Steve K's Newsletter 06/24/19

Topics in this issue...

I am opening with a sad note. I have written about Carmen Amado Acevedo, Diana’s “Auntie Mela” for the past few years – each time in conjunction with her attendance at the TMC Centenarians luncheon. Those are the events where our 100-year-old plus residents are honored during an event hosted by TMC, and the Pima Council on Aging. It has been fun handing out Auntie Mela’s award during those events. Sadly, she passed away last week – at the age of 110 and a half. I know she was an inspiration to Diana and all of their family – and to me for keeping it lively and upbeat for all that time.

Be Kind

I spent a couple of days up in Phoenix over the weekend and before leaving committed to myself that I would find three Be Kind examples – even in Phoenix. Paraphrasing the Bible, “Can anything good come out of Phoenix?” Here goes…

A Glendale police officer was involved in investigating the burglary of a little kid’s bike. The little 9-year-old – Ricardo – and his family were deeply touched when upon reconnecting with the family about the incident the officer brought him a brand new bike to replace the stolen one. Lots of smiles, and some tears of joy.

As I was checking out of the hotel, one of the housekeeping staff told the desk clerk that a woman was out in the parking lot, and appeared to need some medical attention. She was on the ground and seemed in distress. The two interrupted what they were doing to both call 911, and to go attend to the person out on the hotel grounds. Phoenix Fire Department showed up and treated her.

And as I was running in the morning, a lady using a walker who was seated at a bus stop called out, “Stay with it!” and gave a thumbs up as I slogged by. Friendly people always make jogging in 90-degree heat a bit nicer.

So there are indeed some good folks up in Maricopa County!

I-11 By-Pass

I have had this item in the last two newsletters – the very important public comment period on the proposed I-11 freeway by-pass ADOT is considering. That comment period ends on July 8th, so you still have time to send in yours. Because M&C will not meet again until July 9th Paul Cunningham, Regina Romero, and I asked to have a formal Resolution in opposition placed on Tuesday’s agenda so the entire governing body could weigh in. It was – and we did, unanimously.

By way of reminder, here is the ADOT recommended alignment:

It runs along the west face of the Tucson Mountains, cutting through Tucson Mountain Park, Saguaro National Monument West, Ironwood Forest National Monument, Tucson Water conservation plants, multiple natural animal habitats, and generally would ruin significant miles of the Sonoran desert. It would also have severe negative impacts on Tucson Water conservation sites that we cannot replace or relocate. We have used well over a hundred million of your dollars getting them into place. Moreover, if they build the freeway out there, it would come with new housing and commercial development that would further degrade the area. The Resolution we adopted is very clear:

You can still offer your comments by emailing ADOT at I-11ADOTstudy@hdrinc.com. The level of destruction alone cannot be captured in the billions of dollars the project would cost.

Being pretty sure this “Recommended Option” is coming from somebody in Phoenix, I’ have hung this Fitz editorial comment in our front entryway to acknowledge the alleged wisdom of the proposal:

The three Be Kind examples from ‘up north’ do not come close to overshadowing the negatives posed by this recommendation from ADOT.

Displacement/Gentrification

Last week we had a very good opening conversation on the notion of displacement. The term is being used interchangeably with gentrification. The idea is that when areas develop, property values and rents also increase along with other costs in the area. People may therefore be ‘displaced’ from their homes as rents and other costs increase. The question is, ‘What can the City do to help keep people in their homes?’

The photos I have up above show the before/after for the area that is now the TCC. It is the Tucson ‘urban renewal’ legacy project that is still remembered to this day. The project is a vivid reminder that growth needs to be managed with sensitivity to the impacts on the lives of people, ‘in the path of progress.’

Investment into our community helps to drive our tax base. That tax base allows us to provide services to the broader community. In trying to touch the issue of gentrification, assuring we are not imposing roadblocks to appropriate development needs to be a part of the conversation. It will be an issue of balance. Here are a couple of examples:

 

Every property owner has the right to do upgrades and make a profit – it is how the market works. Yet there are strategies employed in other jurisdictions that help people stay in place when they see cost increases happening around them.

In the material we had to review ahead of our meeting were some examples. A few that I asked to be included in the larger discussion have to do with aging-in-place policies. How do we address the desire of the elderly to stay in their homes and avoid institutionalization? That is one demographic, and there are plenty of others we need to keep in mind as this conversation evolves.

A part of the approach needs to be us doing a better job of educating people as to some of the tools they have available right now. Austin, Texas has what is called a Homestead Preservation Center. It is a department where the City supports education about things like homestead exemptions and other property rights and responsibilities that come with home ownership. I can see it serving in multiple roles, but one would be alerting the elderly about property tax exemptions for which they qualify.

Also coming from the Austin plan is the recommendation of partnering with the County assessor in the education process. I know that my mom paid property taxes for a few years when she would otherwise have qualified for reductions, if not exemptions. Hosting that go-to center is all about educating the public.

Other ideas I shared for possible study are things such as introducing ‘density bonuses’ to allow developers some financial incentive to include a portion of affordable housing within the footprint of a new market rate construction. In addition, we should look into HUD allocations for ‘stabilization vouchers,’ which are awarded to long-time residents of areas being hit by gentrification. Other ideas include flexible development standards (parking, setbacks, etc.) to encourage the development of affordable housing, code changes that allow for internal and external accessory dwelling units, site specific tax rebates for building affordable housing, and building on the increase to our emergency home repair funding we have just adopted. As well, we should also continue looking at ways to expand our Frequent Transit Network to reduce transportation costs for those using transit.

We voted to have the City Manager convene a working group to look into the issue of displacement. We will hear back from him in August on how the formation of that group is going, hoping to get some concrete recommendations early next year.

We will not solve all of the impacts of market-driven cost increases. Moreover, we are not going to, as one mayoral candidate suggested during a recent candidate forum, ‘require some affordable housing with every residential rezoning.’ That would be impossible to implement. Yet, every City in the world is dealing with similar challenges. We can learn from what is working in other cities and adopt some changes here to help to mitigate those impacts. That is what I hope to see from the CM’s working group.

Recycling Plastics

We are closing in on a staff update on our recycling program. As you will recall, we are losing several million dollars per year on recycling due to a variety of causes. Some of that includes market conditions – more on that below. In addition though, we continue to see a contamination rate in our local service that is bumping 30%. Forget the new 0.5% contamination limit China imposed. We as a community should be doing significantly better than filling our recycle bins one-third full with products that do not belong. Some of that is education – we can, and the City will, do a better job of that. But some of it (dead dogs / soiled diapers / pet waste – really?) is just laziness on the part of customers. We can all up our game on the contamination piece.

What about the market? Thanks to friend Jan for passing along a very enlighetning article from last weeks Guardian. I am going to pull some from that to reiterate my belief that we are simply creating too much waste. China not withstanding, the world is awash in our trash, and it is disproportionately impacting poor nations.

This is the cover page from the Guardian report. It is a picture of bales of plastics bundled together getting ready to be shipped overseas. We were told that there is no market for our recyclables since China shut down. In fact, other markets have opened up to many of the commodities China is no longer taking. They are largely Asian countries, poor, and also countries that are already having trouble properly disposing of their own waste.

While travelling through Africa I became accustomed to seeing residents buring trash on the roadside. The smoke of buring trash filled the villages. The toxins contained in the smoke is a byproduct of the unhealthy method of getting rid of the trash. Ours is now being added to very similar processes throughout Asia.

These are workers in a recycling ‘factory’ in Bangkok, Thailand. When I was there I was taken by the industrial pollution, but did not see any of this. The workers are paid slave wages, and the conditions are clearly lacking any hygiene standards. We as a nation generate 34.5 million tons of plastic waste annually. That is enough to fill the TCC well over 1,000 times. You see some of our plastic trash in the Bangkok facility.

This is Viet Nam. Same story. Our plastic waste is showing up there in amounts far exceeding their capacity to absorb it. We create too much waste.

What happened when China shut the door on taking our plastic waste? These graphs show where it’s ending up:

Malaysia, Thailand, Viet Nam, Indonesia, Turkey, Senegal…poor nations ill-equipped to handle our overflow. When I was in Sri Lanka I saw them having issues taking care of their own waste products. They do not have the capacity to handle ours, as well.

In 2015, China and Hong Kong took about half of our plastic waste – about 1.6 million tons each year. So much of what we sent them was contaminated, they shut the doors, showing a legitimate concern for the health of their own people. I ran on the streets of Beijing back before they started the cleanup. People wore masks just to walk around. The black soot came out when I blew my nose after running. China did the right thing in telling us they would no longer be our dumping ground. The developing countries that are now taking it cannot afford – from a health standpoint – to become the waste respository.

Burning our plastics will cause respiratory illness. Regular exposure will subject their workers and residents to toxic substances including hydrochloric acid, sufler dioxide and other dioxins that will affect development and cause cancer.

 

Another example? This is Cambodia. How do I know much of it is ours? Because the Guardian reports being able to read labels and seeing American products.

 

Ok, so what is the point? Bob Wenzlau is considered to be one of the founders of the whole curbside recycling system in the U.S. He helped to get it started in Palo Alto, California back in 1976. The Guardian interviewed him and asked his reaction to seeing what is going on overseas with our waste. Here is what he said:

 

Curbside recycling “was started with a really good intention; I used to feel so proud.” Now “my heart aches because the system is doing harm.”

Our plastics are contaminating water supplies, decreasing air quality, and causing crop death in poor countries overseas. In the first ten months of 2018, the U.S. exported 192,000 metric tons of plastic waste to Malaysia alone. It is such an overwhelming amount that a black market has sprouted up all over their country where they illegally burn the stuff. It will have generational impacts.

We create too much waste. I create too much waste. We will review our recycle program later this summer, but ahead of that, we can all do our part to be better consumers and be a part of not only a local solution, but a global one.

Please be aware of the contaminated products you place in the blue bin. And be aware of the impacts we are having on the developing world due to the sheer amount of waste we produce in our lives.

Horse Racing

I lost a 6-1 vote last week on awarding an Off Track Betting license to a local bar. No sour grapes here, but I am going to put a few things on this record for later reference. First and most importantly, when one of my colleagues said, “we are not even voting on horse racing, all we are voting on is a license,” the obvious response is that we were approving a license to do something. The content of that ‘something’ was the core of what I was trying to get people to understand.

I brought some data to the conversation. Horse fatalities and injuries are the ugly, and largely hidden underbelly of the sport. From a 2008 Associated Press report, I read into the record this statement: “Thoroughbred racetracks in the U.S. reported more than three horse deaths a day last year and 5,000 since 2003, and the vast majority were put down after suffering devastating injuries on the track. Countless other deaths went unreportred because of lax record keeping. For every 1,000 Thoroughbreds who die on the racetrack, approximately 10,000 are sent to slaughter for human consumption overseas.” Supporting that industry is what we voted on to award a license.

In this newsletter I have reported on the over two dozen fatalities that Santa Anita racetrack has seen since Christmas of last year. When the track owner said they would stop allowing drugs on race day, it was the trainers who complained saying they did not know how to train their animals without administering drugs to mask injuries, or to hide fatigue on race day. It had nothing to do with the inability to drug test, as one of my colleagues stated. Facts matter. And when I asked the GM of Rillito if he would implement a race-day drug ban, he of course said they would not do that.

Santa Anita ended its racing season over the weekend. They had four more deaths to bring their total to 30 fatalities since Christmas. They, along with Rillito continue to support administering drugs on race day to their animals.

In support of the license – which will benefit Rillito – it was argued that Rillito has signed on with the UA Veterinary School and will be using their students to ensure the horses at the track are treated well. The fact is that the UA school is not yet accredited. We should not base our support of the industry on a program that does not yet exist. And when another of my colleagues asked the GM of Rillito if they were planning on using some of their new-found money to help fund the UA program, the answer was that they had not discussed that quite yet. The reason is that they have no intention of funding that program, if it ever does get accredited.

Any new money the Rillito track gets will go to trying to leverage the County to turn the place into a bar/restaurant where people can go to engage in sports gambling. That will likely generate another round of lobbying some of us to support that as a way of generating tax money into the City. Same argument my colleagues fell for on the OTB license. The County facility is now a virtually shared-use property / horse racing about a dozen days per year, plus youth soccer and the farmers market. Adding a bar and sports gambling to the mix is where this is headed – and that will be the extended conversation about the license M&C just awarded.

The ‘license’ does not exist in a vacuum. We missed the larger issues that were behind this OTB scheme negotiated behind closed doors with the Phoenix racetrack and the State Legislature. There is a ton of money in it for the operators. It is not about our small local bar and the UA equine program. The industry has a false image of squeaky clean and humane. Mint julips and stylish ladies hats on raceday. But the data do not support that image. These images are the real ones:

 

Emotional Support Animals

On the heels of those rather heavy items, I thought I would share some animal-related theraputic options you might want to consider, or not.

The NY Times had a piece last week on how people are straying from their dogs as therapy pets and are inviting some other, less ‘traditional’ critters into their lives to become parts of their support teams. According to the article, there are over 200,000 registered support pets in the U.S. For example, this duck’s owner suffered abuse as a child. He bought Primadonna when she was a little duckling. Well…nature happens. Now she is registered – and wears diapers when following her owner around the house.

This guy’s owner was suffering depression. Wally the alligator was approved by the man’s physician as an alternative to taking depression medication. Under the umbrella of things that could depress you, I can think of some outcomes that are pretty depressing.

And this is Daisy – the owner’s emotional support squirrel.

She was the alternative therapy option for the lady who could not use a puppy because the trauma she is recovering from is witnessing a dog mauling somebody.

While these are, well, odd therapy options, there are some real legal issues they have opened up. The owner of Primadonna had to fight his landlord over Fair Housing Law. Daisy’s owner was initially denied access to an airline. Businesses and housing must afford reasonable accomodations for therapy needs. Owners of Registered therapy dogs are concerned this expansion of the original concept might hurt their own ability to own and travel with their partners.

No judgement here – just sharing what I found to be an interesting story about the world we live in. I will confess though that I hope Wally’s owner is never seated next to me on a plane.

Bike Boulevard Open Houses

The City has some preliminary plans for both traffic calming and safety upgrades related to a couple of Bike Boulevards that intersect Ward 6. As you may recall, I called for a reduction in speed limits on our Bike Boulevards to 20mph. That is in place. There are added safety elements included in these new plans that build on the speed limit.

Coming this week, you will have the opportunity to attend open houses for both the Arcadia BB, and the Timrod BB. Arcadia runs from Grant to Eastland, connecting five schools and three parks along its 2.8 mile route. And Timrod goes from Alvernon to Craycroft, about 2.4 miles. It touches three schools and seven parks. This map shows both routes:

There will be a total of two open houses in which our lead on the projects, Krista Hansen and her group will be presenting the plans. In addition there will be two more Ice Cream Socials with associated bike-in movies and some free bike repairs. You will get the same information at each. All are drop-in events, so make the timing easy on yourself. This graphic shows locations, dates and times for each.

This is the kind of stuff that enhances the Prop 407 Parks/Connectivity Bond program. We at Ward 6 are grateful to Krista and the Living Streets Alliance folks who team together to present these events. If you cannot make any of those, you can get the information on-line at bit.ly/bikeboulevards – or email Krista at krista.hansen@tucsonaz.gov.

Water Security – Senate Bill 638

Through some exchanges with our D.C. team last week, I learned that all of the national attention being given to the PFC water contamination issue has led to some motion in Congress. It is motion – not a solution.

Senator Tom Carper is a Delaware Democrat. Deleware has its own issues with PFC grounwater contamination. Carper is set to introduce SB638 as an amendment to the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. It will be debated, likely starting next week.

The Bill would take the EPA’s current ‘health advisory’ status for PFC contaminants and change that designation for all PFC’s to ‘hazardous substances’ under the 1980 Superfund Act. That is important because under that Act the EPA determines a responsible party and can ultimately order that party to clean up and remediate contaminated sites. There are hundreds of PFAS contaminated sites scattered around the country. There is a Superfund trust fund that can also be tapped to pay for the clean up if the responsible party refuses. That fund is made up of taxes paid by chemical and petroleum manufacturers.

So far, there is opposition from airports. I suspect that is because they want the liberty to continue using the foam that has caused the pollution – or that they simply want to dodge being named responsible parties and be made to help in paying to clean up messes they created. I would not be surprised to see some significant lobbying by the product manufacturer’s as well.

The Bill is short and to the point. Expect it to be pulled apart as debate on the Defense Bill moves along. At least this shows the issue is finally receiving some attention at the Federal level though. Here is the text of the Bill.

I would have much preferred to see the designation come immediately upon passage and not give the EPA a year to make the change. I am guessing even this delayed approach will get some real push-back from some well-financed responsible parties.

Local First

Many of you know Ernesto Portillo’s (Neto) work in the Arizona Daily Star. He writes on cultural issues, largely representing our Latino community. He has been with the Star for decades. June 28th will be his last day serving Tucson in that capacity. His work deserves this week’s Local Tucson mention.

A few weeks ago, Joe Ferguson (also from the Star) wrote a piece on the monastery. It was a report on the press conference we held, in which we reached out to the community seeking alternatives for when we have to vacate the Benedictine. Last week, Neto passed along these translations that have now appeared in the Star’s La Estrella de Tucson. It is great to see the message of the monastery shared with our monolingual community.

Neto’s work at theStar will be missed. Yet, I am sure you will see his ‘by-line’ pop up in some other publication soon.

Monastery Updates

With that as a lead-in, I will share another update on upcoming monastery events. First, we have worked with over 10,000 Central American guests at the Benedictine since January. Volunteers are doing the cooking and laundry, providing transportation, contacting next-of-kin, and a whole lot more. Some of that ‘more’ is hearing the stories the families bring. Last week I received an email from one of the volunteers. It shares some of the vivid and troubling accounts this person has heard from refugee guests since he began working with them at the monastery. Many of us have heard similar stories. I will omit names, but will share here with you the text of that email.

Dear Friends,

The migrant crisis of those fleeing their torn Central American homeland presents continual periods of new challenges with little periods of time to shift into idle to reflect on and write about what is happening for what I along with other volunteers have committed to in my home city of Tucson. Many coming from states as far away as Massachusetts, Florida and Wisconsin to join in a massively courageous undertaking to care for those who are desperately grateful. All being officially transported by law enforcement to a large Monastery in Tucson whose physical structure overflows with compassion for the time it is allowed to be used.

There are periods when things feel well managed in a very well organized effort of care and control but there are those unforeseen times when trauma takes the upper-hand. During my shift today, stories were emotionally relayed by a fellow volunteer with tears in her eyes working the medical end. One young female migrant seven months along in her pregnancy had been raped while in her journey northward. She had been shackled by border patrol while handed over to hospital staff at a local hospital this past week for her delivery but apparently still in trauma. She was released back to the care of the Monastery volunteers after having given birth to the baby but exhibiting emotional detachment of the baby. The biological father and husband was accepting of the circumstances and now waiting to receive his wife and their newborn in another state with hope that the mother will continue to adjust and heal from this nightmare. Due to the high risk of rape along their journey to this country, all young girls from age 12 on have been given birth-control because they are at such high risk for assault.

Another moving story conveyed today was that of a young Guatemalan woman at the monastery having experienced a psychotic break this past week. The bus she was riding on with many other mostly women and children had been pulled over by a drug cartel in Mexico during their attempt to reach the US border. The driver of the bus was fatally shot by the cartel and the female passengers raped. The volunteer in her professional duties trying to remain strong while wiping more tears from her face and in a broken voice telling us yet another story of heartache against a back drop of so much incomprehensible evil.

The bright spot for me today was when three of the migrant children came to me and another volunteer in the room we were assigned with no ability to communicate in language what they felt in their hearts. However, the message was still understood in what they presented to us in little hand made thank you cards equipped with personally drawn smiley faces in the middle as they were able to render their own smiles in walking away. I got the message.

Still much work to be done and thankful for those of you who care to hear in hoping we can all plant seeds of hope for these most needy of souls in being able not just to step up but to pass the information on in trusting you can share in their journey.

When you read in the paper that migrants are being interdicted in Mexico and so the numbers we are seeing are down, keep in mind ‘sending them home’ is sending them back to the conditions reflected in that email. We will continue the work at the monastery, and while it may feel natural to be pleased with a decrease in the number of migrants we are seeing, understand that that does not imply the conditions in Central America are improved and they have decided to stay ‘home.’ Understand that is in many cases a death sentence.

First, this reminder about the fundraiser I am involved with along with Caroline Ragano.

Caroline and I will bring some music as a way of inviting you to come and donate to the work being done at the monastery. I will play starting at 6pm on the 28th. Caroline will follow with some chant songs, and we will end when some of the migrant guests take the guitar and share their own songs. Donations most in need right now are children’s clothes, and the fluids, sunscreen, etc. for the travel bags we pack for each family before they get on the bus to continue their journey. It would be great to see the chapel full of donors this Friday evening. Plan to enter through the front doors, right off from Country Club, and if you cannot make the event, bring donations to the Ward 6 office.

4TH OF JULY EVENT

And this reminder to set aside the 4th of July, from 5:00 pm until about 6:30 pm to come to the Benedictine and share a multi-faith perspective on what our nation’s values are, and how that is being reflected in the work people like you are doing at the monastery. We will hear from a variety of faith, and secular positions – each sharing a perspective on how the work being done at the Benedictine fits within the spirit of Lady Liberty and our nation’s values.

Come and join in some songs, and in making a statement that taking care of the refugees among us is indeed an American value we should celebrate on Independence Day.

 

Refugee Art

Finally, come on July 12th to the Ward 6 office and listen to Val James share her experiences from running the art room at the monastery. Her presentation will be a gallery appreciation talk – and it will include showing the art that has been created by the kids,

 

and by some of the adult guests. The art tells their stories. Val will be passing those along on the 12th

The art will be up in the Ward 6 community room throughout the summer, but July 12th is the chance for you to come and be a part of the ‘opening’ of the exhibit. I will begin promoting it more broadly in the coming week – you will see some emails inviting you to come and hear about the Art of Asylum. It will be a powerful statement.

Gem and Mineral Show(s) Update

Our partners at Visit Tucson issued their post-Gem Show report last week. The report was put together by FMR Associates in Tucson. They did similar studies on shows from 2000, 2007 and 2014, so there is a good baseline to which to compare today’s data. The short message is very positive. Not only is the Gem Show expanding, many of the vendors are repeats from multiple years. Given our retention rates, we are clearly doing some things right. This graph shows that retention pretty clearly:

FMR had access to both vendors and to customers throughout the show. We had 48 different shows, and 46 of them are reflected in the data. Bottom line – the direct spending in the community for the 2019 show was in excess of $131M. That’s nearly a 10% increase over what they measured in 2014. In addition, we had more than 50,000 more visitors this year than we had five years ago.

The 48 shows are not exclusively “Gem” shows. That is why we call this the Gem and Mineral Show. Here is how that breaks down:

In comparing the 2019 and 2014 financials, the main reason we saw the increase in spending is that we are attracting more buyers from outside of Arizona. Out-of-town buyers came to Tucson from 42 States and from 17 different countries. That means lots of local spending on things like hotels, car rentals and restaurants.

We can do better. One data point coming from the report is that show owners are now bringing much of their own staging and equipment. Investing in some of that will likely help us continue to grow the economic benefits from the show. Sometimes you have got to spend money in order to earn money. This may be one example.

We are grateful to the Visit Tucson folks for their hard work on helping to manage the Gem and Mineral Show, and to the staff from our City Manager’s Office who jumps in each year and guides things along.

Film Industry Loss

This is a reminder that when we get to elections up in Phoenix again next year, do not lose sight of the fact that we have no effective film incentive on the books. We used to, but the legislature and governor have allowed it to lapse. So what? This headline from “Deadline” – a Hollywood news outlet gives the answer:

New Mexico has a film incentive. It has resulted in long-term investments in the film industry in that State. NBCUniversal expects to hire 330 full-time crewmembers to do year-round production work in and around Albuquerque. Over the next ten years, they expect the film work that will result to yield over $500M into their economy. Kind of makes the OTB license M&C just approved for a little local bar pretty puny looking.

The New Mexico incentive offers a partnership arrangement for studios and producers like NBCUniversal. The partnership commits them to do business in the State for the next ten years. The new production facility being built will be used for USA Network, Universal Content Productions, television and film.

Kudos to Shelli Hall, and the Visit Tucson Film Office for generating several millions of dollars annually into our local economy. With a supportive State legislature, we could do a whole lot better.

Sincerely,

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

Events & Entertainment

El Dia de San Juan Fiesta

Mercado San Agustín

June 24, 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM, TONIGHT!

Celebrate the return of the monsoon rainy season at El Dia De San Juan Fiesta! This festival has been held for many years on June 24 - the feast day of St. John the Baptist - and, according to tradition, marks the start of Tucson's annual monsoon rainy season. During the celebration, people gather west of the Santa Cruz Riverbed, south of West Congress Street at the Mercado San Agustín Annex, for a procession and an appeal for summer monsoon rains, a blessing, and a festival featuring live music, dancing, games, food, and refreshments. 

Ha:san Bak Saguaro Festival

Colossal Cave Mountain Park

June 29 10:00 AM to 02:00 PM (open to the public; 5:00 AM (for workshop reservation)

Admission:$65/person or $100 for two people

Tucson's annual Ha:san Bak Saguaro Festival starts at sunrise (~5:30am) on June 29, 2019. Expect to enjoy hands-on harvesting with Tohono O’odam tribal members and learn about Native American technologies and activites. More exciting activities to come ...

Ongoing…

Main Gate Square,
Friday Night Live Summer Jazz Concert Series, Geronimo Plaza – 814 E University Blvd FREE ADMISSION, Fridays at 7:30pm, Validated parking in Tyndall Garage after 5pm | https://www.maingatesquare.com/2019-friday-night-live-jazz-concert-series/

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

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