Topics in this issue...
- Be Kind
- January 8th: Hope and Resilience
- Recycling – Waste
- Alamo Wash Study
- Tucson Water Wetlands
- Bird Watching at the Wetlands
- Water Security
- March for Science
- Metropolitan Education Commission/UA Forum
- Immigration Forum
- Monastery Needs
- Local First: Friday Night Live Jazz
- Events and Entertainment
I had this item in the Be Kind last week, but with the deadline for donations coming up quickly, I am going to repeat it again, because the cause is so important.
Lend a Hand Senior Assistance is the 13-neighborhood ‘yard sale’ that will be held on April 26th and 27th. It will be in the chapel at the Benedictine on both days from 7am until early afternoon. All of the proceeds will go to help keep seniors in their homes – aging in place. This event is in alignment with the work we are doing at the city with the PCOA Elder Alliance in making ours an ‘elder friendly’ city. There will be more on that subject in the coming weeks. If you have items you would like to donate to the LAH sale, please contact one of these folks:
- Wallace Kinkade - 3646 N. Prince Village Pl., 323-2142
- Glenn Perkins - 817 E. Glenn St., 505-8982
- Jane Hoffmann - 1545 E. Water, 323-9299
- Nancy Ruhl - 4309 N. Radin, 954-3560
Additionally, if your neighborhood would like to join these 13 others (all in midtown) in supporting this event, please contact Jane Hoffmann at the number shown above.
Nestled among several other galleries in our downtown Warehouse Arts District is the Raices Taller 222 art gallery. They are in the middle of a show that is aimed at showcasing art work that speaks to the things that unite us, and divide us. This ‘Common Ground’ exhibit will run until April 20th.
Following that will be their annual Mujeres, Mujeres, Mujeres (Women, Women, Women) exhibit. This will be art produced by women exclusively. The subject matter is varied. I am proud – in the truest sense of the word – to share that they are going to have my mom as one of their honored exhibitors. In addition, there will be art from local, national and international artists on display. The Mujeres show will run from April 27th through June 8th. The gallery is open on Friday’s and Saturday’s from 1pm until 5pm, and by appointment. Raices (Roots) is the only local Latino owned gallery in our arts district. They are located at 218 E. 6th. Check them out at www.raicestaller222.com, or call at 881.5335.
The final Be Kind this week is in recognition of our City Court Judge Michael Pollard. The Arizona Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers recently honored Mike with their Citizen of the Year award. It is for his work on behalf of our veterans and the veteran’s homeless court he founded. That court is now a model for other courts to follow nationwide. Most importantly, because of his work the court has transformed veterans’ lives in ways not otherwise possible. Congratulations, and thanks to Judge Pollard for his important contributions to our community. This award is certainly well deserved.
While the January 8th memorial is about to break ground downtown, other events commemorating the event continue to be offered. The UA Historical Society is teaming up with the January 8th Foundation in presenting an exhibit where those affected – all of us, if we feel – by the January 8th shooting can come and reflect. The art will touch on three distinct parts of remembering.
The entire exhibit is called “Stories of Resilience.” One perspective will look at how the community came together in response to the incident. If you were in Tucson at the time of the shooting, you will remember the many memorials that popped up around town. Most of us laid aside partisanship and embraced the unity we found in the aftermath of the incident.
Another part of the exhibit will be a collection of pieces by local artist Kim Nicolini. It will include art, storytelling and archived material showing individual ‘faces of resilience.’
There will also be a presentation called “Resilient Arizonans” which will look back into the history of the State at how people resolved to face challenges in their personal lives.
Check with the Arizona History Museum to learn when the exhibit will be open to the public. They are right now targeting sometime during the week of April 15th. The museum is located right off campus at 949 E. 2nd. Find them at www.arizonahistoricalsociety.org.
A couple of weeks ago, Tim Steller from the Star wrote a piece on our recycling problem. When he and I were talking about it, before his column came out, I told him my perspective is that simply the amount of waste we create is a large part of the problem we are dealing with. So is the contamination rate, but that is a different conversation than where I am headed here. For this item, it is less waste equals less need to recycle. Pretty simple, except that is not how we live our lives.
I am going through my mom’s house, sorting through memories and finding all sorts of things that only moms save. One item is a Life magazine from 1943. It cost a dime back then. The entire edition is a series of stories about the war. Aside from the history included, I am finding the advertisements eye opening. They speak to a time when we actually did conserve in every part of our daily lives. Oftentimes in ways, I have never really given a whole lot of thought to.
This ad is a primer to ‘ladies’ on how and why to save gas when they’re cooking meals. The opening sentence says “Funny thing! We women understand why sugar, coffee, gasoline and oil have to be rationed…but few of us dream that the Gas that cooks our breakfast bacon is also a vital war material!” It goes on to say, “it’s just as patriotic to use Gas wisely as it is to make the many other sacrifices that are needed for Victory!” They liked using exclamation points – but the message was to conserve.
Here is another one – bicycle rationing. I had no idea it was an issue. They (we) rationed bikes for only those people who had ‘duties’ that were ‘considered important.’ The rest of us were asked to buy War Bonds to support the effort. We could use them to buy our own bike after Victory!
This Campbell’s Soup ad speaks to the “Government wartime requirements” for nutrition. I know it is pitching Campbell’s, but the point is we were schooled to eat wisely – not much of the stuff I am likely to be seen munching on throughout the day. You too? This quote from the ad: women have found the stepped up nourishment and food value of these soups a bigger help than ever in their plans for wartime meals.” What we ate, and how it was prepared was factored into the wartime conservation effort.
In addition, this is a notice Life posted in the magazine letting readers know that the number of magazines they could print had been capped by the Government cut back on the use of magazine paper. They had to print fewer copies each week making it likely a shortage would appear with the ‘newsdealers,’ and the ‘great strain on transportation facilities’ meant fewer yet would end up at newsdealer stands.
Look at their last line for the suggested solution – “sharing them with others.”
My point in sharing these ads is to help drive home the idea that, when forced to, we really can conserve on the resources we use. If we as a community bought into that in a way that even approximated what our parents and grandparents (for us boomers) did during the war, the losses we’re seeing in our recycle program would not be in excess of $3.3M – as they currently are.
We will be having a discussion later this month on what measures we can take to help cut our losses. That will include rates, delivery schedules, commodities we can take in, and I will be proposing several other areas to consider. However, reducing waste is a part we can all play. Without a doubt, there are ways each of us can do some of that.
Oh, and the contamination rate we are finding in recycle bins is over 25%. That means over a quarter of what people think they are recycling ends up as waste anyway. Much of the contaminated material we find is simply laziness, or lack of caring. Things like dirty diapers, food containers with caked on leftovers, and pet waste are ending up at the recycle center. It is a factor in the financial losses we are absorbing.
We will have the broad discussion about how to address the financial issues going on with the program, but quantity and quality of the recycled material are areas in which we all can help become a part of the solution.
Back to the 1943 Life magazine; this is the front cover of the Life magazine I’m writing about. Your quiz – who is that lady shown on the cover? I will give you the answer at the end of this newsletter.
There is conservation, and then there is water to excess. The Pima County Regional Flood Control District is partnering with the City to present an open house in which flooding in and around the Alamo Wash will be discussed. More specifically though, some ideas about how to curtail the impacts of our monsoons in flood hazard areas along that wash.
The Alamo Wash extends generally from southeast – Irvington and Pantano – to northeast – Ft. Lowell and Swan.
The study being done by Flood Control looks at things like basins, culverts, bank protection, pedestrian bridges and several other solutions. Staff from all agencies involved will present the current status of the study, and look to you for further input.
The meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 17th from 5:30 until 7pm out at the Vail Middle School (5350 E. 16th.) There will be a short presentation at 5:45, but mostly it is about you looking over what is on the table, and providing comments.
I have been working a lot recently with the FCD, largely on midtown stormwater issues. This Alamo Wash study is a further example of how the regional agencies are working together to help mitigate the impacts we see during monsoon season. It would be great if you can carve out some time to take part. After all, it is your tax money they are spending.
When I was growing up in Michigan, we had lots of creeks and bogs that looked like this:
We would find all sorts of critters camped out among the cattails and reeds. My mom was somewhat less than thrilled with some of the treasures we carted home from our expeditions.
These photos are not from Michigan. They are from right here in Tucson, out at the Tucson Water Sweetwater wetlands. It is a series of basins set up to catch effluent and recharge it into the aquifer for later use. It is really quite an amazing operation; one that our Tucson Water staff should be thumping their chests about more loudly. When Melissa and I visited last week, we were both impressed and appreciative.
The purpose of our trip was not entirely to see the operation. Our friends at the Tucson Wildlife Center had asked me if I could initiate a conversation with their staff and ours about how controlled burns are conducted out at Sweetwater. The Wildlife Center folks were concerned with the impact the burns are having on the animals that use the wetlands as a habitat. City staff was totally on board with meeting.
Above, I mentioned cattails. For those who have not spent time around creeks, this is a cattail:
The green grassy part is what you see in the photos I took – with my flip phone – shown above. Just over a month ago, those green patches were burned down to nearly nothing. You can see their rapid growth rate. The things are prolific, and annually need to be cut back or they gum up our recharge operation. In addition, they are very attractive to mosquitos. Tucson Water uses a larvacide, but unless they actually get rid of the pest cattail growth, the insects become unmanageable. But remember, I mentioned that all sorts of critters hang out in the marshy area. That’s the rub the Wildlife Center people wanted to engage about.
Sometimes when meetings like this happen, the two sides cannot find any common ground. The need to burn trumps the concern for the wildlife – or vice versa. In this case, I give high marks to both the critter people, and to the water people. Everyone agreed on the importance of the other side’s issue. The result was coming away with a series of commitments that really boil down to the groups working together next time we do a burn in ways that will save the lives of animals, and will also let the recharge function operate as it should.
Some of what was agreed to include spreading the burn out over time so animals can find refuge in cool patches that have not been burned, carving out sections of each basin that will not be burned so animals can find refuge there, and trapping and relocating some of the animals before the burn takes place. The burn takes place early enough in the spring so that nesting has not started. That will also continue.
Tucson Fire also took part in the meeting. They are on board with the new protocols as well. In fact, extending the burn to more than one day will allow other crews or agencies to use the operation as a training exercise.
Here is a good shot of what that the Sweetwater burn looks like, and this is an aerial showing the magnitude of the operation.
You can see that doing the burn the way we do, the animals living in the basin being treated do not have any good options for escape.
I am grateful to all involved for coming together and finding a new way to do the work – a way that meets the needs and desires of everyone involved. I write often about our quality Tucson Water staff, our firefighters, and the Tucson Wildlife Center staff and volunteers. They all came to the meeting looking for solutions. I think we found some.
You will also find the Sweetwater wetlands on the Tucson Audubon Society website. They highlight it as one of the areas around Tucson that attracts birders from all over the world. This is a summary list of species that have been seen at Sweetwater:
Last week, TravelAwaits.com listed 10 cities nationwide where bird watching is top notch. If you go to the article, the first city listed is Tucson. Birding is a great economic driver for the City, and for the Region. We have both urban and rural areas to visit, all within a day’s drive. Check out the full article here: http://bit.ly/2Uc5aOp.
My mom used to go all over the region with the Audubon on birding trips. She also bird watched through the picture window at her house. One day a TPD officer pulled up and came to her door. It seems a neighbor across the street was concerned with what appeared to be a peeping Tom. It was mom watching birds in her yard by looking through her front window using her binoculars. Well, avoid that by checking out the Wetlands – or other sites in the region. The weather is perfect for it now.
You can learn hours and location for the Wetlands at this site: https://www.tucsonaz.gov/water/sweetwater-wetlands.
The work Tucson Water does at Sweetwater is all aimed at making sure we have a reliable water supply. I have written lots about our fight with 3M and other PFC manufacturers. That is moving forward in court. The attorney we have hired to represent us in the case was named one of the lead counsels, thereby representing the many other jurisdictions joined in the suit. We have a top of the line legal team representing our cause.
Meanwhile, the PFC issue continues to be a big deal across the nation. Last week Des Moines Water Works came out with plans to do more testing for the toxic chemicals. They have found groundwater contamination at the Iowa Air National Guard base in Des Moines to be nearly 200x the health advisory limit set by our rather lame EPA.
They have also found PFC’s in high amounts near the Air Guard base in Sioux City. The concern is that it could be reaching private drinking wells off the military base. So now, Iowa joins the dozens of other areas in the country who are ramping up testing for PFC contamination.
Here, Tucson Water staff is working with DM on assessing the extent of the contamination caused by the use of firefighting foam out on base. As I have shared in the past, we know Tucson Water wells just north of the DM runway have excessive levels of PFC’s. That data will be important as we move ahead in our litigation. It is slow – I shared the bureaucratic snail-paced report DM put together in last week’s newsletter. Nevertheless, our litigation will continue regardless of the feds’ pace, and I will continue sharing how this problem is endemic nationwide, and will keep you up to speed on the progress of our own legal claims against the product manufacturers.
What happens at Sweetwater is all about science. So is the on-going study of PFC’s and our water system, and so are plenty of other items I write about weekly in this newsletter. Coming this Saturday morning, I will be helping to kick off this year’s March for Science. It is Tucson’s annual statement of commitment; science must be a key component in how we craft public policy.
March for Science Southern Arizona is a non-profit group who simply advocates for the promotion of science and scientific research. The “Rally for Science 2019” will take place around the DeMeester Performance Center – the amphitheater – at Reid Park. It will run from 10am until 1pm.
In the past, we have seen over 4,000 participants at this exhibit. With that number, it is no surprise that a broad diversity of subjects are presented. The event is non-partisan and non-ideological. It is about science, and its intention is to encourage more young people to pursue STEM disciplines.
Being non-partisan does not mean there is no impact on public policy. I write about PFC’s, our Advanced Oxidation Plant, Sweetwater, recycling and plenty more – each of which has a science tie-in. Come on Saturday – bring your kids – it’s an important event sending a message that seems to be lacking in some of our public dialogue lately.
For more information on the rally, check out www.marchforsciencesaz.org.
The Rally for Science is coming on the heels of an extremely successful similar event held on the UA campus in February. It’s an example of partnerships focused on education making a difference in the lives of our young people.
The Metropolitan Education Commission/UA forum centered around the theme of artificial intelligence, and its impact on “the 4th Industrial Revolution.” This is also a guiding theme being promoted by President Robbins on the UA campus. The MEC forum included representatives from the UA, Pima College, the City, County, and JTED. Each spoke about future opportunities that will be available for young people if they begin preparing now. Here is the full line-up of participating organizations:
There were nearly 550 students, chaperones and educators at the event. The students represented seven public school districts, two private schools and a charter school. In addition, there were 85 exhibitors, representing 26 different academic programs, 44 businesses, 8 government agencies, and 7 military entities.
I share this here both to encourage your group to get involved next year – some people and agencies had to be turned away, so plan on registering early – and also as an added promotion for you to come at 10am this Saturday to help build on the success of the MEC forum. We talk a lot about the importance of education in our community. These are ways you can show your support with a pretty minimal investment.
A day does not go by when we do not hear the issue of immigration in the news. I often share what is happening with the migrant families at the monastery. We have taken positions at the M&C on a variety of immigration-related issues, and there are local forums on the topic from time to time. Such a forum is coming this Friday out at the Jewish Community Center on River Road.
Sponsored by the Jewish Federation, the event will be a panel discussion featuring people bringing a range of perspectives. They will have the Deputy Mexican Counsel, a former Southwest Key employee, an immigration attorney, and some students, each speaking to the issue of immigration from his or her own unique perspective.
The event is free, but so they can plan the catering piece, you must pre-register. All of the information you need to do that on this flyer.
The weather is heating up. Consequently, we are seeing a lot of dehydration among the Central American guests who are now arriving at the monastery. Some report having been penned in outdoor corrals in El Paso, then having been bussed here with no fluids being offered. Their condition validates those stories. If you are so inclined, we could use 6-packs of small bottles of Gatorade/Powerade, or powdered or liquid flavored Pedialyte. We now hear directly from Border Patrol that they will be dropping up to 300 guests in the next few days – bypassing ICE in the process. The problem is not decreasing in magnitude.
While the humanitarian needs continue along, we also know the monastery will be developed as soon as the rezoning process is finished. That is likely to begin near end of summer/early fall. I have begun looking for options to transition the migrant operation. If you are a part of a church or other group that has access to a building that may help in this effort, please get in touch and we can begin a dialogue about what is needed, and how your group may be able to get involved.
Come to the monastery development update public meeting that will be held on Wednesday, April 17th at 6pm – in the chapel. Based on a meeting I just left, it is clear that there are evidently still some who do not accept that this process has been extensive and that every angle to try to compel an acceptable development has been explored. Come and share your thoughts – and see this first public presentation of the design progress made by the development team, with input from a neighborhood design advisory committee.
I also found this related gem in the 1943 Life magazine. It is an ad for American Airlines, but the subject matter seems appropriate for what we see in the news, and at the monastery every day:
The small text in the ad says “As we use the indivisible air, effectively we shrink the space that separates us and erase the barriers of language, customs and understanding. Nothing is more symptomatic of our changing world than the closer union of these great nations. What is now a war-time necessity will grow and ripen to a rich hemispherical solidarity.”
That was written around 75 years ago. Based on what I see and hear, we have taken some steps backwards. The work we are doing at the Benedictine is Tucson’s forward step. It will have to move soon, but you can help with donations brought to the Ward 6 office while the operation is still right around the corner from us.
Geronimo Plaza is the historic open courtyard located on the south side of University Blvd., just east of Euclid. It is the interior space behind the Geronimo Hotel, and it is playing host to a series of free evening jazz concerts. The first one is coming this Friday, April 12th. It will start at 7:30pm and should last about 90 minutes.
This music series is sponsored in partnership between Main Gate Square, KXCI Community Radio, the Marshall Foundation, and Jonas Hunter Productions. There is a clear local Tucson angle to the series.
The Plaza is right on the streetcar line so you can plan your arrival that way. There are over 30 restaurants and other shops right in the area, so show up a little early and check out the variety. The shows will run on alternating Fridays between the 12th, and August 30th. And did I mention that they’re free. Definitely a musical series worth checking out, and in an area where you can support some of our local businesses.
Oh, and I did not forget about the picture quiz – the lady shown on the cover of the 1943 Life magazine up above is this one:
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth. She was Princess Elizabeth when the other photo was taken 76 years ago.
Council Member, Ward 6
THE GREEN NEW DEAL - WHAT IS IT? SUSTAINABLE TUCSON
Ward 6 Council Office, 3202 E 1st Street
You've been hearing a lot in the news about the Green New Deal. Politicians have been praising and criticizing it, pundits have been pontificating about it, and social media has been buzzing about it. But what is really in the Green New Deal? What does it promise and what isn't covered?
At this month's Sustainable Tucson meeting, with the help of the Sunrise Movement, we are going to dissect the Green New Deal to see exactly what it is all about. Please join us for this inspiring and informative discussion.
SPRING FLING WILL RETURN TO THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA MALL
Friday, April 12: 4 – 11 p.m.
Saturday, April 13: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sunday, April 14: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Started back in 1974, Spring Fling has become an iconic figure by providing carnival rides, games, food booths, and entertainment to both the University of Arizona and Tucson communities.
Spring Fling is one of the largest student-run carnival in the nation attractingover 25,000 guests. Spring Fling provides over 40 rides and games to attendees, along with over 20 different food booths with a wide variety ranging from corn dogs to crab puffs.
Spring Fling is planned and organized by nine student directors who work year round to make sure that this is a great event, and Countless volunteers work before and during the event to make sure that it runs smoothly for all of its guests!
ARIZONA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
April 10 - April 21
28th Arizona International Film Festival, the longest running film festival in Arizona,will run from April 10 to 21, 2019 at The Screening Room, and other exhibition venues throughout Tucson.
We are sharing independent cinema from around the World with Tucson and the Arizona communities
EASTER EVENT & EGG HUNT
April 14 @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Hippity, Hoppity, Easter is on its way, and we have all the fun activities and crafts to get you ready!
Don’t miss our amazing Easter event, jam-packed from 10 am – 2 pm. We’ll even have a visit from the Easter Bunny for some ad-ear-able photos! Come early for some fun springtime crafts, then join us at 11 am in our courtyard to hunt for eggs (2,000 of them, filled with super cool prizes!).
Here’s the schedule:
10:15: Decorate your own Easter Bunny or Egg paper glasses
11: Egg Hunt
11:30-1:30: Easter Bunny photos
11:30-12:30: Mini Easter Carnival Games including sack race, bean bag toss, bunny bowling, egg/spoon races
12:30-1:30: Easter shapes scratch art and Decorate your own Easter egg ornaments
1:30-2: Rollout Science with Easter Egg Rockets
3:00-3:30: Pipe Cleaner Bubble Wands
This is a regular admission day. All children must be accompanied by an adult, and all adults must be accompanied by children.
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
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
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 Tucson, 2130 North Alvernon Way | www.yumegardens.org