Week In Review, Jan. 10, 2020
Jan. 10, 2020
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
Proposed 2019-21 Tactics Presented to City Council
City staff presented tactics to the City Council Monday for implementing the 11 Strategies adopted last month with the Council’s 2019-21 Vision and Statement of Goals. More than 70 new and continued tactics were proposed, developed with input from the City Council, Boards and Commissions, City staff and the community. Each tactic supports the Council’s focus of maintaining/enhancing Richardson as a quality living, working and investing environment.
After City Council feedback is incorporated into the tactics, they will be added to the 2019-21 Statement of Goals and Strategies and implementation schedules and timelines will be developed.
Texas Community Fitness Challenge Underway
Richardson is one of more than 300 cities and towns statewide participating in the It’s Time Texas Community Challenge that began Monday. The Challenge is a free, eight-week competition in which communities compete to see which can demonstrate the greatest commitment to healthy living. Residents age 13 and up may sign up online to support their community and earn points through completing activities such as group and individual exercise, posting “healthy selfies,” and logging daily water consumption (simply signing up for the Challenge earns 500 points). A tandem Challenge for school employees and parents earns points for school districts.
The competition ends March 1. The community with the most points in each size category receives an $1,800 grant to use toward future health-related efforts and winning school districts receive a $500 grant. Individual participants who reach more than 1,000 points are entered in weekly drawings.
SBA Loan Application Deadline Nears for Those Affected by October Tornado
Residents, businesses and nonprofits that were affected by the Oct. 20 tornado have until Jan. 13 to apply for property damage claims with the Small Business Administration’s low-interest federal disaster loan program.
Interest rates can be as low as 3.875 percent for businesses, 2.75 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 1.5 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.
Contact: 800-659-2955; firstname.lastname@example.org
Membership Bonus Offered for Rec Center Newbies, Renewals
As part of the Parks and Recreation Department’s 60th Birthday Celebration, anyone buying or renewing a Recreation Center membership during the month of January will receive a bonus of 60 free days. Annual memberships range from $35-$60 depending on age; nonresident annual memberships range from $70-$120. Memberships allow access to both Heights and Huffhines recreation centers, which include a cardio fitness area/weight room, a full-sized gym (including a regulation-sized basketball court), a game room, free WiFi, a sauna and locker rooms.
Contact: 972-744-7850 (Heights), 972-744-7881 (Huffhines)
Library Debuts Upgraded App
Library staff announced this week that the Library’s myRPL app has been improved and upgraded with several new features. The new app is easier to use than the previous version and includes:
- Links to RPL social media
- Barcode-scanning feature
- Access to online eBooks, audiobooks and magazines
- Information about upcoming events at the Library
- Ability to save and use a Library card from the app
The myRPL app is free and users may download it wherever they usually get apps.
Sherrill Park Course One Featured in Magazine
Irving-based magazine AVIDGOLFER has featured Sherrill Park Golf Course One in its January 2020 issue. In a five-page spread with color photos, the article lauds the 18-hole course’s “player friendly layout,” describing each hole and touting the greens as some of the best the magazine has seen over the last several years. It also gives a complimentary nod to Course Two and the amenities found in Sherrill Park’s clubhouse. The article may be found in both print and online versions of the magazine.
City Communications Department staff caught up with Sherrill Park Head Pro Ronny Glanton recently to talk about the courses, which were originally built in 1973 and 1976, with makeovers for Course One completed in 1997 and 2015 and Course Two in 2001.
Atmos Begins Safety Surveys
Atmos Energy crews and contractors began safety surveys of the natural gas distribution system in Richardson and surrounding areas this week using mobile leak detection units. The units, which are white SUVs with flashing lights and labeled with an Atmos Energy logo or the words, “Utility Contractor,” are equipped to measure and map methane plumes in the area. They can be seen driving slowly in streets and alleys at night and in early morning hours (8 p.m.-8 a.m.), which ensures an accurate survey of the gas system.
As part of this routine maintenance, if a natural gas leak is discovered, crews will investigate and grade the leak. If a Grade 1 (hazardous leak) is found, immediate action will be taken to eliminate the hazard. Grade 2 and 3 leaks are monitored and scheduled for repair based on state and federal guidelines.
Delays Possible on Coit Road
Drivers on Coit Road may experience delays in the coming days due to pavement marking taking place (as weather allows) in the southbound lanes between Campbell Road and Spring Valley Road from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The City’s pavement markings contractor is replacing street buttons in that section of Coit Road to enhance safety.
Photo Contest Begins Saturday
The City’s annual photo contest will accept entries Jan. 11-26. Both students and adults are invited to participate. Categories include Abstract, Anything Goes, Cityscape/Architecture, Experimental/Enhanced, Fabulous Flora, Furry Friends, It’s a Small World, People, Scenic/Landscapes, Sports and Action, Still Life, Wildlife and Wonderful Waterscapes. Entry fees are $5 for ages under 18 and $10 per entry for ages 18 and up.
Parks and Rec’s “Traveling Game” Offers Prizes Next Week
From Jan. 14-18, catch a specially numbered tennis ball from a ball hopper at the Tennis Center, Gymnastics Center, Senior Center, Huffhines or Heights recreation centers (ball hopper will be at a different location each day) and win a prize that corresponds to your number. The fun is part of the Parks and Recreation Department’s month-long celebration of its 60th birthday. If someone gets number 60, they will get a special edition 60th anniversary item.
Fun with Gears and Circuits Jan. 11
Have some free family fun in the Library’s Basement Program Room Saturday, Jan. 11 from 2-3:30 p.m.—all ages are invited to drop by to snap, click and get in gear! Experiment with electronic circuits, LEGOs, Quercetti Kaleido Gears, Ozobots, MaKey MaKey Circuit boards and Snap Circuits.
No pre-registration required.
Tales for Tails Jan. 12
The service dogs are back for another year of patient listening to young readers! Readers in grades K-4 are invited to read to the dogs Sunday, Jan. 12 from 3-4 p.m. in the First Floor Program Room as part of the Library’s first Tales for Tails event of 2020. There is no cost to attend but a free ticket is required—tickets are distributed at the door beginning at 2:30 p.m. the day of the event.
All ages are welcome to stop by and meet the dogs when the event is finished, at 4 p.m.
“In BeTWEEN” Book Club Kicks Off Jan. 16
Kids age 9-12 now have their own book club at the Library, with members reading “the best of the best” kids’ books and meeting to explore them via games, scavenger hunts and more. The club meets one Thursday each month beginning Jan. 16, from 4-4:45 p.m. in the First Floor Program Room.
Registration is required; register by phone or in person at the Children’s Desk.
Richland College Features Vet-Created Art
The community is invited to stop by the Richland College Veterans Services Office to see the latest piece of art brightening the space. Area U.S. Army veteran and artist Bryce Hansen recently donated a custom painting he created for the office entitled, “High Five,” depicting the High Five interchange in Dallas.
Veterans Services also has artwork on display from Michael P. Solovey (U.S. Army retired) and George D. Romero (spouse of a U.S. Air Force veteran), and will add two additional art pieces in the coming months that highlight the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy.
Richland College has long supported veterans and the arts. In 2015, students and staff created and displayed more than 5,000 red ceramic poppies on the campus grounds to honor Texas soldiers killed in WWI, and a small collection of the poppies remains on permanent exhibit. The school was named one of the U.S.’ top military-friendly schools by G.I. Jobs magazine for 2019-20.
At the Eisemann Center:
- Shen Yun Jan. 11-12
2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday in the Hill Performance Hall. Tickets are $90-$150.
The renowned Chinese dance company performs with a live orchestra.
- The Oak Ridge Boys Jan. 15
7:30 p.m. in the Hill Performance Hall. Tickets are $59-$125.
The “Oaks” bring their four-part harmonies and four decades of charted singles to a stage show widely acknowledged as among the most exciting anywhere.
- Mandy Patinkin in Concert Jan. 17
7:30 p.m. in the Hill Performance Hall. Tickets are $57-$77.
The acclaimed actor/singer/storyteller returns to the Eisemann Center in “Diaries,” a powerful evening of song with Adam Ben-David on piano. Patinkin performs many of his favorite Broadway and classic American tunes along with selections from his newest recordings, including compositions from Randy Newman, Stephen Sondheim, Harry Chapin and Rufus Wainwright.
- Pegasus Theatre’s “The Color of Death!” Continues
8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays with 3 p.m. matinees Saturdays and Sundays, through Jan. 19 in the Bank of America Theatre. Tickets are $24-$44, with special pricing for seniors, students, military, teachers and children.
Pegasus Theatre is back with a unique three-act Harry Hunsacker adventure, “The Color of Death!” featuring the group’s signature Living Black & White™ technique.
Unless otherwise noted, tickets to Eisemann Center events are available at the Eisemann Center Ticket Office, 972-744-4650 and at www.eisemanncenter.com.
At UT Dallas:
- “Zarafa Unfolding” Art Exhibition Begins Jan. 14
11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and 1-6 p.m. Thursdays-Fridays in the SP/N Gallery, Jan. 14-Feb. 15. Admission is free. A free reception will be held Jan. 17 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
This UT Dallas alumni-focused exhibition explores the cultural complexities regarding identities of creatives who belong to the Middle Eastern and South Asian diaspora, most of them residing and producing work as artists in the North Texas area.
- “Diversity Dialogues” Jan. 21
5-7 p.m. in the McDermott Library Suite (MC 4.404). Admission is free.
Register now for the next “Diversity Dialogues,” an interactive, engaging, facilitated dinner and discussion activity that welcomes the community to the table along with UTD students, staff and faculty. Groups engage in cultural conversations in a safe, comfortable environment. A full buffet meal is provided for registered attendees (while supplies last). Click here for registration information.
Repertory Company Theatre’s REP Company to hold Auditions Jan. 11
Community members who act and/or sing and dance are invited to audition for Repertory Company Theatre’s 82-member REP Company for 2020. Auditions will be held Saturday, Jan. 11 at the Theatre’s headquarters at 770 N. Coit Rd. on a first-come, first-served basis; times are 10:30 a.m.-noon for actors and 1:30-5 p.m. for musical theater performers. Call backs are Sunday, Jan. 12.
For information about what to bring to auditions and a list of upcoming shows, visit RCT’s website.
Phil-Up at MRMC Main, Campbell Road Campuses this Month
Phil-up the Blue Bag, Richardson’s recycling mascot, will be at Methodist Richardson Medical Center’s main hospital as well as its Campus for Continuing Care this month, providing information about Richardson’s recycling program and giving vouchers for free blue bags to Richardson residents.
Look for him near the main lobby from 1-2:30 p.m. on the following dates:
- Methodist Richardson Medical Center
2831 E. President George Bush Turnpike
- MRMC Campus for Continuing Care
401 W. Campbell Rd.
Holiday Tree Cycling Continues
The City is encouraging residents to “tree cycle” Christmas trees by turning them into mulch and compost through the City’s Tree Cycling program. Trees may be dropped off through Feb. 1 at the Municipal Service Center, 1260 Columbia Dr., or set out at the curb and picked up as part of the City’s Brush and Bulky Item Collection (BABIC).
The Service Center site will be open 24 hours, seven days a week; for BABIC pick-up, call 972-744-4111 and be sure to request that the tree be collected for composting.
Tree cycling guidelines:
- Trees must be natural (not artificial) and unflocked.
- All ornaments, tinsel, tree stands, nails, lights, etc., must be removed.
- Calls for BABIC must be received before the designated collection day (your BABIC day is the same as your recycling day).
Project Engineer ($6,228-$9,440 monthly)
Engineering-Capital Projects is seeking an individual with a degree in civil engineering from a university with an engineering program accredited by the Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology. Must be a professional engineer registered in Texas or obtain registration within six months of appointment to position. Texas driver's license, Class C, required. Four years of experience is required in civil engineering practice, preferably with a municipal or county government.
Driver/Loader ($2,603-$3,749 monthly)
Solid Waste-Residential is seeking individuals interested in driving and operating residential refuse and/or recycling collection equipment. This position requires outdoor work in all weather conditions.
Part-Time Adult Van Driver ($9-$15.30 hourly)
The Parks and Recreation Department is seeking an individual with a valid Texas CDL, Class A, B, or C, with “P” (passenger) endorsement. This position requires driving a 22-passenger van/bus or a 14-passenger van/bus safely.
Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
Meet Zander! He is a Lab mix, neutered male, about 2 years old and has been with us since October 2019. This guy is such a sweetie, a bit shy, with a lovable playful side and does great with other dogs. He does great on a leash and would love to be your walking or running buddy!
For information about other animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s web page here.
City Council Links
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