ward4 - December 6, 2:32 pm
On May 16, 2006, voters in Pima County approved a $2.1 billion regional transportation plan to be funded by a 1/2 percent sales tax and to be executed over 20 years expiring on June 30, 2026. The $2.1 billion revenue forecast was produced by the Economic and Business Research Center at the Eller College of Management, University of Arizona. In total, 51 transportation related projects in four elements (roadway, safety, transit, environment and economic vitality) were identified in the regional transportation plan consuming $1.998 billion of the fore
newsnet - December 6, 11:05 am
TUCSON FACES BUDGET SHORTFALL FOR NEXT FISCAL YEAR - Assistant City Manager/Chief Financial Officer Kelly Gottschalk says the City's deficit could be at least $15 million next fiscal year, but the calculation will be more precise in a few months. “The Council is going to have to make priority decisions," she says. "We are seeing on an annual basis that our revenues are going up, but our expenses are going up faster than our revenues, so we are going to have to face challenges in Fiscal [Year] '15." Hear the interview with Arizona Public Media.
CHICAGO PURSUES DEAL TO CHANGE PENSION FUNDING - As many government entities, including Tucson, address issues related to their pension systems, Chicago is hoping from some relief, after the State of Illinois made some legislative changes. The passage Tuesday of a landmark bill trimming retirement benefits for state workers, aimed at fixing the vastly underfunded pension system, is relevant to the nation’s third-largest city, which has its own pension systems in various stages of financial problems. Mayor Rahm Emanuel says some sort of pension reform is required to preserve city services and maintain tax rates into the future. City employee group representatives oppose these efforts, saying that retirement benefits are contractual and constitutionally-protected obligations that City of Chicago government should honor. Read the story from the New York Times.
URBAN LAND INSTITUTE (ULI) ADVISORY SERVICES PANEL DEVELOPS A ROADMAP TO THE FUTURE OF DOWNTOWN TUCSON - The ULI, an independent global nonprofit that provides leadership in real estate development and responsible land use, visited Tucson last month to provide a technical assessment for underutilized properties in Downtown Tucson. The ULI team toured the downtown area, met with many downtown and community stakeholders in both the public and private sectors, and listed some key recommendations last week. Watch the Tucson 12 video and read more about the project and review the Powerpoint presentation at http://tucsonaz.gov/uli.
TUCSON POLICE NO LONGER PROHIBITING PHOTOS OF PUBLIC RECORDS - Tucson Police will now allow citizens to take photos of public documents, reversing their policy after Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne wrote a legal opinion saying public records must be available for free inspection, including permitting the use of photographs. "Throughout the city, our practices already were in line with what the AG opinion concludes," Tucson City Attorney Mike Rankin tells NewsNet. "However, in one particular instance (records through TPD's Public Information Office), we were not letting people photograph the record, and instead we told them they could either inspect the record and not pay anything, or we would provide a copy and they would pay the copy cost. In light of the AG Opinion, we've given the direction to stop that practice." Read more from Capitol Media Services via the Arizona Daily Star.
HOLIDAY DECORATION SAFETY TIPS - If you're planning on hanging holiday lights this weekend, make sure to keep safety in mind. Tucson Fire Department Captain Barrett Baker says it all starts with a properly-sized ladder to hang your lights. Learn more from KGUN9's "No Bad Days with Barrett" segment.
ward3 - December 5, 5:06 pm
-Ward 3 Events -Upcoming Area Neighborhood and Coalition Meeting(s) -Citywide Events -Did You Know?
********************************************** Dear Tucsonans,
newsnet - December 5, 3:38 pm
FREEZE WARNING TONIGHT - The National Weather Service has issued a freeze warning, beginning tonight at 10 o'clock and lasting through 10 a.m. tomorrow. The counties included in the warning area are Pima, Southeast Pinal and Santa Cruz. A cold air mass will be over Arizona starting today, lasting through the beginning of next week. Crews from the Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT) will spray magnesium chloride on approximately 70 bridge decks within city limits. Magnesium chloride lowers the freezing temperature of water and prevents ice from bonding on a roadway. A light coating produces no negative effects on water or vegetation. Magnesium chloride is an effective ice suppressant agent lasting for approximately 10 days. Read the story on tucsonaz.gov. Tucson Water tips on protecting your pipes.
FEDERAL U.S./MEXICO TRADE HEARING SCHEDULED FOR TUCSON - The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, will hold a hearing in the Mayor and Council Chambers of City Hall on Monday, Dec. 9, 2013, beginning at 9:30 a.m. The subject is a field hearing on "Promoting Best Practices in U.S.-Mexico Trade." U.S. Representative Matt Salmon of Arizona is the Chairperson of the Subcommittee. Tucson 12 will provide live coverage of the event. Witnesses scheduled to testify.
COMMUNITY LEARNS ABOUT STREETCAR SAFETY - As Sun Link Tucson Streetcar vehicles go through testing along the tracks, the streetcar's management team continues to educate community members and streetcar operators about safety. The streetcar's "Be Street-Smart" educational safety campaign is an ongoing effort to educate citizens about the streetcars presence and how to be safe around the tracks. Read the story on the Arizona Daily Wildcat.
REID PARK ZOO PREPARING FOR ELEPHANT BIRTH - Reid Park Zoo's "Semba," a 24-year-old African elephant, is preparing for the birth of her 200-plus pound calf next summer. Tucson 12's "Zoo News" recently went behind the scenes to see what's involved in preparing for the birth. Semba already has two healthy calves. Watch the story.
WINTER WONDERLAND THIS SATURDAY - Children's Museum Tucson hosts "Winter Wonderland" Saturday to kick off its holiday season. Enjoy hands-on activities and pictures with Santa and one of his elves. The Children's Museum, in the heart of Downtown Tucson, is in the historic site of what was once the Carnegie Library.
transportation - December 5, 1:41 pm
Beginning at about noon today, for approximately three hours, crews from the City of Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT) Streets and Traffic Maintenance Division will initiate Operation Freeze in preparation of freezing temperatures tonight. Operation Freeze is put into place to make sure City bridge decks are free of ice and safe for motorists to drive over.
newsnet - December 4, 2:10 pm
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 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 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. Read more about the Small Business Assistance Line.
NINTH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS TO STREAM LIVE VIDEO - The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes rulings on Arizona cases, will begin live video streaming of oral arguments beginning next week. Streaming services will open with five cases scheduled to begin Monday. The nation's busiest federal appeals court says it believes this will be the first time a federal appellate court will use its technology to deliver live video of a proceeding over the Internet. Streaming will consist of "en banc" proceedings, which resolve intra-circuit conflicts and other legal questions of exceptional importance. The panel consists of the chief judge of the circuit and 10 judges drawn at random, rather than a three-judge appellate panel. On average, the 9th Circuit says, about 20 cases receive en banc review each year. Read more from Courthouse News Service and view streaming links from the Ninth Circuit. ARIZONA ATTORNEY GENERAL SAYS PUBLIC HAS RIGHT TO REVIEW PUBLIC DOCUMENTS WITHOUT FEE - State Attorney General Tom Horne says public documents must be subject to inspection at public offices without any fees. In a formal opinion, Horne says the no-charge rule applies even if the agency has to make copies to redact certain private information, saying the costs of doing that cannot be charged to the person who wants to simply view the documents. Horne also says individuals are free to use their own equipment, such as smartphones and portable document scanners, to make copies without having to pay a fee. Tucson City Clerk Roger Randolph tells NewsNet the ruling shouldn't affect Tucson. "We do not charge for a copy made simply to redact information. We do charge 25 cents per page to make copies of documents," he says. "This is still authorized under ARS Title 39. We have never prohibited anyone from taking a photograph of a document in lieu of purchasing a copy." Read more from Capitol Media Services via the East Valley Tribune.
CITY OF PHOENIX TELLS COURT IT HAS RIGHT TO LIMIT BUS STOP ADVERTISING - In a case with statewide implications, the City of Phoenix argued to the Court of Appeals Tuesday that governments can deny access to candidates or controversial causes. Assistant City Attorney David Schwartz said there is no First Amendment right of those promoting political or even religious causes to make their case on city-owned property. The advertisement the City of Phoenix rejected is an image of a heart with the words “Guns Save Lives” superimposed. Read more from Capitol Media services via the Arizona Daily Star. ZOO LIGHTS 2013 BEGINS FRIDAY AT REID PARK ZOO - Zoo Lights at the City of Tucson's Reid Park Zoo features animal-themed light sculptures, thousands of sparkling holiday lights and Santa Claus. The annual event is Dec. 6-23, from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Ticket prices are $6 for adults, $4 for children and kids under the age of two are free.
transportation - December 4, 6:33 am
Southern Arizona Paving and Construction Co, under contract with the City of Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT), is continuing its fog seal program associated with the voter-approved $100 million, five-year street bond program - Road Recovery.
The dates, work hours and locations for the next set of roadway improvements are listed below. The schedule is subject to change due to inclement weather.
newsnet - December 3, 11:54 am
TUCSON CITY COUNCIL APPROVES EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION PLAN - Mayor and Council yesterday voted 6-1 to give most employees a 55-cent-an-hour pay raise, but cautioned some hard choices lie ahead in the next fiscal year. The raises will affect all permanent and probationary city employees, except 911 dispatchers and public safety personnel. Those employees received alternative salary increases. Councilman Steve Kozachik cast the dissenting vote, saying the raises were not affordable in light of current and imminent budget challenges. Mayor Jonathan Rothschild said the city has enough money right now to cover the remaining six months in this fiscal year, and budget challenges requiring both new revenues and possible cuts would need to be addressed in the near future. Read the story from the Arizona Daily Star and the 2014 Employee Compensation Plan Memo to Mayor and Council.
CPS COMMUNITY FORUM TONIGHT - As mentioned at yesterday's Mayor and Council meeting, Ward 3 Council Member Karin Uhlich is attending a forum on ways to improve how Child Protective Services handles abuse and neglect cases involving Arizona children. The Children's Action Alliance is hosting the forum tonight in Phoenix.
DOWNTOWN 2ND SATURDAYS LOSING A MAJOR FUNDER - Providence Service Corp. says it will stop funding up about half of the $12,000 a month it takes to run the monthly 2nd Saturdays after Dec. 14. Providence says it will redirect the money to causes that better support the company's mission of creating healthier communities. Downtown Tucson Partnership CEO Michael Keith, who sits on the 2nd Saturdays steering committee, says the committee will do all it can to find alternate funding for the event. Read the story from the Arizona Daily Star. 2nd Saturdays Downtown
COLD TEMPERATURES EXPECTED BY THURSDAY, SO PROTECT YOUR PIPES - A winter storm system is predicted to move in to Tucson starting tomorrow, leaving cold temperatures in its wake and another system is expected next week. Tucson Water reminds its residential and business customers to insulate any exposed water pipes, plumbing, and backflow assemblies. View a video and more tips on Tucson Water's website. National Weather Service outlook for Tucson. ATTORNEY, PHILANTHROPIST TOM CHANDLER DIES AT 94 - Tom Chandler, who spent much of his life helping people in need, died at home Friday after a battle with cancer. Chandler founded, or co-founded, several organizations, including what is now Southern Arizona Legal Aid and the Arizona Adopt-a-Classroom Project, which has helped more than 2,000 teachers. He was a founding member of the Conquistadores, a group that has raised millions of dollars for local youth sports, and was a past member of the Arizona Board of Regents, which oversees the state’s public universities. Chandler, known as a mentor to scores of attorneys and judges throughout his life, co-founded what is now the Udall Law Firm and played a key role in opening the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest. Read the story from the Arizona Daily Star.
newsnet - December 2, 11:54 am
THREE COUNCIL MEMBERS INAUGURATED TO NEW TERMS TODAY - Re-elected Tucson City Council Members Karin Uhlich (Ward 3), Richard Fimbres (Ward 5) and Steve Kozachik (Ward 6) were sworn into office today for their new terms. Shortly after their inaugurations, the three began their new terms at today's Mayor and Council study session. Read the City of Tucson General Election 2013 Summary. ANALYST: CITY BONDS STILL A GOOD INVESTMENT DESPITE SLOW MARKET - Despite a meager growth environment, a new analyst report says local governments are still expected to be a stable investment. However, the report says investors should be wary of any municipality that has not had consistent credit ratings or has not improved underlying credit factors in recent years. Read about the report from Governing Daily. STATE CHARTER SCHOOLS SEEKING MORE MONEY - The state’s charter schools want an additional $135 million a year in taxpayer funds, saying they need the money to operate like public schools. Attorney Kory Langhofer says lawmakers are not living up to their obligation to treat all public schools equally, pointing out that charter schools are considered public schools under Arizona law. Langhofer says charter schools don't have the same access to funds, meaning they receive at least $1,100 less per student than traditional public schools. Earlier this year, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge found nothing legally wrong with the disparity, saying the schools are different and can be funded as such. Langhofer wants the state Court of Appeals to rule that disparity is unconstitutional. Read the story from Capitol Media Services via the Arizona Daily Star.
CITY TESTING NEW BUS STOP FEATURES, HOPING TO SAVE MONEY - An insulated rooftop, fresh paint and other redesign tweaks highlight a bus stop along Irvington Road, near Interstate 19. The bus stop, built by the inmates at Arizona Correctional Industries, is 40 percent cheaper than the current model being used by Sun Tran, saving about $1,200. Read the story from the Arizona Daily Star. MORE THAN 30 TREES TO BE DEDICATED FRIDAY IN TUCSON - Tucson Clean & Beautiful, in cooperation with the City of Tucson and Pima County, will dedicate 32 commemorative trees along Pantano River Park. Each tree to be dedicated Friday was purchased by Tucson area residents, honoring friends and family. The dedication ceremony will include a reading of the names for whom the trees have been dedicated, with the names inscribed at the nearby Children’s Memorial Garden. At the conclusion of the ceremony, attendees are invited to a brief walking tour of the park. Read the news release and visit the Tucson Parks and Recreation website.
police - December 2, 8:47 am
TUCSON POLICE DEPARTMENT SPECIAL DUTY PROGRAM
City of Tucson off-duty police officers may be hired by the public to provide services such as security, traffic control for events and roadway projects, and other services as described in City of Tucson Code Section 2-130.