newsnet - February 28, 11:47 am
BABY LIONS ON EXHIBIT AT REID PARK ZOO - The Zoo's two-month-old African lion cubs now are on public display daily. The four cubs (Baako, Jelani, Sango, Nayo) and their mother, Kaya, will have access to the exhibit each day from 9 a.m. until noon, but they may head inside for periodic naps. Shombay, the father, will be in the exhibit from noon - 4 p.m. If you can't make it to the Reid Park Zoo right away, you can see the cubs on the lion webcam. TUCSON AND PIMA COUNTY HOSTING HUNDREDS OF COLLEGE SOFTBALL/BASEBALL GAMES NEXT MONTH - For the fourth consecutive year, the Tucson Invitational Games is bringing dozens of college softball games to Tucson's Lincoln Regional Park, while baseball teams will play at Pima County's Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium and the seven baseball fields at Kino Sports Complex South. Beginning tomorrow, through March 29, about 125 teams from across the country will train and compete at both venues. Team members, coaches, families and fans will be staying at local hotels and visiting area restaurants and attractions. Organizers estimate that the economic impact of the games is nearly $8 million for the Metro Tucson area. The teams and their schedules are available on the Tucson Invitational Games website. SWEETWATER WETLANDS CONTROLLED BURN SET FOR NEXT WEEK - The Sweetwater Wetlands annual controlled burn is scheduled for Tuesday, meaning the area will be closed to the public that day. This is the 13th year for the burn, coordinated by Tucson Water and the Tucson Fire Department. The burn is an important part of mosquito abatement and Wetlands preservation. The burn removes much of the thatched, dead vegetation produced by freezing winter temperatures. Unless the dead vegetation is burned off, the accumulated thatch becomes a “shelter” which protects aquatic mosquito larvae during their development. Sweetwater Wetlands is expected to reopen to the public on Wednesday. Read more about the controlled burn. CITY OF TUCSON JOINS PIMA COUNTY IN TIRE INFLATION EDUCATION CAMPAIGN - The Pima County Department of Environmental Quality’s (PDEQ) Clean Air Program is urging people to keep their vehicle's tires properly inflated to improve gas mileage, while also prolonging tire life and saving money. PDEQ says low tires increase the amount of tire surface on the road, creating more resistance. Because it takes more energy to keep the vehicle moving, more fuel is burned, causing an increase in air pollution and greenhouse gases emitted from the tailpipe. PDEQ is teaming with the City of Tucson's Office of Conservation and Sustainable Development, Pima Association of Government's Clean Cities Program and Jack Furrier's Tire and Auto Care in a challenge to "Pump Up Your MPG." Motorists who sign up to check their tires regularly have a chance to win various prizes. Learn more from PDEQ. JOB OPPORTUNITY: WATER ADMINISTRATOR FOR PLANNING AND ENGINEERING - The Planning and Engineering Administrator acts as the Chief Planner, overseeing Water Resources Management, System Planning, System and Development, and Mapping/GIS. Some of the minimum qualifications include a Bachelor's degree in Business or Public Administration, Engineering, Chemistry, Hydrology, or a closely related field, and five years of relevant supervisory management experience developing and implementing water management plans, programs and goals. View the job listing.
newsnet - February 27, 2:51 pm
GOVERNOR BREWER VETOES CONTROVERSIAL BILL - In a decision attracting national attention, Gov. Jan Brewer yesterday vetoed SB 1062, which critics claimed would have allowed businesses to refuse service to LGBT people and others. Supporters of the bill claimed it would have expanded religious protections in state law. At a news conference, Brewer said she listened to both sides' arguments before her veto. She said the bill did not address a specific and present concern related to religious liberty and was broadly worded, which could have resulted in "unintended and negative consequences." Read more from azcentral.com. Brewer's statement to media Brewer's veto letter STATE OF THE CITY: 'TUCSON IN TRANSITION' - Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild yesterday delivered his third State of the City address, outlining the City's progress and his vision for the future. While touting successes in downtown redevelopment, helping homeless veterans and beginning the work to fix roads, Rothschild said the City is in transition and encouraged public/private partnerships to help in the areas of housing, literacy and the environment. He also expanded on his two-year plan for Tucson's economy, which he calls the Five Ts: technology, trade, transportation, tourism and teaching. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star. UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA STUDENTS TO HELP WITH MARKETING STREETCAR - A UA class is partnering with the City of Tucson, creating a marketing campaign for the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar. The Integrated Marketing Communications class in the Eller College of Management has been hosting guest speakers, including Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, downtown business owners, members of the Fourth Avenue Merchants Association and officials from the Tucson Department of Transportation. The speakers help the students gain an understanding of the impact the streetcar will have on the city, said Ed Ackerley, who teaches the class. The students are responsible for developing marketing ideas they will share with the City, streetcar management, and businesses and other programs affected by the streetcar, such as Arizona Athletics. City officials hope to have the streetcar open to passengers in July. Read more from the Arizona Daily Wildcat.
KIDICAL MASS SATURDAY - Kidical Mass is a safe, fun bike ride for kids and adults. The family-friendly rides take people through the city to highlight routes that connect different parts of our community. All types of bicycles are welcome and those under the age of 18 must wear a helmet. Coordinated through Living Streets Alliance and El Grupo Youth Cycling, the event is this Saturday, from noon - 2 p.m., starting at 600 N. 9th Ave. Participants will have the opportunity to tour the Dunbar Spring and Barrio Anita neighborhoods. The bike rides first started in Eugene, Oregon in 2008 and now take place in more than a dozen cities.
DOWNLOAD APP TO REPORT GRAFFITI IN TUCSON - Graffiti Protective Coatings and the City of Tucson have a smartphone application for reporting graffiti. MyTucson is a free download on the iPhone App Store and Google Play for Android. City of Tucson apps Watch a University of Arizona PSA about the app.
ward1 - February 26, 1:50 pm
newsnet - February 26, 12:39 pm
ARIZONANS AWAIT DECISION BY GOVERNOR ON CONTROVERSIAL BILL - Many Arizonans and now people across the country are waiting to see if Gov. Jan Brewer signs or vetoes SB 1062. Supporters of the bill claim it would expand religious protections in state law. Critics claim the bill would allow businesses to discriminate and refuse service to LGBT people and others. According to state law, Gov. Brewer has until the end of the day on Saturday to sign the bill, veto it, or allow it to become law without her signature. Meanwhile, the Human Rights Campaign recently examined 137 U.S. cities, grading each area's laws and policies for LGBT individuals based on 47 criteria is six categories. Tucson scored 83 out of 100 points, while Phoenix scored 70. See the map from Governing. You can read more about SB 1062 from azcentral.com and and read text of SB 1062.
PIMA COUNTY LAUNCHES MAPPING TOOL TO HELP WITH HEALTHCARE ENROLLMENT - The Pima County Heath Department recently added a new mapping tool to its website to help residents locate Affordable Care Act (ACA) resources near their homes. Pima County Health Department Director, Dr. Francisco Garcia, says the primary goal of the interactive website is to take people to "the right place," meaning either to a federal site or state site where they can enroll for health insurance through the Marketplace. There also is a phone number for those who would rather speak to a person directly, (520) 243-7770 option #3. This Saturday, Pima County is hosting an event where health professionals will be providing free health insurance enrollment assistance. "Cover Pima County!" will be in 14 locations throughout the County at different times of the day. Read more from Arizona Public Media.
UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA FILLS NEW VICE PRESIDENT POSITION - A senior administrator from Texas has been hired as the new UA Vice President for Strategic Planning and Analysis. Barbara White Bryson will be responsible for setting and meeting progress goals of the school's new strategic plan. The plan, approved a few months ago, aims to create a bigger, better institution with more job-creating potential over the next decade. Bryson will start her job next month, earning $260,000 a year. As Associate Vice President for Facilities, Engineering & Planning at Rice University, Bryson led project management, facilities, engineering and central plant operations, and oversaw major construction programs. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.
NOMINATIONS UNDERWAY FOR BICYCLE-RELATED AWARDS - The Tucson-Pima County Bicycle Advisory Committee (T-PCBAC) is seeking nominations for its fifth annual Bicycling Advocate of the Year, Bicycle Commuter of the Year, and Bicycle Friendly Business of the Year awards. Nominations are due by March 5th and should include a couple of paragraphs in support of the nominees, along with contact information. Nominations should be submitted via email to T-PCBAC Chair Ian Johnson at email@example.com.
NEED HELP STARTING OR EXPANDING A BUSINESS IN TUCSON? CALL THE SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE LINE - The City of Tucson's Small Business Assistance Line, (520) 837-4100, is available from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Help is available in both English and Spanish. Staff from the City Manager's Office of Economic Initiatives answer the calls. The Small Business Assistance Line is one of a number of City initiatives, along with 21 new business incentives, streamlined permit processes and more, to make the City of Tucson more business-friendly.
ward3 - February 26, 12:05 pm
Karin's Note: Wednesday, February 26, 2014
-Ward 3 Events -Upcoming Area Neighborhood and Coalition Meeting(s) -Citywide Events -Did You Know?
Mayor and Council Action
newsnet - February 25, 11:57 am
SOUTHERN ARIZONA CONGRESSMAN VOWS FIGHT TO SAVE A-10 FLEET - U.S. Rep. Ron Barber says he'll fight to keep the A-10 Warthog flying, calling the aircraft "crucial to our community, to Davis-Monthan, and to the country at large." The Pentagon says cutting the plane would save $3.5 billion over five years. However, Barber said yesterday it would only save $700,000 "after having already spent $1 billion to upgrade" the attack aircraft. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced yesterday that the Pentagon would cut the A-10 fighter jet, also known as the Thunderbolt, as part of sweeping cuts to the proposed defense budget for Fiscal Year 2015. DM reported in 2012 that the A-10 was responsible for $1.1 billion in economic impact for the Tucson area. Barber says he'll fight to make sure the A-10 cuts don't become reality. Read more from Tucson Sentinel. THE DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP FAÇADE PROGRAM COMPLETES LATEST FACADE IMPROVEMENT - Downtown revitalization continues with the addition of the 9th new façade made possible by a grant through the Downtown Tucson Partnership. Tucson 12 profiles the façade program, showing the latest addition at City High School. FEDERAL DEPORTATIONS REDUCED IN 2013 - The federal government deported 368,644 people last fiscal year, a 10 percent decrease from the previous year and the first time deportations dropped since 2008. The latest number includes 34,868 people deported by Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) operations in Arizona, a nearly 12 percent drop from the year before. ICE reports part of the reason for the decline is that it is now focusing more attention on catching and removing serious criminals, whose cases take more time. In addition, the Obama administration now has policies allowing undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children, known as “dreamers,” to apply for protection from deportation, further reducing the number of people who can be deported. Read more from the Arizona Republic. MINIMUM WAGE HIKE WOULD HAVE VARYING EFFECTS BY STATE - While President Obama's call last month to raise the federal minimum wage would benefit workers in many states, not every employee in that pay grade would benefit. The federal rate has been frozen at $7.25 an hour since 2009, and many states have higher minimum pay in effect. The U.S. Labor Department estimates 3.3 million Americans earned wages at or below the federal rate last year, accounting for 4.3 percent of the hourly workforce. At the beginning of this year, 13 states raised their wage requirements, either through legislation, ballot initiatives or annual inflation adjustments. About half of states mandate wages higher than the federal rate for most employers. However, less than two percent of hourly workers earned average wages of $7.25 or less in Oregon, California and Washington. Read more from Governing. PHOENIX CITY COUNCIL TO HEAR PUBLIC COMMENTS EARLIER - The Phoenix City Council voted recently to make public comments the first item at its regular meetings. Known as the “Citizen Comment Session,” speakers are generally given a few minutes at council meetings to talk about any issue of their choosing. Previously, the Council heard public comments right after its meetings adjourned and the TV cameras went off, and it wasn’t uncommon for a few council members to leave before residents finished speaking. The City made the changes in response to a petition filed by a group of residents who said holding the public-comment session at the end of the meeting showed City leaders don’t respect their input. Council members will not be required to attend the public comment sessions. However, what is new for Phoenix is old in Tucson. The Tucson City Council's "Call to the Audience" regularly precedes their consideration of legislative agenda items in order to benefit from public comment before taking action. Read more from azcentral.com.
ward5 - February 25, 10:46 am
By Tucson Councilmember Richard Fimbres
Tucson Vice Mayor Shirley Scott and I took part in the unfurling and hanging of the IGBO Flag at Tucson Bowl. IGBO stands for the International Gay Bowling Organization, a 34 year old organization of LGBT and straight supportive bowlers with 5,000 members and bowling leagues worldwide.
newsnet - February 21, 10:42 am
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS SOLICITED FOR CITY OF TUCSON GRANTS - The City is accepting proposals for Economic and Workforce Development Grants, and Special Events Grants for Fiscal Year 2015. The development proposals should include items for small business and development, job training and education programs for adults, at-risk youth, and at-risk adults. Special events grants will be awarded to those who help develop the local economy via emerging and established special events that build the community, economy and tourism. Proposals are due no later than Friday, March 21, 2014 at 4 p.m. Learn more about the grants.
PIMA COUNTY AWARDED GRANT TO HELP PEOPLE WHO HAVE LOST THEIR HOMES - The $270,000 award - funded through National Mortgage Settlement funds via the Arizona Attorney General's Office - will help pay for job search and training services for people who lost (or are at risk of losing) their homes to foreclosure. It is also available to help evicted renters, and people in transitional housing programs because of foreclosure or eviction, said Dorothée Harmon, program manager with Pima County One Stop Career Center. The program is expected to begin in a few months. Read more from Arizona Public Media. FORUM ON AFFORDABLE CARE ACT IN TUCSON TOMORROW - The healthcare forum will offer information about the Health Insurance Marketplace, including ways to check eligibility, find a plan, and enroll. Tucson State Representatives Sally Ann Gonzales and Marcario Saldate are hosting the two-hour forum, which begins at 10 a.m. at the Valencia Library, 202 W. Valencia Rd. MEDICAL PARTNERSHIP IN ARIZONA COULD LEAD TO ELECTRONIC RECORDS SHARING FOR PATIENTS - Tucson-based Health Information Network of Arizona is affiliating with nonprofit Phoenix-based Arizona Health-e Connection. The combined group will operate under the umbrella of Arizona Health-e Connection, which will be based in Phoenix. Company officials say the effort intends to interface various existing patient medical record systems across the state, meaning medical providers around the country, and eventually beyond, would be able to electronically access health records of consenting Arizonans. The system would allow out-of-state doctors treating an Arizonan in an emergency to pull up that patient's medical records, lessening the chances of unnecessary testing or prescribing medication that could cause harm. Read more from Capitol Media Services via the Arizona Daily Star. HOW TO REPORT TRANSPORTATION PROBLEMS - Is there a pothole you'd like to see fixed? Is a street sign missing? Is a tree limb hanging too close over a roadway or sidewalk? You can report these issues to the Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT), (520) 791-3154, or email the exact location to firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can use the SeeClickFix website and app for Android and iOS.
newsnet - February 20, 11:29 am
TUCSON CITY COUNCIL TO CONSIDER SUN TRAN FARE HIKE AND SERVICE CHANGES - Facing a $33 million project budget deficit next year, the Mayor and Tucson City Council yesterday voted to begin the process to potentially increase fares and implement service changes. Services changes being considered, which could result in $2.4 million in savings, would impact individual routes differently by adjusting the service level, rerouting, or restructuring Sun Tran regular routes, including express routes. Several different options to increase transit fares are being proposed with the final amount to be determined after a vetting process and public hearing. A final vote on service changes and fare increases is expected before the end of June 2014. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star and view the agenda items.
CITY ASKS FEDS TO AMEND STREETCAR MANDATE - City of Tucson officials want to begin fare service in late July for the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar, but meeting that target date will require permission from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The FTA mandates the use of eight streetcars - six in operation and two in reserve. To date, only four streetcars are undergoing testing in Tucson due to delays by United Streetcar, the vehicle manufacturer. SunLink Co-Manager Andrew Quigley says the City is asking for permission to operate with four or six vehicles, while the remaining ones continue testing. Even though the City expects to receive all of its cars by early May, rigorous testing standards will prevent all eight from being ready for service by the middle of summer. The Downtown Tucson Partnership estimates the $200 million American-made streetcar project already has helped generate $800 million in public and private investment along the route, through downtown and the University of Arizona. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star. TUCSON RODEO COMPETITION RUNS THROUGH SUNDAY - Competition at the Tucson Rodeo, also known as La Fiesta de los Vaqueros, began last weekend and continues through Sunday at the Tucson Rodeo Grounds, 4823 S. 6th Ave. This morning's 89th Annual Rodeo Parade was the official welcoming event for the rodeo, which features more than 650 contestants from the United States and Canada, competing for more than $460,000 in prize money. Tucson Rodeo: 2014 TUCSON TRAVEL GUIDE AVAILABLE NOW - This year's edition of the Tucson Official Travel Guide is ready for distribution. The magazine-style print version contains 80 pages of information on things to do and see in Tucson and southern Arizona. The complimentary guide, published this month, can be downloaded online at VisitTucson.org or requested for mail by calling Tucson Visitor Information at (800) 638-8350. A digital version for smartphone use will be available later this month. GET THE LATEST TUCSON NEWS AND INFORMATION ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER - "Like" the City of Tucson on Facebook to get the latest news, community updates and fun facts about Tucson local government and our community. You can also "Follow" the City of Tucson on Twitter for timely, concise updates throughout the day.
transportation - February 20, 8:54 am
On Thursday, February 20, 2014, Tucson will host the 89th Annual Tucson Rodeo Parade. The Parade begins at 9 a.m. at Ajo Way and Park Avenue, travels south on Park Avenue to Irvington Road, then turns west on Irvington Road and ends at Sixth Avenue. More information on the Rodeo Parade may be found at http://www.tucsonrodeoparade.org . Below is the vehicular travel restrictions associated with this event.