Karin's Note: Friday, November 7th, 2014
- Did You Know?
Some recent items on Mayor/Council agendas have generated considerable community interest:
We had a productive discussion about graffiti, again, at the Mayor and Council table this week. While staff has been directed to return to us with a plan of action within 60 days, I will be keenly focused on one particular element of the City’s response: abatement.
I do understand that many factors matter. Everything from prevention/education to enforcement impacts graffiti. But the one thing that seems to have proven true here and in other cities has been the efficacy of reducing tagging by painting it out immediately. GPC (private sector abatement contractor) has been a proven partner of ours. We’ll be researching the success of Avondale’s approach to abatement on both budget and ultimate impact. My understanding is that, while it cost more upfront to paint out all tags quickly, over time the cost of abatement shrank as the incidents of tagging decreased. Apparently Avondale’s investments have demonstrated that abatement works to deter tagging—without any doubt--if abatement is prompt and sustained.
This element of our overarching plan will have to be factored into the General Fund budget and our guidelines for abatement and the graffiti hotline. I have advocated against recent parameters which have reduced our abatement of graffiti on private property accessible from public rights-of-way (we used to abate in alleys, for example, and on privately owned walls adjacent to and within reach from the right-of-way). We have to take a step back and ask ourselves whether shifting from abatement to a code-enforcement model has worked (where private properties are inspected and cited for violations if tags aren’t promptly removed). I suspect folks would rather have visits from the City centered on abatement, which may end up being the most cost-effective approach after all.
School Resource Officers
All of us want safe schools and we want that for all of our young people. I am pleased that work continues with TUSD to establish a contract that differentiates the role of law enforcement officers on school grounds (just as federal immigration enforcement guidelines do) versus out “on the streets”. All students (and their parents) need us to focus on the primary intent: safety. School Resource Officers can help. Their involvement in the schools can deter bullying, prevent potential acts of violence, and foster much-needed community trust. That trust ultimately promotes safety throughout Tucson. We will hopefully reach a final SRO agreement soon.
A key element of water sustainability in Tucson is rainwater harvesting. The Mayor and Council directed Tucson Water to review current conservation programming to pursue the expansion of rebates/incentives for rainwater harvesting (e.g. cisterns and curb cuts) as well as other programs (e.g. low-flow toilet rebates/refunds). I requested that regional Flood Control District representatives be included in the process because rainwater harvesting so directly impacts their objectives and the District could potentially incorporate projects and funding into their plans. The Citizens Water Advisory Committee we serve as the lead group to put together final program recommendations for Mayor/Council approval.
I'll close with a note on two events highlighted last week: La Madera Playground Build and Cyclovia.
On Saturday we had OVER 300 community volunteers join us to build a brand new, multi-generation-geared playground at La Madera Park. The project was underwritten by Kaboom and Humana with support and aid from our Parks and Recreation Department. The national reps from Kaboom noted that our volunteer turnout far surpassed that of any other project they've sponsored....ever. Thank you to all volunteers, neighbors on the planning committee, community participants, underwriters, and City staff (including my own Ward 3 team of Brianda, Judith, Tamara and Matt). It's a beautiful, invaluable improvement we made happen together. And judging from the joy of the families and children gathered there again on Tuesday evening, it's gonna be appreciated for many years to come.
Cyclovia wove through Ward 3 on Sunday, and was noted as one of their most highly attended and successful "perpetual parades" yet. Congrats to Keeling Neighborhood (host of the northern start-point and section), northwest Neighborhood and the Donna Liggins Center team and to all involved. Kudos especially to Emily Yetman and Kylie Walzak of the Living Streets Alliance for promoting safe bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and Cyclovia celebrations year round.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with feedback on these or any other matters of concern.
Have a great weekend.
Ward 3 Events:
- Annual Ward 3 Neighbors Alliance Meeting – Saturday, November 8th 10:30 am at St James United Methodist Church 3255 N Campbell Ave, Room 6. Please join the Annual Meeting of the Ward 3 Neighbors Alliance. The Alliance will give you an update on what has been happening over the last year and will be electing new board members. W3NA is increasing the Board to nine members, so there are currently four openings that they are seeking to be filled by neighbors and community stakeholders from the ward. Four individuals have expressed an interest in running, and they will accept nominations from the floor. For more information, please contact Sandy Miller at email@example.com.
- Friends of Marty Birdman Center Yard Sale! - Saturday and Sunday, November 8th and 9th from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm each day, at 319 E. Kelso St. The Friends of Marty Birdman Center is holding a yard sale fundraiser! Proceeds will be used to provide scholarships for children from the Balboa Heights, Keeling, and Coronado Heights neighborhoods for the Parks and Recreation activities at the Marty Birdman Center. If you would like to support them, deliver your gently used items by Thursday and/or shop for great buys on household items, tools, clothes and crafts on Saturday and Sunday. For information contact Doris at 461-6968.
-Coffee with a Cop – Monday, November 10th, 7:00 am – 9:00 am. Starbucks 405 E. Wetmore Rd Suite 107. Join Your Neighbors and Police Officers for Coffee and Conversation! No agenda or speeches, just a chance to ask questions, voice concerns, and get to know the officers in your neighborhood! Any businesses who are interested in hosting Coffee with a Cop in the future Please contact CSO Kara Curtis at 520-837-7241
- Refugee Thanksgiving - Saturday, November 15th 5:00 – 7:00 pm at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 400 E. University Blvd. Come join all of your refugee friends for an unforgettable Thanksgiving meal. Celebrate a yummy feast of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and more! Call Iskashitaa at 440-0100 or email Emily Oshinskie at firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP and volunteer to drive our refugee friends! All ages welcomed!
- Jefferson Park Needs You to Green the Streets! - Sunday, November 16th 8:00 am – 1:00 pm Near Campbell & Grant. Lend a hand and help create lush streets in this central Tucson neighborhood! Jefferson Park neighbors will be installing rain gardens in the right of way to benefit an adjacent urban wash through a Conserve to Enhance grant. You'll learn best practices for designing and implementing stormwater-harvesting rain gardens. Kieran Sikdar will be facilitating the fun, learning, and work. To sign-up and learn more, visit https://watershedmg.org/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=409
-Grant Road Open House – Wednesday, November 19th, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm at Tucson Association of Realtors 2445 N. Tucson Blvd. Please join the Tucson Department of Transportation and the Regional Transportation Authority for a Phase 2, Stone Ave. to Park Ave, Open House. Representatives from TDOT, RTA, and the Project Team will be available to discuss the overall Grant Road Improvement Plan and answer any questions you might have.
- 2014 Day-after-Thanksgiving Grease Collection & Recycling Event - Friday, November 28, from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm at the Ward 3 City Council Office 1510 E. Grant Rd. Do your part to wipe out grease and save our sewers! Just a little bit of cooking grease, if poured down the drain, can clog your pipes, force costly repair bills, and even cause raw sewage to backup into your home. There’s an easy solution for your Thanksgiving cooking: pour your grease into a container and take it to the Ward 3 office. The collected grease will be recycled into biodiesel, a cleaner burning fuel than regular diesel. If you are unable to make it out on the Day-After-Thanksgiving, you can always recycle your grease at one of the year-round at locations that the County provides. Many thanks to Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department and their community partners for providing this service!
Ward 3 Neighborhood/Coalition Meetings:
- Mountain/1st NA – Saturday, November 8th 9:00 am at Mitchell Park 1100 E Mitchell St
- Mountain/1st CAG – Saturday, November 8th 10:00 am at Mitchell Park 1100 E Mitchell St
- W3NA Annual Meeting – Saturday, November 8th 10:30 am at St. James United Methodist, 3255 N Campbell Ave
- Coronado Heights Annual Meeting – Wednesday, November 12th 6:00 pm at Glenstone Village Community Room, 2835 N Stone
- 25th Annual All Souls Procession Weekend – Saturday and Sunday, November 8th – 9th. Honor and celebrate those who have passed by joining the more than 100,000 people expected to dress in costume and skeleton face-paint in Tucson this weekend as part of the 25th annual All Souls Procession organized by Many Mouths One Stomach. The Procession will follow a two-mile route from Sixth Street and Sixth Avenue to the finale at Mercado San Agustin. The event features myriad installation art, altars, performers, and creatives of all kinds collaborating for almost half the year to prepare their offerings to this amazing event. Here is the schedule:
Procession of Little Angels - 3:00 pm to dusk at Armory Park, 220 S. Park Ave.
Night of the Living Fest - 8:00 pm to midnight at La Cocina at 201 N. Court Ave. 12 bands perform, $12.
All Souls Procession 6:00 pm - rally point is East Sixth Street and North Sixth Avenue.
The Grand Finale - 8:30 pm - San Mercado Agustin 100 S. Avenida del Convento.
Dance of the Dead Official After Party – 8:00 pm - Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St.. The finale at the mercado will be streamed live, and then Itchy-O Marching Band and Dry River Yacht Club play around 9, $12.
- Open Studio Tour Saturday – Saturday – Sunday, November 8th and 9th. Studios will be open 11:00 am – 5:00 pm. Enjoy the Open Studio Tour throughout the city of Tucson and Pima County! Now in its 27th year, the Open Studio Tour (OST) draws about 10,000 visitors each year to over 200 artists’ studios throughout Tucson and Pima County. This free signature Tucson event gives artists the chance to expose their work to a large public and visitors the chance to view an amazing spectrum of artistic media and styles. Visit http://www.tucsonpimaopenstudiotour.org/ for more details!
- Maya Textile Sale, Exhibit and Silent Auction – Friday, November 7th – Sunday, November 9th at St. Michael & All Angels 602 N. Wilmot. Visit and do some holiday shopping at this benefit for St. Michael’s Guatemala Project and the Castañeda Museum of Ethnic Costumes. The opening sale and reception hours will be from 5:00 – 8:00 pm on Friday, with the sale continuing on Saturday from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm and Sunday from 11:30 am – 3:00 pm. The Guatemala Project is a 21-year partnership with the rural Maya of CPR-Sierra, who became refugees during Guatemala’s 36-year conflict, that focuses on health, cultures and indigenous rights. Tucson’s Castañeda Museum cultivates appreciation and respect for world cultures through the study and exhibition of folk costume.
- Family Wellness Expo – Sunday, November 9th Noon – 4 pm. The Tucson Jewish Community Center, 3800 E. River Rd, is hosting this FREE, all ages, interactive event which will feature tips for healthy living through fitness, nutrition, finance, and more! Our neighbors, Iskashitaa, representatives will teach about tap water and other water-related health concerns.
- The City of Tucson Environmental Services Department is offering a tour of the Los Reales Landfill and the ReCommunity, Inc. Materials Recovery Facility. Participants will get a ‘behind the scenes’ view and learn how ES operates the landfill and how recyclables collected in the blue barrels are sorted and marketed. Tour participants will meet in the upper level parking lot at 4004 S. Park Avenue on Friday, November 14, 2014 at 8:30 a.m. The tour will be complete by 12:15 p.m. Those who join the tour should wear long pants, closed-toe shoes, hats and sun screen. Drinking water will be provided. The tour is not for children younger than age 14. The tour is available on a first come basis. To reserve a seat, call ES at 791-3175 by Monday, November 10, 2014.
- 9th Annual Family Festival in the Park - Saturday, November 15th 10 am - 2 pm at Reid Park, 22nd and Country Club (west of the Zoo). Tucson Parks and Recreation Department presents the 9th Annual Family Festival in the Park. This free community-wide event is about having family fun and a terrific opportunity for Tucson Parks and Recreation to showcase programs and activities offered to the community. This year, Parks and Recreation has partnered with the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, so please bring a donation of canned goods to the festival to help support its cause. The Tucson Breakfast Lions Club will be offering free vision testing for children and accepting donations of your old prescription eye-glasses. The Lions Club will also offer a free pancake breakfast to kids and those that donate a pair of prescription eye-glasses.
- 10th Corazón de Justicia Awards Dinner – Saturday, November 15th 6:00 pm at El Casino Ballroom 437 E. 26th St. Coalición de Derechos Humanos is pleased to announce their 10th Corazón de Justicia Awards Dinner. They will honor 11 Tucson activists who have demonstrated their “heart of justice” through their work in the community to make Tucson a more just and equitable place for all of us. Live music and dinner as they dance the night with cumbia/ska band Santa Pachita! Featuring live music by Santa Pachita. Tickets at $35. Visit http://derechoshumanosaz.net/contact-us/
Did You Know...?
…that The Ford Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) hands-on teen driving program is returning to Tucson? The FREE award-winning program is aimed at reducing teen fatalities by providing hands-on training to 400 Arizona teens in advanced skills that address major contributors to traffic crashes involving new drivers. Arizona teens who hold a valid learners permit or drivers license can sign up for one of four free sessions:
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Session 1: 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Session 2: 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 9, 2014
Session 1: 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Session 2: 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Registration is limited and signed consent forms are required. For more information and to register, please visit www.drivingskillsforlife.com. Participants must bring the signed waiver form and the teen’s driver’s license or permit to the event. E-mail FordDSFL@ford.com with any questions!
…that commemorative trees are available to recognize, honor and remember loved ones? Commemorative trees are available for purchase to be dedicated next month at Pantano River Park. Trees are available for purchase through Tucson Clean & Beautiful (in cooperation with the City of Tucson and Pima County) for $225 each, including the tree, irrigation lines, number marker installation, name dedication at a commemorative plaza, and guaranteed replacement. Tree dedication requests are accepted year-round, but Monday is the deadline for guaranteed planting by next month's ceremony. Tree dedications are partially tax deductible and may be purchased to honor or remember any friend or family member. The official dedication of the trees will be December 5th, 11:00 am - noon, at Pantano River - Garden of the Families, 2500 S. Pantano Pkwy. For more information, visit https://tucsoncleanandbeautiful.org/
…that El Tour de Tucson is approaching? The annual Special Olympics El Tour de Tucson is November 22nd and registration is ongoing. Organizers say El Tour is the largest cycling event in Southern Arizona. The race attracts cyclists from around the world, bringing in between $13 million to $18 million into the local economy. Since 1983, El Tour has raised more than $40 million for various nonprofit organizations. The primary beneficiary and sponsor of the 2014 El Tour is Special Olympics. The start and finish line is located at Armory Park, across the street from Children’s Museum Tucson on South 6th Avenue at 13th Street. Crossing the finish line ushers the riders into the next event - the El Tour Downtown Fiesta. Celebrate with music, food vendors, children's activities, awards, and more. Visit El Tour de Tucson at http://eltourdetucson.donordrive.com/index.cfm for more info.