NewsNet 06-23-14

NEW MOVIES RETURNING TO DOWNTOWN AFTER 40-YEAR ABSENCE - The Screening Room, 127 E. Congress St., will begin showing current movie releases next month as Grand Cinemas takes over daily operations from the nonprofit Arizona Media Arts Center. The theater also will show independent films and will continue to host the annual Arizona International Film Festival, said Grand Cinemas managing partner Kent Edwards. In addition to plumbing and electrical upgrades, the $100,000 renovation project includes a new state-of-the-art screen and seats, an expanded snack bar, and a $45,000 HD digital cinema projector like the ones used by large multiplex companies. The theater will seat 120 people. The news is the latest in Downtown Tucson revitalization, fueled by the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar. Over the past two years or so, dozens of new restaurants and clubs have opened in the area. A grocery store is set to open in December and there are plans for a new hotel. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.

REFUND OF ILLEGAL TAX COLLECTION FOR SOUTH TUCSON TAXPAYERS UNCERTAIN - The City of South Tucson collected about $1.8 million from its residents over the past three years, even though it has been determined that the secondary property tax collection was illegal, because it wasn't submitted to voters for approval. Although the Pima County Treasurer’s Office collected South Tucson’s secondary property tax and the Pima County Board of Supervisors approved the tax valuations and assessments, neither had the legal responsibility to check that the City received the required approval from voters. The budget the South Tucson City Council approved Wednesday ended the tax, but elected officials and administrators stopped short of calling for refunds to taxpayers. The $10.2 million budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 includes several tax and fee increases to compensate for the approximately $600,000 hole created by eliminating the secondary property tax. Read more from the the Arizona Daily Star.

HOME SALES STRONG ON TUCSON'S SOUTHSIDE - Three southside ZIP codes registered the highest percentage of homes sold in May that were on the Tucson Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service (TARMLS). The Association reports home sales were highest in the ZIP Codes of 85706, with 48.8 percent of listings sold, 85756 at 47.3 percent, and 85746 at 34.6 percent. A contributing factor could be price, TARMLS President Kim Clifton said, pointing to declining May sales in higher-priced Marana, Oro Valley and Sahuarita. Read more from Arizona Public Media.

EL TOUR RECRUITING CHILDREN TO BICYCLE FOR HEALTH - The Jr. El Tour Youth Cycling program is putting together a coed team of children between the ages of 10 - 12 who are interested in cycling to improve their health. Priority will be given to children who are in need, overweight, not very active, or at risk for health problems. The kids will learn cycling techniques, safety, sports nutrition, and exercise. Training sessions are three times per week for the first 12 weeks, culminating in a 40-mile ride in the El Tour de Tucson bicycle event in November. Jr. El Tour is a nonprofit program of the Perimeter Bicycling Association and is supported by grants and donations. Participation is free for those accepted into the program. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.

DOWNLOAD APP TO REPORT GRAFFITI IN TUCSON - Graffiti Protective Coatings and the City of Tucson have a smartphone application for reporting graffiti. MyTucson is a free download on the iOS App Store and Google Play for Android.
City of Tucson apps
Watch a University of Arizona PSA about the app