Steve K's Newsletter 02/03/20

Topics in this Issue:

That’s Catherine Tornbom. If you’ve been at some of the forums I’ve hosted in conjunction with Our Family Services, you’ve seen the work Catherine does – facilitating discussions on some tough topics. She’s retiring from her work at Our Family, and in tribute I felt it was important to give a mention in the Be Kind section, recognizing her Kind spirit and sincere interest in touching the lives of the underserved. I know the folks at Our Family will have a tough time filling her shoes.

Last Friday evening, Diana and I attended the kick off of this year’s Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. The City was represented at the event by our Chief of Police, Fire Chief, Transportation Director, City Manager’s Office, Park Tucson Director, Economic Development Director, Planning Director, SMG (TCC management,) several members of the Visit Tucson leadership, representatives of Kaneen P.R. firm, the mayor’s office and council members Cunningham and Durham. Andy Squire from the City Manager’s office and Jane Roxbury from Visit Tucson again emceed the event. The Be Kind is for all the representatives of the various shows who carved out time from the busy activities they have in getting set up and ready for the public. Having staged hundreds of public events, I know making time for ‘ribbon cutting’ often happens at just the wrong time. As you can see from the number of City leaders who took part, we’re extremely grateful to all the show vendors who come to Tucson, drop over $130M into the local economy, and put our City on the international map as being a go-to destination. Each of the show promoters I spoke with were sincerely glad to be here again. There are over 50 different shows – check out this Visit Tucson link to get all of the details about where/when/parking/etc.  https://www.visittucson.org/visit/events/tucson-gem-mineral-fossil-showcase.

And on a more personal scale, the lady and her husband who greeted me at Home Depot (out buying more 5 gallon buckets for the crushed glass) with their puppy – your Kind words about my work, and taking the time to chat up Tucson was a highlight of the evening for me.

Mountain Enclave Subdivision (MES) Flexible Lot Development (FLD)

Last week the M&C approved on a 6-1 vote a new subdivision that’s going to be located in W3. It’ll be 76 houses on a 6 acre site. I joined hundreds of residents in objecting how the code was interpreted to allow the density that’s going in. Those residents represent not just the immediately surrounding area, but people who live in residential neighborhoods through the City. 

I’ve asked for a study session item to review the process that was used to allow the MES. When reasonable people can interpret the same words in such grossly different manners, we need to revisit the code to bring clarity. For example, this, in the opinion of many, should not count as Flexible Open Space:

It will in the MES project. 

I raised issues related to density, privacy mitigation, and the open space piece. In addition, others from the community had concerns with how the Native Plant Preservation Ordinance was being applied, traffic issues and the lack of a public process being built into FLD reviews. All of those issues will be a part of the study session item when it comes on Tuesday, February 4th.

One item I raised last week that has me particularly irritated is how the City has managed to avoid the expiration of a review deadline for the site plan related to MES. The deadline wasn’t just made up by someone – it was a function of our Unified Development Code. I had a lengthy email exchange with our Planning Director, City Attorney and City Manager on this. It was initiated by their sending to M&C a response to the concerns about the expiration I had raised. That response read like this:

Last night a concern was raised that the Mountain Enclave Final plat should not be before Mayor and Council because it had expired based on a comment in the PRO system. The comment in question was about the site plan within the development package, not the plat, and that the final plat was submitted following the tentative plat approval. It was appropriate to have the final plat in front of Mayor and Council for the approval. 

Regarding the explanation of the expired site plan within the development package. As the City Attorney stated last night, delays might have occurred that don't count against the applicant. That is the case for this particular site plan as it was delayed due to the litigation between Mountain View Neighborhood Association and the City of Tucson. As a result of the litigation, the Superior Court Judge placed a restraining order on any actions related to the Development Package. The order went into effect in April 2019 and remained in effect until the Court issued its judgment in City's favor in August 2019. This restraining order was no fault of the applicant and resulted in a delay processing the application for approximately four-plus months. 

Note that they say “this particular site plan” was delayed due to litigation and a judge had placed a restraining order on ‘any actions related to the Development Package.’ Therefore, the expiration date I had issues with was a moot point.

The problem is that the restraining order didn’t say that. This is my full reply to our Planning Director:

Scott, your response is simply not accurate. I have read the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) in that case and it says, in full:

The City of Tucson Planning and Development Services Department Director shall be restrained from issuing final approval of the tentative plat under City of Tucson Unified Development Code (UDC) Section 8.4.4(G)(2) or final approval of the final plat under UDC Section 8.4.5(D) for the subdivision known as Mountain Enclave Subdivision and described in the development plan submitted to the City of Tucson designated as DP18-0201 prior to the clerk’s entry of a signed judgment in this case. 
Nothing in this order shall prevent or restrain Respondent from issuing approvals of elements of the tentative plat that do not amount to issuing final approval of the entire tentative plat pursuant to City of Tucson Unified Development Code Section 8.4.4(G)(2) or final approval of the final plat under UDC Section 8.4.5(D). 

So Scott, nothing in the TRO affected submittals towards the site plan approval - and those transactions between your office and the client in fact continued prior to the expiration of the one year site plan as stated in PRO, and as was required under the UDC (also stated on the PRO site.) If anybody had wanted to extend that expiration date, that could, and should have been brought to M&C prior to its expiration. A plat is based on a site plan. We approved a plat based on a site plan that had expired 6+ weeks prior to our vote. The Temporary Restraining Order had no affect on that at all.
SteveK 

The next volley came from our City Attorney. It’s a sad reflection of the complexity of our code. Regular people should be able to make their way through our code, not be forced to make multiple cross references, attend to varying definitions of the same terms, and seek legal counsel just to understand their rights. Neither should our Planning Director. Read the reply and you decide if our code meets that rather pedestrian standard:

CM K - 

I helped Scott with the email response below, so I'm responsible for the explanation within it and should have provided a copy of the TRO. You are correct of course regarding the language of the TRO. But the conclusion that language has led you to is not correct, in large part because I failed to give a better explanation. So I offer this:

The note in PRO that is the trigger for all of this indicated that the "site plan" for this project had an expiration date of August 17, 2019. In fact, under our UDC, no site plan was required for this FLD project; and the plat that was presented to the Mayor and Council was not based on a site plan. This probably sounds surprising, but let me give you the specifics. Both the UDC and the Administrative Manual (the admin code that goes along with the UDC) make it clear that an FLD project that involves a subdivision, and requires a subdivision plat, does not require a site plan. See:

UDC 8.7.3.P.3.a - FLD Submittal, Review and Decision

"3. Site Plan
a. A site plan is required only if a subdivision plat is not required." 

This section also cross-references UDC 3.3.3, and Section 2-06.50 of the Administrative Manual. 

UDC 3.3.3.G.2.d provides: 
"A site plan is required for the following types of development:
d. Flexible Lot Developments not required to be processed in accordance with Article 8, Land Division, Land Split, and Subdivision Standards"

Section 2-06.50 of the Admin Manual provides:

"5.1 Site Plan Required
FLDs not proposing to subdivide the project site must prepare a site plan in accordance with Section 2-06.0.0, Development Package, including Section 2-06.5.3, Additional Information;

5.2 Tentative Plat Required
An FLD proposing to subdivide the project site into two or more lots must prepare a tentative plat. Tentative plats for FLDs must be prepared in accordance with Section 2-06.0.0, Development Package, including Section 2-06.5.3, Additional Information "

So, to be clear, an FLD application that does not involve the subdivision of the site must have a site plan, but is not required to secure a plat. An FLD application that does subdivide the project site - like the Mountain Enclave FLD - is required to secure a plat, and is not required to submit a site plan. 

I'm certain you will ask, then, why the PRO notes refer to a site plan expiration date, if no site plan was required. That's because (as I understand it) PRO automatically tags entries made after the submittal of the development package with the date for the expiration of the site plan (by Code, 1 year from the date of the submittal of the development package). But here, since no site plan was required, there was no site plan that was subject to this expiration date. 

Instead, what happens with a project that requires a subdivision plat rather than a site plan is that the plan submitted with the development package is actually what gets reviewed as the plat (first as the tentative plat). After its approval, the tentative plat is good for 3 years (see UDC 8.5.1 and 8.5.2), which is why I stated at the M/C meeting that the final plat was brought forward in a timely fashion after the approval of the tentative plat. 

I will add to this that the deadline for the plat approval (as distinct from "site plan" approval, which was never required for this FLD) never expired here. As you noted by quoting the TRO (which I have now attached to this email), the Court order legally restrained the City from issuing final approval of the tentative plat, or final approval of the final plat. You are correct that the TRO did not restrain the city from approving a site plan - but there was no site plan to approve, only the plat. Additionally, the time period when this FLD project was on appeal to the Board of Adjustment (from 2/8/19, when the appeal was filed, until 3/27/19, when the Board upheld the determination) also did not count against any deadlines, because by operation of our own Code (UDC 3.10.1.H) all City approvals and all formal actions under the UDC are barred during this time. So to the extent any time frames were running on plat approval in this case, they were not running during these time periods. And, as I noted above, once the tentative was approved, the applicant had 3 years to get approval of the final plat, so the scheduling of the final plat for M/C was clearly timely. 

Got all that? Their first reply (the one that says the site plan was on hold during the litigation) went to all of M&C. This reply just came to me. The two answers are inconsistent. So, I sent this:

In reading this again I'd add that your most recent answer is not at all what was sent out to M&C yesterday. Yesterday it referenced a 'site plan' and said the TRO set back the expiration date. Now you're saying no site plan was involved in this project. It cannot be both.

I am requesting that this entire exchange be sent to M&C so it makes clear how convoluted our own processes are. Share the entire exchange - some may choose to read it. Any who do will see that our process is flawed if it takes this circuitous route to being explained. And our own Planning Director's first explanation is inconsistent with Rankin's clarification.

And you may also include my contention that we did subdivide when we allowed them to carve out the landscape buffer in order to avoid privacy mitigation. 
thanks - Stevek

The exchange had not been shared with M&C by the end of work on Friday, so I had Diana send it all out to them, including this final comment from me:

Your first reply made it appear that I hadn’t done my homework. Your second reply was inconsistent with the first. I asked that the entire exchange be shared with M&C. Nobody did that, so I asked one of my staff people to send it out so as to avoid my violating Open Meeting Law. 

In Mr. Rankin’s lengthy explanation, he omitted one salient section from our code. For everyone’s edification, I’ll add it here:

3.3.3.G.2. Site Plan
   Applicability
      A site plan is required for the following types of development: 
         a.   All new non-residential development;
         b.   All residential development with three or more dwelling units on one lot;
         c.   Existing development undergoing a change of use, building or structure additions, and/or a reconfiguration of an area outside a building;
         d.   Flexible Lot Developments not required to be processed in accordance with Article 8, Land Division, Land Split, and Subdivision Standards; and,
         e.   A residential, commercial, or industrial use reviewed as a subdivision plat, but no building permits may be issued until a site plan is approved for all or a portion of the subject subdivision plat. Any other application type listed in Section 3.3.3.A, Applicability (PDSD Director Approval Procedure), where a site plan submittal is determined by the PDSD Director to be necessary for adequate review of the application.

Mike, you included Section ‘d’, but omitted Section ‘e’ from your answer. MES is a residential use that was reviewed as a subdivision plat. It therefore required a site plan. That was being developed even during the court proceeding and was not delayed by the TRO. 
  Thanks – Stevek

If you made it this far, you deserve to take a break. More on this FLD process to come, but if it’s this difficult for many of us to understand, its clear our own code needs to be simplified, and clarified.

More from our Planning Department

This is a good news item from Planning. Embedded within that department is our neighborhood resources division. They’ve been out gathering input from residents, asking the simple question “if workshops were offered to neighborhood leaders, are there 2 topics that would be of particular interest to you?” Some topics they’ve already been doing outreach on include showing neighbors how to use some of our on-line tools (like PRO – see above) and a general orientation to neighborhood leaders on protocols involved with being a registered neighborhood association. 

Those are only examples. The group is looking for your input so they can plan more workshops and community outreach. If you’ve got suggestions, please send them into the folks in Planning at www.neighborhood@tucsonaz.gov. They’re a responsive group so I know you’ll be hearing back from them.

Final Planning Add – Wildcat Village Student Apartments

Rosemann and Associates is the design team assisting the owners of Wildcat Village. The apartment complex is currently a 52 unit, 2 bedroom complex. Each unit houses up to 4 students. They’re starting a renovation process that will convert each unit to 2 bedrooms, but that are designed for 3 students instead of 4.

The place is located in Rincon Heights at 1050 E. 8th. On Wednesday, February 5th from 6pm until 8pm the design team will present their plans. They hope to retain the current 72 space parking configuration. That takes application for an Individual Parking Plan due to the changes they’re making to the site. They’ll also be showing the short and long term bike parking they have planned for the apartment complex.

This is a neighborhood meeting that will precede a formal presentation of their proposal to the City Planning Department. Come and share your thoughts. 
 

Trapeze

Quick update on the item I shared a couple of weeks ago regarding Sun Van and the “Where’s My Ride” app. Sun Van serves our disabled community. People making a reservation are given a 30 minute window – their ride will appear at their home any time within that window (say, 10am until 10:30am.) If the customer is more than 120 seconds late, the ride can leave. If you’re in a wheelchair, or if you’ve got eyesight issues, even if you hear a horn honking outside it might take longer than that to get your stuff together and get out the door. Whether it’s a doctors appointment, or a trip to the store you’ve booked the ride for, when you miss it, you need to rebook. That means your ride may not happen until the following day.

Trapeze is our service provider for Sun Van. They have an app that allows our customers to look at their phone and see how far away the ride is. Is it 5 minutes away, or 25 minutes away? Knowing that has obvious benefits for the person waiting. We’ve been told that the app may take up to 9 months to get up and running, and that the cost for it, along with some partner apps may run north of $250K. 

I’ve taken the position that the cost and the wait time for getting the app are both unacceptable. Neither shows the element of dignity our clients deserve. After having passed along that message, I’m pleased to report that the Trapeze people have scheduled a meeting to discuss options. That meeting will be coming in the next couple of weeks. Our Transportation people, and our Sun Tran/Van people will be in attendance. I’m hoping for a positive outcome, and will certainly let you know. I’m aware of several members of the Sun Van user community who are regulars to this newsletter. Fingers crossed that we hear the right commitments.

Sun Tran and Human Trafficking

On another Sun Tran note, we got some great news last week from the Federal Transit Authority. The FTA’s Human Trafficking Awareness and Public Safety Initiative arm has a Grant program. That program is set up to allocate federal funding to jurisdictions to help reduce human trafficking. It’s a transit Grant, so parts of the money also go to ensuring operators and customers on our transit system are safe. 

The FTA awarded the City and Sun Tran $221K last week – we’re one of 24 recipients nationwide – to help prevent human trafficking and other crimes on our public transportation. The money will go to education programs that’ll be offered in collaboration with the Arizona Transit Association. That’s an important partnership because the AzTA also works with AMTRAK, Cat Tran, Greyhound, Uber and Lyft on this issue. Spreading awareness of red flags across the transit network is the goal.

Our TPD Special Crimes Unit will also be involved in this educational effort. Much of the lift in making this application was done by our transit operating partner RATP Dev. They deserve high marks for not only recognizing the need, but for actively working on getting the Grant money into our community.

Move Tucson Master Plan

And this final transit note; join us on Wednesday downtown at the Fox Theater for a presentation on our mobility master plan, Move Tucson. The event will run from 5:30pm until 7:30pm. 

Move Tucson is a year-long transportation planning process that we want your involvement in. One way is to take the transportation survey they’re using to gather initial data. Use this link to take that survey:

Move Tucson survey (English): https://go.usa.gov/xdbfQ 
Move Tucson survey (Spanish): https://go.usa.gov/xdbfU 

I mentioned the Trapeze “Where’s my Ride?” app above. That’s just one example of transportation challenges you may face pretty much every day. The survey, and the entire Move Tucson process will be geared towards recognizing, and addressing those that we can. If you’re coming to the event at the Fox, please pre-register so they have an idea about how many materials to bring along. To RSVP for the event, use www.bit.ly/movetucsonlaunch. The headliner at the event will be former V.P. of Zipcar, Gabe Klein. This whole process is about driving, public transit, walking, biking – however you get around, we want to hear your thoughts. The project website can be found at http://bit.ly/2Ob2cEG.  I have no idea who makes up those links, but they work somehow.

Gun Control

Another important event coming this week is a co-sponsorship by my friends at Mom’s Demand Action and Gun Violence Prevention Arizona. This week is National Gun Violence Survivors Week. Commemorating that somber remembrance will be a “Remembers and Honors” event at St. Marks. I’ve participated in several gun control events with our friends at St. Marks. This week others have been invited to speak. They’ll include some survivors, and there will be events that give focus to the losses survivors continue to experience.

 

Then, on Saturday, 2/15, Grace St. Paul’s will host a panel discussion on gun control. This event is sponsored by the League of Women Voters. Panelists will include our Police Chief, long time NRA member Sherry Hoskinson (strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment,) and Kelly Ireland (gun violence survivor and co-founder of Be Smart.) Nancy Montoya from AZPM will moderate the discussion. 

The event runs from 10am until 11:45. Doors open at 9:30. Grace is located at 2331 E. Adams. Everyone is invited – it’s free, and the site is a gun-free zone.

Budget Priorities

We held our budget round table last week. Most of the City department heads were there, lots of support staff, the City Manager and M&C. We had a 4-5 hour somewhat comprehensive conversation about our budget status. As a part of it, 6 department heads offered their needs/priorities, and each council member and the mayor did as well.

The 6 departments who made presentations included police, fire, public safety communications (911), TDOT, housing, and economic development. Here’s the short message from every one of them – since the cut backs during the recession, each is down staff. Needs continue to grow throughout the community. Some of the apparent budget ‘surplus’ we see is unfilled vacancies. It’s fool’s gold – we need to fill slots in every one of those departments, and when we do, the ‘surplus’ diminishes. The City Manager’s office predicts around $9M - $10M in revenues over expenses for the next couple of years. That assumes 4% growth, which is more than the UA economics folks are predicting, and it includes those vacancies. So my approach is to tap the brake pedal on our lists of ‘wants’ when we all see that number. And remember, we heard from 6 departments. That’s fewer than half, and every one of the others will have a similar message.

Ahead of the workshop, Regina’s office sent out a survey to each council member asking us what some of our priorities are. Some of the lists are long, so I’ll just share the top 5 from each office.

Mayor – Comprehensive climate action plan; implementing 1 million trees initiative; creating and filling staff positions for ‘Housing First’, climate planning, a Green Infrastructure coordinator and a grant writer; launch small business initiative; seek supplemental federal funding and improve relationships with Mexico.

Ward 1 – Housing; affordability; historic preservation; improve mobility and transportation infrastructure; diversity, equity and inclusion office.

Ward 2 – Improve infrastructure and recreation programs in parks; universal health access for youth; universal KIDCO; name Golf Links the Shirley Scott Freeway; expand bus rapid transit.

Ward 3 – Functional and effective Section 8 program; add solar in Avra Valley; identify a path to transition Sun Tran to electric; reaching net zero in City operations; fully fund bike master plan.

Ward 4 – Improve roads; fund infrastructure in major growth corridors; support entrepreneurship and start-ups to keep jobs in Tucson; funding for public safety; water conservation and drought contingency plan.

Ward 5 – Water; affordable housing; equitable investment from Propositions; completing master plan for Quincy Douglas and El Pueblo; meeting staffing needs for police and fire.

Ward 6 – PFAS remediation and containment; budget security; pavement preservation continuation; increase police staffing; changes to recycling program.

Over the course of the workshop there was of course a lot more discussed, but that summarizes the input provided by M&C going into the meeting. Last week’s was the first of what will be several agenda items related to the budget. This week we’ll hear from Environmental and General Services. That’s where the recycling conversation will advance. You’ll get periodic updates in the newsletter as this evolves.

One sort of sidebar to end – during my comments to our Economic Development department head (Barbra Coffee,) I mentioned that the City should look at having a presence during South by Southwest – the Austin, Texas trade show that has wide international appeal. She and I spoke later and it seems the UA is already headed to SxSW, they’ve had conversations with Barbra, and we may indeed be at that table as soon as during this year’s show. That’s about attracting some high paying, tech, millennial jobs. We have plenty of City staff who would represent us well in Austin. I’m hopeful that we can partner with the UA on this.

Recycling/Glass Crusher

The little back-room garage project I’m hosting is still evolving. Last week TDOT and the City Manager arranged for some Department of Corrections inmates to stop by and fill sandbags for me. I had 32 5-gallon barrels ready for them, and in about an hour they had it all transferred into sandbags. We give away over 2,000 sandbags during every monsoon, and we use hundreds more ourselves during Operation Splash. Currently we buy all of that sand from a quarry. Here you can see that spending that money is not necessary. I’m in pretty regular discussions with our Environmental and General Services folks talking about how the whole bottle crushing operation can be made to work logistically. I believe it’ll happen, but we can’t spend all of our savings on the collection process and turn this into a net loss. 

Friend of the office Mary worked with Hi Fi and on Friday delivered nearly 600 champagne/wine bottles. City staff brought 4 90 gallon blue bins. Many of you continue to drop off everything from beer bottles to pickle and condiment jars. The supply is not a problem. Figuring out how to do this on the larger scale is what’s under discussion. 

And I’ve promoted this County program before, but it’s worth a repeat now that we’re getting closer to spring. The County Department of Environmental Quality is offering vouchers for up to $400 when you turn in your old gas powered lawn mower. The vouchers are good for the purchase of a new electric or battery powered mower, or other landscaping equipment. 

The gas powered mowers put out a variety of toxic air pollutants. You’ve heard the long term health effects of breathing in contaminated air; strokes, heart disease, asthma…In addition to those health benefits, the electric units mean you don’t have to bother storing gasoline in your garage, they’re quieter, and easier to maintain.

This chart shows how the vouchers work. This link takes you right to their site:
https://webcms.pima.gov/cms/One.aspx?portalId=169&pageId=494863.

Car Booting

I gave a tease on this item a few weeks ago – the program is about to start, so if you’ve got some outstanding parking tickets, it’d be worth your while to get them paid or you may end up booted.

We already have on the books a policy that authorizes immobilizing a car if you’ve got 3 or more outstanding tickets. Every year we write off debt that’s otherwise owed to the City. The program that’s going to start next month simply says we’re going to hold people responsible when they get their 3rd parking ticket, if they haven’t paid their first 2. 

You’ve probably seen cars with a ‘boot’ on them. It’s the gizmo that attaches to the wheel that stops you from moving. The City boot program will use windshield boots – like this:

If you get a 3rd parking ticket without having paid the others, you’ll get to your car and find this thing slapped on the driver’s side of the windshield. You will than have a couple of options. Number 1 is pretty clear – pay your fines, or go to court. Once you do, the boot will be removed from the car. 

The court can assign payment schedules if people have financial challenges. But these aren’t being applied for someone who is getting their first parking ticket. Or their second unpaid ticket. There’ll be plenty of public announcing on this in the coming weeks. Forewarned is forearmed – get whole with your unpaid parking fines, or get on a payment schedule. 

38th Annual Peace Fair

This week’s local Tucson item is the upcoming peace fair that’ll once again be held in Armory Park. The date is Saturday, February 29th, and the fair will run from 11am until 4pm.

This event is free and open to everyone. Ours is one of the largest in the State where we get people coming together whose focus is working for peace, and justice – both human and environmental. Last year the fair’s logo was this familiar image:

Given the national discourse, this year’s will have an immigrant welcoming theme. Of ‘course there’ll be live music, children’s activities, lots of advocacy groups represented, and food. 

Please plan on spending at least some time supporting the fair. It speaks to Tucson values.

Pan Asian Community Alliance

And while I’m on the topic of inclusiveness, our Pan Asian Community Alliance is getting ready for this year’s Asian Lunar New year Celebration dinner. It’ll be held on the same evening of the peace fair – February 29th. You can do both. This is the Pan Asian Community’s 25th anniversary and this year they’re honoring some people you may know from their work around town;

Pan Asian Man of the Year – Ross Iwamoto 
Pan Asian Woman of the Year – Sheena Smith 
Friend of Pan Asian Community – Carolyn Sugiyama Classen
Friend of Pan Asian Community – Organizatin – Island Plate Lunch Restaurant and Bakery.

This is a fund raiser. The proceeds will go to support work such as ESL and U.S. Citizenship classes, 2020 U.S. Census work, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, and others. 

The event will be held at the UA Marriott (880 E. 2nd Street.) Find out about how you can get a seat at the table by calling them at 512.0144, or going to info@panasiancommunityalliance.org

No Kill Pima County

Our friends at No Kill Pima County are hosting a free workshop that will address the on-going problem many neighborhoods experience with feral cats. The goal is to continue to get the word out about their Trap/Neuter/Release program. It’s one effective long term tool in reducing the expansion of the number of feral cats.

No Kill has hosted several of these – the issue isn’t going away until the community buys in and participates in the TNR program. This workshop will be held at the Murphy-Wilmot Library (530 N. Wilmot) on Saturday, February 15th from 3:15 until 4:45. Doors will open at 3pm.

If you go, you’ll learn about best practices being recommended by experts in the field, how to help feral cats that may need medical attention, and you’ll be introduced to lots of local resources to help you get involved. There’ll be plenty of Q&A, so please bring your questions. 

Reid Park Zoo

Two quick zoo critter items – one sad, the other fun. 

Last week the zoo folks announced that Baheem, their large male tiger died. I know he was one of the attractions I enjoyed the most as he was always curious about what those of us ‘on the outside’ of his enclosure were up to. He was a beautiful animal. I’ve been in touch with zoo staff and know that he received the best care possible. Baheem was 18 years old and had been at the zoo since he was a cub. He died of several internal systems issues that are not unlike what many elderly humans suffer from.

On a much brighter note, a new Grevy Zebra is coming to the zoo. 

That’s Anna. Some of her flirting with her ‘colleagues’ at the zoo has resulted in Anna being a first-time expectant mom. She’s scheduled to give birth sometime this spring.

When my bride, kid and I travelled to Kenya on a game safari, we saw zebra’s all over the place. But the reality is that their international numbers have decreased by over 80% in the past 40 years. Anna’s baby will be the first one born at Reid Park in the past 8 years. It’s an example of the important animal conservation work they do. Before summer you’ll be able to see the little one playing at Reid Park.

Film Tucson / Film Incentive Bill

Last week I shared that Shelli Hall has retired as Film Office director over at Visit Tucson. I suspect they knew internally that she was pulling the pin and had started to review candidates prior to her leaving. They’ve selected her long-time assistant, Peter Catalanotte to take Shelli’s place. I believe Peter is a very good choice.

Peter has been with Film Tucson for over 20 years. He’ll provide continuity to the office. He’ll be building on relationships he has established with many of the people in the international film industry, capitalizing on the work the Film Office has in play right now.

One of the important challenges he and his crew will be taking on is the on-going work to get a film incentive Bill through the Arizona State Legislature. The timing is good as there’s a Bill now being considered up in Phoenix.  HB 2385 has been introduced. It will allow for certain sales tax and use tax reimbursements for film-related expenses. They’re still working on establishing a cap for the incentive pool, but at least something’s being discussed. It has been a couple of sessions since a Bill got even this far into the conversation.

This is the list of qualified production expenses that may be subject to the reimbursement. 

You can see from that list how the film industry touches multiple sectors of our economy. It’s film related material, vehicles, hotels and lodging, food, and postproduction expenses. If the State is truly interested in clean industry that creates jobs and touches the entire economy, this Bill – this industry – is the direction they should head.

Congratulations to Peter, and to Visit Tucson for the good and timely hire.

Finally, this. Last week, the City, County and the UA all came out with warnings about Coronavirus. You see it on the news every day. But in the past month, several people working at W6, and I know others in M&C offices have caught colds or the flu. One of the obvious ways that happens is when people feel they’re so key to the operation that they come to work, go to school or just go out into public and inflict their germs on others when they know they’re coming down with something. 

If you have meetings scheduled at Ward 6, whether that’s with me, my staff, or using our meeting rooms, and you’re sick, please be courteous and just stay home. Call and reschedule, but there’s nothing you may be doing here that cannot wait until you’re well. 

Be good to yourself – and to others. Get better, and don’t spread it around.

Sincerely,

Steve Kozachik
Council Member, Ward 6
ward6@tucsonaz.gov

City of Tucson Services

The City of Tucson incorporated our 'city services cheat sheet' onto their main page. If you click "I Want To" on the city website (where you're reading this) you'll find information on many city resources, from contact numbers and emails for environmental services, water, how to report graffiti, codes, and more. We will continue to work with IT to keep this section updated, and the google doc distributed will no longer be updated as things change.  You are completely still welcome to contact us directly at the Ward office if you’d like some help navigating the system.

Events and Entertainment

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Arizona Science Lecture Series 2020: Life Beyond Earth

Centennial Hall, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

7:00PM – 8:00 PM

Join us on for the first of four free lecture series on February 4, 2020 for lectures exploring the catalysts—both positive and negative—influencing the pace of global change and how these scientific advances will profoundly impact how we live 20 years from now and beyond.Chris ImpeyUniversity Distinguished Professor of AstronomyCollege of Science, University of ArizonaBetül KaçarAssistant Professor, Molecular and Cellular Biology and AstronomyCollege of Science, University of ArizonaAfter four billion years of life on Earth, one species is altering the planet to make it less habitable. That same species is also poised to leave the planet and live on other worlds. As we contemplate life off-Earth we’re also making rapid progress in our search for life beyond Earth. The lecture will look at the trajectory of life on Earth, and what our planet can tell us about the likelihood of life on the many exoplanets that are being discovered. It will address the most profound questions we can ask about our place in the universe: Are we alone? The search for life beyond Earth will inform how we live on this planet. As T.S. Eliot wrote: “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”Join us Tuesdays at 7PM in Centennial Hall starting February 4, 2020 for four free lectures exploring the catalysts—both positive and negative—influencing the pace of global change and how these scientific advances will profoundly impact how we live 20 years from now and beyond.For more information visit https://uascience.org/https://www.facebook.com/events/784228692059998/

 

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Carnival of Fire

Desert Metal Craft, 544 East 24th Street, Tucson, AZ

10:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Desert Metal Craft presents the First Annual Tucson Carnival of Fire, a fierce and flaming (and FREE) fiesta of fuego!

By Day: 10am to 4 pm, try your hand at blacksmithing, or design a metal plate that we'll weld onto a giant sculpture, or throw some axes.

By Night: 6-10pm, the evening event will burn bright to fire dancing by Cirque Roots, plus fire spinners, sculpture welding, and some of the hottest bands in Tucson -- The Mission Creeps, The Furys, and New Mexico singer-songwriter Malcolm June.

This all-ages celebration of everything fiery will be block-party style inside and outside the DMC shop. Details: https://www.desertmetalcraft.org/carnival-of-fire/

To include:

• Blacksmithing tryouts *what to wear: https://www.desertmetalcraft.org/faq/

• Live and interactive art fabrication project

• Axe throwing

• Live bands The Mission Creeps, The Furys, and Malcolm June

• Fire dancers and fire spinners: Cirque Roots

• Food trucks: Fork & Fire and Jackie's Food Court

• Charcoal face-painting for kids

• Raffles, prizes and cool merch

Entry is FREE to this all-ages metallopalooza! Tickets can be purchased for axe-throwing, blacksmithing tryouts, and interactive projects.

ONGOING...

Arizona State Museum, 1013 E University Blvd | www.statemuseum.arizona.edu

Arizona Theater Company, 330 S Scott Ave | www.arizonatheatre.org

Children's Museum Tucson, 200 S 6th Ave | www.childrensmuseumtucson.org

Fox Theatre, 17 W Congress St | www.FoxTucsonTheatre.org

Historic Fourth AvenueSee Facebook page for weekly events: https://www.facebook.com/events/2343613065903248/

Hotel Congress, 311 E Congress St | hotelcongress.com

Jewish History Museum, 564 S Stone Ave | www.jewishhistorymuseum.org

Loft Cinema, 3233 E Speedway Blvd | www.loftcinema.com

Meet Me at Maynards, 311 E Congress St | www.MeetMeatMaynards.com
A social walk/run through the Downtown area. Every Monday, rain or shine, holidays too! Check-in begins at 5:15 pm.

Mission Garden, 946 W Mission Ln | www.missiongarden.org
A living agricultural museum and ethnobotanical garden at the site of Tucson's Birthplace (the foot of "A-Mountain"). For guided tours call 520-955-5200

Raices Taller 222, 218 E. 6th St | Fridays and Saturdays from 1pm to 5pm | www.raicestaller222.com

Rialto Theatre, 318 E Congress St | www.rialtotheatre.com

The Rogue Theatre, The Historic Y, 300 E University Blvd | www.theroguetheatre.org

Southern Arizona Transportation Museum, 414 N Toole Ave | www.tucsonhistoricdepot.org

Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N Alvernon Way | www.tucsonbotanical.org

Tucson Convention Center, 260 S Church St | tucsonconventioncenter.com

Tucson Museum of Art, 140 N Main Ave | tucsonmuseumofart.org

UA Mineral Museum, 1601 E University Blvd | www.uamineralmuseum.org

Watershed Management Group, Living Lab 1137 N. Dodge Blvd. | www.watershedmg.org

Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson2130 North Alvernon Way | www.yumegardens.org