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NewsNet 07-30-14

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION: 'TUCSON'S SUN LINK ONE MORE REASON TO GROW AMERICA' - Fast Lane, the official blog of the U.S. Department of Transportation, says, "Sun Link is a good example of modern streetcar services that are bringing a new transportation option to communities across the country – or in some cases, bringing back an old one." The blog mentions that nearly 100,000 people live and work within a quarter-mile of the 3.9-mile Sun Link route. That’s helped attract more than $800 million in public and private investment along the corridor since the service was announced, including housing, restaurants, offices, and retail. The American-made streetcar investment in Arizona – funded in part by a grant from DOT's TIGER program – is also supporting jobs for families in Portland, Oregon, where the modern streetcars are manufactured.
 
AZ CHAPTER OF AMERICAN PUBLIC WORKS ASSOCIATION (APWA) NAMES TUCSON STREETCAR 'PROJECT OF THE YEAR '- The Arizona APWA named the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar the Public Works Project of the Year at its annual conference in Tucson yesterday. The $196 million project, co-managed by the City of Tucson and the Regional Transportation Authority, launched service last Friday with more than 60,000 people riding the streetcar during three days of free rides. The Arizona Chapter of the APWA cited key successes of the streetcar project, including a high level of cooperation among all partners, the creation of more than 500 construction-related jobs, more than $800 million in public and private investment along the route, installation of $19 million in needed infrastructure improvements, extensive outreach to the public and businesses along the route, emphasis on American jobs and materials for the project, and collaboration among various populations and neighborhoods along the streetcar route. The project was recognized for the same honor in April by the Southern Arizona APWA Branch. The streetcar project is considered to be Tucson’s largest and most-complex transportation construction project in city history.
 
D-M HONORS TWO TUCSONANS FOR THEIR SUPPORT - Ward 4 Tucson City Council Member Shirley Scott and Mike Grassinger recently were each given the honorary title of "Community Wingman" at a recent ceremony at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Council Member Scott is a longtime supporter of D-M, which is in Ward 4, and Grassinger is Principle of AZ Planning Center and a former president of DM-50, a nonprofit volunteer service organization that supports and funds initiatives to improve the quality of life for D-M's airmen. The Davis-Monthan Community Wingman program recognizes Tucson community leaders who have given support to many D-M missions.
 
MOVIES IN THE PARK SERIES CONTINUES AT REID PARK - Looking for some family-friendly entertainment on Friday nights over the summer? Movies in the Park, a Tucson summer staple since 2003, returns Friday at Reid Park with a free showing of "Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader." Residents are invited to bring blankets and chairs to enjoy a free movie every other Friday at the DeMeester Performing Arts Pavilion, 900 S. Randolph Way. The events begin at 5:30 p.m. with live music, jumping castles, balloon animals, and arts and crafts exhibits from nonprofits. Popcorn, soda, and food truck vendors will be available for an additional charge. The Movies in the Park program is hosted by Cox Communications and the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance. Read more from Tucson News Now.
FIND A BARGAIN AT CITY SURPLUS - Need an Amazon Kindle? Maybe an iPod better fits your entertainment needs? How about a laptop, or a steam cleaner? You can find these items and more on the City of Tucson's surplus auction website.

NewsNet 07-29-14

CITY, MERCHANTS EXCITED ABOUT NEW STREETCAR - More than 60,000 people rode the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar during its first three days of operations and Sun Link officials and merchants are still talking about the success. Businesses along the streetcar enjoyed a steady stream of customers as people took advantage of special discounts. “We were pleasantly surprised that the traffic was steady all day long, and there was a mixed crowd of people,” said Jane McCollum, general manager of the Marshall Foundation, which manages most of the real estate at Main Gate Square on University Boulevard. “We had one merchant who commented that it felt like school had just opened,” she said, adding that most Main Gate tenants have enjoyed strong sales all summer. Merchants downtown and along 4th Avenue expressed similar sentiments. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.

ENJOY SUMMER DISCOUNTS AT MANY MERCHANTS ALONG THE STREETCAR ROUTE - Many businesses along the 3.9 mile streetcar route continue to celebrate Sun Link with special deals until the end of August via the “Connect in the City” discount card. The card costs $5 and offers hundreds of dollars in discounts this summer at restaurants, bars, and stores along Fourth Avenue, Main Gate, Downtown Tucson and at the Mercado San Augustin. The card is valid though the end of August and is good for unlimited use. You can buy a "Connect in the City" card online.

SUNGO CARDS ACCEPTED ON BOTH SUN LINK STREETCAR AND SUN TRAN BUSES - The SunGO card is the best way to pay fares when riding public transit in Tucson. The card works on both the Sun Tran bus system and the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar. A SunGO card with unlimited rides for a month is just $42. If you're an occasional rider, you can load the SunGO card with a cash value to pay the $1.50 one-way fares whenever you use transit.  In addition, there are many discounts available for students, low-income residents, seniors and others. If you ride the streetcar, you must have a SunGO card, or purchase a day pass with cash or a credit card from a vending machine at the stop. Cash is not accepted on the streetcar. 
Watch How to Ride video for streetcar
Cómo Viajar video
 
GIRLS SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT IN TUCSON THIS WEEK - The City of Tucson Parks and Recreation Department, along with the Arizona Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and Visit Tucson, will be hosting the ASA 18 and under girls fastpitch Class A Western National Championship tournament starting tomorrow, through August 3, at Lincoln Park (8116 E. Escalante Road) at the new Lincoln softball complex. The complex features four lighted softball fields, bleacher seating with shade, and a concessions building with restrooms. The tournament features 17 teams from across the west coast. Read the news release/schedule.
 
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 07-28-14

STREETCAR'S OPENING WEEKEND A HUGE SUCCESS -  Approximately 60,000 people rode the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar during its first three days of operation. Free fares, curiosity, fun activities, and merchant specials brought out the riders, who got their first taste of the 3.9 mile route between the University of Arizona, 4th Avenue, Downtown, and the Mercado area just west of Interstate-10. "The Sun Link streetcar system had a great first day of service,” said Sun Link Project Manager Shellie Ginn.

NewsNet 07-25-14

TUCSON STREETCAR NOW OPEN! -  With a variety of celebrations at various stops and a grand opening kickoff downtown, Tucsonans this morning got their first chance to ride the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar. Rides are free through Sunday. There are about 11,000 places to park along the route that make parking and riding easy. Many merchants along the 3.9 mile route from west of I-10, through 4th Avenue, to the University of Arizona, are offering specials during the streetcar's opening weekend.

NewsNet 07-24-14

TUCSON STREETCAR SERVICE BEGINS TOMORROW, FREE RIDES FOR ALL THROUGH SUNDAY - The much-anticipated launch of passenger service on the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar begins at approximately 10 a.m. tomorrow. Opening celebrations will take place along many of the stops on the 3.9 mile route from west of I-10, through 4th Avenue, to the University of Arizona. Rides will be free Friday through Sunday. Starting Monday, payment for rides will be required. Riding a streetcar is different than riding a bus. Cash is not accepted on the car (but you can use it at machines at the stops to buy a $4 one-day pass), and you can bring your bike on the streetcar. The City of Tucson has a video that tells you everything you need to know about how to ride the streetcar. Please take a look at it before your first ride.
Cómo viajar video
Opening morning riding tips and more
Opening weekend events
 
TRAFFIC ALERT: STREETCAR CELEBRATIONS TO CLOSE SOME ROADS BRIEFLY - Beginning tonight at approximately 6:30, the right lane of Congress Street, between Fourth Avenue and Fifth Avenue, will be closed, leaving one travel lane open on Congress. Also, at approximately 6:30 tonight, Fifth Avenue will be closed between Toole Avenue and Broadway. In order to facilitate downtown business traffic, the left lane of Congress will remain open until approximately 5 a.m. tomorrow. At 5 a.m., Congress Street will be closed completely, from Toole Avenue to Sixth Avenue. Toole will be converted to one-way westbound travel between Fourth Avenue and Pennington Street (similar to the traffic pattern that was utilized for the streetcar construction). All streets should reopen to traffic by noon on Friday. Read the news release.
 
TUCSON SEES BIG BOOST IN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION USE
- While the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar will no doubt increase public transportation use in Tucson, the pattern already has emerged. A study of statewide transportation trends found Tucson and Phoenix residents are driving less and seeking alternative modes of transportation. In the Tucson area, the number of public transit trips increased by nearly 25 percent between 2005 and 2010, according to the report by the Arizona Public Interest Research Group (ArizonaPIRG), with funding from the St. Luke's Health Initiative. In addition, annual driving miles per capita in Arizona decreased by 10.5 percent between 2005 and 2012, according to federal highway usage statistics and census data cited by researchers. Much of the shift is being led by people between the ages of 18 to 34. Read more from azcentral.com.
 
DESIGN CONCEPTS BEING SOUGHT FOR TUCSON’S JANUARY 8TH MEMORIAL - The January 8th Memorial Foundation and the Tucson Pima Arts Council invite designers to submit their qualifications and design interests to create a Master Plan Concept for El Presidio Park downtown and a schematic design for a January 8th Memorial. The memorial will commemorate both the tragic events of January 8, 2011 and the ways in which the Tucson community proved that "Together We Thrive." The application deadline to submit a design is Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014 at 11 p.m. The budget for the scope of work is $90,000, and each finalists will receive a $5,000 stipend. Read more from the Tucson Pima Arts Council.
 
CATCH UP ON CITY NEWS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED - Mayor Jonathan Rothschild works to strengthen ties with Mexico; it’s time to get streetcar street smart; and a dream comes true for Menlo Park residents. Those stories are featured in this month's edition of Tucson City News in Review, produced by Tucson 12.

NewsNet 07-23-14

WEEKEND PACKED WITH FUN EVENTS ALONG STREETCAR ROUTE - As Tucson kicks off the historic launch of the Sun Link streetcar, the districts along the route are ensuring this upcoming weekend will be one to remember. Each of the five districts--Downtown, 4th Avenue, Mercado, Main Gate, and the University of Arizona--will be sponsoring free activities, music, and entertainment, while many shops and restaurants will offer discounts. Some of the many events include a pop up beach, outdoor movie screen, an instrument petting zoo, farmers' markets, and karaoke on the new Luis Gutierrez Bridge over the Santa Cruz River. Find a full listing of activities at the Friends of the Tucson Streetcar website. The streetcar will be free to ride July 25-27 starting at approximately 10 a.m. Friday. View Sun Link streetcar parking map and tips.

BILINGUAL LITERACY FAIR THIS SATURDAY - The 6th Annual Bilingual Literacy Fair will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. - noon at the El Pueblo Activity Center, 101 W. Irvington Road. The event, coordinated by The Consulate of Mexico in Tucson and Tucson City Council Member Regina Romero, will offer free Spanish language books and backpacks. Children also can enjoy educational activities, including crafts, music, and a play.

TUCSON EARNS IMPRESSIVE SUSTAINABILITY RATING FOR MAKING 'SMART INVESTMENTS' - The City of Tucson is just the fifth city in the United States to earn an impressive 4 out of 5 star rating for national leadership in sustainability from the STAR Communities Ratings System. The ratings system measures economic, environmental, and social performance for local governments and the broader community. "The data Tucson submitted made a compelling case that the City is making smart investment decisions to protect scarce resources, grow and retain businesses, and attract a rich diversity of new residents," said STAR Communities Executive Director Hilari Varnadore. Read the full STAR report.

GET STREETCAR STREET SMART - With the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar beginning passenger service Friday, it's important that bicyclists, pedestrians, motorists, and passengers practice streetcar safety to avoid problems. The City of Tucson produced a video that tells you everything you need to know to stay safe along the along the 3.9 mile route from west of I-10, through 4th Avenue, to the University of Arizona. Please review the video before the big day on Friday.

HOW TO MANAGE HARD WATER AND OTHER TIPS FROM TUCSON WATER - Get tips on how to manage hard water, increase dishwasher efficiency, flush your water heater, check faucet aerators, and more. Information is available in English and Spanish. You can download, print, or request a mailed copy of the tips. You can also learn how to pay your water bill online and stop and start service.

NewsNet 07-22-14

THERE'S PLENTY OF PARKING ALONG THE NEARLY FOUR-MILE SUN LINK TUCSON STREETCAR CORRIDOR - Tucsonans are excited to ride the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar when passenger service begins Friday. Rides will be free for the first three days, and the City of Tucson expects many citizens to get on board.  Even though you can expect some congestion along the route, there are plenty of places to park...about 11,000 spaces in all. Sun Link has a map of garages and surface lot parking along the route.

STREETCAR SAFETY FOR MOTORISTS - With the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar beginning passenger service Friday, it's important that motorists practice streetcar safety to avoid problems along the 3.9 mile route from west of I-10, through 4th Avenue, to the University of Arizona. The City of Tucson produced a video that describes the safest ways to drive along the route.
 
A TIME LAPSE VIEW OF THE STREETCAR - You've no doubt seen media footage of the streetcar in motion (or have seen it in person), but you haven't seen it from the driver's perspective. Now you can, in time lapse, with a video made from 10-second photo increments. Watch the Tucson 12 video.
 
LEARN ABOUT TUCSON'S STREETCAR HISTORY - While the Sun Link Streetcar opening July 25 is the most modern of streetcars, the history of streetcars in Tucson dates back to 1897. The University of Arizona's Drachman Institute downtown is partnering with Old Pueblo Trolley to present a photo exhibit on the history Tucson's streetcars. The exhibit traces the history from horse-and mule-drawn streetcars of the 19th century, to electric streetcars of the early 20th century, to the revival of streetcars by the volunteers of Old Pueblo Trolley in 1993. It culminates with the start of service on Tucson’s 21st century Sun Link Tucson Streetcar. The exhibit is displayed in the windows of the University of Arizona–Downtown building, 44 North Stone Avenue (at Pennington Street). See some of the photos via Friends of the Tucson Streetcar Facebook page.
 
GET THE LATEST STREETCAR 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 07-21-14

FEDERAL PARTNERS RECOGNIZED FOR ROLES IN STREETCAR - Passenger service for the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar begins Friday, but some federal partners who made the streetcar a reality got to ride it this morning for their strong support. The City of Tucson, Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, and the Regional Transportation Authority held a news conference to recognize Arizona Congressmen Raúl Grijalva and Ron Barber, and Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenaur. After the news conference, the group rode the streetcar to the stop at Avenida del Convento/Congress Street for the formal dedication of a plaque honoring Rep. Grijalva. Read more from Tucson News Now.
 
HOW TO WALK IN THE STREETCAR ZONE - With Sun Link Tucson Streetcar service starting this Friday, pedestrians need to be alert when walking near the tracks. The electric-powered streetcar moves quietly and you may not be able to hear it in traffic. Pedestrians also need to take care when walking over the tracks with high heels, canes or bikes, as those items can get stuck in the tracks. When crossing the street to get to a designated streetcar stop, make sure you use the marked crosswalks, obey the walk signals, and keep your children close to you. The streetcars are nearly 12-feet tall and motorists and pedestrians may not be able to see around them. The City of Tucson produced a video that describes the safest ways to walk where streetcars travel.
 
CITY MANAGER MIRANDA REFLECTS ON HIS 39-YEAR CAREER WITH CITY - Tucson City Manager Richard Miranda is in his final two weeks on the job, following his announcement in May that he plans to retire at the end of this month. He says he met his goals of restoring trust and confidence in the management of the City and transparency in government. He also says he's proud of this week's launch of the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar....the largest construction project ever undertaken by the City of Tucson. Miranda first began working for the City of Tucson in 1975, starting with an entry-level job in the Tucson Police Department, where he eventually rose to Police Chief. He was appointed as an Assistant City Manager in 2008, Interim Manager in 2011, and City Manager in 2012. Assistant City Manager Martha Durkin will serve as Interim City Manager, beginning in August, until the Mayor and City Council hire a permanent Manager. Read more from Arizona Public Media.
 
INFÓRMESE DE LOS CAMBIOS PROPUESTOS A LOS REGLAMENTOS DE AGRICULTURA URBANA EN TUCSON (FORO EN ESPAÑOL) - El gobierno de la Ciudad de Tucson, en coordinación con el Banco Comunitario de Alimentos del Sur de Arizona, llevará a cabo una reunión pública en español para presentar información sobre las revisiones propuestas a los reglamentos de zonificación de la ciudad relacionados a la agricultura urbana, incluyendo: animales de granja pequeños, granjas urbanas, huertos comunitarios, y mercados de agricultores sobre ruedas. La reunión se llevará a cabo el Miércoles 23 de julio del 2014, de las 5:30 a las 7:00 PM, en el Centro Regional El Pueblo, Edificio para Personas de la Tercera Edad (El Pueblo Regional Center, Senior Center Building, en inglés), con dirección 101 West Irvington Rd., Tucson, Arizona 85706 (la entrada es de la calle Old Nogales Highway). Vea el folleto.
 
HOW TO AVOID A LIGHTNING STRIKE - If you can hear thunder, you're in the striking distance of lighting. When you see lightning, you should count the number of seconds until you hear thunder. Five seconds means lighting is about a mile away. In the latest "No Bad Days With Barrett," from KGUN9, Tucson Fire Captain Barrett Baker says you should start seeking cover indoors if the timeframe is 30 seconds or less. If you're stuck outdoors, please avoid standing near trees.

NewsNet 07-18-14

MONSOON THUNDERSTORMS PROMPT MORE 9-1-1 CALLS THAN USUAL - The summer thunderstorm season can be a very dangerous time, and much of that danger results in hundreds of 9-1-1 calls from people needing help. Tucson News Now recently went behind the scenes to see what it's like at Tucson's 9-1-1 dispatch center at Park and Ajo.

HOW TO BICYCLE IN THE STREETCAR ZONE - With Sun Link Tucson Streetcar service starting a week from today (July 25), bicyclists will need to be extra attentive when riding near the tracks. New markings - including green bike boxes, bike dots, and shared-lane markings - will help guide cyclists where they need to be to stay safe and more visible. The City of Tucson produced a video that describes the safest ways to ride.

WEBSITE LISTS ITS TOP TEN ART GALLERIES AND MUSEUMS IN TUCSON - TheCultureTrip.com says Tucson is home to history and culture, but its contemporary art scene is not lagging behind. The website - which covers many countries and cites around the world - names ten galleries, such as Etherton Gallery, Madaras Gallery, Solar Culture, DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun, The Museum of Contemporary Art, and others.

CITY OF TUCSON HOLDS WORKSHOPS ON LICENSE AND SALES TAX REPORTING - Learn your rights and responsibilities for Transaction Privilege (sales) Taxation by attending a Tax and License Workshop sponsored by the City of Tucson Finance Department. Questions will be answered, and written materials will be available. Samples of sales tax records, worksheets, and monthly returns will be explained. You should bring a calculator and a pencil. A workshop for contracting questions will be held next Tuesday (July 22), from 10:30 a.m. until noon, at the Wilmot Branch Library, 530 N. Wilmot Road. A retail workshop will be held July 29 at the same time and place.

JOB OPPORTUNITY: UTILITY TECHNICIAN APPRENTICE - Tucson Water is seeking multiple applicants to help monitor and maintain the components of a water system serving more than 700,000 people. Some of the duties include investigating and locating repair sites, collecting appropriate data, testing water quality as situations demand, installing or repairing system components, initiating or terminating service, and resolving water service problems. Advancement opportunities are available after a 12-month probation period. Read the job description.

NewsNet 07-17-14

SUN VAN RECEIVES 42 NEW VEHICLES - The City of Tucson and Sun Van - the City’s award-winning paratransit service - are introducing 42 new Sun Van vehicles. The vehicles include minivans and sedans to improve system efficiency when full-sized vehicles are not necessary. Once all of the new vehicles are received by the end of next month, they will replace 2009 diesel-fueled vehicles in Sun Van’s fleet, decreasing the average age of the fleet from 4.10 years to 2.47 years. The vehicles were purchased with funding from the Federal Transit Administration and the City of Tucson. Read the news release.

HOW TO PARK IN THE STREETCAR ZONE - With Sun Link Tucson Streetcar service starting a week from tomorrow, July 25, it's important you park properly near the tracks. Adjacent parking requires you to have your vehicle completely in the marked white lines of the parking space. A mis-parked vehicle can block a streetcar and cost you a lot of money in fines and towing fees. Watch a video on proper parking along the streetcar route.

TUCSON POLICE EXPLORERS IN COLORADO FOR TRAINING - Seven Tucson Police Explorers, two TPD officers and a civilian advisor are in Gunnison, Colorado attending the 2014 Annual Law Enforcement Explorer Post Advisors Association of Colorado (LEEPAAC). Over the course of this week, the Explorers are networking with agencies from around the western United States in an effort to solve law enforcement- based scenarios. The Explorers are learning to adapt and improvise to solve problems using collective tactics from all of the agencies involved. The Explorer volunteer program is for young people between the ages of 14 and 20 with a strong interest in learning about law enforcement. Follow Explorer training at LEEPAC on TPD's Facebook page.

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.

MOVIES IN THE PARK SERIES CONTINUES AT REID PARK - Looking for some family-friendly entertainment on Friday nights over the summer? Movies in the Park, a Tucson summer staple since 2003, returns tomorrow at Reid Park with a free showing of "How to Train Your Dragon." Residents are invited to bring blankets and chairs to enjoy a free movie every other Friday at the Demeester Performing Arts Pavilion, 900 S. Randolph Way. The events begin at 5:30 p.m. with live music, jumping castles, balloon animals, and arts and crafts exhibits from nonprofits. Popcorn, soda, and food truck vendors also will be available for an additional charge. The Movies in the Park program is hosted by Cox Communications and the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance. Read more from Tucson News Now.

NewsNet 07-16-14

VOLUNTEER AS A STREETCAR GUIDE DURING OPENING WEEKEND - The Sun Link Tucson Streetcar team is recruiting volunteers to assist riders on the streetcar, July 25-27. Volunteers are asked to register to work a two-hour shift (or multiple staggered shifts) to help people board and exit the streetcar, answer questions and hand out free water. Volunteer shifts are available between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. all three days. As part of the volunteer training, you will get to ride the streetcar before the official launch, and you will get a free T-shirt. After the grand opening celebrations July 25, rides on the streetcar will be free through Sunday, July 27.

TUCSON ARCHITECTURAL FIRM MOVES DOWNTOWN TO BE PART OF AREA'S REVIVAL - With the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar and a vibrant food and entertainment scene leading Downtown Tucson's revival, a Tucson architect says he wants to be "part of the entire scene." Thomas Sayler-Brown, founder of SBBL Architecture + Planning, recently relocated his office from midtown to 15 E. Pennington Street to realize his dream of working in the urban center of Tucson. His company even is helping create part of the new downtown, finishing design plans for the forthcoming Johnny Gibson’s Downtown Market, the long-awaited downtown grocery store. SBBL's portfolio also includes the Foothills Mall Loews Theater, the Lodge at Canoa Ranch, the Stone Curves multi-family housing development, the Cord Blood Registry, and other projects. Read more from the Downtown Tucson Partnership.

RIO NUEVO RECEIVES TWO BIDS TO REDEVELOP CURRENT GREYHOUND SITE - Rio Nuevo has two proposals to develop land it owns near the Tucson Convention Center. The Rio Nuevo Board board voted 4-1 Tuesday to publicly interview the two bidders in a final evaluation before it selects a winner to purchase and develop the approximately 8.5 acres of land now occupied by the Greyhound Bus Depot. Both proposals include plans for a hotel, parking garage and some mix of apartments, office space, restaurants, and shops. One bid, for $100 million, is from developer Allan Norville, who owns land adjacent to the property. The other, for nearly $112 million, is from Peach Properties. Once the Rio Nuevo Board picks a winner, it would then enter into negotiations to develop a final agreement. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.

VOTER-APPROVED ROAD REPAIR WORK CONTINUES - Crews from Southern Arizona Paving and Construction Co., under contract with the City of Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT), began work today to improve the roadway conditions on Sixth Street from Ferro Avenue (just west of Sixth Avenue) to Park Avenue. Crews are lowering manhole and water valve covers through Friday, from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. During the utility-lowering phase of the project, at least one lane of travel in each direction will be maintained. Beginning Monday, crews will begin a full-depth mill (removing asphalt) and repaving on Sixth Street. The milling and repaving is scheduled to be complete by Tuesday, July 29, 2014. Business and residential access will be maintained at all times. The pavement preservation project is part of the $100 million, five-year Road Recovery bond program. Read the Bond Oversight Commission Annual Report.

TUCSON MAKES THE LIST OF TOP 50 CITIES FOR SWIMMERS - A study commissioned by USA Swimming and Speedo ranks Tucson 42nd on the list of 50 top cities in which to swim. The study ranks cities based on the number of USA Swimming clubs and members, number of competitions, and other factors. Tucson Ford Dealers Aquatics is one of the nation's most successful post-collegiate clubs, building on the achievements of the University of Arizona swim teams. Former UA coach Frank Busch is USA Swimming national team director. Phoenix did not rank among the top 50 cities in the survey. Read more from azcentral.com, and read the entire survey.

NewsNet 07-15-14

BE PREPARED DURING MONSOON THUNDERSTORMS - With swift water rescues, power outages and flooding seemingly part of the daily news lately, there are steps you can take to be prepared for an emergency. Be Prepared Tucson advises all residents to create a 72-hour emergency kit. Each member of your family, including pets, should have a kit. A website from the City of Tucson, U.S. Department of Energy, Homeland Security, and FEMA has a checklist of everything you need to be ready for an emergency. Watch a Tucson Fire Department/Tucson 12 video on how to prepare for an emergency.

SUMMER RAINFALL AT TIA IS ABOUT AVERAGE, SO FAR - The Tucson International Airport has measured 0.85 inches of rain since June 15 (not counting this morning's storms). That is near-average. However people in other parts of Tucson report higher totals. Sierra Vista is one of the most-soaked locations in Southeast Arizona so far, recording more than 4 inches of rain. That is more than three times the average. For recordkeeping purposes, the monsoon season runs from June 15 through September 30. Read more from Tucson News Now, and track rainfaill totals at rainlog.org.

MANY OF TUCSON'S OLDER STREETS NOT MADE FOR DRAINAGE - Storm drainage planning in road construction didn't really come into play in our community until the 1980s, and flood control officials say older streets were designed to fill with water that would funnel into washes. With a growing population and heavy summer storms, that flooding sometimes causes safety problems and traffic detours. Crews from the City of Tucson and Pima County stay busy this time of year removing debris that can clog washes and cause flooding. “Most of our folks have been out working most of the night clearing drains," said Tucson Department of Transportation Director Daryl Cole. The City says you can help flood control by clearing debris on your land that could clog small washes. Read more from KGUN9.

SUN LINK TEAM QUICKLY REPAIRS LIGHTNING-DAMAGED WIRE - Sun Link Streetcar testing was suspended briefly yesterday near the University of Arizona after a damaged catenary wire fell down around noon. The Tucson Fire and Tucson Police Department secured the scene on 2nd Street. Crews discovered that the non-powered span wire was frayed and blackened which led the Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT) to believe lightning struck the line the night before, TDOT Deputy Director Carlos DeLeon told NewsNet. The wire was repaired and replaced within hours, he said, and testing resumed at about 5 p.m. Streetcar service begins July 25, a week from Friday.

HOW TO REPORT TRANSPORTATION CONCERNS AFTER STORM DAMAGE - Is there a tree in the road after a thunderstorm? Is there a pothole you'd like to see fixed? Is a street sign missing? You can report these issues to the Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT), (520) 791-3154, or email the exact location to tdotsr@tucsonaz.gov. You also can use the SeeClickFix website and app.
 

NewsNet 07-14-14

TUCSON FIRE DEPARTMENT (TFD) PERFORMS SWIFT WATER RESCUES - Tucson Fire units rescued an 8-year-old girl and her father after they became trapped in a wash on Tucson's southeast side yesterday. The wash, at the 4000 block of South Avenida De Las Palmas, was dry when the two entered, and they ended up climbing the tree for safe refuge. Four firefighters with safety equipment made their way across the wash in an in-line position to the stranded pair. The 8-year-old was placed in the middle of the four firefighters and the five walked to safety. The same technique was used to then get the father. TFD units also were in place downstream as standard procedure in the case that someone got swept away. Neither father nor daughter required medical attention after being rescued. In another incident early this morning, rescue crews also removed a man from a flowing wash near Starr Pass and Mission Road. Tucson Fire crews remind people to stay out of washes this time of year, as water can flow quickly during the monsoon. Watch the rescue video at TFD Facebook page.
Monsoon safety tips from last week's "No Bad Days with Barrett" on KGUN9.

TUCSON NAMED TOP 10 CITY FOR MILLENIALS IN THE SOUTHWEST - A new study, conducted by Havas PR North America, surveyed Hispanic and non-Hispanic 18-to-34-year-olds living in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas on topics including family, food and work. The findings were published in a report called, “Mi Casa en Los Estados Unidos: Millennials of the Border States.” As part of the survey, about 800 participants were asked to name one Southwest city that they thought would be best for their generation in the future. Tucson was the 10th most popular. Factors cited include the University of Arizona, diversity, proximity to the border, rich history and culture, and an open-minded community. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.

CITY PARTNERS WITH TECH LAUNCH ARIZONA TO HELP START-UPS - With the creation of new businesses an important part of the City of Tucson’s economic development strategy, the City and the University of Arizona have formed an alliance to incubate local technology start-up companies. The Commercial Network Alliance is a part of the University’s Tech Launch Arizona (TLA) program and focuses on engaging local talent and expertise, particularly UA students and faculty. Tucson has been identified in several recent national studies as one of the most promising cities for entrepreneurship and innovation in the country. The Commercialization Network Alliance was created to help fully realize that promise. 

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.

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 07-11-14

STREETCAR LAUNCH IN JUST TWO WEEKS - The Sun Link Tucson Streetcar officially begins passenger service two weeks from today (July 25), with grand opening ceremonies and three days of free rides. While official service hasn't begun, the streetcar vehicles welcomed their first test passengers on Wednesday. The major purpose of the test was to determine how well the validators worked, with the passengers getting on and off at various stops. Validators are the machines where riders will tap their SunGO cards and passes to pay their fares. The tests also helped determine the timing of stops and the counting of passengers. Read more from KGUN9.

HOW TO USE A BIKE BOX - You may be noticing more green bike boxes at signalized intersections. The box allows bikes to pull in front of vehicles at a red light and wait behind the crosswalk, while motor vehicles are required to wait behind the white stop bar. This provides more safety and visibility for the bicyclists. The City of Tucson Bicycle and Pedestrian Program's latest  newsletter has a simple infographic and instructions on how bike boxes work. The newsletter also includes information about how to bring your bike onto the streetcar when it begins service July 25.

PARKS AND RECREATION FALL CATALOG AVAILABLE NOW - The Fall Program Guide and Class Catalog is now available in print form at Parks and Recreation facilities across Tucson. You can also view it online. The guide has information on leisure classes, KIDCO, pools, and sports programs. You also will find information on recreation centers, senior centers, fitness and special needs centers, Reid Park Zoo, Tucson City Golf courses, and year-round pool locations.

2nd SATURDAYS DOWNTOWN TOMORROW - The monthly, free, family-friendly event this Saturday 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. Tomorrow also is the first Ice Cream Showdown at the event, hosted by Maynard's Market. From 6 p.m. - 8 p.m., tasters will buy tickets for the competition, which is open to creameries throughout Arizona. Proceeds will benefit Ben's Bells. Street parking is free on Saturdays, or you can pay $3 to park in the Pennington Street Garage. View the 2nd Saturdays Downtown schedule.

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. Watch a University of Arizona PSA about the app.

NewsNet 07-10-14

10 BEST THINGS TO DO IN TUCSON - The USA Today's 10best.com travel website highlights the best things to do in Tucson. As for attractions, the site lists the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Old Tucson Studios, Mission San Xavier del Bac, Mt. Lemmon Ski Resort and others. For outdoor activities, Sentinel Peak Park tops the list. When it comes to annual events, the site ranks the 4th Avenue Street Fair, Tucson International Mariachi Conference and All Souls Procession as the top three.

LEARN ABOUT TUCSON'S STREETCAR HISTORY - While the Sun Link Streetcar opening July 25th is the most modern of streetcars, the history of streetcars in Tucson dates back to 1897. The University of Arizona's Drachman Institute downtown is partnering with Old Pueblo Trolley to present a photo exhibit on the history Tucson's streetcars. The photos are presented in all three display windows at 44 N. Stone Ave. See some of the photos via Friends of the Tucson Streetcar Facebook page.

STEM JOBS ARE PLENTIFUL IN TUCSON - While jobs that don't require science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) skills bring plenty of competition for workers, jobs that require STEM skills remain vacant. The Brookings Metro Policy Program has released a new report with analysis of job openings and hiring difficulties for STEM-related jobs. It compiled data from the 100 largest U.S. metro areas, including Tucson — where more than 40 percent of job openings require some STEM skills. Of the 3,048 ads for recent job openings analyzed in the Tucson area, 40.8 percent required STEM skills. The State of Arizona recently appropriated $600,000 to Pima Community College for workforce programs in science, technology, engineering and math. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.

TOMORROW IS LAST OF SUMMER SAFARI FRIDAY NIGHTS AT REID PARK ZOO - This year's Summer Safari Friday Nights program concludes with a celebration of Amazing Africa, featuring zookeeper chats at zebra, giraffe, otter, lion, rhino, and Speke’s gazelle exhibits. Feed the giraffes, have your face painted, take a self-guided scavenger hunt, and listen to live music. Tomorrow's event runs from 5:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. at the Reid Park Zoo.
Learn more about the event and admission prices at Reid Park Zoo.

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.

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