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News Review
Week In Review, April 7, 2017
Posted Date: 4/7/2017
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April 7, 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.

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Cottonwood Art Festival Featured Artist Announced
Cottonwood Featured Artist

Iowa-based abstract expressionist Chris Vance has been named featured artist of the City’s 48th semiannual Cottonwood Art Festival scheduled for May 6-7 in Cottonwood Park. Vance’s vivid, crazy characters and lively vistas, depicted in acrylic on clayboard, paper and Mylar, will be on display near the Festival’s central courtyard, and he has created an exclusive piece of art that will appear in the Festival’s promotional pieces.

The Cottonwood Art Festival, a juried show, features museum-quality artwork available for purchase from more than 240 artists. The Festival also includes live musical performances, a courtyard beer garden, numerous dining options and a creative children’s area.

For more information, visit

Geico to Sponsor Corporate Challenge
Geico CC Logo

Geico, the second largest auto insurer in the United States, has agreed to sponsor the City’s Corporate Challenge for the next three years, starting with the 2017 competition. Geico’s regional headquarters moved to Richardson last year, and its employees competed in the Corporate Challenge for the first time in August.

Now celebrating its 20th year, the Corporate Challenge is a 10-week, Olympic-style competition that engages more than 12,000 employees from Dallas/Fort Worth-area companies of all sizes, “going for the gold” in athletic and non-athletic events while raising funds for Special Olympics Texas and its local affiliate, the Richardson Roadrunners. The event is produced by the Parks and Recreation Department and celebrated by businesses looking to enhance employee relationships, encourage healthy lifestyles and promote volunteerism. The Corporate Challenge is the only one of its kind in Texas and is believed to be one of the three largest multiday Corporate Challenge events in the U.S.

This year’s event will take place Aug. 11-Oct. 12. To participate or for more information, click here.

City Council Approves Bond Sale
The Richardson City Council unanimously approved the issuance and sale of bonds this week that will help fast-track construction of the new public safety campus and pay for water and sewer infrastructure among other improvements. The City's longstanding excellent “Triple A” credit rating made it a very competitive bidding process with strong interest in the City's bonds.

This year, the City sold $19.725 million in General Obligation (GO) bonds with a True Interest Cost (TIC) of 3.07 percent and $26.245 million in Certificates of Obligation (CO) that have a TIC of 2.96 percent. Additionally, the City sold $10 million in Adjustable Rate CO's that have an initial interest rate projected to be 2.15 percent. These sales will provide $20.3 million in funds for projects approved by voters in the 2015 Bond Program and $37.1 million for long-term capital needs.

To view Monday’s presentation, click here. For a map of bond-funded and other projects currently happening throughout the City, click here.

Miss Richardson and Miss Richardson’s Outstanding Teen Visit City Council
Miss Richardson and Miss Teen Richardson

Miss Richardson Michaela Larry and Miss Richardson’s Outstanding Teen Ady Lee Forrester were the special guests at Monday’s City Council meeting, where both were recognized by Mayor Paul Voelker for their contributions to the community.

Larry, who will attend Texas Tech University in the fall pursuing an education degree, and Forrester, a sophomore honor student at Grand Prairie High School, were crowned Nov. 5 and will represent Richardson at the Miss Texas pageant beginning June 24. Mayor Voelker praised their contributions toward fundraising efforts for important causes as well as their mentoring at area schools. In addition, they appear at many City events including State of the City, Santa’s Village and Trash Bash.

Richardson’s Eisemann Center has been home to the Miss Texas and Miss Texas’ Outstanding Teen pageants since 2014. Winners advance to the Miss America and Miss America’s Outstanding Teen pageants held in Atlantic City, N.J. in September.

League of Women Voters Hosts RISD Candidate Forum
The League of Women Voters of Richardson will host a forum for RISD Board of Trustee candidates Wednesday, April 12 at 7 p.m. in the RISD Administration Building Auditorium, 400 S. Greenville Ave. Questions for the forum may be submitted in advance or at the event; both types of submissions will be given the same consideration. E-mail questions to

Admission is free. For more information, visit The forum will be recorded and posted at that address.

UT Dallas Ranks First in U.S. Among Universities Less Than 50 Years Old
UT Dallas Logo with tagline

A newly released report from Times Higher Education ranks the University of Texas at Dallas No. 1 in the United States among universities founded less than 50 years ago.

The Young University Rankings, previously known as the magazine’s 150 Under 50 Rankings, include 200 institutions. The rankings use 13 performance indicators to rate research-intensive universities, with categories in:
  • Teaching (the learning environment)
  • Research (volume, income and reputation)
  • Citations (research influence)
  • International outlook (staff, students and research)
  • Industry income (knowledge transfer)
In fall 2016, enrollment at UT Dallas reached a new high of 26,797, up 9 percent from 2015. The freshman class boasts an average SAT score of 1,261 and 119 National Merit Scholars.

The university and its graduates are also a magnet for corporate campus development in Richardson and North Texas, especially for tech-centered industries.

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Pay It Forward at “Weekend of Kindness” April 7-9
Ninja Kindness Weekend

Altrusa International of Richardson, Inc. will sponsor its second annual “Weekend of Kindness” today through Sunday, April 9, as its members (known this weekend as Kindness Ninjas) don black and white T-shirts and fan out across the city doing kind deeds. The event is meant to encourage people to “pay it forward,” to do something nice for a friend, family member or complete stranger.

This year, Altrusa members will focus on the youngest as well as the most senior residents in Richardson. The organization is hosting a gathering on Saturday where they will put together donations for Hope’s Door and Mike’s Kids, and is providing friendship bracelets to second and third-grade students (from area “Choose Kind” schools) who create cards for senior citizens. Altrusa members will deliver the cards to several senior living complexes on Saturday and Sunday.

Prior to “Weekend of Kindness,” Altrusa donated “Choose Kind” library books to Northrich, Terrace, Audelia Creek and Northlake elementary schools. The books focus on eliminating bullying and promoting understanding of people with disabilities or differences.

Altrusa provides yearly support to many area agencies and City divisions, including the Richardson Public Library, Animal Shelter, RISD and NETWORK of Community Ministries. If you would like to assist with “Weekend of Kindness,” e-mail Altrusa at

Nature Walk: Edible, Medicinal and Other Useful Plants April 8
Urban Naturalist Logo

Join Bob Richie on a guided nature walk tomorrow from 8:30-10:30 a.m. and learn about the historic uses for edible and medicinal plants that grow in the North Texas region, from trees to grasses to “weeds.” The walk will begin at Foxboro Park and continue through the Spring Creek Nature Area.

All ages and skill levels are welcome, but children must be accompanied by an adult. Cost is $5 for adults 18 and older plus $2 for nonresidents. Space is limited so registration is required; register by calling Heights Recreation Center (972-744-7850) or Huffhines Recreation Center (972-744-7881) or going to (course #94666).

Texas Stamp Dealers at Civic Center April 7-8
The philatelists are back! Stamps galore will be on sale when the Texas Stamp Dealers Association comes to the Richardson Civic Center from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.

Admission and parking are free. The Texas Stamp Dealers Association is a group of professional stamp dealers who conduct stamp shows throughout Texas and require members to abide by an eight-point pledge involving fair pricing and truth in advertising. For more information on TSDA, go to

Dallas Record Show April 8
The Richardson Civic Center will be filled with vinyl LP records by the tens of thousands Saturday when the Dallas Record Show comes to town, featuring 50 vendors from across Texas and surrounding states. Attendees will also find 45s, CDs, and a few 78s, as well as T-shirts, posters and other music memorabilia. Hours for the show are 8 a.m.-6 p.m., with “early bird admission” from 8-10 a.m. priced at $10, and general admission beginning at 10 a.m. for $5.

The Dallas Record Show is held twice each year—for updates, visit

Easter Bunny and Glowing Eggs at Breckinridge Park April 8
Evening with the Easter Bunny

The City’s Parks and Recreation Department hosts the annual “Evening with the Easter Bunny” tomorrow from 7:30-8:30 p.m. at Breckinridge Park, Entrance C. Children ages 2-6 will enjoy an Easter craft, refreshments, storytelling, the Easter bunny and an egg hunt with glowing Easter eggs.

Cost is $10 for residents and $12 for nonresidents. Bring a basket and a parent! To register, go to (event #94805).

Pick Up Trash Bash Supplies April 10-14
Trash Bash Logo 2017

Anyone interested in collecting trash and recyclable items as part of the City’s Trash Bash is invited to pick up supplies April 10-14 at City Hall during regular business hours and until 7 p.m. Thursday, April 13. Organizers will hand out trash bags, recycle bags, gloves and release forms, and provide assignments. This year’s Trash Bash is April 15.

If participants have not already chosen an area, they will be assigned to a street, park or other designated area to pick up trash and recyclable items.

Trash Bash is held annually in conjunction with Keep Texas Beautiful and is open to anyone wishing to help clean up the community. For further information and to sign up, go to

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Arts In Richardson Graphic Link

Eisemann Center logo

At the Eisemann Center:

RSO Logo
  • Richardson Symphony Orchestra April 8
    8 p.m. in the Hill Performance Hall. Tickets are $15-$87.
    In “Stars of the RSO,” the Symphony will showcase the talents of five of its principal players, in two prominent works by Ravel (“Introduction and Allegro”) and Copland (“Quiet City”). In addition, “Concerto Grosso No. 1 for Strings” and “Piano Obbligato” by Bloch will feature the string section, and “Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K. 550” by Mozart will close the program.
    Preshow dining at Prelude Café is available for this event beginning two hours prior to the performance. For café reservations, call the Renaissance Dallas Richardson Hotel at 972-367-2000.
Taj Express
  •  “Taj Express” April 9
    7 p.m. in the Hill Performance Hall. Tickets are $44-$65.
    Through a fusion of film, dance, colorful costumes and live music, this international sensation will take audiences on a journey through modern Indian culture and society. It’s a high-energy celebration of India’s new pop music, Bollywood culture and deep traditions.
  • KJ Dance’s “The Giving Gala” April 9
    1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. in the Bank of America Theatre. Tickets are $15-$35.
    Plano-based KJ Dance showcases its Pulse company in choreography that has been performed and competed throughout the current season. KJ’s graduating seniors are also featured in solo and ensemble work.
  • SFA Wind Ensemble April 11
    7 p.m. in the Hill Performance Hall. Tickets are $12-$17.
    The premier concert band of Stephen F. Austin State University presents an evening of music honoring John Whitwell, retired director of bands at Michigan State University and former director of bands at SFA. The program will feature two movements from David Maslanka’s “Symphony No. 2,” as well as “Mare Tranquillitatis” by Roger Zare, and “Whirlwind” by Steven Bryant.
    A reception will follow in the TXU Lobby sponsored by the SFA Alumni Association.
Horse 2 by Mary Hearon 
Horse 2 by Mary Hearon 
  • Cottonwood Emerging Artists Exhibition in Green Gallery
    Artwork by 10 area high school seniors chosen as Emerging Artists for the upcoming Cottonwood Art Festival will be on display through April 23 in the Eisemann Center’s Green Mezzanine Gallery. By being accepted into the Emerging Artists program, the students have the privilege of not only having their work professionally framed and hung at the Eisemann Center, but also exhibiting and selling their work at the Cottonwood Art Festival in May.
    A reception will be given in their honor at the Eisemann Center April 12, with a presentation of awards and scholarship money by Neighborhood Credit Union. (This year’s spring edition of the Cottonwood Art Festival is May 6-7 at Cottonwood Park.)
Unless otherwise noted, tickets to Eisemann Center events are available at the Eisemann Center Ticket Office, 972-744-4650 and at

UT Dallas Logo with tagline
At UT Dallas:
  • Free Lecture April 9: “The Latin American Jewish Experience”
    The Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies presents Eli Davidsohn and Debra Polsky at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 9 in the JSOM Davidson Auditorium. Davidsohn will discuss growing up in Bolivia as a child of Holocaust survivors, and Polsky, executive director of the Dallas Jewish Historical Society, will discuss her work interviewing Dallas-area Jews from Latin America. A reception in the Ackerman Center will follow the presentation.
    Admission is free. For more information, click here.
  • Theatre UTD Continues “Alhambra” Through April 8
    Friday-Saturday at 8 p.m. in the University Theatre. Tickets are $15. (For tickets, click here).
    In this world premiere of a play written and directed by UTD professor Fred Curchack, two couples take a dream vacation through Spain’s art, architecture, poetry, music and dance, alongside the wonders and horrors of its Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Gypsy history. The “hysterical and historical” journey includes video, dance, music, and visionary visual effects.
  • “Rebuilding Campus: The University Landscape” April 13
    2 p.m. in the Student Services Building Addition (SSA), Room 13.330.
    Join landscape architect Peter Walker, the first recipient of the Richard Brettell Award in the Arts, for a talk about campus enhancement. Walker is the award-winning mastermind behind the ongoing landscape transformation at UT Dallas and collaborated on the design of the Nasher Sculpture Center’s sculpture garden with Renzo Piano Workshop.
    Admission is free. For more information, click here.

AIR Time Free Discussion and Movie April 12: Sarah Lawrence Riehm and “Birdman”
Air Time Logo

Arts Incubator of Richardson’s latest installment of AIR Time will be held Wednesday, April 12 at Alamo Drafthouse Richardson with a free showing of the 2014 movie “Birdman” at 7:45 p.m. The movie will be preceded by a Q&A with Richardson playwright Sarah Lawrence Riehm beginning at 7 p.m.

Riehm (who goes by the name Sarah Lawrence professionally) has won prestigious awards and acclaim for her works, which have been performed across the U.S. including at the historic off-Broadway Soho Playhouse in New York City and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Her play, “Liberty,” was just announced in March as a semifinalist in the Book Pipeline Competition, a national search for plays suited to adaptation to the screen. In addition, she stays busy with her husband, Chuck, in their roles as owners of Richardson’s Marcus Café.

“Birdman” stars Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis and Edward Norton. In the movie, the once famous film star Riggan Thomson, played by Keaton, is now seeking his real calling and fame through the writing, development and presenting of a Broadway play.

Admission to AIR Time is free for general seating. Reserved seats are available for $5 at 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.

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“Intro to Instagram” April 8
Instagram Logo

Become a social media wiz at “Intro to Instagram,” a free class offered tomorrow from 10 a.m.-noon in the Basement Training Room. Learn the basics of this popular smartphone photo sharing app, from setting up an account and finding friends to taking and sharing photos and applying filters.

Open to adults and teens; admission is free. Participants need to bring an Apple or Android phone or tablet (Windows phones will not work) and either have the Instagram app installed or be able to install the app on their device. In addition, participants need a Facebook account or an e-mail address in order to register with Instagram.

Class registration is required (but observers are welcome)—call 972-744-4359 to register and for more information.

Kids’ Poetry Workshop April 8
Page to Stage Poetry Workshop

Children in grades 3 and up are invited to celebrate National Poetry Month at “From Page to Stage,” a free poetry workshop Saturday, April 8 from 2-3 p.m. in the Basement Program Room. This interactive workshop includes spine poetry, integrating voice, haiku and a little bit of drama.

Registration is required; to register and for more information, call 972-744-4358 or stop by the Youth Services Help Desk.

Lunchtime Lecture April 11: John Quincy Adams
John Q Adams Lunchtime Lecture

Richard Cudlipp presents the last installment in his four-part Lunchtime Lecture series focused on the life of John Quincy Adams, Tuesday, April 11 from 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Adams was an ambassador to four different countries, a senator and Secretary of State, all before becoming our sixth president. In this fourth installment, come learn about Adams’ time as a member of the House of Representatives and his presidency.

The presentation will be held in the Basement Program Room. Admission is free, and attendees (both teens and adults are welcome) may bring their own lunch. For more information, call 972-744-4376.

Advanced 3-D Printing with Tinkercad April 12

Build on your 3D design skills with advanced level instruction in Tinkercad, Wednesday, April 12 from 6:30-8 p.m. in the Basement Training Room. The class is free (registration required) and designed for ages 13 and up; laptops are provided.

To register and for more information, call 972-744-4359.

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Richardson Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
Hershey Pet of the Week

This fun bundle of energy is Hershey! He is a Labrador retriever mix with a chocolate coat and a little white on chest. He is a neutered male. He is two years old and has received all vaccinations and tested negative for heartworms. Hershey loves to go for walks. He is great on a leash and does not pull at all. Come and visit Hershey and see if he gets along with your family!

For information about other animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s web page here.

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Mayor Paul Voelker
Paul Voelker
Mayor Pro Tem Mark Solomon
Mayor Pro Tem
Mark Solomon
Place 2
Councilman Bob Townsend
Council Member
Bob Townsend
Place 1
Councilman Scott Dunn
Council Member
Scott Dunn
Place 3
Councilman Mabel Simpson
Council Member
Mabel Simpson
Place 4
Councilman Vacant
Council Member
Marta Gómez Frey
Place 5
Councilman Steve Mitchell
Council Member
Steve Mitchell
Place 6

City Council Links

Past and future meeting documents: