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NewsNet 04-16-14

newsnet - April 16, 9:56 am

REID PARK ZOO RECEIVES ASSOCIATION OF ZOOS AND AQUARIUM ACCREDITATION -  The Reid Park Zoo recently earned a five-year re-accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The Zoo underwent a review and inspection in January, demonstrating how it meets or exceeds professional standards for excellence in animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education, and safety. Last month, Reid Park Zoo officials traveled to Memphis, Tennessee for a hearing by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission. "AZA accreditation validates our efforts, and the Zoo’s staff, volunteers, and supporters should be commended for making Reid Park Zoo one of the best zoos of its size in the nation,” said Zoo Administrator Jason Jacobs. GOVERNOR SIGNS LAW ALLOWING UNANNOUNCED INSPECTIONS OF ARIZONA ABORTION CLINICS - Gov. Jan Brewer signed legislation yesterday permitting the state health department to make unannounced inspections of abortion clinics without first getting a warrant from a judge. Backers of HB 2284 said there is no reason to exempt abortion clinics from the same regulations that apply to all other health care facilities. Opponents said the clinics need protection because there is a heightened need for privacy for patients and staff. A federal appeals court voided an identical provision in 2004, ruling the statute’s authorization of “boundless, warrantless search of physicians’ offices” by state health officials violates constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure. Cathi Herrod, president of the anti-abortion Center for Arizona Policy, which helped write the measure, said state regulatory policies have changed since then, legitimizing this version of the law. Read more from Capitol Media Services via the Arizona Daily Star. REPORT: DETROIT PENSION BOARDS AGREE TO CUTS THAT COULD HELP CITY EXIT BANKRUPTCY - Negotiators for Detroit pension boards agreed yesterday to retiree benefit cuts that were lower than initially proposed. The agreement could help resolve Detroit’s historic Chapter 9 bankruptcy and position the City to start reinvesting in city services to its citizens. The deal would require civilian retirees to accept a 4.5 percent cut to their monthly pension checks and the elimination of cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increases, while police and fire retirees would get no cuts to monthly checks but absorb a reduction in COLA increases, the sources said. Pension board trustees still must sign off on the deal, and a U.S. government committee officially appointed to represent Detroit retirees is still weighing whether to support the City’s proposal. Read more from Governing. IT'S NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS WEEK - The City of Tucson is honoring public safety dispatchers, 911 operators, and police service operators on National Telecommunications Week. The week is dedicated to public safety telecommunicators who provide 911 emergency assistance to citizens every day and night. Public safety agencies encourage citizens to recognize and celebrate the dedicated service provided by Tucson's telecommunicators. Read the news release. WATER AWARENESS PRESENTATIONS CONTINUE - April is Water Awareness Month in Arizona, and Tucson Water and several Tucson City Council Members are hosting public sessions to discuss water. Topics include present and future water resources, long-range planning, water quality and safety, investment in infrastructure and technology, and drought. The next session, co-hosted by Ward 4 Council Member Shirley Scott, will be held tomorrow from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Clements Recreation Center (Multi-Purpose Room), 8155 E. Ponciana Drive. For more information, call the Ward 4 Council Office, (520) 791-3199. Read the news release.  

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ward5 - April 16, 8:56 am


This weekend “A” Mountain will host The Good Friday Procession (La Procession de Viernes Santo) and Easter Sunday Sunrise Services (La Misa al Amaneser) which will restrict user access to Sentinel Peak Park.

In order to accommodate these events, Sentinel Peak Road will close at 3 p.m. on Friday, April 18, and will reopen for normal hours on Saturday, April 19 at 8 a.m., for pedestrians and bicyclists, and at 9 a.m. for vehicles.

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ward5 - April 15, 5:04 pm


Reid Park Zoo is proud to announce that it was recently granted accreditation by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). Reid Park Zoo underwent a thorough review and inspection in January, demonstrating the Zoo meets or exceeds professional standards for excellence in animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education, and safety. In late March, Reid Park Zoo officials traveled to Memphis, Tennessee for a hearing by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission.

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NewsNet 04-15-14

newsnet - April 15, 12:58 pm

CITY OF PHOENIX TO DEBATE PROPOSED HIKES IN TAXES AND FEES - The Phoenix Mayor and City Council is expected to discuss Phoenix City Manager Ed Zuercher's proposal to increase taxes and fees by about $12 million next fiscal year to help close the City's projected $37.7 million budget deficit next week. The largest source of revenue would be an additional tax of up to $1.50 per month, based on water meter size, added to city residents' bills for water, sewer and trash service. Other proposed revenue increases include raising fees to use municipal recreation and senior centers, which leaders say could close if the City doesn't balance its budget. Read more from azcentral. PUBLIC SAFETY AGENCIES NOW CAN COMMUNICATE BETTER WITH EACH OTHER -  More than 30 public-safety agencies — including the Tucson Police and Fire Departments, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department and seven county hospitals — have the ability to communicate with one another during emergencies now that the County's Emergency Communications and Operations Center is complete. The Pima County Wireless Integrated Network (PCWIN) and the Emergency Communications and Operations Center — both funded by County bonds — were first envisioned in 2001, when the 9/11 attacks prompted a discussion among officials about the need for all first responders to be able to easily communicate with one another. The new Center houses dispatch centers for the Sheriff’s Department and six fire districts. Upgrades also were made to the City of Tucson's Thomas O. Price Service Center, which can serve as a backup for County dispatch. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star and Pima County. UA OPENS CENTER FOR VETERANS STUDYING MEDICINE - In what is believed to be the first center of its kind, the University of Arizona recently held a grand opening ceremony for the Veterans Education and Transition Services (VETS) Center at the Arizona Health Science Center in Tucson. With the help of trained student veterans, VETS helps transition veterans into the university setting while also providing resources for those pursuing careers in the health industry. The UA says its veteran population has grown to nearly 1,200, an 83 percent increase in 13 years. Among those in attendance at the dedication were Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly, a veteran and retired astronaut. Read more from KTAR and UA News. JOB OPPORTUNITY: WATER SYSTEM OPERATOR - Tucson Water is seeking three experienced operators to be part of the Water Operations Treatment Instrumentation & Control Section. This section is responsible for the central control operations of the potable and reclaimed water system. Application deadline is May 2, 2014. Read the job description. GET THE LATEST TUCSON NEWS AND INFORMATION ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER - "Like" the City of Tucson on Facebook to get the latest news, community updates and fun facts about Tucson local government and our community. You can also "Follow" the City of Tucson on Twitter for timely, concise updates throughout the day.

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NewsNet 04-14-14

newsnet - April 14, 10:38 am

FREE TAX ASSISTANCE FOR CERTAIN LAST-MINUTE FILERS - Tomorrow, April 15th, is the deadline for filing state and federal income taxes. The Pio Decimo Center, 878 S. 7th Ave., is offering free filing help for seniors, people with low-to-moderate incomes (earning less than $55,000), disabled individuals and those who speak English as a second language. The Center will be open from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. tomorrow. The free service is part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, sponsored by the United Way of Southern Arizona and other partners. Volunteer tax preparers with VITA are trained and tested by the IRS. Read more from Tucson News Now and take a look at where your [federal] tax dollars go, in one chart. HEALTH INSURANCE ENROLLMENT GRACE PERIOD ENDS TOMORROW - Arizonans and others who started, but did not finish, applications to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have until tomorrow to finish the process. Heavy traffic at the Health Insurance Marketplace website and call center were just a couple of reasons why some people couldn't finish the process before the March 31 deadline. Applicants who finish enrollment and pay today will have coverage beginning May 1. The grace period applies only to those who started the process before the deadline. Those who haven't already signed up won't be able to do so until November 2014. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star. TRAFFIC ALERT: SUN LINK HIGH-SPEED STREETCAR TESTING - Sun Link Streetcar staff will conduct high-speed testing beginning tonight on University Boulevard, between Fourth Avenue and Euclid Avenue. Testing will be conducted from 11 p.m. - 5 a.m., through Wednesday. During that time, University Boulevard will be closed from Fourth Avenue to Euclid Avenue and parking will not be permitted. Some side streets and alleys near the intersection will be closed as well. Read the news release. CITY OF TUCSON FLEET AMONG TOP 100 BEST FLEETS IN THE NATION - The City of Tucson’s Fleet Services Division ranked 15th on the 2014 list of Top 100 Best Fleets in North America by the "100 Best Fleets" Program. The recognition acknowledges peak performing public sector vehicle fleet operations in North America. Tucson's fleet was acknowledged for its operational efficiency, significant savings and increased fleet availability. The Fleet Services Division operates the City’s motor pool, providing maintenance and repair to police cars, garbage trucks, and other motor vehicles, so that city employees can serve Tucson citizens every day and night. Read the news release. IT'S BEE SEASON, SO BE PREPARED - As the temperatures warm, bees are emerging. In the latest segment of KGUN9's "No Bad Days with Barrett," Tucson Fire Captain Barrett Baker and fellow firefighters offer tips on how to prevent bee stings.  

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ward5 - April 14, 10:18 am

The City of Tucson’s Fleet Services Division ranked 15th on the 2014 list of Top 100 Best Fleets in North America by the 100 Best Fleets Program. The award program recognizes and rewards peak performing public sector fleet operations in North America. The Fleet Services Division operates the City’s motor pool by providing maintenance and repair to police cruisers, garbage trucks, and other vehicles.

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Sun Link Streetcar High Speed Testing

transportation - April 14, 6:54 am

Beginning Monday, April 14, 2014 through Wednesday, April 16, 2014 Sun Link Streetcar staff will conduct controlled high speed streetcar testing from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. on University Boulevard between Fourth Avenue and Euclid Avenue.

For the safety of residents and the traveling public, the following restrictions will be in place during the testing process:

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Karin's Note: Friday, April 11, 2014

ward3 - April 11, 4:55 pm

Karin's Note: Friday, April 11, 2014 -Ward 3 Events -Upcoming Area Neighborhood and Coalition Meeting(s) -Citywide Events -Did You Know? ********************************************** Dear Tucsonans,     Budget Update

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NewsNet 04-11-14

newsnet - April 11, 11:14 am

ARIZONA SCORES ABOVE AVERAGE IN SPENDING TRANSPARENCY - Arizona earned a "B" in a state spending transparency evaluation by the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG). The State Treasurer’s office has an online, searchable database where anyone can see how Arizona is spending taxpayer money. The "B" grade, with a score of 84 out of 100, puts Arizona ahead of 31 other states for its level of transparency in state spending records availability. The organization looks for checkbook-level detail of all state expenses and easy online access to the information. No state earned a perfect score, but PIRG reports eight received "A" grades. Read more from the Arizona Public Media. D-M ECONOMIC IMPACT REDUCED - Davis-Monthan Air Force Base reported an estimated local economic impact of $973 million in the 2013 fiscal year.  This amount is down from about $1.14 billion the prior year, and is largely due to Pentagon budget cuts. The D-M economic analysis released yesterday also found that the base had a net reduction of $90 million in total payroll, including both military and civilian personnel and civilian furloughs, said Maj. Gerald Stevenson, commander of the 355th Comptroller Squadron at D-M. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.

THUNDERBIRDS TO PERFORM AT D-M OPEN HOUSE - The United States Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, also known as the Thunderbirds, will perform tomorrow and Sunday at Davis Monthan Air Force Base's Open House. The Thunderbirds aerial demonstrations include a mix of formation flying and solo routines. The show runs about 75 minutes. Gates open at 9 a.m. both days. Demonstrations begin at 11 a.m. The Thunderbirds perform at 2 p.m.  

STROKE SCREENINGS TOMORROW AT VARIOUS LOCATIONS - A number of Tucson-area hospitals are teaming up tomorrow to offer free stroke screenings. From 8 a.m. - noon, doctors will help people evaluate their risk of having a stroke and offer prevention tips. The screenings will include testing oxygen levels, blood pressure, pulse, blood sugar, and cholesterol. For best results on the cholesterol test, officials suggest not eating eight hours prior to the test. Strokes can be deadly or debilitating and can hit anyone at any age. Read more from Tucson News Now. HOW TO MANAGE HARD WATER AND OTHER TIPS FROM TUCSON WATER - Get tips on how to manage hard water, increase dishwasher efficiency, flush your water heater, check faucet aerators and more. Information is available in English and Spanish. You can download, print, or request a mailed copy of the tips. You can also learn how to pay your water bill online and stop and start service. Read more at Tucson Water.

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NewsNet 04-10-14

newsnet - April 10, 1:39 pm

WASTEWATER ODORS MITIGATED NEAR I-10 AND INA ROAD - Pima County recently completed more than $600 million worth of projects to upgrade its wastewater treatment plants and make other improvements at the facilities. The Regional Optimization Master Plan includes construction of the new Agua Nueva Water Reclamation Facility to replace the old Roger Road plant. That plant drew the ire of nearby residents and I-10 travelers for the odor it emitted. The Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department also upgraded and expanded the newly-renamed Tres Rios facility at Ina Road, installed a sewer pipeline to connect the two treatment plants, and built the Water Energy and Sustainability Center, which serves as a laboratory and training center for department workers. Officials say the projects were completed ahead of schedule and finished $115 million under budget. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star. PARKS AND RECREATION SUMMER PROGRAM GUIDE AVAILABLE ONLINE TOMORROW - Tucson Parks and Recreation Department's Summer 2014 Program Guide and Class Catalog will be posted online tomorrow. Printed versions, which will be distributed on Monday, will be available for pick up at all Parks and Recreation facilities, including district offices, centers, and pools. The 76-page booklet contains registration information on leisure classes, aquatics, swim lessons, summer KIDCO, sports programs, sports camps, and more. 2nd SATURDAYS DOWNTOWN THIS WEEKEND - The monthly, free, family-friendly event this Saturday begins with gallery shows at 9 a.m. and entertainment at 4:30 p.m. At 6 p.m., the main stage at Scott Avenue and Congress Street features musical groups, and there are plenty of activities for children. Food from vendors and downtown eateries will be available. Street parking is free on Saturdays, or you can pay $3 to park in the Pennington Street Garage. Visit 2nd Saturdays Downtown for the schedule. TUCSONANS HONOR CÉSAR CHÁVEZ - Tucsonans recently took part in a Day of Service to honor César Chávez. The celebration occurred shortly after the Mayor and Tucson City Council voted unanimously to add a Chávez holiday beginning next year to recognize the work of the late farm worker, labor leader and civil rights activist. Watch the video from Tucson 12. CITY OF TUCSON HOLDS WORKSHOPS ON LICENSE AND TRANSACTION PRIVILEGE TAX REPORTING - Learn your rights and responsibilities for Transaction Privilege (Sales) Taxation by attending a Tax and License Workshop sponsored by the City of Tucson Finance Department.  Questions will be answered and written materials will be available. Samples of sales tax records, worksheets, and monthly returns will be explained. You should bring a calculator and a pencil. A workshop for retail questions will be held next Tuesday from 10:30 a.m. until noon at the Woods Branch Library, 3455 N. First Ave. A contracting workshop will be held April 29 at the same time and place. Read the news release.


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