NewsNet 06-15-15

BE PREPARED FOR MONSOON - With the monsoon officially starting today (for recordkeeping purposes), Tucson officials are urging you to be prepared for an emergency, such as a multi-day power outage or an interruption in utilities. Be Prepared Tucson advises all residents to create a 72-hour emergency kit. Each member of your family, including pets, should have a kit. A website from the City of Tucson, U.S. Department of Energy, Homeland Security, and FEMA has a checklist of everything you need to be ready for an emergency.
Watch a Tucson Fire Department/Tucson 12 video on how to prepare for an emergency.

THE CITY OF TUCSON AND SUN TRAN SEEKING FEEDBACK ON PLANNED SERVICE CHANGES - Public comments are being solicited on planned service changes to Sun Tran bus routes that would take effect in August. Routes 1, 2, 5, 8, 10 and 34 are being considered for adjustments to improve travel time, on-time performance, and/or increase overall route productivity. Other proposed adjustments include splitting Route 3 into two routes at Ronstadt Transit Center (RTC) to better meet passenger needs, merging Routes 11 and 50, changing weekday frequency on Routes 8 and 25, and changing nighttime frequency on Routes 10, 27 and 29. The deadline to submit comments is June 23.

CITY MANAGER DISCUSSES RECENTLY-ADOPTED BUDGET - After the Tucson City Council last week finalized the budget for the next fiscal year, City Manager Martha Durkin discussed the City's financial position and the challenges and opportunities ahead. While the economy has improved, the rising cost of expenditures is still outpacing revenue gains, causing the City to use one-time funds and a portion of the budget stabilization fund. "We have reduced our expenditures to the amount that we can," Durkin told Arizona Public Media. "We do need to increase revenue." The plan for additional revenue includes annexing sections of unincorporated Pima County to capture state-shared revenue and sales tax. In addition, the City will continue to spur economic growth through the attraction, expansion, and retention of businesses. Read more from Arizona Public Media.

NEW YORK TIMES CALLS TUCSON AN UNSUNG ARCHITECTURAL OASIS - The New York Times recently featured Tucson in its Travel section, saying our city has significant examples of mid-20th century architecture still in place. "One of the city’s better-kept secrets is how often these places occupy structures that could easily be counted among the more significant examples of mid-20th century architecture in the country," the article said. The article also features photos of some of the better-known examples, such as the Chase Bank at Broadway and Country Club, the Arizona Inn, the restored Tucson Inn sign on Miracle Mile, other restored neon signs along Drachman Street, Wanslee "Ugly But Honest" Auto, and more.

OPEN HOUSE TOMORROW FOR DOWNTOWN LINKS PHASE 3 - The City of Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT) and the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) invite the public to attend an open house for Downtown Links - Interstate 10 to Broadway Boulevard. This is Phase 3 of the Downtown Links Project: Church Avenue to Broadway. Project improvements include improved access and connections for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists, linking Barraza-Aviation Parkway and Interstate 10 and Downtown Tucson with the neighborhoods to the north. The project also provides new and safer underpasses, overpasses and railroad crossings, drainage improvements, multi-use paths, improved sidewalks and bike lanes, and public art. The open house will be held tomorrow from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Hotel Tucson City Center, 475 N. Granada Ave. Read the news release.