Karin's Note: Friday, February 12, 2016

Karin's Note: Friday, February 12, 2016
  • Ward 3 Events
  • Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings
  • Community Spotlight
  • City-Wide Events
  • Did You Know?
Dear Tucsonans,
Parks and Recreation Update
On Tuesday, the Mayor and Council heard results from the survey and public input process for the Parks and Recreation Master Plan. Some numbers jumped out. Over 70% of Tucson residents have utilized neighborhood and community parks within the past twelve months. At the same time, fewer than 25% have utilized our recreation and neighborhood centers specifically. And more than 70% indicated that it is very important for the City to provide high quality parks and facilities (over 90% indicated it’s very or somewhat important).
The Master planning process is ongoing and more information will be gathered to help us prioritize investments we ought to make with our limited resources over the coming five years.  
In the short term, these results affirmed my belief that our recreation and neighborhood centers continue to be underutilized community assets, and while people see parks /parks facilities as important, there are barriers limiting the usage of our recreation centers.  I’m anxious to look at ways to improve the community’s awareness and usage of our centers in the coming weeks so that the public has the benefits of assets such as: meeting room space, fitness centers, indoor sports courts, a variety of classes and activities, and adjacent sports fields, ramadas and walking paths. We’ll be working closely with the City Manager and the Parks and Recreation staff to find ways to link our valuable parks assets with the people (you!) who see parks and rec facilities as essential to a high quality of life. In the meantime, please visit Ward 3’s largest center, the Donna Liggins Center–2160 N. 6th Ave- to meet the incredible staff and learn more about what their hard work offers to our community.
I’d like to also note that DLC staff are already getting everything ready for the 17th Annual EGGstravaganza egg hunt and celebration on Saturday, March 26th at Mansfield Park. It’s a fantastic event that draws thousands of kids and families from around the Tucson area. I’m happy to be sponsoring EGGstravaganza again this year and hope that you’ll plan to join. You can find more details in our Ward 3 events section below.
Transit Systems
At the Mayor and Council meeting, we also heard specifics about some options for transitioning the management and operations of our transit system. The Regional Partnership approach I have long advocated seems both viable and beneficial, generally speaking. Of course, it’s the details that matter.
Here is the link to the presentation facilitated by Farhad Moghimi, CEO of the Pima Association of Governments and the Regional Transportation Authority:
I was particularly interested in his synopsis of the 2045 plan for transit now under development (which includes the objectives derived from the PAG planning process facilitated by Jarrett Walker). Also the model called Joint Power Authorities (which area jurisdictions could voluntarily join and direct in-keeping with the goals driving the partnership) seem worth considering, sooner rather than later.
We have an informed Transit Task Force and the RTA Transit Working Group as central sources of citizen oversight for the process that will be undertaken moving forward. My hope is that we won’t let the perfect be the enemy of the better (is that how the saying goes?? Regardless it’s apt here). The status quo and business as usual can and will be challenged across the City organization. I’m enthusiastically in favor of that.
OARP Choice Neighborhood Proposal
Lastly, I want to thank City staff Sally Stang, Teresa Williams, Ann Vargas, Erin Cooper, Rebecca Ruopp as well as a whole team of others who were essential in the City's successful submission of a federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Choice Neighborhood's proposal for the OARP area this week. If selected, $2 million would become available for community revitalization projects along the Oracle corridor and adjacent neighborhoods. The project was a heavy lift and without their dedication and collaboration with Corky Poster, the Planning Center, Dr. Brown, and many representatives from neighborhoods, businesses and organizations in the Oracle Area this opportunity would be out of reach. Keep your fingers crossed we are successful! You can review the OARP Report adopted by Mayor & Council in 2011 at https://www.tucsonaz.gov/files/pdsd/plans/OARP_091311.pdf.
Enjoy the weekend,
Ward 3 Events: 
Tax Prep Available at the Ward 3 Office
The United Way Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program is an excellent community service which provides free (free!) in-person tax preparation that particularly focuses on getting refunds and credits to low-income households.
The Ward 3 VITA Site in our community room is now open on Tuesdays from 1:00 – 5:00 pm and Saturdays from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm through April 9th.  Our office is located at 1510 E. Grant Rd. Appointments not necessary – participants will be seen on a first come, first served basis. For more information, and if you have any questions, please call 520-791-4711.
Coffee with the Cactus
Saturday, February 13th 9:00 – 11:00 am
Navajo Wash Park
Join your neighbors at the Navajo Wash Park (NW corner of Mountain and Hedrick), for a monthly pick up! Not sure if it's weeds or wildflowers that are growing in your yard? We can point out the differences! Stop by and say hello and meet your neighbors.
Dunbar Book Signing
Saturday, February 13th 2:00 – 3:30 pm
Woods Memorial Library Large Meeting Room
Dunbar: The Neighborhood, the School, and the People 1940-1965 author Aloma J. Barnes is a long-time resident of the Dunbar neighborhood of Tucson, Arizona. She is a retired nurse and newspaper woman who has spent the past two years researching and interviewing the faculty and students of the Dunbar elementary and junior high schools to share its story. Barnes will discuss her new book and answer your questions. She is happy to sign your previously purchased copy of Dunbar: The Neighborhood, the School, and the People 1940-1965 (Wheatmark 2015).
Light the Night!
Tuesday, February 16th 5:30 pm
Intersection of E. Grant Rd & N. Alvernon Way
Living Streets Alliance is again partnering with the City of Tucson Bicycle & Pedestrian Program and the Pima Association of Governments to give away bike lights to people without them. Not only do bike lights improve visibility for both cyclists and others on the street – it's the law that bicyclists have them. The Light the Night event starts next Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at the intersection of Grant and Alvernon.
City of Tucson Bicycle & Pedestrian Program: https://www.tucsonaz.gov/bicycle
Living Streets Alliance: https://www.livingstreetsalliance.org/
Happiness Skills & Positive Psychology
Tuesday, February 23rd 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Woods Memorial Library Large Meeting Room
What do scientists know about happiness? Where do negative emotions fit in the picture? Learn key habits that allow for a more fulfilling life and explore ways to cultivate your attention skills so you can perceive more joy in the present moment.
Join Woods library for this two-hour WellWays workshop! WellWays is the place where your intentions for a better life meet the tools and support that allow them to happen.
17th Annual EGGstravaganza!
Saturday, March 26th 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Mansfield Park 2000 N. 4th Ave.
Join the Department of Parks & Recreation, Vice Mayor Uhlich, neighbors and friends for this wonderful annual event! Enjoy free family fun with carnival games, egg hunts, prizes and the Easter bunny! Food available for purchase. Egg hunt times will be posted on the Parks & Recreation website soon!
Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings:
Mountain/1st NA & CAG Meeting
Saturday, February 13th 9:00 – 11:00 am
Mitchell Park 1100 E. Mitchell St.
Samos NA Meeting
Tuesday, February 16th 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Salpointe Trophy Room 1545 E. Copper St.
Mountain View NA Meeting
Thursday, February 18th 6:00 – 7:30 pm
Habitat for Humanity 3501 N. Mountain Ave.
Community Spotlight:
Volunteer with Iskashitaa for Produce of Wheels!
Saturdays 8:00 – 11:00 am
Iskashitaa Refugee Network is seeking volunteer drivers to help pick up and redistribute a bounty of vegetables and fruit from Produce on Wheels to refugee families in Tucson. Contact Sherrelle at 419-4020 or volunteer@iskashitaa.org
Center for Community Dialogue Volunteer Information Session
Tuesday, February 16th 5:30 – 7:00 pm
Our Family Services 3830 E. Bellevue St.
Are you interested in making a difference? Volunteers of the Center for Community Dialogue, a program of Our Family Services, play a crucial role in the delivery of services for the Center through mediation, elder mediation, Elder Circles and other ongoing Circles, community forums, facilitation, workshops, and training. If you are interested in helping Southern Arizonans have meaningful conversations in a skilled, civil and respectful way come learn about what we do and how you can be involved. We'll have active volunteers from our various services on hand to provide information, share their experiences, and answer your questions. Healthy and yummy snacks will be provided as well. Please click here ( http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001MZeuQa-n_ePUvJV8Pi-2PZsgcJXDwCiRGRkvLkK9i...) to RSVP or contact Catherine Tornbom at ctornbom@ourfamilyservices.org for more information.
City-Wide Events: 
Zoobiquity – The Astonishing Connection between Human and Animal Health
Thursday, February 18th 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Fox Tucson Theatre 17 W. Congress St.
Join us for an inspiring presentation by award-winning author Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, M.D. at the Fox Theatre and learn about the astonishing connection between human and animal health. This event is free to the public and sponsored by Tucson Medical Center. Do animals overeat? Get breast cancer? Have fainting spells? Inspired by an eye-opening consultation at the Los Angeles Zoo - which revealed that a monkey experienced the same symptoms of heart failure as her human patients - cardiologist Dr. Natterson-Horowitz embarked upon a project that would reshape how she practiced medicine. This lecture will qualify for CEU credit for doctors and nurses. For more information and to register, visit https://reidparkzoo.org/.
Southwest Gas Utility Assistance Days
Tuesday, February 23rd – Wednesday, February 24th  8:00 am – 4:00 pm
The Salvation Army Shelter & Community Center 1002 N. Main Ave.
Are you a Southwest Gas customer needing assistance with your gas bill? Help is Available! If you are experiencing financial difficulties and are unable to pay your natural gas utility bill, you may be eligible for Energy Share Assistance. Representatives from the Salvation Army will be on hand to verify eligibility for immediate assistance with your natural gas bills. Energy Share funds may be used for current, past due amounts, late charges, deposits, reestablishment fees and/or other related costs or fees. You’ll need to bring all of the following documents with you:
  • Recent Southwest Gas bill
  • Social Security cards for all adults and children in the home
  • Picture ID for all adults in the home
  • Current award letter for SSI, Disability, Pension, Child Support or unemployment
  • DES award letter for food stamps, AFDC
  • Contract/Lease for Section 8/Conventional/or HUD housing
  • If not a U.S. Citizen, please bring identification: a valid passport or certificate of naturalization or valid resident alien card or a current picture ID/driver’s license from your country of citizenship.
Simply walk-in, no appointment is necessary. For more information please call (520) 792-1111.
The Juneteenth Festival Presents a Black History Live Exhibit and More
Sunday, February 21st 3:00 – 8:00 pm
The Screening Room 127 E. Congress St
Join the Juneteenth Festival Committee for a night of film, poetry, live music and more! The event will feature a Black History Live Exhibit and screening of the film We Own the Night.  Tickets are $10 or $15 for couples. Visit https://www.facebook.com/Tucson-Juneteenth-Celebration-521630407898433/ for more information and updates.
Tucson Peace Fair
Saturday, February 27th 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Reid Park Bandshell
The theme of this year’s Peace Fair is Compassion for Refugees and Migrants: All One World. This FREE event is Arizona’s largest gathering of peace, justice and environmental groups. Come for live music, children’s activities, and to learn more information from local organizations who are working toward peace and environmental sustainability in our community. For more info, call 730-3609 or go to www.tucsonpeacecalendar.org
Did You Know...?
City of Tucson Observed President’s Day Monday, February 15th
Monday is President’s Day and that means all City of Tucson offices will be closed, except for emergency services. Residential and commercial trash and recycling will not be collected on Monday, so all customers will have their collections delayed by one day next week.
Meet Tucson’s Birds with New Map
The new Tucson Birding Trail Map is available starting Saturday. The free map shows the 45 best locations in and around Tucson for finding wild birds. The sites include a range of mountain, desert, and wetland locations, each with its own variety of species. The map will be introduced at Tucson Meet Your Birds, a special event this Saturday. Co-sponsored by the Tucson Audubon Society and Tucson Water, the bird celebration will be held from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. at Sweetwater Wetlands, 2511 W. Sweetwater Drive. After the event, the map will be available at a variety of Tucson Audubon and Tucson Parks and Recreation department locations. The Tucson Birding Trail Map was produced by Parks and Recreation and the Tucson Audubon Society, with funding from the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Heritage Fund. As many as 350 wild bird species have been seen in and around Tucson over the years.
From Parks and Recreation: https://www.tucsonaz.gov/parks/announcement/promoting-birding-tucson
Online version of birding map: https://cotgis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapTour/?appid=efd0834df769400eb0b29297eb113907#
Downtown Tucson Gift Card Available In Various Denominations 
With the Downtown Tucson eGift Card, you can share a taste of what Tucson has to offer. The gift card is valid at more than 70 participating businesses in the downtown area and can be loaded instantly on a smartphone. Gift card recipients can buy a SunGo 1-Day Ticket to ride the Sun Link streetcar for 24 hours to spend their gift and attend more than 40 gem shows open through February 14th. Downtown Tucson eGift Cards can be purchased online at http://downtowntucson.instagift.com/. For a full list of participating merchants via Downtown Tucson Partnership visit https://www.downtowntucson.org/live-work/gift-card/. More information about the Sun Link streetcar can be found at http://www.sunlinkstreetcar.com/.
Adopt a Crosswalk Sign
Perhaps you've seen new signs at some crosswalks that remind motorists to yield to pedestrians. The signs can be placed at marked crosswalks on roadways with speed limits of 25 mph or less. Most of the signs are in the downtown area, but they can be placed on qualifying roadways throughout Tucson by special request. Do you know of a crosswalk that would benefit from a sign? Individuals, businesses, or organizations can "adopt" a crosswalk sign. By adopting the sign, the adopter agrees to pay $272.50 to have the sign built and placed at the crosswalk of their choice. For more information, please contact Diahn.Swartz@tucsonaz.gov or 837-6661. City of Tucson Bicycle & Pedestrian Program: https://www.tucsonaz.gov/bicycle
Trees for Tucson – Cool shade delivered to your door!
Continuing this February, order three trees for just $15 and be eligible for home delivery! Visit https://tucsoncleanandbeautiful.org/trees-for-tucson/ to place your order. Limit three trees per household. Trees are five gallon size and must be planted within 15 feet of the west, east, or south side of the home. Planting instructions are provided at time of delivery. Questions? Call 837-6835.
Go ‘Behind the Barricades’ to learn about transportation projects!
Curious about what goes on beyond the barricades of road projects in the city? In a new segment on Tucson 12, Tucson Department of Transportation Engineering Manager Sam Credio goes "Behind the Barricades" to show the process of roadway construction projects.
Watch the video: https://vimeopro.com/cityoftucson/tv/video/154778612