Paul’s Note: Friday February 16, 2018

Paul’s Note

Friday, February 16th, 2018


  • Paul’s Note
  • Ward 3 Events
  • Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings
  • City-Wide Events
  • Did You Know?



In last week’s newsletter, I mentioned that I was working with Council Member Kozachik to explore whether drywells make sense for Tucson. A drywell is like a groundwater well, except that it’s used to add stormwater to the aquifer rather than remove it.

A few weeks ago, CM Kozachik hosted a presentation by Torrent Resources, an Arizona company that has installed a large number of drywells, mostly in central Arizona but also in southern Arizona and California. The illustration shows a dual chamber drywell, one of the designs they install.

To review, there are three things we can do with stormwater: (1) get rid of it as quickly as possible (the old-fashioned way); (2) use it by installing green infrastructure (basins, swales and curb cuts that provide water for the plants and trees that help keep Tucson cooler in the summer and mitigate climate change); and (3) use it to recharge the aquifer.

As I mentioned last week, I believe that Mayor & Council are likely to support increased efforts to use stormwater to maximum advantage by making additional investments in Tucson’s green infrastructure. I also believe that we should investigate whether drywells could help us to use stormwater for that third purpose—to recharge the aquifer.

Some people have a negative opinion of drywells because many were designed badly in the past. If they are not designed and maintained correctly, they silt up and are soon worthless. And if not located and monitored carefully, they can permit pollutants on the surface to contaminate the groundwater. Used correctly, our research may show drywells could help us use stormwater to maximum advantage. I’ll revisit this topic as the research I am conducting together with CM Kozachik progresses.


There’s a proposal to build a bicycle velodrome that has been the source of some controversy lately. As I read it, the controversy centers on the proposed location, not the velodrome itself.

The proposed location is south of Mercado San Agustín and the future Caterpillar regional corporate office and adjacent to Barrio Sin Nombre. This is in Ward 1, so we will look to Council Member Romero for her views on this.

As you know, I’m a cyclist and know many people in the Tucson cycling community. Here’s the advice I’m getting from them: Tucson already is a destination for cyclists, ranging from professional teams who take advantage of our climate to train here in the winter to tourists who want to take advantage of our now 124-mile-long Loop. But with a velodrome, used for bicycle track racing (combined in the current proposal with a BMX bicycle track), Tucson would become much more of a destination for bicycle tourism, drawing additional dollars to our local economy.

That’s the argument for the velodrome. Now we just have to figure out the best place to put it and how best to pay for it.

I’m starting to receive emails at on the subject and expect to receive many more. I invite all Tucsonans, but especially Ward 3 residents, to offer their views.

Neighborhood Clean-Ups

I would like to thank Operations Division West of the Tucson Police Department for helping coordinate two neighborhood clean-ups, one in Old Pascua and one in Jefferson Park. In Old Pascua, TPD coordinated with neighborhood residents, the adult-supervised probation program and Environmental Services to clean up several alleys and abandoned lots. For Jefferson Park, TPD officers were able to connect with neighborhood residents at the recent Ward 3 Open House to address a problem property with the help of Environmental Services. Thank you to everyone who gave their time to help with this community effort – another example of working together to build community and make it better where we live.


- Paul D.



Ward 3 Events: 


Ward 3 Neighborhood Leaders and Constituents Meeting

Wednesday, February 28th
6pm – 7:30pm
Westside Police Service Center
1310 W. Miracle Mile
Join Council Member Paul Durham, Tucson Police, Environmental Services, and Code Enforcement for a discussion about neighborhood issues.

Grant Road Task Force Meeting

Thursday, February 22nd
5:30pm - 7:30 pm
Donna R. Liggins Center
2160 N. 6th Avenue

Meeting Focus is Land Use Planning.  The primary focus of the meeting will be to review the Updated Preliminary Draft of the Optional Urban Overlay District (UOD) document for the area along Grant Road between Oracle Road and 1st Avenue.  A copy of the UOD document can be found on line at, or contact Rebecca Ruopp at or 837-6973 or Dan Bursuck at or 837-4984.


Habitat for Humanity Post Purchase Classes

Thursday, February 22nd
5:30pm - 7pm
3501 N. Mountain Ave

Free classes for homeowners, it’s up to you to keep your household healthy and financially stable. Self-development classes will be held once a month and are FREE to attend, dinner and childcare provided. They will address subjects like Financial Protection for the future, Insurance and Scholarships for college. Learn new skills and reconnect with your friends and neighbors at Habitat for Humanity Tucson.  Contact LuzMaría Hernández by Monday, February 19th to RSVP for this class. (520)326-1217 ext. 212 or email


Coffee with a Cop

Wednesday, February 28th
9am – 11am
Mister Car Wash
4941 N. Oracle Rd (Oracle & River)
No agenda or speeches, just a chance to ask questions, voice concerns and get to know the officers in your neighborhood!
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program returns to Ward 3
February 3rd – April 14th
9am – 1 pm
Ward 3 Council Office
1510 E. Grant Rd

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program through United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona provides FREE, quality tax preparation from IRS-certified preparers to individuals and families earning up to $66,000 annually. United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona’s VITA program helps taxpayers access all tax credits for which they are eligible – including the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which has been recognized as the single most powerful tool to lift children out of poverty. Please bring a copy of last year’s tax returns and a photo ID.



Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings:


Samos NA Tuesday Feb. 20th 6:30pm, Salpointe Catholic High School, 1545 E Copper St
Grant Road Coalition Tuesday Feb. 27th 6pm, Ward 3 Council Office, 1510 E. Grant Rd



City-Wide Events:


The Second Annual Community Volunteers Fair

The Historic Y, 300 E. University Blvd
3:30pm to 6pm
Monday, February 19th
Groups representing social, political, and environmental activism will once again bring their tables full of literature, petitions, and passions to The Historic Y for our second annual Community Volunteer Fair. The first such event was held in 2017 with over 65 community organizations participating.
The festive atmosphere will feature food and drink and music in the lobby and courtyard of the Historic Y, as seasoned activists and new volunteers socialize and mobilize for positive change.
Last year’s Fair ended with a staged reading of a political play, “The Higher Education of Khalid Amir,” and this year’s fair will also end with a staged reading of a new political play, “The Real Machiavelli,” by New York and Tucson playwright Monica Bauer. The free play reading begins at 7pm, at the Scoundrel and Scamp Theatre inside The Historic Y.


Salute to Centenarians

Friday, May 4th
TMC Marshall Conference Center
5301 E. Grant Road

Do you know someone who has been on this earth 100 years? Let’s celebrate their life!  Call Jan Baker at (520) 790-0504 or email, to submit the individual’s name by Friday, March 9th, for local citizens age 99 and over.



Did You Know...?


Miracle Mile Historic District

In 2007 a group of neighborhood leaders became the catalyst for an effort called the Oracle Area Revitalization Project (OARP). Their initiative led to representatives of neighborhoods, businesses, and institutions working with the City to identify goals and related recommendations to revitalize the area. One goal, respect and preserve the special character of the Oracle Road/Miracle Mile Corridor, led to the recommendation to pursue the nomination of a non-residential historic district on the National Register of Historic Places. We are excited to announce that the Miracle Mile Historic District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on December 11, 2017.  Achieving this listing took multiple years of state and federal review and revision, and is a laudable step forward in a vision of dedicated neighbors and businesses to enhance what they recognize as a unique place. THANK YOU!

Do You Have a Memory You Would Like to Share?

This effort has led to many people sharing their memories about historic Miracle Mile over the years. If you have a memory you would like to share, or if you would like more information about the Miracle Mile Historic District, please contact Rebecca Ruopp at or (520) 837-6973.


Food Donation Box in the Ward 3 Community Room

Food donations can be dropped in the Community Room box Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm. The Community Food Bank welcomes your donations of nonperishable items, as 1 in 4 children in Arizona are at risk for hunger, and 1 in 5 adults. Please join the fight against hunger and donate nonperishable items to help feed kids, families and seniors. Nonperishable food in plastic, cardboard or cans works best for transporting (glass can easily be broken). Thank you for making a difference with the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona!


Council Member Paul Durham is on social media!

Ward 3 has created Facebook and Twitter pages for our Council Member to keep in touch with what's happening in Tucson and around the Ward.
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