TUCSON'S SEVENTH STREETCAR ARRIVES - The seventh streetcar arrived in Tucson early this morning. The final car of the eight-vehicle Sun Link Tucson Streetcar fleet is expected to arrive later this month, and passenger service between the University of Arizona and Downtown Tucson is scheduled to begin in late July. The streetcars are undergoing rigorous testing and operator training. Sun Link is encouraging people to become aware of this new form of transportation by following safety tips for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
PIMA COUNTY'S PROPOSED BUDGET CALLS FOR PROPERTY TAX INCREASE - Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry is proposing a $1.17 billion budget for the next fiscal year. It calls for a nearly 28-cent increase in the primary property tax rate, from $3.66 to $3.94 per $100 assessed value. In addition, the proposal offers a series of "decision packages" for the Board of Supervisors to consider that would provide increases to different County departments that could raise the primary tax rate another 33-cents. Among other things, the extra funding would help provide more money for the Sheriff’s Department, indigent defense services, Kino Stadium, and other departments. The proposed budget also calls for a cost-of-living raise that would increase wages by $750 a year for workers with an annual salary of $37,500 or less. All other employees would get a 2 percent increase. The County will hold a budget hearing and adopt a tentative budget on May 20. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AGENCY AIMS TO CREATE 40K NEW JOBS IN FIVE YEARS - Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities (TREO) this week unveiled its 2014 Economic Blueprint Update, with a goal of creating 40,000 new jobs by 2019. The plan calls focusing on a better-qualified workforce and increasing the number of high-wage and high-skill jobs, such as those in manufacturing; aerospace and defense; bioscience and health care; alternative energy and natural resources; and transportation and logistics. Key strategies of the new plan (updated from a 2007 Blueprint) include developing talent, infrastructure, and the business environment, with a new emphasis on boosting Tucson’s status as a healthy community with access to top-notch healthcare. TREO estimates that for each high-wage, export-based job created, three other jobs are created indirectly. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.
CELEBRATE TORTILLAS AND CINCO DE MAYO THIS WEEKEND - The Second Annual Tortilla Festival and Cinco de Mayo Fiesta will be held Sunday from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. at Presidio San Agustín del Tucson, 133 W. Washington (west of Church Avenue, just north of Alameda Street). The event is be a celebration of the art of making tortillas, Mexican folklore, culture, music, and art. Visit with local artists and admire the display of regional Mexican dresses. Also, enjoy plenty of children’s activities and entertainment for the whole family. The festival is presented by the Tucson Parks and Recreation department, in partnership with Tucson Meet Yourself.
HOW TO KEEP YOUR KIDS SAFE AT THE PLAYGROUND - The playground is meant to be a fun environment, but are your kids staying as safe as they should on the equipment? In KGUN9's "No Bad Days with Barrett," Tucson Fire Department Captain Barrett Baker says playground injuries are a major source of emergency room visits for children. He offers tips on how to make sure your child is not one of those who gets hurt.