Karin's Note: Friday, December 16, 2016

Karin's Note:  Friday, December 16, 2016
  • Ward 3 Events
  • Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings
  • City-Wide Events
  • Did You Know?
Dear Tucsonans,
There’s so much happening across our great city and within city government. I thought I’d touch on a few topics as well as events I’ve gotten to attend over the past couple weeks. Keep your thoughts coming to us as well!
Streetcar Town Hall: Beyond the 4 Mile Route of Streetcar Success: What’s Next
Community discussions are starting to take place right now on what’s next for our streetcar. I attended a panel and input session sponsored by Tucson Association of Realtors (TAR) and featuring Senator Steve Farley, Shannon Scutari of Scutari & Co., UA Professor of Planning Chris Nelson, and Patricia Schwabe, downtown business owner and representative of Peach Properties. The broad discussion focused primarily on the history of the streetcar development, the next extensions and where they ought to occur, and how those could be financed (keeping in mind private sector owners who might partner/invest). I anticipate many more conversations throughout the community on the topic, but if you’d like to get more information about TAR’s Town Hall and any next steps for them, you can email bethann@tucsonrealtors.org.
PCOA Listening Session
The Pima Council on Aging offered senior citizens the chance to express their needs, concerns and advice at a listening session held at the Ellie Towne Center in Flowing Wells on December 7. I learned a lot as a panelist about the services available as well as some gaps that our community may experience if funding cuts occur. You can learn more and offer your input through PCOA at https://www.pcoa.org/  
Amphi Neighborhood Cleanup
Thank you Mike Birrer/Serve Tucson and and UA Sports Clubs for an amazing turnout and impact on December 3rd! It was awesome to see over 70 students join Mike to help beautify the area around Amphi Park and Sacred Heart Church. In just a few hours, the volunteers were able to fill more than 30 large garbage bags with trash, weeds and dead vegetation cleaned-up from the sides of streets. So grateful to see this kind of involvement and help in taking care of our corner of Tucson.
TPOA Kids and Cops Christmas Event
TPOA helped 169 children last Saturday, shopping at the Target together on North Oracle and then enjoying a meal and celebration at Keeling Elementary School. I had the chance to thank some of the TPD officers at Keeling; they clearly love this annual tradition and give it their all.
Humane Society Roger Road Groundbreaking
On December 14 I joined the in the groundbreaking festivities at 635 W Roger Road. It’s going to be a beautiful new facility for the Humane Society and the location in the Flowing Wells area seems just right. You can support the Humane Society’s important work by contributing or volunteering (https://hssaz.org/). As I and others noted on Wednesday, how we treat animals matters. It reflects our most fundamental level of compassion and humanity. And how animals help us - heart, mind and soul - makes the Humane Society’s mission and work all the more compelling.
Ronstadt Center Open House
Peach Properties held an Open House last week to update the community on their proposal for an extensive multi-use project that enhances and incorporates the downtown Ronstadt Transit Center. Their draft Development Agreement (being finalized with city staff) will soon come to the Mayor and Council for action and, if approved, submission to the Federal Transit Authority for review. I was glad to see the turnout at the Open House and the sustained attention being paid to this vital project. I’ll keep you posted as the process unfolds.
Mayor and Council Meeting Next Tuesday
Proposed Half-Cent Sales Tax
As it stands, the City Manager’s recommendation is to ask voters to consider a half-cent sales tax that would sunset in five years. Funding would be used to continue the City’s successful street-paving program (initially funded with proposition 409 bonds approved by city voters in 2012) as well as critical capital needs for Tucson Police and Tucson Fire. In the Manager’s proposal, 60% would be applied to those public safety needs and 40% would go to streets.
By January Mayor and Council will take final action on what might be referred to voters for consideration. What do you think? Do you support the Manager’s recommendation? Would you alter it? Will the community vote yes? What would better reflect the community’s priorities and interest in investing in Tucson?
Materials on this item are posted for Tuesday’s Regular Session at https://www.tucsonaz.gov/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=1669&doctype=AGENDA  and the Study Session materials should be up soon at https://www.tucsonaz.gov/clerks/mcdocs. For details from the Manager’s November 22nd presentation, visit https://www.tucsonaz.gov/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=1539&doctype=AGENDA.
I am all ears leading up to that January action.
Thank you,
Ward 3 Events: 
Shred-It and Freecycle Post-Holiday Swap
Saturday, January 14th 2:00 – 4:00 pm
Woods Library 3455 N. 1st Ave.
It’s that time again! What should you do with that unused item that’s just gathering dust in your home? Swap it! This is your chance to swap out things that are in good condition and trade with your neighbors.  Also, bring your boxes of used and unwanted documents to be shredded at no-cost, courtesy of Council Member Uhlich and Constable Bennett Bernal. Look for the Shred-It truck in the parking lot! For more info on Freecycle, contact PCL at 791-4010 or email askalibrarian@pima.gov. For details about Shred-It contact the Ward 3 office at 791-4711 or ward3@tucsonaz.gov.
Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings:
Samos Tuesday December 20th 6:30 pm, Salpointe HS Trophy Rm 1545 E Copper St
Grant Rd Coalition Tuesday December 27th 6:00 pm, Ward 3 City Council Office 1510 E Grant Rd
Jefferson Park Wednesday December 28th 6:00 pm, Ward 3 City Council Office 1510 E Grant Rd
Cabrini Wednesday January 4th 5:30 pm, Vineyard City Church 3150 E Fort Lowell Rd
Alvernon Grant Initiative Tuesday January 10th 6:00 pm, Church of the Brethren 2200 N Dodge
Coronado Heights Tuesday January 10th 6:00 pm, Glenstone Village 2835 N Stone
Campus Community Relations Committee Wednesday January 11th 6:00 pm, U of A Student Union
Mountain First Avenue Saturday January 14th 9:00 am, Mitchell Park 1100 E Mitchell St
Keeling  Monday, January  23rd 7:00 pm, Cornerstone Fellowship Church 2902 N Geronimo Ave
City-Wide Events: 
Downtown Parade of Lights & Festival
Saturday, December 17th 4:00 pm Festival/6:30 pm Parade
Armory Park/Downtown

Join friends, neighbors and families for the 22nd Annual Downtown Parade of Lights & Festival! This is the premier holiday event for Tucson! The event boasts over 1,800 people participating in the parade, 15,000 people attending, local musicians and entertainers, children’s activities, local food vendors, guest judges, floats, cycling groups, motorcycles, car clubs, waterfalls, dancers and everyone’s favorite- Santa!

Make this annual event part of your holiday tradition!
Each year, thousands of spectators line the streets of Downtown Tucson to enjoy the holiday festivities of the Downtown Parade of Lights! Celebrate the season with the 20th Annual Downtown Parade of Lights. Join the fun! Visit https://www.downtowntucson.org/visit/parade-of-lights/ for more info.
Did You Know...?
Tucson Water has a Rainwater Harvesting Rebate Program
The program is available to single-family residential and small commercial Tucson Water customers. (Small commercial is defined as a property with a single meter that is 5/8” or 3/4”. Properties with more than one meter or with meters larger than 3/4” do not qualify.) 
Tucson Water will rebate qualifying rainwater harvesting system costs under two levels of funding. Applicants may apply for both a passive and an active rebate not exceeding $2,000 for the combination per property. More information about program qualifications and workshops are available at the following link: https://www.tucsonaz.gov/water/rainwater-harvesting-rebate. Tucson Water's Public Information / Conservation Office (PICO) can also be reached at 520-791-4331 or e-mail pico@tucsonaz.gov.
The City also contracts with Sonoran Environmental Research Institute Inc. (SERI) to offer a Low-Income Rainwater Harvesting Program. This program provides a no-interest loan for families to pay for these systems over time and qualify for the Tucson Water rebates. For very low-income families SERI offer a grant of up to $400 to help pay for a system, which will often cover the costs of materials (mulch, rocks) for a passive rainwater harvesting system.  For more information on the requirements for the grant and loan program through SERI please contact them at 520-321-9488 or seri@seriaz.org to apply and learn about free workshops.