Karin's Note: Friday, March 20, 2015

Karin's Note: Friday, March 20, 2015
- Ward 3 Events
- Neighborhood/Coalition Meetings
- Community Support Spotlight
- Citywide Events
- Did You Know?
 
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Dear Tucsonans,
 
On our agenda this week we had several items that have generated considerable interest and public input.
 
Crowd Control 
 
An item proposed by Chief Villaseñor was pulled off the agenda after a number of Mayor/Council members and Tucson residents weighed in with alarm and questions. I appreciate that the item has been slated for internal review first and, if worthy of consideration, placed on a future agenda with clearer objectives and specific rationale provided.
 
At our meeting the Chief confirmed broad-based work with community members to prepare for the NCAA Championship celebration (yup, I’m gonna say Wildcats take it). Crowds that gather as emotions run high and alcohol flows freely pose a public safety challenge - one that TPD wants to handle effectively. I appreciate that folks from the UofA (including student groups), downtown bar/club owners, as well as both campus and City police are working together. Here’s an example of the UofA’s promotional effort:
 
 
No one wants to see tensions escalate or any violence occur. The coordinated effort holds the best hope for keeping everyone safe.
 
Camping Ordinance
 
I am grateful that Councilmember Kozachik pulled his requested action item on the Urban Camping Ordinance. Given the court’s clear instructions to the City last week about our ability to enforce existing ordinances to safeguard the public and manage public spaces, I am not in favor of passing any new ordinances or regulations at this time. While extraordinary efforts could be made, I’m doubtful that we can or should “thread the needle” to avoid creating a slew of “status” offenses (i.e. criminalizing things that unhoused people have to do to live and acts which other groups of people are not likely to engage in). I think it’s unwise to go down that road, which invariably leads us directly back into court and sparks heightened stigma and backlash against homeless people.
 
A wiser next step would be to research the Phoenix/Maricopa Human Services Campus which includes an outdoor lawn for people unable or unwilling to access shelter services. At times an overflow area outdoors has been opened up there as well, to respond as the numbers of people on the streets increases. Another solution being explored and/or implemented in cities around the country are “tiny houses” set up on private (often faith-community), and sometimes public property.
 
The conversation to date reinforces that homelessness takes a huge toll on individuals on the streets, and also on the community at large. The existing continuum of housing and services helps many, many individuals and families. But in our country which values freedom, it’s not right or reasonable to imagine “sentencing” people to services by making basic nonthreatening behaviors illegal. And handling the issue through the criminal justice system has got to be the most costly and least humane approach imaginable. Maybe the economic downturn and obvious stresses in our community will serve as the impetus for us to implement new options that will work for folks outside.
 
Grant Road
 
The Grant Road Task Force met this week and from the feedback I received, it was a productive meeting. One outcome of the meeting is that the task force is finalizing recommendations for Mayor/Council consideration, to help us proceed with the Land Use Overly – potentially in a phased manner (segment by segment as the roadway construction progresses). Another important clarification that came out of the meeting is how the design and character guidelines (crafted over the past several years) will interface with land use planning and how they will continue to be the guiding vision for the corridor. Thanks to Nicole Ewing-Gavin and Rebecca Ruopp from the City Office of Integrated Planning for once again facilitating such a positive public process. And thanks also to the volunteer citizens who have guided the project since day one through today and until the roadway is done!
 
Historic Landmarks
 
I am concerned that the Ordinance adopted by the Mayor and Council to encourage the designation and preservation of Historic Landmarks will not be successful. I have asked staff to research the model adopted in Flagstaff (an opt-in overlay) and other options we could consider as an alternative to our standard rezoning process. I will keep you posted, and anticipate an initial conversation on this at the Mayor/Council table on April 7.
 
Have a great weekend,
 
Karin
 
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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. In 2014, the VITA Task Force of Arizona helped to return $21.7 million in federal refunds and credits to Arizona.
The Ward 3 VITA Site will be open on Tuesdays from 1:00 – 5:00 pm and Saturdays from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm through April 11th. The Ward 3 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.
 
- Do Happy! Pet Adoptions Special – Friday, March 20th – Sunday, March 22nd at the Humane Society 3450 N. Kelvin Blvd. What could be happier than adopting a pet? Visit the Humane Society on Kelvin Boulevard this weekend and take home a new family friend! In honor of the International Day of Happiness, the Kelvin location is offering a $10 special price on all adoptions. For more information, call 520-327-6088.
 
- Samos neighborhood DO Happy Today potluck picnic - Saturday, March 21st beginning at 11:30 am. In honor of the International Day of Happiness, Samos neighbors will be playing with bocce ball, frisbees, hula hoops, maybe ping pong, and a Happy wall to write or draw on. And maybe their own rendition of the Do Happy dance.
 
- Miracle Manor Community Cleanup – Saturday, March 28th 7:00 am at Jacinto Park (Tipton & 15th Ave). Bennett and the Miracle Manor neighborhood are organizing an orphan waste cleanup! If you are able to join to help (and especially if you have a truck!), please contact our office for more details at 791-4711 or ward3@tucsonaz.gov.
 
- Buy Into Tucson, Cabrini! - Saturday, March 28th 11:00 am – 3:00 pm at the Winterhaven Center 2921 E Fort Lowell. Join Good Neighbor Ventures and the Cabrini CAG to find new products and services close to your neighborhood. Includes free raffles, face painting, pizza for sale, and discounts.
 
- Financial Literacy Classes – Saturdays, starting March 28th at the Ward 3 Community Room 1510 E Grant Road. The Mountain/1st Community Action Group and Tucson Federal Credit Union are partnering to offer free financial literacy classes covering banking, budgeting and understanding credit. The series of three classes will be held in the Ward 3 Community Room from 2:00 to 4:00 pm on consecutive Saturdays: March 28th, April 4th and April 11th. Participants who attend all three classes and attend an appointment with a budget counselor, either by phone or in-person, will be entered to win a $500 Visa card.  Seating is limited. To register or for more information, contact Ashley: ashley@mygoodneighbor.org
 
- Doolen/Fruitvale Neighborhood Association Annual Meeting - Saturday, April 18th 9:00 – 10:00 am at the Sparkman Butterfly Garden. Puppy meet-and-greet after. Includes breakfast potluck, juice/coffee/water will be provided. First item on the agenda is crime with TPD Officer attending to answer questions.
 
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Neighborhood/Coalition Meetings:
 
- Keeling NA – Monday, March 23rd 7:00 – 9:00 pm at 2902 N Geronimo
 
- Jefferson Park NA – Wednesday, March 25th 6:00 – 8:00 pm at Ward III 1510 E Grant Road
 
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Community Support Spotlight
 
Training for Volunteer Tutors of Refugees
 
Do you tutor or teach English to refugee adults through a refugee organization, church or school? Do you need teaching strategies, resources and support? Literacy Connects’ Training for Volunteer Tutors of Refugees will take place 9:00 am - noon April 10th and 17th at Literacy Connects, 200 E. Yavapai Road. More info on the training here.
 
The training, made possible thanks to the Zuckerman Foundation and various community partners, will cover:
 
· Day 1: The unique language-learning needs of pre- and non-literate refugees; proven strategies and techniques to develop listening and speaking skills.
 
· Day 2: Ways to develop emerging reading and writing skills; building your “tool kit” with resources, supplies and lesson ideas.
 
The training will be facilitated by Jennifer Stanowski, Director of Literacy Connects’ English Language Acquisition for Adults program, and Karen Kivel, Volunteer Trainer and Manager.
 
Training fee: $50 ($30 for students and AmeriCorps volunteers.) Fee includes training materials and access to monthly tutor support meetings. Register online by Friday, April 3rd at literacyconnects.org
 
Questions: Call Jennifer Stanowski or Karen Kivel at (520) 882-8006.
 
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Citywide Events: 
 
- Tucson Cine Mexico 2015 – Thursday, March 19th – Sunday, March 22nd at The Screening Room 127 E Congress St. Tucson Cine Mexico 2015 ticketing and program information is now available online at http://www.tucsoncinemexico.org/! This year's lineup includes outstanding and award-winning documentaries, dramas, comedies, and a thriller. All films will be FREE and presented at the newly renovated Screening Room. Don't miss special events such as the Mexican box office hit Gloria (screening in advance of its USA release) and a musical performance after the documentary Corridos, sones y pasiones!
- Fourth Avenue Street Fair - March 20th – 22nd 10:00 am – 6:00 pm along Fourth Avenue between University and 9th. Free to the public, the Fourth Avenue Street Fair brings together 400+ arts and crafts booths, 35+ food vendors, Main Stage, street musicians, food, jugglers, street performers, the ever so popular Free Kids hands-on-art Pavilion. There is face painting, balloons, demonstrations, sidewalk entertainment and tons of other fun activities. This is Tucson’s Largest Arts Venue. A Tucson Tradition. http://www.fourthavenue.org/general-information/
 
- League of Women Voters Presents: Independent Redistricting. Saturday, March 21st 9:30 am to noon at the Joel Valdez Main Library, 101 N Stone Ave. League of Women Voters of Greater Tucson monthly meeting, free and open to the public. Light refreshment from 9:30 to 10:00 am, program from 10:00 am to noon. For more information about the League, go to http://lwvgt.org.
- Building Resilient Neighborhoods: Preparing for and Coping with Extreme Heat and Potential Electrical Power Grid Outages - March 21st from 1:00 to 3:00 pm at Ward 6 office at 3202 E 1st St.
"Building Resilient Neighborhoods" Work Group hosts a 2 hour free workshop at  the Ward 6 Office offered by Physicians for Social Responsibility, Arizona Chapter . The workshop will be centered on how to best prepare for extreme heat emergencies. They will talk about what to do in case of electrical outages and generally how to prepare for protection of yourself, your family, and your neighborhood.  Call Grace Rich at 520 622 5659 to RSVP.
 
- Family Fun Night - Monday, March 23rd  and every 4th Monday of the month from 4:00 – 6:00 pm join refugees from all over the Tucson community at Refugee Focus on 120 N. Stone Avenue for a night of Family Fun! Join Iskashitaa there and give a ride to a refugee!
 
- Fifth Street Bicycle Boulevard Project - Tuesday, March 24th 5:30 – 6:30 pm at Trinity Church
400 E. University Blvd. TDOT and the University of Arizona are partnering to host an open house for the Fifth Street Bicycle Boulevard Project. The Fifth Street Bicycle Boulevard Project will take place in two phases and will serve as an alternate bike route to University Boulevard to help bicyclists avoid the tracks for the Sun Link streetcar if they prefer. The public is invited to attend the open house to learn more about the proposed plans and to provide feedback on the design.
- Women in the Workforce: We’ve Come a Long Way  - Saturday, March 21st 11:00 am – noon UA BookStore 1209 E. University Blvd. SUMC 1st Floor. Once upon a time, men ran things. There were no women on the police force and precious few in professional fields. The ambition of many a girl was to find the perfect man and get married. Then, from the middle of the 20th century, things began to change. American women of the Baby Boomer generation have seen cataclysmic shifts in circumstances, opportunities and attitudes towards life and love. In celebration of National Women’s History Month, the incredible journey is examined in discussion and song, featuring travelers from the fields of journalism, law, medicine and the arts.
- Barrio Viejo Neighborhood Walking Tour - Saturday, March 21st 4:00 - 5:30 pm. Join the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation Saturday afternoon walking tour of the Barrio Viejo Neighborhood. Barrio Viejo is one of Tucson’s oldest neighborhoods, known for its exemplary Sonoran vernacular architecture. The Barrio Viejo Historic District encompasses a number of smaller barrios that survived the late 1960s urban renewal movement that obliterated the heart of the neighborhood to construct the Tucson Convention Center. The tour is limited to 25- reservations are required. 4:00-5:30 Free for THPF members $15.00 for non-members https://preservetucson.org/event/barrio-viejo-neighborhood-walking-tour-march-21st
 
- Food for Thought - Thurs, March 26th, First Christian Church, 740 E. Speedway Blvd. Come participate in a night of cross-cultural exchange with Iskashitaa Refugee Network as refugees from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East share traditional dishes from their home countries! We hope you will join us for this valuable opportunity to converse and build community. Use a family recipe and bring a dish to pass! RSVP or contact Stephanie with questions at iskashitaafoodworkshops@gmail.com or 440-0100.
 
- Tucson Homeless Connect Event - Friday, March 27th at Trinity Presbyterian Church at 400 E. University Blvd. Need Help? Seeking Services? Come to this one-day, one-stop event to get connected to the services that you need including:
 
• Information on how to get an I.D.
• Clothing
• Shelter/Housing
• Legal Assistance
• Homeless Court
• Help with benefits
• Health Screenings
• Haircuts
• Ticket Assistance
• Pet Care & Grooming
 
Services will be available from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm with lunch provided from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm. No weapons, no alcohol, no drugs.
 
Stay tuned for information on the next Tucson Homeless Connect event. For volunteer/donation opportunities contact Tucson Homeless Connect today! Check out the donations page for a full list of items needed for each event.
 
- 15th Annual Chávez March – Saturday, March 28th 9:00 am starting at Pueblo High School. Join the community in this annual march and rally in honor of César E. Chávez! The march starts at Pueblo High School and will proceed to Rudy Garcia Park with a rally, music, speakers and more.  For more info, visit https://www.chavezaz.com/.
 
- César Chávez Day of Service – Monday, March 30th 9:00 am – 12:00 pm at Rudy Garcia Park and Las Milpitas Community Garden. Celebrate the César Chávez holiday by serving in our Tucson community! On Monday morning, groups will be working on community clean-ups at Rudy Garcia Park (5001 S Nogales Hwy) and Las Milpitas Community Garden (2405 S Cotton Lane). Over fifty volunteers are needed for the clean-ups. Visit https://www.chavezaz.com/ for more information and to discover even more opportunities to participate and serve that day.
 
- Sam Hughes Home and Neighborhood Tour - Sunday, April 12 from noon until 5:00 pm. This self-guided walking tour of the one square mile neighborhood bounded by Campbell Ave./Country Club Rd. and Speedway Blvd./Broadway consists of private residences and gardens as well as several venues that represent the diversity of this historically-designated midtown neighborhood. Tickets are $20 and will be on sale day-of-the-tour in front of Rincon Market (2513 E. 6th St.) beginning at 10:00 am. Pre-tour ticket purchase will be available at Arte de la Vida 37 N. Tucson Blvd. beginning April 1. For more information, call 520-323-7891 or see samhughes.org.
 
- Shift Your Potty Paradigm From Waste to Resource: CT Build Workshop - Saturday, April 18th 9:00 am – 4:00 pm WMG's Living Lab, 1137 N Dodge Blvd. WMG promotes safe and effective use of your waste by turning it into a resource. Come learn how to properly use and maintain a composting toilet with Brad Lancaster. Then assemble and take home your own kit-based barrel system composting toilet. The kit comes complete and ready to install at your home. Learn more about this 1-day workshop, what is included, and what you may need prior to installing your own system at https://watershedmg.org/civicrm/event/info?id=448&reset=1 . Also consider checking out WMG’s Kickstarter campaign to publish Poo to Peaches a children’s book on composting toilets.
 
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Did You Know...?
 
…that PACC is waiving adoption fees for the entire month of March? Adoption fees for all animals at the Pima Animal Care Center are being waived for the remainder of March due to an unusually high number of animals being brought to the shelter. On March 5th alone, the shelter took in 106 animals. In an effort to save more lives, they are waiving the adoption fee and hope the community can help by opening their homes to a new pet. The shelter is open from noon to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Licensing fees of $15 per adult dog will still be applicable.
 
…that the Tucson Pima Arts Council, in partnership with TDOT, City Council, and PAG, is seeking a teaching artist to work with youth to design and produce artwork in a public transportation setting? The primary goal of the project is to provide youth with an opportunity to be employed and participate in all phases of the design and installation of a public artwork under the guidance of a professional artist. Get more information and view the application. Application due Monday April 6th.
 
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