Sept. 11, 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
Absentee Ballot Requests Being Accepted for Nov. 3 Election
Absentee ballot by mail (ABBM) requests are currently being accepted by mail and in person for the Nov. 3 election—to be eligible to vote early by mail in Texas, you must be one of the following:
- 65 years or older on Election Day
- Away from the county in which you’re registered to vote on Election Day and during the period of in-person early voting
- Confined to jail but otherwise eligible
Requests to vote early by mail must be received (not postmarked) by Oct. 23 by the early voting clerk of the county in which you’re registered. Once received, a ballot is mailed to the voter, and after filling it out, the voter mails it back to the clerk.
Deadlines vary for when a completed ballot must be received by the clerk; for more information and to print out an ABBM request, click here.
The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 5; registration applications may be found at the Library and City Hall.
Girl Forgoes Birthday Presents to Donate Dog Toys to RPD K-9 Unit
A dog lover with ties to Richardson made headlines recently after she asked family and friends to provide toys for the Richardson Police Department’s K-9 unit instead of giving her birthday gifts. Adriana Quiros of McKinney, who turned 9 last month, delivered toys in person last week to the K-9 dogs, named Remi and Falco. The toys will be used to enrich their play time when they take a break from training.
In the video link, Adriana explains why she chose the RPD dogs as her beneficiary.
City Assists Hurricane Laura Evacuees
As part of emergency cooperation agreements, cities in the North Texas area have been providing shelter and assistance for more than 6,000 evacuees from Louisiana and East Texas due to Hurricane Laura, with nearly 1,000 evacuees sheltering in Richardson shortly after the storm and almost 400 still sheltered in the city as of this week.
City of Richardson employees from several departments have put in many hours addressing evacuees’ housing, transportation, medical, accessibility and other needs. Assistance has included:
- Sheltering 989 evacuees at two local hotels, where the City provided additional security and trash pickup
- Housing three dogs at the Animal Shelter; providing pet supplies for 44 pets
- Coordinating with Texas, Louisiana and RISD for temporary schooling for 17 children
- Coordinating with the state for COVID-19 testing
- Arranging for clothes, infant supplies and fuel cards through partner agencies
- Fulfilling prescription needs
- Developing a Hurricane Laura evacuee information sheet and web page
- Developing processes to assist evacuees with returning home
Costs for services provided are covered through state emergency management funds.
Lane Closures Expected Near Spring Creek Nature Area, CityLine
The right lane of eastbound Renner Road between Routh Creek Parkway and Plano Road, and the right lane of southbound Plano Road between Renner Road and Broadmoor Drive, may be closed to traffic from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. due to trucks/equipment working on Phase 2 of the Spring Creek Nature Area Trails. The work utilizing the lanes is expected to be complete by mid October.
Utility Work to Close Lane Near Campbell/Mimosa
The right lane of westbound Campbell Road between Mimosa Drive and Coit Road may be closed to traffic from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. due to utility work. The work is expected to be complete by mid November.
RPD “Can Do” Food Drive is Sept. 19
The Richardson Police Department’s annual “Can Do” canned food drive benefiting Network of Community Ministries will be held Saturday, Sept. 19 as a pre-National Night Out event. Canned goods (non-expired) may be dropped off from 8 a.m.-noon in the south parking lot of the Civic Center/City Hall complex. Officers receiving the food will be adjacent to Belle Grove Drive; look for the police car.
If you cannot attend, donate directly to Network, 741 S. Sherman St., 972-234-8880.
At-Home Activity for National Preparedness Month: Build an Emergency Kit
Having an emergency kit is one of the most important parts of being prepared for weather disasters and other emergencies. You may need to evacuate your home quickly and shelter in an area that doesn’t have a lot of supplies, or you may need to shelter in place in your designated “safe room” at home while waiting to be rescued. If planned well, a kit can help you survive for several days. Richardson’s Office of Emergency Management highlights the importance of the home emergency kit year-round but has been working harder this month to get the word since it is National Preparedness Month.
Building a kit is easy and consists of items that can be collected around the house, such as water, shelf stable food, a first aid kit and a few items of clothing. The supplies can be placed in a plastic tub or duffel bag. For more important items to consider, click here.
North Texas Giving Day Helps Support Local Nonprofits Sept. 17
Several nonprofits with close ties to the City of Richardson will participate in the 11th annual North Texas Giving Day Thursday, Sept. 17, from 6 a.m.-midnight. The 18-hour “giving extravaganza” sponsored by the Communities Foundation of Texas raises money for North Texas nonprofits through an easy-to-navigate website. Givers can donate to any (or several) of 3,000 local organizations with one transaction.
Participating Richardson organizations include Friends of the Richardson Library, The Eisemann Center Foundation, Richardson Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association, Richardson Citizens Fire Academy Alumni Association, The Junior League of Richardson, the Richardson Woman’s Club, UT Dallas, Richardson Adult Literacy Center, Methodist Richardson Medical Center Foundation, Inc., Altrusa International of Richardson and Network of Community Ministries. Several arts organizations funded in part by the City’s Cultural Arts Commission are also on the list.
Early giving is available now.
National Night Out Sign-up Deadline Approaches
National Night Out (NNO) is scheduled for Oct. 6 and will feature several changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rather than encourage the usual block parties and large celebrations, the Richardson Police Department (RPD) is asking neighborhood residents to hold their own personal picnics outside their homes, decorate their yards in a patriotic theme, turn on their porch lights and wave to RPD officers as they drive by. A patriotic mask decorating contest will also be held. Neighborhoods/blocks wishing to participate should designate an NNO Coordinator, who should register online by Sept. 20.
Get Ready for “Talk Like a Pirate Day”
The Richardson Library plans to celebrate international “Talk Like a Pirate Day” Sept. 19 on Facebook this year, and those wishing to participate can start preparing next week. Pick up a telescope craft kit as well as a toy from the treasure chest in the Youth Services Department while supplies last, beginning Sept. 14. The Library’s “Talk Like a Pirate” storytime will be held Saturday, Sept. 19 on Facebook at 10:30 a.m. No pre-registration is required.
Note: The craft kits and toys are for Richardson residents only.
Virtual C-Tech Kids Club Starts Sept. 18
Children ages 9-12 are invited to be part of the Library’s C-Tech Kids Club which begins Sept. 18 and meets once a month on Webex through Nov. 20. Explore, investigate and get tech-savvy with themed activities such as Spy Kids, A Dinosaur Experience and a STEAM Minecraft Day.
Exact dates and times are Sept. 18, Oct. 16 and Nov. 20 from 4:30-5:30 p.m.
There is no cost to participate but registration is required; call 972-744-4358 to register or stop by the Youth Services Help Desk.
Eisemann Center Welcomes Feedback via New Survey
After opening back up at 50 percent capacity last month, the Eisemann Center continues to research how to best present entertainment options amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and staff have developed a survey to ascertain the public’s thoughts on live performing arts. The seven-question survey (found here ) takes only about three minutes to complete, and the information collected will be used to create, prepare and implement reopening procedures as the facility gets closer to hosting more live events.
Since reopening in August, the Eisemann Center has hosted the Miss Dallas and Miss Dallas Teen pageants and plans to host the Richardson Symphony Orchestra Oct. 3.
UT Dallas Plans Hispanic Heritage Month Activities
Each year since 1988, Hispanic Heritage Month has been celebrated Sept. 15-Oct. 15 (Sept. 15 is a ceremonial day in Latin America because it marks the independence day of five Latin American countries: Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.) UT Dallas is helping its students celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month 2020 with a theme of “Mas Fuertes Unidos” (Stronger Together) along with a variety of activities, including dance lessons, a Netflix watch party and a game night.
Find the complete schedule online here.
“Eisemann Educates Online” Teaches Children about Tito Puente
Eisemann Educates Online presents a new series of children’s activities Sept. 14-24 based on the book, “Tito Puente, Mambo King,” by Monica Brown. The videotaped lessons/activities, hosted by Eisemann Center staff, are posted at the Eisemann Center’s Facebook page at 2 p.m. on selected dates.
- Monday, Sept. 14
Listen to the music of Tito Puente
- Wednesday, Sept. 16
Learn how to “mambo”
- Friday, Sept. 18
Make your own bongo drum
- Tuesday, Sept. 22
- Thursday, Sept. 24
Make your own stage
Check out a copy of the book at the Richardson Public Library.
“ArtStop To Go” Boxes Bring Cottonwood Art Festival to Kids
Community Events staff created “ArtStop To Go” boxes so families can still participate in the Cottonwood Art Festival’s ArtStop this year even though the Festival has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. ArtStop is an area at the festival staffed by more than 200 volunteers where kids and families can create a variety of mini-masterpieces.
Each box, available for purchase online, costs $15 and includes supplies for four popular ArtStop crafts:
- Canvas Classics
- Crazy Cool Caps
- Clay Creations
- Tie Dye Monster
Boxes can be pre-purchased through Sept. 15 at www.cottonwoodartfestival.com and are available for pickup beginning Sept. 28 at Heights Recreation Center.
Richardson Community Band Offers New Concert Online
The Richardson Community Band (RCB) is helping listeners “travel” to far off places with “Oh! The Places I’ll Go…(when COVID-19 is gone),” with a new “virtual concert” posted online at soundcloud.com. The concert features RCB performing songs related to travel destinations both in the U.S. and abroad.
Listen to the concert 24/7 at no charge here.
New Episode of RSO’s “Portraits in Music” Podcast Available
The Richardson Symphony Orchestra (RSO) has posted the fourth installment of its podcast, “Portraits in Music.” In Episode 104, Maestro Clay Couturiaux and Ross Sivertsen host conversations with former board members LaRuth and Richard Morrow, long-time RSO supporters Thelma and Arzell Ball and former RSO concertmaster Phil Lewis.
“Forever” Continues at The Core Theatre
The Core Theatre, 518 W. Arapaho #115, is presenting the original play, “Forever,” weekends through Sept. 20. Set in the early 1940’s, the story is about a family who faces the shocking and life changing news of the U.S. entering World War II. The oldest daughter, Anna, is about to leave home for the first time, to meet up with her sweetheart who is stationed at the naval base in Pearl Harbor.
Show times are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $10 for youth, $25 for adults and $15 for senior citizens. Livestream tickets are also available for $25 per family. To purchase tickets, click here https://www.onthestage.com/show/the-core-theatre/forever-95335/tickets.
Reminder: Keep Paint Away from Storm Drains
In light of recent rains as well as the current popularity of home buying/remodeling, the City is reminding residents to be sure that “paint wash” remains out of streets and yards. Water containing paint or other chemicals that washes into the streets ends up in storm drains, going directly to our waterways and creating an unhealthy environment for plants and aquatic life.
Latex (water-based) paint can be placed in the regular trash if it has been thoroughly dried/hardened. Richardson residents can take oil-based paint and other household chemical products, at no charge, to the Dallas County Home Chemical Collection Center, 11234 Plano Rd. Hours are Tuesdays 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m. and Wednesdays 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
The Richardson Health Department has a web page that features a “handy paint estimator” to prevent buying too much paint, several ideas for using up leftover paint and ways to quickly dry up latex paint so it can be disposed. Visit it here.
World Ozone Day is Sept. 16
World Ozone Day is recognized annually Sept. 16 and was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1994 to raise public awareness of the depletion of the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere and encourage solutions to preserve it. Since the ozone layer is stripped away by pollutants in the air (such as auto exhaust and gasoline vapors) that also create harmful ground level ozone on hot, sunny days, Air North Texas (a division of the North Central Texas Council of Governments) offers advice at its website on how individual drivers can reduce emissions, including:
- Plan your commute around traffic, to avoid increased driving time. A free app called 511 DFW allows users to access real-time traffic and construction reports in the DFW area. To learn more, click here.
- Reduce idling. It is a myth that restarting your car uses more fuel than keeping it idling!
Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
Are you ready for a new dog? Are you looking for a dog that is a little older? Well then, come and say hi to Dexter. This cutie is a 4-year-old, German shepherd mix, neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. He came to the Shelter as a stray, is good with people and loves to receive any attention you could give. He weighs around 68 pounds and is a sweet and calm goofball. He is currently receiving treatment for heartworms and shows no signs of being slowed down. Heartworm positive dogs that receive proper treatment and care can live long healthy lives just like any other dog. If you are nervous about adopting a heartworm positive dog, you can call VCA at 972-699-9999 to help sponsor heartworm treatment. Call the Shelter to schedule an appointment to visit Dexter as soon as possible!
For information about other animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s web page here.
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