Feb. 10, 2017
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.
West Spring Valley Road Rehab Project Moves Toward Construction Phase
City staff updated the City Council Monday on the status of the West Spring Valley Road Project. The project, a partnership between Richardson, the City of Dallas, Dallas County, Dallas Water Utilities and the North Central Texas Council of Governments, is almost finished with pre-construction tasks and construction is scheduled to begin in May. Richardson, along with Dallas County, is working out an amendment to the Project Specific Agreement to clarify the final project scope, budget and funding now that construction bidding has completed.
Improvements planned for West Spring Valley Road (between Coit Road and just east of Weatherred Road) include pavement repair to streets, curbs, approaches and sidewalks; enhancements to the Cottonwood Creek and Hunt Branch Culvert design/construction; “Z” pedestrian crossings; median closures; street light upgrades; traffic signal improvements; pavement markings, buttons and select signage; and intersection improvements at Weatherred Road.
To view Monday’s presentation, including a review of specific improvements planned, click here.
New Regulations Proposed for Commercial Window Lighting/Signage
In response to numerous concerns about LED light strips outlining windows at commercial properties, the City Council is reviewing plans to update language in the City’s sign ordinance.
Under the proposed ordinance, the definition of what constitutes a window sign would now include “the outlining of a single window, any portion of a window, or multiple windows on the same elevation on one or more sides with lighting, luminescent gaseous tubing or any similar means.” The outlined windows would thus be included in the City’s established regulations for window signs, which limit the amount of commercial window signs to 25 percent of a business’ total visible window area of each facade.
This update would create a balance between business owners’ desires to market their business/attract customers with this emerging technology, and safety and aesthetic issues that come with its overuse. Existing outlined windows would be allowed to continue as “legal non-conforming,” but any changes to signage/lighting would require a business to bring all of the signage into compliance with the new regulations.
To view more details presented at Monday’s City Council meeting, click here. The City Council is scheduled to vote on the updated sign ordinance at its Feb. 20 meeting.
City Finances Audited; Results Given to Council
Richardson’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) continues to pass detailed inspection by independent auditors. This week the City Council received a report that shows the City’s CAFR had no instances of non-compliance with laws and regulations, no material weaknesses or significant deficiencies in internal control and that the information was consistent with all applicable accounting standards and requirements.
The CAFR is available for the public to view online at www.cor.net/transparency. A printed copy for viewing is available at the Library and City Secretary’s office. A printed copy is also available upon request from the Finance Department.
Plans Outlined for City’s First Inclusive Playground
Example of an inclusive playground
Staff from the City’s Parks and Recreation Department presented an overview Monday of plans to develop the City’s first inclusive playground at Cottonwood Park, through the use of 2015 General Obligation funds and community partnerships. In accordance with the Americans With Disabilities Act, all children have access to our City’s playgrounds, but an inclusive playground would help children of varying abilities interact and play together through creative design, materials and equipment. Inclusive playgrounds are becoming a core service provided by many cities locally and nationwide and are in line with the City Council’s 2015-17 Statement of Goals/Vision, of Richardson being an inclusive community.
Cottonwood Park is a good site for this type of playground because of its access, infrastructure and playground footprint, as well as the fact that its existing playground is already scheduled for replacement through the 2015 G.O. Bond program. The Parks and Recreation Department has formed a partnership with the Richardson East Rotary Club (RERC), which will assist in promoting and building public awareness and community support for the project.
To view Monday’s presentation including images of inclusive playgrounds and equipment, click here.
Last Day to File for May Election is Feb. 17
Thinking about running for a spot on the Richardson City Council? The deadline to file for a place on the May 6, 2017 ballot is Friday, Feb. 17 at 5 p.m. Election packets for prospective candidates for Mayor and City Council Members (Places 1 through 6) are available in the City Secretary’s office at City Hall, Room 202. For further information, contact the City Secretary at 972-744-4290.
Online Survey Deadline Extended to Feb. 17
Everyone who uses or has used the City’s website is invited to take a brief User Experience (UX) survey, available online through Friday, Feb. 17. Opinions are needed in order to create future design improvements and enhance the City’s Internet presence.
The survey takes only a few minutes to complete; please share your experience and opinions by clicking here.
Animal Shelter Fundraiser Feb. 11
Richardson AnimaLuv will host “Basket Full of Love,” a fundraiser for the City of Richardson Animal Shelter Saturday, Feb. 11 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at Four Bullets Brewery, 640 N. Interurban St. Donations will be accepted at the door, a food truck is scheduled to be on site and Richardson Animal Shelter representatives will be present with a few of the animals up for adoption at the Shelter.
Founded in 2004, Richardson AnimalLuv is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the City of Richardson Animal Shelter through special events and other fundraising opportunities. For more information, visit www.richardsonanimaluv.org.
RISD Used Book Fair Feb. 16-19
The RISD Council of PTAs will host its annual Used Book Fair Feb. 16-19 at the RISD Professional Development Center, 701 W. Belt Line Rd. (southwest corner of Floyd and Belt Line roads). Hours of operation are Thursday-Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday noon-6 p.m.
Thousands of used books, CDs and DVDs will be available, with prices starting at $1. Cash, checks with ID and credit cards will be accepted and all sales Thursday and Friday will be tax free.
Proceeds from the four-day event help fund scholarships in memory of Dr. J.J. Pearce, who served as superintendent of the RISD from 1946-1977. The scholarships are awarded to teachers and high school seniors. For more information, go to www.risdpta.org.
RISD Recycling Fundraiser Feb. 18
Clear out space in your home and donate a variety of items to the RISD Council of PTAs’ Recycling Fundraiser on Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Used Book Fair (see above), 701 W. Belt Line Rd. Proceeds help support RISD scholarships. Items include clothing and accessories, toys and games, jewelry, musical instruments, sporting goods, electronics (non-working or fully operational) and non-perishable and canned food. Donation slips will be available.
For a list of acceptable electronics and other items, click here.
Free AARP Tax Assistance Continues at Senior Center and Library
IRS-trained volunteers are providing weekly help with basic tax returns Mondays through April 17 at the Library from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Basement Program Room, and Fridays through April 14 at the Senior Center, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
The assistance, presented in conjunction with the AARP Foundation, is free and designed particularly for elderly, handicapped and non-English-speaking taxpayers, on a first-come, first-served basis. For a detailed list of records to bring, click here.
At the Eisemann Center:
• Paul Taylor Dance Company Master Class Feb. 10
6 p.m. in the Bank of America Theatre. Tickets are $22; $7 for observers.
Advanced dancers are invited to take advantage of this unique opportunity for exposure to the Taylor movement vocabulary and to work with one of the highly acclaimed company dancers. A limited number of observers are welcome at the class as well. (In addition, a free Open Educational Rehearsal will take place at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11 in the Hill Performance Hall.)
• Paul Taylor Dance Company Feb. 11
8 p.m. in the Hill Performance Hall. Tickets are $42-$60.
This return engagement marks the company’s eighth appearance at the Eisemann Center, an ongoing relationship that has resulted in the hosting of three world premieres and the filming of a documentary. Featured on the program is the world premiere of “Continuum,” a new work by Taylor alumna Lila York. Also on the program are two works from the Taylor repertoire, “Book of Beasts” and “Cascade.”
• Happy Feet Dance School Feb. 12
6:30 p.m. in the Hill Performance Hall. Tickets are $10-$20.
Celebrate the Chinese New Year and the beauty of Chinese culture through the art of traditional Chinese dance, at Happy Feet Dance School’s 5th annual performance. More than 200 performers will take the stage plus special guest opera singer, Di Lu.
• “Disenchanted!” Feb. 16-19
Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m. in the Bank of America Theatre, with 2 p.m. matinees Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $50.
Forget the princesses you think you know—–Snow White and other original storybook heroines have come back to life to set the record straight in this hilariously subversive, not-for-the-kiddies musical.
Unless otherwise noted, tickets to Eisemann Center events are available at the Eisemann Center Ticket Office, 972-744-4650 and at www.eisemanncenter.com.
At UT Dallas:
• “Miss Julie” through Feb. 18
Thursdays-Saturdays at 8 p.m. in the University Theatre. Admission is free on Thursdays; Friday-Saturday $15.
This 19th century naturalistic work follows the title character through a midsummer’s eve on the estate of a Swedish count. Written by August Strindberg, the play explores themes of life and death, Darwinism and class.
For more information and to purchase tickets online, click here.
• Amernet Quartet Feb. 11
8 p.m. in the Jonsson Performance Hall. Tickets are $15.
Recognized as one of today’s world-class string ensembles, the Amernet Quartet will perform “String Quartet in D Minor, Op.34” by Antonin Dvorák and two compositions by UT Dallas Chair of Art & Aesthetic Studies, Robert Xavier Rodríguez: “Meta 4” and “Above All Women: Four Images of Gustav Klimt.” For tickets and information, click here.
• Free Lecture Feb. 12: “Rescue Impossible: Doors Closed for the Jews 1938-1945”
2 p.m. in the Jonsson Performance Hall. Admission is free.
UT Dallas professor Dr. Zsuzsanna Ozsváth will speak on “Rescue Impossible: Doors Closed for the Jews 1938-1945” as part of the Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies’ Spring Professor Lecture Series, “Begging for a Homeland.” A small reception in the Ackerman Center follows the lecture. For more information, click here.
• Cinematique: “Moonlight” Feb. 15
7 p.m. in the Jonsson Performance Hall. Admission is free.
See this Oscar-nominated film and winner of the Golden Globe for Best Picture-Drama that chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood, as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami. After the film, stay for a post-film discussion and Q&A featuring guest speaker Harold Steward, Manager of the South Dallas Cultural Center. For more information, click here.
AIR Time Free Movie and Discussion Feb. 15: “The Notebook” and “Letter Writing as Art in the Digital Age”
Arts Incubator of Richardson’s free series, AIR Time, which pairs a movie with a pre-show interview and discussion, continues season seven Wednesday, Feb. 15 at Alamo Drafthouse Richardson with the 2004 romantic drama, “The Notebook.”
The hit screen adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel features characters Allie (Rachel McAdams) and Noah (Ryan Gosling) and the role 365 letters played in their love story. It will be shown at 7:45 p.m. with a pre-show discussion at 7 p.m. with Dr. Dallie Clark, Lebrecht Endowed Chair for Scholarly and Civic Engagement at Collin College. Dr. Clark has a passion for the handwritten letter and has devoted much of her work to sharing with others how writing a letter and embellishing it, whether with drawings or added material, creates a special experience for the recipient as well as the one who penned it. She is the curator of an interactive exhibit currently on display at Collin College featuring artful, handwritten letters and various forms of art inspired by letter writing.
Admission to AIR Time is free for general seating. Reserved seats are available for $5 at www.drafthouse.com/dfw/richardson and include a $5 food and beverage voucher. Arts Incubator of Richardson and AIR Time are sponsored in part by a grant from the City’s Cultural Arts Commission. Alamo Drafthouse Richardson is located at 100 S. Central Expressway.
Last Weekend for “Pride & Prejudice” at Repertory Company Theatre
Repertory Company Theatre continues “Pride & Prejudice” through Feb. 12 at its Promenade Theatre, 650 N. Coit Rd. Show times are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for youth (group rates are available). For more information and to purchase tickets, go to www.rcttheatre.com. Repertory Company Theatre is funded in part by a grant from the City’s Cultural Arts Commission.
Richardson Theatre Centre Continues “Arsenic & Old Lace” through Feb. 19
“Arsenic & Old Lace” is on stage at Richardson Theatre Centre through Feb. 19. Show times are Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20-$22 and include complimentary snacks and beverages.
For more information, visit www.richardsontheatrecentre.net. Richardson Theatre Centre is located at 518 W. Arapaho Rd., Suite 113 and is funded in part by a grant from the City’s Cultural Arts Commission.
“Our Town” at Core Theatre Continues through Feb. 19
Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” continues on stage at The Core Theatre, 518 W. Arapaho Rd., Ste. 115, through Feb. 19.
Show times are Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., with Sunday matinees Feb. 12 and 19 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. For tickets, call 214-930-5338. The Core Theatre is funded in part by a grant from the City’s Cultural Arts Commission.
Heart-y Arty Valentine Party for Kids Feb. 11
Children in pre-K through 4th grade are invited to make Valentine crafts and enjoy a puppet show at the “Heart-y Arty Valentine Party” tomorrow from 2-4 p.m. in the Basement Program Room. Admission is free, with all supplies provided. A great opportunity to make a special craft for a special friend, teacher or relative!
For more information, contact Youth Services at 972-744-4358.
123D Design for 3D Printing Feb. 15
Adults and teens are invited to upgrade their 3D printing skills with free instruction in 123D Design, Wednesday, Feb. 15 from 6:30-8 p.m. in the Basement Training Room. This intermediate-level class requires a valid Richardson Public Library card, a laptop or iPad and pre-registration; call 972-744-4376 for more information and to register.
Intro to MS Word Feb. 17
Free instruction in Microsoft Word 2010 is available from 10 a.m.-noon in the Library’s Basement Training Room Friday, Feb. 17. Registration is required as well as a Richardson Public Library card. Call 972-744-4359 to register and for information.
Richardson Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
Buddy is known here for doing eye popping flips in his cage,walking great on a leash, and getting along great with children. He will do best in a home with no cats and a tall fence. Buddy is neutered, fully vaccinated, and heartworm negative! He’s just waiting for you to come take him home! Please consider adopting a pet today!
For information about other animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s web page here.
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Mayor Pro Tem
Marta Gómez Frey