City News

NewsNet 07-08-14

USA TODAY NAMES TUCSON ONE OF '10 BEST BIKE-FRIENDLY CITIES' - Tucson's international reputation as a "bike-friendly" city continues to grow. The latest evidence is Tucson's new recognition by USA Today as being a favorite city for bike riders. The article says there are plenty of bicycle events, while highlighting The Loop's multi-use trail around Tucson and Pima County. It also mentions the beauty of the five mountain ranges that surround the community.

AGENDA SPOTLIGHT: ECONOMIC AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT GRANTS - The City of Tucson Mayor & Council have established economic and workforce development as a top priority for our community. Thanks to the Mayor and Council's direction and $600,000 in funding, their Economic and Workforce Development Selection Committee (EWDSC) has completed its review of the Request for Proposals (RFPs) submitted for Fiscal Year 2015. In all, 44 proposals worth $2 million were submitted for review. The Committee is recommending 14 proposals for funding. Mayor & Council are scheduled to vote on approval of the grants during tonight's Regular Meeting, which begins at 5:30, at Mayor & Council Chambers at City Hall, 255 W. Alameda St. Read the agenda materials.

TRAFFIC ALERT: SIXTH AVENUE UNDERPASS CLOSED - The Sixth Avenue Underpass downtown will be closed today through Thursday, from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., to allow crews from Graffiti Protective Coatings to repaint the underpass. Electronic message boards are in place to highlight the closure. Motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians will be prohibited from using the underpass during the work hours. During the closure, those traveling north on Sixth Avenue should detour west on Toole Avenue to either Seventh Avenue or Stone Avenue. Those traveling south on Sixth Avenue to downtown should detour west on Seventh Street to Seventh Avenue to access Toole Avenue.

TUCSON'S REID PARK ZOO STILL ON BABY WATCH FOR ELEPHANT - Semba, the Reid Park Zoo's African elephant matriarch, is expected to give birth this summer. This is the first time a baby elephant will be born at the Zoo. To get ready for the event, the Zoo recently held a baby shower to acquire some items needed for the calf. Follow updates at the Pachyderm Pregnancy Page.

GET A BARGAIN ON CITY SURPLUS - Need some Playstation 3s? Perhaps a pickup, van or bicycles fit your transportation needs? How about a folding table and chairs? You can find these items and more on the City of Tucson's surplus auction website. View the items listed for bid at the Tucson's Public Surplus auctions.

Traffic Alert - July 8 - 10 (Sixth Avenue Underpass)

TRAFFIC ALERT

SIXTH AVENUE UNDERPASS CLOSURE

On Tuesday, July 8, 2014 through Thursday, July 10, 2014 the Sixth Avenue Underpass downtown will be closed daily from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to allow crews from Graffiti Protective Coatings (GPC) to repaint the underpass. 

Electronic message boards are in place to notify the traveling public of this closure.  Motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians will be prohibited from using the underpass during the work hours. 

Sixth Avenue Underpass Closure

On Tuesday, July 8, 2014 through Thursday, July 10, 2014 the Sixth Avenue Underpass downtown will be closed daily from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to allow crews from Graffiti Protective Coatings (GPC) to repaint the underpass.

Electronic message boards are in place to notify the traveling public of this closure.  Motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians will be prohibited from using the underpass during the work hours.

NewsNet 07-07-14

TUCSON FIRE DEPARTMENT'S SWIFT WATER RESCUE TEAM CALLED INTO ACTION BY SATURDAY'S STORM - A Tucson Fire Department ladder truck successfully rescued two people from the top of a Jeep after the vehicle got stuck in a wash near Broadway and Wilmot. In another incident, TFD rescue crews responded to a call of a man being swept away in a wash near Prince and Romero. A caller to 9-1-1 said someone had been living in the area and his dog was on the bank of the wash as crews arrived. Despite intense search efforts, the man had not been found as of this morning. Follow updates on TFD's Facebook page, and read monsoon safety tips.

SOME TUCSON POLICE OFFICERS RECEIVE REPLACEMENT BULLETPROOF VESTS - Approximately 100 Tucson Police officers received new protective vests through a local program that generated funds over the past year through events, sponsors, grants and donations. The Tucson Police Foundation’s “Adopt-A-Cop” program, which began in 2011, helps raise funds to replace the vests for the patrol officers who wear a vest that is five years or older. Foundation officials say one vest costs about $800. So far, the program has provided vests to more than 300 TPD officers. Read more from Tucson News Now.

PREPARE TO RIDE THE STREETCAR - The Sun Link Tucson Streetcar opens to passenger service on July 25. The first three days of service will include free rides and a chance to learn more about this new from of travel in Tucson. You can buy a one-day pass for $4 at machines at the stops, or use your SunGo card, which will deduct from your pass or cash balance just like you're riding a bus. Read more about the streetcar from Downtown Tucsonan.

FORBES: TUCSON AMONG THE TOP 10 NEW CAPITALS OF INFLUENCE - Tucson rounds out Forbes magazine's list in its article "Why the Southwest is the New Capital of Influence." Forbes points to the region's Hispanic/American culture and Latin millennials making lives in the Southwest. The article says "millennials have real clout, both for their spending power now and for their ability to influence what comes next. Marketers especially should start paying attention." It also says Tucson’s millennial reputation is that the city is future-affordable and very authentic.

NEW TOHONO O'ODHAM NATION MONUMENT AT SENTINEL PEAK - A new monument in Menlo Park honors Tucson’s original inhabitants and represents the sighting of the 1692 arrival of Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino at Chuk Son, an area at the base of what is now called Sentinel Peak. Watch the story produced by Tucson 12.

Everything Lunar

The Lunar and Planetary Laboratory is hosting a free public open house, Everything Lunar: Celebrating the Past, Exploring the Future, on Sunday, July 20, the 45th anniversary of the Apollo Moon landing, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm in the Kuiper Space Sciences Building, 1629 E. University Blvd. (next door to Flandrau Science Center).

NewsNet 07-02-14

"A" MOUNTAIN FIREWORKS FRIDAY - The Independence Day fireworks celebration from “A” Mountain will start at approximately 9:15 p.m. Friday. The 4th of July celebration is sponsored by the Tohono O'odham Nation's Desert Diamond Casinos & Entertainment. Residents can watch the fireworks from the Tucson Convention Center’s parking lots. There will be food vendors (burgers, hot dogs, ice cream, refreshments and a beer garden) available between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

PUBLIC ART ADORNS TEN OF 22 STREETCAR STOPS - The Sun Link Tucson Streetcar starts passenger service on July 25, and the route is already bursting with new public art. Eight artists designed the artwork for the ten streetcar stops and the Sun Link Operations and Maintenance Facility. Another artist designed the art on the Luis G. Gutierrez Bridge. Each piece represents the artist's overall interpretation of "flow" - such as the flow of time, history, words, ideas, etc. across our city - to symbolize the streetcar's smooth movement through Tucson's urban core. The $765,000 cost for the art was funded by the City of Tucson and Pima County’s Percent for Arts Program, which allocates one percent of the budget for capital improvement projects for public art. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star, and learn more about the Sun Link arts program.

PIMA COUNTY TO USE FUND BALANCE TO BUY SOCCER SITE; FINALIZES PAINTED HILLS PURCHASE - Pima County will buy 167 acres of land near the Kino Sports Complex to build soccer fields, but the money for the purchase will not come from funds set aside for road repairs, as previously had been discussed. Instead, the Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 yesterday to make the $1.75 million down payment on the property — with a total cost of $8.75 million — using money from its year-end fund balance, which County officials said was $2 million to $3 million higher than expected. The County also will move forward with a $7.5 million purchase of a 286-acre parcel in the west-side Painted Hills area. Supervisors voted to use $3 million from a 2004 open-space program to make a down payment on the land, which is owned by the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System. At Monday's Tucson Mayor & Council meeting, Painted Hills preservation supporters praised the City of Tucson for its steadfast support and leadership in protecting the area from development. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.
Mayor and Council agenda items about the transaction

TUCSON NONPROFIT BREAKS GROUND ON NEW OUTDOOR CHILDREN'S FACILITY - Aviva Children's Services is building a park-like facility that is more than just a playground. The nonprofit, which helps children in State care, is turning a dirt lot next to its facility near Broadway and Campbell into a secure place to help facilitate court-ordered visits with children and their parents. Aviva serves more than 3,500 children in foster care in Pima County. The estimated cost of the new 11,000-square-foot outdoor visit center is $425,000, with part of the funding being covered by a grant from Angel Charity. Construction is expected to be finished by December. Read more Tucson News Now.

NewsNet 07-01-14

TUCSON RESIDENTS CAN BUY INSURANCE FOR THEIR EXTERIOR WATER LINE - The National League of Cities and Towns is endorsing a water and sewer line warranty program for Tucson residents who are interested in purchasing repair protection. On June 3, the Mayor and Tucson City Council unanimously approved a contract implementing the program. Tucson residents recently were mailed details of the offer. Homeowners are responsible for their exterior water and sewer lines. The warranty program, from Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA), covers the homeowner's repair costs for leaking, clogged or broken lines. More than 150 cities, including Phoenix, Avondale and Mesa, are co-sponsors of the League-sponsored program. The Service Line Warranty Program provides an important service to city homeowners, as repairs to the exterior water line can be very costly. A sewer line warranty also available through SLWA. Read Mayor and Council materials from the June 3 meeting.

CITY MAY RECONSIDER NEW URBAN AGRICULTURE RULES - Proposed limits on how many chickens and goats Tucson residents can keep in their backyards may be not adopted after all. The same goes for new rules about selling homegrown fruits and vegetables to neighbors. Tucson City Council members last night expressed hesitation about bringing the changes to a public vote in the wake of opposition from urban farmers, who say the proposed rules would hinder people from growing their own food. An update to urban agriculture rules aims to balance increased interest in animal and food production in residential areas with neighborhood protection, historic building preservation, and other quality of life issues such as noise and odor. The Mayor and Council will re-visit the issue in the future. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.
City of Tucson's urban agriculture proposed farm animal rules (including chickens)
Plan Tucson

CITY COUNCIL HOLDS FIRST PUBLIC HEARING ON UPDATED IMPACT FEES - The Mayor and Tucson City Council last night held a public hearing on proposed updated development impact fees. Tucson currently collects impact fees on all new development, but it will be forced to stop on Aug. 1 after failing to meet the deadline for adopting a complicated state-mandated update on how it charges and spends the money. Homebuilder groups say the City’s proposed changes need more work. The plan would boost fees from about $7,400 to $10,000 on an average 2,250-square-foot home. Impact fees help ensure that new residents pay some of the cost of additional roads, parks, police, and fire equipment required by those new residents and reduces the burden on existing taxpayers. The City Council voted unanimously to direct City staff to incorporate all of the speakers’ concerns as they work toward a final draft. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.
Agenda materials from last night's Mayor and Council meeting

TRASH PICKUP DELAYED FRIDAY - Because of the 4th of July holiday Friday, City of Tucson customers who normally have their trash and recycling picked up on that day will instead have their collections on Saturday. City offices also will be closed on Friday. Read the news release.

GET THE LATEST TUCSON NEWS AND INFORMATION ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER - "Like" the City of Tucson on Facebook to get the latest news, community updates and fun facts about Tucson local government and our community. You can also "Follow" the City of Tucson on Twitter for timely, concise updates throughout the day.

July 4 Garbage Pickup Update

The 4th of July holiday will be observed on Friday, July 4, 2014. Residential and commercial trash and recycling will not be collected on Friday. All City of Tucson residential and commercial customers with regular Friday service will have their trash and recycling service collected on Saturday, July 5, 2014. The Los Reales Landfill and the Household Hazardous Waste Facility will be closed.

NewsNet 06-30-14

TUCSON POLICE DEPARTMENT TO GET GIFT OF 50 AEDs - The Steven M. Gootter Foundation tonight will present the Tucson Police Department (TPD) with 50 Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs). The money to pay for the AEDs comes from a portion of the $500,000 raised at the 2014 Gootter Grand Slam charity tennis event in March. The presentation of the AEDs will happen at tonight's meeting of the Mayor and Tucson City Council, which begins at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers at 255 W. Alameda St. A demonstration on the use of AEDs will be held before the meeting, at 5:30 p.m., in the plaza outside of Council

WINGSPAN CLOSING JULY 31 - Wingspan — a center that serves lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities — will close its doors July 31 because of financial problems. The nonprofit has served LGBT clients for 26 years and has experienced financial difficulties since 2009, said Paul Guerrero, president of Wingspan’s board of directors. “The board voted to begin collaborations with the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation to discuss a transition that will allow for Wingspan’s programs and mission to continue,” Guerrero said. Discussions with other nonprofits also are underway. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.

FREE GAS CAPS FOR SOME CARS WHO FAIL EMISSIONS - Starting tomorrow, Arizona is giving away free gas caps to people who fail their vehicle emissions test due to a faulty gas cap. The cost of the program actually will be paid by the emissions contractor, Gordon-Darby. Not only will Arizonans not have to pay for the new gas cap, but they also won't have to return for another test. Gordon-Darby will keep a regular stock of the most widely-used gas caps, which should cover about 90-percent of vehicles. If a cap is not readily available, drivers will get a $5 prepaid debit card to help defray the cost of a new gas cap. Read more from Capitol Media Services via the Arizona Daily Star.

TUCSON SOCCER TEAMS IN NATIONAL COMPETITION - Five Tucson-area youth soccer clubs are headed to Southern California to compete in the 2014 AYSO National Games. Nearly 500 teams and 7,000 athletes will be participating at the Riverside Convention Center. The teams already have arrived, and the competition runs through Sunday.

HOW TO REPORT TRANSPORTATION CONCERNS - Is there a pothole you'd like to see fixed? Is a street sign missing? Is a tree limb hanging too close over a roadway or sidewalk? You can report these issues to the Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT), (520) 791-3154, or email the exact location to tdotsr@tucsonaz.gov. You also can use the SeeClickFix website and app fro iOS and Android.

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