July 16, 2021
This is the latest edition of Week In Review - a series of weekly messages from the Mayor and City Council to help Richardson residents and businesses keep up to date on events at City Hall. If you would like to sign up to receive this in a weekly e-mail click here.
Throughout the year the City Council or City Plan Commission will hold meetings on topics of significant interest to local neighborhoods or the community in general. Links to view all City Council or City Plan Commission meeting documents that may have topics of interest to you can be found here:
Sherrill Park Head Pro Featured in CBS-TV Special
Sherrill Park Head Professional Ronny Glanton is one of 15 PGA Professionals featured in an hour-long nationwide TV special to be broadcast Sunday, July 18 at noon (CT) on CBS. Hosted by CBS Sports’ James Brown, “A Celebration of PGA Professionals” showcases the Professionals as well as the PGA Section honored during the 2020 season. Glanton was named the 2020 PGA Golf Professional of the Year and headlines the list, as his award is the highest annual honor given to a PGA member.
Glanton was awarded for his “leadership, strong moral character and a substantial record of service to the PGA and the game of golf” according to PGA of America. He has served as PGA Head Professional at Sherrill Park Golf Course since 1985 and has guided Sherrill Park in being consistently ranked as a top-10 municipal facility.
The PGA of America is one of the world’s largest sports organizations, composed of nearly 28,000 Professionals. For a preview of Sunday’s special, click here. Broadcast coverage of the special will also be available on Paramount+ Premium.
Construction Begins on US 75 Silver Line Bridge
Crews begin work this week on the DART Silver Line bridge that will span US 75. The bridge will be located between CityLine Drive and Renner Road. Trains will leave the CityLine/Bush Station to the south and cross US 75 before running parallel to the Bush Turnpike, heading toward the UT Dallas Station.
Work on the bridge is expected to take about 20 months. DART said this week that the expected opening for the Silver Line, which was scheduled for mid-2023, has been pushed back to 2024.
Richardson Police Provide Free House Watch Program
The Richardson Police Department (RPD) is encouraging Richardson residents to utilize the Department’s House Watch Program if they are planning a trip out of town, to help prevent criminal opportunity. The Program provides trained Volunteers in Police Service who will check on your home for up to four weeks, as time permits. There is no cost to participate.
To sign up, click here. Note that the House Watch Program is NOT available to homes that are vacant (have no one usually residing there) or homes entered by pet sitters or other persons watching the home during the homeowner’s absence.
Contact: RPD Community Relations Unit, 972-744-4955
New K9 Officer Helps Curb Criminal Activity
Meet the newest member of the Richardson Police Department. His name is Hondo and he's ready to serve and protect. He is certified in narcotics and just recently assisted in finding several drugs during a traffic stop. Hondo is finishing up patrol training and once he’s certified will continue regular training about 25 hours every month. Hondo is honing his skills with officer protection, apprehensions, tracking, building and area search, and evidence recovery. Hondo is the seventh canine to serve the Richardson Police Department.
Wayfinding Signs Installed at Spring Creek Nature Area
After much planning, design and preparation, nine new wayfinding signs have been installed in the City’s Spring Creek Nature Area. Large signs located just inside the park’s two entry portals and two other key entry points feature a map of the 100-acre park and its trails, as well as park rules and regulations, and designate parking, picnic tables, restrooms and drinking fountains. Smaller signs, located at secondary entrances and trail intersections, feature a smaller version of the entry maps.
The signs feature Corten steel bases (meant to rust over time and provide a more earthy color tone) with the smaller signs featuring cutouts of animals commonly found in the DFW area (and that might be found in the park), including a bobcat, armadillo, racoon, great egret and a Swainson’s hawk.
Mosquito Testing Continues; No Positive Test Results Yet
As the Richardson Health Department continues its weekly trapping and testing of mosquitoes, there have been no positive West Nile test results this year or positives for any other mosquito-borne illness that would require neighborhood spraying. While this is good news, especially in light of the increase in mosquito populations this summer due to all the rain, residents enjoying outdoor activities shouldn’t let down their guard when it comes to protection from mosquito bites. West Nile has been detected in mosquitoes found in nearby cities, so it’s important to keep practicing the Four D’s of Protection:
- DRAIN standing water around the home
- Use insect repellent containing DEET
- Avoid being outdoors at DUSK/DAWN when mosquitoes are most active
- DRESS with long sleeves and pants to reduce skin exposure
Blood Donors Needed
Area blood banks are continuing to experience a severe blood shortage, as hospitals respond to an unprecedented number of traumas and emergency room visits, organ transplants and elective surgeries this summer. Donors of all blood types are needed, especially type O and those giving platelets. The City of Richardson held an employee blood drive this week and other companies and organizations are urged to do the same.
Various incentives are being offered to thank donors. Those donating through Carter BloodCare in July will receive a voucher for free queso from Chuy’s Fresh Tex-Mex. All who give through the American Red Cross in July will receive a $10 Amazon gift card and automatic entry for a chance to win gas for a year (a $5,000 value) and a chance to win a trip for four to Cedar Point amusement park in Ohio or Knott’s Berry Farm in California.
In most cases, those who have received a COVID-19 vaccination can donate. However, knowing the name of the manufacturer of the vaccine is important in determining donation eligibility.
To coordinate a blood drive through Carter BloodCare, call 817-412-5830. For walk-in appointment scheduling, visit the websites below for information.
RCPAA Awards Scholarships
The Richardson Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association (RCPAAA) recently awarded $1,000 scholarships to three children of Richardson Police Department employees. The RCPAAA Scholarship Program recognizes college-bound students who are family members of RPD employees.
The 2021 scholarships honor retired RPD Detective Ken MacKenzie, who passed away last year and whose friends and family generously donated to the scholarship program.
The 2021 winners are:
Justine Marie Heckler, daughter of Investigative Specialist Judy Heckler. Justine graduated from J.J. Pearce High School and will attend UT Dallas and major in biomedical engineering.
Hailey Caroline Rasco, daughter of Detective Quentin Rasco and his wife, Julie. Hailey graduated from Lebanon Trail High School in Frisco and will attend the University of Texas, majoring in journalism.
Andrew Cecil Ray; the son of Sgt. Brian Ray and his wife, Candace. Andrew graduated from Garland High School and is currently a student at Austin College majoring in biology, with plans to complete a physician assistant program.
Over the past 16 years, the RCPAAA has awarded $50,000 in scholarships.
Mayor Meets with City Interns
Mayor Paul Voelker recently got to know four interns from the 2021 Richardson Mayor’s Summer Internship Program (RMSIP) by hosting a lunch at City Hall. The interns are working this summer with staff from IT, Police, Fire and the Library.
Now in its fourth year, RMSIP enables incoming high school seniors to receive eight weeks of paid summer employment at a local business, nonprofit or government agency. The 2021 program wraps up in August. Program openings for incoming seniors next year will be held in the spring 2022.
Visit www.rmsip.org to learn more about the program and how to sign up for next summer.
City’s Director of Development Services Retires; Interim Director Named
Director of Development Services Michael Spicer will officially retire July 31. Spicer joined the City of Richardson in July 2011 and his retirement will conclude nearly 40 years of working in public service.
During his tenure with the City of Richardson, Spicer oversaw the creation of:
- Rezoning for the approximately 1,200-acre area now known as the Richardson Innovation Quarter, or Richardson IQ®
- The Form-Based Code that led to the development of CityLine and other developments near the CityLine/Bush DART Station
- The planning for the redevelopment of the Main Street/Central Expressway area
Samuel Chavez, Assistant Director of Development Services, has been appointed as interim director of the department effective Aug. 1.
Update on US 75/Campbell Road Water Main Repair
Lanes closed due to the water main break near US 75 and westbound Campbell Road may be open this weekend, if the weather cooperates and concrete pouring and testing proceed as planned. Current lane closures related to the repair include the three right lanes of the southbound US 75 frontage road just north of Campbell Road, and the right lane of westbound Campbell Road at US 75.
Cable Work May Close Two Lanes Near Belt Line/St. Johns
The right lanes of westbound and eastbound Belt Line Road at St. Johns Drive may be closed to traffic from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. for cable installation work. The work is expected to be finished by late September.
Lane Closure Expected as Duck Creek Bridge Improvements Wrap Up
The right lane of northbound Plano Road between Creekside Drive and Arapaho Road may be closed to traffic from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. due to concrete repair/replacement related to the Duck Creek Bridge railing improvement project. The work is expected to be complete by late July.
Travel to Australia via Video at Senior Center July 21
The Senior Center begins a fun series of monthly “Around the World” presentations July 21 with "Spotlight on Australia, Part 1” from 1-2 p.m. From the Center’s new large multi-purpose room, the audience, via video, will go on a journey from DFW to LA and on to Melbourne, Australia, with additional trips to the Outback and Gold Coast.
Admission is free.
Learn About NFTs at IQ® Brew July 22
Merrick Porchéddu will be the featured speaker at the next IQ® Brew, Thursday, July 8 from 8:30-10 a.m. at The Drawing Board, 1900 Jay Ell Dr. and online here. Porchéddu, CEO of Richardson company Artist Uprising, will discuss the new craze for non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, and how these digital objects have captured the attention of artists and collectors alike.
There is no cost to attend; register in advance here. Coffee and networking begins at 8:30 a.m. with the speaker presentation beginning at 9 a.m. followed by a Q&A at 9:45 a.m.
IQ® Brew is a networking and educational series hosted by the City’s Office of Strategic Initiatives and Richardson Chamber of Commerce that features short presentations from entrepreneurs, small businesses, innovation ecosystem builders and subject-matter experts.
Beginning 3D Printing and TinkerCAD July 20
Adults and teens ages 16 and up are invited to learn how to 3D print using TinkerCAD Tuesday, July 20 from 3-4:30 p.m. in the Basement Program Room. TinkerCAD is a free, web-based 3D-modeling program (available at www.tinkercad.com). In this hands-on class, participants will learn:
- to set up an online TinkerCAD account
- the basics of 3D modeling using TinkerCAD’s geometric shapes
- how to export a finished 3D model so that it can 3D print
- how to print their 3D model on the Library’s 3D printer
Cost is free and laptops are provided; participants may also bring their own. Registration is required; to register, call 972-744-4359.
Make Musical Instruments Online July 24
Get creative with Mr. Symon of the Hot Toast Music Company as he shows you, via Webex, how to make your own balloon drum Saturday, July 24 from 1-1:30 p.m. (You’ll be ready to play along at the upcoming Hot Toast Summer Jam concert July 31.)
Registration required; visit Youth Services or call 972-744-4358 to register. There is no cost to participate and all ages are welcome. A list of household supplies needed to make the drum will be provided upon registration. The concert July 31 takes place online from 2-3 p.m. Click here for more information.
Unless otherwise noted, tickets to Eisemann Center events are available at the Eisemann Center Ticket Office (credit card only), 972-744-4650 and at www.eisemanncenter.com. Click here for more information about the Eisemann Center’s COVID-19 safety procedures.
At UT Dallas:
- “Musica Nova” Student Soloists Premiere On Video This Weekend
Premieres at 8 p.m. on YouTube and Facebook July 16 (Program 1);
Program II premieres at 8 p.m. on YouTube and Facebook July 17. No cost to view.Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, UTD’s Advanced Orchestra/Chamber Music Ensemble (aka Musica Nova) did not rehearse as an ensemble or perform in concert during the 2021 spring semester. Instead, students recorded these videos of solo literature, directed by Robert Xavier Rodriguez and accompanied on piano by guest artist Mikhail Berestnev.
“Funny Money” Opens Tonight at Richardson Theatre Centre
Richardson Theatre Centre is presenting “Funny Money” through July 25. The 1994 comedic play, adapted into a 2006 movie of the same name starring Chevy Chase, looks at the question, “What would you do if you picked up the wrong briefcase on your way home from the office, and it contained nearly a million pounds in used banknotes?” See how mild-mannered CPA Henry Perkins faces this dilemma and how it affects his wife, a drug dealer, a taxi driver and more.
Show days and times are Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20-$22; discounted rate available for groups of eight or more.
Tune Up Lawn Irrigation with Free Online Class, In-Person Fair
Learn how to best irrigate your landscape with two free Texas SmartScape®-approved learning opportunities this weekend:
- “Sprinkler System Spruce-Up" Webinar
Saturday, July 17
10 a.m.-noon via Microsoft Teams
Learn how minor do-it-yourself repairs and simple irrigation tips can make a major impact on the health of your landscape.
Registration link: https://rootedin.com/event/sprinkler-system-spruce-up/
- Sprinkler Fair
Saturday, July 17
10 a.m.-noon at Plano’s Environmental Education Center, 4116 W. Plano Pkwy.
Rotate through themed stations in small groups and learn how to identify irrigation components, program your controller, make simple repairs and more. You'll leave with a complimentary bag of tools to help your yard thrive.
To register, click here. Link also includes information about a recorded version of the fair and an interactive online learning module. There is no charge to participate.
Texas SmartScape® was created by the North Central Texas Council of Governments to teach residents in North Central and West Texas how to create landscapes that will survive spring rains, summer drought and winter cold snaps, while also protecting our water resources.
Check Out Free State Park Events When Traveling Across Texas
If summer vacation is taking you through Texas this month, check out the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) Events Calendar before heading out. TPWD has scheduled more than 270 family-friendly, expert-led activities at many of Texas’ 80+ state parks and natural areas over the next two weeks, including:
- guided walks/hikes (such as dragonfly walks, full moon hikes and an “owl prowl”)
- paddle boarding and kayaking lessons;
- outdoor watercolor painting;
- bat tunnel tours;
- a longhorn cattle meet ‘n greet; and
- food/beverage classes, including “how to make coffee like a cowboy” and Dutch oven cooking.
Most of the activities are free (with supplies included) but require a park entrance fee per person. Fees vary by park but are always less than $10 per adult and free for children 12 and under. There are four state parks within 75 miles of Richardson.
Gymnastics Instructor – Part Time ($7.50 to $26.50 hourly)
The Richardson Gymnastics Center is looking for individuals who can teach groups and individuals in the gymnastics program. Must present evidence of experience and background in gymnastics and or childcare.
Public Safety Telecommunicator - 911 Dispatcher ($3,542 to $5,265 monthly)
The Police Department is seeking individuals interested in receiving requests for police, fire and emergency medical services.
Senior Accountant ($5,107 to $8,127 monthly)
The Accounting Department is seeking an individual to support all accounting operations and activities. Three years of general accounting experience is required.
Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
Say hello to Draco, our senior dog. He came into the shelter on April 27 as a stray. He is a neutered pit mix that we think is around 10 years old. He will need a slow introduction to any pets in a new home. He is fully vaccinated, heartworm negative and a big sweetheart waiting to find a home. If you are interested in Draco, please make an appointment at https://richardsonanimalshelter.setmore.com/.
For information about animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s web page here.
City Council Links
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