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Week In Review, Aug. 2, 2019

Post Date:08/02/2019
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Aug. 2, 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.

Throughout the year the City Council or City Plan Commission will hold meetings on topics of significant interest to local neighborhoods or the community in general. Links to view all City Council or City Plan Commission meeting documents that may have topics of interest to you can be found here:
City Council | City Plan Commission



City Council/City Plan Commission Discuss Collins/Arapaho Rezoning Possibilities
City staff and consultants working on the Collins/Arapaho Transit-Oriented Development and Innovation District’s Rezoning Initiative addressed a joint meeting of the City Council and the City Plan Commission Monday night, seeking feedback and guidance on key aspects of prospective zoning regulations for the 1,200-acre District. Topics discussed, divided by geographic sub-districts, included allowed building uses (residential vs. commercial, types of residential usage and types of commercial usage), building heights, street types and parking. The primary goal of the Rezoning Initiative is to remove barriers imposed by current zoning regulations so that the area can grow from being a primarily industrial area into the “premier tech hub of Texas,” a green, pedestrian- and bike-friendly center of business, leisure and innovation.

Prior to the discussion, an update was given on recent public feedback received from an online survey as well as from the Innovation District block parties held in June involving residents, stakeholders and business owners.

Next steps for the Rezoning Initiative team include developing prospective regulations for landscaping and signs, hosting a community workshop Aug. 21 and developing a demonstration project later this month on Greenville Avenue to test bike lane and crosswalk ideas and collect data. City Council and City Plan Commission action on rezoning is not expected until October and November.

To view Monday’s presentation, click here. For a summary of responses gathered from the block party and an online survey, go to

School Zone Signals Tested and Ready for Start of School
In preparation for the start of RISD and PISD classes, Traffic Operations began testing school zone signals this week. The testing not only helps Traffic Operations staff know if repairs are needed, but also helps drivers acclimate to slowing down in school zones. It’s also a good time to remember that using a cell phone while driving in a school zone carries up to a $200 fine.

The first day of school is Aug. 12 for PISD and Aug. 15 for RISD.

School Supply Drives Underway
Help children be ready for the start of school by donating school supplies (see list below) through one of the following programs:

The RISD Partners Program is collecting school supplies for families in need to reduce the number of students who return to school in the fall without school supplies. Cash or check donations are also accepted. Contact Lisa Andrews at 469-593-0307 or for information. Donations can be dropped off at the RISD Administration Building, 400 S. Greenville Ave., from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on weekdays.

Network of Community Ministries is holding its Tools-4-School drive to fill backpacks with supplies for RISD students. Call 972-234-8880 ext. 110 for information. Donations can be dropped off at Network, 741 S. Sherman St.


  • Facial tissues
  • Manila paper
  • Construction paper
  • Composition books
  • Spiral notebooks (1 subject)
  • #2 pencils/colored pencils
  • Washable markers
  • Black, blue and red pens
  • Children’s scissors
  • Plastic pencil boxes
  • Zippered supply bags
  • Binders (3-inch)
  • Notebook Paper
  • Two-pocket folders
  • Pink beveled erasers
  • Crayons
  • Glue sticks/4 oz. glue bottles
  • Rulers
  • Water color paints
  • Backpacks

National Public Alert Test Scheduled for Aug. 7
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and radio and television Emergency Alert System (EAS) participants, will conduct a nationwide test of the EAS beginning at 1:20 p.m. Central Daylight Time Wednesday, Aug. 7. The test, consisting of a one-minute message similar to the monthly EAS test, will evaluate the readiness of the national alerting capability in the absence of Internet connectivity, focusing on the capability of EAS radio and television providers to distribute a test message nationwide.

This will be the first time that FEMA has initiated a test message from the National Public Warning System component of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), which unifies EAS, the National Warning System, Wireless Emergency Alerts and NOAA Weather Radio under a single platform. IPAWS was established in 2006 after Hurricane Katrina.

For more information, contact the IPAWS Program Management Office at

Corporate Challenge Kicks Off Aug. 9
The 22nd annual Richardson Corporate Challenge kicks off Friday, Aug. 9 at Galatyn Plaza at 5:30 p.m. The Corporate Challenge is an Olympic-style competition coordinated by the City’s Parks and Recreation Department to encourage fun, fitness and friendships among area workers. People traveling near the Galatyn Business Park area around that time can expect traffic delays as participants from 53 local companies take part in the kick-off event.

The 2019 Corporate Challenge is sponsored by GEICO Texas and features 22 events ranging from athletic sports such as soccer, volleyball and bicycle racing to non-athletic contests such as dominoes, cornhole and Texas Hold ‘Em.

Since the program’s inception in 1998, the Corporate Challenge has raised $2.6 million for Special Olympics Texas and its programs across the region.

Learn more about the Corporate Challenge at

Sales Tax Holiday Weekend Begins Aug. 9
The annual back-to-school Tax Free Holiday begins Friday, Aug. 9 and runs through Sunday, Aug. 11. In Texas, the 2019 event exempts most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks (priced under $100) from sales and use taxes. The holiday applies to items purchased from a Texas store or from an online or catalog seller doing business in Texas.

Some exclusions apply; go to for more information.

Update: Skinny the Cat Still Thriving
City Communications staff caught up with Skinny the Cat who became a viral sensation seven years ago after being brought to the Richardson Animal Shelter weighing 41 pounds. Skinny, about to celebrate his 12th birthday, is healthier and more active now that he’s lost more than 20 pounds and was adopted by a local veterinarian.

To view a new video created about Skinny’s journey, click here.

Richardson Named a Top 10 U.S. Recession-Proof Housing Market
Richardson has ranked in the top 10 of the most “recession-proof” housing markets in the U.S. as determined by researchers from online financial management platform Credit Sesame. Credit Sesame looked at the 500 largest cities in the U.S. and released a list of 17 cities/housing markets that have never experienced a greater-than-5-percent drop in average home value between 1997 and July 2018, thus deemed most likely to do well in a recession. Richardson came in at #9.

For more information, including all the statistics that factored into Richardson’s ranking, click here.

August Richardson Today/Fall Rec Guide in Mailboxes
The August issue of Richardson Today was mailed earlier this week and should begin arriving in mailboxes this weekend. This month’s issue has a special focus on Animal Services, including information on the Animal Shelter’s new digital sign, volunteering at the Shelter and the Shelter’s foster program. Also included is a pull-out list of dog-friendly activities in Richardson and the Fall Recreation Guide, filled with new classes and activities from the Parks and Recreation Department.

Richardson Today is mailed to every residence in the city and is available at recreation centers, the Senior Center, City Hall and the Library. Keep up with Richardson Today stories as they happen, including video, at A digital version of the print edition of Richardson Today may also be accessed there. Ask your local mail carrier if you do not receive your copy of Richardson Today and you live within the boundaries of Richardson.


Richardson Projects

Westbound Spring Valley Road Lane Closure Expected Near Jupiter Road
All lanes of westbound Spring Valley Road between Jupiter Road and Yale Boulevard may be closed to traffic at all times through late August due to roadway construction work, part of the 2019 Annual Street Repair Project. Both eastbound and westbound traffic on Spring Valley Road will share the eastbound side in that area during the closure.



Senior Awareness Day at Civic Center Aug. 9
The 11th annual District 112 Senior Awareness Day will be held Friday, Aug. 9 at the Richardson Civic Center from 9 a.m.-noon. The event includes entertainment, refreshments, and many vendors that provide senior services and resources. The Dallas Area Agency on Aging will have benefits counselors present to answer questions and provide assistance with Medicare and Medicaid, as well as offer information on other programs for seniors.

Admission is free. The event is cosponsored by the City of Richardson and the office of State Rep. Angie Chen Button. For more information, call 972-234-8980 or e-mail

Exotic Bird Fair at Civic Center Aug. 3
Exotic bird fans will “flock” to the Richardson City Hall/Civic Center Saturday as Bird Events in Texas hosts its fourth annual Exotic Bird Fair and Expo from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. On hand will be thousands of birds, bird-related products and more sold by independent bird breeders and merchandise vendors. A raffle will benefit the National Parrot Rescue and Preservation Foundation.

Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors age 65 and over, and free for children age 11 and under. For more information, check out the Bird Events in Texas Facebook page or visit

Outdoor Movie at Heights Park Aug. 9
The Parks and Recreation Department’s 2019 summer Friday Film Series concludes Aug. 9 with the 2016 animated PG-rated film, “The Angry Birds Movie,” shown outdoors at the Heights Park softball fields beginning at dusk. Arrive early at 7:30 p.m. to get in on a life-size Angry Birds game!

Admission is free, with light refreshments available for purchase. Attendees may bring blankets and lawn chairs, as well as well-behaved dogs. For more information, call 972-744-7850.



Summer Reading Finale/Science Safari Aug. 3
The Library will host a Summer Reading Finale event entitled, “Kidz Science Safari,” Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Youth Services Area, with staff from the Discovery Science Place located in Tyler. Children ages three and up are invited to experience 11 hands-on, STEM-related activities and exhibits. Learn the basics from the museum educator between 10-11 a.m. and then explore at your own pace. Library staff will be on hand at the exhibits throughout the day if you miss the morning instruction.

Admission is free and no registration is required. For more information, call 972-744-4358.

Tales for Tails Aug. 4
Tales for Tails
Children in grades K-4 are invited to improve their reading skills and meet lots of friendly canine companions at Tales for Tails, Sunday, Aug. 4 from 3-4 p.m. in the First Floor Program Room.

A free ticket is required to participate—tickets are available at the door starting at 2:30 p.m. the day of the event. All ages are invited to meet the dogs at 4 p.m.

For more information, call 972-744-4358. To view a video created about the program by the City’s Communications Department, click here.

Lunchtime Lecture: “History of the Texas Rangers” Aug. 6
Author Bob Alexander will present the next Lunchtime Lecture, “History of the Texas Rangers,” Tuesday, Aug. 6 from 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. in the Basement Program Room. Attendees will learn all about this unique investigative law enforcement agency, from the horseback days to the modern era.

For adults and teens; admission is free and registration is not required. Attendees are invited to bring their own lunch to enjoy during the presentation.

For more information, call 972-744-4376.



Cultural Partnership Initiative CPI

For more upcoming shows and events, visit

UNIDOS Hosts Back to School Fest and Movie Night Aug. 2
The Richardson Police Department’s UNIDOS program will host a Back to School Fest and Movie Night tonight, Aug. 2, from 5-7 p.m. at St. Paul the Apostle Parish Center, 900 St. Paul Dr. Attendees will enjoy a night of popcorn, ice cream, face painting, free school supplies and a showing of 2016’s “The Angry Birds Movie.”

UNIDOS is a community outreach program designed to assist Spanish-speaking residents in the Richardson area. UNIDOS meetings are held every quarter and conducted entirely in Spanish. For more information, contact Barbara Lopez-Cepeda at 972-744-4830 or click here.

Youth Orchestra to Hold Auditions Aug. 17
The Dallas Asian American Youth Orchestra (DAAYO) is hosting auditions Aug. 17 for remaining open spots, from noon-4 p.m. at its rehearsal space, 420 Maplelawn Dr. in Plano (deadline to register to audition is Aug. 10). With five orchestras and a chamber ensemble, the group welcomes music students of all cultural backgrounds in the North Texas area with an interest in playing classical music in an ensemble setting. Several concerts a year are performed at the Eisemann Center, churches and other local performance spaces, often with nationally recognized guest performers.

Founded in 1998, DAAYO is sponsored in part by the City of Richardson’s Cultural Arts Commission, as well as Texas Instruments and the Texas Commission on the Arts. To view a video recently created about the group by the City’s Communications Department, click here. For more information about DAAYO including auditions, visit

“Reading the World” Book Club Announces September Selection
UT Dallas’ Center for Translation Studies, in partnership with the UT Dallas McDermott Library and the UTD Bookstore, has announced the book for the next “Reading the World Book Club” discussion Sept. 24. The book is Orhan Pamuk’s “My Name is Red,” published in 2002. Pamuk won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006.

The Reading the World Book Club is open to the public and meets six times per year to discuss best-selling and literary fiction written by foreign authors while raising awareness of the value of translation. The Sept. 24 discussion will be held in the conference room of the McDermott Library’s administrative suite, room MC 4.2 (4th floor), beginning at 6 p.m. For more information, visit

Richardson Community Band Outdoor Concert “Goes to the Movies” Aug. 4
The Richardson Community Band’s Summer Concert Series continues Sunday with “The Silver Screen,” an exploration of the impact of music in the movies, particularly music that represents the good guys and bad guys. Hear music from old and new hit films including “Patton,” “Superman,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “The Greatest Showman,” “Star Wars” and others. The concert begins at 7 p.m. at the Richardson City Hall/Civic Center’s fountain plaza and admission is free.

Lawn chairs, blankets, dogs and picnics are welcome, and plenty of shade is available. Parking is free and available in the nearby Library and City Hall/Civic Center lots.

For more information, visit 




Water University Offers “UPlantIt” Garden-in-a-Box
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension’s Water University division is making it easy for gardeners (and non-gardeners) to design and plant a colorful perennial garden with the UPlantIt boxed garden. The boxes include three “plant-by-number” garden design layout options and 32 starter plants (with 14 different varieties) that are tagged and numbered to correspond with the designs. The plants, hand-selected by Water University horticulturalists, are water-saving, native and adaptive plants that attract butterflies, bees and other pollinators and are proven to flourish in North Texas’ soils and unpredictable climate.

The boxed gardens may be ordered online through Sunday, Aug. 4 and must be picked up Sept. 28 between 8 a.m.-noon at one of four designated pick-up locations in the DFW area. Cost is $95. To order or for more information, click here.

Air North Texas Provides Ozone Action Day Tips, Air Quality Alerts
As temperatures rise this month, Air North Texas (a campaign/partnership of the North Central Texas Council of Governments) is asking individuals and businesses to be proactive and think about strategies to implement during Ozone Action Days. High ozone levels can cause serious health problems, and inhaling ground-level ozone is especially dangerous for people who have asthma or respiratory problems.

Suggested strategies for Ozone Action Days include:

  • Carpool to work
  • Reschedule off-site meetings or utilize conference call technology
  • Bring lunch to work or carpool to lunch
  • Ride DART, bicycle or walk
  • Reduce idling, including during start up
  • Postpone mowing to a day that is not an Ozone Action Day
  • Drive your most fuel-efficient vehicle when driving is necessary
  • Make sure tires are properly inflated
  • Avoid grilling and burning trash
  • Conserve electricity

The City of Richardson takes steps to reduce emissions year-round, including extra action on high ozone days, by following a Clean Fleet policy established by a resolution of the City Council in 2015.

For more information and to sign up for pollutant-specific e-mail alerts, visit


Find out more at



Project Engineer ($6,228-$9,440 monthly)
Capital Projects is seeking individuals interested in managing the design and construction of a wide variety of Public Works and Municipal projects

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

Part-Time School Crossing Guard ($9.74-$15.46 hour)
The Police Department is seeking individuals interested in assisting children and adults with crossing traffic crosswalks.



Animal Shelter Pet of the Week

Turtle is one of our longtime residents who has been waiting over six months for the right family to come along. This sweet, mild-mannered, pittie mix came to us as a stray back in February. He has been neutered, vaccinated and is ready for a new home. Turtle loves to lay on his back and show his tummy for belly rubs and scratches. He loves giving attention as much as receiving it and would be the perfect big lap dog! He is heartworm positive and thanks to generous donations his treatment and adoption fees have been paid for! Please help this lovable doggo find his dream home!

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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