Paul's Note: Friday, June 28th, 2019

Paul’s Note
Friday, June 28th, 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” with Chief Magnus
 
Thank you to everyone who came out to Operations Division West yesterday to hear about protecting yourself from property crime. We had a fantastic turnout with folks from every corner of the Ward.
 
Thanks to Tucson Police Chief Magnus, Captains Dennison and Ronstadt, Lieutenants Wakefield and De La Ossa and Community Service Officers Curtis and Peters for their help and for answering the excellent questions that were raised by the community. I’d also like to thank ADT Home Security and Ring Doorbell for coming and talking to residents about how their products can play a part in preventing property crime.
 
We covered a lot of ground at the event but I wanted to share a few highlights. Lt. Wakefield gave an overview of crime data. Compared to this time last year, there have been 147 fewer burglaries in Ward 3, a drop of over 35%. That is a great sign that our City is moving in a positive direction.
 

 
The above data is for property crimes in Ward 3 2019 year to date versus 2018 year to date.
 
We’re adding more officers, improving their training and ensuring their compensation is competitive. We’re also using the resources we have smarter to make sure that officers are in the areas they’re needed most. Most importantly, we’re working to build deeper relationships between our officers and the community they serve. Without citizens who are willing to call the police or serve as a witness to a crime, our officers can’t be effective. Thank you all for being a part of this recent success and I hope you’ll work with us to make sure it continues.
 

 
Community Service Officers Curtis and Peters present on CPTED.
 
Community Service Officer Kara Curtis gave a wonderful presentation on CPTED, which stands for “Crime Prevention through Environmental Design.” It was very detailed with great visual examples so I won’t be able to cover it all, but two of the basic principles she discussed are Natural Surveillance and Physical Maintenance.
 
Natural Surveillance in this context means to design and place physical features in a way to maximize visibility. The simplest way to do this is to make sure the area around your front and back door are lit! If would-be criminals know that they are entering an area where they might be under the observation of a homeowner (or their security system), they are more likely to pass over that house in favor of an easier target. Likewise, places where criminals can hide in the shadows and not be seen from the street or be seen from your interior windows should be minimized.
 
Overgrown foliage can create blind spots that are hidden from view. That’s where Physical Maintenance comes in. It’s important to keep your yard clear enough to survey your property. Trim your trees enough to see around them and pick low maintenance plant material if you’re not a fan of yard work. And if you’re unlucky enough to have a broken window or a vandalized mailbox, please fix it promptly. Not only is it unsightly for your neighbors, it’s a signal to would-be criminals that that particular house isn’t well cared for and could make it a target.
 
We won’t be able to solve the issue of property crime overnight, but I hope that this information helps you and your family from becoming a victim. Thanks again to all who attended.
 
Santa Cruz River Heritage Project
 

 
Council Member Durham at the water’s edge on Monday.
 
On Monday, Tucson Water flipped a switch and began the flow of 2.8 million gallons of recharged water daily into the river basin. It was a remarkable way to celebrate El Día de San Juan as our desert city prepares for the summer monsoons.
 

 
With the return of continuous water flow to the Santa Cruz River in the birthplace of Tucson, we will now have a new rejuvenated riparian area set to spring up between roughly Silverlake Road and Cushing Street. What we’ve learned from the Sweetwater Wetlands further downstream in Ward 3 is that this stretch will likely become a bustling urban wildlife habitat with raccoons, hawks, bobcats and numerous pollinators.
 
It is my sincere hope that, as we’ve seen further north at the Sweetwater Wetlands, we may also see a return of the endangered Gila Topminnow in this new stretch of continuous water flow. This stretch along the loop trail will become an even greater amenity for adjacent neighborhoods and businesses with the return of regular water flow.
 
I want to thank Director Tim Thomure and our team at Tucson Water for bringing this to fruition.
 
Vacant Properties
 
Last week I met with a number the City’s Executive Leadership team to discuss how to more effectively mitigate the public health and safety concerns raised by long-term vacant properties in Ward 3 neighborhoods.  If you talk to anyone living next to one of these properties they can quickly share the issues that can arise as these properties become a magnet for illicit activities. Having listened to the trials facing too many of my constituents, my message was pretty simple: The status quo is not working.
 
My staff and I have been researching practices in other cities, and I’m increasingly drawn to the approach that Phoenix is taking, which the City of Glendale is also designing a not yet implemented program after. In Phoenix, property owners have 35 days to abate a nuisance; if they do not, the City of Phoenix corrects it and puts a lien on the property to cover associated costs, including costs of the program. Once a lien is recorded, the owner has 13 months to initiate payments before City starts the foreclosure process.
 
Now, to put this into perspective, I took City leaders, including Mayor Rothschild, City Manager Ortega and City Attorney Rankin, to see a property that has been vacant for at least the last six years. In that time is has become in severe disrepair and should have either been sold or brought back up to code. Why on earth would we allow this to fester for so long?
 
What we find in Phoenix is that 74% of cited issues in 2018 were abated by owners without any City intervention. The threat of action appears to motivate many individuals to abate. In those instances where Phoenix has needed to abate, the threat of foreclosure has led property owners to pay off the public liens while bringing their properties up-to-code.
 
I shared with many in our City Leadership team that I want to see us adopt the Phoenix approach. Our City Manager and I are working to make sure we can start to shift the dynamic of vacant properties that drain on surrounding neighborhoods because of extended inaction by, oftentimes absentee, owners and become hotspots for crime. Our residents deserve better and in this time of a crisis in housing affordability, there is simply no reason to allow this to continue.
 
The status quo has been shaken up and I look forward to sharing more with you as this evolves.
 
Census 2020
 
For those of you who didn’t see the news, the Supreme Court did the right thing yesterday and found that the Trump administration's rationale for adding a question on citizenship was not warranted. This decision will lay the groundwork for a successful 2020 Census count and effective distribution of $675 billion federal dollars. I, and the Ward 3 Census Complete Count Subcommittee, will continue to watch this closely.
 
RTA
 
The Regional Transportation Authority has been exploring reauthorization. In May of 2006 voters in Pima County authorized both the 20 year transportation plan and a half cent sales tax to fund the plan. The most noticeable project in Ward 3 has been the Grant Road widening project, but we have also seen smaller and more localized projects like bus pullouts along Stone Ave. Also First Ave, from Grant Road to River Road, is slated to be improved in the last 5 year window of the RTA plan. The same is true for the Grant Road/I-10 interchange under the railroad bridge. You can view the RTA annual May update here.
 

 
Aerial photo from a drone during the Grant Road construction.
 
The RTA currently has a 35 person Citizen’s Advisory Committee to develop a new plan for beyond 2026. The work is still in the early stages. The RTA is seeking to inform the public about the process and solicit feedback about community priorities. Pima Association of Governments’ Community Relations Specialist Mindy Blake can provide an update on the region’s transportation funding climate and what steps the RTA is taking to set the wheels in motion to develop a new set of transportation investments with citizen involvement to support our region’s long-term economic vitality. To schedule a presentation for your group or neighborhood association, please contact Mindy Blake at 520-495-1427, or mblake@pagregion.com. I think it’s important that Ward 3 priorities, be it road maintenance, better SunTran service or more bike lanes, are communicated early and often to the Regional Transportation Authority if they expect Ward 3 residents to support the reauthorization.
 
-Paul D.
 
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Pet of the Week
 
Scott
 

 
Scott is a spunky young pup looking for a place to call home. At about 1 year old he is almost full grown but still has playful puppy in him. Are you in the market for a new companion in your life? The adoption process begins with a visit to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona’s facility, in Ward 3, at 635 W Roger Rd. Adoption counselors will be available to answer all your questions and provide background information on Scott (or any other animal that you are considering welcoming to your home). All members of your household (including other current household dogs, if possible) are encouraged to go down to meet Scott to ensure he is compatible with everyone.
 
Also, when you bring Scott home with you, you know he has been neutered and is up to date on his shots. Plus you will receive a free visit to a veterinarian of your choice, an HSSA identification tag, a rabies vaccination and a bag of dog food.
 
Did You Know?
The Humane Society of Southern Arizona offers monthly pet food distribution for people who, because of economic hardship, may be having difficulty purchasing food for their pets.
 
From 8 am-10 am on the first Sunday of each month, HSSA will have bags of cat and dog food available to those who need assistance. In order to receive food, you must provide proof of sterilization (spay or neuter) for all animals living in the home, proof of ownership and a valid government-issued ID card.
 
The distribution is at their main location, 635 West Roger Road.
If you have questions, please call 520-327-6088.
For a list of additional food distribution options please visit here.
 
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Ward 3 Events
 
Bike-In Movie
Friday
June 28th
7:30 – 9:30 pm
Mitchell Park
1100 E Mitchell St
Free
 
Sit out under the stars and enjoy a completely off-grid outdoor movie experience! Bring lawn chairs, blankets, snacks and your friends and family.
 

 
Follow this link to find out more.
 
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City Wide Events
 
Star Wars Original Trilogy on the Big Screen at the Fox Theater
 
Watch the trilogy over three days this weekend as George Lucas meant us to: On the big screen. This is an Arizona exclusive.
 
Click here to get your tickets for this weekend at the Fox: https://foxtucsontheatre.ticketforce.com/eventperformances.asp?evt=1106
 
Enjoy a special weekend of Star Wars films! These screenings are your chance to see the original Star Wars trilogy on the big screen.
 
Tickets are $10/$8 Students, seniors and active duty military
$5 for Fox Members and children under 12
Special priced ticket to see all three films $25/$20
 
Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope
Friday
June 28
7:00 pm
 
Luke Skywalker is thrust into the struggle of the Rebel Alliance when he meets Obi-Wan Kenobi, who has lived for years in seclusion on the desert planet of Tatooine. Obi-Wan begins Luke’s Jedi training as Luke joins him on a daring mission to rescue the beautiful Rebel leader Princess Leia from the clutches of the evil Empire.
 
Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
Saturday
June 29
7:00 pm
 
Three years after the events of A New Hope, Imperial forces continue to pursue the Rebels. Luke journeys to the planet Dagobah to train with Jedi Master Yoda, who has lived in hiding since the fall of the Republic. Darth Vader continues to seek out young Skywalker for an epic battle among the clouds.
 
Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi
Sunday
June 30
2:00 pm
 
In Return of the Jedi, an epic battle for the fate of the galaxy approaches. The Empire and the rebel alliance race towards a last battle on several fronts. As the Rebels launch their offensive, Skywalker must face the Emperor, and come to terms with his own history.
 
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Did You Know...?
 
4th of July Trash & Recycling Schedule
 
The Independence Day holiday will be observed on Thursday, July 4th.  Residential and commercial trash and recycling will not be collected on Thursday. All City of Tucson residential and commercial customers with regular collection on Thursday or Friday will have their trash and recycling service delayed by one day.
 
The Household Hazardous Waste facility located at 2440 W Sweetwater Dr will be closed on July 4th and July 5th. The 1st Saturday Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection at the Eastside Service Center has been cancelled due to the holiday.
 
The Los Reales Landfill will be open during the holiday.
 
Holiday collection schedules are available online at www.tucsonaz.gov/esd or if you have a smartphone, download the free Recycle Coach™ App to have access to all collection schedules.
 
City offices will be closed on Thursday, July 4, 2019; however, customers may leave a message for Customer Service at 791-3171 or by submitting a service request at www.tucsonaz.gov/esd and they will be contacted no later than the next business day. Customer Service will be available on Saturday, July 6, 2019 from 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
 
Stay Cool
 

 
Beat the Heat
 
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.
 
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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