Mayor's Update
Tucson, Arizona May 6, 2012
Mayors' Water Conservation Challenge  
Press conference at Tucson Water's East Side Service Center: click for higher resolution. #180DayPlan  I held my first press conference in April at Tucson Water's East Side Service Center, a new, LEED-qualified facility that will save the city water, energy, time and money. We focused on water issues and the Mayors' Water Conservation Challenge, a friendly competition between cities to see who can be the most "water wise."

Tucson Water's East Side Service Center Tucson Water's new East Side Service Center means less travel time for service technicians to get to the east side of town. Reducing travel time saves fuel costs and increases "wrench time" - time spent fixing problems.

Mayors' Water Conservation Challenge This year, our first year participating in the challenge, Tucson placed sixth for our region and population. We were the only Arizona community, of any size, in the top 10. Tucsonans care about conserving water! Next year, get ready to move up in the rankings.

Promoting water conservation is part of the Mayor's 180 Day Work Plan.
Streetcar Construction Kickoff Celebration and Business Roundtable with Secretary LaHood
Construction Kickoff Celebration: click for higher resolution. #180DayPlan  Thursday, April 12th, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood flew to Tucson for the Construction Kickoff Celebration for Tucson's Modern Streetcar.

I was honored to MC the event, introducing speakers from our Congressional delegation, Rep. Raúl Grijalva and Rep. Ed Pastor, as well as my colleague and Chair of the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) Board, Mayor Satish Hiremath and University of Arizona President Eugene Sander.

Tucson has received the largest federal streetcar grant in the nation. The modern streetcar will be a transformative project for our city, driving economic development from the University through downtown to the West Side. It's estimated that the streetcar will create almost 3,000 construction-related jobs, plus another almost 1,500 long-term jobs for our region. The modern streetcar was part of the RTA plan approved by voters in 2006.

After the celebration, Secretary LaHood joined us for a roundtable with local business leaders at the Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. There, Secretary LaHood emphasized the importance of government, business and the community as a whole coming together to support projects like the modern streetcar. Cooperation and collaboration - working toward common goals - are how cities move forward. I agree, and am pleased to see so many come forward in good faith to help move Tucson forward.

Working to create jobs and holding business roundtables are part of the Mayor's 180 Day Work Plan.
City awarded lead hazard control grant
Press conference at El Rio: click for higher resolution.In March, the City of Tucson was awarded a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for lead hazard control. This funding will allow the city's Housing and Community Development Department to eliminate or control lead hazards in 190 homes.

The city works with El Rio Community Health Center, which screens children for elevated blood lead levels, Sonora Environmental Research Institute, which educates Spanish speakers on lead safety through its Promotoras de Salud (lay health workers), and other non-profit, government and for-profit entities in its lead hazard control programs.

Lead paint was banned by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1978, but is still found in older homes. As paint deteriorates, it’s released as dust. Lead-contaminated dust is a major source of lead poisoning today, and children are especially vulnerable. In high levels, lead damages the brain and nervous system, causing behavior and learning problems. In higher levels, it can cause death.

The HUD grant is good news, but the need is much greater than available funding. Over 120,000 homes in Tucson were built before 1978. So I was happy to devote my second press conference in April to the city's lead programs.

The EPA has brochures on renovating homes with lead paint in English and Spanish. To read more about lead, click here or here. To find an EPA-certified lead inspection or abatement contractor, click here.
Save a life - learn Chest-Compression-Only CPR
Awarding Michael Parente a plaque at the Tucson Fire Department's Annual Awards Ceremony: click for higher resolution.Tucson has many heroes in our police and fire departments. Last month, it was my pleasure to recognize a hero in our Environmental Services Department - and to call attention to the life-saving technique of Chest-Compression-Only CPR.

On January 6, 2012, while driving his route in a city collection truck, Michael Parente found a man unconscious on the sidewalk. He used his radio to call his supervisor, who called 911. Mr. Parente then started Chest-Compression-Only CPR - CPR for cardiac arrest that does not use mouth-to-mouth.

Tucson Fire Department paramedics arrived and continued Chest-Compression-Only CPR, transporting the man to the hospital, where lifesaving efforts continued - for a very long time.

Ultimately, to the great relief of family and friends, John Lund - the man on the sidewalk - was revived. That's him in the photo, second from the left, his arm around Mr. Parente.

After an extended hospital stay, Mr. Lund is doing extremely well. He has some heart damage, but doctors credit his survival and his lack of neurological damage to Chest-Compression-Only CPR - a technique developed at the University of Arizona's Sarver Heart Center and tested by Tucson Fire Department (TFD) personnel.

Tucson Fire Department's role In 2003, TFD approached researchers at the University of Arizona, asking if there was any way to increase survival rates for heart attack victims. Researchers there had developed Chest-Compression-Only CPR, but were having difficulty persuading the medical establishment to adopt this new protocol for cardiac arrest.

TFD partnered with the University to gather data, which showed that Chest-Compression-Only CPR, started by bystanders and continued all the way to the hospital, resulted in a 38% survival rate - as opposed to just a 9% survival rate for traditional CPR.

Learning this technique takes two minutes - literally. I urge Tucsonans to go to BeaLifesaverTucson.com and watch the video with Steve Kerr. You never know when someone - a stranger or a loved one - may need your help.
University of Arizona Poetry Center
Meeting a young poet and her teacher at the UA Poetry Center: click for higher resolution. #180DayPlan  A high quality education system is one of my goals for Tucson. One way I can help is by letting parents and teachers know about resources here in our community - and the University of Arizona's Poetry Center has K-12 education programs and resources for parents, teachers and children.

The Poetry Center is one of Tucson's cultural treasures. Last month, National Poetry Month, I visited and met a class of third graders from Miles Exploratory Learning Center who were on a field trip with their teacher. They were having a blast, reading and writing poetry.

The importance of reading well by 3rd grade It was great to see these kids having a good time, because learning to read and loving to read go hand in hand. Most children who read well by 3rd grade report reading for fun almost every day. And reading well by 3rd grade is a strong predictor of success in school. That's when students move from learning to read to reading to learn - when problems with reading start to affect everything else. Research shows that one in six children who don't read well by third grade drop out or fail to graduate high school on time. That's four times the rate for children who do read well.

Reading gains lost over summer It's important also to keep kids reading over the summer. That's when, on average, 2 months of progress in reading achievement is lost.

So parents, take advantage of the Poetry Center, your local library and other reading programs and resources this summer. That’s how we make sure when school starts, kids are ready to go. Even more important, that’s how we help kids develop a love of reading, and learning, that lasts a lifetime.

Promoting excellence in education is part of the Mayor's 180 Day Work Plan.
 
A bicycle and pedestrian friendly city: Bike to Work Week and Meet Me at Maynards
Bike to Work Week commute to City Hall: click for higher resolution. #180DayPlan  Monday, April 9, I started the day biking to work at City Hall and ended it walking around downtown with the Meet Me at Maynards folks.

The second week in April was Bike to Work Week, part of Bike Fest 2012, a collaborative effort between the City of Tucson, Pima County, the Pima Association of Governments, Living Streets Alliance and others. I was happy to kick things off with a group from Living Streets Alliance and the Tucson-Pima County Bicycle Advisory Committee.

After work, I joined the Meet Me At Maynards folks for their weekly "social walk/run" through downtown. Starting at the Hotel Congress, the loop through downtown makes for a nice hike with friends. And there was good music from The Determined Luddites as a send-off. I like that name.

Meet Me at Maynards happens every Monday after work and your bike is just waiting for you to take it for a spin. Get active and enjoy Tucson.

Helping make Tucson a walkable, bikeable city is part of the Mayor's 180 Day Work Plan.
Solar Power 101
Kill A WattEZ available at the Pima Co. Public Library: click for higher resolution. #180DayPlan  April's Solar Power 101 was preceded by a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Miller-Golf Links Library. A solar kiosk and solar materials were on display, purchased for the library with funds donated by the Office of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

The solar materials include books, of course, but also available for check out is something you plug in to an appliance at home to find out how much energy it uses (the "Kill A WattEZ").

The solar kiosk shows, in real time, how much electricity City of Tucson solar installations are generating. It's impressive!

Be sure and join us for a Solar Power 101. There's something for everyone who's curious about solar.

Next Solar Power 101
When: Wednesday, May 23, 2012, 6-7:30 p.m.
Where: Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Lower Level Meeting Room, 101 N. Stone Ave. For a map, click here.

Promoting solar power is part of the Mayor's 180 Day Work Plan.
Town Halls
Hearing from Tucsonans at the Ward 4 Town Hall: click for higher resolution. #180DayPlan  Later this month, I will have held Town Halls in all six City Wards, part of my 180 Day Work Plan.

Many thanks to my colleagues on the City Council for organizing these. I always appreciate the opportunity to hear from Tucsonans.

I hope you can join me at my next Town Hall. I look forward to hearing your ideas and concerns.

Next Town Hall
When:
Thursday, May 24, 2012, 6-7 p.m.
Where: Fred G. Acosta Job Corps Center, 901 S. Campbell Ave. For a map, click here

Holding a Town Hall in every Ward is part of the Mayor's 180 Day Work Plan.
Business roundtables
Meeting with the Arizona Technology Council: click for higher resolution. #180DayPlan  I continued business roundtables in April, with the Arizona Technology Council, the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club of Tucson and the Metropolitan Pima Alliance.

My Business Advocate, Maricela Solis, and I continue to work with City Manager Richard Miranda, the rest of the city's economic development team, and city staff to address concerns and work on improvements to city services.

Holding business roundtables is part of the Mayor's 180 Day Work Plan.
Hospital Tours
Touring St. Joseph's Hospital.April was a month of hospital tours. Tucson has a number of fine hospitals, including teaching hospitals and clinical research facilities. I visited Carondelet's Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital, Tucson Medical Center's West Campus redevelopment, which includes the four-story Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower, and University Medical Center's Level One Trauma Center - the latter with world-renowned Dr. Peter Rhee.

I look forward to working with our healthcare sector. Not only do they provide critical care to Tucsonans; they're a vital part of Tucson's economic future as a Science City.
Neon Art Walk
Neon Art Walk: click for higher resolution.A colorful part of Tucson's past is on display at the Neon Art Walk on Drachman between Stone and Oracle. The Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation partnered with Pima Community College (PCC), the City of Tucson, and many others to make this happen. Changes to the city's sign code allowed these historic signs to be restored and moved to their new location.

PCC hosted a Sock Hop and a vintage fashion and car show to celebrate the lighting of the signs. Check it out sometime after sunset.
Adopt a greyhound ... or another shelter animal
With Zachary, a rescued greyhound: click for higher resolution.It's always a pleasure to present proclamations at City Hall.

When the guest of honor is not allowed to come inside the building, however, you just have to step outside.

This is Zachary, a retired racing greyhound now enjoying life as a bit of a couch potato. He was adopted through the efforts of Southern Arizona Greyhound Adoption, the organization to whom I presented the proclamation.

If you're thinking of adding a cat or dog to the family, consider adopting from a shelter or rescue group. And don't rule out greyhounds. They're good dogs too.
Follow the Mayor on Facebook or Twitter.