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Week In Review, Dec. 8, 2017

Post Date:12/08/2017 5:00 PM
Week in Review Header

Dec. 8, 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.

Tree Lighting Ceremony Kicks Off Santa’s Village; Parade Winners Announced
Tree Lighting Ceremony

Santa’s Village 2017 opened to an enthusiastic crowd Dec. 2 thanks to nice weather and the grand arrival of Santa Claus, just as the Mayor flipped the switch to light the 4,600 lights of the Village’s giant pecan tree. The colorful “wonderland” has been provided by the City and enjoyed by area families for 29 years. Prior to the tree lighting, awards were handed out to winning entrants in the Richardson Christmas parade, held earlier that day. The top three awards announced:

  • Mayor’s Award—Richardson YMCA Adventure Guides (Rainbow Hawks)
  • Grand Marshal’s Award—Ugly Sweater Factory
  • Chairman’s Elf Award—Girl Scout Troop 7773

Remaining dates and hours of operation for Santa’s Village:

Hometown Thursday Dec. 14 6-9 p.m.
Friday-Sunday Dec. 8-10 6-9 p.m.
Friday-Sunday Dec. 15-17 6-9 p.m.

Admission is free as well as adjacent parking, with a free ticket required for the Dec. 14 Hometown Thursday (see story below).

Each of the 16 buildings features a treat and/or fun activity for children, including a visit with Santa at Santa’s House and Workshop and free Santa photos. Attendees can also enjoy live performances and warm up with a cup of hot chocolate and other treats sold at the Castle Café.

For a performance schedule and more information, visit

Hometown Thursdays Continue Dec. 14

Hometown Thursdays Logo

Thursday, Dec. 14 is the date of the final 2017 Hometown Thursday, a night at Santa’s Village reserved especially for Richardson residents. A free ticket is required to attend. Tickets are available at the following locations during normal business hours:

  • Richardson City Hall, 411 W. Arapaho Rd.
  • Heights Recreation Center, 711 W. Arapaho Rd.
  • Huffhines Recreation Center, 200 N. Plano Rd.

Richardson residents must show proof of residency, such as a driver’s license or water bill, to receive up to eight tickets per night. A limited number of tickets are available.

For more information, visit

Fire Department Toy and Food Drive Ends Thursday
Network Toy and Food Drive

Donations of unwrapped toys and canned/shelf stable food are still needed for the Richardson Fire Department’s annual toy and food drive, benefiting the clients of Network of Community Ministries. Items may be taken to any Richardson Fire Station, to the City Service Center (1260 Columbia Dr.) and to City Hall, Rooms 105 and 202 through the end of the business day Dec. 14.

Gift suggestions include
 Lego sets  video games  body spray
 Nerf balls  board games  makeup
 action figures  playing cards  manicure kits
 dolls  puzzles  sports balls and equipment
 sports team caps  baby walker toys  scarves
 toy cars  my Life dolls  self-contained arts and crafts kits
 gloves  pop up play tents  giant stuffed animals
 hats  wallets  super hero/action figure costumes
 books  cologne  Ugg-type boots of all sizes
 kitchen sets  bath/body lotions  fleece blankets

*Please no wheeled toys such as bicycles, scooters, wagons, skates or tricycles.

Trail, Entryway Plans Outlined for Spring Creek Nature Area
Spring Creek Nature Area Entrance Concept

The City Council was updated Monday on the progress of projects planned for the Spring Creek Nature Area. Preparation for the park’s future Perimeter Trail was completed this year, including design work and the cleaning up of vegetation adjacent to Plano Road and Renner Road. The Perimeter Trail will run along Renner Road and connect to the existing Central Trail at Routh Creek Parkway, and extend south along Plano Road, connecting to Foxboro Park and the southern portion of Spring Creek Nature Area. Concepts for entryways were created and shown to the Parks Commission in November, and a consultant was hired to look at parking opportunities near the park.

Construction on the trail and entryways is planned to begin in fall 2018. The 10-foot-wide trail will include benches and trash receptacles and is designed to have minimal impact on the surrounding forest. Each of the two entryways, one at Renner Road and Plano Road and one at Renner Road and Routh Creek Parkway, have been designed as modern, concrete “portals” in the shape of a leaf, with nearby concrete “seat walls” and leaf imprints stamped in the surrounding walkway.

To view Monday’s presentation, click here.

High School Summer Internship Program Proposed
Highlights and background information of a proposed Richardson Mayor’s Summer Internship Program were presented to the City Council by City staff Monday. The program, scheduled to begin in 2018 as a partnership between the City, the Richardson Chamber of Commerce and RISD, is modeled after programs in several cities including Dallas and Plano. It involves an online application process for high school juniors, an all-day intern program class, a job fair and an intern training class for those chosen for employment. Fifty students will receive eight weeks of paid employment (20 hours per week at $9/hour) during the summer at a local company or nonprofit. The City Council voiced support for the program and offered to help recruit both students and businesses.

The program is in line with one of the City Council’s 2017-19 Tactics, “Continue dialogue with educational institutions on partnership opportunities,” and fulfills RISD administration’s desire to create a summer internship program in Richardson to help support the district’s efforts related to career and technical education. Recruitment of students and businesses is scheduled to take place January-March of next year. Internships will be available to students who live within RISD boundaries, with a limited number available to students who do not attend RISD schools.

To view the presentation, click here.

2016-17 Budget Results Reviewed
City staff presented preliminary results from the 2016-17 Budget at Monday’s City Council work session. The unaudited numbers from the Budget, which closed Sept. 30, are excellent, with all operating funds experiencing a gain and performing above budget expectations.

Highlights include:

  • Due to better than expected year-end performance in the General Fund, special maintenance project initiatives funding was able to increase, including $250,000 in additional funds for the Arapaho Road overlay, $200,000 for paving cut supplement, $210,000 for Phase II of the Renner Road median improvements and $120,000 for the FY 2016-17 bridge maintenance program.
  • The Solid Waste Fund was able to set aside $450,000 for solid waste capital support due to better than expected performance.
  • Golf Fund revenues were $54,000 above revenue projections, with 74,355 rounds of golf played at Sherrill Park in FY 2016-17, an increase of 5,532 rounds over FY 2015-16. In addition, expenditures in this fund were about $43,000 lower than anticipated.

For more details, view the presentation here.

Animal Shelter Receives Second “Little Free Library”

Animal Shelter Little Free Library

The Richardson Animal Shelter recently constructed its second Little Free Library, a mini book exchange that’s part of a global initiative begun by a Wisconsin man in 2009. Located in the canine visitation room, the new Library was made possible by the Friends of the Richardson Public Library. The Friends also funded the Shelter’s first Little Free Library in 2014, located in the adoptable cat room. Both feature a variety of books, primarily pet-related. Little Free Library users are encouraged to “take a book, give a book” to help refresh and maintain the book supply.

If you have books you’d like to donate to the Shelter’s Libraries, contact Noura Jammal at 972-744-4483. In addition to pet-related books, children’s books are also welcomed to encourage children to read to Shelter animals.

NTTA Rolls Out New Roadside Assistance Number


The North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) launched a new safety program this week that provides a faster, more convenient way for stranded drivers to call for help along Texas toll roads. Drivers can now dial #999 on their cellphones to connect directly to NTTA’s Safety Operations Center to request roadside assistance. Roadside Safety Services crews and/or DPS Troopers can then be dispatched as needed.

New roadside signs and Dynamic Message Boards (overhead electronic signs) will advise drivers of the new safety feature. For more information, visit

Oncor to Perform Street Lighting Maintenance Dec. 9-10
Oncor has been granted permission by TxDOT to perform street lighting maintenance on Central Expressway through Richardson this Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 9-10, from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Oncor will be working on the southbound side of the highway Saturday and on the northbound side Sunday. American Barricade will begin setting up around 7 a.m. Saturday to block one right lane on the southbound side from Renner Road to Spring Valley Road and then on the opposite side at 7 a.m. Sunday from Spring Valley Road to Renner Road.

UT Dallas Researchers Recover NASA Apollo Program Audio

UTD Logo

Previously unheard communications between the NASA astronauts, mission control and backroom support staff during the Apollo missions is now available thanks to a giant leap in speech-processing technology by a team of researchers at University of Texas at Dallas. Thousands of hours of communications remained stored on analog tapes at NASA for years until researchers at UT Dallas’ Center for Robust Speech Systems developed speech processing techniques to reconstruct the massive audio archive and make it accessible.

Elements of the communication systems for NASA space capsules were designed by engineers working in Richardson at Collins Radio and other facilities in the area. The proliferation of local telecommunication companies that followed afterward led to the development of Richardson’s Telecom Corridor® area.

Read more about the UT Dallas research here and listen to the recovered NASA audio here.


“Breakfast with Santa” Dec. 14 at Huffhines Recreation Center

Breakfast with Santa

Create a holiday memory with your child and share breakfast with Santa Claus Thursday, Dec. 14 at Huffhines Rec Center. Seatings are available at 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m.

For children ages 2-5. Fee is $10 per person; children will also make a craft. Pre-registration (by Dec. 11) is required. Register online here. Choose activity #6348 for the 8:30-9:30 a.m. seating or #6349 for the 10-11 a.m. seating.

Stamp Show Continues Through Saturday at Civic Center
Music legends, sports stars, famous actors and ex-presidents will be on hand tomorrow—on postage stamps, that is—when the Texas Stamp Dealers Association hosts their Richardson Stamp Show at the Civic Center Dec. 9. Find unique philatelic holiday gifts or have an expert take a look at your collection.

Hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is free. For more information on TSDA, go to

CityLine Merry Market Dec. 9

CityLine Logo

CityLine will host a Merry Market and Festival Saturday, Dec. 9 from noon-7 p.m. in CityLine Plaza, 1150 State St. This free event will include an outdoor artisan market, all-day live music (including the Richardson Community Band), children’s activities, free hot cocoa, donut holes and chocolate chip cookies, and furry friends to hug (and adopt) at the Richardson Animal Shelter’s Mobile Adoption Trailer (present from noon-2 p.m.). In addition, photos with Santa will take place from 1-4 p.m. at the nearby Windsor Apartments, CityLine businesses will offer specials and a gingerbread house display can be viewed at Aloft Hotel.

For more information, including a schedule of performers, visit

Free “Cold Yoga” at CityLine Dec. 13
Join CityLine and Reef Point Yoga for “Cold Yoga” Wednesday, Dec. 13 in the Plaza beginning at 6:30 p.m. Though the class is free, attendees are encouraged to “warm up someone in need” and bring a new or lightly used hoodie to benefit nonprofit Hoodies for the Homeless. Donations will be accepted from 6-8 p.m.

Bring a mat and plan to arrive 15 minutes early; children are welcome to attend as well. The event takes place weather permitting, so check the CityLine and Reef Point Yoga Facebook pages for updates. Free parking is available in the CityLine garages.

For more upcoming shows and events, visit

Eisemann Center Logo
At the Eisemann Center:

  • “Holiday at the Ballet” Dec. 8-9
    8 p.m. in the Bank of America Theatre. Tickets are $19-$32.
    Contemporary Ballet Dallas (CBD) and the School of CBD Youth Performing Ensemble present a show including “Clara’s Dream,” favorite dances from Act II of “The Nutcracker;” the premiere of a work set to Antonio Vivaldi’s “L’inverno” movement of “The Four Seasons;” and a restaging of Robert Beard’s “Ceremony of Carols.”

  • “Snow Queen Ballet” Dec. 10
    2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. in the Bank of America Theatre. Tickets are $15.
    Studio 3 Dance presents its students and staff in all principle roles of Hans Christian Anderson’s wintry fairy tale.

  • Keyboard Conversations: “Beethoven and Friends” Dec. 11
    7:30 p.m. in the Bank of America Theatre. Tickets are $30-$36.
    Jeffrey Siegel performs Haydn’s “Sonata in D,” Mozart’s “Rondo in A Minor” and “Gigue,” along with Beethoven’s “Sonata Pathetique,” with brief, informative commentary before each piece.

  • “The Forgotten Carols” Dec. 11
    7:30 p.m. in the Hill Performance Hall. Remaining tickets are $19-$38.
    From Utah-based composer and filmmaker Michael McLean comes the stage performance that tells the story of Connie Lou, a nurse whose empty life is changed when Uncle John, a new patient she is attending, recounts the story of Christ’s birth as told by little known characters in the nativity story.

  • Ensemble 82 Piano Trio Dec. 14
    7:30 p.m. in the Bank of America Theatre. Tickets are $15.
    Minhee Bae on violin, Jinsun Choi on cello and Chaeyoung Lee on piano present an inventive concert featuring “Trio in B-flat major, Op. 11” by Beethoven; “Cafe Music” by Paul Schoenfield, and “Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 49” by Mendelssohn.

Unless otherwise noted, tickets to Eisemann Center events are available at the Eisemann Center Ticket Office, 972-744-4650 and at

“Christmas with the Chorale” Dec. 9
The Contemporary Chorale presents its annual holiday concert, “Christmas With The Chorale: A Concert of Favorites,” Saturday, Dec. 9 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at St. Barnabas Presbyterian Church, 1220 W. Belt Line Rd. Guests artists are Owen Griffin, organist and Wes Moore, baritone.

Tickets are $20; $10 at the door for students (with ID) and children. To purchase tickets online, click here.

“Twas the Night Before Christmas” at Richardson Theatre Centre

Richardson Theatre Centre

“Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse?” Richardson Theatre Centre brings to life the wild adventures of “the mouse that stirred” along with an elf and a little girl who just won’t take no for an answer, in this joyful tribute to the holiday season.

Performances are Thursdays-Sundays Dec. 8-31, with Thursday shows at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday shows at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $20-$22. (No performance Dec. 24.) For tickets, call 972-699-1130. Richardson Theatre Centre is located at 518 W. Arapaho Rd.

Repertory Company Theatre Presents “Beauty and the Beast”

Repertory Company Theatre Logo

Repertory Company Theatre, 770 N. Coit Rd., presents the musical, “Beauty and the Beast” Dec. 8-17. The popular tale comes to life with music by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice including “Be Our Guest,” “Gaston,” “Human Again,” and the Tony-winning title song, “Beauty and the Beast.”

Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $27 for adults and $17 for youth (18 and under); visit to purchase or call the box office at 972-690-5029.

Free 3D Printing Demonstration Dec. 9


Drop in to see the 3D printer in action Saturday, Dec. 9 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. in the C-TECH area on second floor. Learn about 3D printing classes at the Library and what’s required to submit a job for 3D printing.

For more information, call 972-744-4359.

Get Started Blogging Dec. 9
Ever wanted to author a blog? Learn how for free Saturday, Dec. 9 from 10:30 a.m.-noon in the Basement Plaza Room. 

For adults and teens; registration is required. Call 972-744-4359 for more information and to register. Laptops are provided or you may bring your own.

Teen Celebration of Lights Dec. 9
Each winter holiday—Christmas, Diwali, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa—is known for its beautiful lights. Learn fun facts about each while crafting special holiday décor Saturday, Dec. 9 from 3-4 p.m. in the First Floor Program Room.

Open to ages 13-18 years old. For more information, call 972-744-4358.

Live Theater Performance: “A Christmas Carol” Dec. 9

Christmas Carol at the Library

Watch a Dickens holiday classic come to life in the Basement Program Room Saturday, Dec. 9 from 2-3 p.m. “A Christmas Carol” will be performed by the Hampstead Stage Company, a nationally touring children’s theater. Appropriate for the entire family!

For more information, call 972-744-4358.

Holiday Harp Music Dec. 14
Holiday Harp

Enjoy live music in the first floor Youth Services Department with harpist Carol Tatum Thursday, Dec. 14 from 6-7 p.m. Admission is free and no registration is required.

For more information, call 972-744-4376.

Animal Services
Richardson Animal Shelter Pet of the Week


Meet Brad! He has been dreaming of a forever home for a while now, over 8 months to be exact. He is a shepherd/basset hound mix with stubby legs and a cute curly tail. Brad is about a year old, has been neutered and is up to date on all vaccinations. Brad enjoys the company of active humans who love to go for jogs and play catch. He's been known to give slobbery kisses and steal a few treats if you are not looking. If you’re looking for a stubby-legged, happy-go-lucky, cookie monster then Brad is for you! Please help him find a home for the howl-idays!

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



City Council Links
Council Members
Meeting Agendas and Documents


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