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News Review
Week In Review, Feb. 1, 2013
Posted Date: 1/30/2013

Week In Review Image

Feb. 1, 2013
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.


Mayor Presents State of the City
State of the City
Mayor Bob Townsend gave the State of the City address Wednesday at the Eisemann Center. The presentation included a review of the City’s accomplishments in the past year and a preview of what’s ahead, including the largest office lease in the Dallas area's history, construction of a new regional hospital and the planned opening of the "coolest movie theater in the world."

Several particularly significant accomplishments received special recognition, due to their anticipated positive impact on the community for years to come:

  • Creation of a $1.6 billion, mixed-use, transit-oriented development project on property adjoining the DART Bush Turnpike Station.
  • Construction of Methodist Health System’s new, $120 million regional hospital at its Renner Road campus near the President George Bush Turnpike.
  • Alamo Drafthouse Cinema began construction last year on its first Metroplex location, which will be in Richardson’s Heights Shopping Center. has declared the Austin original as “the coolest movie theater in the world.” The theater’s grand opening is anticipated for late spring 2013.
  • The Richardson Economic Development Partnership (REDP) was just recognized by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) as one of only 32 economic development organizations worldwide to have achieved the prestigious Accredited Economic Development Organization (AEDO) designation.

The State of the City Address is available for viewing at and will be replayed on the City’s cable access station according to the following schedule:
State of the City Address replay schedule
Feb. 1–28
2 p.m. – Tuesdays and Thursdays
6 p.m. – Saturdays and Sundays
Time Warner Cable (channel 16)
AT&T U-Verse (channel 99)


Reverend Horton Heat to Perform at Wildflower! Festival
Rev Horton Heat
Reverend Horton Heat will bring their punkabilly sound to Wildflower! Richardson’s Arts and Music Festival to open for Toadies on Saturday, May 18. This year’s festival is set for May 17-19 at Galatyn Park.

Festival organizers made the announcement on Wednesday morning on the Wildflower! Facebook page. Fans of the Wildflower! Facebook page will be the first to know about additional performer announcements as they are posted to the site in the coming weeks.

The information will also be included on the Festival’s website, the City’s homepage, and Richardson Today’s Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Wildflower! Festival website:  
Wildflower! Festival Facebook:


Houses Come Down to Make Room for New Park
Durham Park
Construction crews began demolition work this week on four houses at property on Weatherred Drive that will become Richardson’s newest park this spring.

Construction of the $1.5 million Durham Park, which is funded through the 2010 Bond Program, is expected to be complete in May. The new park will be on four contiguous lots from 400 to 406 S. Weatherred Dr. and will include a playground, pavilion, plaza, open play lawn and butterfly garden. Some of the features will include bricks from the four houses that are being demolished to make room for the park.

Durham Park is named in honor of W.R. Durham and his daughter, Jessie. W.R. Durham began operating a farm in 1910 in the area that contains the park, and Jessie Durham inherited the farm house when her father died. She also operated a shop on Main Street, where she started the first library in Richardson in the back of her store.


Council Discusses Implementation of Main/Central Study
The City Council heard a wrap-up of the first phase of the Main Street/Central Expressway Corridor redevelopment study at Monday’s work session. The presentation focused on plans for implementation and high-priority action items that will set the stage for redevelopment in the area.

High-priority action items include monitoring property conditions in the area and marketing the redevelopment opportunities to developers; establishing new regulations to advance the vision; and planning, funding and building infrastructure necessary to support development.

Redevelopment in the study area will be a cooperative effort between the City and the private sector. In the coming months, the City is expected to begin developing new zoning ordinances and development guidelines for the study area.

Watch the City Council work session presentation at and


Council Reviews 2012 Year End Crime Statistics 
The City Council heard an overview of Richardson 2012 crime statistics at its work session Monday, which included double-digit decreases in simple and aggravated assaults, auto theft and fraud. The overall crime rate went up 9 percent from the previous year, which is due in part to a change in how crimes are reported, with each offense at a crime scene now counted separately rather than grouped as a single incident.

The Police Department believes that a scheduling change implemented last year to have more officers patrolling the streets during certain hours led to double-digit increases in DWI arrests, weapon and liquor law violations, disorderly conduct and drug possession charges.

In 2012 the Police Department also helped expand the Crime Watch Patrol program, won second place in the nation for its National Night Out efforts and took home several awards at the Texas State Law Enforcement Explorer Competition.

Watch the work session presentation at


Richardson Arts Alliance to Present “Heart for the Arts” Award
Richardson Arts Alliance
The Richardson Arts Alliance will present its annual “Heart for the Arts” award to Forrest and Ann Green at its gala tomorrow evening at the Eisemann Center. The award is given to outstanding community leaders who have devoted time and resources to further the arts in the greater Richardson area. Forrest Green helped fundraise to build the Eisemann Center, and the second floor mezzanine area is named after him. Ann Green has served in leadership roles with many local arts groups.

Former Richardson City Manager Bill Keffler, who retired in May 2012, will also be recognized with the “Ambassador for the Arts” award for his continued support of the arts in the community. Debra Carter, co-founder of Repertory Company Theatre who has directed more than 150 plays, will receive the "Lifetime Achievement Award" for her leadership in bringing her passion for the arts to North Texas residents.

The Richardson Arts Alliance is a group for the arts and arts supporters in Richardson. Its mission is to have an organization where arts groups and friends can come together and expand the cultural base for the city. Supporting each other is their goal.


Tax Preparation Help Starts Feb. 1
Tax-Aide, sponsored by AARP and the IRS, will provide free tax return preparation and e-filing for low to moderate income taxpayers, with an emphasis on seniors. The service will be available from 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Fridays beginning Feb. 1 at the Senior Center and noon-4 p.m. Mondays beginning Feb. 4 at the Richardson Public Library.

The service is offered first come, first served. People should bring Social Security cards and all pertinent tax forms, including Social Security statements.


Richardson Today in Mailboxes
The February edition of Richardson Today began arriving in mailboxes this week. The latest edition focuses on the State of the City and includes the Spring Recreation Guide.

Richardson Today is mailed to every residence in the city and is also available at Huffhines Recreation Center, the Senior Center, City Hall and at the Richardson Public Library. A Richardson Today interactive edition, which includes links to CITV videos, is also accessible through the link below. Ask your local mail carrier if you live in the city and do not receive your copy of Richardson Today.

Click the link below to read the latest edition of Richardson Today, as well as archived editions:


“Late Nite Catechism Las Vegas: Sister Rolls the Dice!” at Eisemann Center
Late Nite Catechism
“Late Nite Catechism Las Vegas: Sister Rolls the Dice!” will be performed at 8 p.m. Feb. 6-9 and 2 p.m. Feb. 9-10 at the Eisemann Center. The show is the latest in the Catechism series and follows Sister as she organizes a Las Vegas night.

Tickets cost $37 to $40 and are available at or by calling 972-744- 4650. For more information about the show, visit


Backstage at the Eisemann Center with Video Games Live
“Video Games Live” took the stage last weekend at the Eisemann Center, and the City’s Citizens Information Television crew caught up with the show’s host and game industry veteran Tommy Tallarico backstage for an interview.

Click on the link below to see what Tallarico had to say about being at the Eisemann Center and some highlights from the show.


Upstage Me Teen Improv Games at Library
The Richardson Public Library will host Upstage Me! from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5, in the Basement Program Room. The event will feature teen improv games for students in sixth through 12th grade.
Teen Improv Games
For more information, call 972-744-4358.


Photo Contest Winners Announced
Winners have been announced in the 2013 City of Richardson Photo Contest. Best of Show winners are Morgan Petri in the student division, Jim Vaughn in the adult division and John Fowler in the proficient division.

An awards ceremony and workshop will take place from 6-8 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Richardson Civic Center. Winning entries will be displayed through Feb. 18 on the third floor of the Richardson Public Library.
Morgan Petri  John Flowers 
Morgan Petri-RISE John Fowler-Paris Cafe
Jim Vaughn 
Jim Vaughn-San Luis Obispo
For more information, visit


DART Rolls Out New Buses
DART rolled out the first of 459 smoother-riding, cleaner-running buses for service on Monday morning. The 30- and 40-foot vehicles run on compressed natural gas, which is expected to reduce harmful emissions and lower DART’s fuel cost by nearly two-thirds by the end of 2015. The agency expects to introduce five new buses for service each week, gradually replacing the older models that run on either diesel or liquefied natural gas.
The new buses feature a low floor design to help with entry, bigger windows, wider aisles, interior cameras and LED monitors to display information on upcoming stops, rider alerts and more. For more information, visit


Richardson Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
Mr. Paws was found as a stray in December 2012. He is a male about 2 years old, up to date on all his vaccinations and is very special. He was born with a significantly shorter right front leg, but that doesn't stop him from being a loving and happy cat. Contact the Animal Shelter (972-744-4480) about Mr. Paws or other animals available for adoption.
Mr. Paws Pet of the Week 

For information about other animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s Facebook page at 


Related Links
City Council videos:
City Council agenda:
City Council meeting documents:

Find Richardson Today on Facebook and Twitter

 Bob Townsend
Bob Townsend
Place 1
 Laura Maczka
Mayor Pro Tem
Laura Maczka
Place 4
 Mark Solomon
Council Member
Mark Solomon
Place 2
 Scott Dunn
Council Member
Scott Dunn
Place 3
 Kendal Hartley
Council Member
Kendal Hartley
Place 5
 City Council Member Steve Mitchell
Council Member
Steve Mitchell
Place 6
 Amir Omar
Council Member
Amir Omar
Place 7