Karin's Note: Friday, February 14, 2014
-Ward 3 Events
-Upcoming Area Neighborhood and Coalition Meeting(s)
-Did You Know?
Our meeting next week addresses transit in three ways: a proposed multi-year plan for transit fares, a completed comprehensive operational analysis of our system, and (during the evening session) a public hearing on next steps toward the joint/public-private development of the downtown Ronstadt Transit Center. The associated materials can be viewed at this link: http://www.tucsonaz.gov/clerks/mcdocs
The budget projection for FY2015 indicates the possibility of a $33M overall General Fund shortfall. That projection included a $6M gap in funding for our transit system. I’ll be asking many questions about that. Already we know that the Regional Transportation Authority money committed to transit operations ($1-2M) and up to $1M we expect to get under a new state contract for Van Tran services were not included in the calculations. In addition the projection is based on an assumption that $1.2M less will be collected through the farebox. Before we take action that would reduce ridership and take money out of the pockets of working people, seniors and other transit riders, we’ll take time at Wednesday’s meeting to review all the numbers and assess all options that could further strengthen this service so important for our entire community’s future.
We’ll also be discussing the Infill Incentive District as it stands, and the review process currently underway. Most issues and concerns with the IID relate to potential conflicts with other adopted overlays, such as Historic Preservation and Neighborhood Preservation Zones. The IID is large enough, and areas of overlap marginal enough, that I am hoping we can allow the review to proceed while appropriately safeguarding any edges which may have received conflicting Mayor/Council land use guidance.
We’ll also get an update on the City’s Bond Advisory Committee recommendations (prioritization of infrastructure/facility investments) and a presentation on Tucson Water’s financial plan.
The Ward 3 Council Office and all City offices will be closed on Monday, February 17, in observance of President’s Day. Have a great weekend.
-Free Tax Help – The VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program once again opened at the Ward 3 Council Office (in the Community Room) on Tuesday, February 11 at 1:00 p.m. 1510 E. Grant Road. Volunteers will be at this location each Tuesday through April 8 from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to noon beginning February 15 through April 12. Volunteers will prepare tax returns free of charge to eligible low-income families and individuals. No appointment necessary, clients are taken on a first-come, first served basis. Those wishing to receive assistance must bring a picture I.D. and original Social Security card for each family member, proof of income, including W2 and 1099 forms, documentation of deductible expenses, prior year tax return if possible, and account routing numbers for those wanting to have direct deposit of refunds.
-Ward 3 Neighbors Alliance Meeting – Wednesday, February 19 at 6:00 p.m. Woods Memorial Library, 3455 N. First Avenue. Topic: “Public Safety/Emergency Preparedness.” How would you deal with 72 hours without electricity? Speakers include Capt. Tony Pierotti from the Tucson Office of Emergency Management and Donna Branch-Gilby, on building resilient neighborhoods.
-Cabrini NA – Tuesday, February 18 at 6:00 p.m. City Vineyard Church, 3450 E. Ft. Lowell
-Samos NA – Tuesday, February 18 at 6:30 p.m. Salpointe High School, 1545 E. Copper
-Keeling NA – Monday, February 24 at 7:00 p.m. Cornerstone Fellowship, 2902 N. Geronimo
-60th Annual Tucson Gem, Mineral and Fossil Showcase – Through February 16 at over 50 venues throughout Tucson, with the finale held at the Tucson Convention Center between Feb 13 and16. Hours for the TCC event are Thursday – Saturday, 10:00 am. - 6:00 p.m. and Sunday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Over 55,000 people will be in town for this event. Best way to get around? Gem Ride! This free shuttle system connects convenient parking with the shows around Tucson. Hop on or off the shuttle at any of the 29 stops on 4 routes. 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily. For more general information on the showcase, please visit http://www.visittucson.org/events/gem-show/
-89th La Fiesta De Los Vaqueros Tucson Rodeo – Saturday, February 15 through Sunday, February 23. Event features competitions for adults and children. Tucson Rodeo Grounds, 4823 S. 6th Avenue. The Rodeo Parade will be held on Thursday, February 20 at 9:00 a.m. More info: www.tucsonrodeo.com or 741-2233.
-32nd Annual Peace Fair & Music Festival – Saturday, February 22 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Reid Park Bandshell. This year’s theme: Climate Justice. Join us for this free event with live music, food, entertainment and activities for children. More info: 445-4110 or www.TucsonPeaceCalendar.org
-Southwest Indian Art Fair – Saturday and Sunday, February 22 and 23. Arizona State Museum, 1013 E. University Boulevard. Saturday hours are 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Southwest native artists present their work. Food, music, dance performances. Adult admission is $10, students and youth under 18 are free. More info: 626-8381 or www.statemuseum.arizona.edu
-Public Open House for Houghton Road: Broadway Boulevard to 22nd Street. Tuesday, February 25 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the Pantano Christian Church Town Hall. 1755 S. Houghton Road. More information at the project website: www.houghtonroad.info
Did You Know...?
…that the City of Tucson Parks and Recreation Department is holding their Annual Schoolzout Rodeo Camp for youth ages 5-14 February 20 and 21? For as little as $2/day/child parents may drop their children off for a fun day. Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Call now as space is limited. In Ward 3: Donna Liggins Center (791-3247) and Marty Birdman Center (791-5950) are open to enrollees. Note: Parents must provide their children with lunch and two snacks.
...that you can attend an intimate concert at Yume Japanese Gardens? The shamisen, or Japanese lute, is a signature instrument of Japanese traditional music and rarely experienced in Tucson. Accomplished performers from Japan are in Tucson now meeting with members of the community and offering workshops. On Sunday, February 15 at 5:00 p.m. these performers will put on a concert at Yume Japanese Gardens, 2930 N. Alvernon Way. Tickets are $15 for members, $17 for non-members and $20 at the door. Purchase tickets at www.tucsonjapanesegardens.org or call 520-332-2928.
…that the City has launched the new Office of Integrated Planning (OIP) website www.tucsonaz.gov/integrated-planning. The home page has a brief mission statement and office overview, while the links to the left provide information on OIP projects, services, staff, and more. This website is a work in progress, and we look forward to "growing" it further. Also scheduled is a second community meeting to discuss OIP on Wednesday, February 26th, 6:30 - 8:00pm at the Community Resource Campus at 3020 N. Commerce Park Loop, Sentinel Building. This will be a follow-up to the January 9th meeting where participants representing neighborhoods, businesses, and community organizations heard a presentation on OIP and then asked questions and shared their hopes for the Office. The next OIP Community Meeting will focus on "What Can We Do to Improve Communication Between the City and the Community?"
…that the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation is presenting a 2014 walking tour series exploring the historic fabric of our community? Each month from January through May, a walking tour will examine the geography, key people, and the decisions they took that have shaped the city we know and love. For more information, go to https://preservetucson.org/.