Steve K's Newsletter 09/23/19

Topics in This Issue...

 

A little guy named Finn, who lives in West Hartford, Connecticut has autism and Down Syndrome. His parents saw that he fixated on waving flags, especially an American flag hanging from a tree at a neighbor’s house. Each day on their walk, little Finn would stop and stare at the flag, gaining an obvious amount of enjoyment from it. The neighbor noticed the family pattern of stopping in front of his house doing that routine. One day, they arrived and found a hand-made wooden stool the neighbor had made. On it, he had etched “Finn’s bench”. Now when they stop, the bench is there waiting for Finn to sit, relax, and watch the flag. I think that’s really cool.

Tied to that story, I want to invite you to come and take part in this year’s Buddy Walk. It is sponsored by the Southern Arizona Network for Down Syndrome. It will be held from noon until 4pm, starting at the Reid Park bandshell. Join my bride and me on the walk around Reid Park, all in support of work related to Down Syndrome in our community.

Speaking of walks in support of those who deserve our backing, last Friday I was proud to join the nurses who serve this community during their 24-hour walk-out from two local hospitals. My sense from having grown up watching first-hand how hard nurses work (mom was an RN), is that what the folks I joined on the picket line are going through at their hospitals is probably par for the course around not only the City, but the country. 


Hug a nurse – it’ll be your opportunity to Be Kind to those who are showing their own level of Kindness in taking on such important work.

Last Thursday evening, Ann and I enjoyed the Kindness evident all over the room at the Islamic Center. It was their Salam Tucson event – reaching out into the community, inviting people to come and be a part of an evening that included conversations about inclusiveness, diversity, and how we claim that ground amid so much of the negativity we see in the news. I had invited members from the adjacent student housing towers to come and take part. It was great to see some of the Sol y Luna management, along with some of the students there participating. As I said during my remarks, the actions of the people who threw bottles and cans off the balconies do not define the UA student population. Isn’t it always amazing to see how simply getting to know someone who comes from a very different background can open your mind and change your perspectives.

Defining ‘Church’

The Salam Tucson event was timely, not only due to the recent bottle throwing incidents, but also because last Tuesday the Mayor & Council had been asked to consider a liquor license application for a proposed bar. That’s not unique. What was unique about this one is that they wanted to open up immediately across the street from the Islamic Center (ICT).

The location of places that sell alcohol is governed by State law. Each time someone applies for a liquor license, the type of business is defined (bar vs restaurant vs special event) and staff applies the statutes to see if there are any red flags. One of the rules relates to how close to a church the place can be. So, what’s a ‘church’? Here’s how it’s defined in State statute:

“A building that is erected or converted for use as a church, where services are regularly convened, that is used primarily for religious worship and schooling and that a reasonable person would conclude is a church by reason of design, signs or architectural or other features.” 

Well, a ‘reasonable person’ should conclude that from an architectural standpoint, this might have been built for some religious purpose. 

On the forms the City fills out to determine qualifications for a liquor license, there’s a line that simply asks whether there’s a church within 300’. That is the statutory limit. For the bar in this case, the answer was ‘no’. We were to evaluate the application with the understanding that no ‘church’ exists within 300’ of the bar. 

In fact, the ICT is 77’ from the front door of where Beer Nerds was being planned.

The night of the vote, I took exception to the notion that the ICT did not qualify as a ‘church’. After some rather heated back and forth, I recommended denial of the application based on proximity to a ‘church’ as well as saturation of bars in the area. Given the incidents we’ve had at the student housing towers, adding one more bar in the area isn’t what we need to be doing.

The next morning I penned this note to the City Attorney and City Manager:

Last night we sent a recommendation for denial to the State liquor board for Beer Nerds. I believe staff simply made a mistake in determining the primary use of the Islamic Center of Tucson and that the application should never have gotten to us for a vote.

The ICT is primarily used as a place of worship by Muslims. I’ve been inside numerous times and have observed their prayer time. There are literally hundreds of practicing Muslims who attend their prayer services every day. There was mention of it being a “community center.” Yes, they host activities of a more general nature - as does every Christian church in the City. That should not define the purpose and functioning of the space.

In addition to the prayer times, I’ve been at the ICT when visiting Imam’s have given what would be the Christian analog of a ‘sermon.’ There is an established sanctuary, and the rites practiced inside the building follow Islamic customs. If compared to Churches and Synagogues throughout Tucson, the ICT is used as a place of worship much more frequently, and by people who come from all over Tucson.

If the building had been say a Baptist or Catholic Church, we would have advised the applicant that due to proximity of a ‘church’ the liquor license would not be considered by M&C. I don’t believe it’s cultural bias in this case, but our failure to identify the primary use of the ICT is certainly a lack of understanding of how it functions on a daily basis.

I’m requesting staff reconsider the application and advise the applicant that we are not sending the liquor license application to the State because it violates State law on its face - proximity to a place of worship.

After review, staff now agrees that we checked the wrong box when answering whether or not there was a ‘church’ within 300’ of the proposed bar. We have advised the applicant that our recommendation of denial to the State liquor board will include the statement that the application violates State law based on that standard. I am told the applicant is likely going to simply withdraw the application.

If a restaurant were to move into the same location as Beer Nerds was trying to, the Mayor & Council would have the discretion to waive the 300’, or not. We will see what comes at us in the future, but count this as a win for the City of Tucson being a welcoming place for all faith traditions. A church is a synagogue is a mosque is a kingdom hall – is a place of worship.

Monastery

While it was functioning as a religious institution, the Benedictine would also qualify as a place of worship. Last week we approved the rezoning of the site, and it is now unlikely the ‘public use’ will fit the definition. The public use is yet to be determined, though.

That was the rendering shown back when this whole rezoning began. You won’t see it in the newsletter again. Last week we approved the Planned Area Development (PAD) plan for the site. The heights and massing are much different than what was initially proposed.

During the public hearing we held last week, I stated that the vast majority of the people involved in this would prefer the site to remain as it is. And yet, the reality is, the property was sold, and along with that sale comes the legal entitlement to build residential, group dwellings (student housing) at up to 44’ in height – across the entire property, to the point parking is accommodated. There were still some people who spoke at the public hearing who simply don’t grasp that the Mayor & Council do not have the legal authority to ‘stop the project’. What we did though was approve a project that is far superior to where this began. That is to the credit of the new owners, their design team and the many people who have offered input as to preferred design and massing.

The project began about a year and half ago. Time flies…At that time, several things were true of the project: there was no historic preservation on the monastery, you see in the graphic the scale of project that was initially proposed; there had been no commitment to exclude student housing; no commitment to public uses of the monastery; no commitment to public involvement in reviewing the design; and no commitments to exclude ingress/egress to the east, out into the neighborhood. 

What we approved includes the Historic Landmark zoning overlay on the building, which preserves the exterior from demolition or de-listing modifications; heights are now down to a maximum of 55’, stepping down to 33’ on the Country Club side; and public uses of the monastery. They included the public in design discussions throughout the PAD process; a commitment to building new residential units at the same number as is allowed with the already existing zoning; eliminating student housing as an option; committing to no ingress/egress to the east; building access to the south onto the 3rd Street bike boulevard; and they’ve been working with Mission Gardens to transplant/graft as much of the landscaping as they can, to preserve the fruit trees the nuns have been nurturing. The project will meet all of our sign codes, will be built in accord with our dark skies limitations, and all the parking will take place on-site. This is the most recent rendering I have seen of the heights and layout of the site – it is evolving. Some components may move around on the site, but the heights are not going to exceed what is now in the PAD.

I apologize to my colleagues for having the ‘curse of King Tut’ reigned down on us for having approved this – as one speaker uttered. I suppose that’s just something we’ll each have to deal with in our own individual ways. Regardless of that, the project is moving forward, and I expect permits to be pulled and dirt to start moving before the end of the calendar year.

This has been a rather long and sometimes contentious process. I understand the emotions. The site is matched by probably only the San Xavier Mission in terms of architectural and spiritual sensitivity. Through a lot of collaboration, we are at what I believe is a good result. 

Early in the process, there was a significant lack of trust on both sides – developer and neighbors. Because of that, in order to address the mutual concerns, I agreed to front-load some very tight restrictions into the Miramonte neighborhood plan. That was a necessary, unique step, which was a function of the equally unique nature of this project. I am committed now to beginning the process of undoing some of the language we inserted into that neighborhood plan that was specific to the Benedictine site. It achieved its purpose in terms of getting people to agree to move the project forward with what those involved felt were adequate protections. I’ll be asking staff to begin the ‘re-amendment’ of that neighborhood plan soon.

Bounty from the Benedictine

To celebrate our progress, Ann and Diana met with our partners from Iskashitta and gleaned a bunch of the avocados from the 100 year old tree that’s in the Benedictine courtyard. Yes, the tree will be preserved, but now we have what was harvested here at the Ward 6 office. 

In addition, we have some Benedictine pomegranates and other fruit from the property. Iskashitta has brought over a bunch of other fruit they’ve gleaned from around Ward 6. On Wednesday evening, come on by and take some home – it will all be free. It is our way of cutting the ribbon on the start of the project, and also introducing you to the wonderful work Iskashitta does with our refugee community. In that process, they divert hundreds of pounds of what would otherwise end up in the landfill, and put it to productive use. 

The Wednesday event starts at 5pm. It ends when we run out of goodies.

Genna

On Friday, we hosted the United States of Ammunition art exhibit opening. That picture is one of our very own Caroline’s nearly famous cupcakes. And this is Maureen and her daughter Erin – the ladies who are responsible for the art you can now find up on display in the Ward 6 community room.

You see some of the exhibit up behind them in the background. Stop by and read/view the story of gun violence in the U.S. Is this sort of thing necessary? Consider that in the 3 weeks post El Paso and Dayton shootings, the NRA tripled their spending for Facebook ads, reaching at one point nearly $29,000 per day on pro-gun advertising. Yes, it is necessary.

Genna Ayup was shot and killed by her live-in partner going on 7 years ago. I have shared updates on the upcoming trial in the past few newsletters. Despite the time that has passed, this clipping is still very true:

The current charge in that case is manslaughter. If sentenced to prison, these are the options that the judge would be considering:

If the shooter is sentenced to prison, he must serve approximately 85% of the time assigned before he’s eligible for release on any terms. The problem many of us have with what’s being proposed is that the County Attorney’s office is now considering probation as an option for Genna’s killing. Here’s that part of what may be a plea agreement coming next month. 

In the past few weeks I’ve also shared bits of letters that have been sent to Judge Butler. He’s the local judge who’ll be listening to the plea hearing next month. Another example comes from a letter that was written to the judge by a friend of Genna’s:

“it breaks my heart writing this because we all loved Genna and she was an amazing person, friend, mother and daughter. Please do not sign off on probation and let the evidence be heard.”

And this from the letter written by her parents:

“I have cried and prayed every day for the last 7 years and finally had such high hope when the trial was scheduled that she would finally get her day in court. We were counting the days and then it was like the hardest punch in the gut I wanted to vomit my guts out. Barbara LaWall has decided to accept a plea. I guess it’s like television; “Let’s Make a Deal”. I am told he will plead guilty to what he has been charged with. Oh wait, not exactly, he will plead guilty to a second degree felony manslaughter with her reckless death but oh no, we can’t mention the gun because that means prison. Well that’s because he deserves prison. Or is it okay to come home from a bar, hit your girlfriend, pick up a gun and shoot her in the head with no consequences? Is that what I am hearing? No, it is not okay. What I am hearing is he will admit to killing her, but nobody cares how it happened. Are people to think he tripped her and she fell down the stairs? No, let the entire story be told. I am begging you to make this case go forward to trial as scheduled. It is the only right thing to do. Please do the right thing.”

If you believe probation should not be a consideration, let Judge Butler know. He will need to hear from you before October 2nd. Send your letter to The Honorable Michael Butler, Pima County Superior Court, 110 W. Congress, 85710.  Send them directly to him. Some of us are not confident they would get to him if they were sent to the attorneys involved in the plea deal.

Colt and ARs

In a statement issued last week by Colt, they seemed to indicate they are going to stop selling semi-automatic, military style AR15’s to civilians. While I would love to believe that is the case, reading their statement closely leaves me not quite believing this is a real and actual long-term business commitment. 

The gun guys freaked out and started breaking bad on Colt when the rumor started spreading that the manufacturer was stepping away from selling military style semi-automatics like the AR15 to civilians. Well, they are. However, as you read in their statement, it is only so they can fill the large capacity government contracts the Trump administration has tossed their way for those weapons. They have left the door open to be back in the civilian market when they have fulfilled their military obligations.

I take exception to one part of their statement. AR’s are not ‘modern sporting rifles,’ unless of course, the ‘game’ you are hunting is human, and your goal is as much mass carnage as possible in as short a period of time as possible. Then, sure – the AR15’s and similar weapons are for ‘sport.’ Otherwise, they belong on military battlefields.

Meanwhile, the list of businesses who have announced their opposition to open-carry of weapons in their stores has grown. They include Whataburger, Sonic, Panera Bread, Chili’s, Starbucks, Target, Costco, Chipotle, Trader Joe’s, HEB, CVS, Walgreens, Aldi, Wegman’s, Mejia and Publix. 

Water Contamination

Davis Monthan is not nearly the only military base that is involved with contaminating the water in communities in which they are located. I began to list them, but that list is so long I decided to just give you a link so you can see for yourself. Take a peek and you’ll see the magnitude of the PFAS contamination issue we’re a part of addressing nationwide. It is instructive to note, this list is only Army bases – you won’t find DM listed, or any of the other nearly 200 Air Force bases that are involved.

 link here

Over the weekend, I did a story on PFAS with Denelle Confair from KVOA. Getting the “other side” of the issue, she was issued this statement by the Air Guard. Remember, they are the group who now has levels of PFAS at over 11,000 right outside their base. The health advisory standard issued by the EPA is 70.

In response to your inquiry, here is a statement from the 162d Wing:

The safety and health of our Airmen, their families, and our community partners is our priority. We live in the communities we serve, and we share community concerns regarding PFOS and PFAS. PFOS and PFOA were widely used chemicals from a wide population of military and civilian users. As such, the addressing of PFOS and PFOA contamination must be a whole-of-government approach involving state and federal government entities.

We are committed to following the CERCLA clean-up process at Air Force release sites to evaluate unacceptable risk to human health and the environment. Individual release sites may result in a range of response and clean-up actions that are prioritized with the Air Force environmental program. The Air Force will continue to partner with local communities, state regulatory authorities, federal interagency partners and Congress to comply with environmental protection law. The Air Force is proud to be a leader in the response to PFOS/PFOA contamination, and we will continue to work with our neighbors, regulators, and elected officials to protect human health and our environment.

V/R,

Capt Jaramillo 

ERIKA N. JARAMILLO, Capt, AZANG
Public Affairs Officer, 162d Wing
Tucson, Arizona

It’s such military double-speak. If the military, or the Feds generally were interested in cleaning up this mess, they’d be out there actively containing and mitigating the plume we know exists. Instead, we have to litigate the product manufacturers, and I have gone on record saying we should add the DOD and State as well. Instead, it is the City who is spending money to make sure we are not serving you water contaminated with the stuff. This is last month’s PFAS test report from Tucson Water:


We achieve those levels by shutting down wells in some areas, and by running the water through the treatment plant. We can also assure you, you’re getting clean water because over 90% of what we serve isn’t groundwater, anyway. It’s CAP – not affected by the PFOA or PFOS. This graphic shows where water we are serving comes from:

The 6% ‘remediated’ is the concern right now. Levels that we have now found out by the ANG will be a burden on our remediation measures. It is why I want to get their attention immediately by filing suit.

The product manufacturer suit is headed to the judges “science day” hearing. That is now scheduled for October 4th over in Charleston, South Carolina. We are sending three water staff over to take part. The hearing will involve the judge listening to expert fact-based opinions on the PFAS issue. Included in the experts testifying will be hydrologists, engineers, epidemiologists and public health experts. Attorneys from both the plaintiffs (us) and defendants (3M, etc) will cross-examine. The actual hearings will follow this exercise at bringing the judge up to speed on the science behind the contamination.
This is a big deal locally. I am grateful to Denelle for reaching out and asking for an update. Keeping this on the public radar screen is the only way to ensure it is not swept under the rug or allowed to be studied to death while the problem spreads.

Rocco’s at Solot

That’s Solot Plaza on the 2600 block of Broadway. It is one of the areas Rio Nuevo is working on with Project for Public Spaces to renovate and preserve some of our local businesses. It’s the process hundreds of us advocated for during the citizen task force meetings related to Broadway. We are finally seeing that input come to a good end.

Rocco’s Pizza is located just a block to the east of Solot. Due to the Broadway widening, they’re losing some of their parking. The owner knew that was coming – he sat on the citizen task force as one of the Broadway business representatives. 
Due to their excellent product, they need to expand. Rio is working with them on a long term lease so they can move into Solot. There may also be a loan for renovations and a rebate on site specific sales taxes. It is the kind of incentive package Rio Nuevo was created for – invest in business, see a tax return, reinvest those taxes into more business development. Success breeding success. It is one of this week’s Local Tucson items. 

I’m going to do another dual Local Tucson with this good news about Rocco’s, and Rio being Part 1.

The other Local Tucson item for this week is the upcoming Nam to Sand Jam coming up on October 19th in Reid Park. It’s not only a way to honor our veterans, but this year the special focus is building on the work of Army veteran Steve Cooper. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer and eventually won a multi-million dollar lawsuit for medical coverage related to fighting his cancer. On the heels of that, Steve formed Fort Veteran. That’s an agency that assists vets with all sorts of issues ranging from how to file compensation claims, to transitioning back into civilian life, business entrepreneurship, and lots more. Nam to Sand is partnering with Fort Veteran during this event.

Did you know that according to an Army study, veterans have 2x the rate of prostate cancer as compared to the general public. It’s also twice as common in black guys than in white guys. In Arizona, we lose 550 of our brothers to this annually. 

Come to this year’s Nam to Sand Jam and support the work being done by Fort Veteran.

T21

Another form of cancer that takes far too many of our friends and relatives is lung cancer. Some of us at Mayor & Council are working to enact a change in our local law that will increase the age for purchasing both tobacco and vaping products from 18 years up to 21 years old. We hit a snag last week when the County Board of Supervisors failed to join us, so Durham and I are working to move the change forward on a City-only basis. That is of course not ideal, but it is the hand we were dealt by the County, so we will work with it.

A part of our original proposal – which was significantly watered down by the time it re-arrived for County consideration – was a penalty structure that included a 36-month ‘look back’. That is, your number of offenses accumulated within a window starting with the first offense, and running for 36 months. With 2nd, 3rd, 4th offenses, the level of fine and suspension of license time grew. 

In reaction to that, retailers selling cigarettes said they wanted to be treated the same way as is done with alcohol. That is, only have a 24-month look back period. In the revised County ordinance, they had that 24-month time frame, but they also eliminated any license suspensions until a 4th offense. Our partners from the Cancer Society and Heart/Lung Association saw that as such a sellout that they removed their support for the local effort. I agree with them. If we are going to do something, there needs to be some sanction on the retailer who is not complying.

The claim by retailers that they wanted our T21 penalty structure to look like what it does for alcohol was simply not true. Sure, they wanted the 24 vs 36-month look back. This chart shows the other parts of what happens to retailers who sell alcohol to a minor. It also shows the comparison between where the County ordinance began in August, and how significantly it changed to suit the retailers when they reconsidered it last week. You can see that the retailers got their 24 months, same as with alcohol, but the penalties are nothing close to being the same. 

We will be reconsidering a City-only T21 ordinance probably sometime in October. We do not have to invent one from scratch. Flagstaff, for example has already adopted one. So has Denver. So have plenty of others. In Flag, the first offense brings a $500 fine to the retailer. They have the 36-month look back. The second offense within that 36 months brings a $750 fine plus a 7 day suspension of the retailer’s ability to sell tobacco products. It escalates from there. Employees are not subject to monetary penalties. 

You have seen the vaping crisis on the news about every night lately. The data for becoming addicted to nicotine if you begin smoking at an early age is striking. I will continue working with Paul on bringing Mayor & Council something that has teeth, is not draconian, but is a step in the direction of protecting our young people. The health effects of nicotine are unique and indisputable. 

I hear the Feds might be adopting some regulations concerning vaping:

Too bad they don’t have the guts to take that concern for public health and safety another step farther with firearms.

Sentinel Peak

I’ve given a couple of promo pieces on potential changes coming to car traffic on A Mountain so I won’t go back and repeat the data from the surveys our TDOT folks did, except to say we had nearly 3,000 responses, plus significant outreach to residents who live near to Sentinel Peak. The changes we have agreed to reflect what the public was asking for. I supported the staff recommendation.

Currently there are no ‘car-free’ days. The gate opens to cars at 9am, 7 days per week. The two primary changes we adopted are to set aside Mondays as ‘car-free’ all day, and to push back the gate opening time to 11am, also every day. Currently, on Sunday’s the park closes at 6pm. That will change to 8pm, consistent with the other 6 days of the week.

These changes will go into effect on Veteran’s Day, November 11th. There was some discussion of having the car-free day on a Tuesday or Wednesday, to accommodate a large biking group who trains on the hill those days. While I’m sensitive to that, and perhaps we do this trial period and see if a 2nd car-free day is warranted, I supported the changes with the thought the bikers now have an extra 2 hours to get their training in before having to share the road with a car. We will give this menu of changes a try and take a look at maybe tweaking them after having seen how things work during the 6 month pilot period that’ll begin on the 11th. 

Staff deserves a lot of credit for the immense amount of outreach they did on this item. A Mountain is a true regional asset. Making it safe for the entire community, and recognizing the many ways it is used was an important component of their study.

Randolph Golf

Last week, the M&C went into executive session to discuss a possible multi-way deal to renovate Randolph North golf course. I was not a part of the discussion because a part of the consideration is whether the UA golf team would use the course. I work in the UA athletics department and so will not be participating in any of the talks surrounding this issue as long as the 'Cats' are a factor in the discussion.

The image shown above includes Randolph North, Randolph South and you can see my constituents’ homes in Colonia Solana to the west of the North course. In the run-up to the vote, I received some emails from some of the Colonia Solana residents, and from others as well, objecting to “the City giving Randolph golf course to the University”. I can’t take part in the back and forth on the agenda item, but I can say that giving the course away is not, and never was, under consideration. The rumors were simply not based in anything close to fact.

When my colleagues came out of exec, Paul Cunningham read this motion:

I move that the Mayor and Council authorize and direct the City Manager and City Attorney and staff to proceed as discussed in Executive Session, and to develop and negotiate the terms of an agreement for future public consideration by the Mayor and Council consistent with the terms discussed in Executive Session, including the following considerations:

1) Randolph North, including any redeveloped version of Randolph North, must remain an affordable public municipal golf course, with fees and rates established by the Mayor and Council;
2) Any and all improvements to Randolph North shall be for the purpose of establishing a world class municipal golf facility that provides an NCAA and professional tour – quality golf experience for the public and for the UA Golf program. 
3) Management of Randolph North; and the redevelopment of the course, shall remain under the control of the City of Tucson.
4) The proposed redevelopment of the course shall include expanding the opportunities for youth development programs, including First Tee; 
5) The proposed Project cannot compromise the financial benefits that Randolph North contributes to the City’s overall Golf Program. 
6) Consideration of an agreement carrying out these terms will occur only after public engagement, with a goal of facilitating low-income participation.

When you hear a rumor like us giving away a major community asset, stop and think about whether it makes any sense before jumping in and assuming it is true. As you can see, what was passed by Mayor & Council doesn’t remotely resemble what was being passed around ahead of their vote.

TEP Upgrades

Tucson Electric Power is going to be upgrading some of their transmission lines and substations. We will be hosting one of their community meetings on October 23rd at 6pm. At that meeting, TEP representatives will be on site to explain the goals of the project, possible timing, and get your input as to possible challenges and advantages tied to some of the proposed routes they are considering.

This map shows the whole project study area. 

The purpose of the project is to interconnect 3 new substations, increasing the delivery capacity of each in the process. Identifying the route for connecting the substations is what the public discussions are about.

The map covers a large portion of the west, central and southwest parts of the City. The  Kino substation is located at S. Kino and 36th. The UA North substation is located near Banner UMC, and the DeMoss-Petrie will be by I-10 and Grant. The project will interconnect all three of those with upgraded transmission lines and substations.

Lots of factors go into identifying a final alignment. Some of those include the projected energy needs of the area, project costs tied to each alternative alignment, environmental and geographic considerations for each proposed route, and your other input. Based on anticipated energy needs, TEP is proposing to upgrade their current 46kV (kilovolt) service to 138kV. It will be the Corporation Commission who finally approves the proposal. This public input will inform what goes to the ACC.

Sincerely,

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

Events and Entertainment

Tucson Greek Festival

Thu, Sep 26 – Sun, Sep 29

St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church hosts its popular annual Tucson Greek Festival with a wider variety of foods, drink, and entertainment. The festival include wonderful Greek music groups and the award-winning Panathenian Dancers. The Greek Market offers a wide variety of pastries and breads, a selection of Greek cheeses, hummus, olives, spices, jewelry, art, clothing and other collectibles and cookbooks. This year we are expanding to offering local artisan vendors, and full scale carnival rides. Don't miss the fun! OPA! Thurs: 5p.m.-10p.m. Fri: 5p.m.-11p.m. Sat: 4p.m.-11p.m. Sun: 12p.m.-5p.m.

 

The 42nd Annual Tucson Pride Festival returns to Reid Park September 28th!

Saturday, Sep 28, 12 – 9 PM

Parade 11:00 AM (Country Club & Broadway to Reid Park)
Festival 12:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Reid Park, Demeester Outdoor Performance Center, 900 S Randolph Way Tucson, AZ 85716

While the pride parades of the modern era have taken on more of a celebratory tone, the focus of these parades continues to be firmly rooted in promoting the visibility of the LGBTQ+ community and our allies. Here in Tucson, our parade has grown to include a diverse representation of LGBTQ+ organizations, social groups, nonprofit organizations, various faith communities, business entities, and civic leaders. Last year’s parade featured 56 contingents made up of hundreds of individuals from all walks of life. As we continue this extraordinary tradition, let us celebrate our story while at the same time encompassing the original spirit of the early Gay Liberation Marches.

 

Himmel Park Weeding Party 

Sun 29, 7 – 9 AM

The weekend has arrived and Sunday is fast approaching. As usual, we will be weeding again this coming Sunday morning from 7AM to 9AM near the southeast corner of Himmel Park, in and around the swale. This will be our 5th Sunday morning group weeding in a row. We really need everyone's help! And if you could interest one or two other people who visit Himmel Park to join in with us, it would be wonderful.

As many people have already found, our group weeding is actually quite fun, and it's a great way for you to meet your neighbors. Whether you've weeded with us before or not, please come and join us on Sunday morning. You don't have to be there right at 7AM if that's too early for you. Come at 8AM or even later if that suits you better. 
 

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

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