Steve K's Newsletter 12/23/19

Topics in this Issue:

I am going to open with a very cool holiday gift story – a friend had to give up her child 50 years ago because our social mores would not allow a single woman to get pregnant and have/raise the kid. The ‘scandal’ of an unwed young girl getting pregnant caused the family to leave the Midwest, come to Tucson, have her baby, and put it up for adoption. There are many details of course, but just this month, my friend and her now 50 year old daughter connected for the first time. They will be having a ‘reunion’ of sorts early next year. They are both excited to finally meet.

My mom had to choose between a relationship she was in back in ’66 and custody of my brother and me. She chose custody. Same story – social mores causing a choice that thankfully today she would not have had to make. Same thing with my friend and her daughter. We have advanced – these sorts of real life examples are why many of us are adamant about not losing any of the ground we have gained since those days.


Last Thursday, Diana, Ann, and I attended the Memorial Garden dedication over with the Parks & Recreation workers. The event was put together by Brent Dennis from Parks and Katie Gannon from Tucson Clean & Beautiful. Lots of their staffers pulled it all together. There were two purposes: to plant a Sonoran Desert Garden outside of the Parks Admin building as an educational amenity; and to allow the many Parks workers who have lost loved ones in the past year to honor them. I was touched to have been included. The rose placed at the base of this Mesquite is the one I laid there in memory of Mom. 

By the end of the ceremony, there were roses of all sorts laid in memory of moms and dads, husbands, children, nieces, grandparents, brothers and a daughter-in-law. This is the list of names read, each of which was celebrated in the garden.

There are multiple Parks and TCB people who deserve the Be Kind mention. During my remarks, I shared this quote from May Sarton – “What is there to do when someone dies but to bring them back by remembering.” We all did that on Thursday. The Garden will be there in perpetuity for all to gather and reflect.

Sarah Gassen from the Star Editorial Board was Kind enough to run a piece I wrote on dealing with loss. Here it is – speaks for itself. I hope it speaks to you.

If you’ve escorted a loved one through hospice, or through their last days at an intensive care unit, you know about making decisions related to palliative care. That’s the shift between hanging onto the hope he or she will be coming home, and advising the medical staff to focus on the person’s comfort. For those who are responsible for making that call on behalf of someone you love dearly, it’s a heart-breaking burden that you make out of love, and one that you carry with you beyond the doors of the facility once the end has arrived. It is then that the reality of the loss begins to carve a hole in those left to cherish the loved one who is now gone, but for the memories.

It is also then that your own palliative care, finding comfort, becomes a daily hill to climb as you reengage a daily routine that is now underpinned with a much clearer sense of what’s important.

When she died, I spent time alone with my mom, gently stroking her and whispering private thoughts. Finally I kissed her, told her I loved her, turned off the light, closed the door to her room in hospice, and left. That was that, right? In fact, that is not that. That’s merely the start of a long and difficult process. The healing for those who have lost a loved one begins as soon as the door shuts behind you.  As with the medication given to your loved one, moments of comfort offered by friends can cover the loss, but they cannot remove it at its core.

Since my mom died earlier this year, several friends have also lost loved ones. And people I didn’t know before have reached out and shared about their own losses. Whether the loss occurred within days, or within years of when we shared, the human bond has this in common – immense sadness and an emptiness that was once filled by the person you’ve lost. It’s a club we’re all destined to be members of. And it’s a club in which each member holds intense memories of moments that will force us into feelings of joy, emptiness, love, sadness, happiness, loneliness, fond memories and anger. Somewhere in all of that friends have a role to play in providing comfort.

Giving that comfort does not mean explaining the loss, trying to convince the person grieving that they ‘shouldn’t be feeling as they are,’ or giving answers for questions, whether asked by the person who is sorting through the loss, or just assumed by the friend. It’s simply being there to listen, maybe even over and over to the same story, and to understand that emotions are a ghost that are oftentimes beyond our control. Triggers are all around. If you’re that person called on to be the comforter, just be there. You don’t, and should not – and cannot – ‘explain’ the loss. Just be there.

I suppose there’s a difference between grieving the loss of a loved one – the inability to sit and share life together – and memories you cling to of the one you will continue to cherish, even years after their death. The lines defining that difference are blurred. Maybe it’s all intertwined. From personal experience I know one thing for certain. There is a real relationship between the depth of loss you feel and the depth of love you shared while the person was still alive. That relationship will affect the roller coaster and duration of the grieving process.

The holidays are here. There are people around you, whether in your family, friends or co-workers, who are hurting. The intensity of the pain changes from memory to memory. The emotions it evokes are unpredictable. It can be masked by the events of the day, but it’s there. Underneath the smiles you see is a hole where there was once a person who was, and continues to be a part of their being. You can’t fix that. But you can offer comfort care. Don’t force it, but be available. It’ll be your turn to be on the receiving end one day.

Thanks to another Sarah for Kindly sharing this related item about making advance plans for your own passing. It comes from this group:

This is a group who works with families who sign up, helping them put into place funeral arrangements well ahead of their death. They provide education on the sorts of options you will have to choose from, and will get you price comparisons from local mortuaries. I can attest that those are not the sorts of decisions you’re in an emotional position to be haggling over, in the days and hours following the loss of a loved one.

The Alliance has the forms you will need, they provide newsletters, speakers bureaus, tell you about transfer arrangements, and even though it’s a national organization, they provide very localized information. Here is one example that I pulled from their site:

Look them over – your family members will be grateful for not having to sort through this stuff while they are otherwise focused on having lost you as a loved one. Here is the link:

Last Thursday, our very own Alison invited the Ward 6 choir to join her at Tucson House for an evening of Christmas Caroling. We were happy to see Paul Durham and Sarah Launius from Ward 3 come and join in the holiday celebration. Tucson House is a part of the ‘Thrive in the 05’ work, to revitalize Miracle Mile and surrounding neighborhoods. It was great to be there to share in kicking off the holidays with the Tucson House residents. The Be Kind is to Alison and those folks for their warm and welcoming nature. 

Speaking of Christmas Carols, please heed this reminder that comes to us from the Lexington, Kentucky Police Department:

Mark shared this, another story of simple Kindness he experienced. You may have had occasion to wrestle with parking meters that came with an attitude. The days of just slipping a quarter into the slot are long gone. Mark’s wife was having a bad hair day with a meter. The Be Kind is for the parking attendant at Leo Rich who came and rescued her – maybe also rescuing the meter from assault and battery. He helped her through the angst, and showed an understanding attitude over her evident frustration. He is an example of a stranger stepping towards a situation and simply being friendly. 

Last Thursday, Ann and I stopped by the Si Charro event Flores Concepts was hosting at John B. Wright School. I had this in last week’s Be Kind. They distributed over 600 burros and churros to the students – many of whom are low income. As a special treat, Santa dropped by and handed out gifts to the kids.

Kudos to Ray Jr., Ray Sr., Carlotta, and the whole Charro family for bringing some joy into the lives of the kids and their families. 

If you witness examples of Kindness, send them along. They are all around us in our great community.

Alitas Center #unintendedties

During this Christmas season, the ‘Manger Scene’ you are likely familiar with is not this one of family separation:

It is outside of a Methodist church in Claremont, California. Families are still being separated on the border, and the Remain in Mexico policy is forcing asylum seekers and other migrants into dangerous situations. Our friends at Catholic Community Services are partnering with 31 shelter agencies to end the misnamed “Migrant Protection Protocol”. One piece of the messaging is to alert people of our own policy of removing shoelaces from migrants sent back into Mexico. It is a clear sign to cartels and gangs that this is an unconnected and vulnerable person. The results have been violence, robberies, and more. 

This is a part of a lengthy statement provided by the agencies – this one from CCS:

The shoelaces we are displaying have the #unintendedties logo printed on them – to send the message that by taking migrant shoelaces, we are effectively showing gangs they are ripe pickings. I have a supply of the laces here at W6 if you would like to come by, get some and join in sending the message that the policy is not ok. We’re costing people their lives – come and be a part of letting your friends and others see that you do not support this inhumane government policy.

Clearly, this could have been one of the Be Kind items, but I felt it deserved a stand-alone mention. I hope you will come and take part in this silent protest.

And it is winter – these are the items we need for the migrant families. Winter coats, sweaters, gloves, shoes (women sizes 5, 6 and 7), and infant and toddler winter coats. Those who are fortunate enough to end up in the Alitas Welcome Center are often going to cold weather States. We continue to be a donation site for the work.

Mountain Enclave 

Last Tuesday we had a rather intense exchange related to a proposed development that lays in Ward 3. Given that there was no ‘Ward deference’ respected on the issue of the impact of scooters in Ward 6, I felt I had been afforded liberty to weigh in. In addition, the project was being offered under a zoning option called Flexible Lot Development (FLD). Those are, and will continue to, pop up all over the City. My objections to the Mountain Enclave project amounted to an effort to stop what I believe to be inaccurate interpretations of our existing codes so they don’t establish a precedent for projects that may indeed pop up in Ward 6.

This is the proposed site plan. The area in red is the Mountain Enclave FLD. It has planned to be 76 individual units of single family residences, both one and two story, placed on about 6 acres of land. Notice what is around it, though. In particular, look at the density of the homes in the immediate area. There is nothing close to this level of density. That is the red flag staff should have alerted to when this was first proposed.

Zoning can get pretty arcane, pretty quickly. I have sent in a lengthy position statement to staff, but for the newsletter, I will try to avoid zoning jargon and just describe general concerns. I expect a response back sometime after the holidays. This will be back on our agenda on January 28th. 

The first challenge was a legal one. We have been told by the City Attorney that when we are voting on what is called a ‘final plat’, we have no choice but to adopt it. It’s called a ‘ministerial duty’. I asked to see the case law that locks us into that position. The cases provided were each examples of instances where a City Council or a Board of Supervisors was either holding up a project so they could change the law and put it out of compliance, or where they were imposing conditions on a project that were not found in their existing ordinances. For the Mountain Enclave project, none of that applies to my objections. I don’t believe what’s being planned is consistent with our existing ordinances. It should have been short-circuited long ago, and for that, I am sensitive to the desires of the developer to move this along. They did what they were allowed to do in good faith. I just do not think the reviews of our codes were accurate. This project should have been scaled back long ago. The Attorney agreed that if it is out of compliance with existing codes, we indeed have a voice. 

First, I don’t believe this project even qualifies to be developed using the FLD standards. We list 10 criteria in the “Purpose” section of the FLD section of our code. They include things such as providing open space such as walking paths, picnic areas and playgrounds; and includes preserving natural undisturbed open space, natural vegetation, riparian areas, and urban heat island mitigation which is achieved through those open space provisions. Look back at the site plan and it is pretty clear that this development doesn’t even qualify to be considered under the FLD review option.

There is more. Our existing codes say that when your project is over 14 houses per acre, you have to be on an arterial. There isn’t one adjacent to the Enclave site even though it’s well over 14 houses per acre. In addition, our existing code has provisions for how much open space is required on an FLD site. That space is defined as “usable for passive or active recreational uses, such as trails, walking paths, picnic areas, and playgrounds.” The Enclave ‘open space’ includes a detention basin, perimeter landscaping and small side yards between the houses. It does not achieve the goals and purposes of the FLD standards. Privacy mitigation is to be included when using FLD. Our existing code says the project is to be platted as one site, and setbacks, privacy, etc are to be designed with the footprint of the project being considered as a whole. In this FLD, we have allowed them to set aside a 10’ landscape buffer as not part of the ‘site’, but constituting a setback from homes that lay outside the Mountain Enclave footprint, thus creating the privacy buffer. This graphic shows what I am describing:

The yellow border is the landscaping. If you actually consider the whole site, as is required in our own codes, the yellow boundary becomes a space immediately adjacent to homes outside the project limits. The brown shaded units of the Mountain Enclave site then become subject to privacy issues for those homes. 

I do not believe any of this requires us to rework our existing codes. We simply need to apply the clear language of what we already have in place. 

There is more. We inappropriately allowed streets and drainage-ways to count towards the density we’re allowing. That is not consistent with our codes. We are also allowing nearly all of the vegetation on the site to be bulldozed. That is not consistent with our Native Plant Preservation Ordinance existing code. Several of these same issues should have been flagged when this project was being considered in relation to terms that exist in the Northside Area Plan. 

It is tough to even describe some of this without it becoming sort of ‘in the weeds’. For the people who live around this site, the proposed project represents a significant change to the area if we allow it to move through. My motion was to delay approval of the plat and give staff a chance to work through the issues I raised. It will be back to us at the end of January. I am hopeful there are meetings between now and then that result is this project being scaled back so the impacts are less intense, and so we can accurately say it’s in compliance with our current code language.

Neighborhood Preservation Zones (NPZ)

There was yet another zoning-related item on our agenda last Tuesday. We have two NPZs in the City: Feldman’s since 2006, and Jefferson Park since 2011. An NPZ is an established set of design criteria intended to preserve the unique character of an historic neighborhood. There is a lot of time, money and energy that goes into putting a design manual together. The item we had in front of us last week was the result of some development in the two NPZs that is clearly incompatible with both the character of the neighborhoods, and the intent of the existing language found in the design manuals. It relates to building front yard swimming pools.

These would be fine, but the kind that State law mandates a 5’ wall or fence for, for safety, is the issue we need to address.

Just as is true of the FLD’s, each Neighborhood Preservation Zone design manual comes with a ‘purpose’ statement. That is also embedded in our City code. The statements each speak of “preserving and enhancing Tucson’s established neighborhoods” by protecting the “unique character and historical resources” in each. When you put up walls, and even overgrowth of landscaping such that the front view of a historic building is obstructed, it will lose its historic status under State guidelines. That eliminates the tax break the homeowner gets, but it also reduces the number of contributing structures from a recognized historic zone. When the percentage of contributors falls below half, the entire area loses its tax breaks. Therefore, in addition to the aesthetics, the surrounding neighbors have a financial stake in how other properties are treated; thus, the design manuals.

The City has three standards that are reviewed when deciding whether or not a particular project needs an “NPZ review”. That review looks at the historic design manual and determines compatibility. Those standards are whether the existing zoning allows the proposed project, whether a building permit is required, and whether the project is visible from the street. Assuming the zoning hurdle is cleared, the last two are where we need to clarify the original intent. 

I was surprised to learn that when you build a pool, the City does not require a building permit. We require grading permits, and we review site plans, but lacking a building permit allows front yard pools to slip in an unintended crack when deciding on an NPZ compatibility review. I have suggested that by adding grading and site reviews to the review standards, we fix that loophole.

Above, I mentioned that you can lose historic contributing status when you have things in your front yard that obstruct the view of the house. In Feldman’s they have had ten properties denied contributing status as a result of walls having been built. Given that State law requires a 5’ fence or wall around a pool, and given that one of the purposes of the NPZ is to protect historic status, it is clear that the original intent of the NPZ manual included disallowing pools. You cannot state one of your intentions is to preserve historic status, and at the same time allow development that causes de-listing. In pointing out that inconsistency, it was my intent not to alter the current language, or to add a new condition, but to simply make the point that reasonable people will agree that the pools in the front yard and preservation are inconsistent. 

The design manuals also have standards for landscape reviews and streetscape compatibility. In each case, it is clear that adding front yard pools could never have been the original intent behind the design criteria. In order to bring all of this to a public discussion, I asked to initiate the rezoning process so we can have public hearings in front of the appropriate regulatory official (Planning Commission or Zoning Examiner) to clarify the intent of existing language. If necessary to achieve that, add some wording that fills the existing loopholes that a couple of builders appear to have an interest in exploiting. That will include a discussion of Prop 207 – the Private Property Rights State law that says we cannot downzone, or place restrictions on a property that decrease the earning value it has. That will be a discussion our Attorneys will have an important seat at the table for; yet, if all we’re doing is clarifying original intent, one has to ask whether there’s really a 207 exposure.

The M&C unanimously adopted the motion to move this conversation forward. More to come. I know there are other neighborhoods considering putting NPZ manuals together. For them, as well as for the two existing NPZ neighborhoods, this will be an important item to watch unfold.

Campbell/6th Plan

Here is one more development-related item. Last week I provided comments to staff on a Planned Area Development (PAD) proposal for the SW corner of Campbell and 6th Street. Some of it is reasonable. Some, well, I want to put the brakes on before it gains momentum, as in this photo (dispelling the fiction that people are not riding scooters in unsafe manners on sidewalks, and then leaving them for others to clean up).

Here is the general plan being proposed:

The plan for Area A is a 140’ tall student housing tower that is projected to house 340 rooms. I am just assuming, say, 3 beds per room, bumping 1,000 beds in that facility. It will be some mix of 2, 3 and 4 beds per suite is my assumption. The plan for Area B is a 70’ hotel with 223 rooms. Area C is commercial, probably similar to what is across the street in Sam Hughes Place, and Area D is a 25’ tall parking garage. 

The development team has done a traffic analysis. According to that study, the project is anticipated to generate an additional 3,700 daily car trips. One way they suggest addressing the parking issues that will create is to work out a joint agreement with either the City or the UA for some parking facility within ¼ mile of the site. Other than across 6th Street to the north, all that exists within that distance is single family residences in historic neighborhoods. Each of those neighborhoods has already tried to address parking issues by paying for a Residential Parking Permit program. A parking Intergovernmental Agreement in any direction other than on the UA campus to the north will be challenging.

The PAD indicates that exterior balconies are in the plan. I spoke to a woman from the Islamic Center while visiting the JB Wright event. She confirms that they are still having issues with bottles being tossed from the adjacent towers. There is a point at which we should learn from the past.

I have submitted comments on the PAD. One is that using the PAD for assembling these parcels and developing them may be a good tool to consider. However, to the south and to the east are single family residences. The scale and intensity of what is proposed is not close to being compatible with that location. Within the PAD document, they compare what is planned to what’s existing on the UA campus. If they want to move this onto the campus footprint, then the comparison may be appropriate. Even with that though, the UA planners would struggle with several elements of this project including parking, traffic, drainage, and simply how to squeeze it onto some existing piece of ground. Shifting the burden of addressing all of that to the south and impacting the neighbors who have partnered with the UA in multiple other planning exercises is simply not something I’ll be supporting. 

I received word back from the City zoning folks on Friday that they will share my comments with the developer. He, of course, has the liberty to reach out and talk about it, or just move ahead with what is proposed. It is a rezoning though, so there will be plenty of opportunity for public input as this moves along through the process.

Water Security

Last week we advanced our position on water contamination in a way that I believe is significant, and one that other communities around the country may consider following our lead. I’ve described in multiple newsletters how the DOD and the State Air National Guard are using a fluorinated fire fighting foam (AFFF) that has undeniably resulted in contaminating our groundwater system with PFCs. In recent weeks I have also described how there are alternatives to AFFF that are effective, and that are used all over the world – except by our military. These fluorine free foams (3F) are available on the market, they do not pollute water systems, they are effective in fighting fires, and they do not subject fire fighters to toxic chemicals. 

Last week I asked the M&C to direct staff to bring us an ordinance that bans the use or disposal of AFFF within City limits. The motion was adopted 7-0.

This is the title of an IPEN article that I’ve referenced in recent newsletters:

Every one of the 27 major airports in Australia exclusively use 3F (non-fluorinated fire fighting products) to fight their fires. It is used all over Europe. Successfully. Yet, it is our Defense Department that has specified the fire fighting foams they use must contain PFCs. In May of this year, at the Geneva Switzerland U.N. meeting, the very diverse groups noted in the article title joined together asking for a ban on use of the chemicals our DOD ‘requires’ to be in the products they buy. As I noted, there are effective, non-polluting alternatives. I poached this quote from the article:

(Geneva, Switzerland): Industry fire-safety experts from the oil and gas and aviation sectors are joining with firefighter trade unions and representatives of Indigenous Peoples to urge governments to protect human health and the environment with a global ban on the toxic chemical, PFOA, and to reject loopholes for its use in firefighting foams. The use of PFOA and other fluorinated organic compounds (PFAS) is widespread across many industrial and domestic applications including textiles, food packaging, stain and oil resistant treatments, and industrial processes. Fluorinated firefighting foam is a leading cause of water contamination with toxic chemicals that are associated with cancer, endocrine disruption, and harm to fetal development.

We know the source of the PFOA and PFOS we are finding in water wells out by DM and the ANG. It’s the AFFF they’ve been using on base. The red dots on the map insert show wells we have shut down to prevent inadvertently serving any of the DOD tainted water to you. The same is true of the red dots north of the ANG runway.

When I offered the motion to ban use or disposal of this stuff within City limits, there was some discussion of the Feds and the State perhaps claiming sovereign governmental immunity. While I accept the notion that we cannot tell the federal government what it can and cannot purchase, we should have an argument that says they can’t dump it into our groundwater and sewer system. Staff will be bringing us back a draft ordinance after the first of the year.

Last week I shared this note related to how the U.S. Congress is also not properly connected with the alternative foams that are in use around the world. The 3F is not mentioned at all in any of the defense authorization bills that are now being considered, and none of the bills are suggesting PFAS be designated a hazardous substance. Sorry, but the stuff is toxic. Even 3M and the other manufacturers knew that decades ago. Our government is still ignoring that fact.

Each time I write about this subject I want to make it very clear that Tucson Water is not serving you the tainted water. Shutting down wells cannot be a long term approach. On Tuesday, I raised the notion of beginning litigation against both the DOD, and the State Air Guard. We will talk more about that when we see the draft ordinance. Most importantly for now is to assure you that our water utility is continuing to work with both of those groups on finding solutions, and we are not serving water that has anywhere close to the levels the EPA has said are health advisory levels. 

Back to the U.N. meeting – this is now a global conversation. I want Tucson to lead nationally on this topic by making a strong statement about how PFAS can be disposed in our City limits. As for the various groups who met in Stockholm are concerned, this closing paragraph from the IPEN article makes clear their direction:

The Stockholm Convention's scientific expert body recommended global elimination of PFOA due to its toxicity, persistence, bioaccumulation in the food chain, and ability to travel long distances. They also recommended strengthening the listing of PFOS in the treaty by closing a large number of loopholes. Since PFOA and PFOS have been used in firefighting foams, the expert body addressed alternatives to them, warning  against using the entire class of PFAS substances in firefighting foams, "due to their persistence and mobility, as well as their potential negative environmental, human health and socioeconomic impacts." 

Water Conservation

For every 750 gallons of water you use, you are paying a dime that goes towards our water conservation program. We have several different rebates you can get through that program, but we are taking a survey to see what your priorities are. What we hear from you will help guide how we reconsider how this program is being delivered out into the community. To take the survey, use this link:

Some of the more popular rebates we are already offering are for washing machines, low flow toilets, rainwater harvesting systems, and gray water systems. It’s great to see so many of you taking the opportunity to use these rebates – you’re paying for them, so why not get your money back in the form of a water conservation tool. 

These charts are provided monthly by Tucson Water. They are a fun way to see the percentages of Tucson Water customers who are using these rebates. For example, in Ward 6 between just 10% and 15% of our customers have used the conservation fund to help purchase a water efficient washing machine.

You can see that same percentage is also true for low flow toilets.

Those same percentages are true for both Gray Water systems, and for rainwater harvesting (both active and passive) systems. 

The red bars in the graphs show how much of the total rebate money doled out is going to that particular Ward. I am more interested in seeing the “% of customers” actually participating in that increase. If more of you were taking advantage of the conservation program funds that you’re already pitching in, water savings Citywide would increase. Please keep it in mind next time you are looking for household items that impact your water use. To check all of the options we offer in the rebate program, go to

Streetcar Holiday Hours

Quick note so you don’t get left without a streetcar ride over the holidays. We are temporarily shortening the hours of operation on Sun Link during the UA winter break. Please keep this schedule in mind as you make your plans:

Monday through Thursday – 7am until 10pm
Friday and Saturday – 7am until midnight
Sunday – 8am until 8pm

Sun Link’s web link for more information is

This week’s local Tucson item is our Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona. Ann and I met with two of their leadership last week. Their immediate goal is to recruit women from the community who are looking for ways to get active in local issues. Coming on the heels of our most recent City election, now is a great time for them to be starting this outreach.

I will be working with them when it comes to looking for qualified people to serve on some of our Boards, Committees and Commissions. They are involved in more than simply City BCCs. You can check them out on the Foundation website by going to For a more personal conversation, contact Emma Fryer at, or Desiree Maultsby at You will be hearing more about this group in the days ahead. They have a good focus and I look forward to working with them.

Mom’s Italian Witches

And finally, these ladies. They are not on the Women’s Commission, but you will find them hovering in the Ward 6 office entry room. If you see them and wonder, well, they are a pair of Christmas witches my mom brought back from Venice after having completed her Master’s in Art.


I suspect you have heard the tale of a guy named Santa Clause. Well these two ladies are every bit his match. According to Italian lore, they fly over houses each Christmas and if you have been good, they’ll leave a present; but if you haven’t, they’ll leave you a lump of coal. Check on Christmas morning to see how you rated with these ladies. Nobody really knows how they work with Santa on a division of labor Christmas Eve night, so don’t just assume some chubby guy slid down your chimney. It might have been the Christmas witch instead.


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: Clicking on any "I Want To..." menu item will take you directly to that Department's help page, including all forms and contacts you may need.

Events and Entertainment

Happy Holidays! 


45 N. 5th Ave. (MLK Lot/Depot Garage Lot)

All purchases must be made directly at the ice rink. Ice skates are included with the cost of all-day admission (no discount for bringing your own skates).

Skates begin at size 8 for children and run as large as size 15 for adult men.

Socks are required, and gloves are highly recommended.

Admission (Cash and Credit Cards):

Adults: $15
Children: $10 (12 and under)
Skate assists: $5
Private use  (during off-hours): – $375/hour
Call 520-791-4101 (option 1) weekdays between 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Hours (Subject to change):

Weekdays – 4-10 p.m.
Saturdays – Noon-10 p.m.
Sundays – Noon-7 p.m.
Christmas – Closed
New Year’s Eve – Noon-11 p.m.
New Year’s Day – 4-10 p.m.


December 24 @ 11:00 am - 4:00 pm, $32 – $40

Penca Executive Chef Solorzano and owner Patricia Schwabe love the holidays – they particularly love the family holiday traditions of Mexico which they have incorporated into both Christmas and New Year’s Eve feasts.  On Christmas Eve, Tuesday, December 24, Penca will feature the Noche Buena Buffet from 11am to 4pm for lunch and 4pm to 7pm for dinner.  The family style meal will showcase a variety of traditional Mexican dishes like Posole, Green Corn Tamales, Romeritos and more. Rompope, a classic holiday milk punch will be offered along with other seasonal drinks.  Guests are encouraged to share this special meal with family and friends.  Price per person for lunch is $32 ++, dinner is $40++. Children 4 and under are free. Beverages are extra.  Reservations can be made at or at 5202037681.

Buffet de Noche Buena Menu

Pozole de Guajolote

Sopa de Zanahoria

Green Corn Tamales with Smoked Butter

Ensalada Navideña Orange Slices and Blood Orange, Jicama, Pistachio, Red Beet, Sherry Vinaigrette Mixiote

Navideño Potato, Guajolote, Nopales andf Chipotle Meco steamed in parchment with Magey Leaves

Pavo Ahumado a la Uva

Romeritos con Camaron


Arroz Verde

Arroz Rojo

Frijol Negro

Jewel Purse Seasonal Fruit steamed with Cinnamon Piloncillo syrup,

Quince and Pecan inside a Banana Leaf Purse


December 26 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm, $5

Looking for something to do with your family visiting over Christmas?  Bring them to the Presidio Museum for docent tours, interpretive history and special activities.


Arizona State Museum, 1013 E University Blvd |

Arizona Theater Company, 330 S Scott Ave |

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

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 |