Week In Review, March 8, 2019
March 8, 2019
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.
Eisemann Donation Funds New Multi-Year Arts Collaboration Between City, UT Dallas
City staff announced Monday that a generous donation from local philanthropists Ann and Charles Eisemann has established the Eisemann Edge Endowment Fund, which will support a new, multi-year creative partnership between the Eisemann Center and UT Dallas to help the community explore the intersection of technology and art. Students from UT Dallas’ School of Arts, Technology and Emerging Communications will develop innovative visual art exhibits and performances to be showcased at the Eisemann Center, enabling new audiences to explore the arts and build on the Richardson community’s distinctive high-tech heritage.
The initiative builds on an already strong partnership between the Eisemann Center and UT Dallas, which have collaborated for more than a decade in the Eisemann Educates program, which brings together Eisemann Center performers and UT Dallas students through residencies, lectures/demonstrations and master classes.
The Eisemanns’ $250,000 donation will sustain the program for the first few years, with a goal of having additional private donations as the primary funding source. The first creative output from the collaboration, an interactive visual arts presentation incorporating digital art, 3D mapping, projection technology and live music, is planned for March of 2020.
To view a presentation about the Eisemann Edge Endowment Fund given at Monday’s City Council work session, click here.
City’s First Quarter Financial Report Given
The City is on track with its current fiscal year budget, according to City staff who presented the City Council with a detailed 2018-19 First Quarter Financial Report at Monday’s work session. The First Quarter Report represents activity from Oct. 1-Dec. 31, 2018.
Revenues and expenditures in all five funds (General, Water and Sewer, Solid Waste Services, Golf and Hotel/Motel Tax) are as budgeted with the exception of decreases in expected revenue from water sales, golf course green fees and cart fees, which are all tied to the increase in rain the city experienced last fall. Richardson received a total of 23.7 inches of rain in the first quarter as compared to 7.3 inches in 2017 and a five-year average of 12.5 inches.
To view Monday’s presentation, click here.
City Council Updated on Richardson Economic Development Partnership
Richardson Chamber of Commerce staff gave the annual report on the Richardson Economic Development Partnership (REDP) at Monday’s City Council work session. The report gave highlights of REDP’s efforts/successes in 2018 and plans for 2019.
REDP helped facilitate 33 business relocations or expansions in Richardson in 2018, resulting in 6,730 new or retained jobs, more than twice the new/retained jobs in 2017. More than 2.5 million square feet of office, data center and flex space were occupied as a result. Other REDP highlights from 2018 include:
- Sponsored five luncheons to connect small local businesses with expanding and relocating companies
- Hosted a delegation from the 78,000-member Tokyo Chamber of Commerce
- Helped facilitate a collaboration between Richland College and a consortium of local companies (Argo Data/GXA/The Wilkins Group), which resulted in a $523,000 state training grant.
Plans for 2019 include continuing work with the Collins/Arapaho TOD and Innovation District project, working on the naming and branding of the area and helping with outreach during the rezoning process; continuing the Mayor’s lunch program, which fosters a relationship with existing Richardson businesses; and conducting targeted outreach both inside and outside Richardson using Gazelle AI, software that analyzes data on millions of companies in the U.S. and abroad to predict which companies are likely to be expanding soon.
REDP is a joint initiative established by the City of Richardson and the Richardson Chamber of Commerce in 1984, the oldest economic development partnership in North Texas. For more of the REDP report, view the presentation here.
Inclusive Playground Shaping Up
Work is progressing on the Ann Eisemann Inclusive Playground being built at Cottonwood Park, with Parks staff estimating that about 50 percent of the project is complete. The main structures for the preschool area have been installed and the structures for the age 5-12 area began going up this week. In addition, the restroom is complete, partial fencing is up and some of the limestone blocks for the Rotary sensory garden have been installed.
To see a 360-degree video view of the project as it takes form, click here.
Once all equipment is installed, the specially designed play surface will be poured. Parks staff hope to welcome the park’s first guests by late April. For more information, visit www.cor.net/inclusiveplayground.
New Assistant City Manager Appointed
Richardson City Manager Dan Johnson announced this week he has appointed Joe Pantalion to serve as Assistant City Manager over Development Services. In the position, Pantalion will oversee the Development Services, Capital Projects/Engineering, Transportation and Mobility, and Health departments. He will be responsible for guiding projects that include the Collins/Arapaho Transit-Oriented Development and Innovation District and the ongoing redevelopment of Main Street.
Pantalion will begin work March 18. He recently retired from the City of Austin with more than 21 years of service, holding a number of key executive leadership roles on major initiatives. He recently completed a 1 ½-year assignment there as Interim Assistant City Manager over Development Services.
To learn more about Pantalion, click here.
Richardson a Best City for Retirement
The City of Richardson has placed No. 6 on a nationwide list of Best Cities to Retire in America just released by Niche, a Pennsylvania-based company that ranks U.S. neighborhoods, schools and companies. Niche ranked 2,228 cities based on analysis of key statistics from the U.S. Department of Education and millions of reviews.
Niche gave Richardson an A+ in its categories of Diversity and Good for Families, and an A- in Housing and Jobs. It also earned an A in Public Schools, Health and Fitness, and Nightlife.
For more information on the report and Richardson’s ranking, click here.
Daylight Saving Time Begins March 10
Daylight Saving Time officially begins at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 10, so don’t forget to “spring forward” and set your clocks ahead an hour. Texas is one of 48 states that observe Daylight Saving Time; Hawaii and most of Arizona do not.
No City Council Meeting March 11
Due to the RISD and PISD spring breaks, there will be no City Council work session or meeting Monday, March 11. The Council will next meet Monday, March 18 for a work session and meeting, beginning at 6 p.m. For future agendas and meeting dates, go to www.cor.net/CityCouncil.
Plano Road Lane Closures this Month Near Collins Boulevard
The left lanes of northbound and southbound Plano Road just north of Collins Boulevard may be closed to traffic from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. through late March for work on an existing water main.
Arapaho Road Lane Closures Through April, June Near Glenville Drive
Fiber optic work is taking place along westbound Arapaho Road between Presidential Drive and International Parkway, with possible lane closures in store for the right lane. From 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., the lane may be closed from Presidential Drive to Glenville Drive through mid-June, and from Glenville Drive to International Parkway through early April.
Greater North Texas Orchid Show at Civic Center March 9
The Richardson Civic Center’s Richardson Room is filled with hundreds of orchids of all sizes, shapes and colors as the Greater North Texas Orchid Society is hosting its annual Orchid Show and Sale, open to the public March 9 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Learn tips and tricks on how to take care of the colorful flower and enjoy displays of unusual orchids. Admission is free.
For more information, visit www.gntos.org.
Summer Safety Camp Registration Begins March 11
Registration begins Monday, March 11 for the Richardson Police Department’s annual Summer Safety Camp, open to Richardson children who have completed kindergarten up through third grade. Weekly camp sessions are held from 9 a.m.-noon Monday-Friday, beginning June 10 (tentative) and ending the week of Aug. 5.
Campers will learn about:
- stranger danger
- internet safety
- animal safety
- poison safety
- water safety
- and much more.
The camps will be held at an RISD location to be determined. Cost is $20 per child per week and includes a camp T-shirt. Registrations will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. To register, call Heights Recreation Center at 972-744-7850, Huffhines Recreation Center at 972-744-7881 or visit www.cor.net/parksonline (check the Special Interest section under Summer Day Camps for registration codes).
Note: The camp is for Richardson residents only. An adult is required to check-in child the first day of camp and stay for a brief meeting. Children may attend only one session per year. Children who have not attended Safety Camp in the past will be processed first; if any openings exist after those registrations are processed, prior attendees may be placed.
For more information, send an e-mail to SummerSafetyCamp@cor.gov.
St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at Senior Center March 13
Wear your green and come celebrate with the Richardson Senior Center, 820 W. Arapaho Rd., Wednesday, March 13 at 1 p.m. Class Act tap dancers will present an Irish program and refreshments will be served.
Admission is free. For more information, contact the Richardson Senior Center at 972-744-7800.
Parks and Recreation Department Hosts Aquatics Job Fair March 14
The City of Richardson Parks and Recreation Department will hold an aquatics job fair Thursday, March 14 from 4-7 p.m. at Huffhines Recreation Center. The upcoming swim season is shaping up to be a busy one and there is a need to fill a variety of positions including lifeguards, pool managers/assistant managers, swim team coaches and swim instructors. Hourly pay rates are highly competitive.
Applications may be filled out online at www.cor.net/jobs.
Stamp Show at Civic Center Begins March 15
The Texas Stamp Dealers Association (TSDA) will host a stamp show and sale March 15-16 at the Civic Center. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Admission and parking are free.
For more information, visit www.tsdastamps.com.
DIY Relaxation for Teens Saturday
No trip planned for spring break? Make bath bombs and face masks at our DIY Relaxation Staycation workshop and take them home to relax your break away! The fun takes place Saturday, March 9 from 2-4:30 p.m. in the Basement Program Room and includes a Teen Advisory Board meeting (the board helps guide teen programming at the Library).
For ages 11-18. Admission is free and no registration is required. For more information, call 972-744-4358.
More “Spring Staycation” Activities March 11-15
Make memories at the Library this Spring Break with a full week of FREE activities, including a day-long movie marathon, live raptors and amazing bubbles. The complete schedule is as follows:
- “Discover Texas” March 11
3-5 p.m. in the First Floor Program Room. Open to all ages. Experience “big Texas fun” with crafts and activities at stations throughout the Children’s Area representing the various regions of Texas.
- “What’s Your Toy Story?” March 12
All day in the First Floor Program Room. Open to all ages.
Watch “Toy Story” at 10:30 a.m., “Toy Story 2” at 2 p.m. and “Toy Story 3” at 6:30 p.m. Activities, crafts and snacks will be provided after the first and second movies. Attendees are welcome to wear a costume!
- Superhero Science with the Perot Museum March 13
2-3 p.m. in the Basement Program Room. For children in grades K-6.
Discover the science secrets behind superheroes and their amazing powers!
- Raptors of North Texas March 14
7-8 p.m. in the Basement Program Room. Open to all ages.
The Blackland Prairie Raptor Center shows off raptors of different species and sizes as they explain their capabilities.
- Blow a Bigger Bubble March 15
2-3 p.m. in the Basement Program Room. Open to all ages.
Bernadette the Bubble Lady helps the audience experience a bubble hairdo, a person standing inside a bubble and more.
For more information, visit the Library’s Youth Services desk or call 972-744-4358.
“Jefferson and the Barbary Pirates” Lunchtime Lecture Series Continues March 12
Richard Cudlipp’s latest Lunchtime Lecture series continues Tuesday, March 12 from 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. in the Basement Program Room. In part two of this three-part series, Thomas Jefferson builds up the navy and starts the first U.S. war.
For adults and teens; admission is free and registration is not required. Attendees are welcome to bring their own lunch. For more information, call 972-744-4376.
At the Eisemann Center:
- Angela Ingersoll Sings Judy Garland Tonight
7:30 p.m. in the Hill Performance Hall. Tickets are $45-$65.
Actress and singer Angela Ingersoll celebrates American icon Judy Garland in this live performance straight from Ingersoll’s current PBS television special. Ingersoll sings Garland classics such as “Over the Rainbow,” “Come Rain Or Come Shine” and “The Man That Got Away.”
- “B—The Underwater Bubble Show” March 10
5 p.m. in the Hill Performance Hall. Tickets are $24-$37.
The inhabitants of a special place called Bubblelandia take a busy man named Mr. B on an imaginary journey through a colorful, underwater world. Inspired by Cirque du Soleil, the show is rich in various stage effects using the latest laser technologies, snow cannons, soap bubble tornadoes, theatrical fog, gigantic smoke rings, smoke-filled soap bubble machines, optical illusions and many other surprises.
- U.S. Navy Band “Sea Chanters” March 11
7:30 p.m. in the Hill Performance Hall. Tickets are free but must be reserved in advance.
The United States Navy’s official chorus, formed in 1956, performs a variety of music ranging from traditional choral music, including sea chanteys and patriotic fare, to opera, Broadway and contemporary music.
Unless otherwise noted, tickets/registration for Eisemann Center events are available at the Eisemann Center Ticket Office, 972-744-4650 and at www.eisemanncenter.com.
At UT Dallas:
- Guitar Competition and Festival Performances Continue March 8-9
7:30 p.m. in the University Theatre. Tickets are $15-$20.
“Duo Melis,” a.k.a. Susana Prieto of Spain and Alexis Murakis of Greece, perform tonight and Scott Tennant, a founding member of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, performs Saturday night. For tickets and more information, click here.
- Comer Collection Gallery Talk March 15
1:30 p.m. in the Nebula Gallery (McDermott Library). Admission is free.
Jessica Ingle, curator of the current Comer Collection exhibit, “Take to the Streets, Photography’s Comment on Social Order,” will speak about the selections for the exhibit.
“Holocaust Cantata: Songs from the Camps” Choir Concert Tonight
7:30 p.m. at Arapaho United Methodist Church, 1400 W. Arapaho Rd. Admission is free.
The UT Dallas Chamber Singers and the UT Dallas University Choir present songs based on research of original music sung by prisoners in Holocaust concentration camps. They will be joined by the Arapaho United Methodist Church Chancel Choir and the A Cappella Choir from Garland High School.
AIR Time March 12: “Blow-Up”
Arts Incubator of Richardson’s monthly movie and interview series continues Tuesday, March 12 at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema with special guest, photographer and photojournalist Kathy Tran, along with a showing of the 1966 Oscar-nominated film, “Blow-Up.” The “mod” thriller, about a photographer who discovers something sinister in the background of fashion photos he took in a park, pairs well with Tran, whose photography career has included shooting fine fashion, weddings, food and everything in between.
The interview begins at 7 p.m. followed by the movie at 7:45 p.m. Tickets are $5; purchasers receive a $5 food/beverage voucher. Advance reservations may be made by clicking here. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema-Richardson is located at 100 S. Central Expwy.
March is Texas SmartScape Month; Native Plants, Water Conservation Encouraged
The North Central Texas Council of Governments is helping coordinate Texas SmartScape Month, an annual statewide effort to encourage Texans to consider native/adapted plants and grasses when planning their landscaping and gardens. These plants need less water and fertilizer to thrive in the intense heat of Texas summers and help homeowners save money, time and water, and reduce harmful chemical use. In addition, the Texas SmartScape program encourages proper design, care and maintenance techniques.
Several events incorporating SmartScape principles are planned this month throughout North Texas, including the Collin County Master Gardeners’ Garden Show March 16-17 in McKinney and a shade gardening class in Plano March 20; click here for a complete calendar of events. SmartScape information is also available at www.txsmartscape.com.
Time to Mulch in Richardson
Parks Department crews are busy cleaning up landscape beds this month, including applying fresh mulch that is generated from the City’s Brush and Bulky Item Collection (BABIC) service. Tree limbs, brush, leaves and grass clippings collected from BABIC-participating homes and businesses across the city contribute to this environmentally friendly mulch, processed at the Texas Pure Products facility in Plano. Mulch helps conserve soil and soil moisture, improves the health and fertility of soil, reduces the growth of weeds, reduces the spread of diseases and enhances the visual appeal of beds.
Residents of Richardson and other Texas Pure member cities may purchase the mulch at a discount for their own landscaping projects. For more information, visit www.texaspureproducts.com. Mulch is also easy to create at home, using materials such as straw, compost, newspaper, sawdust, shredded leaves, rocks and/or rock chips—Texas A&M’s AgriLife Extension service recommends a four-inch layer applied to the soil surface. For more AgriLife tips on creating and using mulch, click here. For information about the City’s BABIC program, visit www.cor.net/BABIC.
Combination Inspector ($3,963-$5,732 monthly)
Building Inspection is seeking individuals interested in inspecting building, construction sites and construction components for compliance with building, plumbing and mechanical codes and laws.
Maintenance Helper II ($2,316-$3,196 monthly)
The Public Services Department has multiple job openings in Streets, Water and Wastewater for individuals who love working outdoors doing repair and construction to streets and water distribution and wastewater collection systems.
Van Driver-part time ($9-$15.30 hourly)
The Parks Department is seeking individuals interested in driving a 15-22 passenger van/bus to pick up and deliver adult passengers.
Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
Meet Buffy! He is a big guy with a playful, fun-loving personality, a striking buff coat and captivating amber yellow eyes. He is very outgoing as well, immediately approaching everyone he meets and greeting them with a loud purr, a head butt or a bit of feline conversation. This delightful cat is only around a year old. Come meet Buffy today. You will be glad that you did.
For information about other animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s web page here.
To read previous Week in Reviews, visit www.cor.net/WIR.