Vice Mayor Paul Cunningham
During the shutdown of the federal government due to the lapse of appropriations, national parks will remain as accessible as possible while still following all applicable laws and procedures. Park roads and trails at Saguaro National Park will remain accessible to visitors, but emergency and rescue services will be limited.
There will be no NPS-provided visitor services at Saguaro National Park, including public information, restrooms, trash collection, and facilities or roads maintenance. Both Visitor Centers are closed.
This is the last newsletter before the Christmas Holiday. Thank you all for supporting me and my office for this past year. Blessings to all of you and your families.
Keep in mind that we will be closing at noon on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve.
Also, my office has tickets to the NOVA Home Loans Bowl. The game will be at at Arizona Stadium on Saturday, December 29 at 11:15 am. This year’s game will feature Arkansas State and the University of Nevada.
If you’d like to pick up tickets, come by any time next Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.
On January 1, 2019, the entrance fees at Saguaro National Park will increase by $5. Visitors will notice that the 7-day private vehicle entrance fee at Saguaro National Park will go up from $15 to $20, 7-day motorcycle entrance fee will rise from $10 to $15, individual entrance passes for pedestrians and bicyclists will increase from $5 to $10, and the Saguaro Annual Pass will increase from $35 to $40.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a general overview of the planning and zoning process. It can get confusing, but one of the things I touched on was the Planning Commission.
The Commission is not always involved in re-zonings, only those where a neighborhood or area plan has to be amended. In some cases, however, a new zoning or a certain sort of development can’t happen unless the neighborhood plan is revised.
The City of Tucson is accepting applications for the Citizen’s Commission on Public Service and Compensation, a panel that reviews and recommends appropriate salaries for the Mayor and City Council. This is a two-month appointment.
There have been two recent environmental stories covered in our local news. Both have major implications, but they also will have a particular effect on you as a water-user in Tucson.
Rincon/University High School is proud to announce that our Jazz Ensemble has the prestigious honor of being selected and invited to perform at The Midwest Clinic in Chicago, Illinois, December 18-21, 2018. After a rigorous audition/application process, the 17 member Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Jeff Marchant, has been selected out of hundreds of applicants. The Midwest Clinic International Band, Orchestra and Music Conference is over 70 years old and will have more than 17,000 attendees from more than 30 countries.
I wanted to take a moment to remember someone that Tucson recently lost. Claudia Ellquist was one of those people whose names don’t always make headlines, but they have a tremendous impact in the community. She passed away earlier this month after a short illness.
Have Breakfast with Santa at Udall Center, 7200 E. Tanque Verde Rd., on Saturday, Dec. 8 from 8-10am. Cost is $5/person. Enjoy breakfast, an art project, and a story and picture with Santa. Must register at Udall by Dec. 3. Call 791-4931 for more information.
The Mayor's office has asked that city flags be flown at half-staff for the deputy US marshal that was killed in the line of duty serving a warrant in Tucson.
The deputy's name has not been released by the Tucson Police Department.
Repairs to a 96” pipeline that delivers recovered Colorado River water from the Avra Valley aquifer have been completed. The second phase of work to bring the renewable water supply system back into service will start on Monday, December 3, 2018.
We finished up another successful El Tour de Tucson this weekend. As with every large event in our city, from the Gem Show to the All Souls Procession, we get a couple of complaints about traffic congestion and general disruption around town. It’s understandable. We got a note from Richard DeBernardis, the founder and director of El Tour de Tucson, that addressed some of the complaints as well as some of the benefits of this event.
Here’s what most people don’t know about the Tour:
The United Way's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA) provides free tax preparation services to local individuals and families. Volunteers are needed to help low- and moderate-income Tucsonans get their taxes done, helping them save money on preparation fees and avoid predatory lending practices. Volunteers also greet clients and manage VITA tax preparation sites. No previous experience in preparing taxes is necessary. Orientations are scheduled for Nov. 29, Dec. 1, and Dec. 8.
The Southern Arizona office of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) currently has many volunteer opportunities available. A volunteer orientation will be held on Thursday, Dec. 6, 3:30-4 p.m., at 2020 N. Forbes Blvd., Suite 102. At the orientation, you will be able to review all available opportunities and go over the volunteer application and background check form (if applicable). Some of the opportunities include court monitoring, outreach volunteering, victim impact panels, and serving on a planning committee for Walk Like MADD events.
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.