FINAL WELD MARKS COMPLETION OF STREETCAR TRACK INSTALLATION - The last weld was made on the Modern Streetcar track linking the University of Arizona, downtown and the West side of Interstate 10. The weld completes the four mile route, the track for which is 35,356 feet, or about 6.7 miles, in actual length. Representatives of city, county and federal governments joined an audience of reporters, downtown merchants and other onlookers for the historic event. The Modern Streetcar project, which includes repair and replacement of underground utilities, streets and other infrastructure, is the largest construction project ever undertaken by the City of Tucson. Story from KOLD/KMSB here, from KVOA here.
COURT BEGINS HEARING AZ CITIES' CASE AGAINST STATES NEW LAW ON ELECTION DATES - A state law forcing cities to hold their elections in conjunction with state balloting will do little to bring more people to the polls and only succeed in stripping away local control, Phoenix assistant attorney Sandra Hunter told Pima County Superior Court Judge James Marner Thursday. Hunter's assertion came in opening statements in a suit by Tucson and Phoenix to void the law approved by the Legislature last year. Both cities hold their own elections in odd-numbered years. But state lawmakers said requiring all governments to hold their elections at the same time, in even-numbered years, would save money and increase voter turnout. Story from the Star here, from the Republic here.
TOMORROW AT CLEMENTS CENTER: 13TH ANNUAL BACK 2 SCHOOL BASH - Tomorrow, from 8 a.m. until noon, Council Member Shirley Scott, in partnership with TPD, TFD, Tucson Water, Parks & Rec, Pima Public Library and others, will host the 13th Annual Ward 4 Back 2 School Bash. The event features a pancake breakfast, free school supplies to all school-aged children, a raffle, and swimming afterwards, from noon until 4 p.m. at the Clements Center Pool. The Clements Center is located at 8155 E. Poinciana Dr. From Ward 4.
FT. LOWELL RESTORATION STALLS AFTER FAILING TO BUDGET FOR CODE-REQUIRED IMPROVEMENTS - Pima County says it will not be able to complete a project to restore three 19th-century adobe buildings that were part of Tucson's historic Fort Lowell. The bond funds budgeted for the project were authorized by voters in 2004 for historic preservation improvements. At issue is the expense of providing a parking lot, something required by city codes. According to County officials, if money goes toward a parking lot, there won't be enough to finish the restoration. But City officials say the parking lot was a part of the original design and should have been accounted for in the County's project budget. "If the public can't get there, especially people with disabilities, we expose the city to liability," said Ernie Duarte, Planning and Development Services Director for the City. From the Star.
CIVIC TECH INNOVATORS TO COMPETE THIS WEEKEND AT CODE FOR TUCSON - Gangplank Tucson, in partnership with the City of Tucson, Startup Tucson and Open Tucson, are hosting Code for Tucson tomorrow at Gangplank's collaborative workspace in the Pioneer Building at 100 N. Stone. The event is a 24-hour code competition designed to engage people and groups who seek to make a positive impact in the community. Participants will use public data and their own inspiration to develop applications that can help citizens, increase government transparency, and help the City better serve its constituents. Story from the Weekly here, from Inside Tucson Business here, and from the Sentinel here.