URBAN SPRAWL LINKED TO REDUCED HEALTH & ECONOMIC MOBILITY - A new report from the University of Utah’s Metropolitan Research Center and Smart Growth America demonstrates new links between a region's development policies and quality-of-life indicators. The more urban sprawl there is in a region, the more likely there is reduced life expectancy and decreased chances of upward mobility for residents compared to more compact cities. The group's prior research linked sprawling development to obesity, traffic fatalities, inefficient energy use, and even depression. Pima County/Metro Tucson's composite score is 78.92, ranking it 171 on the list of 221 metropolitan areas surveyed. Read more from Governing.
TUCSON DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (TDOT) AND TUCSON ELECTRIC POWER (TEP) REPLACING TREES - TEP now will remove trees growing into overhead utility lines. For each tree that is removed, TDOT will replace it with two new trees that are shorter in stature or replanted in an area away from overhead utility lines. The replacement trees will be watered with irrigation lines already in place. The new program will reduce maintenance costs for TEP and will improve the aesthetics and tree canopy of the city’s landscape. Previously, trees growing into overhead power lines were pruned with a ‘V’ cut, which reshapes the tree’s canopy into an unnatural shape. Read the news release.
PHOENIX BUSINESSMAN CHARLES KEATING DIES - The man notorious for the Savings-and-Loan scandal of the late 1980s died late Monday at the age of 90. Before becoming a well-known name to the nation in the scandal, Charles H. Keating Jr. developed what some in Phoenix call the "crown jewels" of the Valley, and he was well-known for his charitable works. In 1989, federal regulators seized control of his Lincoln Savings-and-Loan company and Keating's other holdings, alleging that he looted the federally-backed Lincoln Savings at taxpayer expense, sank money into risky ventures and cheated the company's investors. Keating was sentenced to 12 years and seven months in prison, but served just 50 months before the conviction was overturned on a technicality. In 1999, he pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud and was sentenced to time served. Read more from the Arizona Republic.
CITY OF TUCSON ACCEPTING PUBLIC COMMENTS ON ANNUAL ACTION PLAN FOR FEDERAL ENTITLEMENT FUNDS - The City of Tucson is preparing an Annual Action Plan outlining the project investments that will be made with approximately $8 million of entitlement funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for Fiscal Year 2015. This Annual Action Plan must be adopted by the Mayor and Council and submitted to HUD before the City can make local project expenditures. The public comment period starts Friday and runs through May 3. More details are available in the news release and from the City of Tucson Housing and Community Development department.