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NewsNet 10-22-13

COMMUNITY FORUM TOMORROW NIGHT ON CITY BALLOT PROPOSITIONS - City staff will be on hand tomorrow night at a community forum to discuss the two propositions appearing on this year's City ballot: Prop. 401, a permanent $50M adjustment to the City's base expenditure limitation; and Prop. 402, the City's new General Plan. Both measures were referred to November's ballot by M&C. Both measures, under Arizona law, require voter approval in order to take effect. The forum will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Randolph Center, Performing Arts Building #2, 200 S. Alvernon Way. Watch Tucson 12's info video on Prop 401 here; and on Prop. 402 here.

"INDIRECT LEFT" BEGINS OPERATING AT GRANT AND ORACLE - The "indirect left" feature of the first intersection in Tucson's city limits to incorporate the new design began operating this morning at about 6 a.m. This is the Pima County Regional Transportation Authority's (RTA's) second "indirect left" featured project in the region; the first was completed at Pima County's Ina Road & Oracle Road intersection last month. Although the intersection is now operational, transportation officials say construction on the intersection is still not complete, and that crews will be working in the area for a few more weeks. From KOLD/KMSB.

TOMORROW: MAYOR'S POVERTY COMMISSION TO HOST "POVERTY SIMULATION" - Mayor Jonathan Rothschild's Poverty Commission will host a "poverty simulation" Oct. 23 at the UniSource Building in Downtown Tucson. The simulation is intended to familiarize participants with the day-to-day realities facing people who live in poverty in the U.S. - whether they're a single mom, a senior living on a fixed income, a family with an incarcerated parent, or any number of other possible scenarios. Dr. Richard Carmona will act as facilitator during the simulation, which involves four 15-minute "weeks" - one month in which participants will juggle competing demands with limited resources. From Inside Tucson Business.

MORE CITIES USING BONDS TO SHORE UP PENSIONS, BUT EXPERTS WARN AGAINST THE PRACTICE - Despite what finance experts say is a significant risk, cities across the nation are borrowing money to bolster their employee retirement accounts. Nashville was the latest to consider such a move, but Mayor Karl Dean's administration withdrew the proposal last week after intense criticism. The city had considered borrowing $200 million to help reduce nearly $400 million of unfunded liability in its pension plan. Elsewhere this year, the Connecticut towns of Hamden and Stratford agreed this year to borrow up to $125 million and $220 million, respectively, via pension obligation bonds. Fort Lauderdale issued $337 million in bonds last year to cover $400 million of unfunded liability in two separate retirement funds. Oakland, the city believed to have issued the first pension obligation bond in 1985, again used them last year to pump more than $200 million into the city's retirement account for police and firefighters. From USA Today.

TSA BEGINS EXPEDITED CHECK-IN SERVICE AT TUCSON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT - Airline passengers can now take advantage of expedited "PreCheck" screening lanes at Tucson International Airport that don't require them to take off their shoes and belts or open their laptop cases. The TSA this week opened a PreCheck lane on the B Concourse at the airport during peak morning hours. A second PreCheck, on the A Concourse, should be open by the end of October. News release from TAA.