City News

Message from Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez




Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez would like to remind Pima County voters who are not registered as one of the major political parties (otherwise known as Independent voters or Party Not Designated voters) that they have can choose ONE political party ballot to vote for the Primary election. They can choose to vote either a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian or Green party ballot.

Sun Tran and Teamsters Reach Tentative Agreement

Sun Tran officials and representatives from Teamsters Local 104 have announced a tentative agreement on a new contract.  Both sides have agreed to extend the current contract until 11:59 p.m. Thursday, August 7, 2014, to allow the members the opportunity to vote on the final contract proposal. The public can expect business as usual through August 7. The current contract extension was to expire at midnight Wednesday night.

A series of meeting will be held for union members to vote on Thursday, August 7, 2014.

NewsNet 08-06-14

CITY FINALIZES ANNEXATION OF 163 ACRES ON SOUTHEAST SIDE - In a unanimous vote yesterday. the Mayor and Tucson City Council adopted the final ordinance for the annexation of Century Park Marketplace. The annexation includes approximately 163 acres at the intersection of Kolb and Valencia Roads. The site has the potential for development of 1.3 million square feet of retail space, which would generate construction sales tax, retail sales tax, and impact fees. "Annexation is a great opportunity for the City of Tucson, because it allows the City to collect additional sales tax, control growth, and capture more of the state-shared revenue," Annexation Project Manager Mike Czechowski told NewsNet.
MAYOR AND COUNCIL TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARING ON MEDICAL MARIJUANA RULES CHANGE - The Mayor and Tucson City Council yesterday voted unanimously to hold a public hearing to discuss recommendations from the City's Planning Commission to allow home delivery of medical marijuana to qualifying patients, extend dispensary hours, and expand limits on "infusion kitchens" that produce marijuana-infused food products. The public hearing on the proposed amendments will be held Sept. 9 during the Mayor and Council meeting, and the new rules could take effect the next day if approved. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.
- With the intention of reducing the number of feral cats, the Pima County Board of Supervisors yesterday unanimously approved a plan to capture, sterilize, vaccinate and release cats who live in the wild. The $1.5 million Community Cats program is a partnership between the Pima Animal Care Center, the Best Friends Animal Society, and PetSmart Charities. The goal is to sterilize 5,000 cats in each of the next three years. Animal-care workers want to decrease the euthanasia rate of cats by about 30 percent. Pima County will contribute $600,000 to pay for the spay and neuter surgeries. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.
- Do your conversations include discussions of Solid Phase Extraction methods, volatile organic compounds and GC/MS analysis? Then a career as a Tucson Water Chemist may be perfect for you. The utility is looking for a highly-qualified individual with a chemistry background to analyze drinking water, surface water, and wastewater utilizing EPA-approved methods. The application deadline is Aug. 17. Read the job description.
- The Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center is urging hikers, gardeners and others to be on the lookout for deadly baby rattlesnakes who don't rattle until they first shed their skins. That makes them particularly dangerous, the Center says, because they can't warn people and animals of danger. Also of note, adult rattlers don't always give warning before striking.

NewsNet 08-05-14

CITY OF TUCSON’S RETIREMENT SYSTEM RECOGNIZED FOR EXCELLENCE - The Chicago-based Government Finance Officers Association has awarded the City of Tucson a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the Tucson Supplemental Retirement System (TSRS). The award, which covers the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2013, is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting. It represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management. TSRS is under the direction of City of Tucson Pension Administrator Michael Hermanson.
PEDESTRIAN DIVERSION PROGRAM FOR CITATIONS BEING DISCUSSED - A pedestrian advisory subcommittee met yesterday to talk about ways to better educate Tucson pedestrians on how to avoid violations and stay safe. One idea is to give them an opportunity to erase or reduce fines, much like drivers and bicyclists have, by attending a defensive driving course. "We have had people ticketed with fairly expensive fines - low-to-mid hundreds of dollars - and there isn't a way around that," says B.J Cordova, Vice Chair of Tucson's Pedestrian Advisory Committee. "And other than the police officer talking to them, there's not an educational opportunity to learn from that." For now, a diversion/education program for pedestrians is just an idea, Cordova said, similar to programs offered in the state of Oregon. Read more from KVOA.
ELECTRONICS COLLECTION AND PAPER SHREDDING EVENT THIS WEEKEND - The Ward 4 Tucson City Council Office is hosting the shredding and electronics recycling event this Saturday, from 8 a.m. - 11 a.m. at 8123 E. Poinciana Dr. The electronics recycling from Desert Metals Recycling will benefit Tucson Clean & Beautiful.  Paper shredding from Shred It will benefit the DM-50, a nonprofit, volunteer service organization that supports and funds initiatives to improve the quality of life for the personnel at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Items accepted for free at the joint event include computers, printers, cell phones, stereo equipment, copiers, fax machines, telephones, a single box of paper, and more. There is a $5 charge for computer monitors and anything beyond one box of paper. Read more about the event at Ward 4 Facebook page.
REDUCE CLUTTER, SAVE TREES, AND GO PAPERLESS WITH CITY E-BILLING - Go paperless with your Utility Services Statement. Set up an eBill account to pay your bill, get notification of your billing statement, view water usage, and read Tucson Water's newsletter.
Enroll in eBilling:
CITY OF TUCSON IS REMOVING ABANDONED SHOPPING CARTS - If you see a shopping cart off store property, abandoned along the street, or sitting in a wash, call the City of Tucson's Environmental Services Department to have it removed. You can call Customer Service at (520) 791-3171 or use the 'My-Waste'™ app and choose the Report a Problem option. Watch a PSA about how the program works.

Pima Softball Player Ramirez Signs at West Texas


Tucson, AZ – Former Pima Community College softball player Stacey Ramirez (Benson HS) signed her national letter of intent to play at West Texas A&M University.

Ramirez, a shortstop, played in all 59 games last season, as she hit .419 with 26 RBIs and 11 steals.

West Texas won the Division II national championship last season with former Pima player Jessica Sipe.

Congratulations to Stacy and good luck at West Texas A&M.

NewsNet 08-04-14

TUCSON POLICE DEPARTMENT (TPD) HOSTS NATIONAL CONFERENCE FOR WOMEN - TPD is hosting the 2014 National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE) Conference this Wednesday through Sunday. NAWLEE is a nonprofit 501(c)(6) organization sponsored and administered by law enforcement personnel whose mission is to serve and further the interests of women executives and those aspiring to be leaders in law enforcement. The organization promotes the ideals and principles of women of all ranks within law enforcement by conducting training seminars in leadership, management, and overall wellness.
POLICE UNION DROPS PENSION LAWSUIT AGAINST CITY - The Tucson Police Officer's Association (TPOA) dropped its lawsuit against the City over the sick leave sell-back program. In June, the TPOA sued the City after it stopped counting the selling back of unused sick days toward police and fire employees’ pensions. The union decided to suspend the lawsuit, since it - and the City’s other three unions -  will enter comprehensive labor negotiations with the City of Tucson within the next few weeks. Newly-appointed Interim City Manager Martha Durkin will be part of those negotiations. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.
TUCSON'S TRANSPORTATION PAST LIVES ON, AS MODERN ERA BEGINS - While the modern era of streetcars debuted in Tucson last month, a symbol of the city's past is on display for everyone to see. Locomotive 1673 is housed at the Historic Train Depot downtown. In the early 1900s, the steam locomotive was part of the Southern Pacific rail network from California to the small desert outpost of Tucson. That meant cheaper goods and faster transportation. In later years, the train was used in the movie "Oklahoma," filmed in Elgin, AZ. Southern Pacific donated the train car to the City of Tucson in 1955. In 1962, it was moved to Himmel Park where it succumbed to the elements and vandalism. Locomotive 1673 eventually was restored and is now residing at the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum, 414 N. Toole Ave. Watch the history of Locomotive 1673, from the Tucson 12 archives.
Tucson Historic Depot timeline for Locomotive 1673

ALWAYS BE PREPARED FOR POWER OUTAGE DURING MONSOON SEASON - The Tucson Fire Department works closely with Tucson Electric Power to get power restored as soon as possible after a thunderstorm, but you should always be prepared.  Tucson Fire Captain Barrett Baker says, at the minimum, keep your refrigerator closed when the power goes out and make sure you have flashlights with fresh batteries.
FOLLOW THE PROGRESS ON THE DOWNTOWN LINKS PROJECT - The City of Tucson and the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) have a website to give citizens information and updates on one of the largest transportation projects in Tucson. The $76 million project will result in a four-lane roadway north of the Union Pacific Railroad that will link Barraza-Aviation Parkway and Interstate 10, Broadway Boulevard with 4th Avenue, and downtown with the neighborhoods to the north. Downtown Links also will provide alternate access to downtown, new and safer underpasses and railroad crossings, and improved sidewalks and bike paths.

NewsNet 08-01-14

MARTHA DURKIN BEGINS HER SERVICE AS INTERIM CITY MANAGER - The City of Tucson administration welcomes a new leader today.  Assistant City Manager, Martha Durkin, was appointed by Mayor and Council recently as the interim replacement for Richard Miranda, whose retirement became effective yesterday. "I am honored to serve as Interim City Manager and build upon the City's mission to provide excellent service delivery," Durkin tells NewsNet. "This is a time of great synergy between our organization and the community as we all work toward a more vibrant and prosperous Tucson." Durkin is the first woman to hold the leadership post, and she will serve as Interim City Manager until a permanent Manager is hired by Mayor and Council. Durkin has worked in local government since 1984.

RESIDENT THANKS TUCSON FIRE DEPARTMENT FOR SAVING HER LIFE - Sandy Goodsite recently suffered a stroke at work.  Fortunately, she was treated within three minutes by Tucson Fire Paramedics Bill Nielson and Robert Smith, and her life was saved.  Goodsite showed her appreciation this week with a full-catered meal for the entire fire station. "I appreciate everything they did, and I don't know how often people come and say 'thank you' to them but I wanted them to see me, that I wasn't just laying on a bed looking like I was about to go out," Goodsite said. The Goodsites also visited the doctors and nurses who helped Sandy at Tucson Medical Center.

NEWSPAPER HIGHLIGHTS FUN THINGS TO DO ALONG THE STREETCAR LINE - The Arizona Daily Star yesterday published a 16-page pullout section highlighting the places for fun, food, and drinks along the 3.9-mile streetcar route. The "Caliente" insert gives a little background about the Sun Link project, while focusing on all of the new development and places to eat and explore along the line, from the University of Arizona, 4th Avenue, downtown, and the Mercado west of I-10. There's even a story about the redevelopment of Tucson's birthplace, nestled near the base of Sentinel Peak. Meanwhile, the latest report from the Downtown Tucson Partnership highlights more than $900 million of public and private investment along the streetcar route.
RECYCLING DURING STREETCAR WEEKEND AND AT THE STOPS HELPS OUR ENVIRONMENT - More than 30,000 bottles of water were given out during the opening of the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar last weekend, and more than a thousand pounds of those empty bottles and other recyclable materials were diverted from the landfill. “Each of the streetcar stops has a permanent dual trash/recycling container for passenger use,” said Francis LaSala, Tucson’s Waste Diversion Manager. “Until now, public transit stops have not been outfitted with recycling containers. Most of the waste generated by transit passengers are recyclable things, like beverage containers and newspapers.” In addition to the dual containers at Sun Link stops, the City recently installed trash and recycling bins downtown to allow residents the opportunity to “Do More Blue” while on the go. Read the news release.
TUCSON POLICE TO TEACH CAR SAFETY TOMORROW - The Tucson Police Department’s nationally-certified car seat technicians will teach parents and guardians about the proper use of car seats at the "Kidz Expo Back to School" event. The event will be held tomorrow at the El Pueblo Regional Center, 101 W. Irvington, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Three classes will be held during the four-hour event - two in Spanish and one in English. After attending the hour-long class, parents will be given a car seat. Registration for the classes will begin at 10:00 a.m.



The five flags that have flown over Tucson - American, Spanish,
Mexican, Confederate, and the State of Arizona - will be presented in a
ceremony to celebrate Tucson’s 239th birthday. The Tohono O'odham
Nation and Pascua Yaqui Tribe flags also will be presented, as will a
replica of the 28-star American flag that was brought by the Mormon
Battalion and flown over Tucson on December 16, 1846.

Newsnet July 31

TUCSON OFFERS TESLA BUILDING PERMIT - In an effort to lure Tesla Motors' battery-making factory to Tucson, the City of Tucson has offered the company a building permit to start construction of a $3 billion plant. The permit is for a one-story building of up to 5 million square feet in size at an address “to be determined." Mayor Jonathan Rothschild this week sent the permit and a brief letter to Tesla officials. “Attached is a City of Tucson permit, ready for your signature,” the letter reads.

Kids Expo August 2


Arizona Bilingual is hosting a Kids Expo at the El Pueblo Center, 101 West Irvington, Saturday, August 2, at 10 a.m..


Health, education, kids activities, painting, arts & crafts, school information,  health information and special events and much more will be offered at this Expo.


More than 500 hundred back packs and school supplies will be given away at the Expo.  Other special items will be raffled off as well at the event.


NewsNet 07-31-14

TUCSON OFFERS TESLA BUILDING PERMIT - In an effort to lure Tesla Motors' battery-making factory to Tucson, the City of Tucson has offered the company a building permit to start construction of a $3 billion plant. The permit is for a one-story building of up to 5 million square feet in size at an address “to be determined." Mayor Jonathan Rothschild this week sent the permit and a brief letter to Tesla officials. “Attached is a City of Tucson permit, ready for your signature,” the letter reads. “Just letting you know the City of Tucson is ready to proceed as soon as you are.” Competing states have offered discounted electricity and free land, and have introduced bills to allow direct sales of Tesla’s vehicles, which states such as Arizona currently ban. Tesla officials have said previously that the company wants to pick one or two sites this year and begin battery production at one of them by 2017. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.
NEW DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP REPORT QUANTIFIES SUCCESS OF STREETCAR - The economic impact of the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar continues to grow. Even though the streetcar began passenger service less than a week ago, economic development along the 3.9-mile route has been heavy since voters approved the streetcar and RTA plan back in 2006. The latest estimate from the Downtown Tucson Partnership quantifies more than $900 million in public and private investment along the line from west of Interstate-10, downtown, 4th Avenue and the University of Arizona.
STREETCARS KEEP WINNING SCRAMBLE FOR FEDERAL MASS TRANSIT PROJECT FUNDING - In the competition for urban transit funding, light rail and streetcars are winning and buses remain runners up. Although more capital intensive than bus systems, light rail and streetcars dominate the list of 53 mass transit projects being funded or under consideration in the FTA’s New Starts program. The $196 million Sun Link Tucson Streetcar was funded in part by a $63 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant – part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Of the 53 projects recently funded nationwide, 30 of them were light rail or streetcar projects, and only 18 were “bus rapid transit” (BRT) – buses running in a dedicated lane closed to other traffic. The rest were for heavy rail projects. Read more from Roll Call.
CITY OF TUCSON DEPARTMENT OF PROCUREMENT WINS ANOTHER NATIONAL AWARD - The City of Tucson’s Department of Procurement recently was awarded the Achievement of Excellence in Procurement Award (AEP) for 2014. The award, from the National Procurement Institute, recognizes innovation, professionalism, e-procurement, productivity, and leadership attributes. The City of Tucson is one of only 14 government agencies in Arizona - and one of 68 cities in the United States - to receive the award. The City is one of only six agencies to receive the AEP award for all 19 years since its inception. Under the leadership of Director Marcheta Gillespie, Tucson’s Department of Procurement consistently wins awards for its work.
REID PARK ZOO AND DESERT MUSEUM JOIN TO SUPPORT CONSERVATION - The Reid Park Zoo will join several other conservation organizations Saturday night at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum's Cool Summer Nights from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. The evening will focus on conservation projects the organizations support. There also will be information on rainwater harvesting, buffelgrass, fire prevention, birding games, and threatened and endangered species.


The City of Tucson Parks and Recreation Department, along with the
Arizona Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and Visit Tucson, will be
hosting the ASA 18 and under girls fastpitch Class A Western National
Championship tournament from July 30 through August 3, 2014. The
tournament will be held at Lincoln Park, 8116 E. Escalante Rd, at the
new Lincoln softball complex. This complex features 4 lighted softball
fields, bleacher seating with roof for shade and a concessions building

NewsNet 07-30-14

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION: 'TUCSON'S SUN LINK ONE MORE REASON TO GROW AMERICA' - Fast Lane, the official blog of the U.S. Department of Transportation, says, "Sun Link is a good example of modern streetcar services that are bringing a new transportation option to communities across the country – or in some cases, bringing back an old one." The blog mentions that nearly 100,000 people live and work within a quarter-mile of the 3.9-mile Sun Link route. That’s helped attract more than $800 million in public and private investment along the corridor since the service was announced, including housing, restaurants, offices, and retail. The American-made streetcar investment in Arizona – funded in part by a grant from DOT's TIGER program – is also supporting jobs for families in Portland, Oregon, where the modern streetcars are manufactured.
AZ CHAPTER OF AMERICAN PUBLIC WORKS ASSOCIATION (APWA) NAMES TUCSON STREETCAR 'PROJECT OF THE YEAR '- The Arizona APWA named the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar the Public Works Project of the Year at its annual conference in Tucson yesterday. The $196 million project, co-managed by the City of Tucson and the Regional Transportation Authority, launched service last Friday with more than 60,000 people riding the streetcar during three days of free rides. The Arizona Chapter of the APWA cited key successes of the streetcar project, including a high level of cooperation among all partners, the creation of more than 500 construction-related jobs, more than $800 million in public and private investment along the route, installation of $19 million in needed infrastructure improvements, extensive outreach to the public and businesses along the route, emphasis on American jobs and materials for the project, and collaboration among various populations and neighborhoods along the streetcar route. The project was recognized for the same honor in April by the Southern Arizona APWA Branch. The streetcar project is considered to be Tucson’s largest and most-complex transportation construction project in city history.
D-M HONORS TWO TUCSONANS FOR THEIR SUPPORT - Ward 4 Tucson City Council Member Shirley Scott and Mike Grassinger recently were each given the honorary title of "Community Wingman" at a recent ceremony at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Council Member Scott is a longtime supporter of D-M, which is in Ward 4, and Grassinger is Principle of AZ Planning Center and a former president of DM-50, a nonprofit volunteer service organization that supports and funds initiatives to improve the quality of life for D-M's airmen. The Davis-Monthan Community Wingman program recognizes Tucson community leaders who have given support to many D-M missions.
MOVIES IN THE PARK SERIES CONTINUES AT REID PARK - Looking for some family-friendly entertainment on Friday nights over the summer? Movies in the Park, a Tucson summer staple since 2003, returns Friday at Reid Park with a free showing of "Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader." Residents are invited to bring blankets and chairs to enjoy a free movie every other Friday at the DeMeester Performing Arts Pavilion, 900 S. Randolph Way. The events begin at 5:30 p.m. with live music, jumping castles, balloon animals, and arts and crafts exhibits from nonprofits. Popcorn, soda, and food truck vendors will be available for an additional charge. The Movies in the Park program is hosted by Cox Communications and the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance. Read more from Tucson News Now.
FIND A BARGAIN AT CITY SURPLUS - Need an Amazon Kindle? Maybe an iPod better fits your entertainment needs? How about a laptop, or a steam cleaner? You can find these items and more on the City of Tucson's surplus auction website.


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