City News

NewsNet 08-07-14

TUCSON WATER DIRECTOR: SUFFICIENT WATER SUPPLY THROUGH 2050; PLANNING FOR FUTURE - While Tucson Water Director Alan Forrest says the city has enough water to meet demands for the next 36 years, he also says it's critical to start planning for the future beyond that point. In a guest opinion in the Arizona Daily Star, Forrest says "To ensure longer-term supply goals, and to address the threat of intermittent shortages on the Colorado River, we must continue to develop additional renewable water supplies." One of those resources is expanding the use of recycled purified water to integrate into the drinking water system, similar to the way Tucson Water currently blends Colorado River with potable water by recharging it into the ground. "Additional purification processes will be included to ensure the water being delivered to our customers meets all drinking-water standards," Forrest writes. "Throughout this process, we will continue to provide information and ask for input from you — our customers." Read the Recycled Water Master Plan Executive Summary.
 
TUCSON'S LINCOLN PARK TO HOST JENNIE FINCH SOFTBALL CAMP
- The City of Tucson Parks and Recreation Department, Visit Tucson, and Pima Community College will host the Jennie Finch Softball Camp at the Lincoln Park Softball Complex, 8116 E. Escalante Road, Nov. 8-9. The camp is open to all girls in the third grade and up. Former UA Softball standout Jennie Finch and her Olympic and professional softball teammates will offer two full days of personal instruction covering all aspects of softball. Advanced registration is required and participation is limited for the fee-based camp, which follows a successful ASA 18U Girls’ Fastpitch Class A West National Championship tournament that was in Tucson last week. Of the 17 teams that participated, 12 teams traveled from outside of Tucson, and seven of them from out of state. On Championship Sunday, the Tucson Scramblers defeated the West Coast Predators twice to claim the title as the ASA/USA 18U A West National Champion. Read more details in the news release from Tucson Parks and Recreation.
 
RIDE THE STREETCAR TO 2nd SATURDAYS DOWNTOWN - The monthly, free, family-friendly event this Saturday begins with gallery shows at 9 a.m. and entertainment later in the day. At 6:30 p.m., the main stage at Scott Avenue and Congress Street features musical groups, and there are plenty of activities for children. Food from vendors and downtown eateries will be available. This will be the first 2nd Saturdays with the streetcar in operation, so you can park not only in the downtown area, but at the University of Arizona, and along 4th Avenue to catch a ride downtown (regular streetcar fares apply - see story below). There are 11,000 parking spaces along the 3.9-mile route. Street parking downtown is free on Saturdays, or you can pay to park in one of the garages.
 
FARE OPTIONS FOR STREETCAR - There are many fare options available to ride the streetcar. Cash is not accepted on the car, but you can use it at machines at the stops to buy a $4 one-day pass. In addition, you can buy SunGO passes online or at regular Sun Tran merchants. Discount fares are available for certain students, low-income residents, seniors and disabled passengers. University of Arizona faculty, staff, and students will be able to ride the streetcar for free for 30 days beginning August 15, if they sign up for a special U-pass.
Watch How to Ride video
Cómo viajar video
 
GET THE LATEST 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 Twittter for timely, concise updates throughout the day.

Message from Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez

INDEPENDENT VOTERS CAN CHOOSE A PRIMARY BALLOT

 

 

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.
 
PIMA COUNTY APPROVES PLAN TO TRAP, STERILIZE, RELEASE FERAL CATS
- 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.
 
JOB OPPORTUNITY: TUCSON WATER CHEMIST
- 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.
 
BEWARE OF BABY RATTLESNAKES THAT DON'T RATTLE
- 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.

CEREMONY OF FLAGS MARKS TUCSON’S 239TH BIRTHDAY

 

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.

TUCSON TO HOST ASA 18 AND UNDER CLASS A WESTERN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP FASTPITCH SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT

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

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