Karin's Note:  April 6, 2012

-Eggstravaganza on April 7!

-Balboa Heights Neighborhood Cleanup

-Jefferson Park Home Tour

-Town Hall Scheduled for April

-1st Annual Vintage Vehicles on Stone Event

-Ward 3 “Tucson Means Business” Forum

-Neon Mile:  Sign Lighting and More

-Neon Mile:  5th Annual Historic Open House and Tour

-Streetcar Kickoff Celebration

-Tucson Artists’ Open Studios

-Access Tucson Community Media Presents:  "Our 1st Annual Celebrating Free Speech Benefit"

-Did you know....

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 Dear Tucsonans,

Main Gate/University Overlay

I was pleased that the Mayor and Council agreed to have our Zoning Examiner hold a public hearing to review a portion of the Main Gate Urban Overlay to try to craft a more balanced transition between intensive density and the historic West University Neighborhood. Our action will affect the block bounded by Speedway, Euclid, Tyndall and 1st. The remaining portions of the overlay may proceed at the time that any court challenges are resolved. As I noted earlier this week, moving forward we must do our best to shape infill with good public process and a balance of our shared interests taken into account: density, historic preservation, and protection of established neighborhood/homeowner investments. I believe we can find the right path together for sustainable, transit-oriented development.

Central Business District

Mayor and Council also moved toward the adoption of a new redevelopment and central business district for the downtown area and associated entry corridors. Within two weeks we will be poised to adopt the initial area map. Some areas will be removed from the district at the request of residents and community groups (for example, those advocating that we remove precious open spaces such as the Mission Gardens). We can consider adding parcels appropriate for major investment in the future as well.

Budget

We gave direction to City staff to balance the transit budget and hold the General Fund Investment level for the coming year by more realistically projecting ridership levels and by responsibly reducing key costs (e.g. liability cost projections, integration of smaller and more fuel efficient buses). This direction will enable us to balance the system budget without raising fares or cutting services, both of which would reduce ridership.

We also received updates on other core services, including street/median maintenance and police service. Thanks to our transportation department's aggressive expense management, we have been able to identify resources to move on two key fronts:  medians will be cleaned up within 120 days and pothole repairs will be accelerated with $88,000 newly allocated for that function. We have a long way to go to get our streets in good repair citywide, and will have further discussion on that priority at upcoming meetings. With regard to the police department, training of new officers is underway to modestly increase staffing levels over the coming months. We will also be looking closely at strategies to retain trained officers because the costs of recruiting and training new personnel after losses, neither makes sense nor saves money in the long run.

Next week we will get updates from our fire and parks departments. The City Manager will be presenting his final, full budget recommendation to us on April 17 and we will continue our review and deliberations until early/mid June.

My staff and I hope you will find the items listed below of interest. Thank you for participating in so many ways to help us make sound decisions and build a better Tucson.

Sincerely,

Karin

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Ward 3  Events:

-Eggstravaganza! – Saturday, April 7th from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Donna Liggins Center, 2160 N. 6th Avenue. Egg hunts, games and lunch. More info: 791-3247.

-Balboa Heights Neighborhood Cleanup – Saturday, April 14 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Meet at the Marty Birdman Center, 2536 N. Castro. Join the Ward 3 Council Office, City of Tucson Parks and Rec., Balboa residents and students from Carrington College and Job Corps as they beautify the neighborhood. Lunch provided. More info: Cheryl Rodgers at the Ward 3 Council Office, 791-4711.

-Jefferson Park Home Tour – Sunday, April 15 from Noon to 5:00 p.m. A dozen gardens will be open to the public focusing on water harvesting, xeroscape, sustainability and a tour of the historic Lester homestead. Owners and do-it-yourselfers will be onsite to talk about their yards and projects. Sponsored by The Friends of Jefferson Park and the Neighborhood Association, tickets for this fund raiser are $10, children under 12 are free and are available at Site #1, the International School of Tucson at 1701 E. Seneca. More details: www.jeffersonpark.info

-Town Hall with Mayor Rothschild and the Ward 3 Alliance – Wednesday, April 18 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Westside TPD, 1310 W. Miracle Mile. The collaborative Q&A event will address constituent concerns and opportunities for volunteerism. More info: Ward 3 Council Office at 791-4711.

-1st Annual Vintage Vehicles on Stone – Saturday, April 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Seven free classic car shows at Glenn and Stone Avenue in the Coronado Heights Neighborhood. Free popcorn, lemonade and door prizes included in the fun. Please consider bringing an item or two to donate, i.e. clothing, books, toys in support of the Beacon Group. More info: 622-5263 or www.beaconsvaluevillage.org

 -Ward 3 “Tucson Means Business” Forum – Thursday, April 26 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at TPD West, 1310 W. Miracle Mile. Vice Mayor Karin Uhlich invites all current and aspiring business owners to attend this informational forum to learn more about available expansion loans for small businesses, free support services for those in RTA construction zones and how to become a vendor on the City’s Procurement list. City of Tucson department heads, including Procurement and Development Services will be in attendance along with Mayor Rothschild and representatives on the Small, Minority and Women-Owned Business Commission. Light lunch provided by Blue Willow.  More info: Ward 3 Council Office at 791-4711.

-Neon Mile:  Sign Lighting and More - Friday, April 27 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at Pima Community College, Downtown campus on Drachman. This celebration of the restoration and installation of four iconic neon signs salvaged from Tucson sites is a collaborative project of Pima Community College (PCC) and the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation with assistance from Ward III and City of Tucson staff.  Private donations paid for the restoration work. Event activities will include “flipping the switch” to light up the signs, classic cars, a sock hop, a mid-1900’s fashion show, kids’ activities, music, food, and more. The location of these signs on PCC property along Drachman will highlight the southern terminus of Historic Miracle Mile. 

-Neon Mile:  5th Annual Historic Open House and Tour - Saturday, April 28 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 pm.  Extending Friday night’s celebration of the Neon Mile (see above) this year’s event will be headquartered at the PCC Downtown Campus, and will include three lectures and 5 - 6 shuttle bus tour venues, including the early Evergreen Cemetery tour by Ken Scoville. More information coming soon, but if you would be interested in volunteering for this event, please call Linda Mehall at the Ward 3 office at 791-4711.

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City Wide Events:

-Streetcar Kickoff Celebration – Thursday, April 12 at 11:00 a.m. University of Arizona’s B105 Institute, 1657 E. Helen. Join in on the formal groundbreaking of the Tucson Streetcar Project. More info: http://www.tucsonstreetcar.com/Groundbreaking_Invite_FINAL_4_3.html

-Tucson Artists’ Open Studios – Saturday and Sunday, April 14 and 15 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 140 artists, 80 locations to enjoy painting, photography, sculpture, jewelry and more. For map and info: www.tucsonopenstudios.com

-Access Tucson Community Media presents: "Our 1st Annual Celebrating Free Speech Benefit" - Wednesday, April 18th at 5:30pm to 7:30pm -
Cafe a la C’Art (Tucson Museum of Art Courtyard) featuring Arizona Daily Star’s editorial cartoonist, Dave Fitzsimmons and local humor expert, Robert Mac.  More info:  http://accesstucson.org/news/2012/03/dont-miss-this-celebration-buy-your-tickets-now/

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Did You Know…

 .. that in addition to the Eggstravaganza at the Donna Liggins Center (see above) there are a number of “egg hunts and bunny sightings” going on around the City of Tucson this weekend? Lohse Family YMCA at 60 W. Alameda Street is hosting an egg hunt beginning at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday. More info: 623-5200. A free family Easter egg hunt, open to the public, will also take place at Silverbell Park, 7548 N. Silverbell Road. More info: 495-7913.

…that April is Water Awareness Month?  Mayor Rothschild is asking Tucson residents to joining the National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation as a way of showing your water awareness.  For more information, go to www.tucsonaz.gov/water/take-the-pledge, or www.WaterAwarenessMonth.com.

…that Catalina Rotary Tucson is the first sponsor to step forward in support of opening City pools for the summer with their pledge of $25,000 to open Jacobs Pool?  If you’d like to support Catalina Rotary’s effort to make that happen, you can purchase $5 raffle tickets--winner will receive a $500 gas card. More information is available at the Ward 3 Council at 791-4711.

…that Pima Community College is hosting a photographic exhibit:  “Jam Session: America’s Jazz Ambassadors Embrace the World” at the downtown campus (1255 N. Stone Avenue) featuring jazz artists from the 1950s, 60s and 70s?  Opening reception is from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17. Exhibit tours, special talks on jazz in Tucson and music by the PCC Jazz Ensemble. The exhibit will be at PCC, 2nd floor lobby of the CC Building through May 25. Admission to the exhibit is free.

Trees for Tucson program is a great option for residents to receive low-cost shade trees to help beautify their home and improve our community's environment, while providing long-term financial savings as the trees grow and reduce air-conditioning usage. Trees for Tucson, a program of Tucson Clean & Beautiful, provides these low-cost trees for planting at homes throughout much of the Tucson metropolitan area. Tucson Electric Power customers may receive desert-adapted shade trees delivered to their home for $8.00 each, if they agree to plant the trees within 15 feet of the west, east, or south side of the home. To obtain an application form, visit www.treesfortucson.org or call (520) 791-3109.