Sept. 18, 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
Signs Unveiled for David Sherrard Memorial Highway
A ceremony honoring fallen Richardson Police Officer David Sherrard was held this morning at Richardson Police Department headquarters, dedicating a portion of US 75 to Sherrard and unveiling two new highway signs that feature his name.
The ceremony featured livestreamed video showing the unveiling of the signs along the highway. The David Sherrard Memorial Highway is now the official name for the seven-mile portion of US 75 that runs through Richardson, from the Bush Turnpike to south of Spring Valley Road, and the naming signs are located near the northern and southern borders.
Sherrard was killed in February 2018, the first Richardson police officer to be killed in the line of duty. In 2019, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill into law that named the section of the highway in his honor. Private donations provided the funds for the signs.
Arts Grants Approved for Local Arts Organizations
The City Council approved $180,000 in grants for area arts organizations at Monday’s City Council meeting, as recommended by the City’s Cultural Arts Commission. The grants, funded by the hotel/motel tax fund, will assist the organizations with operating expenses and regular programming. The total funds awarded this year and total organizations funded are 50 percent less than in 2019 due to pandemic-related revenue shortfalls, but better than expected due to the fund’s good performance in the first three months of 2020.
The Commission reviews grant applications from arts organizations each year for financial assistance. Organizations must meet several criteria in areas such as artistic merit, inclusiveness, financial capability, community service and alignment with the City’s Cultural Arts Master Plan.
Organizations receiving funding for 2020-21 are as follows:
- Arts Incubator of Richardson
- Chamber Music International
- Dallas Chinese Community Center
- Lone Star Wind Orchestra
- Repertory Company Theatre
- Richardson Civic Art Society
- Richardson Community Band
- Richardson Community Chorale
- Richardson Reads One Book
- Richardson Symphony Orchestra
- Richardson Theatre Centre
- Texas Musical Winds Outreach
Collin County Cares Business Assistance Deadline is Sept. 25
Businesses affected by COVID-19 that want to apply for the Collin CARES Small Business Grant Program have until noon Sept. 25 to fill out a pre-screening questionnaire. The program, funded by the federal CARES Act, is open to Collin County businesses with less than $5 million in gross revenues and less than 100 full-time equivalent employees. Up to a $25,000 grant per business will be awarded for eligible businesses that experienced a gross revenue loss of greater than 15 percent due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Once the questionnaire period closes, businesses qualified for the program will be notified by a third-party administrator to continue the application process. Applications will be reviewed as they are received, with grants to eligible businesses being awarded to those having completed applications on a first-come, first-served basis.
DART Delivers Silver Line Rail Sections to Richardson
Richardson received a delivery of rail segments for the DART Silver Line project this week, as the heavy construction phase of the future east-west rail line continues. A total of 50 segments, each 1,500 feet in length, were dropped within the rail corridor Tuesday just west of Custer Parkway, between the Bush Turnpike and Renner Road. Manufactured in Columbia City, Ind., the segments traveled 1,100 miles to North Texas by special train. Previous rail segments were delivered to Addison in July and Carrollton in August.
When finished, the rail line will stretch 26 miles from Plano to DFW Airport. Anticipated completion of the $2 billion project and its 10 new stations is mid-2023.
Time is Running Out—2020 Census Data Collection Ends Soon
Have you responded to the 2020 Census? A complete and accurate count is critical for Richardson. The results of the 2020 Census will affect community funding, congressional representation, emergency services strategies and more for the next decade.
Data collection is slated to end Sept. 30. You can still fill out your form online, via phone or by sending in your paper form. Census takers are also currently visiting households in Richardson that have not yet responded to the census.
- Census takers work between 9 a.m.-9 p.m., including weekends.
- If no one is home when the census taker visits, the census taker will leave a notice of their visit with information about how to respond online, by phone or by mail.
- Census takers will wear masks and follow local public health guidelines when they visit homes.
- All census takers complete a virtual COVID-19 training on social distancing and other health and safety protocols before beginning their work in neighborhoods.
- If residents respond online or by phone, a census taker is less likely to have to visit your home to collect responses.
- If you’ve already filled out your form, you may still receive a visit from a census representative as part of the Census Bureau’s quality assurance program.
Current response rates as of Sept. 18:
- Richardson—69.4 percent
- Texas—61.7 percent
- US—66 percent
Trail Repair Causes Temporary Lane Closure near Plano Road/Lookout Drive
The right lane of northbound Plano Road between Greenville Avenue and 800 feet north of Lookout Drive may be closed to traffic from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. due to concrete trail repair taking place east of Plano Road. The work is expected to be complete by late September.
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 from 8 a.m.-noon. This year the food drive is a pre-National Night Out, drive-thru event. Bring canned goods (non-expired) to 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. Toiletry items will also be accepted.
Items that are particularly needed are:
- peanut butter
- baking Items (sugar/flour)
- cornbread baking mix
- canned soup
- canned vegetables
- canned pasta such as ravioli
- fruit juice
- Hamburger Helper
- toilet paper
- baby formula
- baby food
- body wash
If you cannot attend, donate directly to Network, 741 S. Sherman St., 972-234-8880.
Peanut Butter Drive Continues
The City of Richardson is again participating in the annual “Spread the Hope” Peanut Butter Drive that runs through Sept. 30 with a goal of receiving 220,000 pounds of peanut butter donations to benefit local food banks.
Richardson’s Network of Community Ministries, which operates a mobile food pantry and other food programs, is a recipient of the drive’s donations and will accept peanut butter donations online through Amazon at www.cor.net/pbdrive or peanut butter may be delivered to Network at 741 S. Sherman St. during regular business hours (see website).
Peanut butter is perpetually on food bank lists of most-needed foods, since it’s nutritious, kid-friendly and high in protein.
Health Department is Celebrating World Environmental Health Day
World Environmental Health Day is Sept. 26, and the Richardson Health Department is celebrating next week with events at Heights and Huffhines recreation centers. Health staff will be handing out information on stormwater pollution and what you can do to prevent it, as well as mosquito control information, natural mosquito repellant and information on other environmental programs. The events will take place from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sept. 21 (Huffhines) and Sept. 23 (Heights). For more information, contact the Health Department at 972-744-4080.
Drive-thru Health and Safety Fair for Seniors Sept. 24
The Richardson Senior Center and the Richardson Police Department are hosting their first ever drive-thru health and safety fair Thursday, Sept. 24, from 10 a.m.-noon in the parking lot of Heights Recreation Center. The free event is for ages 55 and over and includes free resource bags and vendor giveaways, including a special treat from Chick-fil-A for the first 100 cars (one treat per car).
“Talk Like a Pirate Day” Storytime on Facebook Sept. 19
All ages are invited to celebrate international “Talk Like a Pirate” Day Saturday, Sept. 19 with a storytime on Facebook led by Library staff. The storytime will be posted at 10:30 a.m. No pre-registration is required.
“Arsenic and Old Lace” Radio Show Play Opens Tonight at RCT
Repertory Company Theatre, 770 N. Coit Rd., is presenting the first of several planned shows that will be performed on stage in the style of a radio play. The classic, dark comedy “Arsenic and Old Lace” runs Sept. 18-27 (with no performance Sept. 26) and tells the tale of spinster sisters Abby and Martha Brewster, who are dedicated to charity, family and poisoning lonely old men with their homemade arsenic-laced elderberry wine.
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. Several safety protocols are in place; check the website for details. Future radio show plays planned include “Dracula” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
RCT’s Porchlight Cabaret Outdoor Theatre Series Continues
Repertory Company Theatre (RCT), 770 N. Coit Rd., is continuing its successful Porchlight Cabaret Outdoor Theatre Series with “Comedy Tonight,” an evening of Broadway songs Saturday, Sept. 26 at 8 p.m. The performance takes place outdoors on RCT’s “twilight patio,” with café table seating available with a limit of two persons per table.
Tickets are $20 and may be purchased by calling the box office. Early purchase is recommended as seating is limited. Limited concessions will be available and CDC protocols will be strictly observed. Masks will be required for patrons to go inside for restrooms.
Richardson Theatre Centre Posts Episode Six of “Theatre of the Imagination”
“Double Header” is the title of the latest episode in Richardson Theatre Centre’s online “Theatre of the Imagination” audio series. The series features local talent performing music, songs and short vignettes ranging from classic radio mysteries to original dramas, comedies and supernatural thrillers, each complete with authentic commercials. Episodes are posted to YouTube and Facebook and are available 24/7, free of charge.
Last Weekend for “Forever” at The Core Theatre
The Core Theatre, 518 W. Arapaho #115, is presenting the original play, “Forever,” through Sept. 20. Set in the early 1940s, 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. tonight and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. 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.
New Air Monitoring Network Now Live
The SharedAirDFW Network debuted this week, the result of a three-year high-tech collaboration between several entities including Dallas County and UT Dallas that provides increased, more precise air quality monitoring than what had previously been available in the area. It involves eight Particulate Matter (PM) air pollution monitors located from Richardson to Southern Dallas and Mesquite to Fort Worth, and is the first regional hyperlocal air monitoring network in Texas and one of only a few in the U.S. The network allows residents, researchers and policymakers to better pinpoint pollution plumes and health risks.
All the monitors, built at the Physics Laboratory at UT Dallas, take measurements every few seconds. Air pollution data collected, along with information from the EPA and DFW Purple Air monitors, are displayed in real time on a digital map accessible online, 24 hours a day.
Order by Sept. 20 for “UPlantIt” Pollinator Garden Box
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension’s Water University is making it easy for gardeners (and non-gardeners) to design and plant a garden that attracts butterflies, bees, hummingbirds and other pollinators with its latest UPlantIt garden-in-a-box. The Pollinator Garden includes three “plant-by-number” garden design layout options and 32 starter plants, both native and adaptive, that are tagged and numbered to correspond with the designs. The plants are hand-selected by Water University horticulturalists and are water-saving and proven to flourish in North Texas’ soils and unpredictable climate.
Order the Pollinator Garden online through Sept. 20 and pick up Sept. 26 between 8 a.m.-noon at one of four designated pick-up locations in the DFW area. Cost is $95.
Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
Do you work long hours and want a cat that has put her wild years behind her? Check out our senior cat Pandora. Most senior cats are already house trained and just want a home to roam and spend their golden years. Pandora was surrendered to our Shelter Aug. 31. A distinguished senior at 10 years young, Pandora is a sweet and shy, spayed, Dilute Calico who is fine with being touched and loves being scratched. She does not like being picked up but she can come to you and sit on your lap. If you are interested in Pandora, call the Shelter at 972-744-4480 to schedule an appointment.
For information about other animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s web page here.
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