City News

NewsNet 10-27-14

NEW 'POCKET PARK' TO BE DEDICATED TONIGHT NEAR TCC - After three months of work, a new "pocket park" will be officially dedicated at 5:30 tonight. The demonstration project is part of the Eckbo landscape, a nearly six-acre space that sits north of the Tucson Convention Center, between the TCC's Tucson Music Hall and Leo Rich Theater. Work on the small park is being funded by a private group called TCC Today, which hopes to restore the Eckbo area to what it was in the 1970s, complete with running water and wooden benches that were removed for metal seats many years ago. The group also removed dead trees and replaced them with new ones that can survive the desert climate. The trees were planted with new support structures underground to give the roots room to grow without buckling the pavement. The full landscape restoration project, which includes the now-empty fountains, is competing for a spot on a proposed 2015 Pima County bond election. Landscape architect Garrett Eckbo was considered one of the most influential landscape architects of the 20th century, and his work at the TCC was honored by the American Society of Landscape Architects shortly after its completion.
TUCSON FIRE DEPARTMENT URGES ABCs OF DROWNING PREVENTION - After Friday's drowning death of a four-year-old boy at an apartment complex at the 300 block of E. Mohave Road, the Tucson Fire Department (TFD) is again stressing its safety message of the ABCs of drowning prevention all year long. "A" is for adult supervision. Watch children at all times. "B" is for barriers. Have a fence that encloses the pool or spa and make sure the gates close and latch automatically. "C" is for CPR. Knowing CPR allows the parent or nearby person to be a first responder. TFD says drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children between the ages of one and four. Read TFD news release.
BABY FLAMINGO BORN AT REID PARK ZOO - A flamingo baby has taken the title of the youngest resident at Reid Park Zoo. Born a little more than a week ago, the chick is being cared for by its mom and dad, with Zoo staff keeping a respectful distance. The flamingo birth makes Nandi the African elephant baby the second-youngest inhabitant at the Zoo. She was born Aug. 20, on Tucson's birthday. The Zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Visit Reid Park Zoo's Facebook page.
CATCH UP ON CITY NEWS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED - Learn where your recyclables go every week; an old playground makes way for a new one; every month, Congress Street is packed with fun; and take a special tour from the driver's seat of the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar. Those stories are featured in this month's edition of Tucson City News in Review, produced by Tucson 12.
HOW TO REPORT TRANSPORTATION CONCERNS - Is there a tree hanging over the road? Is there a pothole you'd like to see fixed? Is a street sign missing? You can report these issues to the Tucson Department of Transportation, (520) 791-3154, or email the exact location to

NewsNet 10-24-14

TUCSON CITY COURT AWARDED TWO FEDERAL GRANTS - The Tucson City Court’s Regional Municipalities Veterans Treatment Court (RMVTC) recently was awarded two federal grants totaling $2,339,277 over four years. Both grants are from the Department of Health and Human Services' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and will be used to expand the treatment services for veterans assigned to the RMVTC. Municipalities participating in the RMVTC are Tucson, Marana, Oro Valley, South Tucson, and Sahuarita. The RMVTC directs veterans charged with certain offenses to rehabilitation services and helps at-risk veterans avoid further legal difficulties. Meanwhile, Tucson City Court recently won the Arizona Supreme Court’s 2014 Strategic Agenda Award in the Limited Jurisdiction category for protecting children, families, and communities. City Court was recognized for its excellent work through the RMVTC and the Dedicated Domestic Violence Court. Read the news release.
DONATION DRIVE UNDERWAY FOR TOMORROW'S 'HOPE FEST' - The Hope Network today is collecting donations of gently-used clothing, shoes, accessories, canned food, bottled water, diapers, stuffed animals, and personal care items. Today's event, which runs until 7 p.m. at Kino Stadium, 2500 E. Ajo Way, is the precursor to tomorrow's "Hope Fest" at the same location. From 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. tomorrow, the donated items will be distributed free of charge (on a first-come, first-served basis). The 22nd annual event provides about 20,000 needy Tucsonans with free groceries, clothing, medical services, dental services, haircuts, hygiene items, and a number of other services. Hope Network is a nonprofit organization that collaborates with many other Tucson nonprofits, government organizations, and businesses to help people living in poverty. Last year, Hope Fest provided more than $1.5 million of goods and services to needy Tucsonans.
BROADWAY/HOUGHTON BLOCK PARTY TOMORROW - Residents will gather for a block party tomorrow to celebrate the completion of the final paving of the intersection of Broadway Boulevard and Houghton Road. The party will include free food, giveaways, raffles, and more. The event runs from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. near the intersection of the RTA-funded project.
TRAFFIC ALERT: SPEEDWAY - ALVERNON WAY TO ROSEMONT BOULEVARD - Beginning Monday, crews from Southern Arizona Paving and Construction Co., under contract with the City of Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT), will begin work to improve pavement conditions on Speedway Boulevard, from Alvernon Way to Rosemont Boulevard. Crews will begin the project by lowering manhole and water valve covers. Work hours will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with scheduled completion by next Friday. Crews will return to the area on Sunday, Nov. 2 to begin milling (removing asphalt) and paving operations, scheduled to be finished on Thursday, Nov. 6. Work hours for that portion of the project will be 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. The pavement improvement program is part of the voter-approved $100 million, five-year Road Recovery bond. Read the news release and Bond Oversight Commission Annual Report
MAYOR TO HOST WEEKEND WALK THROUGH DOWNTOWNMayor Jonathan Rothschild's walk will be held Sunday on the 2.5 mile Turquoise Trail - a historical loop that takes walkers through Downtown Tucson. The Turquoise Trail highlights structures and sites of historic interest and is marked by a turquoise stripe on the sidewalk. Rothschild will join fellow walkers to celebrate historical downtown and the need to be active. The walk begins at 8 a.m. at Presidio San Augustín, with registration at 7:30 a.m.

NewsNet 10-23-14

TUCSON WATER WINS NATIONAL AWARD FOR MANAGEMENT EXCELLENCE - The Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) this week honored Tucson Water with one of its top utility management awards. The award was presented during Monday's ceremony at the 2014 Annual Executive Management Conference of the AMWA, an organization of the largest publicly-owned water utilities in the United States. Tucson Water was recognized with the Platinum Award for Utility Excellence for its exceptional performance in implementing nationally-recognized management standards. “It is an honor to be recognized by our peers in the water utility industry as being one of the best in the nation," said Tucson Water Director Alan Forrest. "All of our employees work hard to ensure that we meet all of our customers' needs as well." Read the news release.
DEADLINE TO REQUEST EARLY BALLOT IS TOMORROW - If you want to cast an Early Ballot for the Nov. 4 election, you have until 5 p.m. tomorrow to request one. Pima County voters can request an early ballot online, or call 724-4330. In order for your vote to count, ballots must be returned and received before 7 p.m. on election day.
UA WILDCAT HOCKEY FAN FEST TONIGHT - The University of Arizona Wildcat Hockey program is hosting its first Fan Fest tonight from 6:30-8 p.m. at the newly-renovated Tucson Convention Center (TCC). The free Fan Fest meet-and-greet event will allow hockey fans to meet the 2014-15 UA Wildcat Hockey players on the eve of their first home game tomorrow. Fans can watch an open team practice and meet new Head Coach Chad Berman, the team's 17 new players, and the returning players. This season will offer a new experience for hockey fans at the TCC. There are about 4,900 new seats with cup holders, new sound, updated lighting, new concession stands, fresh paint and updated restrooms. Rio Nuevo funded $7.8 million of improvements and the City paid about $1 million. Most of the work is finished, with the final touches expected to be completed by the end of the year. Read the news release.
- The Tucson Fire Department's (TFD) annual charity competition to see which firefighters make the best chili has a new venue this year to accommodate more people and families. Saturday's event will be held from 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. at the DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center at Reid Park. Aside from chili and other food, there will be live music, fire trucks, and trick-or-treating for children. The Tucson Firefighters Local 479 chili cook-off benefits the Tucson Firefighters Adopt-A-Family Program, which assists needy families and children with clothing, food, basic necessities, and toys throughout the holiday season.
BOO BASH SATURDAY ON SOUTHEAST SIDE - The annual Halloween Boo Bash is a fun-filled night with tricks, treats, entertainment, face painting, food, and more. Some of the activities include a costume contest, carnival games, and storytelling. The City of Tucson Parks and Recreation department and Pima Community College East Campus are hosting Saturday's event from 4-8 p.m. at the William Clements Center, 8155 E. Poinciana Dr. Admission is $3 (free for children 3 and under), and children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Read the news release.


On Monday, October 27, 2014, crews from Southern Arizona Paving and Construction Co., under contract with the City of Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT), will begin work to improve pavement conditions on Speedway Boulevard from Alvernon Way to Rosemont Boulevard. Crews will begin the project by lowering manhole covers and water valve covers. Work hours will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This work is scheduled to be complete by Friday, October 31, 2014.

Speedway Boulevard : Alvernon Way to Rosemont Boulevard

Resurfacing Projects

On Monday, October 27, 2014, crews from Southern Arizona Paving and Construction Co., under contract with the City of Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT), will begin work to improve pavement conditions on Speedway Boulevard from Alvernon Way to Rosemont Boulevard. Crews will begin the project by lowering manhole covers and water valve covers. Work hours will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This work is scheduled to be complete by Friday, October 31, 2014. 

American Traffic Solutions Recognizes National School Bus Safety Week


TEMPE, AZ -- American Traffic Solutions (ATS) recognizes National School Bus Safety Week on Oct. 20-24, 2014, reminding motorists to exercise caution when school buses are stopped and boarding or disembarking children. ATS is supporting this year’s theme -- "At my Stop, you Stop!" -- by partnering with schools and law enforcement nationwide on a safety campaign to remind motorists of the laws to obey and safe practices to take when approaching a school bus.

NewsNet 10-22-14

CITY OF TUCSON TO REDUCE PARKING FINES - The Mayor and Tucson City Council yesterday voted unanimously to reduce fines for parking tickets next year, after finding Tucson's rates are higher than other major Arizona cities. Fine reductions mostly will come from eliminating court fees tacked on to parking tickets by having Park Tucson (formerly Parkwise) collect fines directly, if paid within 30 days. After 30 days, it would be up to City Court to collect, and regular court fees and late fees would apply. Drivers still could contest a ticket through the court, but fees would follow if the court rules against a driver. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.
Mayor and Council agenda materials
CITY ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES OPERATOR WINS NATIONAL AWARD - Environmental Services Equipment Operator Ruben Rivera was recognized last night by the Mayor and Tucson City Council for his second place win in the International Heavy Equipment Road-E-O. The competition, sponsored by the Solid Waste Association of North America, includes a written exam, inspection, and a driving skills test on a challenging obstacle course. The competition was held last month in Denver, Colorado, and more than 80 operators from across the country competed for top honors. "We are proud to recognize Ruben's achievement," said Environmental Services Director Andrew Quigley. "He is an excellent example of the 216 employees of Environmental Services who work hard every day to provide excellent service and protect our environment." Read more from City of Tucson Environmental Services, and watch Tucson 12 video from last year's Road-E-O competition in Tucson.
COMMUNITY FORUMS TO DISCUSS HUD FUNDING CONTINUE TOMORROW - The City of Tucson and Pima County are hosting meetings to discuss community needs that can be addressed with annual entitlement funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The City of Tucson receives approximately $8 million per year under various federal programs, including Community Development Block Grants. Public input received at these forums will be used to prepare the Fiscal Year 2016 City of Tucson/Pima County Five-Year Consolidated Plan, which will incorporate community needs, available resources, strategies, and priorities for the five-year period beginning on July 1, 2015. The meetings continue tomorrow at the County Housing Offices, 801 W. Congress Street. Discussions include Multi-family Housing Design (10-11:30 a.m.), Energy Efficiency in Affordable Housing (1-2:30 p.m.), and Rural Issues (3-4:30 p.m.). Read the news release.
HOWL-O-WEEN BEGINS FRIDAY - Reid Park Zoo's annual Howl-O-Ween runs this Friday through Sunday, beginning at 6 p.m. each night (Zoo members can enter at 5:30). Enjoy safe trick-or-treating, costumed characters, and Halloween decorations as you stroll through the Zoo. The event is for all ages, with limited spooks and scares. Admission is $7, and members get a $2 discount.

TUCSON CITY GOLF HOSTS FALL EVENTS - Tucson City Golf will be hosting several events this fall at the Randolph Golf Complex, 600 S. Alvernon Way. Golfers can register for this Saturday's Southern Arizona Logistics Education Organization (SALEO) Scholarship Tournament. The LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program is holding a Super Girls Golf Day on Nov. 8, with professional golf instruction, health and wellness information, and a do-it-yourself project for girls ages 7-17. Other upcoming events include The Tucson City Women's & Senior Amateur Tournaments, and the Tucson Golf Expo. Visit the Tucson City Golf events page for detailed information.

I-10 Roadwork Update

Maintenance work on I-10 ramp east of Tucson

The westbound Interstate 10 off-ramp at State Route 83 will be closed Monday, Oct. 20, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for guardrail repair.

Drivers will be detoured to the westbound I-10 Vail Road exit.

For more information, please call Paki Rico at 520-388-4233, or email

Charter Review Committee Update

Now accepting comments - Next meeting is Oct. 22 at 4 p.m. at City Hall

This committee shall review and make recommendations regarding possible amendments to sections of the Tucson City Charter. Comments will be accepted through 2015, and potential amendments to the City Charter may be on the November 3, 2015 city ballot.

All comments shall be directed to the City Clerk’s Office at:

Upcoming public meetings:

Wednesday Oct. 22, 2014, 4 p.m. - City Hall, 255 W. Alameda, 1st Floor

NewsNet 10-21-14

CITY SEEKING COMMENTS ON POSSIBLE CHARTER CHANGES - Tucson's Charter Review Committee is asking for public comments as it reviews and make recommendations about possible amendments to sections of the Tucson City Charter. A public meeting will be held at 4 p.m. tomorrow at City Hall (255 W. Alameda, 1st floor). Potential amendments to the City Charter may be on the Nov. 3, 2015 City ballot. All comments should be made via email to the City Clerk’s Office,
BE PART OF THE BUZZ IN DOWNTOWN TUCSON - If you haven't experienced the excitement of revitalized Downtown Tucson on a weekend, Tucson 12 recently captured the sights and sounds of the 2nd Saturdays Downtown celebration. The monthly event features family-friendly activities, art gallery shows, music, food, and more. Downtown has seen an increase in activity, particularly since the July 25 opening of the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar. Sun Link provides riders with an opportunity to experience the new businesses and activities downtown, while easily traveling to other destinations along the 3.9-mile route through the University of Arizona, Fourth Avenue, and the Mercado District.
2nd Saturdays Downtown

KIDCO HOSTS 'LIGHTS ON AFTERSCHOOL' CELEBRATION - The City of Tucson's Parks and Recreation Department's KIDCO program is taking part in this week's 15th annual "National Lights On Afterschool" event, promoting the need for after-school programs in the Tucson community. Bring a blanket or chair to watch singing and dancing performances by participants in KIDCO and the In-Betweeners Club (IBC). The event begins Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center at Reid Park, and food will be available for purchase. The celebration is part of a national event sponsored by the Afterschool Alliance. Read the news release.
L.A. NEWSPAPER LAUDS STREETCAR - The Los Angeles Daily News calls the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar "a calling card to bring attention to a city that has a lot in common with famously cool Portland, Oregon, and Austin, Texas." The Travel section of the newspaper also cites Tucson's assets, such as history, a beautiful urban core, great food and drinks, art, fine arts, lively music, and a college-town vibe. In addition, the article mentions some historic sites in Tucson, such as Presidio San Agustín del Tucson and St. Augustine Cathedral.
FOLLOW THE PROGRESS ON THE DOWNTOWN LINKS PROJECT - The City of Tucson and the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) have a Downtown Links 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 10-20-14

PUBLIC FORUM TONIGHT ON INCLUSION AND EQUALITY IN TUCSON - Several speakers will take part in tonight's forum, "It's Time to Talk: Inclusion and Equality in Tucson," hosted by Ward 6 City Council Member Steve Kozachik's office. The community-wide conversation will focus on equality and opportunity in Tucson, with discussions about jobs, education, public policy, and the media. The forum begins at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Catalina High School, 3645 E. Pima St. For more information, call 791-4601. Read the news release.
BUSINESS MAGAZINE SPOTLIGHTS STREETCAR PROJECT MANAGER - The fall edition of BizTucson Magazine features the "driving force for Tucson's Modern Streetcar." Tucson Department of Transportation Streetcar Project Manager Shellie Ginn began working on the City of Tucson's largest-ever construction project about 10 years ago, when it was just a recommendation from the Citizens Advisory Committee. Ginn, a Tucson native, helped guide the project through planning, design, construction, and operation. "I really would love my legacy to be leaving this city a better place than when I came into it," she said. "I love public service for that reason." Read the full interview from BizTucson (page 84).
DOWNTOWN LECTURE SERIES ON FOOD CONTINUES - The University of Arizona's College of Social and Behavioral Sciences' Downtown Lecture Series returns to the historic Fox Theatre on Wednesday. The 2014 lecture series is exploring food and its relationships with health, culture, and the environment. This week's lecture by Gary Nabhan is called "Tucson: City of Gastronomy, Hub for Food Diversity." Tickets  for the free, public lecture will be available at the Fox Theatre box office beginning Wednesday at 4 p.m. Attendees can ride the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar to the event and enjoy the dining and retail opportunities along the route at Main Gate Square, Fourth Avenue, Downtown Tucson, or the Mercado District.
TUCSON 12 WINS NATIONAL AWARD - Tucson 12, The City Channel has another award for its display case. The 2014 National Association of Officers and Advisors (NATOA), recently announced the winners of its government programming awards in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Tucson 12 won the Second Place award for its video “Get Streetcar Street Smart!,” in the Public Education category. The annual awards recognize excellence in broadcast, cable, multimedia and electronic programming produced by local government agencies.
AGENDA SPOTLIGHT: MAIN GATE ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT - The Mayor and Tucson City Council tomorrow night will consider creating the Main Gate Entertainment District west of the University of Arizona. Currently, certain new retail types of liquor licenses are not allowed to locate within 300 feet of a school or church. The special district would allow the licenses to be considered, on a case-by-case basis, if the surrounding churches and schools are supportive of the establishments. On April 23, Mayor and Council directed staff to help create a proposed entertainment district for the Main Gate area. Staff presented a draft map on Sept. 9, but was asked to return with modifications to the boundary. Tucson's first entertainment district, the Greater Downtown Entertainment District, was adopted May 20. Tomorrow's Mayor and Council Regular Meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. at 255 W. Alameda St. Read the agenda items.


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