April 12, 2013
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.
Richardson Plans Mosquito Spraying This Sunday
The Richardson Health Department plans to ground spray three separate areas (schedule and maps provided below) beginning this Sunday, weather permitting, in order to help prevent the spread of the West Nile virus. The decision to spray comes after City Health Department workers were notified late Wednesday that four traps located in the three subject locations returned mosquitoes that tested positive for the disease.
Richardson began its West Nile virus monitoring program this month, which is the earliest it has ever begun testing for signs of the virus. Typically, the City begins its monitoring program in May, but the Richardson City Council approved increased surveillance this year due to the heightened incidence of West Nile virus cases experienced in the Metroplex in 2012.
“Due to last year’s unprecedented season, we wanted to make sure we were doing everything we could to monitor for the presence of West Nile virus,” said Richardson Health Department Director Bill Alsup. “In addition to increased surveillance, we’re also increasing our level of mosquito abatement and response to the presence of the virus. The combination of our efforts should help to lessen the level of exposure of West Nile virus to our residents, but we urge people to be aware that, even though it’s not summer, mosquitoes are already present and it’s imperative to take precautions to keep from being bitten.”
Richardson is working in conjunction with other cities and health agencies in the Metroplex to mitigate the spread of West Nile virus. Additional measures being taken in Richardson include:
- Earlier monitoring of mosquito populations using traps strategically placed in the city;
- Residential pool abatement, to reduce areas where mosquitoes can breed;
- Surveillance and treatment of storm drain system;
- Closer collaboration among departments to reduce areas where water can become stagnant;
- Deploying fish that can eat mosquito larvae, and increasing the areas where larvicide is used;
- Improving the adulticide response by working with a private contractor that can provide additional ground spraying capacity;
- Collaborating more closely with regional partners to provide an improved response.
Weather permitting, spraying will occur according to the following schedule:
Sunday, April 14 and Monday, April 15*
W. Campbell Rd. south to W. Arapaho Rd.; Coit Rd. east to Central Expressway (US75).
E. Lookout Dr. south to Apollo Rd.; Plano Rd. east to Jupiter Rd.
President George Bush Turnpike east to Breckinridge Park, and between the northern and southern borders of the city.
*As part of plans to increase in the response to incidents of finding the West Nile virus in people and mosquito traps, targeted neighborhoods are sprayed twice.
**Spraying events begin at 9 p.m. and will end by 4 a.m.
If wind speeds of greater than 10 miles per hour are sustained, if it is raining, or if temperatures are forecast to drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, then Health Department staff may postpone spraying until weather conditions are more favorable.
Go to www.cor.net/mosquito for more information.
City Launches MyRichardson Mobile App
The City of Richardson on Wednesday launched its MyRichardson mobile application for smartphone users. The MyRichardson application is available for Apple iOS and Android devices and provides users the ability to report a variety of issues.
The mobile application includes photo sharing and Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) services to attach pictures and coordinates when issues are submitted. Examples of reportable issues include potholes, broken curbs and loose animals.
The MyRichardson mobile application offers users the following categories of service:
Richardson’s new mobile application is available for download at www.cor.net/myrichardson, or click or scan the appropriate QR-Code below.
- New Issues – Offers a listing of a variety of issues that can be reported. Examples include: broken curbs, potholes and loose animals.
- My Issues – Allows users to track the progress of their issues until resolved.
- News & Events – Provides access to the City’s news stream on municipal events, projects and services.
- Department Listing – Listing of City departments that allows access to City web pages for those departments.
- Contact Us – Listing of phone numbers and e-mail addresses for City departments.
- Profile – Users can enter profile information to allow them to be updated by e-mail when their reported issues are being addressed.
Richardson Neighborhoods Ranked in Top 10
Three areas in Richardson ranked in the top 10 best places to live for adults age 45 and older without kids in the home in the Dallas Morning News’ list published Friday for the Richardson, Lake Highlands and Far North Dallas areas. Southern Collin County ranked at No. 6, while Richardson, Dallas County and Richardson, Collin County placed at No. 9 and 10, respectively.
The survey looked at safety, quietness and level of maintenance, affordability and rising home values as factors in determining the rankings.
City officials anticipate that Richardson will also appear in the Top 10 rankings in the “Best Places to Live for 18- to 24-year-olds” and “Healthiest Places to Live” categories that will be published in the April 19 and May 29 issues of the Dallas Morning News.
Richardson Ranks No. 3 Overall in fDi Cities of the Future
The City of Richardson has been named one of the top 10 cities overall in the Americas, in its size category, in fDi Magazine’s annual “American Cities of the Future” list, which ranks cities for their attractiveness for inbound foreign investment. Richardson ranked third overall in its size classification, population 100,000 or less, behind only Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, and Greenville, Carolina. Richardson was the only Texas city honored in its category.
In addition to its high overall ranking, Richardson also finished in the Top 10 in four subcategories, including fifth for Human Resources, ninth in Economic Potential, ninth in fDi Strategy (which reflects the city’s work and is judged by an independent panel), and 10th in Infrastructure.
fDi’s research team collected data for 422 cities under five categories: Economic Potential, Human Resources, Cost Effectiveness, Infrastructure and Business Friendliness.
Trash Bash Wrap-up
More than 850 volunteers joined forces Saturday to pick up more than 5,000 pounds of trash and 1,500 pounds of recyclable materials in Richardson parks, schools, creeks and streets during the annual Trash Bash. After the cleanup, participants celebrated their hard work with pizza, cookies, beverages, door prizes and vendor booths.
At City Hall, the Richardson Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association shredded 30,000 pounds of documents and collected more than 15,000 pounds of electronics. The Friends of the Library collected more than 1,500 books and CDs through the book drive, and NETWORK of Community Ministries collected 1,500 pounds of clothing. Richardson Environmental Action League gave away 222 rolls of recycling bags, Richardson Public Services gave away 25 cubic yards of compost and the Richardson Health Department gave away 262 plants.
Next year’s Trash Bash is scheduled for April 26, 2014.
City to Host Neighborhood Leadership Workshop
The Community Services Department will hold a Neighborhood Leadership Workshop at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, at the Civic Center. The event is designed to help attendees develop a better appreciation of neighborhood issues and vitality strategies and gain an understanding of city operations and neighborhood association management techniques.
The program will begin with dinner and networking and include two breakout sessions. Topics include the MyRichardson Mobile Application, Redevelopment in Richardson and Neighborhood Crime Watch. The event will also include a Q&A with a panel of presenters and an exhibitors row.
For more information or to register, call 972-744-4168 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
City Council Seeks Public Support for Cotton Belt
The Texas Senate held a public hearing Wednesday on Senate Bill 1333, which supports the creation of a Special District to speed development of the Cotton Belt Rail Line, a proposed 62-mile regional rail corridor spanning from Richardson to Fort Worth. The connection would include stops at the Bush Turnpike Station and the University of Texas at Dallas in Richardson, D/FW International Airport, Fort Worth, Addison, Grapevine and other Metroplex cities.
While Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) owns most of the corridor and includes the Cotton Belt Line in its long-range plans, because of other capital obligations the agency does not expect to be able to build the project for at least the next 25 years. However, a private developer has approached regional transportation officials with a proposal that would allow construction of the line to occur within the next few years.
To accelerate development of the regional rail line, legislation is needed to create a Special District that would be able to finance its construction. The Richardson City Council has made passage of such legislation a priority for this year's session, and it asked the community to show its support for the project by sending a letter of support.
Continued public input is encouraged as the bill proceeds through the legislative process. A copy of a sample letter may be found online at www.cor.net/CottonBelt.
City Installs New Bike Lanes
Richardson contractors completed painting a 1.1-mile section of new bike lanes on North Collins Boulevard between West Campbell Road and Palisades Creek Drive on Saturday. The addition is part of 3.8 miles of new bike lanes being added this year, thanks in part to a TxDOT Safe Routes to School grant.
The latest addition to Richardson’s bike lane network brings the current total to approximately 12 miles of the 20 miles of bike lanes included in the City’s Master Transportation Plan. The installation connects to existing bike lanes on Collins Boulevard, which connect north to Renner Trail.
This summer, an additional 2.7 miles of bike lanes will be installed near Yale Elementary School under the Safe Routes to School grant. That project, which also includes sidewalk improvements and barrier-free curb ramps, will install bike lanes on East Collins Boulevard (from Plano Road to Jupiter Road), Yale Boulevard (from Arapaho Road to Campbell Road) and Owens Boulevard (from Woodoak Drive to Campbell Road).
Current plans also include adding bike lanes along Collins Boulevard from Plano Road to US-75 (Central Expressway) in 2014 as part of the Duck Creek Trail Extension project.
Fire Department Trains in New Emergency Driving Simulator
Richardson firefighters began training on a new Emergency Driving Simulator system Tuesday and Wednesday. The $425,000 system simulates a variety of hazardous road conditions for fire and ambulance apparatus, allowing firefighters to be better prepared when they encounter similar conditions.
The system is an enhancement to the emergency driver training currently used and allows firefighters to perform driving training they otherwise would not be able to do in the real world. Simulations can present drivers various scenarios and environments, including driving in residential areas and commercial districts, as well as difficult driving conditions such as icy or rainy weather. It can also be programmed to allow firefighters to train on every type of apparatus used by the Richardson Fire Department.
The simulator, made by Doron Precision Systems Inc., is funded through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Department of Homeland Security and matching funds from the City of Richardson. The grant is part of an important component of the larger, coordinated effort to strengthen the nation’s overall level of preparedness and its ability to respond to fire and related hazards.
Police Department Honors Explorers
The Richardson Police Department honored the members of its Explorer Post at an awards banquet Thursday. In 2012 the 21 Explorers donated 3,400 hours of time to assist the Police Department at events including National Night Out, the Wildflower! Festival and Richardson ISD football games.
The Explorer of the Year Award went to Joshua Gonzalez, who donated more than 700 hours of time to the post in 2012. He used his organization and leadership skills to help coordinate the post members and has earned the respect of the police officers and his peers.
The Explorer program provides young adults (age 14-21) an opportunity to perform learning-based service as they consider law enforcement as a possible career choice. Police Department employees serve as mentors to the Explorers as they learn about the different aspects of law enforcement. Each year their skills are tested at a formal competition, where their performance is judged against other Explorers from across the country.
Learn more about Richardson’s Police Explorer Post at www.cor.net/index.aspx?page=573.
Sherrill Park Golf Courses Ranked in DMN
In its annual Texas Golf issue, the Dallas Morning News ranked Sherrill Park Golf Course No. 1 as the 13th best course in Texas available for the public to play for courses in the $45-$60 range. This is the first year it has been listed among the mid-priced courses, as it ranked No. 1 among economy courses in 2012. The newspaper also rated Course No. 2 as the 17th best economy course in the state.
A panel of 85 golf professionals, golf writers and golf executives from across the state ranked courses in seven categories: versatility, shotmaking, design, beauty, maintenance, enjoyment and afterthoughts.
See the rankings at http://dallasne.ws/Z94c0z.
LWV RISD Board Candidate Forum Is April 16
The League of Women Voters will host a public forum featuring candidates for the Richardson ISD Board of Trustees at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, at the RISD Administration Building, 400 S. Greenville Ave. Bonnie Abadie, Lanet Gray Greenhaw and Rachel Chumney have filed to run for Place 4. Kris Oliver is running unopposed in Place 3 and Karen Holburn is running unopposed in Place 5.
For more information, call 972-470-0584 or visit www.lwvrichardson.org.
Wildflower! Passes Go on Sale Monday
Tickets and three-day passes for the 2013 Wildflower! Richardson’s Arts & Music Festival go on sale Monday, April 15. The three-day pass costs $30 and will be available at any Metroplex Tom Thumb store or online at www.wildflowerfestival.com. Single-day adult tickets will be available at the gate for $20 as well as through the festival's website beginning Monday. Kids age 5-12 will be admitted for $3, and admission for kids 4 and under is free.
Richardson residents can purchase up to six individual adult tickets per each day of the festival per household for only $10 each. Kids 12 and under get in free on Sunday with a paid adult courtesy of Bank of America, and adult tickets are $10 on Sunday courtesy of Cisco.
To learn more about the festival, visit www.wildflowerfestival.com, call 972-744-4580 or follow Wildflower! on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wildflowerfestival.
“Elton and Kiki Dee? Why Not Elton & Me?” Entry Deadline Extended
The deadline to submit an entry for the “Elton and Kiki Dee? Why Not Elton and Me?” competition has been extended to April 18. The contest is searching for a singer to perform the 1976 hit song “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” alongside the Elton John tribute act, Rocket Man, at Wildflower! Richardson’s Arts & Music Festival set for May 17 to 19 at Galatyn Park. People who wish to enter the contest are asked to submit a video or link of their rendition of “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” to email@example.com or mail it to Wildflower! Elton and Me, 2100 E. Campbell Rd., Ste. 100, Richardson, Texas 75081.
All applicants must be older than 16 years of age and submit an application along with the recorded performance. Contestants must sing a solo or duet of any portion of “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” in a clip that is up to 1.5 minutes in length.
Live auditions for selected finalists will take place at Huffhines Recreation Center April 21. For more information about the contest, call 972-744-4587 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wildflower! Budding Talent Auditions are April 21
Wildflower! Richardson’s Arts & Music Festival will once again include the Budding Talent competition, a talent show for singers from age 3 to 12th grade. Auditions for the competition will start at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, April 21, at First United Methodist Church Richardson, 503 N. Central Expressway. Contestants will need to sing one song from memory. They may sing with an accompaniment track (CD or mp3), accompany themselves on an acoustic guitar or piano, or bring an accompanist. Small vocal ensembles of two to four singers are also eligible, but no bands will be allowed to enter the contest.
The finalists from five categories will perform in the Budding Talent competition at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 19, on the Singer Songwriter Stage. Contestants must pre-register for the audition by e-mailing email@example.com. For more information, visit www.wildflowerfestival.com/buddingtalent.html.
Emerging Artists Program Features Top Student Art
Eleven Richardson ISD students have been selected to participate in the Emerging Artists program at the Cottonwood Art Festival, set for May 4-5 at Cottonwood Park. The students’ work will be on display and available for purchase at the festival.
One student will be the first recipient of the People’s Choice Award. The public may view the students’ work at the Eisemann Center’s Forrest & Virginia Green Mezzanine-Gallery through April 17 and vote for the winner on Cottonwood’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/CottonwoodArtFestival. The art will remain on display at the Eisemann Center through April 30.
The Emerging Artists program is designed to mentor students in the art world. Art teachers encourage their students to express themselves artistically and learn how to exhibit their work. Neighborhood Credit Union will award scholarships and prize ribbons at a reception honoring the art students.
For more information, visit www.CottonwoodArtFestival.com.
Learn 2 Live Green on Saturday
Learn 2 Live Green will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 13, at The Shops at Legacy in Plano, on Legacy Drive just east of the Dallas North Tollway. The City of Richardson is a sponsor of this family-friendly event, which will feature information on waste reduction, recycling, air quality, water conservation, green building and much more. The City of Richardson will have a booth inside the Angelika theater.
Attendees may pre-register for workshops on food waste composting, rainwater harvesting and container gardening. For more information or to register, visit www.learn2livegreen.com.
Paul Taylor Dance Company to Perform at Eisemann Center
The Paul Taylor Dance Company is returning to the Eisemann Center for the sixth time at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 13. Dances will include “Brandenburgs,” “The Uncommitted” and “Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rehearsal).”
Tickets cost $45 to $65 and are available by calling 972-744-4650 or online at www.eisemanncenter.com.
Plano Community Band to Perform at Eisemann
The Plano Community Band will perform Spring Pops! at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 14, at the Eisemann Center. The show will feature jazz vocalist Michele Todd. Admission is free. Reserve a spot by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting www.eisemanncenter.com. For more information, visit www.planoband.com.
Shakespeare Man at Library on Monday
Shakespeare Man, aka Robert Clover-Brown, will perform from 7 to 8 p.m. Monday, April 15, in the Richardson Public Library’s Basement Program Room. The free interactive show will explore the world of Shakespeare. It is presented by the Friends of the Richardson Public Library.
For more information, contact Janet Vance at 972-744-4376.
Artist to Give Demonstration at RCAS Meeting
Artist Maureen Brouillette will demonstrate her creative approach at the next meeting of the Richardson Civic Art Society at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, at the Richardson Public Library. Brouillette uses layers of paint and paper to combine reality with abstraction to yield visually exciting paintings. To see a preview of her work, visit www.mbrouillette.com.
RCAS meets in the Richardson Public Library basement on the third Tuesday of the month at 6:45 p.m. Anyone is welcome to attend. For more information, visit www.richardson-arts.org.
Richardson Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
Tiger is a neutered male, German shepherd mix, about 3 years old, up to date on all vaccinations and microchipped. He is a very active and playful guy who needs an active family. Tiger would do best in a household with no other pets and with older children. Contact the Animal Shelter (972-744-4480) about Tiger or other animals available for adoption.
For information about other animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/RichardsonAnimalShelter.
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