HUGS go to ... the University of North Texas students who addressed the UNT System Board of Regents during a silent sit-in on Thursday. For most, it was their first time at a board meeting, and we’re proud of them for being involved in their university’s governance.

HUGS go to ... the University of North Texas women’s soccer team, which added to its remarkable history of success this week by winning its third straight Conference USA tournament. The Mean Green beat Florida Atlantic 5-2 in the conference title game and earned their seventh NCAA tournament bid. The win was all the more special because it came in UNT’s 25th season and on the Mean Green’s home field. UNT had never hosted a conference tournament before this season, when the Mean Green moved into the North Texas Soccer and Track & Field Stadium. Here’s a hat-tip to UNT coach John Hedlund and his players for another memorable championship run.

SHRUGS go to ... the suggestion that Denton should consider an ordinance allowing horse-drawn carriages to operate in the city limits, primarily as seasonable businesses. City staff are expected to draft an ordinance to bring to the council for a vote, which we urge council members to reject outright. We agree there’s a certain romantic charm associated with carriage rides across cobblestones, but the idea of bringing such carriages to Denton now feels like an unnecessary gimmick, particularly when the welfare of the animals is weighed, along with the difficulty of getting cars across our roads, not to mention horses. Let’s leave the carriages to cities like New York and New Orleans, where they are a decades-long tradition, along with in the Hallmark movies soon to inundate our TV screens.

HUGS go to ... the residents of Green Tree Estates, who addressed the Denton City Council at its special meeting on Friday. The Spanish-speaking residents of the community were diplomatic and direct as they requested more water for the families left without water after a well was deemed unfit as a public water well. They were concerned that city leadership might not follow through with a basic utility and human need. Their voices weren’t always steady, but they were clear.

And HUGS go to ... the City Council in treading the line between regulatory authority — which the city doesn’t have — and providing residents with water with sensitivity. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which has regulatory authority on the issue, had not replied to Denton officials by the time of the special meeting.

HUGS go to ... Campus Barber Shop’s longtime barber Gene Hartman, who retired a week ago today after 60 years of fades, flattops and, dare we imagine, a ducktail or two. Hartman has seen a lot of changes in Denton — along with the hairstyles — and kept us clean and presentable over the years. “I know that I’m going to miss the customers, the people that I’ve been seeing all these years, keeping up with things around town,” he said in reflecting on retirement. Gene, we’re going to miss you, too.

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