Paul's Note - July 19th, 2019

Growing up, I knew Todd Harris as a standout athlete for Sahuaro High School. He was a big guy, but he had a teddy bear charisma. He was probably the friendliest guy you will ever meet. I got to cross paths with him because of our mutual involvement in youth sports, particularly football and soccer.

Like me, he joined the Army after High School, but unlike me, he became career Army. He was a part of the storied 10th Mountain Division. His service brought him to Afghanistan. On November 3rd, 2010, he was killed in an insurgent attack on his unit.

This morning, we cut the ribbon on a formal tribute to Harris and his service to our country and this community. The softball and soccer fields off Craycroft and Golf Links, near the main gate of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, will now be known as the Todd M. Harris Sports Complex. It’s a particularly apt spot for a tribute to a veteran, given it is in a place where so many military personnel live and work.

Mayor Rothschild, Vice Mayor Shirley Scott and I worked on getting the renaming, and I’m proud that we could do this for our community and for Todd and his family.

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KIDCO is one of my favorite programs that we run for Tucson families. I’d love to see it expanded, as a matter of fact. We’ll save that for another newsletter.

The school year is coming up quickly (as a teacher, I don’t need to be reminded), so it is time to think about afterschool programs for your kids. Registration is open for KIDCO Afterschool for the 2019-2020 school year. The KIDCO Afterschool program offers safe and structured activities for youth. Planned activities may include sports, games, nutrition, fitness, arts and crafts, performing arts, and special events.

If you’d like to register your child, visit EZEEreg.com.

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In heat like this, we like to put off a lot of our recreation until the sun starts to go down. Our zoo understands and has family activities through the early evenings.

Reid Park Zoo’s annual Summer Safari Saturday Nights program runs 6-8 p.m. every Saturday until Aug. 17. Enjoy the Zoo during cooler evening temperatures with added fun, including live music from local bands, games, inflatables, food and drink specials, face painting, glitter tattoos, animal encounters, zookeeper chats, and themed evenings. This Saturday's theme is "Culinary Delights." Learn about diet prep for the animals and meet anteaters, grizzly bears, tigers, hedgehogs, tamanduas, and goats. Admission to Summer Safari Saturday Nights is free for members, but admission applies for non-members.

For more information, visit https://reidparkzoo.org/event/summer-safari-saturday-nights-2019/

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Applications are currently being accepted for artists who wish to participate in the Holiday Arts & Crafts Fair, Nov. 30-Dec 1, at Reid Park, west of DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center. This event has been held for more than three decades, attracting in more than 130 vendors from all over the Southwest.

This event is open to artists, crafters, photographers, painters, potters, jewelers, and more to sell their original artwork. All items must be handmade - no mass-produced, store-bought, resale, or imported items. All applications are subject to approval.

For more information, or to download an application, visit the website at tucsonaz.gov/parks