Topics in this issue...
- Be Kind
- Sex Trafficking
- Dick's Sporting Goods
- Pedestrian Safety
- Education Items
- Infill Development
- Local Tucson: Tucson Botanical Gardens
- Benedictine Chapel
- Civic Events Grants
- Free Movie Night
- Film Tucson
- Events & Entertainment
Be Kind kudos to the staff at the new Downtown Motor Apartments. They work with disadvantaged veterans. Over the past couple of months, they’ve been working with a single mom, veteran and domestic violence victim, trying to help draw her out of a trauma induced shell. Through their intervention work, that single mom is now accessing services, interacting with her neighbors, working full time and getting around on her own. It’s a good news story for which the staff at the facility deserves recognition.
We host Sacred Space each week on Sundays at 4 p.m. Last week a lady approached me right before we started and asked if I could help with a welfare check on a homeless lady she has been feeding and offering friendship to over the past two years. We made some contacts, but this Be Kind mention is for the lady who took the homeless woman under her wing.
This is more of an event, but the reach is to families and youth. The hook is art. Bookman’s on East Speedway hosts what they call Paint Nite. It’s a free event in which people just show up, sit down at a pre-set table and paint to their hearts content. At the last event, they had about 40 people of all ages and abilities. They supply the materials and the good time. You just show up and take part. They’re located at 6230 E. Speedway. The next Paint Nite is from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Friday, March 23 but it’s already all booked up. To sign up for their next one on April 27, email email@example.com. Check out bookmans.com/events for a list of all events at the various Bookman’s locations.
I’m going to include this as a Be Kind recognition, although it could be its own standalone item.
The Humane Society is moving into their new facility later this month. On March 29, they’ll caravan from the Kelvin Blvd building over to the new place on Roger Road. That caravan will include moving about 250 animals – split about 50/50 between dogs and cats. They’re polling their volunteer corps right now to see if they have enough people to help with the move. If not, I’ll let you know next week.
In order to help ease the magnitude of the move effort, they’re holding a Lighten the Load event. On Tuesday, March 20, The Reliance Group is sponsoring the first 15 adoptions.
The hope and intent is to find great forever homes for the critters and at the same time reduce the number of animals they have to move to the new site later in the month. If you’ve been thinking about a pooch or kitty, this Lighten the Load event is an opportunity to help in many ways.
After they have some time to get settled into the new Roger Rd. facility, Brandy Burke and the Humane Society staff will host a public open house. This flyer has all of that information. If you can’t make the adoption fair on the 20th, check them out at the open house on April 7. Unfortunately, since not enough people take spay/neuter seriously, they’ll still have adoptable family members.
This couple was in their 80s. Police in Vero Beach, Florida found them both shot to death last week in what they described as a murder-suicide. There is reason to believe this was a domestic violence incident and not a case where one had significant health issues that sometimes lead to a compassionate killing.
Two people were found shot dead in a campus dorm on the Central Michigan campus in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. The shooter was a 19-year-old guy who fled the scene. Authorities found him walking on some train tracks a while later. The two he had shot were his parents.
In Providence, Rhode Island, a 24-year-old mom of two young kids was found shot to death in her home. The shooter was her estranged husband in another DV incident where the presence of a gun resulted in two dead young people (he shot himself after taking the woman’s life) and two young kids now without a mom. The woman’s mother said the guy had always said, “I’m going to kill her.” He did.
These three DV incidents share the common element of mixing a gun with domestic violence. If you know of an abusive relationship, call Emerge! and ask how you or others might intervene. Their hotline number is 795.4266.
Each year Emerge! honors a Mother of the Year. That event is coming on Friday, April 27. It’s a luncheon, so if you’d like to attend, the event runs from noon until 1:15 p.m. out at Starr Pass. This year’s award is another in the line of women and moms who have worked to get out from an abusive relationship and keep her family together in the process. We’re fortunate to have Emerge! as the conduit to safety for women like this.
I’m participating this year as the recipient of their 2018 Community Partner Award. It’s humbling to be included in their program. Ed and his staff do the heavy lifting on this topic; those of us in the community trying to help that lift are honored to be included in their work.
Come pay tribute to this year’s Mother of the Year. To register, contact Shaundra Higgins at 795.8001 (x7023) or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, look for this image coming soon to a bus stop near you:
Those groups that couldn’t use the Ward 6 meeting rooms back around Christmas, the Holiday House is why. You played a role in touching lives.
Congratulations to Ed and the gang on securing funding for a new risk assessment protocol. Working with the Pima County Attorney’s Office, TPD and others in the law enforcement and courts system, Emerge! will now take part in providing judges an evaluation of DV suspects. That information will be available prior to sentencing or assigning bail. It’s another step in the direction of making DV victims safer in our community.
On a directly related note, the ASU College of Public Service and Community Solutions is offering five scholarships for bachelor’s degrees through their Public Service Academy. What’s the tie to trafficking? The scholarships are for sex trafficking survivors, giving them an opportunity to pull their lives back together.
Students may major in any degree in the university. A peer survivor will mentor them. The ASU School of Social Work Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention will screen that person. If you attended the trafficking forum we held at The Loft, you heard Dominique Roe-Sepowitz on the panel. She runs the department sponsoring the mentors.
Applications are open now. They’ll continue taking applications until they’re filled. In addition to being a survivor, applicants may not have previously completed a bachelor’s degree and they must be a resident of Arizona.
If you’d like to apply or get more information, contact Kimberly Hogan (Kimberly.email@example.com). She’ll also help you navigate the application process.
Domestic violence victims are often also trafficking victims. It’s great we have support systems in place like Emerge! and the work Dominique and her staff are doing.
Last week I shared an online promotion Dick’s Sporting Goods was advertising. It was a special deal to get multiple clips, each of which would hold 30 rounds of AR15 ammunition. Evidently, I wasn’t alone in raising the idea of “voting with your pocketbook.” Late in the week, Dick’s on a corporate level announced changes in their gun sales policies. Embedded in their announcement was this statement:
We support and respect the Second Amendment, and we recognize and appreciate that the vast majority of gun owners in this country are responsible, law-abiding citizens. But we have to help solve the problem that’s in front of us. Gun violence is an epidemic that’s taking the lives of too many people, including the brightest hope for the future of America – our kids.
The policy changes include removing “assault-style” rifles from all 35 of their Field & Stream stores, no longer selling firearms of any kind to anyone under the age of 21, no longer selling high capacity magazines like the ones in the newsletter last week, and committing never to sell bump stocks or similar attachments.
The CEO of Dick’s is imploring elected officials to pass these regulations:
- Ban assault-style firearms
- Raise the minimum age to purchase firearms to 21
- Ban high capacity magazines and bump stocks
- Require universal background checks that include relevant mental health information and previous interactions with the law
- Ensure a complete universal database of those banned from buying firearms
- Close the private sale and gun show loophole that waives the necessity of background checks
If the state legislature would get their foot off our throats locally, I’m certain we’d have each of those items implemented within weeks in Tucson.
Some are now suggesting rewarding Dick’s for their move. In fact, Joan Lionetti paid them a visit and purchased some gift cards. This is her and the local Dick’s store manager:
Good for Joan and good for Dick’s.
Walmart also changed policies last week to raise the minimum age at which customers can buy firearms to 21 years old. They’re also removing assault-style weapons from their website, including look-alike non-lethal airsoft guns and toys.
In the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, some states are at least talking about changes. Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York are forming a coalition to combat gun violence. Their plan is to create a multistate database to help trace and intercept guns used in crimes or transported across state lines. The local ordinance I shepherded mandating people tell the police if their gun is lost or stolen was deemed to be pre-empted by state law by the Attorney General. It’s still on our books.
Several states are considering “extreme risk laws” – statutes that would give police the ability to take away a person’s guns temporarily if he/she is deemed a risk to self or others. Florida is looking at raising the minimum age to buy assault rifles and other measures intended to keep guns out of the hands of mentally ill people. They’re also calling for a three-day waiting period on the purchase of a weapon, plus $450M in new funding for school security.
Recently, the Vermont governor said gun laws are fine as they are. In the wake of Parkland, he’s now supporting extreme risk laws in his state. Oregon expanded their prohibition on possessing a weapon for DV convicts, even those not married to or living with their victims. Washington State also raised the minimum age for the purchase of semiautomatic rifles. They’re working on a bump stock ban too. Illinois is looking at extreme risk rules and considering licensing gun dealers in ways similar to car dealers and salon operators. In Indiana, they’re also looking at registration.
Several years ago, when we suffered either of our two mass shootings in Tucson, these measures wouldn’t have been considered. We were left to introduce local ordinances, some of which have been forcibly rescinded by the state.
It’s not all forward motion on this issue. In Kansas and South Dakota, they’re considering legislation to lower the age at which people can carry concealed weapons and also allowing them on school grounds. That’s counter to the incident reported last week in Maplewood, Minnesota. There, a third grader reached into the holster of a Community Resource Officer and accidentally fired the weapon. The little kid’s hand was small enough to fit into the otherwise “secure” holster. The bullet hit the ground and didn’t injure anyone. The officer was busy “building relationships” with the kids and didn’t notice the little hand entering the holster. Note this comment from the incident report:
The holster is considered a level-3 security, and it has a trigger guard that typically cannot be touched or fired in the holster, but the child's small finger was able to reach inside.
Here’s another this chilling story from Newfoundland, Pennsylvania. The World Peace and Unification Sanctuary is holding a ceremony in which they’re “blessing any and everyone's AR15’s.” Unsurprisingly, the ceremony made people living in the area feel a bit unsafe. The elementary school that’s half a mile from the “church” is holding classes at an alternate location on the day of the blessing.
The religious group believes the AR15 is the perfect symbol of the “iron rod” mentioned in the Book of Revelations (2:27). This group is a breakaway from the Unification Church led by Rev. Moon back in the ‘70s. With groups like this still floating around, three-cheers for the leaders who are backing tougher laws and coals-in-the-stocking for those who want more guns on campuses.
Note these local events coming this month:
I don’t generally support kids walking out of school (and hope they choose their lunch break to do so), but countering the efforts to arm teachers and other school employees makes an important and timely statement.
We’ll also rally on the UA campus in support of rational gun laws.
On Saturday, March 24 from 10 a.m. until noon, there’ll be a march and rally to show support of the Parkland students. Join us on the mall and send this message to the Arizona state legislature: guns + campus + kids = not a good combination.
Okay, enough about guns. How about smoking dope in the parking lot next to Youth on their Own. Something we can all get behind, right?
I joined YOTO director Nicola Hartman last week in expressing my opinion about this activity on a KVOA report. The place is called 79th Floor. They don’t have a sign on the building. They’re trying to stay nondescript and under the radar screen, except that the smell flowing from the building is a pretty tough one to disguise.
If this were simple, TPD would have addressed it already. I join Nicola in hoping a resolution is near.
In a nutshell, this is the position the business is taking: medical marijuana is legal if not smoked in public. They call their place of business a private club and therefore take the position that smoking dope on site by MM cardholders should be allowed.
Check out these videos posted on their Facebook page:
Sorry, but that’s not medicine. It’s happening in close enough proximity to YOTO that they smell the pot in their lobby. Many of the kids they work with come from homes in which both parents were drug abusers. Having to deal with this in what should be a safe place for the kids is the troubling part.
Here’s what the law has to say:
36-2802. Arizona Medical Marijuana Act; limitations
This chapter does not authorize any person to engage in, and does not prevent the imposition of any civil, criminal or other penalties for engaging in, the following conduct:
A. Undertaking any task under the influence of marijuana that would constitute negligence or professional malpractice.
B. Possessing or engaging in the medical use of marijuana:
1. On a school bus.
2. On the grounds of any preschool or primary or secondary school.
3. In any correctional facility.
C. Smoking marijuana:
1. On any form of public transportation.
2. In any public place.
D. Operating, navigating or being in actual physical control of any motor vehicle, aircraft or motorboat while under the influence of marijuana, except that a registered qualifying patient shall not be considered to be under the influence of marijuana solely because of the presence of metabolites or components of marijuana that appear in insufficient concentration to cause impairment.
E. Using marijuana except as authorized under this chapter.
I’m pretty liberal when it comes to smoking pot, but when you’re doing it in a way that negatively impacts kids who are trying to put their lives together at YOTO, you’re not going to gain my support.
The city issues a business license to the 79th Floor. That implies some level of public access, which suggests it’s not a private club. If they can make that claim, then any business in the city could set aside a space within their building, call it a private club and be beyond the reach of the law.
My hope is that the owners of the property simply restrict the smoking on the site. Sell the CBD oil if they want as well as the accessories they have on display, but give the kids next door a break and smoke at home. This’ll be coming to a head soon (pun – sorry) so stay tuned.
We’re #1! Yes, in Pac 12 basketball, but also nationwide in the number of pedestrian deaths per 100,000 population. The national average is about .81 deaths per 100,000 people. In Arizona, the number is 1.61. Here in Tucson, we’re on another record setting pace.
According to data presented by the Governor’s Highway Safety Administration, five states account for 43 percent of pedestrian deaths nationwide. Those same states account for 30 percent of the population, so no, the data doesn’t track population.
KGUN9 and KVOA both ran stories last week in which I made the comment that by addressing speeds on city streets, we can affect Tucson roadway mortality numbers. As I noted in last week’s newsletter, right now I have TDOT looking at dropping the posted speed on Pima, from Dodge out to Craycroft from its current 35 mph down to 30. It can only help.
I’ve written before about Vision Zero – the program aimed at reducing roadway fatalities through a variety of methods. One is intensified traffic enforcement. When we reduce the speed on Pima, that’ll be a piece of the early education process we’ll have to take on. It’s happening now on the sections of Columbus we recently dropped speeds on.
The same GHSA report that recognized the state for having the highest rate of pedestrian deaths in the nation also presented some evidence-based ways to counter road fatalities. In one section, they offered both engineering and enforcement ways to reduce speed. Those of course included dropping the posted limit and adding enforcement. In addition, the report mentioned engineering measures such as road diets that create space for other modes of travel and traffic circles in place of stop signs. We’re looking at both of those in several areas around midtown right now.
Another engineering option is the protected left turn we now have in place at Campbell and Speedway. Now the city is studying the impacts of having it in place, primarily concerning traffic flow. I’ve joined several others in pointing out that the current 20 second time allowed for the left hand turns is causing a backup in the turn lane, sometimes long enough that it impacts the adjacent through-lane. Extending the left hand turn time by even 5 seconds would help alleviate that safety issue. Staff is considering the thought.
Yet, the value of the protected left when the timing is set correctly is beyond dispute. In a recent TPD analysis of incident data, left turns are clearly implicated in collisions. They point to the high rate of pedestrian deaths in Tucson as an indication of the need for an action plan. These factors were cited in the report:
- Speed is a very common collision factor for fatal and severe injury collisions;
- Most collisions occur on arterials;
- Left turns and right turns are extremely common collision factors across all collisions;
- Driving under the influence is a common contributing factor in fatal or severe injury collisions.
This statement comes from the report:
Speed limits of 35 MPH or greater creates the greatest risk to pedestrians and is a factor in ~95% of pedestrian fatality incidents
I trust staff is looking at the TPD data while deciding on a response for the Pima Street speed reductions and when assessing the value of protected left hand turns.
The feds just awarded Arizona about $800K to work on the pedestrian death issue. Tucson and the region will get some of those dollars. It’s my hope we spend it on implementing engineering protocols and not on funding PSAs telling people to avoid walking out in front of cars. Education is nice. Roadway design that makes ours safer will be the longer term key to reversing our trend.
Congratulations to Coach Miller and the team. It’s not a level of “success” we should be emulating in how we manage our roads.
I’m working with partners on two areas related to education. One is how we address the public education needs in our community and region, the other is how we addressed infill development through the Infill Incentive District rewrite. First, schools.
Please mark your calendar for the evening of March 26 to join in a discussion of public education. Last November, Prop 204 failed at the ballot box. It was to fund pre-K education. Several bond measures also failed, a few passed. Over the past month or so, I’ve been meeting with education advocates to talk about the reasons why and where we go from here. The group wants to hear from you.
On the 26th, we’ll meet at the Copper Room of the Randolph Park complex. Editorial chief for the Star, Sarah Garrecht-Gassen will moderate the public conversation. On the panel, we’ll have representatives of the Pima County School Superintendent’s Office, Penelope Jacks from Strong Start Tucson, Arlene Benevidez from the Metropolitan Education Commission, and speakers representing First Things First and the Southern Arizona Leadership Council. They’ll each make an opening comment, then the evening belongs to you.
Catherine Tornbom from the Center for Community Dialogue will facilitate that public piece. If you’ve come to other forums I’ve been associated with in the past, you’ve likely seen her work. All views are welcome and at the end of a breakout session, we’ll have a report-out to the panel. The goal is to hear what the public has in mind now that the dust has settled from the November elections.
Other forums are planned to address the issue of public education. This is the kick-off and the primary way many of the education groups will be able to hear from you. I hope you can come and take part.
Last Friday, I submitted this memo to the city clerk, calling for a study session to discuss our Infill Incentive District policies. Based on some reactions on the dais during a recent call to the audience in which a 4th Avenue project was discussed, I felt it would be wise to remind us all how the IID was created.
DATE: March 2, 2018
TO: Mr. Roger Randolph, Honorable Mayor & Council Members, and City Manager
FROM: Council Member Kozachik
SUBJECT: Implementation of the Infill Incentive District
I request the following item be agendized for the March 20th, Study Session:
Please set aside 30 minutes to review the implementation of the Infill Incentive District (IID).
At the present time there are several projects in the pipeline that are taking advantage of the terms of the IID. The review I'm requesting may be beneficial for members of the M&C who may not have participated directly in the process we engaged to create the IID, and for members of the public who may not be familiar with its terms.
Over a 5 year time span, multiple groups participated in the formation of the current IID. It was adopted in its current form in February of 2015. That purpose was to update former policies which addressed concerns that had emerged in the implementation of infill development.
I have asked Corky Poster to come and take part in this review. From city staff Carolyn Laurie was most directly involved and will be a good person to address questions the M&C may have. This is intended to be an informational item to clarify the lengthy process we went through to implement the IID, identify the many groups who participated in that update, and answer any questions M&C have related to any specific projects that may be under IID review at the present time.
We adopted our current IID ordinance back in February 2015 in a unanimous vote of the M&C. The purpose was to guide development in and around our downtown core. Simply stated, the Fry’s PAD out at Houghton and 22nd is not “infill.” Building newly proposed student housing along the 4th Avenue corridor is.
Those of us who took part in the formation of the current IID recall the hundreds of meetings, hundreds of staff and community hours and hundreds of pieces of public input that went into the five-plus year process by which we developed the IID. It was a significantly public and open process. Hearing concerns being raised now that people are surprised by what’s included is a bit distressing.
The IID builds on existing zoning entitlements. It contains protections for historic properties. Its intent is to create appropriate development along the streetcar route. It includes multiple staff reviews, public involvement, review by the City of Tucson Historic Commission and Design Professional, along with an IID Design Review Committee. This isn’t dark of the night, backroom deal development. The entire process can take up to six months or longer and the decision made by the Director of PDSD may be appealed to the M&C.
The project at issue during call to the audience is a proposed student housing development called The Union on 6th. It is early in the approval process. Concerns raised include parking, traffic, student housing and height. Each of those will be reviewed for compliance with the terms of the IID as the process evolves.
This isn’t the first project along the 4th Avenue area to have gone through the IID review process. We saw it work well for Lindy’s, the Barn, Revel Wine Bar and Time Market. In downtown, we’ve seen it used at the Marist College and most recently at City Park on Congress. Staff is very familiar with how applicants’ proposals must be reviewed. The Union will be given the same scrutiny as these others have.
I recall very clearly one point of contention I fought hard for on the night we adopted the current IID. That is an exclusion of “group dwellings” from the area now being proposed for The Union. Group dwellings are student housing. The Union is proposed as “multi-family housing.” They are suggesting that by renting by the room instead of by the bed, their product isn’t “student housing” as defined in our code. While that may be true of the letter of the law, it certainly isn’t consistent with the spirit of the IID. I’ve made that very clear to the development team.
I’m looking forward to the IID review to come on March 20. If you have concerns over how we adopted it or what it allows and prohibits, come down for our study session discussion or watch it online https://www.tucsonaz.gov/tv12.
This week’s Local Tucson item is our own Ward 6 Botanical Gardens. This item comes with a bit of a twist. I mentioned the Fry’s development out on Houghton above. They’re closing stores around town while working on opening that one. One of the shuttered stores is at Grant and Alvernon, adjacent to the gardens. I join Michelle Conklin and dozens of others in suggesting it’d be a step towards rehabilitating the public image of Fry’s if they allow the Alvernon property to be used for expanding the Botanical Gardens. This rendering shows how serious Michelle and her board are in terms of moving towards this as a goal for the community.
The notion of a naming opportunity associated with the expansion has already been pitched to Fry’s and parent Kroger’s upper management. I’ve weighed in with their management, as have a ton of community members. Many of us are hoping this idea is taken seriously and a real conversation will follow.
The idea of the gardens taking over this space isn’t new. Back in 1983, the location was offered to the gardens. At the time, they didn’t have the financial ability to pull it off. Now they have the vision and they’re confident the financial hurdle can be overcome. A philanthropic move by Fry’s could certainly help that.
The Tucson Botanical Gardens has well over 120,000 visitors each year. They play host to thousands of school kids, display over 7,000 different plant types in 18 different display gardens. Last year I reported in this newsletter that the Canadian Garden Tourism Council named the gardens one of the top 10 gardens to visit in all of North America. The pitch to Fry’s is for real. They should recognize it as such.
I’m hopeful this newsletter item will be back soon with a follow up. That is, Fry’s and the gardens’ board sitting down and hammering out a deal. With RTA projects such as the Grant Road widening criticized for simply adding asphalt to the region, this is a chance to change that narrative in a very positive manner. More to come on this in the very near term.
Another development that’s moving along is the proposed change for the Benedictine property at Country Club, just south of Speedway. By way of update, the development team and their architects have met several times with surrounding neighbors. We are right now putting together a joint Miramonte-Sam Hughes neighborhood meeting in which the discussion will be rolled out for a wider public conversation. I expect that meeting to be held this month. When it is, I’ll be sure to share the date, time, and location with you as I know how sensitive this project is for both the community and for the development team as well.
Since I was first elected to the council, I have thought that we don’t fund our civic events sufficiently. Nevertheless, the $50K we’ve allocated in our budget process is coming up again for distribution. The application process starts now.
Both emerging and established special events can apply. Here are the requirements for getting your group’s application in for consideration:
In order to apply, you need to be a nonprofit, comply with our non-discrimination policy, demonstrate some funding support other than the grant money, and have no past due balances for previous events with the city.
Events must take place largely within city limits and it’s important you show how the event benefits the city economically on your application. We just saw the 4th Avenue Street Fair; we’re looking forward to the annual Festival of Books; the Tucson Rodeo just occurred. These economic drivers help define who we are as a community. If left to me, we’d have more in the budget to help. We don’t, so get your application in soon so your event is a part of the conversation.
This event is coming to Ward 6 on April 14. The Living Streets Alliance folks will set up shop out behind our building from 10 a.m. until noon. The first 20 people who show up will receive some free bike repair assistance. The kinds of things they can handle at this event are flat tires, adjusting and straightening seats and handlebars, adjusting brakes and cables, as well as cleaning and lubing chains. This isn’t for a full rebuild of your drive train or repacking hubs.
The event is free and open to people of all ages. They’ll have a limited supply of youth bike helmets on hand as well. If your two-wheeler has been sitting in the garage for too long waiting for some TLC, bring it over on the 14th and LSA will get you back in the saddle.
If you’d like more information on this event, contact Colby at Colby@livingstreetsalliance.org or call him at 261.8777.
Coming on March 10 (which is also 2nd Saturdays Downtown), the Historic Train Museum located at the Amtrak depot will have their second free movie presentation of the season. A screening of the movie Cars will begin at 6:15 p.m. The show lasts about two hours, so it’s timed well for kids of nearly all ages.
Keep the museum in mind for another event coming the following Saturday. On March 17, they’ll host the Silver Spike Festival. The celebration is in honor of the 138th anniversary of the railroad coming to Tucson.
The event will include music, food, historic artifacts from the era, and a reenactment of the arrival. That part of the show will be performed by actual descendants of the men who were here in March 1880. They’re not actors, but are the great-great grandsons or great-great nephews of the men who took part in the arrival back in the day.
Ballet Folklorico will be on hand and the Fourth Cavalry Regiment Band will play some vintage songs.
You can get all the details from their flyer. Lots coming up at the museum. If you haven’t stopped by, March holds some good opportunities for you to get acquainted with the place.
Finally, with last weekend’s Oscar ceremony, I felt it was timely to bring an update on our own film successes. In addition to reporting on the work of our Visit Tucson Film Office, there’s a March festival to promote.
Shelli and her staff at the Film Tucson office have been involved with over $4M in direct film-related spending so far this fiscal year. In January alone, that number was over $800K. Amazon recently shot scenes from the Tucson Mountains, shipping over 200 boxes of furniture to the location for the shoot. Sony Music brought country star Maren Morris here to do a music video out at Old Tucson. Francois Boulaire Photography used our many bike friendly locations to come and shoot images for their cycling gear. TLC also made a return visit to shoot more footage for their hit program Four Weddings. As you can see, filming in and around Tucson attracts a very eclectic mix of productions. The crews from each of them stay in our hotels, eat at our restaurants, and visit local attractions in support of the local economy.
Add to that this year’s Tucson Cine Mexico festival. Coming March 21 through the 25th, the Hansen Institute from the UA will again host the longest running festival of contemporary Mexican films held anywhere in the U.S. The festival uses a variety of venues, including the Fox and the Museum of Art downtown. All of the tickets are free, but to be safe you should reserve one in advance. They’re on a first-come-first-served basis on the night of the show.
Here’s the lineup for this year’s festival.
They have a complete website that shows the history of the festival and gives some background on the shows. Check it out at https://www.tucsoncinemexico.org/festival-at-a-glance.
Council Member, Ward 6
2018 Historic Preservation Awards - Call for Nominations
Nominations must be received by Noon on Thursday, March 29, 2018.
Each year the Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission recognizes individuals, firms, groups, and/or organizations that have demonstrated their interest in, or contribution to the preservation, conservation, or interpretation of local history, architecture, or historic preservation in Tucson or Pima County. For more information on the awards and nomination process, please refer to the https://www.tucsonaz.gov/clerks/boards?board=61. Open the files labeled 2018 Awards Program and Nomination Form.