Skimmed is our semi-weekly (read: whenever Will gets around to it) look at current cultural, business and political happenings in Denton that you want to know about. It is designed to be read quickly and we even bolded the important stuff so you can skim it! This week, we discuss valet parking downtown, the new handheld device ban, the loss of a good soup, DISD's new "district of innovation" policies, and a petition for free fortune cookies at a local restaurant. Check it all out below.
On Tuesday, city council approved a new ordinance that would prevent any/all valet parking activity in the downtown Denton area. However, that ordinance is mainly seen as a temporary one until the city is able to conduct a study that takes a greater look at the parking situation downtown. Which makes us wonder - wasn't that the topic that the Leadership Denton group discussed back in 2015? Of course, while this measure will block all valet parking when it goes into effect on January 2nd, we all know that they're only talking about Queenie's and the Gollum-like control they have tried to exert over the few parking spaces in front of their steakhouse on Hickory St. Those in the know (AKA those that read our Secrets of Denton County posts) have already known that they can park in those spaces anyway, though.
Additionally, Denton City Council also passed a ban on the usage of handheld devices while driving. This goes beyond the previous ban on just texting and driving. Violating this new ordinance can cost you a hefty $500. The ordinance goes into effect June 1st, 2017 so you have plenty of time to develop the perfect Spotify playlist between now and then so you won't ever need to touch your iPhone while driving ever again.
Speaking of Queenie's, they recently did away with one of our favorite semi-liquid based dishes in town - their sweet potato and kale soup. We're pretty darn bummed about it. We even reached out to Tony Neglia, chef de cuisine at Queenie's, and he said it was gone for sure. Apparently, there's a new "Bowl of Texas Red" dish there that took its place and is supposed to be good, but we will still miss that sweet potato and kale soup. You can valet park there between now and January 2nd if you'd like to try out that new bowl of Texas red. You can read our thoughts on Queenie's (and that soup) here.
Denton Independent School District (DISD) has recently undergone preparation to become what the state of Texas calls a, "District of Innovation" (DOI). This pronouncement would exempt them from many requirements placed upon local school districts by the state. Assuming that DISD does actually become a DOI, they already have several changes in mind. Earlier this week, the district presented proposals of several key policy changes to the DISD school board. The changes are related to items such as the school start date, CTE (career and technology education) teacher certifications, minimum class attendance, and appraisal processes for teachers. You can find more information about DISD's DOI plans here or watch the video about the new school start date below.
In the always-exciting realm of Denton food news, we ate at Mr. Chopsticks last night. We kinda do that once or twice a month so it wasn't a very big deal except for the fact that we had an idea (read: Gabe had an idea) - Mr. Chopsticks should be giving out free fortune cookies. Think about it. Have you ever dined at Mr. Chopsticks, paid for your food, and then become despondent - if not out-and-out depressed - to find out that your receipt was not accompanied by a handful of fortune cookies? We darn sure have. Well, in the vein of starting useless Change.org petitions, we have created our own petition to ask Mr. Chopsticks owner, Chai Tamprateep, to start giving out free fortune cookies at Mr. Chopsticks instead of keeping them in a jar at the front and asking for money. We don't even care if our egg drop soup (we're on a bit of a soup kick lately if you can't tell) costs a dollar more - just so long as we have the illusion of free fortune cookies. Can one petition made by a blog change a years-long business practice? We're not sure, but we do know one thing: free fortune cookies sure are tasty.
We'll end this week with the best fortune we have ever received in a fortune cookie, "Go for it."