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Denton residents recently noticed that the city is paying more attention to our recycling bins. The reason? To recycle more and reduce contamination in our blue bins. Not only have Denton residents let their knees jerk hard enough to take out a neighbor’s eye, but they’ve slammed the city’s sustainability staffer Vanessa Ellison with all sorts of indignation and some abuse (because that’s what we do now).

Maybe we can break this down to the basics. We’re all busy. All of us like to be able to reflexively clear our kitchens without deconstructing boxes, discarding the greasy lid of last night’s pizza box or rinsing and smashing plastic bottles. We want it to be simple. But being a little more careful about sorting the trash from the recyclables isn’t really that hard.

The bottom line is that if you contaminate your recycling bin with trash, or just toss everything in your trash bin, we will all pay more. And if you must call Ellison and complain — maybe be decent about it.

A Texas Woman’s University bumper sticker was sighted in the wild — well, in Boston, Massachusetts. It’s likely that the driver headed north for a job or an advanced degree.

But we like to think a few blistering Denton summers made the student, current or former, pack up and chase real live winters. Go Pioneers! Treat those East Coasters to some of your Texas swagger.

Remember when folks thought an event name like 35 Denton Conferette led to confusion and consternation? (We’re still sore at the number of people who chastised us about the name, and we had no hand in naming The Festival That Became 35 Denton.) Stoke, Denton’s coworking space and business incubator, is planning a one-day conference April 12 to spur entrepreneurship and startups.

Because Stoke’s logo is a little flame, the conference has been christened with the name Flint — as in the tool that can be used to spark a fire, and not (as we thought initially) related to the city in Michigan. Still, sounds cool. But maybe a little too cool?

The website trumpets the event as “FlintConf: the denton startup conference for hipsters, hackers, and hustlers” (note the trendy use of lowercase AND the Oxford comma). In this case, “hipsters” means “creatives.” (After this was explained to him, one copy editor noted: “I’m more concerned with the other two.”) At any rate, mashing up the word Flint with Conf — guys, the standard “Con” as shorthand for conference wasn’t hip enough for you? — makes for FlintConf, which, said out loud, makes one sound like a German with a sinus infection.

How badly does Denton want a Trader Joe’s? Bad enough for several locals to head over to and draw up a petition to show the powers that be that we are so, so serious about the desire for the retailer. Denton resident and actor Chance Gibb shared the link to a petition with a short message: “I need every single one of you to sign this!” The goal for signatures is 1,500. On Tuesday night, the petition was 446 signatures shy of the goal. Petition creator M. Bryce Olson said it is high time for a grocery store that isn’t casually called “Murder Kroger.” A number of Denton Record-Chronicle employees wish they didn’t have to drive out of the city to pick up Trader Joe’s Two-Buck Chuck wine. Business Editor Jenna Duncan (who is on #TeamTraderJoes) asked Denton Economic Development Director Caroline Booth about the popular grocery store might come to Denton. Booth said her office has reached out to Trader Joe’s in the past, and wasn’t in current talks with the company. But, she’s on our side and said she wishes the petition the best. “I too, like Trader Joe’s,” she said, laughing.

The Rev. Christy Thomas, a retired minister who pastored Krum First United Methodist Church before she retired, was recently a guest on two episodes of the podcast Crackers and Grape Juice. (We love the podcast subtitle: “Talking Faith Without Stained Glass Language.”) The podcast’s lead pastors, Rev. Jason Micheli and Rev. Teer Hardy discovered Thomas through her Denton Record-Chronicle column (which publishes on Patheos as The Thoughtful Pastor).

Thomas joined the podcast during the denomination’s special called General Conference. She deconstructed the One Church Plan, which would have allowed the denomination to include LGBT-affirming congregations and pastors as well as fundamentalist Methodists who don’t want LGBT clergy or to officiate same-sex unions. The Traditional Plan won and doubled down on language in the denomination’s Book of Order & Discipline regarding homosexuality and holds up prohibitions on ordaining LGBT clergy or officiating same-sex weddings. Thomas also grieved that the United Methodist Church could be moving toward obsolescence. Listen to her podcast here and here.

Years ago, a group of skilled university art students formed the Denton Craft Mafia. It was a group of women who were fiber artists, jewelry makers, leather workers and the like, and they mostly created work together and shared tips and skills. The craft mafia sort of dissolved as those artists moved on from college. Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship is stepping into the gap with the launch of a congregational and community craft guild. They’ve coined the group the DUUF Craft Guild (hey, if you want to get fancy, channel it into that project you bring to the first meeting.) The first gathering is 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on March 22 at the fellowship, 1111 Cordell St. If you’ve got a project working, and you feel like doing some work on it with other people, check it out. (And don’t forget that there are some craft gatherings at our local libraries.)

Parting shot

“Four-bedroom, three-bathroom pothole on Hickory Street. Any takers?”

— Susan McGuire Cooksey, Denton real estate agent and frustrated local motorist

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

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