attendees, Getschow asked that recipients consider becoming “a Mayborn Champion,” a donor who gives $20 per month to the conference.

The donations would help pay for marquee speakers (Sebastion Junger, Joyce Carol Oates and Diane Ackerman have given keynote addresses at the conference), workshops, contests and prizes as well as publishing opportunities.

The Salvation Army of Denton will be distributing gifts for kids in the Angel Tree project on Saturday. But first, an urgent call: “We still need toys!” The group posted that message on Facebook on Wednesday, saying that toys are especially needed for girls and boys ages 3-9. Deliver any last-minute gifts to the Salvation Army’s shelter at 1508 E. McKinney St.

Denton County Transportation Authority runs a monthly program promoting its bus and train service, branding it as #WhyIRideDCTA. For the holidays, the authority sweetened the prize-winning pot — a 10-pack of regional day passes (valued at $84) — with a $25 Amazon gift card. To win, tell DCTA the story of why you use public transit at www.dcta.net/rider-info/stay-informed/why-i-ride.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen lots of conversations unfold on social media critiquing downtown mobility and parking. It was surprising to see the irritation over new wayfinding signs around downtown Denton and near the city’s parks, libraries and cultural points. Some critics said the wayfinding signs are a waste of spending because people can rely on smartphone apps. That point of view is understandable — accurate even.

But if a community wants to appeal to newcomers and visitors, there’s nothing wrong with requiring them to have nothing in their pockets other than their wallets. And anyone with a smartphone has been surprised by a quickly drained battery (hey, our phone was recently zapped from using Google Maps for more than 45 minutes) or a device that’s died.

Indivisible Denton, a left-leaning group that promotes political action, voter registration and turnout, has visited the office of District 26 Representative Michael Burgess for 100 consecutive weeks to demonstrate on Moral Mondays. On Tuesday, Indivisible members said they have yet to see their congressman at his office, but they pledge to show up at his office each Monday for the next 100 weeks.

If you didn’t catch the Andrus family of Krum the first time they appeared on Family Feud on Halloween, an encore broadcast of their two segments airs on Dec. 27 and 28 on the Game Show Network.

Denton Community Theatre saw a handful of performers nominated for awards by Broadway World, a news site that covers Broadway, off-Broadway and regional theater news and features. Chance Gibbs is among the nominees for best actor in a play for his performance in Richard III. Micha Marie Stevens was nominated for best actress in a play for her performance in Other Desert Cities; the company’s production of Calendar Girls was nominated for best overall production of a play and Claire Marie Crenshaw was nominated for best actress in a musical for her performance in Heathers: The Musical.

Speaking of Denton Community Theatre, the nonprofit theater company recently made a subtle change to the backstage restrooms at the Campus Theatre. The bathrooms now have new signs that label the restrooms as being gender neutral. Denton Community Theatre has managed the downtown theater since it reopened in the 1990s as a performing arts venue and has long been an organization that has welcomed LGBT volunteers and staff with open arms. The patron restrooms are still gender-specific, but the new signs backstage at the theater are a quiet reminder that theater — even in the deepest of red states like Texas — likely couldn’t exist without the LGBT players, stagehands, directors and producers.

Author Angie Thomas, author of the young adult novel The Hate U Give, will speak at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 14 at Independence High School, 10555 Independence Parkway in Frisco. Tickets cost $10 to $20. The Hate U Give was adapted into a film that came out earlier this year.

Randy L. Schmidt, a Denton resident and elementary school music teacher, will be part of “Carpenters — Music, Music, Music — A Panel Discussion” on April 27 in Thousand Oaks, California. The panel is part of the 50th anniversary of the Carpenters, the famous pop-rock duo, signing a record deal with A&M Records. Schmidt, who wrote Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter, will share the panel with journalist and biographer Tom Nolan, pop music historian Paul Grein, Los Angeles Opera Orchestra principal oboeist Earle Dumler and harpist recording artist Gayle Levant.

First United Methodist Church of Denton announced that it hired Cori Bell as the new director of children’s ministry. Bell served as director of children’s ministry at Plymouth Park United Methodist Church for a decade. The daughter of a United Methodist minister and the granddaughter of a Disciples of Christ minister, Bell followed her family’s tradition — and her own calling — to Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University. She earned a Master of Divinity degree at Brite in 2000.

Parting shot

“I wear the chain I forged in life. I made it link by link and yard by yard. Is its pattern strange to you or would you know the length of the strong coils you bear yourself? It was as full, as heavy, as long as this seven Christmas Eves ago, you have labored on it since, it is a ponderous chain!”

— The ghost of Jacob Marley, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

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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