Karin's Note: Friday, August 8, 2014

Karin's Note: Friday, August 8, 2014
 
-Ward 3 Events
-Upcoming Area Neighborhood and Coalition Meeting(s)
-Citywide Events
-Did You Know?
 
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Dear Tucsonans,
 
Here’s the latest from our Tuesday Mayor and Council meeting and other community highlights.
 
Mayor and Council Meeting
 
At our Mayor and Council meeting this week we discussed the need for tighter scrutiny of a City debt instrument used by many jurisdictions, known as Certificates of Participation (COPs). I have actually voted no on recent requests for COPs financing because the debt service must be paid from our General Fund and, unlike bonds, COPs do not require voter approval. Councilmember Kozachik recently brought forward different, additional concerns with regard to COPs (the collateral for COPs is a pooled grouping of City assets), and I appreciate that the full Mayor and Council now agrees we must come up with explicit policies for better management and public oversight. While we did not vote to support the specific measures proposed by Council Member Kozachik (which could have raised our interest rates and undermined our bond ratings) we directed our finance staff to work with the Independent Citizens Audit and Performance Commission to develop guidelines for Mayor and Council approval. I suggested that the discussion include:  1.) a cap on the amount of COPs debt/expense the City incurs (as a percentage of our General Fund since that’s the source hit by COPs),  2.) restrictions on the use of COPs financing (for emergency and essential costs versus any more general capital need) and 3.) consideration of a supermajority vote requirement to approve COPs issuance.
 
Transportation and Multi-modal Infrastructure Investments
 
You’ll be noticing a lot of investment and improvement across Ward 3 over the coming year:
 
Stone Avenue Corridor Project-Final Phase: This is a $3.6 million project to reconstruct Stone Ave between Speedway and Drachman. In addition to having the roadway surface redone, the project will include drainage improvements, new sidewalks, new bus pullouts, and landscaping. The landscaping will include the continuation of median islands. Construction is expected to begin in early next year.
 
Campbell Avenue: This is a $1.06 million Transportation Enhancement Grant project for improvements between Grant and Fort Lowell. The Campbell Ave Merchants Association was driving force behind securing the grant. The project will include pedestrian improvements with ADA accessible ramps and street corners, decretive planters and landscaping, improved pedestrian crossings with stamped asphalt, monument wall signs at Glenn and Campbell, and landscaped median islands. Construction is expected to begin next summer.
 
Park Avenue:  This $561,000 Transportation Enhancement Grant project will provide improved pedestrian and bicycle amenities along approximately two miles of Park Avenue between Speedway and Fort Lowell Road. The result of extensive community participation from five neighborhoods (Feldman’s, North University, Jefferson Park, Mountain/1st, and Hedrick Acres), this is partly a demonstration project piloting the use of stabilized decomposed granite for segments of the pathway.  Also included in the project are: improved bicycle lanes, enhanced pedestrian crossings at two intersections, and landscaping with water harvesting.  Collaboration with the Mayor’s 10,000 Trees Program will provide extra shade on public and private properties along both sides of the urban collector roadway.  First plantings are scheduled for this fall; construction is scheduled for spring of 2015.
 
Glenn Street: This a $500,000 Transportation Enhancement Grant project for roadway improvements between Columbus and Country Club. The project will include restriping the roadway to include bike lanes, installing a sidewalk on the north side of Glenn, installing water harvesting basins, relocating traffic signs, and installing ADA accessible ramps. Construction is expected next summer.
 
Limberlost Drive: This is a $400,000 Safe Routes to School Federal Grant for work between First and Campbell. As its name suggests, the project is designed to provide children with a safer way to get to Rio Vista Elementary School by constructing a 6 foot wide asphalt path with amenities to insure pedestrian access, ADA accessible ramps, and erosion protection. Construction is slated for May 2015.
All of these projects have been in the pipeline for a number of years and it’s very exciting to finally be seeing them come to fruition.
 
Other
 
In addition, the regional Flood Control District has agreed to prioritize the Ruthrauff Area with the goal of improving drainage throughout the area north of Fort Lowell and east to I-10. This will be critical for an area within Flowing Wells that currently lies in the defined FEMA flood plain. A two-year public process on this project is just beginning, so impacted residents and businesses can provide input and remain informed prior to the approval of the final plan. Construction will commence in 2016. Find more information at  http://webcms.pima.gov/cms/One.aspx?portalId=169&pageId=158694
 
Oh No!
 
I signed up to participate in a Spelling Bee tonight. Proceeds from the event go to classroom grants for TUSD, sponsored by the Education Enrichment Foundation. It’s at the Temple of Music and Art, 7:30 pm  (learn more or buy $10 tickets at http://www.eeftucson.org). Happy to pay the price of my own public embarrassment (wait, did I spell that right??) for such a good cause. If you’re going to be downtown this evening or otherwise out and about, I hope you’ll drop in. Or please consider making a contribution to the Sakin Foundation/Education Enrichment Foundation via their website soon.
 
Have a great weekend,
 
Karin
 
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A Note from Staff:
 
We are happy to announce that the 6th Avenue Dog Park is now fully open. Half of it had been closed over the summer months to reseed the park for grass. Prior to the reseeding the park was all dirt, which lead to a dust problem for both users and folks nearby. This issue was brought to our office’s attention by some concerned neighbors and users. Working with the Parks and Recreation Department, the irrigation was redone and seeds planted, which necessitated the temporary partial closure of the park. Now we are happy to say it is open and ready for our four-legged friends to run around with grass under their paws!
 
Matt Kopec, Council Aide
 
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Ward 3 Events:
 
- Pick Your Own Vegetables at Tucson Village Farm! - Tuesday, August 12th from 5:00 – 7:00 pm at Tucson Village Farm 4210 N. Campbell Ave. Come pick your own veggies right from the garden! Veggies have different prices. Fun for the whole family! Call (520) 626-5161 for more info.
 
- Family Fun with Legos! - Wednesday, August 13th 3:30 – 5:00 pm at Woods Memorial Library 3455 N. First Ave. Do you love building things with Legos?  Woods supplies the Legos and you supply the imagination! Open to all ages. https://www.library.pima.gov/locations/WDS/
 
- Brush & Bulky Pick-up – Week of Monday, August 18th for Area 7 and Monday, August 25th for Area 6 (see schedule and map here). Brush & Bulky pickups have arrived! Crews visit each of Tucson's 26 residential trash service areas twice each year to provide Brush & Bulky collection. This is your opportunity to clean your yard, garage or storage shed and get rid of any debris. Please set out collection items in the area where your trash in usually collected by 6:00 am on the Monday that your collection week starts (note: materials cannot be set out more than two weeks prior to collection). Visit /es/brush-and-bulky for the details on what B&B will and will not collect, as well as access to the address look-up tool to determine which service area you are in.  Next up in our ward will be Area 26 on September 1st.
 
- Glenstone Village Health and Safety Fair – Monday, August 18th 11:00 am – 3:00 pm at Glenstone Village Community Center 2835 N. Stone Ave. Glenstone Village is hosting a Health & Safety Fair for residents of our community! Health and wellness presentations, resources, and medical services for ages ranging from young children to seniors, as well as refreshments will be provided through a collaboration between many Tucson agencies. Some of the participants include the University of Arizona Mobile Health Clinic, TMC Living Connections, St. Elizabeth's Health Center, the TMC Safe Kids Program, EFNEP Nutrition, Medicare insurance providers, and more. For more information, contact Tricia Schwartz at 647-9652 or visit eventbrite.com/e/health-safety-fair-tickets-12140443393
 
- Amphi High School Open House – Thursday, August 28th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at Amphi High 125 W Yavapai Rd. Students and faculty in the Amphi School District started back to school this month, so join them at Amphi High School for an Open House to kick off a great year ahead. Visit http://www.amphi.com/schools/amphitheater-high-school.aspx to keep updated on the activities and projects that these wonderful students and educators are working on!
 
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Ward 3 Neighborhood/Coalition Meetings:
 
- Mountain/1st NA – Saturday, August 9th 9:00 am in Mitchell Park 1060 E. Mitchell St.
 
- Mountain/1st CAG – Saturday, August 9th 10:00 am in Mitchell Park 1060 E. Mitchell St.
 
- The Oracle Project Steering Committee (TOPS)/National Night Out Planning Meeting – Tuesday, August 12th 4:00 – 5:30 pm at Monterey Court 505 W. Miracle Mile
 
- Alvernon-Grant Initiative (AGI) - Tuesday, August 12th 6:00 – 7:30 pm at Emerge! 2425 N. Haskell
 
- Campus Community Relations Committee (CCRC) - Tuesday, August 12th 6:00 – 7:30 pm at UA Student Union
 
- Friends of Mansfield Park – Wednesday, August 13th 6:00 – 7:00 pm at Mansfield Park (meet at the picnic tables!) 2000 N. 4th Ave.
 
- Amistades Substance Abuse Coalition - Thursday, August 14th 5:30 pm at the Ellie Towne Flowing Wells Community Center 1660 W. Ruthrauff Rd
 
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Community Support Needed!
 
- Navajo Wash Clean Up - Saturday, August 9th 7:00 – 9:00 am. Join your neighbors in the monthly care of our green space at the northwest corner of Mountain and Hedrick. Any questions call Loraine at (520) 327-7587.
 
- ZUZI! Dance Company Volunteer Work Day – Saturday, August 16th 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Help clean, repair, re-paint and prepare ZUZI's theater and studios for the opening of fall session! Stop by anytime during the day, and stay as long as you can - and earn FREE CLASSES while you work! Each hour of volunteer work gets you one free class! Kids 10+ can help, too!
 
Cyclovia needs to raise $15,000 by August 15th! That's the goal Living Streets Alliance has set to make the first fall event in Cyclovia history a success. Your donations go directly towards covering basic expenses like barricades, safety personnel, printed materials, and supplies for activity hubs. BUT, the more they raise, the more FUN they can include in the program like DJs & stages with live music, bounce houses & climbing walls, bike decorating stations, and MORE! PLUS, when you make your donation, you get a gift! Cyclovia Tucson has become one of the region’s most exciting initiatives to promote the benefits of active transportation and healthy, sustainable lifestyles. Visit https://www.cycloviatucson.org/ to donate or for more information on becoming an activity provider, community partner, or business sponsor, email info@cycloviatucson.org
 
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Citywide Events:
 
- Electronic Collection and Shredding Event - Saturday, August 9th 8:00 – 11:00 am at the Ward 4 City Council Office 8123 E. Poinciana. Council Member Shirley Scott will be hosting another shredding and electronic recycling event.  This time Ward 4 is teaming up with Shred-It & Desert Metals Recycling.  Your 1st box of paper, computers, laptops, printers, network cards, routers, hard drives, floppy and CD-ROM drives, copiers, fax machines, telephones, cell phones, test equipment, wire and cable, power supplies, circuit boards, video game equipment, stereo equipment, etc.   Large appliances will also be accepted, except dishwashers. If you have any additional boxes of paper, or monitors, there will be a $5.00 (cash only) donation benefitting Tucson Clean and Beautiful and DM 50. If you have any questions call Tucson Clean & Beautiful at 791-5000,
Desert Metals Recycling at 741-0608, or Shred It at 882-9939.
 
- Café 54 Tangible Transformations Artist Reception - Saturday, August 9th from 5:00 to 8:00 pm at Café 54 54 East Pennington St. Café 54 cordially invites you to the Art Foundation's artist reception for the exhibition Tangible Transformations. This celebration of artists will feature live music, a wearable art fashion show, performance art, food and refreshments. They will also be holding a raffle featuring prizes donated by local artists and businesses benefiting the Café 54 Art Foundation. The event is open to the public and admission is free! The Café 54 Art Foundation was established to provide and assist individuals recovering from mental illness the opportunity to express themselves through the creative arts. For more information or to donate, contact Autumn at catering@cafe54.org or 622-1907. https://www.cafe54.org/
 
- Party for Paint Dance Jam FUNraiser - Saturday, August 9th 6:00 - 9:00 pm 738 N. 5th Ave. Help ZUZI! raise funds for studio maintenance and repairs by dancing the night away at a family-fun dance jam! Swing on trapezes, play with hoola-hoops, and dance like no-one's judging, to fun music DJed by ZUZI's own MC Carie. Suggested donation $10 per person or $20 per family -- pay what you can! Nobody turned away!
 
- That's Not Relevant Book Release Party – Sunday, August 10th 7:00 pm at the Museum of Contemporary Art 265 S. Church Ave. Enjoy a pop-up bookshop, visuals, music, poetry readings, booze and more! All guests will receive an exclusive, one night only, $5 off That's Not Relevant. That's Not Relevant is Spork Press' first and long-awaited book of art by Tucson mogul Isiah Toothtaker.  That's Not Relevant is a rap, tattoo, and pop culture inspired book of emoji art created by Toothtaker, 72 full-color topical and occasionally hilarious pages. Joining the party are poets Joshua Marie Wilkinson and Zachary Schomburg, midway through their nationwide reading tour (including Pitchfork Music Fest, Newport Folk Festival, New York Poetry festival, and assorted backyards and house parties). FREE for MOCA members, $5 non-members. www.moca-tucson.org
 
- Sustainable Tucson Summer Movie Night Inequality for All - Monday, August 11th  5:00 - 8:00 pm at Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Lower Level Meeting Room, 101 N. Stone. Join Sustainable Tucson for a thought-provoking meeting, with a showing of the film Inequality for All, featuring Robert Reich, former US Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton and now a professor at UC Berkeley.  Professor Reich examines the widening income inequality in the US, exploring not just its impact on the US economy and threat to the American middle class, but even its disruption of life in the country overall. Doors will open at 5:00 pm, and the program will start promptly at 5:30 pm. http://www.sustainabletucson.org/
 
- VA Health Care System Mental Health Summit – Wednesday, August 13th 8:30 am – 3:30 pm at the SAVAHCS R.E. Lindsey Jr. Auditorium 3601 S. 6th Ave. The purpose of the Mental Health Summit is to enhance the mental health and well-being of Veterans and their family members through increased collaboration between the VA and the community.  Our goal is to engage in active dialogue on how we as a community can address the mental healthcare needs of Veterans and their families. POC: Marcus McGauley  792-1450 ext. 1-5045
 
- Chiles! Gallery Reception at Tohono Chul Park – Friday, August 15th 5:30 – 7:30 pm at Tohono Chul Park 7366 North Paseo Del Norte. Rich in flavor and in history, chile peppers have been part of the human diet for thousands of years. Encompassing a spectrum of colors, sizes, flavors and intensity of spice, the genus Capsicum was cultivated by our ancient ancestors and continues to be an important component in the cuisine of this region. Chiles have also been used medicinally for generations, treating ailments from the common cold to epilepsy. This exhibition pays tribute to the cultural heritage and ethnobotanical legacy of the amazing chile pepper through artistic explorations of this humble yet powerful food.
 
- YWCA Women and Investing Workshop - Tuesday, August 19th 6:00 - 7:30 pm at YWCA Tucson 525 N. Bonita Ave. While women have made significant economic and financial gains, they still face unique retirement challenges, including lower earnings and longer life expectancies.  The Women & Investing seminar offers 5 key investment strategies that can help women maximize their retirement income, while ensuring that they won’t outlive their savings. Open to the Public and FREE! http://www.ywcatucson.org/site/c.elLYJiOZKqLcG/b.8781023/k.86EE/The_YW_Speaks.htm
 
- Mission Garden Breakfast Celebration - Sunday, August 24th 7:00 – 10:00 am Mercado San Agustín 100 South Avenida del Convento. Celebrate Tucson's 239th Birthday & Misson Garden's Progress! Enjoy cool early morning traditional breakfast of Torta de Huevo, Chilaquiles, Sonoran-style Tepary beans, local corn & flour tortillas, Pico de Gallo fruit cups, mesquite muffins, pan dulce, coffee, tea, horchata and limonada. The event will also feature music, a silent auction, sale of heritage plants, trees & seeds, a presentation from the Manzo Elementary School Partnership, and shuttle to tours of nearby Mission Garden & Complex. $25 with RSVP; $30 at the door. Children under 5 are free, 5-10 years $10. RSVP at (520) 777-9270 or missiongarden.tucson@gmail.com
 
- Tucson Parks & Rec Leisure Class Summer Music Recital - Sunday, July 27, 2014 from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. at Randolph Center Performing Arts Building #2 Auditorium at 200 South Alvernon Way. Students age four to adults enrolled in Piano, Guitar, and Drum classes will perform, as well as the Kid’s Broadway Musical Troop. Cameo performances will showcase the outstanding music instructors as well as a few of their local celebrities. If you would like to find out more about the music classes Tucson Parks and Recreation has to offer please view the Program Guide and Class Catalog online or pick up a copy at one of our facilities. For information contact Jeanne Jerousek-McAninch, Leisure Class Coordinator, at 791-4063 ext. 130.
 
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Did You Know...?
 
…that Literacy Connects is your new neighbor in Ward 3? Literacy Connects was created in 2011 in response to community need for a more focused approach to literacy in Southern Arizona. The organization dreamed of creating a central hub for literacy services and this week took a major step toward that goal by moving into their new home at 200 E. Yavapai Road, near Stone Avenue and Prince Road. Located near Amphitheater High School, it is in one of Tucson's highest-need areas -- exactly where literacy programming can have greatest impact! All programs including Reading Seed are now under one roof at the Yavapai location. You may now reach any program through their main phone number at 882-8006. To visit by bus, take the #17 East-West on Prince Road, or the #19 North-South on Stone. For a tour or for more information about how you can help, please contact Kelly Wiehe, Director of Development & Communications, at kwiehe@literacyconnects.org.
 
...that international students request home stays because they want to learn U.S. culture and practice their English in the world's greatest classroom: a home. It might be your home if English is your family's first language and you can provide a safe, welcoming environment and a private bedroom for at least a month. Get more information about the program (and compensation up to $1,000 every 4 weeks) at www.azhomestay.com or contact Ward 3 resident Amy Dorgan at 270-4032 or amydorgan@yahoo.com.
 
…that even though summer is over and the kids have gone back to school, the Donna Liggins Center at 2160 N. 6th Ave. is as busy as ever!  The Center continues to have fun and exciting activities for seniors, adults and people of all ages.
 
Seniors: cards and games, bingo, exercise programs, movies, PCOA meal program ($2.00 donation), plus much more.
Adults: exercise equipment, computer lab, game room, and basketball
Youth: game room (which includes foosball, pool, ping pong, and board games), computer lab, basketball
 
All this for the low cost of: $1.50 a day for ages 18-61 or $1.00 for under 18 or over 62. The Donna Liggins Center also sells a Senior Activity Card for $25.00 and offers quarterly and annual passes. Last but not least, they also rent out rooms for parties, meetings, reunions, and other special events. Call 791-3247 for more information! https://www.tucsonaz.gov/parks
 
that the UA GIS Tech program, UA Cooperative Extension, City of Tucson Office of Conservation & Sustainable Development, and TPAC will host a workshop every Thursday evening in August for the community? These workshops are geared towards citizens/residents interested in regional and local planning issues, especially as they pertain to sustainable development in southern Arizona. All workshops will take place at the University of Arizona, Harvill Building, Room 234, 1103 E. 2nd St., from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm. $15 per workshop. https://www.uafoundation.org/NetCommunity/2014sbssummerworkshops