Karin's Note: Friday, January 10, 2014

Karin's Note: Friday, January 10, 2014

-Ward 3 Events
-Upcoming Area Neighborhood and Coalition Meeting(s)
-Citywide Events
-Did You Know?


Dear Tucsonans,

We Remember

I struggle to find words as we all pause to remember the tragedy of January 8, 2011. All week we have shared in moments of sadness and exhilaration as Gabby took to the skies, a flash mob of thirty five danced to the song “Overcomer”, a crowd of over 400 viewed a poignant film and talked strategy on reducing gun violence at the Loft, hundreds more paid vigil as bells tolled and all of us---everywhere—remembered lives lost and torn apart, and reaffirmed the grace and power of our community rallying together.

A permanent memorial will be established in the coming years by the January 8 Memorial Foundation, and this week both the County Board of Supervisors and the Mayor/Council unanimously  passed resolutions designating space at the historic downtown courthouse and adjacent El Presidio Park for that installation. Events sponsored by Beyond will be held this weekend (see below and visit: http://www.beyond-tucson.org/ ). Hope to see you there.

I often look to the survivors to find guidance and inspiration, and hope we’ll all follow their lead as they call us to action. You can join Gabby and Mark Kelly and partner groups working to reduce gun violence at https://giffords.org/ and https://momsdemandaction.org/. To get involved in providing better support and care for the mentally ill please learn more at www.nami.org and www.cpsaarizona.org . Perhaps our greatest respect can be paid by pausing to remember, and then promising to act.

We Care

In December I promised to work toward securing a CPS forum here so all concerned can participate in the state’s revamping of our system aimed at protecting abused and neglected children. That forum will be held on Thursday, January 30, 6-8pm at the Jewish Community Center (3800 E River Road). My thanks to the Children’s Action Alliance and all cosponsoring organizations for putting this together. Find information here: http://azchildren.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Community-Forum-Flyer.pdf

As you may know, I’m a Social Worker and have worked for over two decades on homelessness, domestic violence, and poverty. I’m inclined to want all people in need to find doors open for help. I know that I, and anyone, could be in need of help in the future. I also respect and appreciate the work of agencies that address suffering and provide services and support. 

Yet I have also learned that a key to meaningful impact is meeting people halfway—opening a door to support and aide while expecting adults to actively participate in creating the change they are seeking. The stakes are high when children are harmed and at further risk. I believe CPS should be reoriented from its current mission of family reunification to a singular focus on protecting children. Child Protective Services.

Yes of course parents working to overcome addiction, poverty, mental illness or other serious burdens ought to be helped. Family reunification is the ideal when parents can restore and sustain safe homes. But CPS ought to be the one entity making certain that parents offered help make earnest efforts and achieve documented progress so children do not suffer more abuse or neglect. Remember that CPS does not swoop in and remove children without cause. If anything, the state has been far too slow in investigating and taking action to protect children. So when and if children are removed from their homes they have already suffered mightily. And if anything—anything—could motivate a parent to accept help and overcome obstacles, I have to believe it would be the drive to regain custody of their children.

At the Phoenix forum several speakers noted that there are evidence-based, objective models for evaluating how best to meet the needs of children, gauge an adult’s progress in recovery, and facilitate the painful transitions associated with family separations for all affected. My hope and my advocacy will be aimed at encouraging Arizona to apply those best practices and to focus CPS on protecting children.

I have been involved for many years establishing safe havens and advocacy for adults who are suffering. Those investments could prevent abuse and neglect from happening in the first place. My promotion of those services will continue. I will also raise my voice in favor of a clear boundary that safeguards children caught in the storm of their adult caregivers’ turmoil. I truly believe that boundary would ultimately serve caring parents and the children they love best.

On a related note, my Aide David Higuera will begin next week serving as the new half-time Southern Arizona Director for Children's Action Alliance (azchildren.org/), independent voice for Arizona children at the state capitol and in the community. CAA works to improve children’s health, education and security through information and action ( http://azchildren.org/news#sthash.MP4CcTqE.dpuf ). CAA is co-sponsoring the community forum on Jan 30th, Keeping Children Safe and Healthy, noted above.

Additionally, David is working with fellow parents from his son's preschool to create The IDEA School (www.facebook.com/explorebuildlearn ( https://www.facebook.com/explorebuildlearn/info )), that will launch in August 2014 with Kindergarten through 3rd Grade, in Downtown Tucson. The IDEA School's mission is to engage all students in their education through real-world project based learning, in a supportive, collaborative environment. David will be the half-time School Director. I know we all wish David well in his new endeavors. I appreciate all of the work and service he has offered through the Ward 3 office over the past two years.

We Shine

Guess who is featured on the cover of Humanities, the magazine published by the National Endowment for the Arts circulated across the country? We are!

The November/December issue celebrates our iconic corridors that boast historic neon signs and adapted motorcourt properties, particularly along the city’s the northern gateway of Miracle Mile/North Oracle. Monterey Court shines on the cover. The feature article highlights the leadership of Demion Clinco, Tucson’s Mayor and City Council, and others key partners who have helped spark investment and economic development by leveraging the unique character and assets we have worked together to preserve. Here’s the link to the full article written by Tucsonan Christine Wald-Hopkins:
   Congratulations to Tucson for shining through once again.

On a related note, I want to thank John-Peter Wilhite of the Sonoran Glass School who, along with representatives of the Drawing Studio, Santa Theresa Tile Works, The Children’s Museum, the Tucson Pima Arts Council and others, recently teamed up with me and  Visit Tucson to develop a new “Hands on Art” marketing message.

Here’s what we realized together. In line with Visit Tucson’s theme “Free Yourself”, the arts here can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. We (and tourists) can attend concerts, stroll through museums, and find galleries and shops to our liking. We can also quite uniquely and directly experience the arts, “hands on”. Did you know you can be the artist yourself at the Glass School, Drawing Studio, Santa Teresa Tileworks and the Bead Shop on Fort Lowell and countless other venues in Tucson? Visit Tucson’s staff recognized that highlighting chances to create art could help set the Tucson arts scene apart from other locales in a new and exciting way.  Here’s the web link to this fresh take on how Tucson helps “free that artist within”:

Contact Visit Tucson with additional “hands on” arts venues so they can continue to highlight the full vibrancy our arts scene.

We Collaborate

I am honored to be attending the opening of the State Legislative Session and Governor’s Inaugural Address at the Capitol on Monday at the invitation of State Representative Victoria Steele. Representative Steele has been an effective leader and advocate during her first term. She recognizes that cooperation at all levels of government best serves the public. I look forward to working with her and other colleagues again during the 2014 session on issues ranging from budget priorities to CPS reform. I am carpooling up to Phoenix with Representative Steele’s other invited guest, County Supervisor Richard Elias. What a great way to launch our next year of public service, all three of us, together.

I also enjoyed reconnecting this week with former Flagstaff Mayor Sara Pressler at the YWCA. Mayor Pressler shared her inspiring experiences as the youngest person and first woman elected Mayor of Flagstaff. She shared insights and advice about leadership and service, all with a good dose of audacity and humor.

Throughout the year the YWCA will host additional guest speakers and valuable training programs. To learn more visit their web site: http://www.ywcatucson.org/site/c.elLYJiOZKqLcG/b.8581629/k.BF21/Home.htm

Mayor/Council Agenda

This week we directed staff to draft parameters for making City owned or managed facilities available at free or reduced rates to incentivize major events/productions. Approved projects will have to create documented economic gains for Tucson. I appreciate Councilmember Kozachik’s proposal and his acceptance of my amendment to include not only film productions but also other types of projects that could leverage comparable economic impacts (e.g. major sports events). This incentive will be integrated within the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy being finalized by staff for final Mayor/Council consideration soon.  Our next meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 22.

Thanks and have a great weekend,



Ward 3 Events:


- Beyond Storytelling at Valley of the MoonSaturday, January 11 from 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. 2544 East Allen Road. Fairytales, true love and adventure await you and your children during this storytelling event. This is a free event with a request to bring new or gently used books to donate to Make Way for Books. This event is part of the overall Beyond Tucson 2014 – Saturday, January 11 which will commemorate those lost on January 8, 2011.  This community-wide outdoor festival will celebrate fun, fitness and family. For a full list of Beyond events: http://www.beyond-tucson.org/

Upcoming Neighborhood and Coalition Meeting(s):


El Cortez NA – Thursday, January 9 at 6:30 p.m. Parkside Terrace Apartments, 2150 N. 4th Avenue

Mountain/1st NA – Saturday, January 11 at 10:00 a.m. Mitchell Park, 1100 E. Mitchell

The Oracle Project Steering Committee (TOPS) – Tuesday, January 14 at 5:30 p.m. TPD Westside Substation, 1310 W. Miracle Mile

Alvernon/Grant Initiative (AGI/TNBC) – Tuesday, January 14 at 6:00 p.m. Emerge! 2425 N. Haskell

Campus Community Relations Committee (CCRC) – Tuesday, January 14 at 6:00 p.m. U of A Student Union

Ward 3 Neighbors Alliance – Wednesday, January 15 at 6:00 p.m. Woods Memorial Library, 3455 N. First Avenue. Discussion will be on Ward 3 Transportation Projects

Citywide Events:

-Recycle Your Christmas Tree – December 26 through January 12, 2014. Locations are open 7 days a week during daylight hours. In Ward 3 you may take your tree to: Rillito Race Track, 4502 N. 1st Avenue or to Silverbell Road, northeast of Goret. There will be signs indicating where your trees should be placed. In addition, the City of Tucson will have wood chips available for pick-up at Udall Park, Randolph Golf Course and the Los Reales Landfill. Bring a container and take home some free wood chips for your garden. For more information: 791-5000.


-Beyond Tucson 2014 – Saturday, January 11 will commemorate those lost on January 8, 2011.  This community-wide outdoor festival will celebrate fun, fitness and family. For a list of events: http://www.beyond-tucson.org/
-CODAC Forum on Sex Trafficking: Trauma and Addition – Thursday, January 23 from 8:00 – 11:00 a.m. Pima Community College, 1255 N. Stone Avenue, Amethyst Room. This community action forum focuses on providing information to health and human service providers, law enforcement and educators. More details and RSVP: 202-1749 or https://www.eventbrite.com/e/steps-to-address-sex-trafficking-trauma-add...

-7th Annual Beat Back Buffelgrass – Saturday, January 25. Buffelgrass is a wildfire waiting to happen. Event is sponsored by Tucson Clean and Beautiful, Southern Arizona Buffelgrass and various groups and municipalities.  Volunteers needed throughout the Tucson area. Sign up online: www.buffelgrass.org
-Edible Art Gala – Saturday, January 25 from 6:00 p.m. to Midnight. Maker House, 283 N. Stone Avenue. This Tucson Arts Brigade fundraiser event features, art, food, dancing and an opportunity to judge the best costumer and most delicious and creative food. Tickets are $15 (pre-sale) or $20 at the door. For tickets and information: http://www.tucsonartsbrigade.org/

Did You Know...?

…that  814 pets were adopted in December at Pima Animal Care Center (PACC)? In the first six months of the fiscal year, beginning July 1 the total adoption number is 4, 403. Congratulations to PACC and thanks for the greater Tucson area for opening hearts and homes to pets. For information on classes, lost and found pets and those available for adoption, visit the PACC website:    http://webcms.pima.gov/government/pima_animal_care_center/

…that you can read highlights of City news by logging on: https://www.tucsonaz.gov/newsnet ?

…that the Alzheimer’s Association and its Southern Arizona Regional Office have a wide range of special and ongoing activities planned for this fall?  Take a look at information below for some of what they offer!  For more information about any of the events or programs, please contact the Regional Office at 520/322-6601.    

Upcoming Events - Each month there are scheduled Alzheimer educational sessions**  throughout the community.
The following is a list of sessions that are being provided in January:
- January 21, 2014 @ 2pm at Armory Park Senor Center, Know the 10 Signs: Early Detection Matters
- January 23rd, 2014 @ 2pm at Saddlbrook HOA#1, Know the 10 Signs: Early Detection Matters

**If you know any groups that might be interested in an educational session, they can call the office. We offer a variety of topics related to Alzheimer's disease and caregiving including Behaviors, Communication, The Basics of Dementia, Family Caregiving to name just a few.

Annual Education Conference - The Annual Education Conference is scheduled for March 12, 2014 in Tucson at the Jewish Community Center from 8am to 3:30pm. Speakers planned include:   Keynote Speaker, Betsy Broyles-Arnold, Co-Producer of Coach Broyles Alzheimer's Playbook and President of Caregivers United;  Dr. Steven Rapcsak;  Dr. Richard Casselli;  Dr. Ole Teinhaus; and Dr. David Coon. Special breakout sessions for people with early stage memory loss and professionals as well as an opportunity to participate in the Virtual Dementia Tour will also be incorporated into this important educational event. Cost is $35 for family caregivers and $65 for professionals. A limited number of scholarships and respite vouchers will be available for family caregivers.

Wine To Remember - Sunday, April 27th at 3pm is the Wine To Remember event at Hacienda Del Sol. The freshest wines, featuring local wineries, along with some of the best hors d'oeuvres in a beautiful setting, make this relaxing afternoon the perfect opportunity to support the work of the Alzheimer’s Association to empower and support individuals affected by dementia in our community.

Early Stage Programs
Connections Plus is a social engagement program that helps people in the early-stage of memory loss to connect with others facing similar situations. Meetings are scheduled each month that include gathering for pot lucks, outings and volunteer opportunities. If you know anyone who can benefit from this program, please have them call Elizabeth Kinder at the Southern Az Regional Office.

EPIC, or Early Stage Partners in Care, is a program designed for individuals recently diagnosed with dementia or are living in the early stages to participate in a program with their care partners to address issues they are facing now and start planning for the future. Participants in the EPIC classes will meet for 2 hours over the period of 7 weeks in a group educational setting while working together to understand what each partner would like and how to communicate with each other to have a plan. This is such a great program for people in the early stages and their care partners that are often times weary of the future and not sure how to talk about it. The program is taking referrals now and will set the schedule for the groups as soon as possible.

Memories in the Making is a creative arts program in collaboration with the Tucson Museum of Art designed for persons with memory loss which provides social connections, pleasant activities for both the person with dementia and their care partner, and promotes creative expression through a variety of mediums provided at no cost.  A new series of this program is starting in February and March. These will be our last sessions until September and spaces are filling up quickly.
Finally, the Alzheimer’s Association Helpline number is 1-800-272-3900. A dementia specialist is available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week to assist.