NewsNet 04-18-14

SPLASH PADS ARE OPEN - The splash pads at Catalina Park (900 N. Fourth Ave.) and Marty Birdman Center/Balboa Heights Park (2536 N. Castro Avenue) opened today at 7 a.m. and will remain open 7 a.m. to dusk each day through the summer. Catalina Park features a covered playground, accessible walkways and a manual activation system to allow residents to turn on water features. Marty Birdman Center/Balboa Heights Park has a ramada, playground and basketball court. For more information, visit the City of Tucson Parks and Recreation website.

U.S. CONFERENCE OF MAYORS SELECTS NEW PRESIDENT - Sacramento Mayor -and former Phoenix Suns' All-Star point guard - Kevin Johnson will serve as the 72nd President of the United States Conference of Mayors.  He replaces Scott Smith of Mesa, who resigned in order to run for Governor of Arizona. “During my presidency, we will engage in a full-court press in Washington so we can get the dollars we need to get things done," Johnson said. "We will unleash our political capital to create new partnerships, create jobs, and keep the momentum going so that America maintains its competitive advantage in the global economy." The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more.

CITY OF TUCSON SEEKING HISTORIC HOMES TO BE PART OF SUSTAINABILITY TOUR - The City of Tucson’s Historic Preservation and Sustainability programs are organizing the Sustainable Historic Home Tour next weekend, but more homes are needed. To be included on the tour, a home must be a contributing property in a National Register of Historic Places historic district. In addition, the home must showcase retrofit treatments that meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and, where applicable, meet the requirements of local Historic Preservation Zone Design Guidelines. Also, all homes on the tour must address at least one of the following; energy efficiency, water conservation, or use or reuse of responsible building materials. For more information contact Jennifer Levstick at (520) 837-6961.

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 a.m. to 5 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.
Read more about the Small Business Assistance Line:

BE PREPARED WHEN YOU HIKE IN THE WARMER WEATHER - It's heating up outside and that means it's time to be prepared for temperatures in the 90s and above. In this week's "No Bad Days with Barrett" episode, Tucson Fire Captain Barrett Baker and his fellow firefighters offer tips on how to stay safe outdoors.

 

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NewsNet 04-17-14

TUCSON NAMED A TOP 10 'BEST U.S. CYCLING TOWN' - Tucson ranks 7th in the 10Best.com website rankings. The website, a division of USA Today Travel, cites Tucson's mild winter temperatures and dry conditions as ideal times to cycle. It also mentions The Loop, 700 miles of bike lanes and beautiful scenery. Davis, Calif. earned the top ranking in the survey.

GROCERY STORE ON ITS WAY TO DOWNTOWN - Downtown Tucson this year could see the opening of its first full-service grocery store in 42 years. The former, and current, owners of the Rincon Market are joining forces to open a 6,000-square-foot grocery store in the building that last housed the Beowulf Alley Theatre, 11 S. Sixth Ave. The market plans to stock a full line of meat, produce, and dairy products. “It is the one piece that has been missing from getting out of your car and living an urban lifestyle,” said Michael Keith, CEO of the Downtown Tucson Partnership. “This is really a turning point for downtown,” Keith said. “This is the moment when all future housing projects and the Ronstadt transit (project) become viable in a way they weren’t before.” Owners say with student housing complexes up and running, coupled with the pending SunLink Modern Streetcar and a potential hotel, strong demand for new development has arrived. The store will be called Johnny Gibson’s Downtown Market, in honor of the late entrepreneur who maintained a business presence downtown between 1949 and 2001. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.

TUCSON IS AMONG BEST CITIES FOR ASTHMA SUFFERERS - A consumer advocacy site that chronicles health care cost information, analyzed available data on asthma prevalence, air quality, cost, and access to asthma care in the 50 largest U.S. cities to compile its list of Best and Worst Cities for Asthma Sufferers. NerdWallet Health ranked Tucson as the 4th best city for those with asthma. The study says out-of-pocket asthma drug costs in Tucson are relatively low, and the American Lung Association gave Tucson an “A” grade in particulate air pollution. Phoenix was among the ten worst cities for asthma sufferers.

EGGSTRAVAGANZA THIS WEEKEND - The Tucson Parks and Recreation Department and Tucson Water present the 15th Annual Eggstravaganza this Saturday, 10 a.m. -1 p.m. at Mansfield Park, 2000 N. Fourth Ave. This free, annual community-wide event is expected to attract more than 2,000 Tucson children and their families. Activities include music, carnival games, inflatables, prizes, egg hunts, and the Easter Bunny. A variety of foods will be available for purchase through local vendors.

FREE ENTRY TO NATIONAL PARKS THIS WEEKEND - It'll be free this weekend to access national parks and monuments, in honor of National Park Week, which runs April 19 - 27. Park entrance fees are waived for 133 parks out of the 401 in the National Park system. The other 268 never charge entrance fees. Free admission includes the Grand Canyon, Saguaro National Park, Organ Pipe Catus National Monument and other sites in Arizona. Read more from Tucson News Now, and view the National Park Service list of national parks.

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NewsNet 04-16-14

REID PARK ZOO RECEIVES ASSOCIATION OF ZOOS AND AQUARIUM ACCREDITATION -  The Reid Park Zoo recently earned a five-year re-accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The Zoo underwent a review and inspection in January, demonstrating how it meets or exceeds professional standards for excellence in animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education, and safety. Last month, Reid Park Zoo officials traveled to Memphis, Tennessee for a hearing by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission. "AZA accreditation validates our efforts, and the Zoo’s staff, volunteers, and supporters should be commended for making Reid Park Zoo one of the best zoos of its size in the nation,” said Zoo Administrator Jason Jacobs.

GOVERNOR SIGNS LAW ALLOWING UNANNOUNCED INSPECTIONS OF ARIZONA ABORTION CLINICS - Gov. Jan Brewer signed legislation yesterday permitting the state health department to make unannounced inspections of abortion clinics without first getting a warrant from a judge. Backers of HB 2284 said there is no reason to exempt abortion clinics from the same regulations that apply to all other health care facilities. Opponents said the clinics need protection because there is a heightened need for privacy for patients and staff. A federal appeals court voided an identical provision in 2004, ruling the statute’s authorization of “boundless, warrantless search of physicians’ offices” by state health officials violates constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure. Cathi Herrod, president of the anti-abortion Center for Arizona Policy, which helped write the measure, said state regulatory policies have changed since then, legitimizing this version of the law. Read more from Capitol Media Services via the Arizona Daily Star.

REPORT: DETROIT PENSION BOARDS AGREE TO CUTS THAT COULD HELP CITY EXIT BANKRUPTCY - Negotiators for Detroit pension boards agreed yesterday to retiree benefit cuts that were lower than initially proposed. The agreement could help resolve Detroit’s historic Chapter 9 bankruptcy and position the City to start reinvesting in city services to its citizens. The deal would require civilian retirees to accept a 4.5 percent cut to their monthly pension checks and the elimination of cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increases, while police and fire retirees would get no cuts to monthly checks but absorb a reduction in COLA increases, the sources said. Pension board trustees still must sign off on the deal, and a U.S. government committee officially appointed to represent Detroit retirees is still weighing whether to support the City’s proposal. Read more from Governing.

IT'S NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS WEEK - The City of Tucson is honoring public safety dispatchers, 911 operators, and police service operators on National Telecommunications Week. The week is dedicated to public safety telecommunicators who provide 911 emergency assistance to citizens every day and night. Public safety agencies encourage citizens to recognize and celebrate the dedicated service provided by Tucson's telecommunicators. Read the news release.

WATER AWARENESS PRESENTATIONS CONTINUE - April is Water Awareness Month in Arizona, and Tucson Water and several Tucson City Council Members are hosting public sessions to discuss water. Topics include present and future water resources, long-range planning, water quality and safety, investment in infrastructure and technology, and drought. The next session, co-hosted by Ward 4 Council Member Shirley Scott, will be held tomorrow from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Clements Recreation Center (Multi-Purpose Room), 8155 E. Ponciana Drive. For more information, call the Ward 4 Council Office, (520) 791-3199. Read the news release.
 

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NewsNet 04-15-14

CITY OF PHOENIX TO DEBATE PROPOSED HIKES IN TAXES AND FEES - The Phoenix Mayor and City Council is expected to discuss Phoenix City Manager Ed Zuercher's proposal to increase taxes and fees by about $12 million next fiscal year to help close the City's projected $37.7 million budget deficit next week. The largest source of revenue would be an additional tax of up to $1.50 per month, based on water meter size, added to city residents' bills for water, sewer and trash service. Other proposed revenue increases include raising fees to use municipal recreation and senior centers, which leaders say could close if the City doesn't balance its budget. Read more from azcentral.

PUBLIC SAFETY AGENCIES NOW CAN COMMUNICATE BETTER WITH EACH OTHER -  More than 30 public-safety agencies — including the Tucson Police and Fire Departments, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department and seven county hospitals — have the ability to communicate with one another during emergencies now that the County's Emergency Communications and Operations Center is complete. The Pima County Wireless Integrated Network (PCWIN) and the Emergency Communications and Operations Center — both funded by County bonds — were first envisioned in 2001, when the 9/11 attacks prompted a discussion among officials about the need for all first responders to be able to easily communicate with one another. The new Center houses dispatch centers for the Sheriff’s Department and six fire districts. Upgrades also were made to the City of Tucson's Thomas O. Price Service Center, which can serve as a backup for County dispatch. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star and Pima County.

UA OPENS CENTER FOR VETERANS STUDYING MEDICINE - In what is believed to be the first center of its kind, the University of Arizona recently held a grand opening ceremony for the Veterans Education and Transition Services (VETS) Center at the Arizona Health Science Center in Tucson. With the help of trained student veterans, VETS helps transition veterans into the university setting while also providing resources for those pursuing careers in the health industry. The UA says its veteran population has grown to nearly 1,200, an 83 percent increase in 13 years. Among those in attendance at the dedication were Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly, a veteran and retired astronaut. Read more from KTAR and UA News.

JOB OPPORTUNITY: WATER SYSTEM OPERATOR - Tucson Water is seeking three experienced operators to be part of the Water Operations Treatment Instrumentation & Control Section. This section is responsible for the central control operations of the potable and reclaimed water system. Application deadline is May 2, 2014. Read the job description.

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.

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NewsNet 04-14-14

FREE TAX ASSISTANCE FOR CERTAIN LAST-MINUTE FILERS - Tomorrow, April 15th, is the deadline for filing state and federal income taxes. The Pio Decimo Center, 878 S. 7th Ave., is offering free filing help for seniors, people with low-to-moderate incomes (earning less than $55,000), disabled individuals and those who speak English as a second language. The Center will be open from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. tomorrow. The free service is part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, sponsored by the United Way of Southern Arizona and other partners. Volunteer tax preparers with VITA are trained and tested by the IRS. Read more from Tucson News Now and take a look at where your [federal] tax dollars go, in one chart.

HEALTH INSURANCE ENROLLMENT GRACE PERIOD ENDS TOMORROW - Arizonans and others who started, but did not finish, applications to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have until tomorrow to finish the process. Heavy traffic at the Health Insurance Marketplace website and call center were just a couple of reasons why some people couldn't finish the process before the March 31 deadline. Applicants who finish enrollment and pay today will have coverage beginning May 1. The grace period applies only to those who started the process before the deadline. Those who haven't already signed up won't be able to do so until November 2014. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.

TRAFFIC ALERT: SUN LINK HIGH-SPEED STREETCAR TESTING - Sun Link Streetcar staff will conduct high-speed testing beginning tonight on University Boulevard, between Fourth Avenue and Euclid Avenue. Testing will be conducted from 11 p.m. - 5 a.m., through Wednesday. During that time, University Boulevard will be closed from Fourth Avenue to Euclid Avenue and parking will not be permitted. Some side streets and alleys near the intersection will be closed as well. Read the news release.

CITY OF TUCSON FLEET AMONG TOP 100 BEST FLEETS IN THE NATION - The City of Tucson’s Fleet Services Division ranked 15th on the 2014 list of Top 100 Best Fleets in North America by the "100 Best Fleets" Program. The recognition acknowledges peak performing public sector vehicle fleet operations in North America. Tucson's fleet was acknowledged for its operational efficiency, significant savings and increased fleet availability. The Fleet Services Division operates the City’s motor pool, providing maintenance and repair to police cars, garbage trucks, and other motor vehicles, so that city employees can serve Tucson citizens every day and night. Read the news release.

IT'S BEE SEASON, SO BE PREPARED - As the temperatures warm, bees are emerging. In the latest segment of KGUN9's "No Bad Days with Barrett," Tucson Fire Captain Barrett Baker and fellow firefighters offer tips on how to prevent bee stings.
 

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NewsNet 04-11-14

ARIZONA SCORES ABOVE AVERAGE IN SPENDING TRANSPARENCY - Arizona earned a "B" in a state spending transparency evaluation by the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG). The State Treasurer’s office has an online, searchable database where anyone can see how Arizona is spending taxpayer money. The "B" grade, with a score of 84 out of 100, puts Arizona ahead of 31 other states for its level of transparency in state spending records availability. The organization looks for checkbook-level detail of all state expenses and easy online access to the information. No state earned a perfect score, but PIRG reports eight received "A" grades. Read more from the Arizona Public Media.

D-M ECONOMIC IMPACT REDUCED - Davis-Monthan Air Force Base reported an estimated local economic impact of $973 million in the 2013 fiscal year.  This amount is down from about $1.14 billion the prior year, and is largely due to Pentagon budget cuts. The D-M economic analysis released yesterday also found that the base had a net reduction of $90 million in total payroll, including both military and civilian personnel and civilian furloughs, said Maj. Gerald Stevenson, commander of the 355th Comptroller Squadron at D-M. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.

THUNDERBIRDS TO PERFORM AT D-M OPEN HOUSE - The United States Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, also known as the Thunderbirds, will perform tomorrow and Sunday at Davis Monthan Air Force Base's Open House. The Thunderbirds aerial demonstrations include a mix of formation flying and solo routines. The show runs about 75 minutes. Gates open at 9 a.m. both days. Demonstrations begin at 11 a.m. The Thunderbirds perform at 2 p.m.
 

STROKE SCREENINGS TOMORROW AT VARIOUS LOCATIONS - A number of Tucson-area hospitals are teaming up tomorrow to offer free stroke screenings. From 8 a.m. - noon, doctors will help people evaluate their risk of having a stroke and offer prevention tips. The screenings will include testing oxygen levels, blood pressure, pulse, blood sugar, and cholesterol. For best results on the cholesterol test, officials suggest not eating eight hours prior to the test. Strokes can be deadly or debilitating and can hit anyone at any age. Read more from Tucson News Now.

HOW TO MANAGE HARD WATER AND OTHER TIPS FROM TUCSON WATER - Get tips on how to manage hard water, increase dishwasher efficiency, flush your water heater, check faucet aerators and more. Information is available in English and Spanish. You can download, print, or request a mailed copy of the tips. You can also learn how to pay your water bill online and stop and start service. Read more at Tucson Water.

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NewsNet 04-10-14

WASTEWATER ODORS MITIGATED NEAR I-10 AND INA ROAD - Pima County recently completed more than $600 million worth of projects to upgrade its wastewater treatment plants and make other improvements at the facilities. The Regional Optimization Master Plan includes construction of the new Agua Nueva Water Reclamation Facility to replace the old Roger Road plant. That plant drew the ire of nearby residents and I-10 travelers for the odor it emitted. The Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department also upgraded and expanded the newly-renamed Tres Rios facility at Ina Road, installed a sewer pipeline to connect the two treatment plants, and built the Water Energy and Sustainability Center´╗┐, which serves as a laboratory and training center for department workers. Officials say the projects were completed ahead of schedule and finished $115 million under budget. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.

PARKS AND RECREATION SUMMER PROGRAM GUIDE AVAILABLE ONLINE TOMORROW - Tucson Parks and Recreation Department's Summer 2014 Program Guide and Class Catalog will be posted online tomorrow. Printed versions, which will be distributed on Monday, will be available for pick up at all Parks and Recreation facilities, including district offices, centers, and pools. The 76-page booklet contains registration information on leisure classes, aquatics, swim lessons, summer KIDCO, sports programs, sports camps, and more.

2nd SATURDAYS DOWNTOWN THIS WEEKEND - The monthly, free, family-friendly event this Saturday begins with gallery shows at 9 a.m. and entertainment at 4:30 p.m. At 6 p.m., the main stage at Scott Avenue and Congress Street features musical groups, and there are plenty of activities for children. Food from vendors and downtown eateries will be available. Street parking is free on Saturdays, or you can pay $3 to park in the Pennington Street Garage. Visit 2nd Saturdays Downtown for the schedule.

TUCSONANS HONOR CÉSAR CHÁVEZ - Tucsonans recently took part in a Day of Service to honor César Chávez. The celebration occurred shortly after the Mayor and Tucson City Council voted unanimously to add a Chávez holiday beginning next year to recognize the work of the late farm worker, labor leader and civil rights activist. Watch the video from Tucson 12.

CITY OF TUCSON HOLDS WORKSHOPS ON LICENSE AND TRANSACTION PRIVILEGE TAX REPORTING - Learn your rights and responsibilities for Transaction Privilege (Sales) Taxation by attending a Tax and License Workshop sponsored by the City of Tucson Finance Department.  Questions will be answered and written materials will be available. Samples of sales tax records, worksheets, and monthly returns will be explained. You should bring a calculator and a pencil. A workshop for retail questions will be held next Tuesday from 10:30 a.m. until noon at the Woods Branch Library, 3455 N. First Ave. A contracting workshop will be held April 29 at the same time and place. Read the news release.

 

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NewsNet 04-09-14

WATER VALVE, CONNECTION WORK AFFECTING TRAFFIC NEAR 22ND STREET - Excavation and preparation work is underway today on westbound 22nd Street, between Rosemont Avenue and Craycroft Road, as crews get ready for tomorrow's scheduled replacement of a critical 24" valve. The work is being coordinated in advance of milling and paving work scheduled to begin at the end of this week. Read the news release

TWO CITY OF TUCSON EMPLOYEES WIN NATIONAL AWARDS - Two members of the City of Tucson’s Procurement Department have received awards from the Institute for Public Procurement (NIGP). Contract Administrator Victoria Cortinas is the recipient of the NIGP Copper Chapter’s 2014 Manager of the Year award and Contract Administrator Nathan Daou is the recipient of the NIGP Copper Chapter’s 2014 Buyer of the Year award. Last year, NIGP named City Procurement Director Marcheta Gillespie as president of the Board of Directors. Read the news release.

RIO NUEVO BOARD REJECTS NAME CHANGE - The board that oversees the Rio Nuevo downtown redevelopment project has decided to keep the project's name after all. The board had been soliciting suggested name changes as part of a contest to award scholarships. Even though the Rio Nuevo name will remain, six students still will split the remaining $1,000 prize money. They already were awarded $500 each for being semi-finalists in the competition. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.

FORUM TONIGHT ON INTERNET SAFETY FOR CHILDREN - The Arizona Attorney General's Office - Community Outreach Division is hosting a forum tonight to discuss with parents the constant changes in technology and social networking with which children are involved. Cyber-bullying, sexting, child predators and other issues will be addressed at the forum, which begins at 6 p.m. at Corona Foothills Middle School, 16705 S. Houghton Road (in the Vail School District).
Read the Corona Foothills Middle School event announcement.

SPRING FLING RETURNS TO UA CAMPUS - After a decade-and-a-half absence from campus, Spring Fling is returning to the University of Arizona this weekend. The 40-year-old student-run carnival moved to Rillito Downs 15 years ago to accommodate construction of the Manuel Pacheco Integrated Learning Center and just wound up staying there. Setup for Spring Fling began Monday, closing off campus on the UA Mall, from Cherry Avenue to Campbell Avenue. Proceeds from Spring Fling help fund student clubs on campus. Read more from the Arizona Daily Wildcat.

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NewsNet 04-08-14

ARIZONA LAWMAKERS APPROVE $9.23 BILLION BUDGET FOR THE COMING FISCAL YEAR - Senate Republicans yesterday agreed on a spending plan higher than they had originally wanted, but still less than sought by Gov. Jan Brewer and their House GOP counterparts. Among other things, the plan gives an extra $2 million to the University of Arizona over current funding and an identical amount to Arizona State University. That’s $500,000 less for each than the House plan but still more than the $1.3 million for each the Senate had been offering. Northern Arizona University will get $500,000. House and Senate leaders say they expect Brewer to sign the spending plan. Read more from Capitol Media Services via Arizona Daily Star.

NOGALES PORT EXPANSION GETS ANOTHER BOOST - The U.S. government recently doubled the lanes for cargo and people at the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales, but there has been some uncertainty over whether the Port would add enough new inspectors to make those new lanes valuable. That uncertainty ended earlier this month when Customs and Border Protection (CBP) decided to hire and train about 170 new Customs inspectors so the expanded Port facility can live up to its potential. Business leaders say the extra lanes help speed up distribution for items such as produce, but there are often bottlenecks in crossing the border, so the extra inspectors will help speed up the process. Read more from KGUN9.

PIMA COUNTY RECEIVES $5.4 MILLION FEDERAL WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT GRANT - Pima County is the recipient of a $5.4 million grant to support a regional effort to train 940 young people for jobs in local technology industries. The Youth CareerConnect grant is one of 24 grants totaling $107 million nationwide. The grant from the U.S. Department of Labor is the only grant awarded in Arizona. The grant will allow certain employers who share a common skill shortage to work with workforce staff and K-12 and community college educators to align class offerings to meet workforce needs. The money also will be used for paid internships and mentoring.

PROTECTED BIKE LANES TESTED LAST WEEKEND - Sunday's Cyclovia event put the protected bike lane idea on display with wooden boxes lining a bike lane on Sixth Avenue. The street was already closed to traffic for the event, but the makeshift barriers gave cyclists an idea of what it would be like if they had a protected lane in traffic. "The key to biking and getting more people to bike is making them feel like they can bike safely," said Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, who spoke at the event. He said you may start seeing a lot more of those barriers. A portion of St. Marys Road, between Davis Street and Main Street, will have a barrier installed at the end of the month. Read more from KGUN9.

SHORT VIDEO ILLUSTRATES DANGER OF TEXTING AND DRIVING - The City of Tucson sends a message about the potential for tragedy associated with texting while driving, which is illegal in City limits. In addition to risking their own lives and the lives of others, motorists caught texting while driving are subject to a $100 fine, which increases to $250, if involved in an accident. View the video from Tucson 12.

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NewsNet 04-07-14

LEARN ABOUT STREETCAR SAFETY - As the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar vehicles go through testing in preparation for a summer start, the streetcar's management team continues to educate community members and streetcar operators about safety. Sun Link's "Be Street-Smart" educational safety campaign is an ongoing effort to educate citizens about the streetcar's presence and how to be safe around the tracks. Watch the safety video.

PROPOSED DOWNTOWN ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT WOULD CHANGE LIQUOR LICENSE RULES IN THE AREA - The City of Tucson wants to create a special entertainment district downtown that would allow businesses in the area to apply for liquor licenses, even if they are within 300 feet from a school or church. The exemption would be granted on a case-by-case basis solely at the discretion of the Mayor and Tucson City Council. The Greater Downtown Entertainment District would mostly cover areas along the streetcar route with potential for future development, said Camila Bekat, economic development specialist for the City. City High School, on East Pennington Street, between North Scott and Stone Avenues, is in the heart of the proposed entertainment district and supports the change. The proposal comes four years after the Arizona Legislature passed a law allowing designations of such districts. City Attorney Mike Rankin verified that the City’s proposal meets the requirements of the state law, Bekat said. The Mayor and Tucson City Council next month will discuss plans for the proposed district. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.

EL GRUPO YOUTH CYCLING'S BICYCLE SCAVENGER HUNT IS SATURDAY - The 11th Annual Bicycle Scavenger Hunt is a fun, family outing that is part of April's Bike Fest in Tucson. The event, which begins at 9 a.m. Saturday at 600 N. 9th Ave, features two hunts. Participants must solve riddles to point them toward the hidden objects. Read more from the Downtown Tucson Partnership.

REDUCE PAPERWORK & CLUTTER BY SIGNING UP FOR PAPERLESS WATER BILLS - Go paperless with your Utility Services Statement. Set up an eBill account to pay your bill, get notification of your billing statement, view water usage, and read Tucson Water's newsletter.

CITY OF TUCSON IS REMOVING ABANDONED SHOPPING CARTS - If you see a shopping cart off store property, abandoned along the street, or sitting in a wash, call the City of Tucson's Environmental Services (ES) Department to have it removed. You can call Customer Service at (520) 791-3171 or use the 'My-Waste'™ app and choose the Report a Problem option.
 

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