City Council to Discuss Proposed Hate Crime Ordinance

The Mayor and Tucson City Council tomorrow will consider whether to create a new misdemeanor hate crime ordinance. The proposed ordinance would "impose heightened penalties on criminals who target their victims based on their actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, or disability."

The State of Arizona has a statute for hate crimes, but it only applies to felonies committed under Arizona law. It does not apply to misdemeanors or violations of local ordinances.

Ride Sun Tran to Tucson Rodeo and Parade

Ride Sun Tran to La Fiesta de Los Vaqueros Tucson Rodeo through next Sunday. You can also ride the bus to the rodeo parade this Thursday. Sun Tran has regularly scheduled service to the Laos Transit Center, which is one block from theTucson Rodeo Grounds and parade route. Sun Tran and Sun Shuttle routes serve the Laos Transit Center near the southeast corner of Irvington Road at 6th Avenue.

Nestlé Café Coming to Downtown

A Nestlé Toll House Café will soon locate in Downtown Tucson. Manzanita Concepts will lease 1,308 square feet at 17 N. Stone Ave., between Congress and Pennington streets, to open the franchise shop. 

When it opens this summer, the café plans to offer ice cream sandwiches, cookie cakes, brownies, macaroons, frozen yogurt, and smoothies.

Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip has locations across the country. The only other site in Arizona is in Glendale.

Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.

Student and Professional Entries Sought for Annual Recycled Art Showcase

As part of its recycling education efforts serving the Tucson-Pima County metropolitan area, Tucson Clean & Beautiful invites students in grades K-12 and college students and adults who are professional or aspiring recycled artists to participate in the RUMBA (Re-Used Materials Becoming Art) showcase and competition to be held at the 2017 SAHBA Spring Home & Patio Show in April.

Arizona House Advances Bill Regarding Citizen Initiatives

A GOP-led Arizona House committee yesterday voted to approve HB 2404. The bill effectively would eliminate the ability of groups to use paid circulators by prohibiting payment by the number of signatures gathered. Paid circulators still would be allowed, but only if compensated on an hourly or other basis. That removes the incentive for circulators to gather as many signatures as possible.

Closure of Navajo Generating Station Could Slow Water Rate Hikes

Tucson Water rates could rise more slowly in the future if the coal-fired Navajo Generating Station near Page shuts down as planned at the end of 2019. The Central Arizona Project, which sells drinking water to Tucson and other Arizona cities, would see a big savings in its energy costs to pump water if the plant closes on schedule.

Save Money by Using SunGo

The SunGO card is the best way to pay fares when riding public transit in Tucson. The card works on both the Sun Tran bus system and the Sun Link streetcar.

Load value onto a SunGO card to pay your fare, and it will cost $1.50 per trip for most riders and 60 cents for those with a SunGO ID & card. When you use either card, you'll receive free transfers for unlimited rides for two hours in any direction with one fare.

Trash and Recycling Collections Delayed Next Week

Presidents Day will be observed as a government holiday on Monday, meaning residential and commercial trash and recycling will not be collected on that day. All City of Tucson customers will have their collections delayed by one day, but the Los Reales Landfill will be open on Presidents Day.

Except for emergency services, all City offices will be closed on Monday.