Nov. 13, 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
Network in Critical Need of Volunteers
Local nonprofit Network of Community Ministries is in critical need of volunteers. The organization has seen a steep decline in volunteers since the beginning of the pandemic and has been relying on a program that connects unemployed service industry workers with nonprofits to serve and provide hunger relief to communities. However, funding for that program will no longer be available as of Nov. 15, so Network expects to lose volunteers, essentially leaving 36 open shifts per day needing to be filled.
The decrease in volunteers has been accompanied by an increase in demand for Network’s services. Prior to COVID-19, Network was serving about 150 families per week in its food pantry, a number that has grown to 700 per week due to the pandemic.
Network accepts volunteers ages 16 and up. Volunteers are needed Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m.-noon and Saturday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Safety protocols are in place with temperature checks and mask and glove requirements. In addition, background checks are required. Click here to sign up to volunteer.
Main Street Trees to be Delivered Next Month
New trees will begin showing up on Main Street next month as the City’s Main Street Redevelopment project continues progress. The bald cypress trees are part of a group of 100 trees destined for Main Street that have been growing in wooden box bases in a farm field in Aledo under the direction of tree transplanting contractor Environmental Design, Inc., which has provided trees for the 9/11 Memorial in New York City and the UT Austin campus. The boxed trees will be placed into lined, specially designed “trenches” along both sides of Main Street as well as on a boulevard in the middle.
Engineers and landscape architects have been working with arborists for several years on the tree component of the Main Street project, from selecting the type of trees that will thrive in the downtown area to preparing the trees for planting. More trees will be installed early next year, including live oak, sycamore and maple.
2020 EDGE Awards Honor Local Philanthropic, Commercial and Environmental Achievement
Several local entities were recognized for their impact on the Richardson community at the annual Richardson EDGE awards held virtually Nov. 12. EDGE, or Economic Development Growth and Expansion, is an initiative of the City, the Richardson Chamber of Commerce and Richardson Rotary Clubs to recognize Richardson individuals, companies and organizations that have achieved extraordinary success and/or made a significant investment in Richardson.
This year’s award categories and recipients included:
- Commercial Real Estate Project
Wynne/Jackson for Northside 2, 3 and 4 and UT Dallas
- Community Involvement
State Farm Insurance, for engagement at multiple levels of business, government and education
- Community Service
Network of Community Ministries, for its humanitarian support through the tornado and the pandemic
The Spring Creek Nature Area team, for the development of the Spring Creek Nature Area
- Richardson Loyalty
Electronic Transaction Consultants, for relocating its operations within Richardson
A complete list of categories and recipients may be found here.
More Rail Components Arrive in Richardson for DART Silver Line
Richardson received another delivery of rail segments for the DART Silver Line Regional Rail Project this week, the fourth “rail drop” in North Texas since the project began. The segments, each 1,600 feet in length, were unloaded within the rail corridor via a specially designed train between the west end of Renner Road eastward to Shiloh Road. Previous rail segments were delivered in Richardson in September, as well as in Addison in July and Carrollton in August.
When finished, the rail line will stretch 26 miles from DFW Airport to Plano. Anticipated completion of the $2 billion project and its 10 new stations is mid-2023.
DART Silver Line Virtual Community Meeting Nov. 16
The public, and in particular, Richardson residents and stakeholders, are invited to attend a virtual quarterly community meeting Monday, Nov. 16 From 6:30-8:30 p.m. to review the progress of the DART Silver Line Regional Rail Project. DART and the project’s design-build contractor will be on hand to outline the latest developments and answer questions.
Presentations during the meeting will include:
- Updated project drawings showing track configurations and station layout
- Status of track grade separations (bridges)
- Betterments Program progress
- Station design progress
- Design-builder’s early design and construction schedule
- Identification of contacts for FAQs and community concerns
For the virtual meeting link, visit www.dart.org/silverline. To participate via conference call, call 469-391-0632 and use conference ID# 706 487 124 when prompted. Other upcoming meetings are scheduled for Nov. 17 (Plano focus) and Nov. 18 (Dallas focus).
Contact: DART Community Engagement, 214-749-2543
Installation of Holiday Lights Begins at Fountain Plaza
Richardson Parks and Recreation Department staff have begun decorating the Civic Center fountain plaza area with thousands of lights to prepare for the upcoming holiday season. Richardson’s massive pecan tree will again be lit with a mixture of 4,600 red and white lights, and other trees in the area will be lit as well. The lights will be turned on Dec. 5 and visitors will be able to take evening strolls on the plaza to enjoy the lights and take family photos through December.
RCAS Donates Winning Painting to City
The Richardson Civic Art Society has purchased and donated the painting, “Red Farm,” by the late Don Matheson, to the City for display at the Library. The piece was the Best in Show/Purchase Award Winner at the Society’s 54th Annual Regional Juried Art Exhibition and Sale held Aug. 15-Sept. 30 online. Tragically, Matheson passed away during the Exhibition and so his son and daughter-in-law presented the painting to the City Nov. 9.
RCAS has been donating winning art to the City from the exhibition every year since the group’s founding in 1966, with each piece becoming part of the Library’s permanent collection and hung on a rotating basis.
Images of all winning art from the 2020 Exhibition and Sale may be found at the RCAS website.
City Recognized for Technology Use
The Center for Digital Government has announced the winners of its 2020 Digital Cities Survey, and Richardson was one of 50 cities recognized among five population categories nationwide. Now in its 20th year, the survey recognizes cities that use technology to tackle social challenges, enhance services, strengthen cybersecurity and more. This year the awards focused on how cities used technology to better serve citizens despite new challenges triggered by the pandemic. Richardson placed 10th in its population category (75,000–124,999).
Click here for a full list of winners.
Lane Closures Expected Near Intersection of Plano/Belt Line Roads
The right turn lane of northbound Plano Road onto Belt Line Road and the right lane of westbound Belt Line Road between University Village Drive and Plano Road may be closed to traffic from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. for fiber optic cable work. The work is expected to be complete by late December.
Additional fiber optic work that began recently in the area, for completion by early December, may close the right lane of eastbound Belt Line Road between Plano Road and University Village Drive as well as the right turn lane of westbound Belt Line Road onto northbound Plano Road and the outside left turn lane of southbound Plano Road onto eastbound Belt Line Road, from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Registration Deadline Nears for Nov. 21 “Turkey Tossin’ Tournament”
Parks and Recreation’s Corporate Recreation division is sponsoring a fun, outdoor, double elimination tournament Nov. 21 combining horseshoes, cornhole and … a rubber turkey! Compete in teams of two to toss horseshoes and bags for the chance to win medals and gift cards; then, for every three canned goods donated for Network of Community Ministries, you’ll have the opportunity to toss the turkey. The person who tosses the rubber turkey the farthest will take home a frozen turkey, just in time for Thanksgiving!
Open to ages 18 and up. Check-in begins at 9 a.m. Nov. 21 at Huffhines Tennis Center. Fee is $20 per team. Pre-registration is required and ends Nov. 18; sign up at www.cor.net/cc. Tournament will be limited to 40 teams. Note that face coverings are required of participants and social distancing will be honored, with at least six feet in between boards/pits. Equipment will be sprayed down and sanitized after each game. Spectators must wear masks and maintain social distancing with people outside of their household.
Drive-Through Brown Bag Thanksgiving for Seniors Nov. 24
Staff from the Richardson Senior Center are hosting a “Brown Bag Thanksgiving” Tuesday, Nov. 24 in which seniors can drive through the parking lot of Methodist Medical Plaza 1, 403 W. Campbell Rd., and pick up a tasty Thanksgiving-themed meal. Turkey, mashed potatoes and more are included—even a slice of pumpkin pie!
Event is open to ages 55 and up. Cost is $8.50 and payment/registration must be done in advance by calling 972-744-7800. The Brown Bag pick-up time slot will be given to participants by phone.
Sign Up Now for “Letter from Santa,” Online “Chat with Santa”
Hear from Santa via the mail and/or live video chat this year thanks to two holiday activities being offered by the Parks and Recreation Department:
- “Letter from Santa”—children of all ages may receive a personalized letter from Santa. Each letter is addressed specifically to the individual and sent on special stationary. Cost per letter is $5. Sign up here. No registrations will be taken after Dec. 7 to ensure delivery before Christmas Eve. Letters will start being mailed the last week of November.
- “Chat with Santa”—connects families to Santa through personal, live video chats Dec. 8-10. Each live chat is five minutes long and is the perfect opportunity for children to share their holiday wishes with Santa. Families with more than one child may sign up for multiple chats. Cost is $5 per chat, and time slots are scheduled from 9-11 a.m. and 6-8 p.m. Click here to register.
RWC Online Silent Auction Begins Nov. 18
The Richardson Woman’s Club (RWC) is hosting a unique online silent auction Nov. 18-20 featuring more than 200 items in nine categories including Home Decor, Holiday, Travel, Fashion and Electronics. The auction begins at 8 a.m. Nov. 18 at www.biddingowl.com/rwc and ends at 8 p.m. Nov. 20. There is no cost to participate—you pay only for any items for which you have made the highest bid. All net proceeds benefit the group’s community outreach, which includes supporting several area nonprofits and funding scholarships for RISD high school seniors.
Purchased items may be picked up at the RWC Founder’s Hall, 2005 N. Cliffe Dr. Dates for pick-up will be posted on the auction site. If necessary, shipment may be made at buyer’s expense.
Camp Write-in Nov. 14
Young writers ages 10-17 can get encouragement and tips for writing a novel thanks to the Library’s virtual Camp Write-in. Join in through Webex Saturday, Nov. 14 from 2-2:50 p.m. and Friday, Nov. 20, from 4-4:50 p.m. Participants will set a personal goal and work with each other and Library staff in sharing stories, word prompts and playing writing games, all online.
The program is free (Richardson residency is not required) but registration is required. Call 972-744-4358 to register and for instructions on how to join online.
Play Online Board Games Nov. 14
Children and teens ages 8-18 are invited to join Library staff Saturday, Nov. 14 for the Library’s Online Board Game Club. The games are played on Board Game Arena and are easy to learn and hard to stop playing! The group will use Webex to communicate and then play on the Board from 2:30-4:30 p.m.
The group will also gather to play Nov. 28, and Dec. 12 and 26.
There is no cost to participate but registration is required. Call 972-744-4358 for registration and for instructions on how to participate.
- Collin County Ballet Theatre: “Ballet Fete 2020” (Streaming) Nov. 14-16
7 p.m. Nov. 14 through 11 p.m. Nov. 16 via Video On Demand. Tickets are $65 for a Family Pass (“standard”) for parties of three or more. For individual or couple tickets, please e-mail email@example.com for promo code.
- “Rocky Mountain High—A John Denver Tribute” Nov. 19-20
8 p.m. in the Hill Performance Hall. Tickets are $49.50-$59.50.
The classic music of John Denver lives on via the talents of singer/songwriter Rick Schuler. Schuler not only sings, sounds and looks like Denver, he shares Denver’s humanitarian spirit and incorporates his global works into the show, which includes favorite hits such as “Sunshine on My Shoulders,” “Take Me Home Country Roads,” “Annie’s Song” and “Thank God I’m a Country Boy.”
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.
AIR Time Nov. 18 Features Local Chef, Restaurant Owner
Arts Incubator Richardson’s 10th Season of AIR Time, an online edition, continues Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. on Facebook Live with an interview with Romer Perez, owner and chef at Apollonia’s Italian Kitchen in Richardson. Perez has more than 40 years of food and beverage and hotel and restaurant operations experience in all types of hotels as well as free-standing restaurants.
AIR Time is an artist interview series formerly held live at Alamo Drafthouse Richardson. A video recording of the interview will be made available shortly after the event. AIR Time interviews, past and present, can also be listened to as podcasts on iTunes.
RCT Offering Professional Outdoor Carolers for Groups, Gatherings
Repertory Company Theatre (RCT) is offering 20-minute outdoor entertainment for families, holiday gatherings and other events Nov. 28-29. Professional vocalists/actors will come to your location. Choose from three performing groups:
- Santa, Mrs. Claus, Buddy the Elf and Jovie
Includes holiday songs and activities, and Mrs. Claus will bring along her Naughty or Nice List
- Classic Dickens: “A Christmas Carol”
Includes beloved holiday classics and the Ghost of Christmas Present’s Christmas Blessings
- A “Frozen” Holiday: Elsa, Anna, Olaf and Kristoff
Includes a sing-along, story time and activities
Cost is $195 per 20-minute performance. Time slots are available between 3-9 p.m. Fill out order form at RCT’s website and mail in or order by phone. Performance areas are limited to Richardson, North Dallas and Plano. Performers will not be masked but will remain six feet from each other and the audience.
Annual “America Recycles Day” is Nov. 15
As the U.S. marks America Recycles Day Nov. 15, consider utilizing Richardson’s recycling program or getting to know it better if you already recycle.
Richardson’s program is unique among many cities, with curbside recycling pick-up provided weekly through a “blue bag” method. The City also offers blue bag recycling drop-off bins at the Westside Pump Station, 101 N. Cottonwood Dr., 7 a.m.-9 p.m. every day. Rolls of blue bags are available for purchase at City Hall, priced at $3.50 for residents and $4 for nonresidents.
A wide variety of materials are accepted and may be placed together in the bags. Click here for a printable, current list of what’s accepted in Richardson.
Note that all materials headed for recycling should be empty, clean and dry—recycling doesn’t work efficiently or economically when the blue bags include food waste, greasy pizza boxes, half-full soda cans, etc.
“Cease the Grease” Holiday Grease Collection Begins Nov. 27
Dispose of leftover Thanksgiving cooking oil and grease (and help our water system stay clog-free) Nov. 27-Dec. 6 at the City’s free, temporary oil/grease drop-off site, 551 N. Plano Rd., near the southwest corner of Plano Road and Columbia Drive. Bring cooled oil/grease in rigid plastic containers with screw-top lids (the container the oil came in may work) and simply drive up, drop the container(s) in the collection bin and drive off. (DO NOT POUR oil/grease out.) The bin will be available 24 hours a day.
The City partners with Texas-based American BioSource to collect the oil/grease, which is recycled into bio fuels. Go to www.CeaseTheGreaseNTX.com to learn more.
Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
Come meet this cutie pie who survived the highway! Jill was found on the highway by a sweet lady who saw her and stopped to rescue her. Jill was bleeding from some cuts on her mouth and nose and was in shock when she arrived but has been nothing but sweet! She is a 4-year-old spayed, female domestic short hair. Jill is fully vaccinated and just waiting for her forever home! If you are interested in Jill, please call the Shelter at 972-744-4480 to schedule an appointment to see her.
The Richardson Police Department has joined the Richardson Animal Shelter in promoting our wonderful pets and supporting our efforts to find each pet their forever home! Officer Greene has joined our efforts to spread awareness about our pets! Please support The Richardson Police Department by checking out their Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/richardsontx_pd/) and leaving a kind and supportive comment.
For information about other animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s web page here.
City Council Links
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