Friday, October 4th, 2019
Pet of the Week
Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings
Ward 3 Events
City Wide Events
Did You Know?
Rio Vista Conservation Project
The Rio Vista Natural Resource Park is a wonderful gem nestled in Ward 3 at the end of Tucson Boulevard. I would say it’s one of our best-kept secrets, but it’s become so popular that some folks have started making “rogue” trails. Whether or not they intended to, some people follow the rogue trails and in the process they have degraded some of the natural vegetation and wildlife habitat.
In hopes that future dog walkers, horseback riders and other park visitors will stay on the trail and preserve the habitat for the bobcats and coyotes that call the park home, the Rio Vista Conservation Project spent time this past Saturday closing off rogue trails with natural barriers and brush.
Great way to spend a beautiful fall Saturday morning!
Special thanks to Project Manager Jennifer Shopland, the Rillito Bend Neighborhood Association, the fantastic volunteers and Parks and Rec Director Brent Dennis for helping with this collaborative project. There’s more great work planned in and around the park. I hope you’ll drop by and enjoy it.
Balboa Heights and Coronado Heights Neighborhoods Clean Up
Last week my office coordinated a great joint-neighborhood cleanup (which happened concurrently with the Rio Vista work! It was a busy weekend in Ward 3.). I want to thank all the volunteers as well as our partners at Tucson Clean & Beautiful, Graffiti Protective Coating and our Thrive in the 05 team for helping us fill up two roll-offs, clean up the streets and build new relationships.
Part of our clean-up team from the Balboa Heights and Coronado Heights neighborhoods clean up.
In addition to cleaning up trash on the streets and hauling off illegally dumped items, two of my staff members worked to clear out some vegetation at the upper banks of Cemetery Wash, a sight that had become a concern for residents, with the aim of allowing TPD a clear line of sight on this area of the wash near Stone Avenue.
I want to thank the team that came out to volunteer their time for the public good. I also invite you to join us at one of the two clean ups we are coordinating for this month.
Thrive in the 05, Pima Community College and Ward 3 are hosting a clean-up of the Ocotillo Oracle Neighborhood on Saturday, October 19 at 8:30am. We will gather in the PCC downtown campus parking lot near Drachman and disperse with tools from there. And on Saturday, October 26 we are joining with Habitat Tucson, Literacy Connects and the #WeAreAmphi Coalition to host a clean-up in the Amphi Neighborhood. We will gather at 8am at Literacy Connects (200 E Yavapai Rd) and leave from there with our tools. We will wrap-up the clean-up with a resource fair at 10:30am also at Literacy Connects. As always, it’s wise to dress comfortably, wear sturdy shoes, long pants and to bring a reusable water bottle.
Tobacco 21/ Vaping Illness
As you all know by now, I’ve been pushing Tucson to join the over 50% of the country covered by a Tobacco 21 policy, a bi-partisan and evidenced-based public health approach to combat youth smoking and vaping. Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in America, killing more Americans than car crashes, overdoses and guns combined. And youth vaping has reached epidemic levels in schools across the county. The CDC reports that more than 1 in 4 high school students and about 1 in 14 middle school students in 2018 had used a tobacco product in the past 30 days, with e-cigarettes comprising the most frequently used tobacco product. The question now is: should we do anything about this? I think the answer is yes.
Data from the Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation shows the extent of the T21 across the country. If you’ve been reading my newsletter for the last year, you’ll know that the map is significantly more shaded than when I first brought this to the Council in 2017.
The logical partner in this endeavor is the Health Department, which is overseen by Pima County, and we spent many months working together as City and County to put together a proposal that would cover all of Tucson and unincorporated Pima County.
Unfortunately, on September 17th the Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 against adopting Tobacco 21, which put us in a frustrating position. At our meeting on the 17th, the Council voted unanimously to ask staff to come back with a city-only plan, which dozens and dozens of cities have done across the country, including four in Arizona.
At the October 10th meeting (it’s on Thursday next week because of Yom Kippur), the Council will decide if we want to move forward. At the last meeting, I told my colleagues I wouldn’t wait till a kid from Amphi or Flowing Wells or TUSD fell ill or died from the vaping illness that’s afflicted over a thousand mostly teens and young adults across the county. As of the time I write this, there have been 18 confirmed deaths.
National Night Out
This week a number of our partners hosted the annual National Night Out event at Balboa Heights Neighborhood Park. It was a great event with many local residents and a great showing from businesses and community organizations.
TPD officers play games with children from the neighborhood.
It was great to see so many neighbors coming together to have fun and interact with their local firefighters and police officers. I want to thank all of the student performers (pictured below) and their mentors and families who came out to support them.
A Circus Academy student performs with silks.
Dancers from neighborhood-based Ballet Folklorico Xochitl de Tucson perform.
Kidco dancers from the Marty Birdman Recreation Center show off their moves.
Our closing performers were the amazing Mariachi Pumas de Roskruge K8.
Fun was had by all. These types of fun, family-friendly and multi-generational events are so important to strengthening a community. This event is only possible because of a number of volunteers comprised of people who live and work in the surrounding area. A few individuals and organizations who deserve some special recognition include: Tucson Parks and Recreation, Gospel Rescue Mission, ASU School of Social Work, Tucson Police Department, Pima Community College, Friends of the Marty Birdman Center, Tucson Fire Department, Tucson Fraternal Order of Police, Monica Parker and Mario Valencia. We appreciate your work and volunteerism. I also want to thank our donors including: Gospel Rescue Mission, Trader Joe’s, Monterrey Court, TD’s West, Grant-Stone Market, Tommy’s Bar and Curve’s. We appreciate your support.
Finally, I want to thank Loki, a four-year-old TPD K9 unit, and his handler Officer Merz for engaging the neighbors and young kids with some fun TPD K9 tricks.
Community Strength in Motion
My staff and I have been supporting a pretty remarkable multi-sector effort these last two weeks to help keep a family in their home. The household of three includes a couple in their seventies and their adult daughter. The mother is living with severe dementia and father has COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The daughter had a severe accident approximately 15 years ago and was left paraplegic. Facing mobility challenges that household largely became shut-in and the house had fallen into severe disrepair and was no longer safe for occupancy.
To meet this family and understand their experience is to also recognize how it is far too easy for people to slip away because of sometimes massive gaps in social and health services. This family would have likely wound up on the street had it not been for first responders who took it upon themselves to reach out to my office, private companies and nonprofit organizations who went above and beyond to help this family stay in their home. I want to thank them here and then close with ways that you may be able to help.
Officer Preston Hould
Officer Russell Pope
Officers Preston Hould and Russell Pope were the people that decided they needed to respond and line-up various services to help keep the family safely sheltered. They coordinated with Cliff Wade, one of the City of Tucson homeless outreach specialists who was able to get the family into a hotel for four days while additional work could take place.
The house needed some serious clearing out so as to allow safe passage for electricians and plumbers to have access to fix other issues. The remarkable team of men who staff the St. Francis Men’s Shelter stepped up. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the team at St. Francis, you should know that they all formerly experienced homelessness and received services at St. Francis. Their commitment to service is exemplary. They spent multiple days clearing out the home.
The St. Francis Men’s Shelter team gets busy clearing out the house of junk.
They were met with further assistance from OPCS who helped to load up and haul off the items.
OPCS hauls off 8,000 pounds of unwanted belongings.
All of these efforts made way for much needed repair work. Silverado Plumbing donated their time and expertise to get both bathrooms in good shape. CHRPA (Community Home Repair Projects of Arizona) was amazing and responded quickly to electrical and cooling issues and have identified some much-needed but less urgent repair work to be completed in the coming months.
Each of these critical responders has stretched themselves to be able to respond to a family in significant need. The family was able to address the significant safety issues with help and is currently staying in their home. Preventing anyone from falling into homelessness is a massive win for our community, both for the people directly affected, but also for the significant shelter and support costs avoided. I am very grateful that we were able to prevent this family from losing their home.
More is needed. I know our friends at Easterseals Blake, Habitat Tucson and CHRPA are all continuing to look to help moving forward, and I thank you. When a family gets into this type of a situation, cleaning up a house must be the starting point and expanded to include social and health supports for the long haul. If you believe your civic organization, business or service agency has something to offer, I’d like to hear from you. I also hope you will join me in thanking and supporting the various organizations and Officers Hould and Pope that stepped up and stretched their usual offerings to be able to respond to this need.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We’re partnering with Emerge! to help raise awareness of the issue and the resources out there if you or someone you know is experience domestic violence.
Emerge is sharing stories of survivors all month. You can read their first week story and other information about Domestic Violence Awareness here. Keep an eye out for more updates, including Wear Purple Day on October 24th.
Pet of the Week
Can you believe Squirrel has been at Pima Animal Care Center since May? Luckily he’s had respite in Foster Care but it would be great if he had a forever home to go to. Squirrel is almost 2 ½ years old and quite possibly has the brightest eyes and the wispiest ear hairs. If you want to know more about him you can email PACC.firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings
Alvernon Grant Initiative
1825 N Alvernon Way
Friends of Marty Birdman
Marty Birdman Center
2536 N Castro Ave
Ward 3 Events
Barrio Blue Moon Potluck and Officer Vote
Ocotillo Oracle Clean Up
Meet in Pima Community College Downtown Campus Parking Lot (next to Drachman) for coffee, snacks, tools and team assignments.
For more information or to RSVP call Sarah Launius at the Ward 3 office, 520-791-4711.
Community Hate Crimes Forum
10 am- 12 pm
Westside Service Center
1310 W Miracle Mile
Come out and join the TPD detectives in the Street Crimes Interdiction Unit. SCIU investigates hate and bias crimes. On October 19th the squad will be having a Hate Crimes Presentation. They will review local laws and how they handle these crimes.
Once the presentation is over the detectives will open the floor to the audience and answer questions or concerns about these issues in the community.
This is the first of what will become a series of different presentations on hate and bias presented throughout the city. This event is open to anyone in the community who is interested. Sign up for this presentation at the following link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hate-crimes-forum-tickets-72399140779
FYI: There will not be discussion of any current or ongoing cases.
BICAS 30th Anniversary Party
2001 N 7th Ave
Come celebrate 30 years in Tucson with BICAS with food, music, art and history.
City Wide Events
Household Hazardous Waste Collection This Saturday
The City of Tucson’s Environmental and General Services Department (EGSD) collects household hazardous waste (HHW) at different locations around the city. The first Saturday of every month, city residents can drop materials off at the Eastside Service Center at 7575 E Speedway Blvd (turn north on Prudence to enter the drop-off line) from 8 am to 12 pm for free.
To see a list of what the HHW program accepts, go to www.tucsonaz.gov/hhw-list
Barrio Hollywood 4th Annual Family & Friends Art Show
El Rio Neighborhood Center
1390 W Speedway Blvd
To view the event click on this link: https://www.facebook.com/events/475660772986960/
Bullying Awareness Free Talk
The Screening Room
127 E Congress St
Bullying is a repeated, health-harming mistreatment and is a violent scourge in our society. Have you been bullied? Chances are someone you know has. You’re invited to a free talk about the signs of bullying and what you can do to stop it.
“Bullying & Workplace Bullying”
Follow the links below for more information:
8th Annual Envision Tucson Sustainable Festival
11 am-4 pm
221 S 6th
Celebrate Tucson’s sustainable community at this free, family-friendly event, showcasing organizations and companies building a resilient future in our beautiful desert Southwest.
Attendees can plan on finding ways to get involved personally and to share ideas and experiences. There’ll be information-packed short talks on key resilience topics, and lots of opportunities to learn about sustainable practices that you can put into action in your own home and the community. Topics will include gardening, composting, water harvesting, recycling, solar for the home, localizing our economy, living in harmony with urban wildlife and much more.
Special features will include a kid-friendly rope labyrinth leading to special sustainability messages, a chance to visit with some favorite scientists from history, a look back at the Bisbee Bus and a demonstration showing how a 3D printer can produce very practical replacement parts for home repair. All in all, there will be a wide variety of fun and creative activities for all ages, music and local food.
Armory Park is easily accessible by public transportation, or come by bike and park with our Bike Valet. And there’ll be no single-use plastic bottles, so be sure to bring your re-usable water mug that you can refill courtesy of Water Street Station.
For more information, visit the Festival website www.envisiontucsonsustainable.org, and on Facebook at Envision Tucson Sustainable Festival for up-to-date details.
Tucson Firefighters Chili Cook Off
10 am-8 pm
Reid Park Bandshell
900 S. Randolph Way
This event is open to the public, it is a free event with food and beverage for purchase. There will be live music all day, a kidzone with sponsors handing out candy to trick or treaters, kids and adult costume contests with amazing prizes, plenty of fun all day as well as 24 themed chili booths build and run by the regions firefighters. It is all kicked off with a super-hero themed fun run for the Greater Purpose Project.
Did You Know...?
Free Legal Information Sessions
Abrams Public Health Building
3950 S Country Club Rd
Gadsden Pacific Division Toy Train Operating Museum
The Gadsden Pacific Division Toy Train Operating Museum is a volunteer run non-profit organization located in Ward 3. The museum has been in its current location, 3975 N Miller Ave, since 2001.
The GPD Museum has an open house on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month from September through May. Admission is free to the public. Donations are accepted and sales from the gift and hobby shop cover expenses.
Most importantly, mark your calendars for the 2nd annual "Polar Express Night" on Saturday, December 7th, 5-8 pm. The museum will be decorated for the holidays, Santa & Mrs. Claus will be in the Caboose, and the "Polar Express" movie will be shown on the outside wall of the museum. Last year there were close to 800 guests, and more are expected this year.
Check out their website at www.gpdtrains.org to learn more and plan your visit!
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.
Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMPaulDurham/
Follow us on Twitter: @CMPaul_Durham