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NewsNet 10-31-14

STREETCAR RIDERSHIP EXCEEDING PROJECTIONS - After a little more than three months in operation, the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar is carrying more passengers than predicted. Average daily ridership has been increasing steadily since the streetcar's debut July 25. As of this month, the average has been about 4,200 passengers. Projections before launch had been about 3,600. 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. Read more from KVOA.

ONE-DAY PARK BUILD TOMORROW - The all-ages redesign of La Madera Park, 2700 E La Madera Drive, is scheduled to be completed tomorrow during a six-hour, one-day build. 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 build a one-of-a-kind, multi-generational playground. The customized playground, funded primarily by Humana, is being created using drawings and other input from 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. Read the news release, and watch Tucson 12 video of playground equipment removal.
 
JOB OPPORTUNITY: TUCSON POLICE OFFICER - The Tucson Police Department (TPD) is accepting applications for the position of Police Officer Recruit. Successful candidates from this testing period will be considered for any funded academy class(es) within the next six months. The earliest academy that will be filled from this list is January 2015. The application deadline is Nov. 9. Read more from TPD, and view the official job description from City of Tucson. You also can ride along with an officer who gives advice about joining TPD, from Tucson 12 archives.
 
CELEBRATE THE DAY AFTER HALLOWEEN AT THE ZOO - The Reid Park Zoo is hosting a Pumpkin Bash tomorrow. Keepers will offer pumpkins to many of the animals, including elephants, otters, and bears, as they go on exhibit at 9 a.m. You can watch how they react all morning. While you're there be sure to visit Nandi, the baby African elephant, and the Zoo's youngest resident, a two-week-old baby flamingo. See photos on Reid Park Zoo Facebook page.
 
HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE (HHW) COLLECTION TOMORROW - Do you have unused chemicals, oils or pesticides sitting in your shed or garage? The City of Tucson is hosting a Household Hazardous Waste collection tomorrow at the Eastside Service Center, 7575 E. Speedway Blvd. (turn north on Prudence from Speedway), from 8 a.m. until noon. Accepted materials include automotive fluids and batteries, rechargeable batteries, toxic cleaning products, fluorescent lamps, paints, solvents, lawn and garden products, and computer equipment ($2 for monitors without computer). Drop off at HHW is free for City of Tucson residents. Another collection event will be held Saturday, Nov. 8 at El Rio Neighborhood Center, 1390 W. Speedway Blvd. Download the 'My-Waste'™ App.

NewsNet 10-30-14

VOTE-BY-MAIL BALLOT SHOULD BE RETURNED BY TOMORROW - If you have a vote-by-mail ballot and haven't filled it out and sent it back, time is running out. The Pima County Recorder's Office says your ballot should be dropped in the mail by tomorrow, to allow enough time for it to arrive by Tuesday's General Election. If you miss the mail deadline, you can bring your ballot to any polling place on Tuesday.
 
BIKE ALONG THE ATTURBURY TRAIL - The City of Tucson Parks and Recreation Department is renting bicycles to use on the Atturbury Wash Greenway Path on Tucson's southeast side. You can rent a bike at the William Clements Regional Center, 8155 E. Poinciana Dr., Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bikes are available in adult and youth sizes and can be rented for a fee of $2 per hour for Clement's pass holders, $5 per hour for others, and $10 per hour for a family. Youth 17 and younger need to be accompanied by an adult. Bike rentals include a helmet, which must be worn while riding. A driver license is required for checkout. The three-quarter-mile multi-use path runs through Lincoln Park, linking the Fred Enke Golf Course, Pima Community College East Campus, Clements Center, the Children's Outdoor Performance Area, the Lincoln Park softball complex, Lower Lincoln Park, and the Michael Lyman Atturbury Wash Animal and Bird Sanctuary. Watch Tucson 12 archived video about Atturbury Wash Greenway project.
 
LAST-MINUTE HALLOWEEN DECORATING IDEAS - Did time get away from you and your plans to decorate for Halloween? If you have some old milk cartons and cardboard paper towel and toilet paper rolls, you're in business. Do More Blue Tucson - the City's Environmental Services Facebook page - has a couple of photos to show you how to decorate for nothing but the cost of some glow sticks and markers, provided you have some recyclables on hand.
 
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 is underway 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.
 
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 10-29-14

NEW WEBSITE CONNECTS BUSINESSES IN ARIZONA, MEXICO, CANADA - ConnectBIEN.com is a website that uses an extensive database to link businesses in Arizona, Mexico, and Canada. The website was launched this month by the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) and its partners, including the City of Tucson. When a business provides a profile about its products and services, other businesses can see what is offered and email the business a connection request. Users can search for a like business by distance, industry type, or name. The goal is for businesses to find ways to collaborate, such as supplying products and services, assisting in cross-border promotion, or sharing ideas and best practices. "This database is the first of its kind in Arizona and will be a key tool in connecting Tucson businesses with supply chain opportunities in Mexico, Canada, and throughout the United States," said Juan Francisco Padrés, Tucson's economic development specialist for international trade.
City of Tucson Office of Economic Initiatives

CYCLOVIA BICYCLE EVENT THIS WEEKEND - Living Streets Alliance, The City of Tucson, and other partners are getting ready for the fall Cyclovia event this Sunday. The bike route will connect the North 6th Avenue area with the North 4th Avenue- North Fontana Bike Boulevard. Anyone can bike, walk, skate, and participate in fun, free Cyclovia activities. Streets along the route will be closed to vehicular traffic so people can move about freely and feel safe. Cyclovia is not a race, parade, or competition. It's a chance for people to enjoy the outdoors from outside of a vehicle. Sunday's Cyclovia runs from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Sun Link riders can roll their bikes onto the streetcar and meet up with this year's route at the intersection of 4th Avenue and University Boulevard.

JAN. 8 MEMORIAL EXHIBIT OPENED TODAY - A new exhibit commemorating the Jan. 8, 2011 shootings at a "Congress on Your Corner" event in Tucson opened today at The Arizona History Museum (949 E. 2nd St.) and runs through Jan. 9, 2015. "Dia De Los Muertos: Remembering January 8th" is presented by the museum and the January 8th Memorial Foundation, which lent artifacts to the exhibit from the memorials created in the wake of the shootings. One room of the exhibit focuses on the six people who were killed. Another section of the exhibit displays all the flowers, photos, candles and other items that were left the days and weeks after the shooting. The January 8th Memorial Foundation is working on establishing a permanent memorial in Downtown Tucson. Sixty design firms and artists have submitted applications to design the memorial. Read more from Tucson News Now.

TUCSON'S LINCOLN PARK TO HOST JENNIE FINCH SOFTBALL CAMP NEXT MONTH - 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.

SAFETY TIPS FOR HALLOWEEN - With Halloween just two days away, the Tucson Fire Department is offering tips on how to keep your little trick-or-treaters safe. In the latest "No Bad Days with Barrett" on KGUN9, TFD Captain Barrett Baker and his colleagues have some "spooktacular" tips about costumes, walking the streets, cell phones, flashlights, and more.

NewsNet 10-28-14

SWAP HALLOWEEN CANDY FOR ZOO ADMISSION - Halloween is Friday, and you can trade your bounty Saturday for free admission to the Reid Park Zoo. Tucson Medical Center is handling the swap at The Loop, the river path system for biking, running, and walking. The first 100 children to trade their treats will get free admission to the Zoo for one child and one adult. The Halloween candy swap is part of a day of festivities to mark the opening of the Julian Wash segment of The Loop. You can make the swap from 10 a.m. until noon Saturday at the Mulcahy YMCA, located at the Kino Community Center, 2805 E. Ajo Way. The candy will be donated to the Salvation Army for its youth programs and to the Barney Figueroa VFW Post 6271 to support military heroes. Read more from Tucson News Now.

DOWNTOWN LECTURE SERIES ON FOOD CONTINUES - The University of Arizona's College of Social and Behavioral Sciences' Downtown Lecture Series returns to the historic Fox Theatre tomorrow. The 2014 lecture series is exploring food and its relationships with health, culture, and the environment. This week's lecture by Maribel Alvarez is called "We Eat What We Are." Tickets for the free, public lecture will be available at the Fox Theatre box office beginning Wednesday at 4 p.m. Attendees can ride the Sun Link Tucson 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.

HOCKEY HOMESTAND BEGINS THURSDAY - Arizona Wildcat Hockey takes to the ice Thursday night at the Tucson Convention Center (TCC) Arena for the first of three consecutive home games. All games begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday's matchup is against Colorado State University, while Colorado comes to Tucson to play the Wildcats on Friday and Saturday. Tickets are available at the TCC Ticket Office and Ticketmaster.

TUCSON FIRE DEPARTMENT HAS INFECTIOUS DISEASE PROTOCOLS IN PLACE - The Tucson Fire Department (TFD) is always prepared to deal with an emergency response involving infectious disease. When someone calls 911 about illness, the dispatcher asks questions about a fever, flu-like symptoms, and communicable disease, said TFD Captain Barrett Baker. Fire departments are trained to deal with infectious diseases, like hepatitis, tuberculosis, and measles. If a serious infectious disease is suspected, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) would coordinate with the hospital to put the patient in an isolation room while more information is gathered, he said. Read more from Tucson News Now.

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 10-27-14

NEW 'POCKET PARK' TO BE DEDICATED TONIGHT NEAR TCC - After three months of work, a new "pocket park" will be officially dedicated at 5:30 tonight. The demonstration project is part of the Eckbo landscape, a nearly six-acre space that sits north of the Tucson Convention Center, between the TCC's Tucson Music Hall and Leo Rich Theater. Work on the small park is being funded by a private group called TCC Today, which hopes to restore the Eckbo area to what it was in the 1970s, complete with running water and wooden benches that were removed for metal seats many years ago. The group also removed dead trees and replaced them with new ones that can survive the desert climate. The trees were planted with new support structures underground to give the roots room to grow without buckling the pavement. The full landscape restoration project, which includes the now-empty fountains, is competing for a spot on a proposed 2015 Pima County bond election. Landscape architect Garrett Eckbo was considered one of the most influential landscape architects of the 20th century, and his work at the TCC was honored by the American Society of Landscape Architects shortly after its completion. Read more from KGUN9.
 
TUCSON FIRE DEPARTMENT URGES ABCs OF DROWNING PREVENTION - After Friday's drowning death of a four-year-old boy at an apartment complex at the 300 block of E. Mohave Road, the Tucson Fire Department (TFD) is again stressing its safety message of the ABCs of drowning prevention all year long. "A" is for adult supervision. Watch children at all times. "B" is for barriers. Have a fence that encloses the pool or spa and make sure the gates close and latch automatically. "C" is for CPR. Knowing CPR allows the parent or nearby person to be a first responder. TFD says drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children between the ages of one and four. Read TFD news release, and watch drowning prevention video from a July edition of "No Bad Days with Barrett" on KGUN9.
 
BABY FLAMINGO BORN AT REID PARK ZOO - A flamingo baby has taken the title of the youngest resident at Reid Park Zoo. Born a little more than a week ago, the chick is being cared for by its mom and dad, with Zoo staff keeping a respectful distance. The flamingo birth makes Nandi the African elephant baby the second-youngest inhabitant at the Zoo. She was born Aug. 20, on Tucson's birthday. The Zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Visit Reid Park Zoo's Facebook page.
 
CATCH UP ON CITY NEWS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED - Learn where your recyclables go every week; an old playground makes way for a new one; every month, Congress Street is packed with fun; and take a special tour from the driver's seat of the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar. Those stories are featured in this month's edition of Tucson City News in Review, produced by Tucson 12.
 
HOW TO REPORT TRANSPORTATION CONCERNS - Is there a tree hanging over the road? 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, (520) 791-3154, or email the exact location to tdotsr@tucsonaz.gov.

NewsNet 10-24-14

TUCSON CITY COURT AWARDED TWO FEDERAL GRANTS - The Tucson City Court’s Regional Municipalities Veterans Treatment Court (RMVTC) recently was awarded two federal grants totaling $2,339,277 over four years. Both grants are from the Department of Health and Human Services' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and will be used to expand the treatment services for veterans assigned to the RMVTC. Municipalities participating in the RMVTC are Tucson, Marana, Oro Valley, South Tucson, and Sahuarita. The RMVTC directs veterans charged with certain offenses to rehabilitation services and helps at-risk veterans avoid further legal difficulties. Meanwhile, Tucson City Court recently won the Arizona Supreme Court’s 2014 Strategic Agenda Award in the Limited Jurisdiction category for protecting children, families, and communities. City Court was recognized for its excellent work through the RMVTC and the Dedicated Domestic Violence Court. Read the news release.
 
DONATION DRIVE UNDERWAY FOR TOMORROW'S 'HOPE FEST' - The Hope Network today is collecting donations of gently-used clothing, shoes, accessories, canned food, bottled water, diapers, stuffed animals, and personal care items. Today's event, which runs until 7 p.m. at Kino Stadium, 2500 E. Ajo Way, is the precursor to tomorrow's "Hope Fest" at the same location. From 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. tomorrow, the donated items will be distributed free of charge (on a first-come, first-served basis). The 22nd annual event provides about 20,000 needy Tucsonans with free groceries, clothing, medical services, dental services, haircuts, hygiene items, and a number of other services. Hope Network is a nonprofit organization that collaborates with many other Tucson nonprofits, government organizations, and businesses to help people living in poverty. Last year, Hope Fest provided more than $1.5 million of goods and services to needy Tucsonans. Read more from KVOA.
 
BROADWAY/HOUGHTON BLOCK PARTY TOMORROW - Residents will gather for a block party tomorrow to celebrate the completion of the final paving of the intersection of Broadway Boulevard and Houghton Road. The party will include free food, giveaways, raffles, and more. The event runs from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. near the intersection of the RTA-funded project.
 
TRAFFIC ALERT: SPEEDWAY - ALVERNON WAY TO ROSEMONT BOULEVARD - Beginning Monday, crews from Southern Arizona Paving and Construction Co., under contract with the City of Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT), will begin work to improve pavement conditions on Speedway Boulevard, from Alvernon Way to Rosemont Boulevard. Crews will begin the project by lowering manhole and water valve covers. Work hours will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with scheduled completion by next Friday. Crews will return to the area on Sunday, Nov. 2 to begin milling (removing asphalt) and paving operations, scheduled to be finished on Thursday, Nov. 6. Work hours for that portion of the project will be 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. The pavement improvement program is part of the voter-approved $100 million, five-year Road Recovery bond. Read the news release and Bond Oversight Commission Annual Report
 
MAYOR TO HOST WEEKEND WALK THROUGH DOWNTOWNMayor Jonathan Rothschild's walk will be held Sunday on the 2.5 mile Turquoise Trail - a historical loop that takes walkers through Downtown Tucson. The Turquoise Trail highlights structures and sites of historic interest and is marked by a turquoise stripe on the sidewalk. Rothschild will join fellow walkers to celebrate historical downtown and the need to be active. The walk begins at 8 a.m. at Presidio San Augustín, with registration at 7:30 a.m.

NewsNet 10-23-14

TUCSON WATER WINS NATIONAL AWARD FOR MANAGEMENT EXCELLENCE - The Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) this week honored Tucson Water with one of its top utility management awards. The award was presented during Monday's ceremony at the 2014 Annual Executive Management Conference of the AMWA, an organization of the largest publicly-owned water utilities in the United States. Tucson Water was recognized with the Platinum Award for Utility Excellence for its exceptional performance in implementing nationally-recognized management standards. “It is an honor to be recognized by our peers in the water utility industry as being one of the best in the nation," said Tucson Water Director Alan Forrest. "All of our employees work hard to ensure that we meet all of our customers' needs as well." Read the news release.
 
DEADLINE TO REQUEST EARLY BALLOT IS TOMORROW - If you want to cast an Early Ballot for the Nov. 4 election, you have until 5 p.m. tomorrow to request one. Pima County voters can request an early ballot online, or call 724-4330. In order for your vote to count, ballots must be returned and received before 7 p.m. on election day.
 
UA WILDCAT HOCKEY FAN FEST TONIGHT - The University of Arizona Wildcat Hockey program is hosting its first Fan Fest tonight from 6:30-8 p.m. at the newly-renovated Tucson Convention Center (TCC). The free Fan Fest meet-and-greet event will allow hockey fans to meet the 2014-15 UA Wildcat Hockey players on the eve of their first home game tomorrow. Fans can watch an open team practice and meet new Head Coach Chad Berman, the team's 17 new players, and the returning players. This season will offer a new experience for hockey fans at the TCC. 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. Most of the work is finished, with the final touches expected to be completed by the end of the year. Read the news release.
 
FIREFIGHTERS CHILI COOK-OFF THIS WEEKEND AT NEW LOCATION
- The Tucson Fire Department's (TFD) annual charity competition to see which firefighters make the best chili has a new venue this year to accommodate more people and families. Saturday's event will be held from 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. at the DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center at Reid Park. Aside from chili and other food, there will be live music, fire trucks, and trick-or-treating for children. The Tucson Firefighters Local 479 chili cook-off benefits the Tucson Firefighters Adopt-A-Family Program, which assists needy families and children with clothing, food, basic necessities, and toys throughout the holiday season. Read the news release.
 
BOO BASH SATURDAY ON SOUTHEAST SIDE - The annual Halloween Boo Bash is a fun-filled night with tricks, treats, entertainment, face painting, food, and more. Some of the activities include a costume contest, carnival games, and storytelling. The City of Tucson Parks and Recreation department and Pima Community College East Campus are hosting Saturday's event from 4-8 p.m. at the William Clements Center, 8155 E. Poinciana Dr. Admission is $3 (free for children 3 and under), and children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Read the news release.

NewsNet 10-22-14

CITY OF TUCSON TO REDUCE PARKING FINES - The Mayor and Tucson City Council yesterday voted unanimously to reduce fines for parking tickets next year, after finding Tucson's rates are higher than other major Arizona cities. Fine reductions mostly will come from eliminating court fees tacked on to parking tickets by having Park Tucson (formerly Parkwise) collect fines directly, if paid within 30 days. After 30 days, it would be up to City Court to collect, and regular court fees and late fees would apply. Drivers still could contest a ticket through the court, but fees would follow if the court rules against a driver. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.
Mayor and Council agenda materials
 
CITY ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES OPERATOR WINS NATIONAL AWARD - Environmental Services Equipment Operator Ruben Rivera was recognized last night by the Mayor and Tucson City Council for his second place win in the International Heavy Equipment Road-E-O. The competition, sponsored by the Solid Waste Association of North America, includes a written exam, inspection, and a driving skills test on a challenging obstacle course. The competition was held last month in Denver, Colorado, and more than 80 operators from across the country competed for top honors. "We are proud to recognize Ruben's achievement," said Environmental Services Director Andrew Quigley. "He is an excellent example of the 216 employees of Environmental Services who work hard every day to provide excellent service and protect our environment." Read more from City of Tucson Environmental Services, and watch Tucson 12 video from last year's Road-E-O competition in Tucson.
 
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 meetings continue tomorrow at the County Housing Offices, 801 W. Congress Street. Discussions include Multi-family Housing Design (10-11:30 a.m.), Energy Efficiency in Affordable Housing (1-2:30 p.m.), and Rural Issues (3-4:30 p.m.). Read the news release.
 
HOWL-O-WEEN BEGINS FRIDAY - Reid Park Zoo's annual Howl-O-Ween runs this Friday through Sunday, beginning at 6 p.m. each night (Zoo members can enter at 5:30). Enjoy safe trick-or-treating, costumed characters, and Halloween decorations as you stroll through the Zoo. The event is for all ages, with limited spooks and scares. Admission is $7, and members get a $2 discount.

TUCSON CITY GOLF HOSTS FALL EVENTS - Tucson City Golf will be hosting several events this fall at the Randolph Golf Complex, 600 S. Alvernon Way. Golfers can register for this Saturday's Southern Arizona Logistics Education Organization (SALEO) Scholarship Tournament. The LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program is holding a Super Girls Golf Day on Nov. 8, with professional golf instruction, health and wellness information, and a do-it-yourself project for girls ages 7-17. Other upcoming events include The Tucson City Women's & Senior Amateur Tournaments, and the Tucson Golf Expo. Visit the Tucson City Golf events page for detailed information.

NewsNet 10-21-14

CITY SEEKING COMMENTS ON POSSIBLE CHARTER CHANGES - Tucson's Charter Review Committee is asking for public comments as it reviews and make recommendations about possible amendments to sections of the Tucson City Charter. A public meeting will be held at 4 p.m. tomorrow at City Hall (255 W. Alameda, 1st floor). 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.
 
BE PART OF THE BUZZ IN DOWNTOWN TUCSON - If you haven't experienced the excitement of revitalized Downtown Tucson on a weekend, Tucson 12 recently captured the sights and sounds of the 2nd Saturdays Downtown celebration. The monthly event features family-friendly activities, art gallery shows, music, food, and more. Downtown has seen an increase in activity, particularly since the July 25 opening of the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar. Sun Link provides riders with an opportunity to experience the new businesses and activities downtown, while easily traveling to other destinations along the 3.9-mile route through the University of Arizona, Fourth Avenue, and the Mercado District.
2nd Saturdays Downtown

KIDCO HOSTS 'LIGHTS ON AFTERSCHOOL' CELEBRATION - The City of Tucson's Parks and Recreation Department's KIDCO program is taking part in this week's 15th annual "National Lights On Afterschool" event, promoting the need for after-school programs in the Tucson community. Bring a blanket or chair to watch singing and dancing performances by participants in KIDCO and the In-Betweeners Club (IBC). The event begins Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center at Reid Park, and food will be available for purchase. The celebration is part of a national event sponsored by the Afterschool Alliance. Read the news release.
 
L.A. NEWSPAPER LAUDS STREETCAR - The Los Angeles Daily News calls the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar "a calling card to bring attention to a city that has a lot in common with famously cool Portland, Oregon, and Austin, Texas." The Travel section of the newspaper also cites Tucson's assets, such as history, a beautiful urban core, great food and drinks, art, fine arts, lively music, and a college-town vibe. In addition, the article mentions some historic sites in Tucson, such as Presidio San Agustín del Tucson and St. Augustine Cathedral.
 
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 10-20-14

PUBLIC FORUM TONIGHT ON INCLUSION AND EQUALITY IN TUCSON - Several speakers will take part in tonight's forum, "It's Time to Talk: Inclusion and Equality in Tucson," hosted by Ward 6 City Council Member Steve Kozachik's office. The community-wide conversation will focus on equality and opportunity in Tucson, with discussions about jobs, education, public policy, and the media. The forum begins at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Catalina High School, 3645 E. Pima St. For more information, call 791-4601. Read the news release.
 
BUSINESS MAGAZINE SPOTLIGHTS STREETCAR PROJECT MANAGER - The fall edition of BizTucson Magazine features the "driving force for Tucson's Modern Streetcar." Tucson Department of Transportation Streetcar Project Manager Shellie Ginn began working on the City of Tucson's largest-ever construction project about 10 years ago, when it was just a recommendation from the Citizens Advisory Committee. Ginn, a Tucson native, helped guide the project through planning, design, construction, and operation. "I really would love my legacy to be leaving this city a better place than when I came into it," she said. "I love public service for that reason." Read the full interview from BizTucson (page 84).
 
DOWNTOWN LECTURE SERIES ON FOOD CONTINUES - The University of Arizona's College of Social and Behavioral Sciences' Downtown Lecture Series returns to the historic Fox Theatre on Wednesday. The 2014 lecture series is exploring food and its relationships with health, culture, and the environment. This week's lecture by Gary Nabhan is called "Tucson: City of Gastronomy, Hub for Food Diversity." Tickets  for the free, public lecture will be available at the Fox Theatre box office beginning Wednesday at 4 p.m. Attendees can ride the Sun Link Tucson 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.
 
TUCSON 12 WINS NATIONAL AWARD - Tucson 12, The City Channel has another award for its display case. The 2014 National Association of Officers and Advisors (NATOA), recently announced the winners of its government programming awards in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Tucson 12 won the Second Place award for its video “Get Streetcar Street Smart!,” in the Public Education category. The annual awards recognize excellence in broadcast, cable, multimedia and electronic programming produced by local government agencies.
 
AGENDA SPOTLIGHT: MAIN GATE ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT - The Mayor and Tucson City Council tomorrow night will consider creating the Main Gate Entertainment District west of the University of Arizona. Currently, certain new retail types of liquor licenses are not allowed to locate within 300 feet of a school or church. The special district would allow the licenses to be considered, on a case-by-case basis, if the surrounding churches and schools are supportive of the establishments. On April 23, Mayor and Council directed staff to help create a proposed entertainment district for the Main Gate area. Staff presented a draft map on Sept. 9, but was asked to return with modifications to the boundary. Tucson's first entertainment district, the Greater Downtown Entertainment District, was adopted May 20. Tomorrow's Mayor and Council Regular Meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. at 255 W. Alameda St. Read the agenda items.

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.

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