Sept. 25, 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
RPD, MRMC Collaborate in Crisis Intervention Team
Richardson Police Department (RPD) staff announced at Monday’s City Council work session that the Department is in the process of launching its first-ever Crisis Intervention Team (CIT), in cooperation with Methodist Richardson Medical Center (MRMC). The 20-member team, made up of police, medical and social work personnel, will work together to improve responses to calls involving mental health crises. The goal is to reduce the impact on police resources, improve officer safety and improve the lives of those needing help, avoiding the criminalization of mental illness whenever possible. Last year, 318 calls to RPD for assistance involved mental health crises, and 152 mental health-related calls were made in the first six months of 2020.
The CIT will follow a multifaceted approach, including MRMC phone support available 24/7 to assist officers as needed as well as follow-up visits conducted by team members with individuals and families. Team members will be required to partake in more than 50 hours of training.
Voter Registration Deadline for November Election is Oct. 5
Time is running out to register to vote in the Nov. 3 election—voter registration applications must be postmarked by Oct. 5 or brought in person to the county registrar’s office by end of business on that day in order to participate. The application to register is available online (for printing out) at www.votetexas.gov as well as at Richardson City Hall.
NOTE: Effective Sept. 23, persons are allowed to register to vote at the same time they make an online driver’s license renewal or an online driver’s license change-of-address application.
New registered voters will receive their voter cards by mail. Early voting begins Oct. 13. For eligibility requirements, what to do if you’ve moved to a new county and more information, visit www.votetexas.gov. For a list of county registrar locations, click here.
DART to Offer Free Rides on Select Early Voting Dates, Election Day
DART has announced that it will provide free rides on the following days to assist voters:
- Saturday, Oct. 17 (Early Voting)
- Saturday, Oct. 24 (Early Voting)
- Tuesday, Nov. 3 (Election Day)
Ride at no charge on all DART bus, light rail, Dallas Streetcar, GoLink and Paratransit service, and on the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) between EBJ Union Station and CentrePort/DFW Airport Station. No proof of voter registration is required to ride free.
“Can Do” Food Drive Tops 2019 Event
The Richardson Police Department’s 2020 Can Do Food Drive was held Saturday as a pre-National Night Out event and brought in more than 8,400 pounds of food for Network of Community Ministries. This was almost 900 more pounds than was collected at the 2019 event held on National Night Out. RPD is thankful that employees of Cisco Systems were on hand to help officers with the 2020 drive-by collection.
This year’s National Night Out will also be a drive-by event, scheduled for Oct. 6 from 6-8 p.m. Residents are encouraged to turn on their porch lights, decorate their yards in a patriotic theme, hold personal picnics in their yards and wave to officers as they drive through neighborhoods. A patriotic mask decorating contest is also being held.
RFD Members of Texas Task Force 2 Deploy to Victoria
Texas Task Force 2 (TX-TF2), which includes Richardson firefighters, deployed earlier this week to Victoria to stage for the approaching Tropical Storm Beta. The team, which specializes in urban search and rescue, was prepared to pilot boats into flooded areas. Luckily, the need did not arise and they headed home Wednesday.
TX-TF2 team members have extensive training and specialized equipment to respond to a wide variety of scenarios. While the team is based in and made up of first responders from North Texas, it can respond anywhere in the state. Prior to heading to Victoria, the team deployed in August in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura, performing search-and-rescue operations in the Beaumont area for two days.
Deadline for Community Revitalization Awards is Sept. 30
If you know of a local property that has been “made over” in a positive way, nominate the owner for a 2020 Community Revitalization Award. The Richardson City Council created the awards in 1994 to recognize people who have enhanced the community by making significant improvements to their properties. Residential and nonresidential properties are eligible for consideration, with several chosen to receive the award each year—more than 280 have been recognized since the program’s inception.
Deadline for nominations is midnight Sept. 30. More information and a nomination form are available online at www.cor.net/cra. For additional information, contact the program administrator, Keith Krum, Senior Planner, at 972-744-4240 or email@example.com.
Seniors “Drive Through” for Health Info, Food and Fun
Close to 100 seniors from around Richardson participated Thursday in the City’s first ever drive-thru health and safety fair, hosted by the Richardson Senior Center and the Richardson Police Department. The fair was held in the parking lot of Heights Recreation Center and allowed drivers to speak with 25 vendors (through the passenger window, at a safe distance) including home health providers and representatives from insurance companies and assisted living facilities. The event was free and also included music, a boxed lunch and other freebies for each passing car.
Drive-thru events have proven to be a great way for seniors to connect with others amidst the pandemic—Senior Center staff hosted a drive-thru root beer float party in the summer, and future drive-thru events are planned.
Lane Closure Expected on Coit Road Near Campbell Road
The right lane of northbound Coit Road between Lauder Lane and Lennox Square Place may be closed to traffic from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Excavation is expected to take place at an existing DART bus stop in the area in preparation for new benches, with a planned completion date of early October.
Cable Install to Cause Lane Closure on US 75 Frontage Road
The right lane of the southbound US 75 frontage road, south of Campbell Road between Municipal Drive and Gateway Boulevard, may be closed to traffic from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. for underground and aerial utility work. The work is expected to be completed by late November.
Peanut Butter Drive Ends Sept. 30
Jiffy, Skippy, Peter Pan…or any other kind of nut butter is needed and welcomed during this last week of the “Spread the Hope” Peanut Butter Drive, taking place through Sept. 30. Richardson is one of several cities participating in the annual event, that this year has a goal of receiving 220,000 pounds of peanut butter to benefit local food banks. As of Sept. 24, 151,637 pounds had been collected.
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). Just drive around back and staff will take the items from your car.
Network Golf Outing Oct. 2
Sign up to golf and/or be a sponsor for Network of Community Ministries’ 23rd Annual Golf Outing, scheduled for Friday, Oct. 2 at Sherrill Park Golf Course. Golf participation cost is $125 for an individual and $500 for a foursome. A wide variety of sponsorship opportunities are available. Proceeds benefit Network’s many programs that help people in need in our community.
Contact: Debbie Cox, 972-234-8880 ext. 107
National Preparedness Month Continues; Info Bags Still Available
National Preparedness Month (NPM) 2020 is in full swing, with a theme of “Disasters Don’t Wait.” To coincide with NPM and help the Richardson community be prepared for emergencies, the City’s Office of Emergency Management is offering free preparedness bags at the Richardson Library, while supplies last. Though the children’s bags have all been given out, there are still adult bags available at the first floor information desk. They include items such as a North Texas Poison Center magnet, an ice scraper and information about a variety of safety topics including how to build a disaster supply kit.
Emergency preparedness information is also available year-round at a table in City Hall during regular business hours.
Contact: 972-744-4350 (Library)
STEAM Starters Continues Oct. 2
Children ages 6-8 are invited to watch and join in a simple experiment using everyday household items during the Library’s online STEAM Starters program. Videos of activities led by Library staff are posted on Facebook once a month on select Fridays at 10:30 a.m. The next activity is “levitate a ping-pong ball” Oct. 2. No registration is needed!
Contact: 972-744-4358 (Youth Services)
At the Eisemann Center: RSO Opening Night Concert Oct. 3
The Richardson Symphony Orchestra opens its 59th season Saturday, Oct. 3 in the Eisemann Center’s Hill Performance Hall, celebrating the 250th birth year of Ludwig van Beethoven. Safety protocols will be in place both on and off stage. The concert begins at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $15-$60 and are available online or at the box office.
UT Dallas: Virtual Art Gallery Show of Faculty Works through Sept. 26
UT Dallas’ SP/N Gallery is presenting, “Naked, with Fur,” an online panorama of artworks by UT Dallas’ Visual Arts Faculty, through Sept. 26. The show brings “a mix of relief, consternation, reflection and distraction concerning these complex times of uncertainty.” Works included represent a multitude of mediums encompassing traditional to new media and expanded fields of research.
There is no charge to view the exhibition.
Last Weekend for “Arsenic and Old Lace” at RCT
The classic, dark comedy “Arsenic and Old Lace” continues at Repertory Company Theatre, 770 N. Coit Rd., this weekend with final shows tonight and Sunday. The play, performed in a unique radio show format, 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. Watch and listen as hilarity unfolds not only within the play, but also in the “radio station” where the “on-air” play is taking place.
Show times are tonight (Sept. 25) at 7:30 p.m. and Sept. 27 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $28 for adults and $17 for teens. Several safety protocols are in place; check the website for details.
“Comedy Tonight” Outdoors at RCT Sept. 26
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 (limit of two persons per table).
Tickets are $20 and may be purchased by calling the box office. Limited concessions will be available and CDC protocols will be strictly observed. Masks will be required for patrons to go inside for restrooms.
City’s Butterfly Gardens Ready for Monarch Migration
Monarch butterflies have begun their annual southbound migration, heading from Canada and the northern/Midwest U.S. to their winter home in Mexico, and have already begun showing up in Texas. Richardson is a great place to spot them, as the City has been a Mayors’ Monarch Pledge city since 2015 (a program of the National Wildlife Federation). The Parks Department has established dedicated butterfly gardens in three parks—Berkner, Prairie Creek and Durham—and includes butterfly-friendly plants in park and landscape projects wherever feasible, as the butterfly is an important part of our ecosystem.
Scientists rely on the help of citizen scientists to understand the monarch’s conservation needs—report sightings, track migration on real-time migration maps and follow migration news at www.journeynorth.org/monarchs.
Dallas County Master Gardeners Offer Free Advice via E-mail, Website
If you’re getting outside to garden now that temperatures are cooler and need some “socially distanced” gardening advice, The Dallas County Master Gardener Association, through the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Center, offers free advice via its website and through e-mail. The updated website features advice on plant care and a “gardening calendar” of best tasks to be doing in the lawn and garden in a particular month, and an online form that can be submitted with questions. Questions may also be submitted to the group’s Help Desk via e-mail.
Advice listed for September includes:
- Divide and re-plant spring blooming perennials such as iris, yarrow, daisies, daffodils and daylilies
- Sow wildflower seeds and press into soil surface to improve germination
- Avoid pruning spring-flowering trees and shrubs during the fall, as pruning now will reduce spring flowers
- Plant cool season fescue grass or over seed established fescue lawns, if needed
Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
With his little goofy face and a very playful personality, Bison is sure to find a way into your heart. He is a little over a year old, so you can expect a bunch of energy that can be worn off by playing with toys and running around in the yard or on a run with his owner. He loves big fluffy dog beds and is a little timid around new people but warms up right away. Bison is a heeler mix, neutered and fully vaccinated. Bison would be the happiest dog by becoming a part of someone’s family soon. If you are interested in Bison, 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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