City News

NewsNet 12-09-14

CITY RECEIVES 'PROJECT OF THE DECADE' AWARD FOR STREETCAR - The Metropolitan Pima Alliance (MPA) recently presented the City of Tucson with the "MPA Project of the Decade" award for the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar. The streetcar was honored as one of 22 exceptional projects in the community during the MPA's 10th annual Common Ground Awards ceremony last week. The awards honor community leaders, projects, and events that overcame great obstacles through collaboration. The $196 million streetcar project, co-managed by the City of Tucson and the Regional Transportation Authority, is considered to be Tucson’s largest and most-complex transportation construction project in city history.
 
RESIDENTS NEAR RAILROAD TRACKS MAY GET SOME QUIET - The Downtown Links construction project will upgrade four railroad crossings in the downtown area. Part of the third phase of the project, set to begin in 2016, includes installing new safety features to four rail crossings, and that would make the area eligible to be a federally-approved “quiet zone” where trains wouldn’t have to sound their horns as much. The upgraded crossings at Main Avenue, Fifth Street, Ninth Avenue, and Seventh Avenue will have additional fencing, lighting, and signage to warn pedestrians of approaching trains. The crossing at Sixth Street will be eliminated completely and replaced with an underpass. When all of the work is finished, the City of Tucson can submit a proposal to the Federal Railroad Administration to have the quiet zone approved. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.
 
TUCSON POLICE FOUNDATION AWARDED GRANT TO TEACH TEENS HOW TO DRIVE - State Farm Insurance will present the Tucson Police Foundation (TPF) with an $18,750 grant at a presentation tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. The TPF and the Tucson Police Department (TPD), in partnership with State Farm Insurance, run the Safe Teen Accident Reduction Training (START) classes. They say motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. Seven teens between the ages 16 to 19 die every day from motor vehicle injuries. START training classes take place on a closed course at the Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Training Center in Tucson. Classes are taught by TPD professional driving instructors. The four-hour classes are offered at no charge, with a suggested donation of $50 to the Tucson Police Foundation.
 
JOB OPPORTUNITY: TUCSON WATER SYSTEM OPERATOR
- Tucson Water is recruiting for three Water System Operator positions in the Instrumentation & Control Section of potable, reclaimed water systems. The section is responsible for the central control operations of the potable and reclaimed water systems. Rotating shifts, weekends, and holidays are mandatory. Experience and certifications are required. The application deadline is Dec. 31.
 
WATCH A FOX CHASE BUBBLES - Fennec fox Amir is a demonstration animal at Reid Park Zoo. He is featured in education programs and presentations, and educators keep him socialized by interacting with him frequently. In this session (see video), Amir gets some exercise, and some fun, by playing with bubbles.

NewsNet 12-08-14

FOURTH AVENUE STREET FAIR TO ADJUST STREETCAR ROUTE - The Fourth Avenue Street Fair runs this Friday through Sunday, with more than 300,000 people expected to attend. To accommodate the street fair booths, there will be a temporary route adjustment for the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar, and Sun Tran buses will be used to shuttle streetcar passengers from temporary end point stops at Fourth Avenue and Ninth Street, and University Boulevard and Third Avenue. The streetcar will operate on the east end of the route from the eastern terminus at Helen Street to University Boulevard and Third Avenue and back. On the western terminus, the streetcar will operate from Avenida del Convento through downtown to Fourth Avenue and Eighth Street and back. Read the news release.
Map of route adjustments and shuttle bus route and stops
 
AGENDA SPOTLIGHT: GATEWAY HACIENDA ANNEXATION DISTRICT - A public hearing will be held at tomorrow's Mayor and Tucson City Council Regular Meeting regarding the proposed annexation of nine acres of vacant land at the southeast corner of River Road and Hacienda Del Sol Road. The area is slated to be the future home of Hacienda at the River, a state-of-the-art site with adult assisted living, nursing care, a medical office, and a hospice facility. The new development is anticipated to create 167 jobs, 52 of which will pay more than $55,000. View tomorrow's Mayor and Council agenda, and watch a Tucson 12 video about how annexation works.
 
SENIOR OLYMPIC FESTIVAL REGISTRATION UNDERWAY - Tucson Parks and Recreation presents the 31st Annual Senior Olympic Festival, Jan. 12 - Feb. 1, at several venues throughout Tucson. The festival is a celebration to promote fitness, health, and an active lifestyle among adults 50 years of age and older. Some of the events include volleyball, bowling, bridge, racquetball, basketball shoot, pickleball, archery, golf, tennis, horseshoes, badminton, and more. You can register through Dec. 31 (link below). You also can register between Jan.1-10, but there will be a $3 per event late fee. More than 2,000 people are expected to participate in the competition. Read the news release for registration details, and watch Tucson 12 video of the training for the games.
 
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL LUNCH WASTE GOES GREEN - Every day, Manzo Elementary School students sort their leftovers into compostables, recyclables, chicken food, or trash, minimizing the TUSD school's contribution to the waste stream. In addition, fellow students run and supervise the process from start to finish, which is considered an honor. Composting is one area the City of Tucson is using to divert waste from landfills. The City's Environmental Services Department collects food scraps from local restaurants and grocery stores as part of Compost Cats, in partnership with the University of Arizona. Watch a short video (via Facebook) of the sorting process at Manzo.
 
FROM THE ARCHIVES: CAPTAIN AWESOME!
- Join an artist and her partner, a size 3T superhero, on their adventures at Tucson's playable parks. This video was produced last year by Tucson 12.

Fourth Avenue Street Fair Sun Link StreetCar Temporary Route Adjustments

Fourth Avenue will be the host of the annual Fourth Avenue Winter Street Fair this weekend.  The Fourth Avenue Winter Street Fair begins on Friday, December 12, 2014 and is open daily through Sunday December 14, 2014 from 10 a.m., until 6 p.m.  Attendance for the Street Fair is estimated to be approximately 300,000 people, so please adjust travel plans accordingly.

Sun Tran 2014 Holiday Toy Drive - Stuff the Bus

Sun Tran and KGUN 9 News are partnering again this holiday season for the annual “Stuff-the-Bus” event benefitting the Salvation Army’s Christmas Gift Distribution Program. This year Sun Link will be a part of the annual event by stuffing a streetcar. Tucsonans are encouraged to donate new unwrapped toys for children ages 0-12; cash donations will also be accepted. This year’s event will be held from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, December 12, at the following locations:

NewsNet 12-05-14

CITY SEEKS COMMISSION MEMBERS TO REVIEW AND RECOMMEND SALARIES FOR MAYOR AND COUNCIL - The City of Tucson is accepting applications for the Citizens' Commission on Public Service and Compensation, a panel that reviews and recommends salaries for the Mayor and Tucson City Council. Commission members serve a two-month appointment and must be registered voters living within Tucson city limits. They cannot be employees of the City of Tucson, nor a parent, sibling, spouse, child, or dependent relative of an officer or employee of the City. The Commission’s salary adjustment recommendations may be placed on the Nov. 3, 2015 election ballot. To nominate a person, or for more information, please contact Monica Perez in the City Manager's Office, 791-4204. The deadline to apply is Friday, Dec. 19. Read the news release.

REID PARK ZOO HOPES TO SET ATTENDANCE RECORD - Reid Park Zoo is hoping to set a new record for its highest annual attendance. The previous record of 606,884 occurred in 2012 following the opening of the Zoo’s state-of-the-art Expedition Tanzania exhibit. With already 535,887 visitors to the Zoo through the end of November, the record is well within reach. The Zoo is particularly popular this year due to the Aug. 20 birth of Nandi, the baby African elephant. A mild winter that started off the year also brought more people than normal to the Zoo, and camel rides are now being offered. Reid Park Zoo officials also expect big crowds at this year's Zoo Lights celebration, which begins tonight. Zoo Lights will be open from 6-8 p.m. every night, through Dec. 23, with an encore Dec. 26-28. Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for children under the age of 14. Zoo members receive special discounts, including 50 percent off from Dec. 5-11.
 
DECORATE FOR THE HOLIDAYS WITH SAFETY IN MIND - If you'll be one of the many people decorating for the holidays soon, keep in mind that Christmas lights run a lot of extra electricity through your home, potentially creating hazards. Tucson Fire Captain Barrett Baker demonstrates how to hang decorations for a safe and happy holiday.
 
WRIGHTSTOWN LANE CLOSURE POSTPONED - The bank protection project on East Wrightstown Road, originally scheduled for today, has been postponed due to yesterday's storm. Crews from the City of Tucson Department of Transportation Streets and Traffic Maintenance Division will conduct the bank protection work when the saturated wash bank dries out. The work will take place on the south side of East Wrightstown Road between Sarnoff Drive and Camino Seco. When the work begins, the eastbound travel lane on Wrightstown Road will be closed. Since that part of  Wrightstown Road has one travel lane in each direction, motorists will use a single lane for both eastbound and westbound travel. Flaggers will be present to help direct traffic through the work zone. Read the news release.
 
NEED HELP STARTING OR EXPANDING A BUSINESS IN TUCSON? CALL THE SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE LINE - The City of Tucson's Small Business Assistance Line, (520) 837-4100, is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Help is available in both English and Spanish. Staff from the City Manager's Office of Economic Initiatives answer the calls. The Small Business Assistance Line is one of a number of City initiatives, along with 21 new business incentives, streamlined permit processes and more, to make the City of Tucson more business-friendly.

Wrightstown Travel Lane Closure - POSTPONED

The bank protection project on East Wrightstown Road scheduled for Friday, December 5, 2014, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., has been postponed due to inclement weather. Crews from the City of Tucson Department of Transportation Streets and Traffic Maintenance Division will conduct the bank protection work when the saturated wash bank has dried out. The work will take place on the south side of East Wrightstown Road between Sarnoff Drive and Camino Seco.

Wrightstown Road Travel Lane Closure - Postponed Due To Weather

The bank protection project on East Wrightstown Road scheduled for Friday, December 5, 2014, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., has been postponed due to inclement weather. Crews from the City of Tucson Department of Transportation Streets and Traffic Maintenance Division will conduct the bank protection work when the saturated wash bank has dried out. The work will take place on the south side of East Wrightstown Road between Sarnoff Drive and Camino Seco. 

Houghton Road Open House

The public is invited to attend an open house for the Houghton Road Corridor Projects. This is part of the overall Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) plan to improve Houghton Road from Tanque Verde Road to Interstate 10.

Monday, December 8, 2014
6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Presentation at 6:30 p.m.
Pantano Christian Church, 1755 S. Houghton Road

NewsNet 12-04-14

HOUGHTON ROAD CORRIDOR OPEN HOUSE NEXT WEEK - The public is invited to attend an open house for the Houghton Road Corridor Project, part of the overall Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) plan to improve Houghton Road from Tanque Verde Road to Interstate 10. The open house will be held Monday, from 6-7:30 p.m. at Pantano Christian Church, 1755 S. Houghton Road. At the meeting, the status of street lighting planned along the Houghton Road Corridor will be reviewed, and Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT) staff will be available to answer questions about City policy and plans. A general update on the Houghton Road Corridor also will be discussed. Read the news release.
 
TODAY'S WEATHER IDEAL FOR RAINWATER HARVESTING - Today's rainfall will provide an ample supply of water for those who practice rainwater harvesting. Capturing the rain for outdoor water irrigation minimizes potable water use. Tucson 12 shows you the harvesting process and the rebates to help you along. Contact Tucson Water at (520) 791-4331.
 
REID PARK ZOO TO BE ADORNED WITH CHRISTMAS LIGHTS - Reid Park Zoo tomorrow opens it annual display of Christmas lights. Zoo Lights will help put you in the holiday spirit, with jingle bells, twinkling lights, falling snow, and Santa. Light displays, animal-themed light sculptures, and thousands of sparkling bulbs are part of the annual holiday tradition. Free cookies will be provided each night, and hot cocoa is available for $1. Zoo officials say animals will have access to heated night houses for this event, and will likely choose to be off exhibit. Starting tomorrow, Zoo Lights will be open from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. every night, with an encore Dec. 26-28. Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for children under the age of 14. Zoo members receive special discounts, including 50 percent off from Dec. 5-11.
 
JOB OPPORTUNITY: TUCSON POLICE OFFICER RECRUIT - The Tucson Police Department (TPD) is accepting applications for the position of Police Officer Recruit. Successful candidates from this testing period will be considered for any funded academy class(es) within the next six months. The earliest academy that will be filled from this list is April 2015, but the date may be adjusted if necessary. The application deadline is Dec. 18. Read the official job description from City of Tucson, and ride along with an officer who gives advice about joining TPD, from Tucson 12 archives.
 
COMMEMORATIVE TREE DEDICATION FRIDAY - Tucson Clean & Beautiful, in cooperation with the City of Tucson and Pima County, will dedicate commemorative trees along the Pantano River Park. Each tree to be dedicated has been purchased by Tucson area residents, honoring friends and family. The dedication ceremony will include a reading of the names for whom trees have been dedicated, along with names inscribed at the nearby Children’s Memorial Garden. At the conclusion of the ceremony, attendees are invited for a brief walking tour of the newly-dedicated trees. The dedication will be held from 11 a.m. - noon tomorrow at Pantano River - Garden of the Families, 2500 S. Pantano Parkway (west side of Pantano Parkway, south of Golf Links Road). Read the news release from Tucson Parks and Recreation.

NewsNet 12-03-14

TUCSON'S STREETCAR GETS NATIONAL ATTENTION - The Sun Link Tucson Streetcar is a little more than four months old, but it's serving as an example for cities and others interested in that mode of travel. Shellie Ginn, who manages the streetcar project for the City of Tucson, appeared yesterday on the national radio show Here & Now, a two-hour public radio production of NPR and WBUR in Boston. She said the streetcar created more than $1 billion in public and private investment, and ridership along the nearly 4-mile route is higher than expected. “So, typically where you have transit streetcar stops or light rail stops, those are areas where you’ll have a lot more businesses and developers interested in developing along that line because they know it’s an infrastructure that’s a permanent infrastructure and it’s not easily removed," she said. "When you have rail on the line and you’ve got stops, you’ve got a lot of banks and businesses that want to take the chance on opening a business on something that they know is going to stay there permanently.” Listen to the full interview from WBUR.
 
TRAFFIC ALERT: WRIGHTSTOWN ROAD LANE CLOSURE THIS WEEK - Crews from the City of Tucson Department of Transportation Streets and Traffic Maintenance Division will be conducting bank protection work Friday (9 a.m. - 4 p.m.) on the south side of East Wrightstown Road, between Sarnoff Drive and Camino Seco. The eastbound lane on Wrightstown will be closed to travel in the area. Since Wrightstown is one travel lane in each direction at that location, motorists will be sharing one lane for both eastbound and westbound travel. Flaggers will help direct traffic through the work zone. The project is scheduled to be completed in one day. Read the news release.
 
HOCKEY RETURNS TO TCC THIS WEEKEND - Arizona Wildcat Hockey takes to the ice this Friday and Saturday at the Tucson Convention Center (TCC). The games begin at 7:30 p.m. Both games are against ASU D1. Tickets are available at the TCC Ticket Office and Ticketmaster.
 
REGISTRATION DEADLINE APPROACHING FOR 'SANTA'S HOLIDAY EXPERIENCE' - Monday is the last day to register for "Santa's Holiday Experience" for kids. Participants will create an art project featuring a snowman, play reindeer games, bake with Mrs. Claus, have storytime with elves, and have their picture taken with Santa (bring your own camera). The event will be held Dec. 13 at the William Clements Regional Center, 8155 E. Poinciana Dr. Walk-in registration is required, as is a cash-only payment of $5 per person.
 
DOWNLOAD APP TO REPORT GRAFFITI IN TUCSON - Graffiti Protective Coatings and the City of Tucson have a smartphone application for reporting graffiti. MyTucson is a free download on the iPhone App Store and Google Play for Android.
Watch a University of Arizona Athletics PSA about the app.

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