Paul's Note: Friday, June 21st, 2019

Paul’s Note
Friday, June 21st, 2019
 
Paul’s Note
Pet of the Week
Ward 3 Events
Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings
City Wide Events
Did You Know?
 
Paul’s Note
 
“Harden the Target” and Property Crime Prevention Next Week!
 
Everyone who lives in Tucson knows someone who has been a victim of a property crime, or has been a victim themselves. We all need to take common sense precautions to avoid becoming a victim.
 
We hope to see you this upcoming Thursday, June 27th at 6pm at Tucson Police Operations Division West at 1310 W Miracle Mile. TPD Chief Magnus and his staff will discuss ways to “Harden the Target” and protect yourself from property crime over the summer. There will also be representatives from surveillance and alarm companies present with information about their products and someone from TPD to talk about recent trends in property crime in Tucson.
 

 
I-11
 
At this week’s Mayor and Council Meeting a representative from the Arizona Department of Transportation attended to give us an update on the I-11 project and receive feedback. In case you are not aware, there is a proposal to build a new freeway west of Tucson in Avra Valley. You can learn more about the project here i11study.com/Arizona/.
 

 
ADOT recommended alignment.
 
I voted to oppose the I-11 by pass through Avra Valley. Hearing from ADOT and City staff it was clear to me that the cost, negative environmental impact and potential damage to City infrastructure and sustainability outweighs any benefits. Particularly troubling is the proximity of the proposed bypass to the City of Tucson's $250 million (2000-2004 dollars) CAP water recharge facilities, known as  the Central Avra Valley Storage and Recovery Project and Southern Avra Valley Storage and Recovery Project (CAVSARP and SAVSARP). These facilities recharge CAP water into our aquifer and provide water resources to our entire region. The reason for the location of the CAVSARP/SAVSARP is the excellent permeable soil that allows the water to percolate in the aquifer.
 

 
Council Member Durham with Dick Thompson, Lead Hydrologist for Tucson Water at SAVSARP.
 
Two of three alternative routes would require that recharge basins, like the one shown in the photo above, be moved. But ADOT hasn’t done the soil geology work necessary to know whether they can be moved. They’re working very well in their present locations. Moving them creates a risk of decreased performance or that they won’t work at all.
 
One of the reasons CAVSARP & SAVSARP work so well is that the soil is porous, making infiltration to the aquifer relatively rapid. Let’s say a tanker truck carrying hazardous chemicals tips over. We would be hard pressed to prevent contamination of the aquifer from which we pump our drinking water.
 
There is no way I am going to let anyone take that risk with our water. That’s why I said at the Council meeting, “Over my dead body will ADOT build a freeway in Avra Valley!”
 

 
CAVSARP in Avra Valley.
 
It is also not just our water; the City of Tucson has an agreement with the City of Phoenix to bank some of their water allocation in our aquifer. I imagine Phoenix would be interested in protecting that asset.
 
In addition, the negative economic impact to the City would be incredibly high. Bypassing our established local businesses is reckless. The cost to build the new freeway while not currently maintaining I-10 is irresponsible. The destruction to natural habitat and wildlife is immense. ADOT planners from the Phoenix area have not been able or willing to address these issues thus far.
 
I half joked at the Council meeting that Phoenix-centered ADOT is trying to make Tucson more like Phoenix—lots of sprawl with freeways everywhere. That is not Tucson!
 
If you have not done so already, please comment on the study before July 8th here http://i11study.commentinput.com/?id=a1d203t.
 

 
Twilight in Avra Valley.
 
Midtown Tavern Off-Track Betting
 
This week, the Council voted 6-1 to allow Ward 3’s Midtown Tavern to set up an off-track betting site for horse racing. I want to give you some insight about what my thoughts are on this and how we arrived here.
 
Last year, the owner of the Midtown Tavern approached the Council with an application to provide off-track betting (OTB) for both horse and greyhound-racing. Greyhound racing is a cruel sport with fewer fans by the year. I told him that there was no way I, nor the rest of the Council, could support his application. We unanimously voted it down but I told the owner, a local guy, to come back with a horse-only OTB and we’d consider it.
 
Earlier this year, Midtown Tavern began the application process. Each OTB site needs to be attached with a specific track. Midtown was planning to partner with Turf Paradise, a horse-racing track based in Phoenix. That’s when folks from their local competition, Rillito Racetrack, approached me. For those of you who don’t know, the Rillito Racetrack is run by the Rillito Park Foundation. Pima County owns the land and through a partnership with Rillito, there’s a farmers market, the racetrack, soccer fields and maintenance of some historic properties on the site. I think it’s a pretty cool partnership without using any taxpayer dollars.
 
In Arizona’s statues regulating horseracing, there were some things written into law that were specifically designed to put Pima County at a disadvantage. How specific? There was a section of the legislation limiting wagering at tracks located in counties “having a population of seven hundred thousand persons or more but less than one million five hundred thousand persons” (Arizona Revised Statues 5-112). That legislation applies to one county only: Pima County.
 
There was bipartisan momentum at the Legislature to update these rules and allow Rillito Racetrack to compete on a level playing field with Turf Paradise. The folks at Rillito asked me to hold discussion of Turf Paradise’s application until they came to the table, so we continued the item for about three months. Using our leverage as a city, we helped bring both parties to the negotiating table. In the end, Governor Ducey signed HB2547 to give more flexibility to Rillito to be financially sustainable and Rillito and Turf Paradise signed an agreement spelling out how they would compete for dollars in Tucson. The result of all this will more money staying in Tucson instead of going to Phoenix.
 
I know that some of you may find horseracing distasteful or inhumane, particularly with the well-publicized rise in horse deaths last year. I respect those views. One reason I was happy to work with the Rillito Foundation is because they worked with the UA’s College of Agriculture to create an Equine Wellness Internship Program so that students could get an up-close view of the horses and provide them with an additional layer of care to prevent horse injuries and deaths. So far it’s working—there were no horse racing injuries in the Spring racing season just completed. The UA’s College of Veterinary Sciences is long overdue, but when it comes online I’m excited for even more potential partnerships.
 
On Tuesday, I thanked the business owner for his patience (remember he first applied for this a year ago) and my colleagues on the Council for theirs and voted to approve the application. While it won’t solve every problem in racing industry, we came to a solution that will keep more dollars in Pima County, support a local business and help solidify the long –term sustainability of the Rillito Park Foundation.
 
-Paul D.
 
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Pet of the Week
 
Gustav
 

 
Just look at this little guy! Gustav is about 2 years old and weighs in at only 25 pounds. He’s got some Pit Bull in him and has a beautiful brindle-y coat with white socks and little pink toe beans. Gustav is waiting for you to bring him home as the newest member of your family.
 
If you would like to learn how to adopt Gustav from Pima Animal Care Center go to their website where you can also see other animals that are looking for homes. 
 
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Ward 3 Events
 
Harden the Target
Thursday
June 27th
6-7:30 pm
Operations Division West
1310 W Miracle Mile
 

 
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Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings:
 
Campbell Grant
Monday
June 24th
6-7:30 pm
Ward 3 Community Room
1510 E Grant Rd
 
Grant Road Coalition
Tuesday
June 25th
5:30-6:30 pm
Ward 3 Community Room
1510 E Grant Rd
 
Central Segments Safety Coalition
Tuesday
June 25th
6:30-8 pm
Ward 3 Community Room
1510 E Grant Rd
 
Keep your neighborhoods safe
Share what you see and hear
Learn how to Harden the Target
Hear about the latest scams
TPD is available immediately following the meeting for individual conversations.
 
Old Pascua
Tuesday
June 25th
6-7 pm
785 W Sahuaro
 
Jefferson Park
Wednesday
June 26th
6-8 pm
Ward 3 Community Room
1510 E Grant Rd
 
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City Wide Events
 
Parks and Recreation Summer Pool Parties
 
The City of Tucson Parks and Recreation are hosting pool parties in June and July. There will be games, music and snacks located outside the pool entrance, with a pool inflatable (if pool size permits) and water games in the pool. Mansfield Pool right here in Ward 3 kicked off the festivities. 
 
We received the following email from a Ward 3 resident along with some photos:
 
I went to my neighborhood pool party at Mansfield Park pool yesterday. Most of you know that pool is in Sugar Hill neighborhood.
 

 
The pool was hopping! It was truly a happy event. The sound of laughter, the diving board and splashing water is what summer should be all about.
 
If you would like to attend one of the other parties taking place around the city, below are the dates and locations for them:
 
June 26th – Kennedy Pool, 3700 S Mission Rd
July 10th – Palo Verde Pool, 355 S Mann Ave
July 17th – El Pueblo Pool, 5100 S Missiondale Rd
July 24th – Purple Heart Pool, 10050 E Rita Rd
 
Don’t forget!
 
City of Tucson invites kids ages 17 and under to beat the heat at City pools and recreation centers for free this summer. Throughout June and July, youth will pay no admission fee at 13 City of Tucson Parks and Recreation centers during open recreation hours. Due to other center programming, ages 12-17 are permitted after 2 p.m. and ages 7 and up are permitted after 6 p.m. A list of participating recreation centers can be found at www.tucsonaz.gov/parks.
 
Youth also can swim for free at 19 pools during recreational swim and family swim hours. A map and hours of City pools can be found at www.tucsonaz.gov/parks.
 
Friends of the Pima County Public Library Community Book Sale
Saturday
June 22
8 am–2 pm
2230 N. Country Club, 1/2 block south of Grant
 

 
Support the Library and grow your personal collection by coming to the Friends of the Pima County Public Library Book Sale.
 
Be sure to check out the Best of Friends room for collectible, gift-quality, and unusual selections.
 
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Did You Know...?
 
Santa Cruz River Heritage Project
 

 
The City of Tucson and Tucson Water will host the kickoff of the Santa Cruz River Heritage Project on Monday, June 24th, 4:30-5:30 pm, at 1580 S Santa Cruz Lane. The Heritage Project will introduce up to 2.8 million gallons a day of flowing reclaimed water into the Santa Cruz River just south of downtown. This will complement regional historical and cultural projects in the area and support the return of native plants and animals.
 
Heritage Project Facebook event/invitation: http://bit.ly/2XmowRN
Heritage Project event/invitation: https://conta.cc/2Mtuwng
Heritage Project website: http://bit.ly/2Ix990w
Aid to Asylum Seekers
You can touch the lives of migrant families arriving in our community through your donation to Catholic Community Services.
 
Donate online. Monetary donations are needed and appreciated.
If you are interested in volunteering, please contact us at alitas@ccs-soaz.org or 520-591-6390. 
 
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Council Member Paul Durham is on Social Media!
 
Ward 3 has Facebook and Twitter pages so you can keep up with our Council Member and stay in touch with what's happening in Tucson and around the Ward.
 
Please "Like" us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMPaulDurham/
Please "Follow" us on Twitter: @CMPaul_Durham
 
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