Ward 2 Councilmember Paul Cunningham
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.
Governor Doug Ducey ordered that flags at all state buildings be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset today, Wednesday, January 9, 2019, to honor the life of Salt River Police Department Officer Clayton Townsend, who died in the line of duty last night. Flags will also be lowered on the day of interment, which has not been set.
It’s time for Tucson’s annual Senior Olympic Festival. It’s the 35th year that Tucson Parks and Recreation has put this festival to promote fitness, health, and an active lifestyle among adults 50 years of age and older.
This year’s “headquarters” for the festival will be Udall Park, which will also be hosting the opening ceremony at the amphitheater.
On New Year’s Eve, Tucsonans can count on Sun Link to be the designated driver and provide a safe ride while they ring in the New Year at venues along the streetcar line. Sun Link will extend service hours on Monday, December 31 until 2 a.m. for those celebrating within the districts, including Main Gate Square, Fourth Avenue, Downtown Tucson, and Mercado District.
Streetcar service will run on a Sunday schedule on New Year’s Day, Tuesday, January 1 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with service every 20 minutes. Regular Sun Link service hours will resume on Wednesday, January 2.
I’m keeping this week’s newsletter short given our holiday schedule. Still, I’d like to give a shout out to the firefighters at Tucson Fire’s Station 9, which serves the area around Craycroft and 22nd Street.
Some of you may have caught the story on KGUN over the weekend. 96 year-old Clarence Ellquist fell off a ladder while doing work in his yard. Firefighters responded and he was treated for a concussion and a nasty cut.
Beginning at approximately 1 p.m. Friday, December 28, 2018, crews from the City of Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT) Streets and Traffic Maintenance Division will initiate Operation Freeze in preparation of freezing overnight temperatures. Operation Freeze is put into place to make sure City bridge decks are free of ice and safe for motorists to drive over.
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.