March 12, 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:
COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic to Open at UT Dallas
The University of Texas at Dallas is opening a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Richardson beginning Monday, March 15 by appointment only. The clinic will be held in conjunction with UT Southwestern Medical Center and could vaccinate up to 800 people per day. Vaccines will be administered in the Davidson-Gundy Alumni Center from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
Please note that the clinic will use the UT Southwestern COVID-19 vaccine waitlist, not the Dallas County or Collin County lists. To sign up for the UT Southwestern list, visit https://utswmed.org/covid-19/covid-19-vaccine-registration/.
UT Southwestern is following state and federal guidelines and is vaccinating Texans who meet Phase 1A or 1B criteria, or have a medical condition outlined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as carrying increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Additionally, education and childcare personnel who meet specific criteria are now eligible to be vaccinated in Texas. As of March 15, people 50 and older will be eligible to be vaccinated as per state guidelines.
Vaccines will be given by appointment only and people selected to receive a vaccine at UT Dallas may park in any non-reserved space on the UT Dallas campus. The nearest parking garage to the clinic is Parking Structure 1.
Click on map for a larger view.
For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, visit www.cor.net/coronavirus or https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/immunize/vaccine.aspx.
Collin County Closes Vaccine Registration List – Local Providers To Coordinate Independently
Collin County and its partnering vaccine providers announced this week that the Collin County COVID-19 vaccine waitlist has been closed and will not be reopened. Collin County will no longer facilitate COVID-19 vaccine appointments. Going forward, each vaccine hub in Collin County will offer vaccines using its own methods. To find out more about these hubs and their vaccine registration processes, visit www.collincountytx.gov/healthcare_services/Pages/COVID19vaccines.aspx?thr.
As of Monday, March 15, Texans in the 1A, 1B and 1C phases, as well as school or child care employees, are eligible to receive the vaccine.
Collin County attempted to contact every individual on the waitlist to offer them an appointment. People who were on the waitlist and did not receive an appointment offer may have unintentionally opted out of the waitlist or had the e-mail caught in their spam filter. These individuals will need to independently register for a vaccine through Curative or one of the other vaccine providers.
Curative, Collin County’s vaccine vendor, will post its appointment schedule for the following week at 10 a.m. Friday. These timeslots will be first-come, first-served among any eligible individual.
City Updates COVID-19 Policies for Facilities
New COVID-19 requirements for Richardson municipal facilities were announced this week at Monday’s City Council work session. The policies are designed to conform to Executive Order No. GA-34 signed by Gov. Greg Abbott relating to the opening of Texas in response to the pandemic. All City personnel will continue to wear masks/facial coverings when interacting with the public and while working in public facilities; patrons at municipal facilities are recommended to wear face coverings over the nose and mouth wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not from the same household.
Some municipal services and programs will phase in capacity increases while other service delivery methods will remain the same—for a list of specifics for each facility (Animal Shelter, Civic Center, etc.) click here.
People 50 and Older Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine March 15
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) announced this week that eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine will expand to include people age 50 and up (Phase 1C) beginning March 15. Expanding vaccinations to include those who are at least 50 years old will protect the next most vulnerable group and advance the state’s dual priorities of reducing the burden of disease on people at the greatest risk of hospitalization and death and protecting the health care system. According to the DSHS, more than 93 percent of Texas fatalities directly caused by the coronavirus have been in people age 50 and older.
Police Chief Announces Retirement
Police Chief Jim Spivey
Richardson Police Chief Jim Spivey has announced his plans to retire May 31 after 26 years of service with the Richardson Police Department. May 2021 coincides with Spivey’s 50th year of policing.
Chief Spivey began at the City of Richardson in 1995 as a captain after serving nearly 25 years with the Dallas Police Department. He was appointed Richardson Chief of Police in August 2009.
Recruitment strategies for naming a successor to the position are underway. City Manager Dan Johnson will establish a replacement selection process in the coming weeks regarding the timely filling of the position.
Construction Continues on Senior Center Renovations
Construction at the Richardson Senior Center is wrapping up with crews putting the finishing touches on the main entrance, which includes a new portico with a ramp that will allow visitors easier access to the building.
The Senior Center will have increase space for fitness and dining as well as increase greenspace on the south side of the building, new landscaping, and a new courtyard.
The renovations are a part of the 2015 Bond Program approved by Richardson residents Nov. 3, 2015. Construction is on schedule and the Senior Center should be ready to open early summer.
Network Launches Fundraising Campaign for New Facility
Local nonprofit Network of Community Ministries officially launched a new fundraising campaign today to help fund and remodel its new facility. The 45,000-square-foot facility, located at 1500 International Pkwy. in the IQ®, was purchased by Network in November and will enable the nonprofit to more effectively serve clients and meet the needs of the community. The pandemic as well as the aftermath of the October 2019 tornadoes have highlighted the need for more space as both events caused requests for Network’s services to increase dramatically. The new facility will more than triple the space of the organization’s currently leased headquarters.
In addition to longtime programs such as Seniors’ Net, the Food Pantry and the Family Clothing Center, the facility will offer possibilities for enhanced disaster service coordination with the City such as space for a multi-agency resource center and shelter for visiting nonprofit response teams.
Network hopes to be moved in and fully operational by Labor Day, pending remodeling.
Daylight Saving Time Begins March 14
Daylight Saving Time officially begins at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 14, so don’t forget to “spring forward” and set your clocks ahead an hour. Texas is one of 48 states that observes Daylight Saving Time; Hawaii and most of Arizona do not.
Lane Closures Expected North of Plano/Arapaho Intersection
The right lane of northbound Plano Road between Arapaho Road and Blake Drive, as well as eastbound Blake Drive between Plano Road and Starshadow Drive, may be closed to traffic from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. due to pavement replacement after utility work. In phase two of the project, westbound Blake Drive between Starshadow Drive and Plano Road may be closed to traffic during the same hours, with traffic detoured to Starshadow Drive and Harness Lane. The work is expected to be complete in late March.
Utility Work Near Bowser/Arapaho Roads May Affect Traffic
In three phases, the right, center and left lanes of eastbound and westbound Arapaho Road between Bowser Road and International Parkway, and also the left lanes of northbound and southbound Bowser Road at Arapaho Road may be closed to traffic alternately from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. for storm drain repair. The work is expected to be complete in late April.
Senior Programming: Virtual Tour of Budapest March 16
Senior Center staff are promoting a free, virtual tour of Budapest, Hungary March 16 beginning at 4 p.m. on Zoom. Professional tour guide Andrea Makkay will lead participants through her beloved hometown as they get to know Hungarian history, learn about the origin of Hungarian people and their unique language and much more.
All ages are welcome to participate. No fee. Click here to register.
Register for March 27 “Breakfast with the Easter Bunny To Go”
The Easter Bunny is hopping over to Heights Recreation Center March 27 for a “to-go” breakfast event from 9-10 a.m. that families won’t want to miss. Each registration includes one donut, juice and a small craft to take home. Participants must remain in their vehicles.
Cost is $5 per person; pre-registration is required. To sign up, visit www.cor.net/parksonline and choose activity #23583. Registration ends March 20.
Contact: Heights Recreation Center, 972-744-7850
DART Student Art Contest Continues through March 23
The Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) annual Student Art Contest is accepting individual entries from North Texas students in grades K-12 through March 23. The theme of this year’s contest is “Everyday Heroes Ride DART,” giving young artists the chance to salute the hometown heroes that have kept our community going during the pandemic. Winning artwork will be featured on DART rail stations, buses and inside trains, as well as at the Dallas Museum of Art, Love Field Airport and on DART’s website. Prizes will be awarded to first place winners and runners-up in several grade-level categories.
For additional information, as well as complete rules, prize information and additional entry forms, visit www.dart.org/artcontest.
Spring Break “Staycation” Events
Staying home for Spring Break? Check out the following activities being offered by the Library both online and in person for a variety of ages:
- Take-home STEAM Craft Kits March 15, 17
Children ages 12 and under may pick up free STEAM craft-to-go kits at the Youth Services Desk—windsock kits will be given out beginning March 15 and hovercraft kits will be available beginning March 17. For Richardson residents only, while supplies last.
- Origami Kits for Teens March 15-20
Teens ages 13-18 may pick up free origami kits all week in Youth Services while supplies last. Kits include instructions and a variety of origami paper. For Richardson residents only.
- Virtual Literacy LEGOs March 16
Families with children ages 2-12 are invited to a unique online storytime at 1 p.m. and 1:40 p.m. on Webex. Listen to a story, take a break to build something on your own with LEGOs (or other materials) inspired by the story, and join back in for a show and tell. Register at 972-744-4358.
- St. Patrick’s Day Yoga Storytime March 17
Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. on Webex, for families with children ages 3-6. Register at 972-744-4358.
- Read to Pets Online March 19
Join Library staff from 10:30-11 a.m. on Webex as they read to plush pets and share stories about pets. All ages are invited to read along with their own pets of any kind, real or plush. Call 972-744-4358 to register or stop by the Youth Services Desk.
Registration Opens March 13 for Upcoming “Among Us” Teen Game Event
The Library is hosting “Who Among Us is SUS?” March 27 at 3 p.m. for ages 13-18, a chance to play the unique, action mystery game called “Among Us” over Webex with others and discuss which players are “SUS,” or “suspected of being the imposter.”
Registration is required and begins March 13; call 972-744-4358 to register (or stop by the Youth Services Help Desk) and receive an e-mail link to join the fun.
- PSO March 20: “Mozart and KV265”
8 p.m. via livestream. Tickets are $25 and may be purchased here. The Plano Symphony Orchestra performs Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” as arranged by Ravel, accompanied by KV265’s film, “Science Through Art” that features images from the Hubble Telescope. Famed Russian pianist Mikhail Berestnev opens the concert with “Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major K.467,” one of Mozart’s most spirited piano concertos.
- DSO’s “Concert Truck” Presents Free Outdoor Lunchtime Concert March 17
Noon near the northwest corner of the Sciences Building, facing Residence Hall South and the Physics Building. Admission is free. The Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Concert Truck, founded in 2016 by concert pianists Susan Zhang and Nick Luby, is a mobile concert stage that presents classical chamber music. The Concert Truck travels all over the U.S. to a variety of venues and audiences. Click here for an interactive map and more information.
Huffhines Dance Classes Benefit Pageant Queen
Dance classes offered at Huffhines Recreation Center by the City’s Parks and Recreation Department have been life-changing for at least one local senior. Richardson resident Sheree Koester, currently the reigning “Ms. Senior World 50s,” revealed in a recent video interview with RichardsonToday.com staff that the tap classes she signed up for at Huffhines three years ago have helped her find new friends, become more active and build enough confidence to compete in the Ms. Senior World event, which was her first-ever pageant. She also credits the classes with improving her core strength, poise and overall self-esteem and praises the mental benefits of dancing.
Koester still tap dances at Huffhines and staff there say she has been an inspiration to the younger dancers. Though spring dance classes for all ages have begun, registration is ongoing. Classes offered include line dancing, ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary and hip hop.
“The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” at The Core Theatre March 13-28
“The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” will be presented March 13-28 at The Core Theatre, 518 W. Arapaho Rd. Ste. 115. The play is an adaptation written by Core Theatre Artistic Director James Hansen Prince, including all of Mark Twain’s beloved characters from the classic book.
Show days and times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. There will not be a show March 27.
Socially Distanced “Spamalot” Opens March 19 at RCT
Repertory Company Theatre, 770 N. Coit #2405, is presenting the 2005 Broadway hit musical, “Spamalot,” March 19-28, played to a “socially separated audience by a cast of socially separated actors, appropriately placed.” Based on the classic film comedy, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” “Spamalot” retells the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table in true Monty Python style.
Show days and times are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $28 for adults and $17 for teens.
Girl Scouts Clean Up Duck Creek, Breckinridge Parks
Local Girl Scouts lived up to the Girl Scout Slogan (“Do a Good Turn Daily”) earlier this month by helping clean up two of the City’s parks. Eight volunteers from Junior Troop #4576 picked up trash in Breckinridge Park March 5 and more than 40 volunteers from Girl Scout Service Unit #161, organized by Junior Troop #6654, helped beautify Duck Creek Linear Park March 7.
The clean-up events were assisted by the City’s Community & Corporate Environmental Cleanup Program (CCECP), which provides guidance and supplies to area groups wishing to help keep the city clean and prevent trash from blowing into waterways. Supplies provided include plastic gloves, tongs and trash bags, and the City picks up the bags, if needed, when the event is finished.
Any group of any size is welcome, from families wishing to volunteer together to youth needing service hours to corporate groups needing a team-building event. To schedule a CCECP cleanup event, contact the Health Department at 972-744-4078 or e-mail Janice.Tower@cor.gov.
Ozone Season Begins; Air North Texas Offers “Perks” for Working at Home
Ozone season began last week (it occurs annually March 1-Nov. 30 in North Texas) which means ground-level ozone is usually at its highest concentration during this time. Ground-level ozone is a common air pollutant that forms when certain organic compounds mix with sunlight and intense heat, and high levels can make being outside dangerous for young children, senior citizens and those with respiratory issues. Pollutants that contribute to the volume of ozone include vehicle and power plant emissions.
To help keep the air cleaner for everyone, the North Central Texas Council of Government’s Air North Texas division offers information on ways to reduce pollutants in our everyday activities, as well as a free program called Try Parking It, where you can log your “air friendly” activities online (such as carpooling and working from home) and earn rewards. Rewards are numerous and include free passes to local gyms and discounts at local restaurants and entertainment venues.
Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
Meet Loki, a 4-year-old neutered, male German shepherd mix! He came into the Shelter in January as an owner surrender due to a weight limit at the apartment the owner was staying in and his barking. Loki is fully vaccinated and microchipped! He has been on doggy day out adventures where we discovered his love for snacks, walks in the park and car rides! He is a ball of energy who would do best in a home of an active walker or jogger. Come give this cutie a chance at bringing a smile to your face with his goofy and happy personality by scheduling 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
To read previous Week in Reviews,