Friday, May 25th, 2018
VITA Tax Prep Wrap-Up
The United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is one of the most popular events that we host at Ward 3 every year. The United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona and their excellent, well-trained volunteers use our community room every Saturday during tax season to help individuals and families with annual incomes under $66,000 prepare their taxes at no cost. It’s an incredible program that helps people navigate the complexity of filing incomes taxes and ensures that folks get the tax refunds they need to keep money in their pockets.
At their sites county-wide, 140 VITA volunteers spent 5,500 hours preparing and filing over 3,600 returns and getting them over 2.8 MILLION DOLLARS in refunds. At our Ward 3 location, they assisted 364 taxpayers and helped them receive $310,699 in refunds. That’s $310,699 more that Tucson families have in their pockets to spend in our local economy. I want to give a tremendous thank you to the United Way, their staff and the incredible VITA volunteers.
Chief of Staff Nick Mahon, Council Member Paul Durham, and VITA volunteers.
Ward 3 Discounts and Benefits Fair
The Ward 3 Discounts and Benefits Fair last Saturday at the Donna Liggins Center was a success with over 50 individuals and many families in attendance. The target population was economically stressed individuals and families and those on fixed incomes living within our ward (though we welcome anyone). We had representatives from about 30 organizations show up including Tucson Water, Sun Tran, TEP, Community Action Agency, BICAS, Habitat for Humanity, DES, Pima County Tobacco and Chronic Disease Prevention Program Youth Tobacco Coalition and many more. Almost 10% of the attendees were able to be signed up for Tucson Water’s low income program putting $600 per year back into the pockets of each Tucson water customer signing up for the program. Habitat for Humanity was able to sign people up for free housing repairs including a veteran living in Ward 3. I had a good time meeting the attendees and also finding out about the many opportunities provided for people to save money by talking to the organizations, government agencies and utilities at the event.
Council Member Durham making the rounds at the Ward 3 Discounts and Benefits Fair.
I enjoyed meeting Donna Liggins, the namesake of the Donna R. Liggins Recreational Center. A 42-year veteran employee of the City of Tucson Parks and Rec Department, Donna has been a mainstay in the Ward 3 Northwest “Sugarhill” neighborhood. It was my pleasure to present her with a certificate of appreciation for her contributions to the City through her work and her involvement in the neighborhood.
Donna Liggins and Council Member Paul Durham.
Thank you all for coming out. I look forward to hosting future resource events, saving residents money, and coordinating much needed services to those who need it most.
Grand Opening of Silverbell Self Storage at Sunset Ranch
Council Member Durham joins Herb Havins (center, with giant scissors) alongside his employees and representatives from the Tucson Chamber of Commerce.
Last Friday, I joined Herb Havins at the ribbon cutting of his new business: Silverbell Self Storage at Sunset Ranch. Herb has been a longtime Ward 3 resident and business owner and I was thrilled to be part of the celebration. Small businesses are the backbone of Tucson’s economy and people like Herb contribute a great deal to our community. Thank you for investing in Ward 3, Herb!
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 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 Matt.Kopec@tucsonaz.gov
Pima Community College Forum
Council Member Durham at the PCC Forum at Ellie Towne Flowing Wells Community Center.
Last week I sponsored a Pima Community College Forum hosted by PCC board member Sylvia Lee. The evening served as an opportunity for Chancellor Lee Lambert to present PCC's plan to alter its curriculum to better serve local needs. This includes improvements to curriculum offerings. The changes will include simplifying degree pathways. PCC is also proposing growth through the creation of Centers of Excellence at various PCC sites that will guide students through skilled, technical training at PCC.
Of great interest to us in Ward 3 is the commitment of PCC to invest millions of dollars along Drachman and Oracle in an expansion of the Downtown Campus. This historically low-income neighborhood will benefit greatly by the addition of PCC administrative offices and by the additional workforce training of PCC’s Center of Excellence that will be on-site. The Downtown Campus will host specialty training programs in applied technologies in infrastructure, manufacturing and transportation.
PCC is a critical resource for our community and I want to thank the many educators and staff who work to serve the changing needs of our region. PCC’s investment in training a skilled workforce stands to create a positive ripple-effect throughout the region and improve our quality of life. Additionally, the reinvestment along Oracle and Drachman by an organization deeply connected and accountable to its neighbors is a great benefit to nearby residents, Ward 3 and the City of Tucson.
Council Member Durham enjoying the dancing celebration of the gardeners.
Last Friday I got to close out my week with a celebration at the Literacy Garden. The Literacy Garden is an effort by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in partnership with Literacy Connects. This project is uplifting—and, so was the celebration—because IRC clients needed land where they could practice their skills as farmers both for sustenance and for income. Literacy Connects had a vacant lot on the eastside of their building that they hoped to put to use. Taken together, this little gem on East Yavapai Road is just one of the collaborative transformations that are happening in the Amphi neighborhood.
Finally, you may recall last week I included a brief mention of the Pothole Inventory and Potluck that neighbors in Country Glenn took part in. For those of you who missed it, the neighbors walked the streets, identified the locations of potholes and then reported each of them via TDOTconcerns@tucsonaz.gov
. Well we received this update from Mike Mayer who came up with the idea and coordinated the effort:
In case you are wondering what happened after the Pothole Inventory and Potluck - well, things are happening. Two days after the submissions a crew was working on Alta Vista and Forgeus. Crews continue to come to the neighborhood and fill holes, and I continue to get notices from the city when work has been completed on various sections. Our city can and does work for us when we get involved... It is great to be from a neighborhood that works and plays together.
I couldn’t agree more. Great work, Mike and the pothole crew in Country Glenn!
- Paul D.
Pet of the Week
My name is Apollo, I am a German Shorthaired Pointer mix and a medium to high energy boy. Because of my size and energy, I will need a forever home that has access to a yard, so apartment living would not be suitable for me. I will require daily mental and physical stimulation, this will also give us time to bond. I have a positive history around children, but my size and energy level may be a bit much for younger children. If there are any family dogs, please let me meet them just to see if my new friend and I get along. I have no history around cats so please use caution. Please be patient with me until I get used to my new forever home. I also don't like thunderstorms or lightning and will want to climb in your lap to hide!
Ward 3 Events:
Gila Topminnow Commemorative Cocktail & Bike Decorating Party
403 N 6th Ave.
All ages welcome
Celebrate the return of the fish (thanks to YOUR wastewater) 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 Topminnow Returns Bike Ride
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.
Gila Topminnows by the Riverside Picnic Dinner
Celebrate the return of the Gila Topminnow and the flowing Santa Cruz River that created its healthy habitat with a riverside dining experience. Toast to 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).
BICAS Youth Earn-a-Bike Summer Camp
10 am-2 pm
2001 N. 7th Ave.
Earn-A-Bike is a bicycle repair course in which youth ages 13 to 18 learn bicycle mechanics, build self esteem and earn a bike! Over the course of the program, participants will overhaul a bicycle. At the end of the course students will demonstrate safe riding skills and take home their newly refurbished bike with a helmet and lock!
Youth Earn-A-Bike is offered on a sliding scale from $25 – $150 per student.
Tucson Audubon Society Hosts Wednesday Field Trips at Sweetwater Wetlands
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 email@example.com
Tucson Audubon Society event calendar: http://bit.ly/2GCIQSw
Sweetwater Wetlands: http://bit.ly/2zGvTVQ
Humane Society of Southern Arizona Spay/Neuter Clinic
Humane Society of Southern Arizona
635 W. Roger Rd.
Celebrate National Pet Month with HSSA’s Spay/Neuter Promotion for kittens, cats, puppies and dogs between 3 months and 3 years of age. Promotion available during May 2018.
Appointments are required and space is limited. Call 520-881-0321 to schedule your pet’s appointment today!
Popular Ward 3 Restaurant Moving to a New Location in June
El Saguarito Mexican Food
1763 E. Prince Rd, Tucson, AZ 85719
Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings:
Cornerstone Fellowship Church
2902 N. Geronimo Ave.
Ward 3 Community Room
1510 E. Grant Rd.
4th Annual National Gun Violence Awareness Day Event
525 N. Bonita Ave.
48th Annual Tucson Juneteenth Festival
10 am-9 pm
Dunbar Cultural Center
325 W. 2nd St.
Did You Know...?
Road Recovery Bond Program Country Club Rd.- Ft. Lowell Rd. to Prince Rd. North Repaving Project
Crews from Southern Arizona Paving and Construction Co, under contract with the City of Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT), will begin milling and paving work on Country Club Road from Fort Lowell Road to north of Prince Road where Country Club Road ends. This work is scheduled to begin Tuesday, May 29, 2018 through Friday, June 1, 2018. Work hours will be 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.
Due to the narrow width of Country Club Road, and during work hours only, there will be one-way northbound travel only on Country Club Road from Fort Lowell to the terminus of Country Club Road north of Prince Road. Flaggers will direct and detour southbound travel from the northern terminus of Country Club Road to westbound Prince Road, as there will be no southbound travel on Country Club from Prince Road to Fort Lowell Road.
The above schedule is subject to change due to inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances.
Business and residential access will be maintained at all times during the project. The traveling public can expect delays when driving in the work areas. Please obey all traffic control signs and watch for construction personnel and equipment in these work areas.
The Road Recovery Bond Program is a voter-approved $100 million, five-year street bond program. More information on the Road Recovery Bond Program can be found at www.tucsonaz.gov/streetbonds
or by calling (520) 837-6686.
Tucson wins National Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation
Tucson was named one of five national winners of the 7th Annual Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation. The annual month-long public awareness campaign to promote conservation, drought resiliency and water quality ended on April 30 with mayors from 35 states vying to see whose city would be the nation’s most “water wise.”
In addition to Tucson, the cities with the highest percentage of residents making pledges during the campaign were Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Dallas, Texas, Gallup, New Mexico and Westminster, California. Nationally, Americans made 618,444 pledges to embrace water-saving behaviors ranging from fixing home leaks to reducing harmful runoff into rivers and streams. Cumulatively, Tucsonans pledged to save 39.5 million gallons of water over the next year.
Summer Heat Can Be A Killer In Southern Arizona
• Heat can be a canine killer. As our temperatures soar into the triple digits, pet owners need to take extra precautions to help their family companion stay cool. Balancing summer recreation with heat safety is serious business for dogs. Appropriate care during the hot summer months includes: grooming, sun protection, and precautions to prevent heat stroke.
• Hot asphalt can burn a dog’s feet! Asphalt absorbs enough heat to injure the extra thick flesh on a dog’s paw. Never walk your dog on a surface you could not walk barefoot on. Remember that a dog’s body is much closer to the ground than its human counterpart and is more vulnerable to the heat emanating from the road. Temperatures at two and three feet above the ground can be 20 degrees hotter than at six feet. Never go running with your dog after it has been fed and restrict their outdoor activities to the cool hours of early morning or late evening.
• Heatstroke is one of the summer’s most frequent canine afflictions and one of the most lethal! Pet owners should know the signs of heatstroke and how to treat it. Symptoms might include: elevated body temperature (body temps can soar as high as 110 causing irreversible brain damage or death), vigorous panting, unsteady gait, physical depression or agitation, thick saliva or froth at the mouth, rigid posture, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, collapsing and signs of shock.
• Treating heatstroke involves cooling the dog from the inside out. First, the animals should be removed from the source of heat to a cooler surrounding, such as a room indoors, with a fan directed on his body, or the breezy shade of a tree. Next, its entire body should be dampened with cool, (never cold) water. Ice packs should be restricted to the head, neck, and chest. Do not force the animal to drink water, in a state of shock, he could easily choke. Instead, concentrate on keeping the dog’s immediate surroundings cool, monitor vital signs and contact a veterinarian as soon as possible. Heatstroke always requires immediate professional supervision.
• Sunburn prevention is just as important for animals as it is for their human counterparts. Fur is not the problem people think it is. It is a misnomer that a dog’s coat should be cut back to keep them cool during the summer months. Although a dark skinned dog is less vulnerable than that of a light skinned dog they both can suffer from sunburn when exposed to the sun’s rays. It is more important to keep your dog welled groomed and free of mats that cause hot spots (a raw irritated patch of skin) than it is to shave them and expose their tender skin. Should your dog’s skin become sunburned the following will help; cover the burned area with cool towels and use an aloe-vera preparation for its soothing effects. Do not use topical ointments or sunblock because the animal may tend to lick it off which will further aggravate damaged skin and it might cause itching. As with any medication, consult a veterinarian before trying anything new.
Play it smart – leave your pet at home during the summer – they will be much happier and so will you!
Council Member Paul Durham is on Social Media!
Ward 3 has created 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 "Follow" us on Twitter: @CMPaul_Durham