Steve K's Newsletter 11/18/19

Topics in this Issue:



The photo is from the NY Times report on last week’s most recent school shooting. Their headline was “The ‘sad reality’ of another school shooting.” The pained expressions on the peoples’ faces show the very tough impact the event had, even moments after the shooting.

You have probably read about it. On his 16th birthday, a kid showed up at school, killed two of his classmates, wounded three more and then shot himself in the head. The killer died over the weekend.

This map shows the number of gun deaths suffered this year in the U.S. I stopped opening my newsletters with the half-staff report on gun violence in respect of the grief felt by all of us who have lost loved ones to causes other than guns; but the gun-related killings continue in this Country at a pace unmatched by any other nation in the world – or in world history. 

I went to Gun Violence Archive and found this breakdown on those killings:

Over 34,000 people have lost their life this year in the U.S. due to guns. Since the first of the year, our Congressional folks have adopted a total of zero laws that will have any measurable effect on that number. 

2020 is an election year. If you are concerned with this numbing repeat of news stories, consider where the candidates stand on common sense gun laws. That is both at the Federal, and at the State level. Our State legislature has tied our hands locally in terms of addressing gun violence. That will not change until there is a change in the make-up of our State House and Senate – and Governor.

Ok, onto Kindness.

I wrote last week about my mom’s ‘60’s partner who joined the Army and went to Vietnam. She ended her career teaching in Army hospitals across the Country. Coming on Saturday, 11/30, she and other women veterans will be honored and supported in a Women’s Veteran Resource Expo.

The Expo will be held at American Legion Post 36 – 5845 E. 22nd. It will run from 10am until 1pm. The Casa Adobes American Legion is hosting the event. It will include free lunch, Girl Scout caroling, and most importantly the support network for the veterans. If you know of a woman who served and may want to connect with other female vets, take her to the event. We at Ward 6 are grateful for the Kindness displayed by the Legion folks in support of these women.

On one of my morning Loop runs last week, a guy pulled up next to me on his bike and said he wanted to thank me for the Prop 205 piece I had written in the Tucson Weekly. In the midst of such a divisive issue, it is nice to simply have someone stop and express gratitude for the “informative” and “factual” Guest Piece. He is a worker at the Federal Courthouse – his Kindness needs to be recognized.

Tucson Fire was called to a residential fire in the 2300 block of N. Euclid last week. You can see how close the fire was to adjacent homes:

Because of their quick and professional actions, the flames did not spread to any other structures. Thanks for their great work, and the Kindness our TFD group shows each day as they serve this community.

Donations offered out of Kindness continue to fill our back room. The volunteers running the ‘store’ out at the Alitas Welcome Center churn these goodies through to families in need nearly as quickly as the donations arrive. We are very grateful for the compassionate hearts displayed by the people who bring things. I know from conversations I have with some of you that it is both adults and kids who are taking part in this work. 

Some of the areas of greatest need are kids toys (the kind you can travel on a bus with), and personal hygiene toiletries. 

Last week, the Ward 6 staff met Hollie. She’s Crystal’s new puppy. The Be Kind mention is for her partner Chris, who saw Hollie out on the side of the highway, stopped and rescued her. She is a little doxie/something mix. I cannot understand how somebody would just dump their puppy on the side of the road and drive away. She is now in a loving forever home.

Flexible Lot Development

The FLD program is a review process we have built into our development code. It is generally used to encourage infill development – residential stuff, primarily in already developed areas. It is Section 8.7.3 of our Unified Development Code. If you go to that site, you will see the “Purpose” of the FLD is “to provide greater flexibility and creativity in the design of residential development.” It then goes onto list several ways that flexibility may be demonstrated.

We have had some of what I believe to be unfortunate applications of the FLD provisions – and the process needs a new look. If we’re creating incentives for urban infill, there needs to be a wider understanding and agreement on what terms such as “Open Space”, “Privacy Mitigation”, and “implementing the goals and objectives of the General Plan, Area Plans, and Neighborhood Plans” all mean. For example, the FLD “shall be in conformance” with Area and Neighborhood Plans in which the project is being built. Not ‘general conformance’, but ‘conformance.’ That matters.  

A few years ago, we were looking at a rezoning for a Fry’s out on Houghton. It was not an FLD, but some of the same differences on defining ‘open space’ that exist with the FLD were points of contention back then. We have not addressed that yet.

You may remember this image from back when Fry’s was being discussed:

That is the 16-acre site – and the lines of trees surrounding it were allowed to be calculated into the amount of development required to be ‘open space’.  As I said in a meeting just last week, a landscape buffer might serve as open space if you’re a rabbit, but not for much beyond that.

Similarly, in a project we met to discuss last week, the landscape perimeter was allowed by staff to be counted as ‘open space’. Here is the site map for that project:

It is a little bit more difficult to make out on the site map, but generally, the circles represent where staff is defining ‘public open space’. It is very similar to the Fry’s disagreement. Perimeter landscaping, and in this case a detention basin are not functionally useful as open space.

Under our FLD guidelines, the builder is to provide “269 square feet per unit, plus an additional 15% more open space that is ‘in a natural state’. Open space defined in the FLD is to be ‘usable and includes suitably located active and passive recreational amenities, such as trails, walking paths, picnic areas, and playgrounds.’ It’s to be ADA compliant. You will not find that in the site plan shown above. That project is now moving forward. The project was approved by staff with no requirement for a more public dialogue about interpretations of the wording and how that may, or may not conform to others’ understanding of the relevant terms and Plans.

I have already begun a dialogue with our Planning Director. It comes on the heels of our recent discussion about the value of Neighborhood and Area Plans generally, and it all ties together. More to come on this. I appreciate the agreement already expressed that the process needs a new look.

Bungalows on Broadway

Contractors began moving the Bungalows over on the Sunshine Mile last week. This photo comes from the Rio Nuevo Release announcing the work. 

There are 7 houses that will need to be moved. Each will be placed on the skids you see in the foreground and slowly slid back away from the roadway. Once the utility work is finished, they will all be slid back and placed onto a new foundation that will be laid up by the new curb line. The work moving them will take until early next spring, but that will be in plenty of time to meet the construction schedule.

What I found interesting – and a bit self-serving – was this quote from the Rio Release:

This remarkable endeavor is being undertaken by Rio Nuevo. The district’s leadership: Chairman Fletcher McCusker and board members including Jannie Cox and Edmund Marquez saw the economic value of saving and repositioning these distinctive character buildings.

For over 5 years, a group of local citizens worked hundreds of hours both on the Citizen Task Force, and as advocates, protesting the unnecessary widening of Broadway, and promoting the preservation of not only these houses, but of other small local businesses along the Sunshine Mile. We saw the ‘economic value of saving’ the structures long before Rio joined us as a partner. I have written plenty about my gratitude for the new partnership we have with Rio, but let’s be sure that when we’re writing about the preservation work happening on that stretch of roadway that we recognize the people who laid the groundwork for what’s happening now. Had it not been for the significant investment of time and energy many of us made years ago, the Bungalows, and other structures that Rio is now partnering in repurposing, would have been demolished.

There is a group called the Broadway Coalition. They are made up of people who have been meeting at 7am weekly for several years – each time to talk about how to achieve this sort of preservation. The Coalition is made up of residents from multiple neighborhoods that surround the Sunshine Mile. Without their work, Rio never would have had an opportunity to partner with us. 

Thanks are due to Rio’s Board, but also to the many others who have long been a part of the process of pushing back against the RTA Plan, and pushing back against the City as the M&C bought into the widening.

More RTA

The 35-member RTA citizen advisory board is beginning to gather information from the public that will inform how they structure any request to reauthorize the ½ cent sales tax they operate on. You are invited to participate in their survey – it takes about 5 minutes – use this link to access it:

The survey is a series of 15 multiple-option questions. The options range from strongly agree to strongly disagree. You’ve seen them. The questions are of course all transportation-related. For example, along the lines of the Sunshine Mile land use issue:

Here is another one that speaks to road maintenance. The current RTA sales tax does not cover pavement preservation:

In addition, here is a series of more general policy sorts of questions:

You have some time to get your responses in – the deadline is Friday, December 13th. We don’t know yet if the tax will be proposed to be ½ cent, or if talk of increasing it will be on the ballot. The questions they get answers to now will help frame the amount of tax they pitch to the State legislature. It is that group who will ultimately determine whether, and what amount, of tax will be voted on – and when.

Safe Streets

Thanks to Kathy from Feldman’s for sharing this shot she took while visiting Seattle recently. 

I’ve written about the City policy of not repainting all crosswalks after a repaving, leaving people to question where it’s legal to cross. You may cross at any intersection, whether or not there is a painted crosswalk. Be extremely cautious when doing so – we see far too many pedestrian injuries and fatalities, many of which are situations where the person on foot had the ‘right of way,’ and yet after impact, that just becomes a legal argument. 

As we roll out our Complete Streets policies next year, multi-modal safety will certainly be embedded in each of them. That is consistent with Vision Zero, and it is simply a way of making ours a more livable community.

I heard last week that Wendell Hicks is stepping down as Director of the Southern Arizona Aids Foundation (SAAF.) He is going to focus on some new challenging stuff, but as a fitting tribute to his wonderful work with SAAF, this week’s Local Tucson item is the Center on 4th that he helped spearhead. 

The Center is a newly remodeled drop-in space over on 4th Avenue. They focus on providing a safe and supportive environment for LGBT youth. There are peer-to-peer meetings, prevention programs and just lots of good connecting in ways that encourage people to be proud of who they are. Thanks to Wendell for his great work at SAAF, and thanks to the folks at the Center for their work in support of the community.


I continue to receive daily emails and calls from residents and business owners who have had it with the mess being created by scooters. These first two pictures show the stark difference between the Tugo bike program (docked and neatly stored) and the scooters.

Each week I suggest you let Bird, Razor, and TDOT know about the misparked scooters. This was the reply one constituent received from TDOT after having filed a report:


We appreciate you taking the time to submit a request for service to the

City of Tucson, Department of Transportation. A Service request was created

to investigate your concern. You may track the status of your request by

calling (520) 791-3154. Please allow an average of 6 to 8 weeks to complete

your requested work. Please tell us about your experience by completing this

survey below.English: 

Request ID: 17170

Issue: E-Scooter

Address Number:

Street: N Euclid Av

Intersecting Street: E 1st St

Description: Scooter on the sidewalk area

So maybe you should just focus on the companies. The City is not acting within the 2-hour time frame outlined in our own Ordinance.

The issues are not solely popping up along the 4th Avenue/Downtown streetcar corridor. Adjacent – and not so adjacent – neighborhoods are also feeling the effects. For example, this guy’s home video caught a couple of guys dumping their scooter at his Sam Hughes home at 11:19pm. You can see what his family awoke to the next morning.

This mess is also from the Sam Hughes neighborhood – over a mile from downtown and 4th Avenue.

In addition, another mile+ from there, this scooter ended up parked against the fence at Catalina High School in the Palo Verde neighborhood.

I mentioned last week that Ironhorse neighborhood is writing a letter to Mayor and Council demanding the end to this program. Here are a few Ironhorse shots showing what they are putting up with every day. This first shot is what the Bird folks proudly call a ‘nest.’ Cute, unless you want to use the sidewalk.

This slightly smaller ‘nest’ is in what is an on-street parking space in Ironhorse – parking for the businesses that is already in short supply.

Here is some Rincon Heights clutter.

These Razor scooters are dumped in Armory Park neighborhood, outside of the Stillwell House. 

Here are a few more ‘nests’ neatly positioned for the next riders.

I have yet to see a scooter rider wearing a helmet – whether they are riding in the street, or on the sidewalk like this couple is doing.

I was impressed by this very picturesque shot taken outside of the County building downtown. It is on the site of what will be the January 8th Memorial. We do not need escooters to be cluttering up that area while visitors are trying to focus on the tragic Tucson event.

No, they did not feed the meter when parking here:

As you scroll through these last few, bear in mind that last week an elderly woman sued the City of Santa Monica after she fell and broke her hip in multiple places. She tripped over a pile of scooters (nested) on the sidewalk. The suit is for $500,000. We will see how it plays out over there – and unless we end this pilot program, we will likely be sitting in an executive session sometime soon talking about settling one of our own.


Once again, here is the contact information for Bird and Razor. Good luck.

Bird - 866.205.2442. You can also email them at For Razor - 833.527.8645. The Razor email is

Based on the “6-8 week” response time, I would not suggest that you bother with TDOT, unless you just want to make them aware of the issue.

Notice Tucson

There is a City contact that you may want to sign up with, and the information is updated 4 times per day, not in ‘6 to 8 weeks.’ NoticeTucson is a tool you can sign up for that will keep you up to date on proposed land use changes happening within any geographic boundary you set up. That can be your neighborhood association boundary, or some larger or smaller section of the City that you just want to monitor.

Use this link to get started:

By signing up for NoticeTucson, you are not eliminating any other legal notices you are to receive, say for a rezoning in your area. Those will still come. This tool simply allows you to see when permits have been pulled, and to follow the progress of a given project as it evolves.

First, you sign up and establish the Notice settings you want. You will then receive emails according to the regularity you request.  That can be daily, weekly – you decide. You do not need to re-log into the site to check – the notices will automatically come to you. 

The notices will follow a project through the review process. It can include inspections, reviews, and other documents related to the project. The documents show PDF’s of the project plan, elevations, photos – you can dig in as detailed, or as general way as you choose. I have neighbors who want to see every permit, and I have some who just want to know the general nature of what is being built. NoticeTucson gives you both. It’s a tool built for transparency – one of the goals I am after with the whole FLD update.

Tucson Botanical Gardens / Parking

The annual TBG Luminaria Lights program is coming next month. It will run on December 6, 7 and 8, and then again on the 13th, 14th and 15th – 5:30pm until 8:30pm each day. This year they will have over 3,500 luminarias, plus Korean lanterns, Santa and Grinch stuff for the kids-at-heart. You can go on line to get advance tickets at

The Gardens has about a half dozen events annually in which they experience overflow parking. Over the past month or so, I have been working with TGB, and adjacent Yume Gardens and surrounding neighbors to come up with a game plan that will minimize the impact on the Garden District and Palo Verde neighborhood residents. One solution we had in the past included in the mix – due to a positive relationship with the property manager – was the former Fry’s parking lot, located at the SE corner of Grant and Alvernon. You need to be aware that this year, we were sent this notice from the Picor property manager about that parking lot:  

I wanted to be sure to follow up and let all know that the Vasa Fitness Plaza at this intersection will be installing signs that will not allow anyone except the patrons of this plaza to utilize the parking lot. The sign will be enforceable and violators will be towed.

When I saw that, I responded with this email:

As you know, we've been working with nearby residents to come up with solutions for overflow parking - which would include times of the day when there is no other, or minimal activity in the shopping center. Dating back to when this was a Fry's, there has always been a cordial and reciprocal relationship; the neighbors and TBG promoting the businesses in the center, and the reverse as well with the businesses recognizing the support they were receiving from the hundreds of residents living nearby, and thousands of patrons who visit the Gardens. That would include neighbors taking an active role in cleaning debris in the alley, and at times abating graffiti from the walls in your center when mgmt was not responsive.

I'll be happy to assist in getting the word out that that level of consideration is evidently not a direction you wish to continue relationally. I'll be sure to put this in my newsletter - goes out to over 10,000 people, and all of the neighborhood associations in the immediate proximity of your shopping center. We'll also make clear that if a family has their car towed late some night because they're at a Botanical Gardens event, it's Picor/Vasa who is initiating that action and not the Botanical Gardens, Garden District, Palo Verde neighborhood, Oak/Flower or the City. We just want it to be clear where calls should be directed. I'll include your name and number unless I hear otherwise.

In addition, we'll stop asking neighbors to self-police the areas and walls on and around your property. Graffiti, etc can go straight to Code Enforcement from here on. I've included our Code Enforcement Director in this email. They now have your contact information. Reciprocity is just that - reciprocal.

Neighborhood leadership also responded, as did the management of TGB. In response, the property management group offered the areas on this map that are outlined in yellow as ‘event parking’ – with the caveat that TGB would manage the lot, secure a revocable easement, establish parking fees, and agree on some compensation to cover ‘parking lot maintenance expenses’ based on how many evenings annually event patrons might be using the site.

The ‘offer’ was absurd. So for the upcoming Luminaria Lights shows, please know that Picor and the VASA Fitness folks have advised that they’re going to tow people who use their lot – whether or not the business is open, and whether or not there’s available space. As an alternative, the Gardens will be establishing shuttle arrangements with the Emmanuel Church up the street. Please contact TBG at 326.9686 for details. 

As a final note, under Arizona State law, this section governs parking on private property:

Arizona state law<>  "The owner [...] of the private property shall be deemed to have given consent to unrestricted parking by the general public [...] unless such parking area is posted with signs [...] which are clearly visible and readable from any point within the parking area and at each entrance. Such signs shall contain [...] Restrictions on parking."

Look for the Picor/VASA signs as you consider whether or not to use that lot. You may check for updates on that restriction by contacting Sierra Howard at

Water Security

For what has become a rather regular section in the newsletter, ‘water security’ revolves back and forth between the PFC litigation/contamination issue we are dealing with, and local opportunities for you to be a part of our long-term water solution. This week, it is another opportunity for you to get in the game.

On Tuesday evening, Literacy Connects will host a free “Water Harvesting and Going Green” workshop. They are located at 200 E. Yavapai Rd. The class is led by our partners at Habitat for Humanity, and the Sonora Environmental Research Institute (SERI). The information will address some of the basics related to water harvesting, pollution prevention and community risk reduction, all designed to help us develop in an environmentally resilient manner. You do not need to be a civil engineer or hydrologist to benefit. In fact, this is geared to those of us who participate in this sort of work from a very pedestrian level – and it does not matter if you own, or if you are a renter.

Thanks to our friends at Wells Fargo, there will be a light dinner served. If you would like to know more about the workshop, contact Anna Jackson at 326.1217, x228 and she’ll get you filled in. It would be great to see a full house for this important presentation.

Parks and Rec Fun

I opened this week with a very sad item on a school shooting. I will close with the other side of that emotional story.


Saturday, my bride, her friend Valerie and I had the opportunity to join thousands of others who took part in the Family Festival in the Park event. Our friends at Cigna, along with the great Parks staff made this event possible. The zoo was open for $1 – all of which went to their international animal conservation work. TPD was there. The Census was on site. There was face painting, jumping castles, and other kid-level activities. We get ourselves twisted up in grief over some of the very difficult things happening in the world around us. It was nice to see families out just gathering, and renewing themselves together. I am sure there will be plenty of time to revisit gun violence and other political nonsense, but for a few hours on Saturday, our Parks staff lived up to their logo “Department of Fun”.


Steve Kozachik
Council Member, Ward 6

City of Tucson Services

Follow this link for contact information you might need from time to time to access all sorts of City services. You’ll find Environmental Services, Tucson Water, how to report graffiti, some Tucson Codes, and a bunch more. You are completely still welcome to contact us directly at the Ward office if you’d like some help navigating the system, but there will be times you just want to make a call on your own.

Events and Entertainment

Monday, November 19, 2019 – January 11, 2020

Opening Reception & Book Signing:
7–10 pm, Saturday, November 23

"There you stood, on the edge of your feather

Expecting to fly." 

– Neil Young

In a life lived in a swirl of known and unknown, where we merge our dreams of love and death with the changing light, three photographers take us on journeys that both tie us to the land and tug earnestly at our imaginations.

Burgeoning stories inherent in the tiniest quail egg by Kate Breakey; a white deer in a Keith Carter forest; or a bridge standing like a half-forgotten memory by Susan Burnstine; all acknowledge our mortal ties to this earth, but also remind us: if we let our latent wings emerge, we can still expect to fly.

Join us for a most wonderful reception and book signing with the artists.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Notices and Information - I-10 and SR 210 Study

Billy Lauffer Middle School
5385 E Littletown Road, Tucson, AZ 85756

Open House and Public Hearing Schedule:
5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m. - Open House
6:00 p.m.–6:20 p.m. - Presentation
6:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m. - Public Hearing

Please visit this link for information, details, and document PDFs:

A proposal to make improvements to two important corridors in the Tucson area is now available for public review and comment.

The Draft Environmental Assessment and Initial Design Concept Report for Interstate 10 from I-19 to Kolb Road and State Route 210 from Golf Links Road to a future connection with I-10 along Alvernon Way are now available on the project website at

The Initial Design Concept Report refines and evaluates two build alternatives and a no-build ("do nothing") option. It recommends the following improvements:

  • Designate Alvernon Way as SR 210 from Golf Links Road to I-10 and provide four travel lanes in each direction
  • Add a new system interchange to provide access between SR 210 and I-10
  • Add up to two lanes in each direction on I-10 between the I-10/I-19 interchange and Alvernon Way
  • Add up to four lanes in each direction on I-10 between Alvernon Way and Kolb Road

The Draft Environmental Assessment examines potential impacts to the natural and human environments associated with the proposed improvements.

A public hearing on the I-10/SR 210 study is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 20, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Billy L. Lauffer Middle School, 5385 E. Littletown Road in Tucson. The hearing will include a presentation at 6 p.m. Members of the Arizona Department of Transportation study team will be available to answer questions. The public will have opportunities to make verbal comments, submit written comments or share their input with a court reporter.

Members of the public are encouraged to review the Draft Environmental Assessment and Initial Design Concept Report and provide input during the formal comment period, which begins Tuesday, Oct. 29, and continues through Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. The documents can be viewed on the project website and at the following locations:

  • Littletown Community Center, 6465 S. Craycroft Road, Tucson, AZ 85756
  • Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85701
  • Sam Lena-South Tucson Public Library, 1607 S. Sixth Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85713

All comments received during the public comment period will be documented and responded to in the final Environmental Assessment and Design Concept Report.

In addition to providing comments at the public hearing, there are several additional ways to submit comments:

Sunday, Nov 24, 12 – 4 PM

Hotel Congress, 311 Congress St.

A FREE, family-friendly party with live music, Local First Roadshow, kids' corner, vendors, historic lectures & tours, and so much more!

About this Event

Join us as we celebrate these amazing Tucson organizations reaching milestone anniversaries!

  • Hotel Congress: 100 years
  • Rialto Theatre: 99 years
  • Tucson Symphony Orchestra: 90 years
  • Arizona Public Media: 60 years

We'll have tons of fun for the whole family, including:

  • Amazing music all day, including three sets by Tucson Symphony Orchestra's renowned brass quintet, mariachi performances, and more on the Hotel Congress Plaza stage.
  • Pop-up history museum by Hotel Congress & Arizona History Museum
  • Guided historical tours around downtown Tucson
  • An intimate sit-down with Richard and Shana Oseran on the Hotel Congress Plaza
  • Arizona Illustrated theatre experience in Club Congress featuring the premiere of their latest piece, 24 Hours at Hotel Congress
  • Tucson's largest birthday cake
  • The highly anticipated closure of our time capsule
  • Drink & food specials all day long



Arizona State Museum, 1013 E University Blvd |

Arizona Theater Company, 330 S Scott Ave |

Children's Museum Tucson, 200 S 6th Ave |

Friends of Himmel Park, 1000 N Tucson Blvd |

Weekly Saturday and Sunday mornings, weed-pull from 8 to 10 AM.                                                                             

Fox Theatre, 17 W Congress St |

Historic Fourth Avenue, See Facebook page for weekly events:

Hotel Congress, 311 E Congress St |

Jewish History Museum, 564 S Stone Ave |

Loft Cinema, 3233 E Speedway Blvd |

Meet Me at Maynards, 311 E Congress St |
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 |
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 |

Rialto Theatre, 318 E Congress St |

The Rogue Theatre, The Historic Y, 300 E University Blvd |

Southern Arizona Transportation Museum, 414 N Toole Ave |

Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N Alvernon Way |

Tucson Convention Center, 260 S Church St |

Tucson Museum of Art, 140 N Main Ave |

UA Mineral Museum, 1601 E University Blvd |

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

Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson2130 North Alvernon Way |