Paul's Note: Friday, June 8th, 2018

Paul’s Note
Friday, June 1st, 2018
  • Paul’s Note
  • Ward 3 Gems
  • Pet of the Week
  • Ward 3 Events
  • Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings
  • City-Wide Events
  • Did You Know?
Parks Bond
Mayor and Council is considering asking voters to approve a $225 million bond issue for parks. It’s no surprise to anyone that our local parks need capital improvements. I am sure you have noticed items in your local park that require attention. Regardless of whether we pursue a bond, I would like to say thank you to all of our Parks and Recreation staff members who have had to do more with less since the recession of 2008. One of the main reasons the Council is considering this now is that after fiscal year 2020, the secondary property tax, which is used to pay principle and interest on bonds, would start to decline. It would drop significantly after fiscal year 2021. By putting it on the ballot in November 2018, we will be able to say to voters that if the parks bond passes, secondary property tax will not increase. (This happens because bonds previously issued are paid off.) My personal opinion is that that is a powerful message—a yes vote will not be a vote for higher taxes! If passed, the City would sell the bonds in amounts and on a schedule that would cause no increase to property owners in the City’s secondary property tax.

We will be looking to the Parks and Recreation System Master Plan that was finalized in October 2016 to guide which improvements will be paid for by the bonds. Here is a link the Master Plan:
As always please feel free to share your thoughts on subject with me.

Given that the monsoons are fast approaching, I am reminded of how complicated our urban water cycle is and how precious every drop of water is in our Sonoran Desert ecosystem. Recently my staff and I joined Tucson Water staff members to visit one significant component of our urban water cycle -- SAVSARP. That strange acronym stands for the Southern Avra Valley Storage and Recovery Project, a sister project to the CAVSARP (the “C” stands for Central) just to its north. Both projects allow Tucson Water to recharge the aquifer and recover water using water from the Central Arizona Project and have helped Tucson to reduce the pumping of groundwater to below levels of the early 1940s. This is possible because SAVSARP recharges 60,000 acre-feet of Colorado River water annually, resulting in more water recharged than is pumped. Here’s a handy infographic:

SAVSARP and CAVSARP are used to store water for Tucson as well as other cities in the metropolitan area. Our approach to water conservation and management is so unique and sophisticated that visitors come from around the world to understand the processes that Tucson Water uses to successfully recharge so much water. Because of Mayor and Council’s priority to conserve water and the effective management of Tucson Water, Tucson has four years of renewable water stored in our aquifers at current usage rates plus another approximately 40 years of groundwater available. As you welcome the rains this year, join me in reflecting on how you contribute to and impact the urban water cycle.

Council Member Durham with Dick Thompson, Lead Hydrologist for Tucson Water at SAVSARP.
At this week's Mayor and Council Meeting, Mayor Rothschild and I presented a proclamation declaring June LGBTQ Pride Month in the City of Tucson. I'm proud of the diversity and tolerance of this community toward our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer neighbors. The City of Tucson has lead on the issue of LGBTQ rights for a long time and I'm proud to continue that tradition, especially in light of this week's Supreme Court decision. When I realized I was gay while in high school, I thought it meant I could never serve in public office. Now, just a few decades later, my husband was right there with me when I took the oath to serve on your City Council.

Council Member Paul Durham, Mayor Rothschild and LGBT Commission members John-Peter Wilhite and Thom Goodrich.
Environmental Services Advisory Committee (ESAC)
The Ward 3 office is seeking to fill its vacancy on the Environmental Services Advisory Committee (ESAC). ESAC was created in 2001. Its aim is to serve as the official advisory body to Mayor and Council on Environmental Services capital improvement program planning and rate structure formulation. Potential members should be residential or commercial customers of Environmental Services and have professional or technical competence in one of the following areas: utility rate making, solid waste management and planning, business management, financial analysis, environmental protection, environmental engineering, recycling or neighborhood issues. Please send a resume to
Ward 3 Gems
Ward 3 is diverse in its neighborhoods, demographic, businesses and attractions. I’d like to invite you to enjoy a new addition to the newsletter where we will occasionally highlight the great people, places and things that make up Ward 3
As this section’s inaugural gem I’d like to introduce you to Leo the Lumberjack.

Have you ever wondered who that Lumberjack is on the corner of Glenn/Stone in Ward 3? It’s Leo, named after Leo Toia of Leo's Hot Rod Shop that was located on that corner until 1994. Now Leo's son Don owns the place and Leo has been watching over it and the Coronado Heights neighborhood since 1964. Leo is just one of many gems that you will find throughout our Ward.
- Paul D.
Pet of the Week
Tiny is a very energetic dog who will need a family that will give her lots of mental stimulation. She would love to go to basic obedience training so she can get further socialization with other people and dogs! Tiny is spayed, microchipped, and housetrained. To find out more about how to adopt Tiny or any other animal from the Humane Society click on the link below.
Ward 3 Events: 
Prune the trees, whack the weeds, survive the heat!
Thursday, June 14th, 9-11am: Meet at the SW corner of Lee and 4th to work on 4th Ave. street trees.
Tuesday, June 26th, 9-11am: Meet at the NE corner of 6th and Elm to work on the Elm St. chicanes.
Despite the warmth, this is a friendly reminder that our neighborhood's public "green infrastructure"- -the trees along 4th Ave, and planted street side basins along 5th Ave and Elm St-- are our responsibility to take care of. To help make this a little more fun, join the members of the Northwest Neighborhood and me for an easy, informal work party on June 14th to keep our roadside plantings in good shape and prepare for the monsoons. There will be another work party on June 26th.
Can't join on a weekday morning, but want to help?  The neighborhood association can provide tools and/or training on proper tree pruning to anyone interested in "adopting" an area near your house. Email to make arrangements. Already have the tools and the know-how, and see an area needing some TLC? Go for it - no need to check in with anyone. Shout out to the exemplary neighbors out there who already take excellent care of the nearby street side plants near them.
Street trees provide shade, beauty, habitat for birds, erosion control for the soil, and even slightly cooler temps. Despite the maintenance required, we hope you feel the benefits too!
Gila Topminnow Returns Bike Ride
June 16th
8-10 am
Does a fish need a bicycle? Well, no. But we’re celebrating the return of the Gila Topminnow to Tucson’s Santa Cruz River—and the new artwork honoring it—with a festive bike ride along the Loop Path. Come decked out with your best Topminnow-on-a-bike costume. (Or gussy up your bike ahead of time on June 14, 5-8 pm, at EXO Bar’s patio.) Prizes for the most scintillating, fishiest bikes and riders!

How to get there:
For a 4.7-mile ride, meet at 8 am on the west side of Santa Cruz River and Speedway Blvd. From there, ride will go north on east side of The Loop. For a shorter ride, join us anywhere along the east side of The Loop. Destination: Outfall, beginning of flowing water on east side of The Loop, .2-mile north of Sweetwater Drive.
National Pollinator Celebration
June 20th
9 am
Sweetwater Wetlands
2511 W. Sweetwater Dr.

Tucson Audubon Society Hosts Wednesday Field Trips at Sweetwater Wetlands
6 am
Every Wednesday through August, the Tucson Audubon Society hosts free field trips at Sweetwater Wetlands, 2511 W Sweetwater Drive. Birders of all experience levels are welcome to see the variety of species that frequent the facility. Field trips begin at 6 a.m. Feel free to bring binoculars and a camera. In addition, carry adequate water and wear proper clothing. Sweetwater Wetlands has free parking, water fountains and restrooms. For more information, contact Luke Safford at (520) 576-6044 or at
Tucson Audubon Society event calendar:
Sweetwater Wetlands:
Lunch On a Bus!
(June 4-July 12)
Woods Library Parking Lot
3455 N 1st Ave.
Can't get to a school for a free summer lunch? No problem. All kids aged 0-18 are eligible to get a free lunch on an Amphitheater Schools bus at Woods Library June 4-July 12 for free! No paperwork or hassles. Grab a lunch, get on the bus, eat, and be on your merry way! Lunch is served while supplies last (not available on July 4th).
Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings:
June 13th
3301 N Wilson Ave.
City-Wide Events:
Brew at the Zoo
June 16th
6:30-9:30 pm
Reid Park Zoo
3400 E Zoo Ct

Summer Safari Nights at the Reid Park Zoo
Every Friday
May 18th-August 3rd
6-8 pm
Reid Park Zoo
3400 E Zoo Ct

Gila Topminnow Commemorative Cocktail & Bike Decorating Party
June 14th
5-8 pm
403 N 6th Ave
All ages welcome

Celebrate the return of the fish (thanks to YOUR treated sewer water) to the Santa Cruz River with a commemorative cocktail, created especially in the fish’s honor by Vadi Erdal and Amy Rude-Smith at EXO. Hang out on EXO’s patio to decorate your bike for the Gila Topminnow Returns Bike Ride along the Santa Cruz River/The Loop happening on June 16. We’ll toast to the fish at EXO and provide supplies and inspiration.
Gila Topminnows by the Riverside Picnic Dinner
June 23rd
6-9 pm
Celebrate the return of the Gila Topminnow and the flowing Santa Cruz River that created its healthy habitat with a riverside dining experience. Toast the Topminnow and view new artwork on the Loop Path in its honor.

This is a DIY event: Bring your own meal (plus blanket, chairs, table, candles) and gather at the outfall area on The Loop Path. Leave no trace: Pack out everything you pack in & respect the no-open container law.
How to get there: East side of Loop Path, .2-miles north of Sweetwater Drive. Bicycles can park on site. Cars can park at Sweetwater Wetlands Park, 2511 W Sweetwater Dr. From there, it is a .6-mile walk on a paved road to the river. You can also get dropped off (or drop off your stuff) at the entrance to the Loop Path, just west of the Sweetwater Parking lot and walk .2-mile on paved bike path to outfall area).
48th Annual Tucson Juneteenth Festival
June 16th
10 am-9 pm
Dunbar Cultural Center
325 W 2nd St

Crime Free Multi-Housing Training
July 19th
8 am-5 pm
Patrick J Hardesty Multi-Service Center
1100 S Alvernon Way
All landlords, especially new ones, are welcome to attend this important free seminar. When destructive tenants operate out of rental property, neighborhoods suffer. We all know that. Crime-free Multi-Housing is a solution-oriented program that partners property owners, residents and law enforcement to eliminate crime in rental properties.
Property owners of even one rental unit can learn a good deal about tools available to landlords to keep crime out of their units, as presented by the Tucson Police and Fire Departments.
To register for the July 19th class, contact Operations Division Midtown, (520) 791-4253. To find out more about the program visit the TPD website:
Did You Know...?
Free Summer Meals For Kids
The Summer Food Services Program for Children provides free weekday breakfast and lunch during the summer break to children 18 and under. Parents and guardians are invited to eat with their children at a cost of $2 for breakfast and $3 for lunch (exact change). The meals are served in school cafeterias or in designated eating areas of the non-school sites. The program runs until July 18, but no meals will be served on July 4. Dates of service and meal times vary by location and are subject to change. Follow the link below for more information and a list of times and locations.
From Tucson Unified School District:
Juneteenth festivities are happening this month!
For the African-American community and all Americans, Juneteenth honors the date of the abolition of slavery. At this time of year we celebrate our strength and perseverance through that terrible period and the decades that followed. Inspired events will take place all month long starting on June 8th with the Jazz Meets Blues Concert at Berger Theater and ending with the final event at the Dunbar Cultural Center, June 16th  10 am-9 pm. The NWNA association is in the works of having a table at the final event so come say hi!
Blue Moon Garden News
Special reduced rates for low-income residents! Membership includes: the irrigation system and all water costs, a shed full of tools for your use, a monthly garden education session with Master Gardeners and a quarterly newsletter.
The plot fees are $18/month, $12/month for lower income and $6/month for the government assistance rate. You can use your SNAP benefits to purchase food –producing plants and seeds.
Call (520) 795-8823 or email John Paul at for more information, to sign up for a garden plot or to enquire about reduced fees.
HOME public comment
The City of Tucson is gathering public input for The City of Tucson FY 2019 Annual Action Plan. This action plan prioritizes funding for affordable housing, housing rehabilitation and emergency shelter among others. Public comments will be accepted thru June 10, 2018 and may be submitted via email at You are invited to comment on whether the goals expressed below align with your vision and goals for Tucson.

Our budget articulates these goals n the Action Plan. Please submit your comments and let the Housing and Community Development Department know how you would like to see these goals or others prioritized.
Park Avenue Closed North of Grant Road and Additional Side Street Closures
On Saturday, June 9, 2018, Park Avenue just north of Grant Road will be closed to travel from approximately 5 a.m. to 5 p.m., to allow work crews to repave this section of roadway. During the closure, motorists and bicyclists traveling south on Park Avenue will not have access to Grant Road. Glenn Street can be used as a detour. Motorists and bicyclists traveling north on Park Avenue approaching Grant Road will be allowed to turn eastbound and westbound on Grant Road. Through travel will be prohibited during the closure.
Additional side street closures along Grant Road will take place next week to allow crews to remove old and abandoned underground water lines. On the following days, these side streets will be closed each night beginning at 7 p.m. and will reopen the next day at 5 a.m.:
*Monday, June 11th and Tuesday, June 12th – Fourth Avenue, Sixth Avenue, El Capitan, south of Grant
*Tuesday, June 12th and Wednesday, June 13th – Third Avenue, Flores Drive, Second Avenue south of Grant
*Wednesday, June 13th and Thursday, June 14th – Second Avenue, Hampton Avenue, Fremont Avenue south of Grant
* Thursday, June 14th – Park Avenue south of Grant Road
Work to widen Grant Road from Stone Avenue to Park Avenue began in March 2017. The improvements include six vehicular travel lanes, protected bike/pedestrian street crossings, drainage improvements, indirect left turns at Stone Avenue and First Avenue, bike lanes and sidewalks, bus pullouts and bus shelters, and public art. For more information, please visit or email
The speed limit in the construction zone has been reduced to 25 mph and motorists can expect delays while traveling through the work zone. Please be cautious of equipment and construction personnel in the work areas. The schedule is subject to change due to inclement weather or unforeseen circumstances.
Council Member Paul Durham is on Social Media!
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