Karin's Note:  July 20, 2012

- Connie

-Graffiti Task Force Meeting

-Help for Veterans

-Single Use Plastic Bags

-Road Improvements:  Stone Avenue between Wetmore and River Roads

-Number one in the Nation

-Freedom Summer

-Graffiti Task Force Meeting

-3rd Saturday Art Sale

-Grant Road Improvement Plan

-International Children’s Film Festival

-Tucson Homeless Connect

-Did you know....

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Dear Tucsonans,

It is with a heavy heart that I begin this weekly newsletter on the tragic news of the shooting in Colorado. We are all still trying to understand what transpired, much less come to grips with it, and I imagine the shock will not wear off any time soon, for the people of Aurora, for us here in Tucson for whom this feeling is all too familiar, or for anyone around the country.  So for now, I will just say what is in my heart and what I imagine is in all of our hearts. Our gratitude goes out to the first responders, volunteers, and emergency medical teams who rushed victims to area hospitals and are treating them now. And most importantly, our thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims and their families at this incredibly difficult time.

Though the attention of the nation is rightfully on Aurora right now, I also wish to share with you my weekly thoughts on local issues, events and goings on.

Connie

We received the sad news of the death of Connie the elephant this week, longtime resident of the Reid Park Zoo and beloved by our community. Connie had Shaba, her companion elephant, by her side since being moved to the San Diego Zoo geriatric care facility in February. I appreciate the professional, loving care provided to Connie for 44 years and Shaba for 30 years by the dedicated staff of the Reid Park Zoo, and more recently by the San Diego Zoo caregivers as well.

Ward 3 Graffiti Wipe-Out a Huge Success

Our graffiti cleanup across five central neighborhoods went better than anyone could have ever imagined. A big “Thank You” goes out to all the volunteers and groups (Graffiti Protective Coatings, Tucson Police Department, Carrington College, Fred G Acosta Job Corps, EPIC Youth Corps, Community Gardens of Tucson, and Community Renewal) who were involved in getting well over 100 volunteers working in the Cabrini, North Dodge, Dodge Flower, Oak Flower, and Doolen-Fruitvale  neighborhoods.  We're getting calls and notes from residents and businesses who appreciate the difference that was made. Thank you!

Help for Veterans

The Primavera Foundation and Red Cross have succeeded in bringing significant federal aid to homeless and near-homeless veterans living in southern Arizona. The two organizations have been awarded over $1.8 million this year to offer rent and utility assistance and vital support services for men and women in need who have served our country. The groups expect to help 3,500 to 5,500 veterans through their programs. This grant is just one example of how nonprofit organizations effectively serve our community. If you would like to help either the Primavera Foundation or Red Cross you can find them at http://www.primavera.org and http://www.redcrossarizona.org

Single Use Plastic Bags

At the request of one of my appointees to, and chair of, the Small Business Commission, Katharine Kent, I invite you to weigh in on the issue of single use plastic bags in Tucson. As you may be aware, cities and counties across the country are beginning to address the environmental impacts of single use plastic bags in their communities, through various policy-based and community-based responses.  Here in Tucson, Katharine is part of the Single Use Plastic Bags Working Group currently studying the issue, and in collaboration with the Eller College and the Green Chamber, has put together a community survey to gather feedback from anyone and everyone. You can make your feelings known by taking the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/plasticbagsurvey

Road Improvement: Stone Avenue between Wetmore and River Roads

The road improvement project to repave Stone Ave between Wetmore and River is slated to begin July 30th and should last for approximately 2 weeks assuming no unanticipated delays.  The majority of the work will occur at night between the hours of 7:00 PM and 6:00 AM, while some will occur during the day.  This project will involve removing about 2 inches of old asphalt and replacing it with new asphalt.  Granite Construction Co will perform the work under contract with the City.

The Mayor and Council-approved FY13 Budget made funding available for this and several other badly needed pavement improvement projects throughout Tucson. We are eager to get these projects underway to improve our transportation infrastructure.  If you have any questions regarding this project, please call Mo El-Ali in Transportation, at 791-5100.

Number One in the Nation

Tucson has been named the number one road biking town in the country  by Outside Magazine in their August 2012 issue. The publication notes our 700+ miles of paved bike paths, varied topography and great climbs, as well as our low cost of living, low pollution, vibrant arts scene and more as key factors in picking Tucson as the best of the best. This award reinforces what we already know: Tucson can and should achieve a Platinum Level Bike-Friendly Community rating by the League of American Bicyclists  -- a designation that would put us in the company of Portland, OR and reap great economic benefits on top of the clear environmental and health benefits we're already enjoying as a bike-loving town. Thanks to the efforts of many in both the public and private sectors, we’re rated Gold Level today, putting us in the company of other great cities like San Francisco, CA and Jackson, WY. Way to go Tucson!

Freedom Summer

Tucson is also in the spotlight for controversy over the termination of the Mexican American Studies Program in TUSD. As a response to the loss of that curriculum there's a creative program running this summer that's free and open to the public to help us all learn more about the arts, history and culture so deeply rooted in our community. Visit http://www.tucsonfreedomsummer.com/FREEDOM_SUMMER/GET_INVOLVED.html to learn more.

For more to appreciate about Tucson, read on.

Thanks,

Karin

Note: Summer Hours for the Ward 3 Council: Monday–Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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Ward 3 Events:

-Graffiti Task Force Meeting For Neighborhood Association Members – Saturday, July 21 from 10:00 a.m. to Noon. Tucson Police Department Operations Division West. 1310 W. Miracle Mile. TPD will present an overview of the City’s current efforts in addressing graffiti issues. To RSVP, Cheryl Koontz at TPD:  791-4441.

-Third Saturday Art Sale – Saturday, July 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Many Hands Courtyard, 3054 N. First Avenue. Free event. More info: 628-1490.

-Grant Road Improvement Plan – Phase 1 Groundbreaking Ceremony – Grant Rd & Oracle Rd Intersection – Thursday, July 26 at 8:30 a.m. Southwest corner of Grand Road and 10th Avenue. Council Member Karin Uhlich, The City of Tucson and the Regional Transportation Authority invite you to join us for this Phase One, Grant Road Improvement Project Event. More info: Jeri Ward at 837-6758 or the Ward 3 Council Office, 791-4711. Also, for complete project info and updates, visit www.grantroad.info

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City Wide Events:

-International Children’s Film Festival – Saturday, July 21 through Sunday, July 29. The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway. Doors open at 9:15 a.m., movies begin at 10:10 a.m. Free admission and popcorn. Children under 12 must be accompanied by a supervising adult. More info:795-7777.

 -Tucson Homeless Connect – Friday, July 27, 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Trinity Presbyterian Church, 400 E. University Blvd. One-day, one-stop event offering services to those in need. Clothing, health screenings, haircuts and more. Lunch served from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Nearest bus routes are: 1, 3 and 6. More info: www.tucsonhomelessconnect.org

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Did You Know…

 …that Woods Memorial Library (3455 N. 1st Avenue) has Family Storytime on Saturdays at 11:00 a.m.  Through August 4th, these Storytimes offer an opportunity for parents to introduce their children to reading and language in a fun way. More info: http://www.library.pima.gov/calendar/?ID=11784

….that Monterey Court, 505 W. Miracle Mile, hosts a Farmer’s Market on Thursday evenings from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday mornings from 8:00 a.m. to Noon. More info: 207-2429 ext. 3.