AGENDA SPOTLIGHT: MESSAGE FROM THE MANAGER - In an email to city employees yesterday afternoon, City Manager Richard Miranda provides a status report on the budget process and its impact on City employees, discussing department budgets, compensation, pension and health benefits, and more.

TUCSON ARTIST & MOM CELEBRATES “PLAYABLE PARKS” - Tucson artist Maloree Renaud and her two-year-old son are on a mission to visit all 127 parks operated by Tucson Parks & Recreation this year. Renaud is keeping an online journal with photos of the parks they’ve visited, and is creating paintings of some of them too, which she intends to sell and donate half the proceeds to the Tucson Parks Foundation. "The idea is to celebrate parks more than anything," Renaud says. "I've never seen a blog like this and we think it's a great project," says Sierra Davenport of Tucson Parks and Recreation. "It will hopefully bring a lot of awareness to the Tucson park system." Story from KVOA.

OVER $6M IN RENOVATIONS PLANNED FOR TCC ARENA - The Rio Nuevo board is currently evaluating a list of “needs and repairs” for the Tucson Convention Center Arena, primary component of the Rio Nuevo TIF district. Under the settlement agreement between the district and the City announced earlier this year, the district must spend at least $6M on renovation costs for the facility. The list of projects being considered by the board includes seating, chairs, scoreboard, sound system, ceiling tiles and concrete floors, lights, restrooms, and concessions stands. “Obviously, everyone is talking about the bathrooms, concessions and seats,” says board chair Fletcher McCusker. “It needs to be a better fan experience.” Story from the Downtown Tucsonan.

GRAND SLAM FOR LINCOLN PARK - Softball fields built in 2010 at eastside Lincoln Park are home to the Tucson Invitational Games, providing NCAA Division II and III teams with a first-class facility and some relief from cold weather back home. They bring an estimated $9.5M per year into the local economy. Video from Tucson 12.


MOTHER’S DAY BRUNCH AT THE REID PARK ZOO - Reservations are now being taken for the Reid Park Zoo’s Mother’s Day Brunch, happening Sunday May 12 from 9:30 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. on the Conservation Learning Center’s deck overlooking Mill Pond. Price is $25 for zoo members or $30 for non-members, and includes zoo admission. Menu and more information on the Reid Park Zoo website.