Karin's note: Friday, September 4, 2015

Karin's Note: Friday, September 4, 2015
  • Ward 3 Events
  • Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings
  • Community Spotlight
  • City-Wide Events
  • Did You Know?
Dear Tucsonans,
Bus Strike
I know it’s tiring to hear “the Sun Tran strike has to be resolved by the management company and the Teamsters because the City is not allowed to be directly involved in the negotiations”.
That’s true, but there’s still a confusing message out there that somehow the City could end this by putting more money on the table. So let’s play that idea out.
  1. It has been enormously difficult for the City to balance the budget without cutting the General Fund subsidy to transit
  2. Many moves have been made to raise fares or cut service in order to cut the General Fund subsidy to transit
  3. More money from the General Fund would mean less money for other City services and obligations in our adopted budget
  4. Because of that, more money for transit would require a full, open and public process allowing the community to weigh choices and offer input
We go through a lengthy public process in every budget cycle, and then make the tough choices required to do the best we can to sustain transit, road repairs, public safety, parks and all priority services. We also have succeeded in our annexation and economic development programs which are aimed to add revenues for the City in future years.
What can be pushed as fair and responsive to transit users and workers (find money to resolve the strike) would be unfair to a whole lot of people across the community (workers in other City departments and residents who place higher priority on other budget areas).
So the questions are 1) could we intervene (my answer is no) and 2) should we intervene (my answer is no). That doesn’t mean I and Mayor/Council don’t support organized labor’s fight for working people. When there’s an ability to raise compensation responsibly we have done so; our four labor unions have worked with us every step of the way. We have had to balance better compensation with potentials to employ fewer people, trim City investments in services, and restructure our debt and our pension contribution formulas/timetable. We have huge challenges still looming (pension obligations at the forefront).
I doubt anyone has been a more ardent advocate for transit over the past decade than I have. But as an elected for a decade now, I’ve also learned that short-term “wins” can turn into serious long-term losses. Our greatest successes—on transit, and water stewardship, and balancing the budget—have been won by keeping the whole in mind as well as the future.
My Op Ed in the Star last December offers a path that seems to be gaining growing interest and support. A Regional Transit Authority could lower some of the overhead/management costs for the system, shape a better service, and open potentials for new revenue streams. Mayor and Council will be working with the Pima Association of Governments and the community to get us to a better place. We won’t get there unless the management company and the Teamsters figure the short-term out and end the pain of striking drivers/mechanics and bus riders.
Public Accountability
The City is launching the Open Government Data Portal by the end of the year. Here are excerpts from the memo from Nicole Ewing-Gavin of the Office of Integrated Planning that offers an overview:
The data portal project grew out of the Mayor’s open government initiative, with an overall goal of making the City more efficient, transparent and collaborative. A centerpiece of open government initiatives is an open data portal, which allows the public to and access published datasets. Goals include:
  • Making performance data available to increase City accountability and responsiveness
  • Enabling data-based decision-making to improve services and outcomes
  • Reducing demand for public records requests and facilitating existing reporting requirements
  • Creating a culture of transparency, and forging more collaborative relationships 
Kudos to the Mayor for leading the initiative and to Nicole and her staff for delivering on the promise (as the OIP team does consistently and capably on so many City initiatives).
Public Service
My staff and I did some planning last week. I am grateful for their input on how I can better fulfill my role on Mayor/Council and how we can also support the City Manager and staff in providing the best service and day-to-day operation of the City organization.
I have mentioned how I believe the two Charter revisions you will see on the November ballot would help improve the City’s functioning both at the Mayor/Council and City Manager levels. We need clearer lines of stronger authority for the both Mayor and the Manager.
My staff and I are also figuring out how to keep boundaries clear and communication strong so the public can be better served. One example of that kind of effort is the Small Business Hotline we helped establish several years ago that is housed in the Manager’s Economic Development Office. Before the hotline, complaints were fielded sometimes in departments, sometimes in Council offices, sometimes with the Mayor or Manager. The centralized hotline has enabled staff to 1) offer businesses a one-stop point of contact that saves a lot of time, bouncing around, and confusion 2) document complaints to look for causes/patterns 3) address root causes and patterns (if a policy, that spurs Mayor/Council action; if administrative that sparks Manager action) to foster a better business environment in Tucson.
My staff and I wanna know how we can build on that model to better serve City residents. How can we consolidate resources to help the City field and address constituent complaints? Does the Manager get any sense of root causes/patterns if concerns are expressed across the departments and Ward offices (no one knows how many complaints of a particular sort are actually coming in on a monthly basis…so how can the Manager or Mayor/Council address any causes/patterns)?
We’re excited to begin identifying new ways of working to improve the City’s functioning over the long haul. As we shape next steps we’ll ask for your thoughts and keep you posted with what we learn.
Water Service Policy
By now you may be familiar with the Water Service Policy adopted by Mayor and Council. It’s anchored our water stewardship so we can be responsible, fair, clear and consistent in managing our most precious resource.
Next Wednesday there will be a public hearing to consider a request for an exception to the policy. I have been vocal in general in stating that we have to take any exception very seriously and be sure there is a solid basis for granting it. Otherwise the policy itself can be more easily undermined or challenged; and that would set us back a decade when we ought to be proud of what we’ve accomplished and be looking on how to build on that success. It’s obvious that our shared environment and economy rely on water security.
Grant Road Corridor
The Grant Road Task Force and our Office of Integrated Planning have come up with a Vision for the corridor. They’ve done great work.
My focus in making a motion to adopt the document will be to insure that it is a Vision document (providing general and overarching guidance) and that it offers consistency (because contradictory or unclear language can tear the community apart). Overall the document hits the marks, and that is no small feat!
Amphi Plaza
There’s not a priority higher than preventing blight in Ward 3. At the corner of First and Fort Lowell we’re working on it short-term and long-term. Here’s a KVOA story that ran thanks to the advocacy of neighbors in the area:
We continue to work with City staff and most importantly the owners/managers of the plaza (they have committed to cleanups at least three times a week). We’re also focused on the best remedy to blight: reinvestment. I want to do everything possible to encourage key services at the site (i.e. grocery) because the best way to keep out graffiti and trash is to invite in a whole lot of retail and activity appropriate for and valuable to the area. Some progress on that longer term solution has occurred, and we’ll keep you posted as real change takes hold.
September 9th Meeting
Here is the link to the full agenda and materials for our meeting next Wednesday:
Have a great weekend,
Ward 3 Events: 
Fabulous Found Poems
Thursday, September 10th 3:00 - 4:00 pm
Woods Library (large meeting room)
Bring out your inner poet!  Make a simple handbound book and work from four different prompts to create found poems to fill the pages.  Poet and writing instructor Marge Pellegrino will lead this exciting workshop.
Legendary Blues Musician Joe Louis Walker at Boondocks Lounge!
September 10th 7:00 -10:00 pm
The Boondocks Lounge 3306 N. First Ave.
The Southern Arizona Blues Heritage Foundation & The Boondocks Lounge are proud to present Alligator Records recording artist Joe Louis Walker in concert, in a KXCI Presents show! Joe Louis Walker is known worldwide as one of the genre's top musical trailblazers - a mesmerizing guitarist and a soul testifying vocalist. His music is equal parts Rock & Roll fire and blistering passionate Blues. He's been inducted into The Blues Hall of Fame by The Blues Foundation and in 2013 received the Living Blues award for Album of The Year. The non-profit, all volunteer Southern Arizona Blues Heritage Foundation has partnered with Tucson's favorite juke joint, The Boondocks Lounge to support local and national Blues acts for several years. This is one of the Boondocks’ most anticipated shows. Advance tickets at The Boondocks Lounge are $12. Day of show tickets are $15 with a $3 discount for SABHF & KXCI members. For more info please contact Marty Kool at marty@kxci.org, or Boondocks Lounge at 690-0991.
The Drawing Studio Day of Discovery
Saturday, September 12th 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
The Drawing Studio 2750 N Tucson Blvd
If you might like to take your first art class, if you might like to pursue a new medium, if you’ve heard a particular artist is a really good teacher, then try it! Join the teaching artists of The Drawing Studio for a day of discovery. Choose up to four mini-classes from a wide variety of offerings. $20/half day, $30/whole day.
Big Read - Poe Movie Screening
Saturday, September 12th 9:30 – 4:30 pm
Woods Library
In honor of the National Endowment for the Arts' Big Read program, join Woods Library for an all-day screening of several classic films, most starring America's favorite creepy actor, Vincent Price!
Poe-themed features may include The Tell-Tale Heart (c2000) and The Pit and the Pendulum (1961). Snacks will be provided!
Community Mental Health Arts Show Public Reception
Tuesday, September 15th 5:00 – 6:30 pm
CPSA Training Center 2502 N. Dodge Blvd
Community Partnership of Southern Arizona (CPSA) will be hosting the 16th Annual Community Mental Health Arts Show, from September 16th – 19th.  All art featured is by children and adults receiving behavioral health services, or people employed in the behavioral health system. The show will be open to the public and free of charge. For more information, visit http://www.communitypartnersinc.org/transition/  
Parks & Recreation Master Plan Public Meeting
Thursday, September 17th 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Donna Liggins Center 2160 N. 6th Ave.
We know that parks matter to you and invite you to tell us more! The Tucson Parks and Recreation Department has been gathering information for an exciting new five-year master plan. Now the department wants to hear about the types of programs, facilities and services that matter most to you. A series of community-wide open houses, held in every ward, will allow you to communicate what you appreciate about city parks and what programs and services you would like to see added. Your input will help prioritize goals for the next five years.
We encourage everyone to participate in this important process! In case you can’t make it on the 17th, check out https://www.tucsonaz.gov/parks/masterplan for the schedule of meetings taking place throughout the city as well as more information and opportunities for input. Questions? Email parksmasterplan@tucsonaz.gov.
Equinox Solar Potluck
Saturday, September 19th noon - sunset
Valley of the Moon 2544 E. Allen Rd
Citizens for Solar is a local, all-volunteer non-profit whose goal is to encourage the use of solar power through education and solar cooking.  Their annual Solar Potluck is the longest continuously running annual solar event in the world! The Solar Potluck is an all day, family-friendly event open to the public.  Numerous solar cooks, with a wide variety of solar cookers, hand out solar cooked food all day long.  There will also be exhibitors, guest speakers and musicians throughout the day.  The days ends with a solar potluck dinner – a solar cooked feast! Come out and cook, or bring a dish or beverage to share, and your own plate and utensils. Alcohol is not permitted. Entrance into the Equinox Solar Potluck is free. Visit www.citizensforsolar.org and for more information, contact Bruce Joseph at 520-258-8540 or chair@citizensforsolar.org
St. Demetrios Greek Festival
Thursday – Sunday, September 24 – 27th
St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church 1145 E. Ft Lowell Rd
Take a trip to Greece with this annual celebration! Enjoy folk dancing, a market including Greek groceries, folk art, and gifts, as well delicious fresh pastries, spinach pies and gyros. The church will also be open for a tour where you can learn about the Greek Orthodox religion. Special rates for seniors, $3.00 for adults ($6.00 for a four-day pass), children and active duty military are free. Visit http://stdemtucson.org/event/2015-tucson-greek-festival/ for festival times and other details.
Swingin' on the Moon: Compose a Poem to the Moon
Saturday, September 26th 2:30-4:00pm (tickets will be at desk beginning at 3:00 pm)
Woods Library Large Meeting Room – Space is Limited
Write a poem inspired by music and the light of the moon!  Woods Library is celebrating International Observe the Moon Night during the month of September.  We will listen to music that has been written about the moon to get you in the mood. Tony Luebbermann, poet and University of Arizona Poetry Center docent, will lead the workshop. There is a limit of 20 for this workshop.
Please call 594-5445 to register for the program.
Saturday, September 26th 8:00 – 11:00 am
Sacred Heart Church 601 E. Fort Lowell Rd
Vice Mayor Uhlich and Constable Bennett Bernal invite you to our annual autumn Shred-It event! Get your documents securely shredded onsite. First two boxes are FREE! Drive-thru service and only $5 donation to Lend-A-Hand or Emerge! for each additional box. Call 520-791-4711 or email the Ward 3 office ward3@tucsonaz.gov for more info. Special thanks to the Amphi Community Action Group for their partnership in promoting this event!
Celebrate the Season: Tucson Poverello House Annual Celebration
Sunday, October 4th 5:00 pm
Most Holy Trinity Parish 1300 N. Greasewood Rd
Join Tucson Poverello House for a warm evening of camaraderie and support in celebrating their seventh year providing daytime hospitality to homeless men in our Northwest neighborhood. The event is always planned for this time of year in conjunction with the Feast of St. Francis, which is celebrated around the world on October 4th.  Enjoy music by Mariachi Milagro, Jose Serrano and Estela Garcia. You can learn more about the event and register to attend at https://tucsonpoverello.com/
Cyclovia Tucson
Sunday, November 1st 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
What is Cyclovia? A Spanish word signifying the temporary closure of a network of streets to cars so that they become “open” to people! During Cyclovia anyone can enjoy 5 miles of car-free city streets for walking, biking, and all-out fun. Enjoy the autumn midtown route featuring our very own 4th Ave and Fontana bike boulevards! Volunteers needed – check out https://www.cycloviatucson.org/ for more info and route maps!
Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings:
The Oracle Project (TOPS)
Tuesday, August 8th 5:30 – 6:30 pm
TPD Westside Station 1310 W Miracle Mile
Alvernon-Grant Initiative (AGI)
Tuesday, August 8th 6:30 – 7:30 pm
Emerge! 2425 N. Haskell
Mountain/1st NA & CAG
Saturday, August 12th 9:00 – 10:00 am
Mitchell Park
Community Spotlight:
Neighborhood Leadership Institute
Saturday, September 19th 8:30 am – 2:00 pm
Pima County Housing Center 801 W. Congress St.
Energize your neighborhood organization! Topics include Gen X, Y, and Z: Engaging Community Youth, Succession Planning: Passing Wisdom with the Gavel, Cheers and Jeers: Reports from the Trenches
Reserve your place today! Call 724-6769 or email leslie.nixon@pima.gov. No registration fee for designated representatives of neighborhood groups; $50 for other registrants. Sponsored by the Pima County Neighborhood Reinvestment Program.  
City-Wide Events: 
September 4th, 5th and 6th 6:00 pm
Hotel Congress
Hotel Congress hosts HoCo Fest this Labor Day Weekend! For Club Congress’ 30th anniversary, there will be three days of both local and national acts bringing their sound to Tucson, from HoCo mainstay Roger Clyne to classic Tucson band Camper Van Beethoven to Pollo Elastico, culminating on Sunday with a gigantic Latin night featuring the internationally renown Mexrissey. This is Tucson’s oldest indoor/outdoor solar-powered multi media festival, with great food, fabulous company and the best drinks in town. 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF CLUB CONGRESS 1985-2015 - 30 Confirmed Acts – More to Come! 10 Tucson reunion shows, Music from four decades, Acts from London to Mexico City, Tucson Rock N Roll Museum, Three Stages, Taco and BBQ Parties each Day 6:00 pm, Mexican Moonshine Tequila Cantin http://hotelcongress.com/events/september/
International Vulture Day
Sunday, September 6th  9:00 – 11:00 am
Reid Park Zoo, 1030 S Randolph Way
Enjoy games and activities to learn more about vultures and why they are critical to the environment. Regular admission applies ($5 for children 2-14, $9 for adults, $7 for seniors 62 and over; free for members). To buy tickets online, go to https://reidparkzoo.org/visit/hours/
The Pima Area Labor Federation 19th Annual Labor Day Picnic
Monday, September 7th 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
The Bandshell at Reid Park, South Country Club Road and East 22nd Street area
The Pima Area Labor Federation (PALF) is hosting it’s free 19th Annual Labor Day picnic. The Labor Day picnic, which is open to the public and provides free food, drinks, entertainment, music and this year’s highlight: a classic car show! https://www.facebook.com/events/1463609187275812/
9/11 Tower Challenge
Thursday, September 11th  6:30 am
Arizona Stadium, on the UA campus at 1 N National Champion Drive
Members of the military, police, fire, and first responders will climb 2,071 steps, the height of the World Trade Center's Twin Towers that were destroyed by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001. The challenge honors the first responders who lost their lives that day and the military who serve our country every day. All proceeds raised by the participants will support the 100 Club of Arizona and the Tucson Fisher House. To register for the climb or to get more information, follow this link: http://911towerchallenge.org/
Love Your Pup, License Up!
Saturday, September 12th 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Ward 6 Council Office 3202 E. 1st St.
The City of Tucson, Pima Animal Care Center (PACC), and the Humane Society of Southern Arizona are teaming up to kick off Tucson’s “Love Your Pup, License Up” campaign with a special licensing event. Late fees will be waived, but regular fees apply. Free rabies vaccinations will be available on site from 10 am - noon (dogs must be at least 3 months old). If you already have a valid rabies renewal certificate, bring it to the event. There also will be dog goodies and a raffle. Parking is available at Century Link, directly west of the Ward 6 Office. For more information, please call (520) 791-4601.
StartUp Weekend
September 12th – 14th
CoLab Workspace 17 E Pennington
STARTUP WEEKEND is a global challenge that takes place in cities all over the world - like here in Tucson! Entrepreneurs will come together and turn an idea into reality over one weekend. http://www.up.co/communities/usa/tucson/startup-weekend/4232
Guatemala – Una Exhibicion de la Cultura
Friday, September 18th 1:oo -  9:00 pm
100 N. Stone Ave Suite 109
The Guatemalan Consulate in Tucson invites you to join for an exhibition of Guatemalan indigenous art to commemorate Guatemala’s Independence Day. For information call (520) 398-6912 or constucsonlegal@gmail.com
Thriving in the Sand – 14th Annual Prevention Celebration
Friday, September 18th 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Freedom Park 5000 E. 29th St
Thriving is a state of being where prospering and flourishing is a function of everyday life - a challenge in the desert. Our Family Services' Prevention programs empower people to do just that! In collaboration with the 4R Community Alliance (4RCA), Our Family Services is celebrating the 14th Annual Prevention Celebration, themed Thriving in the Sand at Freedom Park in Tucson. Please join OFS, and hundreds of Tucsonans, in celebrating! You will enjoy foods from the different cultures in our community, entertainment by talented young people, and opportunities to connect with the community in healthy ways! For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/thrivinginthesand
DES Job Fairs
Plus 50 Job & Career Resource Fair
September 25th from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Pima Community College West Campus 2202 W. Anklam, Tucson
Tucson Career Expo
September 30th from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
River Park Inn: 777 W. Cushing St., Tucson
Whether you're looking for that perfect job, that perfect employee or information on an industry or workforce, several job fairs are planned throughout Arizona during the month of September. Employers and job seekers are invited to attend. Job seekers are reminded to dress for success and bring several copies of your resume. Employers and job seekers, be sure to also check out the free tools and services on AZ Job Connection and let Arizona work for you.
Rights Restoration Project
Tuesday, October 13th 3:00 – 6:00 pm
Pima County Public Defender’s Office 33 N. Stone Ave. 10th Floor Conference Room
Your past doesn’t determine your future. Restore your rights and set aside your conviction with this free workshop for people with Arizona and Federal convictions. This workshop is intended for people who have already completed their sentences. Please bring all paperwork about your conviction.
Questions? Contact Alonzo Morado at 520-882-5383 or amorado@primavera.org
Did You Know...?
City Offices Closed on Monday
The City of Tucson will observe the Labor Day holiday on Monday, meaning all offices will be closed, except for emergency services. Residential and commercial trash and recycling will not be collected on Monday. All City residential and commercial customers will have their trash and recycling service delayed by one day. The Los Reales Landfill also will be closed on Monday.
Holiday collection schedules: https://www.tucsonaz.gov/files/es/2016_holiday_schedule.pdf
Sun Tran Adds More Saturday Routes During Bus Strike
Starting tomorrow, Sun Tran will add Routes 11 and 29 to the limited Saturday schedule, which will run from approximately 7:00 am to 6:00 pm. The two routes will operate in addition to recently-added Routes 8, 16, and 18. Meanwhile, Sun Tran will run the same limited weekday schedule available during the work stoppage on Labor Day. There will be service on Routes 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 16, 18, 25 and 29, from approximately 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Limited service maps and schedules are available at transit centers, Sun Tran's website (link below), or by calling Customer Service at (520) 792-9222. Passengers are strongly encouraged to check schedules. Riders are advised to plan accordingly, as buses may be delayed due to overcrowding. As more resources become available, Sun Tran will continue to add service.
Sun Tran: http://www.suntran.com/
Local Save Your Receipts campaign goes Big Time!
You've probably heard about Save Your Receipts lately, an initiative born here in TPD's Midtown Division to help curtail retail crime.
Here's the idea: When you discard a store receipt where a dishonest person can retrieve it (on the ground or in a trash can outside the store) or you just leave it in your shopping cart, a thief can pick it up and use it as a shopping list to shoplift one or more of the items on the receipt and then return them for a full refund or a gift card. The store ends up giving cash for a "returned item" that was never sold in the first place.
Every one of us can thwart that thief:
  • Keep your receipt and shred it when you no longer need it.
  • Have your receipt emailed to you.
  • Decline to take a receipt at all.
According to Community Resource Officer Dan Lucas from Midtown, this local idea is going Big Time. TPD has filmed two public service announcements for the Save Your Receipts campaign, a 1-minute version for social media and a 30-second version for television, posted at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGHPZhVbw_o. The TV version was publicly presented for the first time earlier this week at the International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators in Minneapolis, Minn., so it's getting overseas exposure already.
"I wanted to share this video with all of you before it hits television," says Officer Lucas, "because this initiative started right here in our neighborhoods. Thank you all for your partnership and support. Save those receipts!!"
Tucson Police Recruiting Officers
The Tucson Police Department (TPD) is accepting applications for the position of Police Officer Recruit. Successful candidates from this testing period will be considered for future academy class(es). The earliest academy that will be filled from this list will be in April. Applications are being accepted through September 27th.
Read more from TPD: https://www.tucsonaz.gov/police/jobs
Official job description from City of Tucson: [expired/outdated link removed]
Ride along with an officer who gives advice about joining TPD, from Tucson 12 archives: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U61Sh_x5X50