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NewsNet 06-05-14

UA: ARIZONA'S SLOW ECONOMIC GROWTH TO ACCELERATE - Arizona and Tucson should see stronger economic growth in the next year as the effects of federal spending cuts last year wear off, University of Arizona economists say. But the strength of that growth depends partly on the pace of the recovery in the housing market, according to an economic-forecast update Wednesday by the UA Eller College of Management’s Economic and Business Research Center. The number of non-farm jobs in Arizona rose 2.1 percent in 2013, while the Phoenix area posted a 2.8 percent increase. Tucson saw an increase of just 0.7 percent and is expected to rise to 1.1 percent this year. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star. Visit the UA Eller College of Management’s Economic and Business Research Center (EBRC) website. For economic updates you can follow the UA Eller EBRC on Twitter: @Eller_EBRC

COX COMMUNICATIONS PRESENTS FREE SUMMER MOVIES IN REID PARK - Cox Communications and the Southern Arizona Arts and Culture Alliance will host Movies in the Park at Reid Park throughout the summer. Cox invites you to bring a blanket or lawn chair for a free movie along with live music, jumping castles, balloon twisters, and arts and crafts exhibits from area non-profits. Popcorn, soda, and food truck vendors also will be available for an additional charge. Food and activities begin at 5:30 p.m. and all movies begin at dusk (approximately 7 to 7:30 p.m.). Due to the popularity of these events, parking will fill up quickly. Please make arrangements to come early and use the alternate parking area at Hi Corbett. "The Adventures of Tintin" will kick off the summer schedule tomorrow night.
Read the original news release from the City of Tucson Parks and Recreation department.

TUCSON SAGUAROS "BLOOMING LIKE GANGBUSTERS" - Saguaros are “blooming like gangbusters” this spring — producing far more of their brilliant white blooms than in recent years, plant experts say. One possible reason: The big cacti could be drawing on pent-up energy from previous years when freezing winter weather might have inhibited spring flowering. “They’re blooming heavily this spring, and many are flowering on the sides of the stems as well as at the tips,” said Mark Dimmitt, a cactus expert and retired director of natural history at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Email NewsNet your photo of a Saguaro in bloom ( and it may be chosen to appear on the City of Tucson's Facebook page.
Read more from the Arizona Daily Star. Visit the City of Tucson Facebook page. 

"POP UP" BUS SERVICES MAKES ROUTES "SMARTER" - In Boston, a new technology company is investing in old-fashioned buses, and putting in comfortable seats and WIFI.  But its real innovation is in its routing. It is a "pop up" bus service, with routes dictated by millions of bits of data that show where people are and where they need to go. The start-up company, called Bridj, uses algorithms to make the bus routes “smarter.” “We crunch these millions and millions of data points through a number of algorithms that are existing, or that we’re refining, to tell us where people are living and working,” Matthew George, the company founder, said. “And through our special sauce, we’re able to determine how a city moves.”
Read more from the New York Times.

CITY WEBSITE SYSTEM MAINTENANCE UPDATE - The City of Tucson website and other online services will be temporarily unavailable on Sunday, June 8, from 8 a.m. to noon due to system maintenance. Citizens will not be able to access any online services during this time. 
Visit the City of Tucson website.