Paul's Note - November 16, 2018

For both Memorial Day and Veterans Day, Ward 5 councilmember Richard Fimbres arranges for local school children to write thank you cards for patients at our local Veterans Hospital. He’s been doing this for eight years. This year, Tucson students made 4,700 cards. Together with a group of colleagues and friends, Richard hand delivers those cards to vets and staff.

Members of my staff have gone on these visits, and this year the group included outgoing Clerk of the Court Toni Hellon and South Tucson Vice Mayor Herman Lopez, who, like me and Richard, is a US Army veteran.

In addition to getting to talk to vets, it is also a chance to learn about what is being done to help those that have sacrificed so much for our country. Our VA facilities have come in for a lot of criticism, much of it unfortunately deserved, but we have one of the finest facilities in the country here in Tucson and we are lucky that our local veterans get such fine, professional treatment.

We are grateful for the opportunity to show thanks.

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I wanted to give a bit of credit to a Ward 2 business doing something good in the community. Arizona Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons has what they call the Second Chance Program. They take applications every September from people who need a full set of custom-designed permanent teeth to replace both arches of lost or failing teeth. They select one person to do this for every year.

This is a big deal because such procedures can run $30,000. They are not covered by most insurance plans, and if you are low income, it would be near impossible to come up with the money.

This year’s recipient was a single mother of four (including one with special needs) who recently lost her husband. The team of restorationists and surgeons, Drs. Robert Wood, Nicholas Coles, Negin Saghafi and Kathrine Hammel, gave her a new smile.

Thank you for helping make our community a little better.

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Those of you that visit or call our office may notice a new face out front. Angela Reyes has been working for me for a little more than a month.

Angela lives in South Tucson and has been doing volunteer work in our community both at Casa Maria and with Keep Tucson Together, a free legal clinic for immigrants. In addition to her part-time position at my office, she works as an interpreter. She is also raising her daughter Dacia.

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You can still register for tomorrow’s 36th El Tour de Tucson, but you have to do it in person at the El Tour Bicycle, Health, & Fitness Expo today until 9 p.m. at the Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave. El Tour de Tucson is for cyclists of all ages and abilities, with the main race covering 100 miles. The event brings in more than 9,000 riders from around the world, contributing up to $90 million since 1983 for more than 40 different local and national nonprofit organizations. The main race begins at 7 a.m. at Armory Park in Downtown Tucson. The various races of 100, 75, 50, and 25 miles will cause many traffic restrictions. Law enforcement officers from all jurisdictions will control traffic and help ensure a safe ride for cyclists and a safe drive for motorists. There will be delays on some roads. El Tour de Tucson officially ends at 5 p.m. tomorrow.

More information, including traffic details, can be found at https://www.facebook.com/ElTourdeTucson

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Next weekend is Thanksgiving. Our office and the water payment window will be closed Thursday and Friday.