Vice Mayor Paul Cunningham
Many of you remember between 2013 and 2016, there was work being done on Houghton Road, especially between 22nd Street and Broadway. I made sure to give all of you constant updates on the work being done there.
After that phase of the project was complete, you weren’t hearing much news about it, at least not from me. Work has still been going, just much further south of us. Work on a bridge over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks south of Tucson was completed earlier this year and the section between that bridge and I-10 is currently ongoing.
The 2019 Día de San Juan Fiesta is officially happening this summer! This year, Tucson Water and the Día De San Juan Coalition are joining forces to create a unique 3 part event celebrating water in the desert. The event will start with the launching of the Santa Cruz River Heritage Project in Barrio Santa Cruz, then go on to the traditional procession through Barrio Sin Nombre and end with a big Fiesta at the MSA Annex. This celebration will feature live music, food, arts & crafts vendors, games, activities for children, and more!
We are quickly catching up with 2020, which means that it’s time for another census for all of us living in the United States. The census is in article one of the Constitution, so it was important to the founders of our country.
The framers of the constitution put it near the beginning because having an accurate count is critical to ensuring that there is equitable representation in congress and in our state legislatures. It has also become important in many other ways as well.
All of Ward 2 except for some neighborhoods in the Ft. Lowell area are part of the Police Department’s Operations Division East. The command staff for ODE holds quarterly meetings with neighborhood leaders and interested citizens called the Division Advisory Committee.
The latest one of those meetings was this week, and we had some interesting news. Crime on the east side is down, and down considerably.
The Arizona Symphonic Winds have announced another season at Udall Park. All concerts are free and at Udall Park's László Veres Amphitheater. Bring a comfortable folding chair and a picnic dinner. All concerts start at 7 pm.
This weekend, “A” Mountain will host the Good Friday Cross Procession (La Procession de Viernes Santo) and Easter Sunday Sunrise Services (La Misa al Amanecer) which will restrict user access to Sentinel Peak Park. In order to accommodate these events, Sentinel Peak Road will close at 2 p.m. on Friday, April 19. The road will reopen for pedestrians and bicyclists on Saturday, April 20, at 8 a.m. and at 9 a.m. for vehicles. The roadway will again close on Saturday, April 20, at 8 p.m. and will reopen to vehicles at noon on Sunday, April 21.
Is it April already? Yes it is, and you know what that means.
The tax filing deadline is Monday, and if you haven’t filed, there is still time to get help from United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA).
Last week, County School Superintendent Dustin Williams announced an initiative to combat vaping among Southern Arizona teens. The campaign, called Real Deal on Vaping, will use social media to help combat peer pressure. A recent survey said that 47% of area teens have tried vaping.
Last year, we had the fourth hottest summer on record. All indications are that we will continue to have more days of triple digit temperatures that will start earlier and earlier.
The organization Building Resilient Neighborhoods and Physicians for Social Responsibility are offering workshops on the topic for neighborhoods.
The workshop is called the Extreme Weather Challenge the mission of the workshop is to help Southern Arizonans to prepare for extreme heat and other weather-related emergencies.
Saguaro National Park is offering a summer Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) program to teens, ages 15-18. YCC is an 8 week youth employment program for teenagers consisting of three main components: conservation work, environmental education and outdoor recreation.
The Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona is seeking a teaching artist for the 2019 PAG Summer Youth Public Art Project to design and produce artwork with community youths. This year's project is a pedestrian overpass located on 22nd Street in Tucson, across from Palo Verde High School with the theme, "Bridging the Community". We would love to see artists from all of Southern Arizona apply for this teaching artist opportunity. The budget for the project is $25,000 and would occur and be completed during the summer of 2019.
I’ve been getting questions about the status of the planned Fry’s on 22nd and Houghton. There has been some confusion since Fry’s has closed a few stores in town and cancelled plans to build others. I had my staff contact Kroeger’s, Fry’s parent company, to find out what the status of the 22nd and Houghton location is. We got a response from Dennis E. Barr, the company’s director of real estate:
A contractor for Southwest Gas is scheduled to begin pipeline improvement work on North Kolb Road between East Sunrise Drive and North Sabino Canyon Road on Monday, April 1.
The construction will begin at Kolb Road and Sunrise Drive and proceed south toward Sabino Canyon Road, with crews working Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. at the beginning of the project schedule. Work hours will begin earlier when daylight hours are longer.
The Palo Verde Park Neighborhood Association is hosting Park Fest 2019 on Sunday, March 24, 3-6 p.m., at Palo Verde Park, 425 S. Mann Ave. There will be four stages of live music, food trucks, and lots of fun. Click here for more information.
A common refrain is “government should be run like a business.” If that’s the case, the next question should be, what business would sell its most valuable assets for prices set nearly 150 years ago?
That may seem like an odd question, but it’s pretty much what our federal government does with public lands when a mining operation wants to open up there.
According to the 1872 Mining Act, a claim (basically an assertion of a right to mine) can be made on a certain types of public land and the federal government will charge you the lofty price of $5 per acre.