June 12, 2020
Here 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:
City Council | City Plan Commission
City Council Approves Statement on Equality
In recognition of recent events, the City Council took up discussion on racial inequity and expectations of municipal employees during their meeting June 8 and approved a “Statement on Equality and Municipal Standard of Service.” The statement declares that all City employees are “expected to consistently deliver exceptional service, dependability, community engagement and compassion in every interaction with the people they serve,” and that if this standard is not met then action will be taken. It goes on to affirm that “it is our goal to better lead and serve by actively listening to our community’s diverse voices.”
Neighborhood Pools to Open July 1; Heights Family Aquatic Center to Remain Closed
The Parks and Recreation Department announced this week that Richardson’s four neighborhood pools (Canyon Creek, Glenville, Cottonwood, Terrace) will open with modifications July 1, while the Heights Family Aquatic Center will remain closed for the 2020 swim season due to staffing shortages. The decision follows guidelines provided by Gov. Greg Abbott as part of the phased reopening of Texas’ businesses and services.
Modifications at the pools will include:
- Attendance will be limited to 50 percent capacity, for Richardson residents and their guests only.
- Two-hour swim sessions will be implemented, with pools closing for 30 minutes between sessions so that facilities can be cleaned.
- Guests’ hands will be stamped after facilities close for cleaning so they will be allowed back in for the next session without needing to pay again.
- All patrons will need to provide their own chairs as deck furniture will not be available.
Check online for hours, information about private pool reservations and more.
Library Opens Third Floor
The Library reopened its third floor Monday and will begin allowing limited usage of public computers on the second floor June 22, following guidelines provided by Gov. Greg Abbott. The Library’s first and second floors reopened May 5 and June 1 respectively. Building occupancy is limited and is open to Richardson residents only, with proof of residency required.
Service modifications include:
- Floor 1 services will be limited to book displays, movies/music and service areas for children and teens.
- Until June 22, Floor 2 services are limited to browsing the stacks and using personal laptop computers to access the internet.
- All areas of Floor 3 are open, although some furniture has been removed to allow for social distancing.
Curbside checkout service is still operating Monday-Saturday; check online for hours (note there is no residency requirement for curbside pickup).
Eisemann Center, Additional City Facilities Open
City staff updated the City Council Monday on the status of additional municipal facilities affected by Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent orders, in addition to pools and the Library (see stories above).
- The Eisemann Center’s lobby, ticket office and art gallery have opened, with administrative offices opening June 15; facility staff will determine the status of offering shows and events on a case-by-case basis and expect to open performance halls sometime in July.
- The Ann Eisemann Inclusive Playground is open.
- Heights and Huffhines rec centers have increased their capacity to 50 percent with lockers and showers opening back up June 15.
Richardson Police and Fire Departments Pay Respects to Sam Johnson
Richardson Police and Fire department personnel lined up Monday to honor and salute former Congressman Sam Johnson as his funeral procession traveled down Greenville Avenue and passed by the Public Safety Campus. Later, the U.S. Air Force’s Thunderbirds flew over the funeral at Restland Memorial Park in a “missing man formation” to honor Johnson, a decorated war hero and former military aviator.
Congressman Johnson was a supporter of the City’s public safety efforts and visited Richardson’s National Night Out events.
Register to Vote by June 15 for July 14 Primary Runoff Election
The deadline to register to vote in the July 14 primary runoff election is June 15. Voter registration applications must be mailed (postmarked by June 15) or brought in person to the county registrar’s office by end of business on that day in order to participate. The postage-paid application is available online (for printing out) as well as at the Richardson Library.
New registered voters will receive their voter cards by mail.
Richardson Today in Mailboxes This Weekend
The June issue of Richardson Today has been mailed and should begin arriving in mailboxes Saturday. The issue is focused on the many ways that individuals, organizations and businesses have supported the community amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, including mask and sanitizer making, the Richardson Strong movement and the Blue Angels flyover. Parks and Recreation program updates, including information about City pool openings, are also included, as well as information about the Library.
Richardson Today is mailed to every residence in the city. Keep up with Richardson Today stories as they happen, including video, at www.RichardsonToday.com. A digital version of the print edition of Richardson Today may also be accessed there. Ask your local mail carrier if you do not receive your copy of Richardson Today and you live within the boundaries of Richardson.
Sidewalk Repair to Close Portions of Plano Road
Portions of the right lane of northbound Plano Road between Braeburn Drive and Renner Road may be closed to traffic from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. through mid-August due to a sidewalk repair project. The project will be conducted in two phases, with Phase 1 between Braeburn Drive and Scottsboro Lane, and Phase 2 between Scottsboro Lane and Renner Road.
Network Hosts Virtual Town Hall Meetings June 17, 18
Network of Community Ministries will host “The State of Network” town hall meetings via Zoom Wednesday, June 17 at noon and Thursday, June 18 at 6 p.m. As Network has been a major local provider of food, rental assistance and essential support during the COVID-19 pandemic, the meetings will be an opportunity to share what they have learned, discuss where they are headed and answer community questions.
To participate, register here.
Parks and Recreation Offers Father’s Day Frame Activity
The Parks and Recreation Department is offering a take-home “Hooked on Dad” picture frame project as part of its At Home Activities/DIY Kit series. The fishing-themed craft kit is available for $10 and may be purchased online or at Heights Recreation Center through June 16. All supplies are included.
To purchase, go to www.cor.net/parksonline and search for “fishing frame” or activity #20395. Curbside pickup will be available at Heights Recreation Center beginning June 17.
Summer Reading Program Continues Online
The Library’s annual Summer Reading Program, this year titled, “Imagine Your Story,” is taking place online through Aug. 2. Toddlers to teens may track their hours of reading (or hours someone reads to them) to earn “badges,” receiving a free book after earning the first badge, with more chances to win a prize at the end of the program. The more you read, the more chances you receive! Prizes, depending on age category, include a Fire HD Kids Edition tablet, Half Price Books gift certificate and lots of books (prizes courtesy of Friends of the Richardson Library).
“STEAM Starters” Demonstrations for Kids Now Online
The Library has continued its STEAM Starters program by posting STEAM project demonstrations every other Friday at 10:30 a.m. on Facebook. The projects, which combine science, technology, engineering, art and math, kicked off June 5 with tessellation art. Future posting dates include June 19, July 3 and July 17.
Library Offers Racial Justice Reading Lists for All Ages
To help spark important conversations, the Library has created and posted a variety of reading lists centered on racial justice at its Facebook page. The five lists are divided between the youngest readers, 1st-3rd graders, 4th-5th graders, middle school/high school readers and adults. Titles include “We’re Different, We’re the Same” by Sesame Street, “Let’s Talk About Race” by Julius Lester, “All American Boys” by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely and “Stamped from the Beginning” by Ibram X Kendi.
Click on the image in the Facebook post to scroll through the lists.
Richardson Symphony Orchestra Launches Podcast
“Portraits in Music” is the latest offering from the Richardson Symphony Orchestra (RSO), a new podcast hosted by RSO Music Director and Conductor Clay Couturiaux and co-host Ross Sivertsen. It features behind-the-scenes conversations about RSO concerts, musicians, guest artists and more. In Episode #1, which aired for the first time this week, their guest was the RSO’s Executive Director Laurie Garvie. The group chatted about the Symphony’s history, conductors and the upcoming 2020-21 season.
Listen to a replay here and subscribe for updates on future episodes.
Richardson Theatre Centre Debuts “Theatre of the Imagination” Online
Richardson Theatre Centre (RTC) is presenting an audio series entitled, “Theatre of the Imagination,” on YouTube and at its Facebook page. Styled after old time radio shows, it features songs and short audio vignettes performed by North Texas actors and vocalists. The first installment, posted Tuesday, is entitled “The Misadventures of Lonesome Lenny.”
City Communications caught up with RTC staff recently and shares the conversation in a new video.
“Mojave” June 12-28 at The Core Theatre
The Core Theatre is presenting “Mojave,” Fridays through Sundays beginning tonight (June 12) and running through June 28. Featuring performers from Theatre Rocks of Ennis, “Mojave” is an original historical drama written by Theatre Rocks’ artistic director Bill Rhoten and inspired by a true story from American history. A young woman, kidnapped by Indians as a girl, confronts her own fears and others’ hostility as she prepares to rejoin society.
Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. There will be no show Friday, June 26. Tickets are $10 for students, $25 for adults and $15 for seniors. Purchase online here.
City Mulches Grass Clippings; Encourages Residents to do Same
Ever wonder what an eco-friendly lawn looks like? Just check out any Richardson park or median—the City practices “mulch mowing,” or mowing and not bagging grass clippings and leaves. The clippings/leaves decompose quickly and add valuable moisture, nutrients and organic matter to the soil. The practice saves time and money, and also keeps yard waste out of landfills and reduces turf grass fertilizer and water requirements, which minimize chemical runoff from entering storm drains and polluting waterways.
Residents can do the same with a mulching mower or regular mower with a mulching attachment, which cut yard material small enough to easily fall between existing grass blades.
If you prefer bagging, you can still “make mulch” by putting yard waste in compostable bags, available for purchase at many big box retailers and home improvement stores. The City picks up the bags for free as part of its Brush and Bulky Item Collection (BABIC) program and turns them into mulch and compost through a partnership with Texas Pure.
NCTCOG Program Offers Rewards for Working from Home, Keeping Air Cleaner
Get rewarded for the driving miles you save working at home with Try Parking It, a program offered by the North Central Texas Council of Governments to reduce air pollution. Those who carpool, vanpool, take transit, bike or walk to work may also benefit from the program, as well as those who choose to “brown bag it” for lunch. Points are awarded for each trip logged at the Try Parking It site (or trips saved by working from home or not going out for lunch) and points may be redeemed for free items/services and discounts at online and local restaurants and retailers.
The program is free to join and shares no personal information with sponsors.
Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
This beautiful girl is Peanut! She has been at the Shelter since January! Peanut is a boxer mix, with a black and white coat. She is 10 years old and still full of great energy! Her original owner had declining health issues. Peanut loves to play, knows basic commands, is potty trained and does need to be in a single animal household. She is already spayed, vaccinated and microchipped. She badly needs a forever home. Please contact us and set up a meet and greet!
For information about other animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s web page here.
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