Karin's Note: Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Karin's Note: Wednesday, March 16, 2016
  • Ward 3 Events
  • Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings
  • City-Wide Events
  • Did You Know?
Dear Tucsonans,
Last Tuesday the Mayor and Council voted to allow for a six-foot height increase to be considered as part of a rezoning and development proposal for the property at corner of Houghton and 22nd. We received a lot of public input before and during the Public Hearing. I voted to support the motion for several reasons:
  1. The project site is at the intersection one mile east of the west edge of the Saguaro National Park/Monument bufferzone; that bufferzone edge is a mile west of the actual boundary of the Park.
  2. Mitigation of many of the concerns raised can be considered and addressed in the rezoning and development planning process (e.g. rainwater harvesting to address drainage)
  3. The project brings grocery services that many neighbors in the area spoke in favor of, and jobs that labor groups touted as good jobs with decent wages and benefits.
The Mayor and Council, City staff and the Planning Commission took both Plan Tucson and the dynamics in the project vicinity into account in our deliberations. We do our best to weigh economic considerations with environmental protection (the two are integrally linked in our valley).
It’d be difficult (and probably unwise) to promise that no area/neighborhood plans will ever be amended, regardless of how many decades pass, circumstances evolve, or opportunities arise. Our promise is to adhere to a fair and open process so everyone can weigh in, all facts can be considered, and community values and priorities can be balanced in the best manner possible.
Our next meeting will be on Tuesday March 22nd; you can view the agenda and materials here: https://www.tucsonaz.gov/clerks/mcdocs
Thanks Neighbors!
On Saturday I joined neighbors in the area just west of Flowing Wells between Prince and Roger for an intensive alley cleanup. More than a dozen people worked hard with hand and power tools to keep their corner of Tucson cleaner and safer. It was heartening to see the dedication and community-building, which is actually not new to the area and its residents. Thanks to Teresa Peña (point person in the neighborhood), Kevin Daily (President of the Flowing Wells Neighborhood Association and Community Coalition) and the dozen or so others who devoted the morning together.
I also joined residents in Hedrick Acres for their monthly cleanup of the Navajo Wash (just west of Mountain and South of Fort Lowell). It’s hard to believe almost ten years have passed since we all joined the neighborhood to plant trees and enhance the natural greenway. It’s now a sweet gathering spot and walking path enjoyed by many area residents (and Cat Tran riders since it’s a northern stop point for the U of A shuttle system). Many thanks to the dozen or so loyal volunteers who show up every month to tend to the greenway.
And my final visit Saturday was with residents in the Mountain/1st Neighborhood who meet regularly in Mitchell Park (west of Mountain Ave between Glenn and Grant). Congrats to the new neighborhood assocation officers, Sarah Studd, Michael Gozan, and Edward McComb as well as the long-time devoted neighbors there, including Rod Frable, Carol Schneiderman and George Hubbard. Mountain/1st continues to offer great stewardship of Mitchell Park, complete with a Little Free Library!
As always, Ward 3 residents rally most weekends to beautify their neighborhoods and build a stronger community. Thank you, thank you, to every person doing so for every moment invested in Tucson.
Grant Road/Silverbell Road Intersection
Here is the latest update from TDOT on the construction taking place on Silverbell at Grant Road:
Underground storm drain systems, new curbs, new sidewalks, new medians, new water lines, underground traffic signal conduit, and other utility work is scheduled to be complete by the end of this week. Once the intersection work is complete the westbound and eastbound travel lane restrictions will be removed until the final paving, some landscaping work and traffic signal work.
North of the intersection: Majority of utility relocations and the underground storm drain system is complete. Base paving and curb will be complete on the west side of Silverbell Road by the end of May. Traffic will then be shifted from the east side of Silverbell Road to the west side of roadway. Work will then begin on the east side of Silverbell Road.
The entire project is scheduled to be complete by November 2016.
This has been an extensive project at a busy intersection and stretch of roadway. Thank you for your patience and extra caution when traveling in the area!
D-M Open House
On Sunday I had the opportunity to join thousands of other Tucsonans at the Davis Monthan Air Force Base Open House. The time and trust offered by DM personnel to invite our community in was clearly appreciated, as people got close up looks at planes bigger than houses, and saw aerial maneuvers that seemed impossibly daring. I and others took the chance to thank the men and women serving on the base who clearly went above and beyond to orchestrate the gathering. (See more about the open house here: http://www.dm.af.mil/News/ArticleDisplay/tabid/6161/Article/693411/thund...)
The base was commissioned in Tucson in 1927, and continues to operate as an integral part of our City’s economy and community. You can learn more about Davis Monthan and the men and women who are serving there at: http://www.dm.af.mil/Home.aspx.
A Word on the Budget and the Ward 3 Office
Over the coming weeks, the City Manager, Mayor/Council, and Department Directors will be continuing to develop a draft budget. As you have likely heard from various sources, the Police Department and others will be undergoing some considerable reorganization; all called for as we seek to sustain and even improve services while managing a limited pool of money. I will be hosting a Town Hall at the Ward 3 office in April and sharing more information in my enotes to help you keep apprised of the budget proposals and the implications of the choices we’ll make.
Related to that, I’ve heard a whole lot of reaction to the rumor that the Ward 3 office (and perhaps others) might be moved downtown to City Hall. While a range of options are being discussed, I can assure you that I will keep the key points of concern you have expressed in mind: 1) Ward 3 staff and I should ideally continue to be available to the public within the Ward vs solely downtown and 2) free community meeting space like the Ward 3 conference room is highly valued by many groups. At this point it’s clear that simply closing the current location and moving all of our work to City Hall wouldn’t satisfy those concerns. People who know me best know I’m devoted to pursuing options that make sense, save resources, and meet the community’s needs. If and as options or plans are developed, we’ll invite further public input to find the best path forward.
Ward 3 Events: 
Free Tax Prep Available  at the Ward 3 Office
Tuesdays 1:00 – 5:00 pm
Saturdays 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Ward 3 Council Office 1510 E. Grant Road
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 through April 9th.  For more information please call 520-791-4711 or email ward3@tucsonaz.gov
Lend A Hand Yard Sale
Friday, March 18th – Saturday, March 19th 7:00  am – 1:00 pm
1545 E. Water St.
Lend A Hand is a growing coalition of central (especially Ward 3) Tucson neighborhoods, faith-based communities, and business partnerships. LAH volunteers provide FREE services to seniors to allow them to continue to age-in-place as our neighbors. LAH seniors are those 55 years and older who live within the geographic boundaries of LAH collective neighborhoods. No senior is ever charged. FREE services include transportation, errands, friendly visits, friendly phone calls, light yard work and light housekeeping. You do not need to reside in one of our neighborhoods to volunteer.
Support this amazing organization and learn more when you stop-by their weekend yard sale!
Do Happy Today -- Walk the Park!
Sunday, March 20th 1:00 - 3:30 pm
Limberlost Family Park, 400 E Limberlost Drive at 4th Avenue
Celebrate the International Day of Happiness with the Limberlost Neighborhood Association, which is collaborating with Do Happy Today Tucson and the City Department of Parks & Recreation to plan a 2,000-foot perimeter path around Limberlost Park. The path will take the walker through nine Feng Shui energy zones, each containing a bench for rest and reflection. Tucson's second annual celebration of the International Day of Happiness will include play for kids and adults, animal balloons, chalk art, a Little Olympics obstacle course and "Happy Bags." Volunteers from Make Way for Books will read at the site of the Little Free Library and the Humane Society of Southern Arizona will offer $25 dog adoptions. Free cupcakes! Come and do happy.
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:
Flowing Wells Thursday, March 17th 6:00 pm Ellie Towne Community Center
Mountain View Thursday, March 17th 6:00 pm Habitat for Humanity
Jefferson Park Wednesday, March 23rd 6:00 pm Ward 3 Community Room
City-Wide Events: 
Tucson Homeless Connect
Friday, March 18th 8:30 am – 1:00 pm
Need help? Seeking services? Come to this 1-day, 1-stop event to get connected to the following services:
  • info on obtaining ID’s    
  • help with benefits          
  • health/dental screening              
  • shelter/housing
  • homeless court -legal assistance              
  • clothing/haircuts             
  • animal care & grooming
Services from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm with lunch provided from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Transportation available at the following sites beginning at 6:30 am:
  • Primavera Day Site and Primavera Men’s Shelters
  • Salvation Army Hospitality House
  • Santa Rita Park
  • Casa Maria
  • Gospel Rescue Mission
Nearest bus routes are 1, 3 and 6
Tucson Museum of Art’s Spring Artisans Market
Friday, March 18th – Sunday, March 20th  10:00 am  – 5:00 pm
Tucson Museum of Art, 140 N Main Ave
For 26 years, the Tucson Museum of Art’s Spring Artisans Market has featured more than 100 juried artisans of finely crafted pottery, glass, jewelry, textiles, fine art, and gift items.  The Museum is free and open to the public during all three days of Spring Artisans Market.
16th Annual César E. Chávez March & Rally
Saturday, March 19th 9:00 am
Pueblo High School (3500 S. 12th Ave.)/ Rudy Garcia Park (5001 S. Nogales Hwy)
Keep the legacies of labour activists Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta alive by joining for the annual march and rally of honour of their work. The march starts at Pueblo High School and ends at Rudy Garcia Park, where the rally, music and speakers will be held. For more info, find the Arizona César E. Chávez Holiday Coalition on Facebook at https://www.chavezaz.com/
Organic Garden Fair and Plant Sale
Saturday, March 19th 9:00 am – noon
Community Garden @ St. Marks Church 3809 E. 3rd St
Plants and herbs, food and fun! Free admission! More info at www.tucsonorganicgardeners.org
Silver Spike Railroad Festival
Saturday, March 19th 10:00 am
Tucson’s Historic Depot 414 N. Toole Ave
Celebrate the 136th anniversary of the arrival of the first train to Tucson and the 11th anniversary of the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum. www.tucsonhistoricdeport.org
National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
Saturday, March 19th 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Armory Park Center 220  S. 5th Avenue
Tucson Indian Center presents National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Hear indigenous voices. Includes food, guest speakers, resource tables, raffles and free HIV testing. For more info, contact Marlene F. Jose 884-7131 x.234 or mjose@ticenter.org  
Pride: Film and Discussion
Saturday, March 19th 2:00 – 4:00 pm
Salt of the Earth Labor College 1902 E. Irene Vista
Join Salt of the Earth Labor College for a screening and discussion of Pride, a comedy based on the true story about striking small town Welsh blue collar workers in 1984 and the group of LGBT activists from London who arrive with monetary support for strikers’ families. Info 235-0694 or www.saltearthlaborcollege.org
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Brunch
Sunday, March 20th 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
UU Church 4831 E. 22nd St
Enjoy a delicious French toast brunch at this annual Middle East Childrens Alliance (MECA) fundraiser for free water systems in Gaza. $7 donation to help families and children in Palestine. All proceeds fo to MECA’s Maia Project. More info debdivya@aol.com
Carrington College Community Resource Fair
Wednesday, March 23rd 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Tucson Campus located at 201 N Bonita Ave #101
The event is free to exhibitors, but please bring a raffle item. Registration includes 1 table and 2 chairs.  Registration deadline is March 16th.  Space is limited.  Tables will be reserved on a first come, first served basis. Fill out the attached registration form to reserve your table and email to Pat Timm, ptimm@carrington.edu.  Please call Pat @ 520.917.3945 with any questions.
Free Seminar for Landlords Who Rent to Students
Wednesday, March 23rd 9:00 am - noon
UA Main Campus
Calling all property managers and landlords! If you rent to UA students the UA Community Relations team invites you to join a special seminar that will help you have a successful experience with your student tenants. The event will include presentations by Off-Campus Housing, Campus Health, Dean of Students office, Student Legal Services, UA Police Department, Tucson Police Department, and City of Tucson Code Enforcement. We'll also have fun prizes, and refreshments will be served. RSVP to MaryLaughbaum@email.arizona.edu for directions. Space is limited; so reserve your spot by Friday, March 18.
Learn to Ride Transit Workshop
Tuesday, April 5th noon to 1:00 pm
PAG Downtown Office 1 E. Broadway, Ste 401
Sun Tran, Sun Rideshare, and the Pima Association of Governments (PAG) host a free Learn to Ride Transit Workshop!  Attendees will learn how to ride the bus and streetcar, how to find their stop, pay the fare, read the Ride Guide, and many more things to make residents feel comfortable using all of the public transit options available in Tucson. Those who attend can also take a ride, and everyone will get a free day pass. Lunch will be provided. Reservations are required by contacting (520) 888-RIDE or sunrideshare@pagregion.com. Please contact Nicholas Scherer if you have any questions, (520) 837-6622 or Nicholas.Scherer@TucsonAZ.gov.
Rights Restoration Project
Tuesday, April 5th 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 who have Arizona and Federal Convictions. Note 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
Cyclovia Tucson
Sunday, April 10th 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Lost Barrio to Himmel Park
It’s that time again! Cyclovia Tucson is back for spring and has a brand new route from the Lost Barrio to Himmel Park. Take your whole family out for this great opportunity to explore and experience Tucson’s roads without the presence of cars. Enjoy great weather, see neighbors, friends and people from throughout the area, and get a little exercise – all on city streets that will be closed to car traffic and open to walkers, joggers, cyclists, skaters and all other forms of people-powered movement. Cyclovia isn’t a race, parade or competition.  Instead, it’s a chance to enjoy Tucson from a new perspective (outside of the car).  Have fun because during Cyclovia, the streets are yours!
Blenman Elm Home & Garden Tour
Sunday, April 10th 12:30 – 5:00 pm
Starts at Grace St. Paul Church 2331 E. Adams St
Enjoy food trucks, live music and the homes and gardens of the Blenman Elm neighborhood! Tickets are $10.00 with a portion of proceeds benefiting Ben’s Bells.  For more info, contact Teresa at behometour@gmail.com
Did You Know...?
Mountain View Neighborhood Seeking Additional Support for Mural
The Mountain View Neighborhood Association is seeking donations to help commission a new community mural titled Life on the Rillito -- From the Past to the Present on a frequently tagged wall of the TEP substation at Mountain Ave. and Prince Rd. The mural will benefit not only the Mountain View neighborhood, but all those driving, biking and walking through this bustling intersection of Mountain Avenue. $6500 is needed in total to bring the project to fruition. With Walmart offering a substantial amount, individuals contributing, and CODAC letting MV do a parking fundraiser on their lot during Greek Fest, the neighborhood is close to their goal, but still have a bit further to go!
Donations, both large and small, to this effort would be greatly appreciated and are being handled through the Ward 3 Neighbors Alliance, a 501c3 non-profit. If you are interested in contributing, please contact Sandy Miller for more details at slm949@gmail.com.  
Save the Date for an Upcoming Neighborhood Huddle!
You do not want to miss this upcoming event, so mark your calendars. There will be more information coming your way. Please share the attached flier with your leaders, your email buddies and anyone who might be interested in attending.
The City of Tucson and the Neighborhood Support Network (NSN) are partnering to host an afternoon of networking, sharing, and problem-solving for neighborhood leaders.
Saturday, April 16th, 2016
Sentinel Building Conference Rooms, 320 N Commerce Park Loop
1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
This neighborhood huddle will kick off a series of casual get-togethers for neighborhood leaders - past, current, and prospective. The goal is to provide a regular outlet for sharing successes, problems, and ideas with others who are active in improving their neighborhoods.
We hope you can join!  RSVP appreciated so we can provide enough of everything. Contact Becky Flores at 837-5013 or neighborhood@tucsonaz.gov
Vote-By-Mail Deadline Approaching for Presidential Race
If you still have your mail-in ballot for the March 22nd Presidential Preference Election, Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan says you should send it back no later than tomorrow (March 17th) to make sure your vote gets counted. If you can't get your ballot in the mail by tomorrow, you can drop it off at any of the Pima County Recorder's Early Voting sites - 240 N. Stone Ave., 6920 E. Broadway Blvd. (Suite D), and 6550 S. Country Club Road. Voters also can drop off their vote-by-mail ballots at any polling location next Tuesday. Independents cannot vote in this election.
Provide your Input on Speed Limits and Bike/Ped Safety
The UA College of Public Health and City of Tucson Bicycle and Pedestrian Program are conducting a community-wide survey to inform the City about opinions on motor vehicle speed limit and bicycle and pedestrian safety. The anonymous survey takes approximately 5-10 minutes to complete and closes on Friday, March 18th. English version: https://uarizona.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3yDkJ8g1u1tROrb Español: https://uarizona.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_blbgvtAwinHhstD
More great info on the COT Bike/Pedestrian Program at https://www.tucsonaz.gov/bicycle
Learn to Grow Your Own Food with the Community Food Bank!
The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona offers FREE community classes that cover all you need to know about drylands vegetable gardening, soil fertility, sustainable design, edible landscape plants, fruit tree care, and more! Visit http://www.communityfoodbank.org/Our-Work/Programs/Garden-Workshops/Workshops to check out all the classes available and get registered. Workshops in Spanish also offered!