Ward 2 Council Member Paul Cunningham
In colder parts of the world, you'll often see wanna-be daredevils plunge into some near-frozen lake as part of a "Polar Plunge." Yes, it's not as cold here, but we can still do that, especially if it's for a worthy cause.
On Saturday, March 9th, Special Olympics Arizona will host its 11th Annual Tucson Polar Plunge. Special Olympics athletes, families, friends and fans will all be "Freezin' for a Reason" in support of athletes living in southern Arizona.
Our side of town isn’t known for having a lot of neighborhood associations, which are pretty common in other areas of the city. However, it’s been gratifying to see that a few new ones have been organized since I took office.
I had an opportunity last week to have a sit down with T. Van Hook, Chief Executive Officer of Habitat for Humanity Tucson. I learned a bit more about their business model and how the city could be an even better partner with them in the future.
Most of us know about Habitat's main work, building houses for families who couldn't otherwise afford them. They also have many other programs to help lower income families maintain their houses and continue to contribute as home owners.
A member of my staff attended a special event on Thursday morning: the opening of a new house on the far east side.
The house is for Sgt. Caleb Brewer, who lost both of his legs after stepping on an IED in Afghanistan three years ago. Since getting his prosthetic legs, he’s been rock climbing, surfing and running. His life since his injuries is a tribute to perseverance.
The Citizen’s Commission on Public Service and Compensation is considering a recommendation to voters concerning salaries for Mayor and Council. If approved by the Commission the recommendation will be placed upon the Nov. 5, 2019, City Ballot.
The Commission invites you to comment on this issue at the following meetings:
Spend Valentine’s Day morning with someone you love. Come tour the Los Reales Landfill and Republic Services Recycling Facility, and you’ll see how we show our love and care for mother earth. Every week your trash and recycling goes “away” never to be seen again. Or, is it? The tour will show you what happens once the green and blue bins are collected and taken away and how some of those materials are re-imagined through recycling.
I made a trip down to the airport Friday morning to hand out gift cards to help TSA employees buy gasoline and necessities. Buried in the news about the government re-opening was the fact that employees for many agencies, including the TSA, still have to wait a couple of weeks for their next check.
People from across the community, from labor unions to churches, did some great work to support federal employees during the shutdown. After hearing about the TSA workers, I called Charles Sparks, who runs our local TSA, and asked how I could help out.
After months of negotiations between a large array of stakeholder groups, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed Arizona’s commitments to the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan (DCP) into law Thursday afternoon. The Arizona DCP is a set of voluntary cuts that Arizona Colorado River water users have agreed to take over the next several years to prevent deep shortages at which all Arizona users could face significant cuts. Tucson does not see any new cuts to its share of Colorado River water under the signed plan.
Soon, I’ll be making my appointment to the citizen’s committee that will be overseeing spending on the bonds that you and your neighbors passed in November. Those of you that paid close attention to the 409 bonds that were passed five years ago may see something a little different with the parks bonds.
In the road bonds, we had a list of specific projects along major streets, but there was also a part of the money set aside for neighborhood projects. That gave the citizen’s committee some leeway to address needs in individual neighborhoods that were brought to them.
Our Fire Department answers about 90,000 911 calls every year. The nature of those calls has changed a lot over the last few years. More and more of them are what can be called social service calls. These are still people that need help, but our emergency services are not always the appropriate resource.
From our friends at Davis-Monthan AFB:
The US Navy will deploy 14 F/A-18 Fighter aircraft to Davis Monthan from January 22 to February 8, 2019. The Navy F/A 18s will provide a significant joint training opportunity for DM’s own 354th Fighter Squadron. Joint integration among multiple aircraft is what makes the US military the most capable fighting force on the planet. The Navy F/A-18 deployment to DM will afford both squadrons the training to be better prepared for high-intensity conflict.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday holiday will be observed on Monday, January 21, 2019. Residential and commercial trash and recycling will not be collected on Monday. All City of Tucson residential and commercial customers with regular collection on any day Monday through Friday will have their trash and recycling service delayed by one day. The Los Reales Landfill will be open.
Sun Tran is once again partnering with HSL Properties and KGUN 9 News for the “Stuff-the-Bus” food drive, benefiting the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. The food drive will help restock items at the food bank that many families still rely on following the holidays.
You can help "Stuff-the-Bus" Friday, January 18, from 6 am to 6 pm at Dorado Golf Course, 6601 E Speedway Blvd (between Wilmot and Kolb). It's along Route 4 for those of you that want to ride the bus.
Tucson Water Customer Service has been receiving phone calls and e-mails this week asking whether the City of Tucson or Tucson Water offers any options or assistance for utility services charges to federal employees during the shutdown.
Here in my newsletter, I try to keep you all up to date on Saguaro National Park. Tucson has a rare and wonderful thing: a national park only minutes away from our city limits. Very few cities our size can say that.