May 29, 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 Library to Reopen Second Floor June 1 The Richardson Public Library will reopen its second floor beginning June 1 and extend curbside pickup until 6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, in order to meet demand. The Library was closed to all visitors in mid-March but reopened the first floor with a maximum of 25 percent occupancy earlier this month following guidelines provided by Gov. Greg Abbott. With the 25 percent rule, 25 patrons is the current limit for the first floor and 15 people is the maximum capacity for the second floor. Second floor visitors will be able to browse the stacks of books and use their personal computers at tables set up around the space though public computers will not be operational until further notice. Indoor access to the Library will remain limited to Richardson residents only (patrons must bring proof of residency). There is no residency requirement for curbside pickup. Hours and more information may be found at the City’s COVID-19 news page. Website: www.cor.net/coronavirus Rec Centers Now Open with Limits; Park Amenities Reopen Monday Heights and Huffhines recreation centers reopened to the public Tuesday, with modified hours, new safety procedures and access to the facilities limited to 25 percent of total occupancy. In addition, the Parks Department plans to begin the process of reopening park restrooms and turning water fountains back on June 1, which may take a couple of days to complete. Even though water fountains will be available, the City recommends the use of personal water bottles as a best practice to help stop the spread of COVID-19. As hand washing facilities are not available in every restroom, users should plan ahead by having their own hand sanitizer available. Video: https://vimeo.com/424150874 Website: www.cor.net/coronavirus Summer Day Camp Registration Information, Start Dates Announced Registration information and start dates have been announced for the Parks and Recreation Department’s summer day camps. Summer camps are allowed as part of Gov. Greg Abbott’s phased reopening of businesses and services in Texas. Kinder, Elementary and Playground camps will open June 15. The first two weeks will have limited availability due to staffing and the implementation of new procedures to keep campers and staff safe, but more openings are expected to be available by the week of June 29. Due to new state guidelines related to COVID-19, the camps will have less enrollment than previous years. As previously announced, Teen Camp will not be held this summer. Parents who registered their child for camp before registration was closed due to COVID-19 will receive an e-mail containing more information in early June. Registration information for children not previously registered will be posted online at www.cor.net/parksonline in early June. For more information, contact Heights Recreation Center at 972-744-7850. Registration Opens June 1 for City of Richardson Adult Athletics Programs Registration for the Richardson Adult Softball Summer League will open June 1, with games slated to begin the week of June 22. The decision to restart play follows the guidelines provided by Gov. Greg Abbott as part of his phased reopening of businesses and services. Additionally, private organizations that practice and play at City of Richardson facilities will be able to resume practice June 1 and play games beginning June 15. Following the Governor’s guidelines, practices must be held without spectators and spectators at games should maintain at least 6 feet social distancing from individuals not within the spectator’s group. For more information, contact the Richardson Athletics Office at 972-744-7892. Richardson Helps Create New Innovation Alliance The City of Richardson is one of 21 founding members of the North Texas Innovation Alliance (NTXIA), a nonprofit launched this week to connect key cross-sector stakeholders working to collaboratively solve pressing challenges to improve quality of life, expedite inclusive economic development and increase resource efficiency through the use of data, technology and community. It is the largest initiative of its kind in the United States. The consortium will share best practices, leverage shared resources, create efficiencies and improve services. This will be accomplished through meeting frequently to focus on immediate challenges related to COVID-19, while looking ahead to establish core priorities, plans and deliverables that drive cross-jurisdictional solutions. Website: www.ntxia.org Deadline Approaches to Register for July 14 Primary Runoff Election The deadline to register to vote for 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. For eligibility requirements and more information, visit www.votetexas.gov. For a list of county registrar locations, click here. Information Available Re: CARES Act and Other Assistance Help navigating the CARES Act and applications for assistance will soon be available online at the following links: Rent and mortgage assistance in Collin County (beginning June 1) Rent and mortgage assistance in Dallas County Applications for assistance for small businesses as well as childcare facilities in both counties should be online by the second week of June. In addition, food and clothing assistance is available in Richardson at Network of Community Ministries, www.thenetwork.org. The City will post updated information at its COVID-19 news page. Website: www.cor.net/coronavirus Census Bureau Reopens Area Census Offices The U.S. Census Bureau, in coordination with federal, state and local health officials, will open up their Area Census Offices and resume operations Monday, June 1, for their Richardson, Arlington, Duncanville and Farmers Branch locations. The Census Bureau began hand-delivering census materials on March 15 but suspended all fieldwork for this operation on March 18 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Census Bureau will deliver 2020 Census invitations and paper questionnaires at the front doors of roughly 5.1 million stateside households. This operation is crucial to ensure a complete and accurate count of all communities, which helps guide hundreds of billions of dollars in public and private sector spending per year. Temporary field staff have been trained to observe all social distancing protocols and will wear official government-provided personal protective equipment for their safety and the safety of the public. This operation is contactless and follows the most current federal health and safety guidelines. Census response statistics as of May 21:
- 63.1 percent—Richardson self-response
- 55.0 percent—Texas self-response
- 60.3 percent—National self-response
Website: www.cor.net/census Mayor’s Summer Internship Program Holds Virtual Training Sessions Despite the pandemic, students participating in the Richardson Mayor’s Summer Internship Program will begin working very soon at remote and onsite positions at top businesses and nonprofits. Richardson Mayor Paul Voelker participated in a virtual training session today to help prepare the interns for their first day of work. Over the past few days, the interns received excellent workforce training exploring everything from leadership and “soft skills” to communication and financial literacy. Thank you to the employers and donors for investing in our students and making this amazing learning experience possible. Website: www.rmsip.org RISD and Community Honor 2020 Grads Businesses, organizations, homeowners and others in the community honored the Class of 2020 this week with banners, ribbons tied around trees and flagpoles, and messages on websites and social media. The show of support was part of RISD’s plans to celebrate graduating seniors, which has also included home visits by teachers and staff. The community is encouraged to continue the celebration; a “different type” of graduation will be held June 5 and 6. Video: https://vimeo.com/424031055 DART Making Bus Service Changes in June Several Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) bus service changes are scheduled to begin June 1. Flex Routes 840, 841, 843 and 870, serving south Irving, the Telecom Corridor® area, south Plano and east Plano respectively, will become local routes and will no longer flex away from their designated stops. Schedules, routing and numbering will remain unchanged. Customers heading to DFW Airport on Route 408 will have a new temporary end of line location—the Airport Rental Car Facility. Customers can continue their journey to the airport via purple rental car shuttles. A temporary detour on Route 542, which travels between the Cockrell Hill Transfer Location and 8th and Corinth Station, will be made permanent. Click here to view June 1 service change information. For additional information, please visit www.DART.org/zoom or call 214-979-1111. Online Summer Reading Program Begins Tomorrow The Library’s annual Summer Reading Program, this year titled, “Imagine Your Story,” will take place online May 30-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). Website: richardsonpubliclibrary.beanstack.org/reader365 Virtual “Young Authors” Begins June 5 Middle schoolers entering 5th-9th grades this fall are invited to participate in the Library’s Young Authors program. Participants write and illustrate their own picture book that becomes a part of the Library’s collection. Sessions will be held online June 5, June 26 and July 10, Fridays from 10:30 a.m.-noon. Registration ends June 19. Must be a Richardson resident with a Richardson Public Library card. Pick up supplies at the Youth Services Help Desk June 1-19 (optional project folder) and June 22-26 (mandatory cover art paper). Drop off completed books on or before July 31. Contact: 972-744-4358 Website: www.cor.net/departments/public-library/youth/young-authors Eisemann Center
- “Menopause the Musical” Continues Online through May 31 Available 24/7 for a one-time viewing within two weeks of ticket purchase, through May 31. Tickets are $19, available here. The 90-minute show, set in a department store, centers on four women who meet while shopping at a lingerie sale. These women form a sisterhood as they discover their similarities and rejoice in celebrating that menopause is no longer “The Silent Passage.” Sing along with them as they perform parodies of classic pop songs from the 60s, 70s and 80s.
Ten percent of all sales will be donated to The Actors Fund, which provides emergency financial assistance to performing arts and entertainment professionals. UT Dallas
- “Gimme Shelter” Online Art Exhibition through June 24 Online here through June 24. Admission is free. Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the release of the Rolling Stones’ song, “Gimme Shelter” and the 50th anniversary of UT Dallas, graduate and undergraduate student works are combined to provide a diverse narrative of what it means to “shelter in place” in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic. This virtual tour takes participants “through” a gallery to view the art on display, which was created with a variety of mediums including oil, acrylics, photography and digitally manipulated images.
Call for Artists for New “AIR Creates” Platform Citing a “collective need to be able to encounter and appreciate art and those who create it,” the board of Arts Incubator Richardson (AIR) has developed a special section on the AIR website called “AIR Creates” where it plans to feature the talents of a diverse sampling of creatives, from children to professional artists. Dallas musician Mike Finkel was the first artist to be featured, and the organization is looking for more. If you are any type of artist—musician, painter, dancer, writer, performer, maker—and are interested in participating, submit a request here. Website: www.artsincubatorrichardson.org www.cor.net/cpi The “Fourth D” of Mosquito Prevention: Drain With steady rainfall earlier this week and last weekend, the City is reminding residents to protect themselves from mosquitoes by following The Four D’s of Protection, including to DRAIN standing water. Standing water is where mosquitoes breed and grow into adults, so eliminating it can help control the population. Here are some additional tips on preventing standing water:
- Don’t over-water a lawn, as this can cause pockets of stagnant water to develop, particularly in low lying or poorly drained areas of the yard.
- Don’t allow water in vessels, such as flowerpot saucers, to become stagnant.
- Fill in hollows in trees with sand or mortar.
- Keep your gutters cleaned out to allow rainwater to drain properly.
The “Four D’s” also include
- Use insect repellent containing DEET
- Avoid being outdoors at DUSK and DAWN
- DRESS to protect yourself with long sleeves and pants
Website: www.cor.net/mosquito Lawn Watering Options Save Water, Dollars Free information is plentiful this summer on ways to improve lawn watering, to help lower your water bills and save water. Water University, a division of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, is offering free online classes on sprinkler system “spruce-up,” DIY drip irrigation and rain harvesting, and the Extension Service continues to provide the free Water My Yard alert system to help residents know when to water and when not to. The classes are held “live” on Facebook with experts on hand to answer questions written in the comments section, and the recordings are available to view 24/7 on Facebook and at the Water University website. Sign up for Water My Yard at www.watermyyard.org to receive weekly e-mail recommendations on how long to water based on your ZIP code, rainfall and type of sprinkler system. Website: wateruniversity.tamu.edu Website: www.facebook.com/AgriLifeWaterU Website: www.cor.net/waterconservation www.cor.net/epi Animal Shelter Pet of the Week Have some land or go on long walks quite often? Looking for a senior dog to love and spoil? Well look no further as Jack here is the dog you have been looking for. This sweet, 10-year-old teddy bear Labrador retriever is looking for someone to give him a chance. He is fully vaccinated but is heartworm positive, which can be treated by a vet. This love bug just wants to have the chance to live a happy life with someone he can cuddle with. If you are interested in this cutie, please call 972-744-4480 to schedule an appointment to adopt him. For information about other animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s web page here. City Council Links Council Members Meeting Agendas and Documents Videos
To read previous Week in Reviews, visit www.cor.net/WIR.