Pauls Note: Friday, October 9, 2020

Paul's Ward 3 News and Updates
Friday, October 9, 2020
News and Updates
Pet of the Week                 
Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings
Ward 3 Events
City Wide Events
Did You Know?
Ward 3 News and Updates
Fall is in the air. The morning and evening temperatures are falling. Call this the first newsletter of Tucson’s fall season. This week we have news about sustaining our environment. The Mayor and Council acted on new efforts to compost yard waste and recycle glass. We also have news about a local non-profit that helps people turn their creative ideas into a business and a reminder that Census 2020 is approaching its final days. Lastly the 2020 general election is days away and you should have received it in the mail. After filling it out, and remember follow the instructions, you can mail your ballot or deliver it to the County Recorder’s Office. More information is in this newsletter.
Start Up Tucson
A couple of years ago, Martha Retallick, eyeing her camera gear, had an idea. She would document, through her photographs, the work she puts into her backyard garden.
Fast forward to this year of pandemic. Martha, a Ward 3 resident, looked at her photos and asked herself “now what do I do?” In a life-altering year, where life has been turned upside down, an idea sprouted in Martha’s imagination.
What if she turned her photos into a coffee table book where she could share her images, and her passion and her ideas about creating a sustainable natural space. So she turned to some people who could help her create her vision.
“I wanted to start out on the right foot,” she said.
Martha Retallick. Photo by Michael Campbell
Martha turned to Start Up Tucson, a non-profit whose aim is to guide Tucsonans like Martha to transform a creative idea into a saleable product. Start Up Tucson offers budding entrepreneurs a series of classes and workshops to help them explore their ideas, connect with mentors, evaluate the product’s potential to sell and to make the product available to others.
The women-led group housed in downtown Tucson educates entrepreneurs and stimulates economic development, said Liz Pocock, chief executive officer of Start Up Tucson. It offers free and low cost programs for new entrepreneurs, and connects them with some of our local entrepreneurs and small businesses to help them pivot during COVID.
Start Up Tucson measures its success in a number of ways, including jobs created, startup companies, increase of revenue to existing companies, and the amount of funds that budding entrepreneurs acquire for their projects, she said. It also measures its success by the level that confidence that its clients take away.
Pocock, who took the helm at Start Up in 2018, said that an increasing number of women, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, were enrolling in Start Up Tucson. But with the pandemic, women entrepreneurs have been slowed down. Still they persist. Pocock said the dreams and desires of women entrepreneurs is inspiring. “They have that grit,” she said.
One of those successful businesses is owned by Erica Yngve. In fact Erica owns two businesses housed under the same roof in the Yaqui barrio of Old Pascua. Erica owns Bralessly, a women’s clothing line, and the Sonoran Stitch Factory, where workers cut and sew custom products. In addition, Erica provides services and storage for seven other businesses in a warehouse at the intersection of West Rillito Street and North 15th Avenue.
Erica started her clothing line first nearly two years ago but almost immediately she realized something critical. “I just needed a lot of help,” she said.
Photo courtesy of Sonoran Stitch Factory
Erica signed up for Start Up’s business-building series in early 2019. After completing the course, her batteries were charged and she came away filled with valuable information, mentors and contacts, and a nice chunk of money she won in a competition that would help her augment her financing.
“I couldn’t have gone this far with their services,” Erica said. Her sister has started down her entrepreneurship road through Start Up Tucson. Erica said she’s looking to grow her business and intends to use Start Up Tucson’s resources again.
Martha, whose consulting and writing business is called Western Sky Communications, said the workshops has helped her in the each step of the way to create her book. And in the process, Martha, a booster of local businesses, has turned to a book designer, who lives in Ward 3, and plans to use a Tucson printing company to churn out her first run.
“The capacity exists in Tucson. We just need to use it,” Martha said.
Startup Tucson offers a number of entirely free courses and events, including the monthly Startup Coffee and Bytes series and Innovation Economics. Most courses are $10-$15 each or the Fundamentals as a package for $45 for the 5 Courses. Start Up will begin its next round of its 5-week Startup Fundamentals series starts in mid-October.
It also offers longer advanced and technical workshops that range in cost depending on subject matter. There are options available for people who can not afford to enroll. Inquiries may be sent directly to us at
City of Tucson Waste Reduction
On Tuesday, the City of Tucson took steps to create significant waste diversion efforts that will support Tucson’s Climate Action and Adaption Plan. Mayor and Council reviewed options for a revamped green waste composting program as well as a large-scale local glass reuse pilot.
It’s important for readers to understand that this most recent conversation connects to broader issues that Mayor and Council and Tucson residents are facing. First, the most obvious concern is how we act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing methane producing waste in our landfill is part of how we achieve that goal. Second, even though it is cheaper in the immediate to send glass, for instance, to the landfill doing so is not alignment with the values of either Mayor and Council or the majority of Tucson residents. Third, the global recycling market is in a crisis, pushing the City of Tucson to continue to promote reducing consumption of disposal goods as well local reuse and recycling options. You can learn more about these dynamics from previous newsletters here and here.
Bins highlight the different streams for post-use products at Santa Clara University
The City of Tucson is looking to relocate a previously existing composting partnership with the Compost Cats from the San Xavier Co-op Farm to the Los Reales Landfill. This will bring food scrap composting and all of the necessary infrastructure over to the landfill to allow for further expansion. In addition to the preexisting services that Compost Cats provide, the City of Tucson will begin composting its own green waste from the Department of Transportation and Mobility, and Parks and Recreation for mulch production that can then be used to either cover layers of the landfill or for public right of ways—think million trees effort.
Organic waste, including food scraps and green waste, represents about 41% of the waste generated in Tucson. That is exactly why this effort is so important from a policy perspective. It also explains why Council Member Durham has continued to advocate for the City of Tucson to work toward a curbside or neighborhood-based composting effort that would serve every city resident. We are not there just yet, but the current proposal will help lay the foundation for moving forward.
In addition, by composting the green waste that City departments are creating and using it on public lands, the City will see a cost reduction. That’s a win-win.
The other effort that the City is developing is a large-scale pilot for glass crushing and local reuse of the resulting sand. Council Member Kozachik and the Ward 6 office have been receiving empty glass from residents for a number of months to test out how the City may utilize crushed glass.
First, it’s important to explain that glass is very expensive to recycle. This is largely due to the costs to haul this heavy product. Currently the closest glass recycling facility is in Phoenix and much of the state drives their recyclable glass to Phoenix. Doing so adds both energy and financial costs to recycling glass.
Thanks to Council Member Kozachik’s pilot, the City of Tucson was able to realize a local processing option and local utilization of the end product. Specifically, over 49,000 lbs. (24 tons) of glass have been crushed at the Ward 6 Office. That crushed glass has been used to fill sandbags and ruts for the Department of Transportation and Mobility and as aggregate in the repair of a concrete sidewalk at the Ward 6 office.
A scaled-up local glass crushing project would allow the City of Tucson to reduce the costs of recycling glass while providing local access to sand for flood prevention efforts and public infrastructure, among others. Handled correctly, this expanded pilot could further divert glass from the landfill. That’s good for Tucson.
The Environmental Services staff will return with a specific plan related to the timeline for implementation, including an awareness campaign, for the glass city-wide pilot program in the coming weeks. We will certainly share with you more about this exciting effort as it takes shape.
Mask Giveaway and Census 2020
City Parks and Recreation Department employees distributed about 1,000 pandemic masks at the Donna Liggins Recreation Center in Mansfield Park on Wednesday. Since the city began sponsoring mask give-away events, more than 77,000 masks have been distributed for free. The city will continue distributing masks in the coming weeks.
In addition to the masks, 31 residents completed their Census 2020 surveys. We have until Oct. 31 to complete the Census survey. It’s critical that Ward 3 have a complete count. Local government and schools will receive more money for public services.
Congressional and state legislative districts are also re-drawn to correspond with the Census which is required by the U.S. Constitution. The Census is intended every person living in the U.S. and U.S. territories.
One easy way is to do it by phone. To complete the survey in English, call 844-330-2020. To complete it in Spanish call 844-468-2020. Other languages include Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Arabic and other.
For information on services for people who are deaf or hard of hearing call the TDD number at 844-467-2020.
Your Ward 3 neighbors are counting on you.
Pet of the Week
This is Hunter and can be found at Pima Animal Care Center (PACC). He is a gorgeous chocolate Pointer mix who is looking for a good time. He does great with kids and other dogs. While he is NOT aggressive he can be rowdy when playing with his canine friends so a meet and greet before bringing him home is a good idea.
To adopt Hunter or any other animal at PACC, please submit an adoption survey and schedule an appointment using the link found in the survey confirmation email.
Please email with questions.
Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings
Alvernon/Grant Initiative
October 13
6 pm
For login information send an email to
Send your request by 12 pm on Tuesday, October 13.
Crime Meeting with Tucson Police, neighborhoods and businesses surrounding the intersection at Grant and Alvernon        
October 14
6-7 pm
Tucson Police West Side Division will host its second virtual Division Advisory Committee (DAC) meeting via Microsoft Teams.  The link is provided along with the meeting agenda.  This is your time to ask questions, express your concerns and share your ideas. 
    Overall crime trends, 
    Personnel re-assignment
    Qlik Crime Dashboard (overview)
    Divisional projects:
    **Grant & Oracle
    **Red Tags & Drug Market Intervention (DMI)
    **Anza Park, University of Arizona Housing complex
    **Downtown reopening
    **Open discussion
October 24
10-11:30 am
Limberlost Family Park
Limberlost and 4th Avenue
Please bring a chair and mask
Social distancing will be practiced
Ward 3 Events
Humane Society of Southern Arizona Puttin’ On The Dog Tail-A-Thon
Saturday, October 10
CW 58 – 7 am-8 am
FOX 11 – 11 am-12 pm
CW 58 - 4:30 pm-5:30 pm
Sunday, October 11
KGUN 9 - 3 pm-4 pm
FOX 11 - 5PM - 6PM
For more information about this unique, televised event go to the Humane Society’s website.
Shred It
October 17
8 am-10 am
Jacobs Park
3300 N Fairview Ave
City Wide Events
Community Pop-up Covid-19 Testing Centers*
525 N. Bonita Ave., Tucson, AZ 85745
Oct. 10, 2020
8 am - 1 pm
 Rising Star Baptist Church
 2800 E. 36th St., Tucson, AZ 85713
 Oct. 17, 2020
 8 am - 12 pm
 Friendship Missionary Baptist Church
 850 N. 11th Ave., Tucson, AZ 85705
 Oct. 24, 2020
 8 am - 12 pm
 St. John the Evangelist Catholic - Casa San Juan
 602 W. Ajo Way, Tucson, AZ 85713
 Oct. 27, 2020
 7:30 am - 12:30 pm
*These sites are walk-up only, no appointment necessary
Sustainable Tucson
October 13
6 pm MST/PDT
9th Annual Homescape Harvest Tour - Virtual & In-Person
October 17
10 am-2 pm
Virtual Event

Explore beautiful, well-designed properties that harvest water, solar energy, grow food & create wildlife habitat on the 9th Annual Homescape Harvest Tour. This year the tour is offered virtually and at safe in-person site visits on Saturday, October 17 from 10 am-2 pm. Be sure to join us for our interactive panel discussion on YouTube Live Saturday, October 17 at 3:30 pm.  
Did You Know?
Early Voting
In-person early voting began this past Wednesday, and early ballots were mailed out the same day. The deadline to request a ballot by mail is October 23. Initially, early voting was available at only three Pima County Recorder's Office locations, but the number of sites will expand on October 26. Election Day is November 3. If you missed Monday’s original deadline to register to vote, you have a little more time.
U.S. District Judge Steven P. Logan on Monday, October 5, extended Arizona's voter registration deadline to October 23. He cited the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on efforts to register voters face-to-face. For more information and a list of early voting locations, follow the links below. 
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Join us as we support Emerge! In spreading the word about domestic violence in October. Check out this calendar with an opportunity every day to bring more awareness to domestic violence.
We Are One | Somos Uno Resiliency Fund Small Business Utility Assistance Grants Open October 5 
Mayor Regina Romero and Council approved $1M in CARES funds to help small businesses with utilities. The Small Business Utility Assistance grant program began accepting applications Monday, October 5.
Eligible businesses must have faced economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency. Preference will be given to small businesses that did not receive assistance from other programs and to woman-owned, minority-owned, veteran-owned, disabled-owned, and otherwise disadvantaged groups to increase the equitable dispersion of grant funds throughout the City of Tucson.  
The Women's Business Center of the YWCA Southern Arizona will administer the Small Business Utility Assistance Grants. The grants will provide up to $4,000 to pay electric, water, and gas/sewer/trash utility bills. The grant will not cover cable and telephone bills. Grants will be awarded directly to utility companies under the business’s account to cover delinquent bills.  
Small businesses with less than 50 employees within the City of Tucson or City of South Tucson are eligible to apply. Applications and eligibility requirements will be available in English and Spanish at .
Small Business Utility Assistance Grants 
Southwest Gas Offers Payment Assistance Programs to Customers Impacted by COVID-19
The COVID-19 outbreak has placed unexpected financial hardships on the people in the communities we serve. Southwest Gas understands that these are trying times for many individuals and wants to help customers through it. Since March, Southwest Gas has temporarily ceased all service disconnections for nonpayment, as well as late fees.
Southwest Gas offers many programs, including flexible payment plans, payment assistance programs, and income qualified rate assistance, for customers in Arizona.
Low Income Ratepayer Assistance (LIRA)
Customers who have recently lost their job, or are receiving unemployment benefits, may qualify for a reduced energy rate through our LIRA Program. This program helps customers save money by providing a yearly 30% reduction in the monthly basic service charge and a “per therm” rate discount. The “per therm” discount which is applied each month from November 1 through April 30.
Energy Share Program
Southwest Gas has $1 million available to customers experiencing unexpected financial difficulties, such as the loss of a job or medical emergency related to COVID-19. The Energy Share program allows customers facing financial hardship who qualify, to receive assistance towards paying their Southwest Gas bill. Customers do not need to meet Federal Poverty Income Guidelines to qualify.
Deferred Payment Program
For customers who can demonstrate a hardship and have outstanding bills, our deferred payment plan allows them to pay their bill over an extended period of time. We also make referrals to government or local social service agencies
For more about these programs visit SWGas or call 1-877-860-6020.
Additionally, Southwest Gas may contact customers regarding their account but will never call or show up in person to demand payment with the threat of a disruption of service. If you receive a call from our representatives, they will simply verify your identity to discuss your account. Any calls that ask you to make an immediate payment should be considered a scam, so please do not provide any personal information and hang up. You can call 1-877-860-6020 to verify the legitimacy of any calls or visits that you receive.
Sharing free groceries in solidarity with neighbors impacted by Covid-19.
Pick up at 600 N 4th Ave / Mondays & Thursdays 6-8 pm, Saturdays 8-10 am
Just bring yourself – No need to prove income, provide social security numbers, or any kind of documentation. Food is available to anyone who needs it.
Council Member Paul Durham is on Social Media!
Follow us on Twitter: @CMPaul_Durham
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