Pauls Note: Friday, December 4, 2020

Paul's Ward 3 News and Updates
Friday, December 4, 2020
News and Updates
Pet of the Week                 
Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings
Ward 3 Events
City Wide Events
Did You Know?
Ward 3 News and Updates
As we approach our December holidays and the end of the year, let us continue to focus on the health and safety of ourselves, our families and neighbors. In this week’s Ward 3 newsletter, we remain vigilant over the rocketing number of COVID-positive patients and the increasing stress placed on our local health care system and workers. We also introduce the new director of the city’s Park and Recreation Department who will head a strong and vital department staffed by caring and committed employees who strive to make our city as fun as possible in these trying times. A number of city-wide activities are listed, including a call for blankets and coats for residents who struggle to find shelter.
Lastly, we wish Ward 3 residents a happy Hanukkah which begins at sundown on Thursday, Dec. 10 and ends at sundown on Dec. 18. Hanukkah is the 8-day Jewish celebration known as the Festival of Lights. Families light a menorah, adding one candle each night. Traditional foods are made and shared, and gifts are exchanged. The presence and contributions of Jewish Tucsonans stretches back to territorial days and even during Tucson’s European colonial period. For a meaningful understanding, visit the Tucson Jewish History Museum and Holocaust History Center on South Stone Avenue.
COVID-19 and You
Pandemic fatigue is clearly upon us. People are tired, nearly exhausted of hearing, reading and dealing with the COVID-19 virus. But now is not the time to let up our guard. Now is not the time to say “I’ve did my part. I’m done.” On the contrary, now is the time to say, “This pandemic is not over and we need to double down on it.”
Tucson area hospitals and medical providers are asking Tucsonans (and everyone else in the state) to remain mindful, to maintain the health protocols and to work with family and friends so that we can re-open and engage in our cherished activities. Our city is in the midst of a real health-care crisis. Hospital beds are filling up. Qualified health-care workers – hospital support staff, nurses, doctors – are strained beyond limits. This week the state recorded more than 5,000 new known COVID-19 cases for the second consecutive day.
If nothing is done, hospitals will be forced to decide who gets care and who does not. Importantly, this will impact all Arizonans not just those with Covid-19 disease. Those with serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer will also have to forego or receive limited care. The COVID-19 surge means hospitals will lack the physical resources and personnel to provide timely care, and more Arizonans will die of heart attacks, strokes, and injuries from car accidents, wrote the UA Covid-19 Modeling Team late last month.
In a call this week to the Ward 3 office, Dr. Clifford Martin, board-certified infectious disease doctor and TMC’s chief physician, said that the number of COVID-positive patients has dramatically increased at the hospital. “If we continue with the trajectory of increase that we have seen over the last 6-8 weeks in Tucson we are going to be in a significant emergency.”
Our economic health depends squarely on our collective strength and ability to work through this pandemic, this country’s worse public health crisis in a century. To support our local economy the Mayor and Council have acted responsibly to prevent further harm.
As of Dec. 3, the Mayor and Council have allocated more than $50 million in community investment and support. The most recent allocation of $10 million was made on Dec. 1. These relief funds have been distributed to small businesses and non-profit organizations, to residents for rental and utility assistance, for food delivery and narrowing the digital divide to allow school children access to virtual learning.
In addition, the Mayor and Council have allocated nearly $3 million in other community resources and support and nearly $41 million to maintain the necessary level of municipal operations to minimize the damage to public safety and wellbeing. In total the Mayor and Council have allocated more than $95.6 million to keep residents and small businesses afloat.
However, these critical funds are ending at the end of the year unless Congress approves new federal relief funds for the country. At this point the Congress and the administration are at odds over the scope and amount of funds, leaving residents, businesses, and local and state governments in a precarious financial situation.
This year, without exception, has been a difficult and daunting year. Our community has been deeply impacted. Many families will not be whole again. Some businesses have struggled while others have disappeared because of the consequences of the virus. But the City of Tucson has soldiered on because of the residents’ resilience, the strength of businesses, the leadership of the Mayor and Council, and, above all, the dedication of our front-line health care workers who have labored long and hard.
Mayor Regina Romero this week addressed the unprecedented situation of 2020 in her State of the City address.
“Despite the challenges that COVID-19 has presented, we banded together as one city, one community and made immeasurable sacrifices to protect the health of our loved ones and fellow Tucsonans,” said the Mayor. “It is undeniable that COVID-19 has tested our limits. And we are still actively fighting this deadly virus.”
You can watch her address here.
Kudos to Zishawn Aijaz
We want to give a shout out to Zishawn Aijaz who recently completed an internship with the Ward 3 office. Zishawn is a Junior at Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Mich., who participated in a virtual internship program hosted by the Borderland Studies Program based in Tucson.
We recently asked Zishawn if he felt this internship better prepared him to achieve his dream job of becoming a financial analyst post-graduation. This was his response: “This internship better prepared me to achieve that dream job because it taught me to be organized, timely, and efficient. Keeping track of meetings with different personnel via email or phone call undoubtedly polished my organizational skills. Although it was virtual, this internship forced me to be efficient and highlighted the importance of planning ahead. These are skills that are relevant in the financial analysis realm.”
As a Business Major and Psychology Minor, Zishawn was ready and willing to work on important policy issues to benefit Ward 3 constituents. In that capacity, Zishawn assisted our office to research the use of ADU amnesties in other jurisdictions.
Zishawn, we wish the very best as you finish out this semester and continued success as you wrap up your academic aspirations!
If you or someone you know is interested in interning with the Ward 3 office, let us know at
Coat and blanket drive
The City of Tucson's Housing and Community Development Department and the Tucson Pima Collaboration to End Homelessness will host a donation drive for clean, gently used or new, coats and blankets. Please help reach the goal of 5,000 winter coats and blankets for people experiencing homelessness in the Tucson area this month. 
“More than 1,300 Tucson area residents are homeless and sleeping outside or in crisis shelters each night,” said Liz Morales, the City of Tucson's director of Housing and Community Development. “Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for winter coats and blankets this winter will be greater than ever before.”
This year, because of the pandemic, the Tucson Pima Collaboration to End Homelessness did not receive 10,000 emergency blankets from the U.S. Department of Defense as it has in prior years.
“Cold weather is already upon us and there is no word as to when the federal blanket program will make its way to Tucson this year,” said Daniela Figueroa who chairs the homeless coalition and works at Youth On Their Own, a local nonprofit that supports teens experiencing homelessness.
All donations will be distributed in Tucson and surrounding communities to help local people stay safe and warm this winter. Donations can be dropped off at:
Primavera Foundation (811 S. Sixth Ave.) – Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, 9 am-12:30 pm
Salvation Army Hospitality House (1002 N. Main Ave.) – daily, 8 am-6 pm
Naughton’s Air Conditioning, Cooling, and Plumbing (6062 E. Speedway Blvd.) – Monday-Saturday, 8 am-3:30 pm, and Sunday 10 am-1:30 pm
New Parks and Recreation Director
Lara Hamwey will be the next director of the City of Tucson’s Parks and Recreation Department. Her start date is January 10, 2021. Lara is a parks professional with 16 years of work experience in parks and recreation, which has included program development, public relations, budgeting, capital improvements, human resources, certification, and process improvement.
Lara comes to Tucson from the City of Miami, Florida, Parks and Recreation Department where she has worked as the director since 2019 and as the deputy director for the five years prior to that. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Ramapo College of New Jersey and a Certificate in Project Management from Florida International University.   
Lara had a history of continuous career growth in Miami. During her tenure in Miami, she introduced an internally developed parks tool called a Needs Assessment Heat Map that provides a visually validated listing of all repair, replacement, and renovation needs department-wide, sorted by district, funding eligibility, and benefits to the community. This tool has helped guide capital decisions, including the upcoming second disbursement of the City of Miami’s 2017 Forever Bond Program expenditures.
Hamwey, along with her Miami Parks team, successfully managed to complete the initial $5 million investment in park projects over the last two years, which included replacement playgrounds, new facility roofing, and ADA-accessible walkways.
She also led the effort by the Miami Parks and Recreation Department to become nationally accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Parks and Recreation Agencies for the first time in the department’s history in 2011 and then successfully achieved accreditation renewal in 2016.
Pet of the Week
Like most of us, Iroh has had a pretty rough year. This big, beautiful boy came to PACC in a pretty neglected state, needing both surgery and a lot of TLC. PACC clinic staff got him through a pretty big surgery, and other staff and volunteers are giving him all of their love while he recovers. But, that only goes so far in a shelter environment, and Iroh would be much better off recovering in the comfort of a real home. Despite everything he’s been through, Iroh has kept a positive attitude. Everyone who’s met him says he is the sweetest, friendliest boy ever! Iroh enjoys going for short strolls while he recovers. He is polite ona  leash and doesn’t care much about the barking dogs in the kennels around him. He doesn’t like to go back to his own kennel though, so we’re really hoping that soon he won’t have to. Iroh enjoys snacks and affection, and will give as much love back as you can give him.
If you are interested in adopting me, please email
Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings
Barrio Blue Moon Esquer Park Clean Up
December 6
2 pm-4 pm
Esquer Park
1415 N 14th Ave
Alvernon Grant Initiative
December 8
6 PM
Email for Zoom link
Ward 3 Events
4th Avenue Slow Street Design Discussion
Dec. 14 at 5 pm, city of Tucson officials will host a Zoom meeting on the design and goals of the 4th Avenue Slow Street re-striping project that has recently been completed on 4th Avenue between Speedway and Grant. (Note, there will also be a smaller-scale presentation on this at the El Cortez Heights Neighborhood Association annual meeting on Jan. 7).
Zoom here
El Cortez Weekly Walk
We have been having a good time walking on Saturday afternoons and picking up trash; if you would like to join, we meet at 4 pm at the corner of Flores/Los Altos. No more than an hour. 
Neighborhood Series
We completed Session 3: How Effective Communication Can Build Capacity last night. Thank you everyone that joined us! We should be able to get the session online for viewing soon.
The first two sessions are now online and you can view them here.
Registration is now open for our next session which is next week on December 10 at 5:30 pm Session 4: Overview of Social Media
Please save the date for Session 5: A tutorial on how to use Instagram to attract new participants to the neighborhood association on January 7, 2021.
Live Theater Workshop
“Having Our Say” opens as 103-year-old Sadie Delany and 101-year-old Bessie Delany welcome us into their home in Mount Vernon, New York. As they prepare a celebratory dinner in remembrance of their father’s birthday, they take us on a remarkable journey through the last hundred years of our nation’s history.
November 20 - December 6
Fridays and Saturdays at 7 pm
Sundays at 5 pm
Running time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Enjoy this outdoor performance at LTW’s new location - 3322 E Fort Lowell Rd. Tune into the LTW radio station to hear the story from the comfort of your own car. You can also bring your mask and lawn chairs and sit outside of your car or in the tailgate.
To make your reservation call (520) 327-4242
or buy tickets online
City Wide Events
Tucson Fire Fighters Chili Cook-Off Drive Thru
December 11
10 am-5 pm
Tucson Convention Center
Lot B, across from Fire Central, West Cushing Street and South Granada Avenue
The first Tucson Fire Charities Chili Drive-Thru will be held this year as a replacement for the annual Tucson Fire Fighters Chili Cook-off. The event helps raise money for the Tucson Fire Adopt-a-Family Program. Drive up and purchase a $10 bag of the 1st-place Avra Valley Chili from last year’s chili cook-off. That chili was made by El Charro Restaurants. You can also drop off a non-perishable food item or donate a toy to help a local family in need. Chili will be prepackaged and frozen to take home. Quantities are limited, though. For more information, contact Andy Stead at (520) 403-8842 or
More information from Tucson Fire Charities Facebook page
Did You Know?
Just a reminder that beginning tonight, December 4, 2020, at 10 pm and continuing through 5 am on Dec. 23, 2020, a limited curfew is imposed in the City of Tucson. You may have questions and you have access to a FAQ that does a good job of answering a lot of them.
Stay safe Tucson! #WearYourMask
Council Member Paul Durham is on Social Media!
Follow us on Twitter: @CMPaul_Durham
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