City News

NewsNet 07-10-14

10 BEST THINGS TO DO IN TUCSON - The USA Today's travel website highlights the best things to do in Tucson. As for attractions, the site lists the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Old Tucson Studios, Mission San Xavier del Bac, Mt. Lemmon Ski Resort and others. For outdoor activities, Sentinel Peak Park tops the list. When it comes to annual events, the site ranks the 4th Avenue Street Fair, Tucson International Mariachi Conference and All Souls Procession as the top three.

LEARN ABOUT TUCSON'S STREETCAR HISTORY - While the Sun Link Streetcar opening July 25th is the most modern of streetcars, the history of streetcars in Tucson dates back to 1897. The University of Arizona's Drachman Institute downtown is partnering with Old Pueblo Trolley to present a photo exhibit on the history Tucson's streetcars. The photos are presented in all three display windows at 44 N. Stone Ave. See some of the photos via Friends of the Tucson Streetcar Facebook page.

STEM JOBS ARE PLENTIFUL IN TUCSON - While jobs that don't require science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) skills bring plenty of competition for workers, jobs that require STEM skills remain vacant. The Brookings Metro Policy Program has released a new report with analysis of job openings and hiring difficulties for STEM-related jobs. It compiled data from the 100 largest U.S. metro areas, including Tucson — where more than 40 percent of job openings require some STEM skills. Of the 3,048 ads for recent job openings analyzed in the Tucson area, 40.8 percent required STEM skills. The State of Arizona recently appropriated $600,000 to Pima Community College for workforce programs in science, technology, engineering and math. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.

TOMORROW IS LAST OF SUMMER SAFARI FRIDAY NIGHTS AT REID PARK ZOO - This year's Summer Safari Friday Nights program concludes with a celebration of Amazing Africa, featuring zookeeper chats at zebra, giraffe, otter, lion, rhino, and Speke’s gazelle exhibits. Feed the giraffes, have your face painted, take a self-guided scavenger hunt, and listen to live music. Tomorrow's event runs from 5:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. at the Reid Park Zoo.
Learn more about the event and admission prices at Reid Park Zoo.

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NewsNet 07-09-14

CITY COUNCIL RECOGNIZES CITY MANAGER MIRANDA - City Council Members took the time last night to give a public thank you to City Manager Richard Miranda. The Council meeting was Miranda's last before his retirement on July 31. A Tucson native, Miranda has served his community for nearly forty years and lead the City through some of its toughest financial challenges. Mayor Jonathan Rothschild said, "the qualities that you possess in abundance — integrity, reliability, stability — were exactly what this city needed as we rebuilt trust with our constituents." Read Arizona Daily Star's story about Miranda's retirement from the City of Tucson.

TRANSIT TALK FRIDAY - Transportation planner and educator Jarrett Walker will lead a public discussion about how good planning and an improved transit system can enhance the quality of life in Tucson. Walker is the author of the book "Human Transit: How Clearer Thinking about Public Transit Can Enrich Our Communities and Our Lives." He also writes the blog "Human Transit." His talk will be held Friday night at Tucson Electric Power Company headquarters, 88 E. Broadway. Doors open at 5 p.m. for a reception, and the free presentation begins at 6 p.m. Ward 3 Council Member Karin Uhlich is one of the many sponsors of the event. Read the Ward 3 news release.

TUCSON WATER BEGINS RECYCLED WATER PROGRAM - Tucson Water announced that it has completed a master plan for the development of recycled water as a future drinking water source. After thirty years of success with supplying reclaimed water systems to parks, schoolyards, and some neighborhoods, Tucson Water is confident that purification technology is available to ensure safe drinking water. Although the development of recycled water will take several years, ongoing drought and climate changes have made the program a priority. "The City of Tucson leadership has always supported Tucson Water in planning far in advance to make sure we have a safe, reliable water supply for the future," said Tucson Water Director Alan Forrest. Read the Tucson Water News Release.

SUMMER MEANS POETRY DOWNTOWN - The UA Poetry Center is hosting a short series of Walt Whitman Circle Summer Social events, taking place at Hotel Congress. Each event is slated to begin about a half-hour before the speaker takes the podium to allow attendees time to partake in snacks and conversation. The next event, Poetry in Partnership, is scheduled for July 23 and will focus on ways poetry will play an ongoing role with the Sun Link Streetcar (which begins passenger service two days later). The final event will take place on August 13, discussing the relationship between poetry and the financial markets. Read more from Downtown Tucsonan.

TRACK THE REMNANTS OF ICONIC MINIATURE GOLF BUSINESS - Magic Carpet Golf on East Speedway closed in 2008, but memories live on for those who grew up in Tucson. Even though the business is gone, much of it remains around Tucson. The big statues/obstacles have new homes around the city, and the neon sign now rests with others on West Drachman Street, near Pima Community College. There's even an interactive Google map to track the locations of where everything went. In 2011, the City of Tucson's Historic Landmark Signs Preservation Program was created to encourage voluntary preservation of historically-significant older signs, which often are larger than current sign code allows. Once designated as historic, the signs can be repaired, restored, adaptively-reused, and even relocated.

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)



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.


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