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NewsNet 10-17-14

TUCSON POLICE RECEIVING 'FAIR AND IMPARTIAL POLICING' TRAINING - Tucson Police Department (TPD) commanders this week received training to learn about the "Fair and Impartial Policing Perspective." The training was led by Dr. Lorie Fridell, an associate professor at the University of South Florida’s College of Behavioral and Community Science. Fridell has more than 20 years of experience conducting research in the field of law enforcement and is nationally known for her work on bias-based policing. TPD Chief Roberto Villaseñor mandated the course as part of the department’s annual continuing training program. The training reflects a new and scientific approach to thinking about the issues of bias in modern policing. TPD says the training is designed to make personnel aware of their implicit biases and give them the tools they need to reduce and manage them and foster better relationships between officers and the public. Fridell also is training future trainers who will train other officers on fair and impartial policing. Chief Villaseñor hopes to have all of the approximately 950 members of the department trained within six months.Read more from the Arizona Daily Star and the TPD news release.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY FOR A DOWNTOWN SURVEY - The Downtown Tucson Partnership today began its second Downtown Pedestrian Intercept Study, a snapshot of public opinions on Downtown Tucson. Volunteers helping in the annual survey will question pedestrians about the current state of the downtown area. The information collected during the study will be used to guide improvement work and allow the Downtown Tucson Partnership to make recommendations to the City of Tucson. Volunteers are needed to help conduct the survey Oct. 18, 24 and 25. Each shift will be between four to six hours, with two volunteers per location for each shift. Volunteers can sign up for as many shifts as they would like, and training will be provided.

TRAFFIC ALERT: BROADWAY/HOUGHTON FINAL PAVING - Monday will begin the final phase of paving of the intersection of Broadway Boulevard and Houghton Road. Crews from Borderland Construction, under contract with the City of Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT), will work from 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. and expect to have the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) project finished by next Friday. During the work, traffic will be shifted through the intersection to allow for paving operations and access to local businesses. At least one lane of travel in all four directions will be maintained during the paving work. Tucson Police officers will be directing traffic at the intersection. Read the TDOT news release.

'NAMJAM' THIS WEEKEND - The 27th annual NamJam celebration in Tucson kicks off a number of veterans-related activities leading up to Veterans Day on Nov. 11. Tomorrow's event, dubbed "Rockin' for all Vets," takes place from 9 a.m. to dusk at Rillito Downs, 4502 N. First Ave. The free celebration includes military displays, food, drinks, and a play area for kids.

REDUCE CLUTTER AND GO PAPERLESS WITH CITY E-BILLING - Go paperless with your Utility Services Statement. Set up an eBill account to pay your bill, get notification of your billing statement, view water usage, and read Tucson Water's newsletter.

NewsNet 10-16-14

EXPANDED MARIPOSA PORT OF ENTRY OFFICIALLY OPEN - After ten years of planning and five years of construction, the $250 million expansion of the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales was marked by an official opening ceremony yesterday. The expanded port includes a pedestrian crossing area, 12 passenger vehicle lanes, eight commercial lanes, a dedicated bus lane, a new inspection area, and an off-load dock. With the expansion, the port has the potential of processing as many as 4,000 commercial vehicles a day. “For Tucson, this day is a significant milestone in our economic development as a city,” said Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild. “As we go out and we market our city as a logistics hub, as a manufacturing hub, as a place where you want a headquarters to do business internationally, we had to have this piece in place.” Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.

TUCSON WATER FEATURED AT HOME SHOW - The SAHBA Fall Home & Garden Show begins tomorrow at 10 a.m. at the Tucson Convention Center (TCC). Stop by Tucson Water’s display space in Aisle 1100 and pick up some free water-related items, meet the utility’s professionals, and learn more about where your water originates. Two topics presented will be the ongoing drought status and the technology involved in recycling water. Details about the three-day show (admission, hours, parking information, etc.) are at the link below. The TCC is easily accessible via the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar.

WATER PARTNERSHIP TO HELP COMMUNITY'S FUTURE - Students from John B. Wright Elementary School recently attended Farm Camp to learn about community partnerships to ensure that Tucsonans have adequate food supplies and reliable water resources. That message was delivered by Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and others as part of a ribbon-cutting event attended by more than 70 adults and children at Tucson Village Farm. The working urban farm was built by youth for the youth of our community, and features innovative water conservation techniques. The dedication of the farm was the result of a year-long collaboration between Tucson Water, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Arizona Project WET, and Conserve2Enhance. Tucson Village Farm is located at 4210 N. Campbell Ave. Read more from Tucson Water.

WEAR PURPLE TOMORROW - In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, tomorrow is "Wear Purple Day." One of the many partners of the special day is Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse, which says one in four women will experience abuse in her lifetime. Emerge! provides domestic abuse crisis intervention and housing, prevention, education, support, and advocacy services to anyone experiencing domestic abuse.  Most people seeking services are women and their children, but programs are available to everyone.

FORBES MAGAZINE RECOGNIZES TUCSON'S BICYCLING EFFORTS - In a recent website article about U.S. cities with the most bike lanes, Forbes magazine points to Tucson's Bicycle Boulevards, calling them "attractive, convenient and comfortable sections of street, optimized for cycling with reduced motorized traffic." The article also mentions the introduction of Cyclovia events motivating Tucsonans to ditch their cars to spend some time on temporarily traffic-free streets. The magazine ranks Tucson second for the highest number of bike lanes, at 610, just behind San Diego, with 620.
City of Tucson Bicycle & Pedestrian Program

NewsNet 10-15-14

MISTER CAR WASH PART OF DOWNTOWN REVITALIZATION - It's only been a few months since the headquarters of the nation's largest full-service car wash moved into Downtown Tucson, and the CEO of Mister Car Wash is delighted. "This is a dream for me," said John Lai. The downtown location is close to the University of Arizona and a block away from the streetcar. "We have known for a while that Tucson's recent growth has created an environment where people want to work and live," he said, hoping that environment will attract top talent. The site at 222 E. Fifth St. once housed the First Baptist Church School, but the structure had been vacant since 2007. The renovated building opened as Mister Car Wash headquarters June 1, on a tight schedule that had most of the renovation work completed in four months. The company qualified for tax incentives from the City of Tucson, receiving an eight-year property tax exemption through the Government Property Lease Excise Tax program. The City also is waiving building permit fees and allowing the company to use what it would pay in construction taxes for job training. The business expects to generate about $2.9 million in direct and indirect tax revenues over the next eight years. Mister Car Wash employs 4,800 people in 14 states. Read more from BizTucson (page 74).

TUCSON HISPANIC CHAMBER GETS FEDERAL GRANT - The Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (THCC) announced today that it has been awarded a $250,000 U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Grant/Cooperative Agreement to continue the implementation of its "Beyond Startup: Elevate Your Business Program." The program was launched more than a year ago, with funding from a grant provided by the City of Tucson. The grant funding allows the program to expand to include businesses in the Tucson region, rural parts of Arizona, and adjoining states. The program promotes the development, growth, success, and long-term sustainability of small businesses eligible for assistance from the SBA. Informational sessions will be held at the THCC on Tuesday, Oct. 21, from 3-3:30 p.m., and on Saturday, Oct. 25, from 9-9:30 a.m.

WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR RECYCLING? - Take a tour of the ReCommunity Material Recovery Facility (Tucson 12 video) and see where all of your recyclables go. Also, learn how to make the right choices when discarding material to reduce recycling contamination rates.

DOWNTOWN NOW THE SITE OF DAILY MOVIES - The Screening Room, which has long served as a centerpiece for the Arizona International Film Festival, is now a full-time movie house. A new partnership between Grand Cinemas and the Arizona Media Arts Council is again bringing mainstream movies to Downtown Tucson after a 40-year absence. Grand Cinemas made several major improvements to the 114-seat space at 127 E. Congress. The new operators moved seats, lighting, and the sound system from its recently-closed Crossroads Theater to bring the Screening Room up to date. The Dolby 5.1 surround system offers booming sound in the tiny space, in part because it was designed for a larger room. The Screening Room also now has a high-tech digital projector to replace the film-based one it had been using. Read more from Downtown Tucson Partnership.

'ZOOCSON' FUNDRAISER FRIDAY - Reid Park Zoo is hosting its 21st annual fundraiser this week to benefit its exhibits, education programs, conservation efforts, and capital projects. More than 30 of Tucson’s favorite restaurants will provide small-plate tastings at stations throughout the Zoo. "ZOOcson" attendees participate in silent and live auctions, which include a diverse array of items. The fundraiser is a 21-and-over event, and tickets include food at all restaurant stations and two drink tickets. To prepare for ZOOcson, Reid Park Zoo will close to the public at noon Friday. The event runs from 6-9 p.m. Visit Reid Park Zoo website for ZOOcson event and ticket information.

NewsNet 10-14-14

'STREETCAR NAMED PROSPERITY' - The fall issue of BizTucson magazine features an overview of the economic impact of the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar and its connection to visionary Louise Marshall's investment in the Tucson Street Railway in 1903. So far, Sun Link has generated $900 million in investments along the route and revitalized Downtown Tucson. Since 2008, 194 new businesses have opened downtown and 158 of those businesses remain open, according to reports from the Downtown Tucson Partnership. Sun Link travels a 3.9-mile route between the University of Arizona, Fourth Avenue, Downtown Tucson, and the Mercado District.
 
RECENT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BRINGS NEW JOBS TO TUCSON
- Shared Services Center Tucson, a provider of business office support for the healthcare community, plans to create 200 new jobs in the Tucson region. Currently located at Northwest Medical Center, the new location at 6223 S. Palo Verde Road will expand the operation to 60,000 square feet and nearly 300 employees. The project includes $5 million in capital investment, generating a $96 million economic impact. In other job creation news, Ward 5 Council Member Richard Fimbres was on hand Oct. 10 for the formal dedication of a Culver's Restaurant at 3070 S. Campbell Avenue. The new addition to the Tucson Marketplace at the Bridges will create more than 60 new jobs. Read news release about Shared Services Center Tucson.

GET A FREE BIKE LIGHT TONIGHT - Living Streets Alliance is partnering with the City of Tucson Bicycle & Pedestrian Program and the Pima Association of Governments to give away bike lights to people without them. Not only do bike lights improve visibility for both cyclists and others on the street – it's the law that bicyclists have them. With darkness falling sooner this time of year, many people are unprepared for riding safely in the dark. Free lights will distributed tonight at the intersection of North 6th Avenue and East 7th Street from 5 p.m. until supplies run out.

ARIZONA OPERA OPENS SEASON NEXT WEEK AT TCC - Arizona Opera opens its 2014-2015 season with the world's first mariachi opera. Cruzar la Cara de la Luna (To Cross the Face of the Moon) blends the passion and artistry of mariachi with the story of a Mexican immigrant family. Commissioned in celebration of the anniversaries of Mexican Independence and Revolution, Cruzar la Cara de la Luna features Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán. With music written by Jose "Pepe" Martinez, Mariachi Vargas Music Director, and books and lyrics by Leonard Foglia, Cruzar la Cara de la Luna will be performed Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 19 at 2 p.m. at the Tucson Convention Center's Music Hall. The opera is sung in Spanish and English with English supertitles.  
Visit Tucson event description

TUCSON FIRE DEPARTMENT RESCUES FELINE - Part of firefighter lore is that they often can be seen rescuing cats stuck in trees. Well, there is some truth in that image, as Tucson Fire Department (TFD) crews this past weekend rescued a kitten, not from a tree, but from a deep drainage ditch. The six-week-old kitten appeared to have been wedged for some time in the underground ditch near East Grant Road and North Tucson Boulevard. Firefighters lowered a ladder into a crawl space and a firefighter carried the cat to the street. The kitten was taken to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona for medical treatment, where she is recovering from an upper respiratory infection and malnourishment. She will remain in foster care for several weeks before being made available for adoption, the Humane Society said. Read more from Tucson News Now, and watch video of the rescue on TFD Facebook page.

NewsNet 10-13-14

DOWNTOWN LECTURE SERIES FOCUSES ON FOOD - The University of Arizona's College of Social and Behavioral Sciences' Downtown Lecture Series returns to the historic Fox Theatre on Wednesdays this fall. The 2014 lecture series will explore food and its connections with health, culture, and the environment. The series begins on Oct. 15 with Dr. Diana Liverman's talk, "Changing Geographies of Food", at 6:30 p.m. The lectures are free and open to the public with tickets available at the Fox Theatre box office beginning at 4 p.m. on the day of each lecture. Attendees can ride the Sun Link streetcar to the event and enjoy the dining and retail opportunities along the route at Main Gate Square, Fourth Avenue, Downtown Tucson, or the Mercado District.
Park Tucson

MAGISTRATE MERIT SELECTION COMMISSION SEEKS PUBLIC INPUT - The City of Tucson Magistrate Merit Selection Commission is currently reviewing applications for reappointment of City Magistrates Thomas J. Berning and Susan Q. Shetter. Public comment is encouraged from those who have direct experience with the Magistrates' courtroom. All comments should be submitted in writing by 5 p.m. on Monday, October 27, 2014. Comments can be addressed to the City Magistrate Merit Selection Commission, City Clerk's Office at P.O. Box 27210, Tucson, AZ 85726-7210. Read the news release.

TREE NAMED FOR TUCSON CLEAN AND BEAUTIFUL DIRECTOR - Executive Director of Tucson Clean and Beautiful Joan Lionetti, who started the Trees for Tucson program, now has a tree named for her. The Quercus fusiformis  "Joan Lionetti" live oak was named and bred by the Shipley family at Civano Nursery. The tree was created specifically to handle the drought, heat, low humidity, and alkaline soil of the Southwest. Tucson Clean and Beautiful's annual meeting and dinner event will introduce the Joan Lionetti live oak, and celebrate 25 years of Trees for Tucson, 30 years of Adopt-a-Park, and the successful completion of Mayor Jonathan Rothschild's 10,000 Trees Campaign, on Friday, Oct. 17. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.

COMMUNITY FORUMS TO DISCUSS HUD FUNDING CONTINUE TOMORROW - The City of Tucson and Pima County are hosting meetings to discuss community needs that can be addressed with annual entitlement funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The City of Tucson receives approximately $8 million per year under various federal programs, including Community Development Block Grants. Public input received at these forums will be used to prepare the Fiscal Year 2016 City of Tucson/Pima County Five-Year Consolidated Plan, which will incorporate community needs, available resources, strategies, and priorities for the five-year period beginning on July 1, 2015. The forum meetings continue tomorrow, Oct. 14, at the County Housing Offices, 801 W. Congress Street, with discussions on Economic Development from 1-2:30 p.m. and Seniors and Special Populations from 3-4:30 p.m. Read the news release.

TOMORROW IS DEADLINE TO SIGN UP FOR CITY PARKS AND RECREATION CLASSES - Whether you like gymnastics for your children, aerobics, arts and crafts, ceramics, photography, or have some other type of interest, Tucson Parks and Recreation probably has a class for you. If you haven't already registered for a spot, you have until tomorrow to do so. You can view the Program Guide & Class Catalog online, and even register for classes.

NewsNet 10-10-14

SECTION OF BROADWAY TO BE SIX LANES; FERAL CAT SPAY AND NEUTER PROGRAM MOVES FORWARD - The Mayor and Tucson City Council yesterday moved two big issues forward. A majority of the body agreed to progress into the design phase for the widening of Broadway Boulevard to six lanes from Euclid Avenue to Country Club Road. Broadway is currently two lanes in each direction between Euclid Avenue and Country Club Road, with a center turn lane. The vote, with Council Members Karin Uhlich and Steve Kozachik dissenting, supports a recommendation put forward by the Broadway Citizens Task Force to widen Broadway to a six-lane corridor, which would include two transit lanes, bicycle lanes and new sidewalks. The task force recommendation followed an intensive public process that included 33 task force meetings and four additional public meetings within the past 27 months. The task force will continue to work with the project team during the technical design process of the RTA project, with construction scheduled to begin in summer 2016.  On another topic, Mayor and Council voted unanimously to amend the Tucson Code to allow for a Pima County-sponsored program to spay, neuter, and release feral cats. Read the Braodway news release.

TUCSON MEET YOURSELF CELEBRATION UNDERWAY - The three-day Tucson Meet Yourself celebration began this morning and continues through Sunday in Downtown Tucson. The annual event, features cultural events, food, and entertainment. Tucson Meet Yourself runs until 10 p.m. tonight, 11 a.m.-10 pm. tomorrow., and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. This is the 41st year of the celebration.

2nd SATURDAYS DOWNTOWN PART OF BUSY WEEKEND - The monthly, free, family-friendly event tomorrow begins with gallery shows at 9 a.m., and entertainment later in the day. At 6:30 p.m., the main stage at Scott Avenue and Congress Street features musical groups, and there are plenty of activities for children. Food from vendors and downtown eateries will be available, as will fare from Tucson Meet Yourself. With the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar, you can park not only in the downtown area, but at the University of Arizona, and along 4th Avenue to catch a ride downtown (regular streetcar fares apply). There are 11,000 parking spaces along the 3.9-mile route. Read more about 2nd Saturdays Downtown.

RIDE THE STREETCAR TO UA 'FAMILY WEEKEND' FOOTBALL GAME TOMORROW - University of Arizona football fans can ride the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar to University of Arizona football games. Prior to tomorrow's 7:30 p.m. game against USC, fans can experience dining, entertainment, and retail opportunities at Main Gate Square, Fourth Avenue, Downtown Tucson, and the Mercado District, and then board the streetcar to the UA from any one of the 23 stops along the 3.9-mile route. Once on campus, Arizona Stadium is a short walk from the Second Street and Cherry Avenue stop. Fans can also park in one of the many garages downtown and take the streetcar to the game to avoid UA congestion. The Pennington Street Garage is offering discounted parking fees when you ask for the "Park, Dine, and Ride" bundle, which includes a Sun Link Day Pass and parking.  
UA Parking and Transportation football information

CHILDREN'S MEMORIAL PARK CLEANUP TOMORROW - The Children's Memorial Park Neighborhood Watch Program is partnering with Tucson Clean & Beautiful and Tucson Recycling & Waste Services for an alley clean up tomorrow (7 a.m.-noon), between Wheatridge Drive and Edgewater Drive, from La Canada to 15th Avenue. The Adopt-a-Park and Public Areas program was established in 1984 to address the growing problem of litter. Since that time, Tucson area volunteers have provided more than 300,000 volunteer service hours at hundreds of sites. This public-private partnership helps keep public areas clean and safe. To become a part of Tucson Clean & Beautiful’s environmental stewardship efforts, or for more information, visit this website. You can also email adoptapark@tucsonaz.gov, or call 791-3109.

NewsNet 10-09-14

AGENDA SPOTLIGHT: 'COMMUNITY CAT PROGRAM' - The Mayor and Tucson City Council tonight will discuss amending the Tucson Code for the implementation of a Pima County grant to create the Community Cat program. Under that program, free-roaming cats found in city limits would be humanely captured, sterilized, vaccinated, ear-tipped and returned to the location where they were found. The ordinance also provides that Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) may charge costs to the City for this program only to the extent that the City previously has approved an appropriation of funds for that purpose. It also says that in the absence of a City appropriation, PACC can continue to operate the program at its own cost. The City would pay for the program through gifts and donations and revenue from unallocated funds from the Service Line Warranty Program. That money from the National League of Cities is set aside for a program that would benefit community residents. Tonight's meeting begins at 5:30 in Mayor and Council Chambers, 255 W. Alameda. Read the Mayor and Council Agenda item.
 
TCC RENOVATIONS NEARLY COMPLETE - Members of Tucson's media got a chance this morning to see the newly-renovated Tucson Convention Center (TCC) Arena, which is about 80 percent finished. The renovation should be completed by the end of the year. There are about 4,900 new seats with cup holders, new sound, updated lighting, new concession stands, fresh paint and updated restrooms. Rio Nuevo funded $7.8 million of improvements and the City paid about $1 million. Those attending Disney on Ice (tonight through Sunday) will be the first visitors to see the TCC improvements.
 
IT'S NATIONAL FIRE PREVENTION WEEK - The Tucson Fire Department says making sure you have a working smoke detector is one of the easiest things you can do during Fire Prevention Week. In an interview with KGUN9'S Morning Blend, Captain Barrett Baker discusses the importance of smoke alarms.
 
JOB OPPORTUNITIES: TUCSON WATER - Help manage, maintain, and deliver water as the City of Tucson addresses the challenges of drought and growth. Water System Operator and Well Maintenance positions are available. Learn more at Tucson Water website.
 
GET THE LATEST TUCSON NEWS AND INFORMATION ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER - "Like" the City of Tucson on Facebook to get the latest news, community updates and fun facts about Tucson local government and our community. You can also "Follow" the City of Tucson on Twitter for timely, concise updates throughout the day.

NewsNet 10-06-14

ARIZONA TO OPEN TRADE AND INVESTMENT OFFICE IN MEXICO - The Arizona Mexico City Trade and Investment Office opens tomorrow in Mexico City. Arizona dignitaries will be in attendance to celebrate the strategic expansion of Arizona's presence and investment in Mexico. "This is a step in the right direction for the State of Arizona. The Mexico City trade office will definitely help improve Arizona's image in Mexico City and give us access to business opportunities," said Juan Francisco Padrés, Tucson's economic development specialist for international trade. "The City of Tucson will also benefit from the office and its staff who are there to help us identify prospects and supply chain opportunities in Mexico's largest and most important city." The trade office in Mexico City will be led by the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA), in partnership with the City of Phoenix, with additional support from the City of Tucson, Maricopa Association of Governments, and Visit Phoenix. Governor Jan Brewer and the Arizona Legislature made a commitment of $300,000 to the ACA to establish and manage the office. Read more from Greater Phoenix in Business.

VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINE TONIGHT - If you haven't registered to vote in the Nov. 4 General Election in Arizona, you have until midnight tonight to submit your form. The Pima County Recorder's Office currently is offering curbside voter registration in front of its downtown office in the Old County Courthouse (115 N. Church Ave) until 10 p.m. The Recorder's eastside office (6920 E. Broadway Blvd., Suite D) will offer the same service from 5-10 p.m. A new voter registration form must be completed by anyone who has moved, changed their name since their last registration, is new to Pima County, or would like to change their party affiliation. You also can register online.

HOLIDAY ARTS AND CRAFTS FAIR: CALL FOR VENDORS - Applications are available for artists who wish to participate in the Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair, Nov. 29-30. The event has been held for more than two decades, attracting vendors from all over the Southwest. The Tucson Parks and Recreation Department is seeking artists, crafters, photographers, painters, potters, jewelers, and more to sell their original artwork. All items must be handmade and are subject to approval. The Arts and Crafts Fair will be held in Reid Park, west of the DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center. Registration is open through Nov. 14. Walk-in registration begins tomorrow at 900 S. Randolph Way, in the Registration Office. The fee is $90 for a 10 x 10 arts and craft vendor space for the two-day event.

SPEND SUNDOWN WITH THE ELEPHANT HERD AT REID PARK ZOO - The Reid Park Zoo is hosting a "Sundowner" tomorrow with Nandi the elephant calf, and the rest of the herd, at 5 p.m. in Expedition Tanzania. In Africa, a Sundowner refers to cocktails at sunset in a beautiful outdoor setting. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres and beverages while listening to stories of baby Nandi’s recent birth and her early days on exhibit. You’ll also have the opportunity to tour the Elephant Care Center. Elephants Lungile and Punga will be offered enrichment items to play with, and you'll even have the chance to see Nandi up close. Check-in for the Sundowner begins at 4:45 p.m. tomorrow at the Zoo’s main entrance. The event begins at 5 p.m. Proceeds from this event will benefit Reid Park Zoo’s education programs, capital projects, and conservation efforts.

FOLLOW THE PROGRESS ON THE DOWNTOWN LINKS PROJECT - The City of Tucson and the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) have a Downtown Links website to give citizens information and updates on one of the largest transportation projects in Tucson. The $76 million project will result in a four-lane roadway north of the Union Pacific Railroad that will link Barraza-Aviation Parkway and Interstate 10, Broadway Boulevard with 4th Avenue, and downtown with the neighborhoods to the north. Downtown Links also will provide alternate access to downtown, new and safer underpasses and railroad crossings, and improved sidewalks and bike paths.

NewsNet 10-03-14

CITY SEEKING COMMENTS ON POSSIBLE CHARTER CHANGES - Tucson's Charter Review Committee is asking for public comments as it reviews and makes recommendations regarding possible amendments to sections of the Tucson City Charter. A public meeting will be held at 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 6, at City Hall (255 W. Alameda, 1st floor). Comments will be accepted through 2015, and potential amendments to the City Charter may be on the Nov. 3, 2015 City ballot. All comments should be made via email to the City Clerk’s Office, cityclerk@tucsonaz.gov.

PUBLIC INPUT SOUGHT FOR PROPOSED BIKE SHARE PROGRAM - The City of Tucson is exploring the possibility of a public bike share program for the region. Bike share programs let people use a public bicycle on a short-term basis. More than 30 cities in the United States have launched such programs for their residents and tourists, and 15 more cities are expected to launch shared-use bike programs by the end of the year. “This is an exciting project that has the potential to leverage our investment in the Sun Link Streetcar and continues the progress Tucson is making in terms of downtown revitalization and economic growth,” said Ann Chanecka, the City of Tucson’s bicycle & pedestrian coordinator. Anyone interested in learning more about public bike share programs, or wanting to provide input in the early stages of the discussion, is invited to a public input session on Monday, Oct, 6, at 6 p.m. in the basement of the Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone Ave. Read the news release.
Tucson Bicycle & Pedestrian Program

MULTI-USE PATH DEDICATION TOMORROW FOR TOUMEY PARK - After two years of community involvement and planning, a new eight-foot-wide, paved walking path with ADA access and drinking fountains will be dedicated tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Toumey Park, 4500 E. Eastland St. The path has been coated with a heat reducing epoxy paint to minimize the heat stored and radiated back from black asphalt, and lights and electrical outlets have been installed under the ramada. The new path helps improve walkability in the neighborhood and provides opportunities for fitness to the community. Funding for the $488,000 project came from Pima County Neighborhood Reinvestment Funds.
Tucson Parks and Recreation

DOWNTOWN WAREHOUSE WALK TOMORROW - Art enthusiasts will have a chance tomorrow to explore the arts district along Toole Avenue. The Warehouse  Arts Managment Organization (WAMO) is hosting the the free WAMO Walk, a collaboration of galleries, studios, and other spaces in  Downtown Tucson that will offer open studios, free live music, and other things. As many as 50 studios will welcome the public for the walk, which will stretch along Toole Avenue, from Sixth Avenue to Stone. There will be a light sculpture garden at the parking lot at 174 E. Toole, and food trucks will be on site. The parking lot will also have a stage for music and several projection screens. The WAMO Walk runs from 5-10 p.m. tomorrow. Read more from Downtown Tucson Partnership.

TUCSON'S LINCOLN PARK TO HOST JENNIE FINCH SOFTBALL CAMP - The City of Tucson Parks and Recreation Department, Visit Tucson, and Pima Community College will host the Jennie Finch Softball Camp at the Lincoln Park Softball Complex, 8116 E. Escalante Road, Nov. 8-9. The camp is open to all girls in the third grade and up. Former UA Softball standout Jennie Finch and her Olympic and professional softball teammates will offer two full days of personal instruction covering all aspects of softball. Advanced registration is required, and participation is limited for the fee-based camp. Read the news release.

NewsNet 10-02-14

TCC KITCHEN TO BE INCLUDED IN ARENA RENOVATION - The Rio Nuevo Board voted yesterday to add an additional $300,000 to its Tucson Convention Center (TCC) renovation contract to fix plumbing, ceilings, walls, the floor, and equipment in the kitchen and concession areas of the TCC. The money is in addition to the $7.8 million in arena upgrades already underway at the facility. Although the kitchen renovation will become part of Rio Nuevo’s overall makeover of the TCC, the City is paying for the kitchen work to improve the health and safety of the area. “They asked if they could piggyback on the contract and they would pay for everything,” said Rio Nuevo Chairman Fletcher McCusker. Working with the existing TCC contractor will expedite the repairs and provide a cost savings to the City. Pending Mayor and Council approval, the money for the repairs would come out of the City's contingency fund and savings on medical contracts. The kitchen fixes are expected to be finished in December, after the other repairs are finished. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.
 
MEXICAN BASEBALL RETURNS TO TUCSON TONIGHT - The Mexican Baseball League is back at Kino Stadium, tonight through Sunday, for its fourth annual Vamos a Tucson Mexican Baseball Fiesta. The tournament, sponsored Visit Tucson and Cox Communications, features eight games between some of the best and most popular professional baseball teams in Mexico. Visit Tucson reports last year's Mexican Baseball Fiesta generated about $$350,000 for Tucson and Pima County. Read more from Tucson News Now.
Watch 2011 video from Tucson 12 archives
 
PHOENIX TO START SAVING WATER IN TUCSON - The City of Phoenix will soon begin diverting its share of Colorado River to Tucson. Phoenix will purchase space to store the water in Tucson aquifers, as part of an agreement announced yesterday. Phoenix only uses about two-thirds of its allotted water and has been diverting its excess back to the Central Arizona Project - which manages Colorado River water - because the city doesn't have the infrastructure to pump it all. Now, Phoenix will begin diverting its excess share of water to Tucson, which has a more extensive pumping system. Tucson can then direct the equivalent amount to Phoenix if supplies run low. In turn, Tucson will spend less money pumping water because water levels will stand higher, officials said. Read more from azcentral.
 
HISTORIC MIRACLE MILE EVENT PART OF TUCSON MODERNISM WEEK - The Historic Miracle Mile Event will be held this Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m. Free program guides, self-guided driving brochures, and kids’ coloring sheets and crayons will be available at an information booth at the Pima Community College Downtown Campus, in the parking lot off Stone Avenue and Oracle Road. The annual event is part of Tucson Modernism Week, which runs from Oct. 3 - 11. Read the news release.
 
DOWNLOAD APP TO REPORT GRAFFITI IN TUCSON - Graffiti Protective Coatings and the City of Tucson have a smartphone application for reporting graffiti. MyTucson is a free download on the iOS App Store and Google Play for Android.
City of Tucson apps
Watch a University of Arizona Athletics PSA about the app

NewsNet 10-01-14

COMMUNITY FORUMS BEGIN TOMORROW TO DISCUSS HUD FUNDING - The City of Tucson and Pima County are hosting meetings to discuss community needs that can be addressed with annual entitlement funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The City of Tucson receives approximately $8 million per year under various federal programs, including Community Development Block Grants. Public input received at these forums will be used to prepare the Fiscal Year 2016 City of Tucson/Pima County Five-Year Consolidated Plan, which will incorporate community needs, available resources, strategies, and priorities for the five-year period beginning on July 1, 2015. The first meeting is scheduled for tomorrow, Oct. 2, from 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. at the Community Resource Campus, 320 N. Commerce Park Loop. Read the news release.
 
TUCSON POLICE DEPARTMENT RECEIVES GRANT FOR VEHICLE OCCUPANT SAFETY - The Tucson Police Department (TPD) is the recipient of a $50,736 Occupant Protection Grant from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety (GOHS). The money will be used to stress the importance of using seatbelts and child restraints. This will be accomplished through hands-on classroom education, public car seat check events, and a comprehensive enforcement effort. Two public events will be held this Saturday to answer questions about car seats and booster seats. Nationally-certified car seat technicians will be in attendance at the events at Kmart (7055 E. Broadway, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.) and Home Depot (1155 W. Irvington, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.). Booster seats will be provided for eligible children at the Home Depot event. Read the news release.
 
TUCSON POLICE NAB SUSPECT IN PICKPOCKET OF ELDERLY MAN - After the pickpocketing of an 83-year-old man was caught on a security camera outside of a Tucson drugstore, Tucson Police sprung into action in search of the suspect, who took $200 from the victim, along with a credit card and his Social Security Card. The incident happened near Grant and Oracle. Police from Operations Division West were able to identify the suspect through their monthly anti-theft meetings with area merchants. Officers say Anthony Russell confessed after questioning, saying it was a "stupid act," and he apologized to the victim. Read more from KVOA.
 
COMMUNITY-DESIGNED PARK REACHES ANOTHER MILESTONE - The all-ages redesign of La Madera Park, 2700 E La Madera Drive, completed another phase yesterday, as all of the old playground equipment was removed (watch Tucson 12 video). A successful community Design Day last month (see pictures) kicked off the first phase of the redesign of La Madera Park, 2700 E La Madera Drive. The City of Tucson, Lend a Hand Senior Assistance, and Humana Inc. are working with KaBOOM! (a national non-profit organization that has built more than 2,300 playgrounds) to design a one-of-a-kind, multi-generational playground. The customized playground, funded primarily by Humana, will be created with personal drawings and other input from local community members, including children and seniors. The new design is senior-focused with adult elements, including fitness stations and walking paths to promote good posture, balance, and flexibility. There also will be traditional, kid-friendly equipment to create a multi-generational space. A community volunteer build day will be held on Nov. 1. If you'd like to help, call 791-4711 or email lamaderaproject2014@gmail.com.

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NewsNet 09-30-14

CITY TRANSPORTATION CREWS USING NEW POTHOLE PATCH - The Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT) is using a new method to fix potholes around the city. The material is an aggregate of tiny rocks and a lesser amount of asphalt than the traditional materials, which makes the patch look lighter than the road. It's also faster to apply than the older method, allowing crews to cover more ground. “Rather than having to jackhammer out very large sections of poor pavement, this allows you to keep that existing pavement, seal it up and then put that lighter aggregate on top," said TDOT Director Daryl Cole. "Previously, you’d cut out all those large alligator cracks...put the adhering agent in there and then put the traditional asphalt in." Cole is directing road crews to use the lighter-colored pothole patches on roads that are going to be resurfaced in the next few years. Read more from Arizona Public Media.
 
STARTUP TUCSON GETS FEDERAL GRANT
- Startup Tucson is the recipient of a $1.44 million, five-year grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration's ScaleUp America program. Startup Tucson was one of only seven successful applicants nationwide out of more than 60 proposals, and Tucson is the only community west of the Mississippi River to receive ScaleUp America funding. The money will be used for Startup Tucson's next project, Thryve Next. The program is an opportunity for small, growth-oriented businesses to receive entrepreneurship education from national, regional, and local executives. The businesses must be approximately two years old, in the early growth business cycle, with annual revenue between $150,000 and $500,000.

REID PARK ZOO RETURNS TO REGULAR HOURS TOMORROW - Starting tomorrow, Oct. 1, Reid Park Zoo returns to its regular hours, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. The Zoo had been opening and closing an hour earlier during the summer. African baby elephant Nandi will be in the main Expedition Tanzania exhibit from at least 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. each day. The Zoo also has several big events in the month of October, including the "ZOOcson" fundraiser and three days of "Howl-o-Ween."
 
TUCSON MEET YOURSELF NEEDS VOLUNTEERS - Tucson Meet Yourself is celebrating its 41st year in Tucson and it needs volunteers to help with the cultural, food, and entertainment event, Oct. 10 - 12, in Downtown Tucson. Volunteers receive a vintage Tucson Meet Yourself T-shirt, meet diverse and interesting people, learn leadership skills, and educate the community about a variety of topics. Read more from Tucson News Now.
 
NEED HELP STARTING OR EXPANDING A BUSINESS IN TUCSON? CALL THE SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE LINE - The City of Tucson's Small Business Assistance Line, (520) 837-4100, is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Help is available in both English and Spanish. Staff from the City Manager's Office of Economic Initiatives answer the calls. The Small Business Assistance Line is one of a number of City initiatives, along with 21 new business incentives, streamlined permit processes and more, to make the City of Tucson more business-friendly.

NewsNet 09-29-14

TUCSON FIRE DEPARTMENT EXPERIENCES FLASHOVER WHILE BATTLING FIRE - Tucson firefighters battled a building fire Saturday at the 600 block of West Alturas street, which thermal cameras estimate was more than 700 degrees in parts of the structure. The roof of the unoccupied building in a mobile home park collapsed during the fire after a flashover (when the contents of a room suddenly and simultaneously ignite), and it took 62 firefighters and more than 150,000 gallons of water to quell the flames at the 5,000-square-foot building. There were no injuries, and the cause of the fire is under investigation. See the flashover and other videos at Tucson Fire Department Facebook page, and read the news release.
 
DESERT DIAMOND CUP TEAMS ANNOUNCED - FC Tucson and Major League Soccer announced Friday that six teams will take part in the 2015 FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup. The competition, Feb. 18-28, will see the Colorado Rapids, Montreal Impact, New England Revolution, Real Salt Lake, Seattle Sounders and Sporting Kansas City compete. All games will be played at the North Kino Sports Complex. Visit Tucson pegs the competition's economic impact at $1.17 million, with an estimated attendance of 20,000 people. Rear more from MLSSoccer.com.
 
CATCH UP ON CITY NEWS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED - New City of Tucson residents are reaping some great benefits; the Gem Show makes Tucson shine; and after nearly two years of anticipation, Reid Park Zoo is enjoying "Nandi," its baby elephant. Those stories are featured in this month's edition of Tucson City News in Review, produced by Tucson 12.
 
WASHINGTON D.C. PUTS MODERN STREETCAR ON ROAD TODAY - Reminiscent of how Tucson began its Sun Link Tucson Streetcar service, the District of Columbia today began simulated service of its D.C. Streetcar along 2.4 miles of the first segment of the planned 37-mile route. During the month-long testing phase, D.C. will do what Tucson did, running the cars without passengers. United Streetcar is the manufacturer of the cars for both communities. Tucson ran several months of tests before beginning passenger service in July. Streetcar ridership in Tucson is higher than first predicted, with an average daily ridership of nearly 4,100 passengers along the 3.9-mile route. Read more from AP via Arizona Daily Star.
 
SCORE A DEAL ON CITY SURPLUS
- Need a pickup? Maybe hundreds of used folding chairs would come in handy for an event you're having? How about a couple of older iPods, or car stereo equipment? You can find these items and more on the City of Tucson's surplus auction website.

NewsNet 09-26-14

STREETCAR RIDERSHIP HIGHER THAN PREDICTED - After two months in operation, the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar is averaging nearly 4,100 riders per day...higher than the original prediction of 3,600 passengers. The streetcar travels a 3.9-mile route through the University of Arizona, Fourth Avenue, Downtown Tucson, and the Mercado District, west of I-10. There are many fare options available to ride the streetcar. Cash is not accepted on the car, but you can use it at machines at the stops to buy a $4 one-day pass. In addition, you can buy SunGO passes online or at regular Sun Tran merchants. Discount fares are available for certain students, low-income residents, seniors and disabled passengers. Read more from Arizona Public Media.

OCTOBER MEANS BIG EVENTS AND BIG CHANGES AT TUCSON CONVENTION CENTER - Disney on Ice and comedian Bill Maher have shows next month at the Tucson Convention Center (TCC), as the $8 million upgrade to the arena proceeds. The renovations are on schedule to be completed by the end of the year. Next month also marks the beginning of private management of the TCC, as SMG - a global leader in convention center management - takes over day-to-day operations of the facility. The City's contract with SMG runs through June 30, 2015 and can be renewed one year at a time over the next 10 years.

TRAFFIC ALERT: FOURTH AVENUE ACCESS TO DOWNTOWN DETOURED ONLY AS-NEEDED TONIGHT AND SATURDAY NIGHT - The City of Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT) will detour southbound vehicular traffic at the Fourth Avenue Underpass into downtown on an as-needed basis to keep traffic flowing in the area. The Sun Link Streetcar, bicyclists, and pedestrians will not be affected. From this point forward, underpass closures on Friday and Saturday nights will only occur when vehicular traffic into downtown begins to get heavy.

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NewsNet 09-25-14

THE WINNING NAME FOR TUCSON'S BIG BABY IS... - After a week of public voting between two names for Reid Park Zoo's one-month-old elephant, the calf will now be known as "Nandi," which handily beat out the other choice of "Imvula (Immie)." Nandi made her public debut in the main exhibit last Friday and has been charming Zoo visitors ever since. Read more from the From the Arizona Daily Star, and look below to find Tucson 12 video links to some of Nandi's milestones.
Video of Nandi about a week after her birth
Video of the Nandi's public debut on Sept. 19
Video of Nandi's mud show earlier this week
Zoo Cams
Baby Elephant FAQ
 
TWO TUCSON POLICE OFFICERS USE NEW TRAUMA KITS TO SAVE MAN'S LIFE - Two Tucson Police Department (TPD) officers are credited with helping save a man's life Tuesday after he was shot in the leg, and the officers rendered first-aid on the scene. Officers Adam Rodriguez and Randy Smith were the first to arrive at a shooting at West President Street, off West Ajo Way between South Sixth and Seventh avenues, said Sgt. Pete Dugan, a TPD spokesman. They treated the victim until Tucson Fire Department paramedics arrived. Officers used their trauma kits issued earlier this year, which are similar to ones used by the military. "There have been numerous times when officers have used the kits in the field to help people with life-threatening injuries," Dugan said. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.
 
FORMER TUCSON FIRE CHIEF DAN NEWBURN PASSES AWAY - Retired Tucson Fire Chief Dan Newburn passed away last weekend at his home. He was surrounded by family. Chief Newburn was a member of the Tucson Fire Department from 1979 until he retired in 2008. He served as Chief from July 1, 2001 until his retirement on Sept. 12, 2008. The funeral service for Newburn will be private, but the Tucson Fire Department will honor him during the annual Firefighter Memorial Ceremony, Oct. 11th at 10 a.m. at Fire Central downtown. Read more from the Tucson Fire Department Facebook page.
 
UPDATE: TUCSON COMMUNITY HELPS DESIGN ALL-AGES PLAYGROUND - A successful community Design Day last week (see pictures) kicked off the first phase of the redesign of La Madera Park, 2700 E La Madera Drive, and the next phase begins next Tuesday with the removal of old playground equipment. The City of Tucson, Lend a Hand Senior Assistance, and Humana Inc. are working with KaBOOM! (a national non-profit organization that has built more than 2,300 playgrounds) to design a one-of-a-kind, multi-generational playground. The customized playground, funded primarily by Humana, will be created with personal drawings and other input from local community members, including children and seniors. The existing playground at La Madera Park, 2700 E. La Madera Drive, is in need of replacement, as it is outdated and contains some unusable components. The new design is senior-focused with adult elements, including fitness stations and walking paths to promote good posture, balance, and flexibility. There also will be traditional, kid-friendly equipment to create a multi-generational space. Read the news release from Parks and Recreation.
 
CITY OF TUCSON IS REMOVING ABANDONED SHOPPING CARTS - If you see a shopping cart off store property, abandoned along the street, or sitting in a wash, call the City of Tucson's Environmental Services (ES) department to have it removed. You can call Customer Service at (520) 791-3171 or use the 'My-Waste'™ app and choose the Report a Problem option. Watch a PSA about how the program works.

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