Karin's Note: Thursday, September 13, 2012
- Free Solar Energy Seminar at Amphi High
- Ward 3 Neighbors Alliance Meeting at Loft Theatre
- Opa! Greek Festival Is Next Weekend
- Car Free Tucson 2012
- Guided Bike Ride in Keeling Neighborhood
- Future Neighborhood Meetings
- Sonoran Glass School Hosts Fundraiser
- Walk to End Alzheimer’s
- Did you know....?
The Mayor and Council addressed several items on Tuesday that I want to summarize for you.
The citizens of South Tucson passed an initiative in 2008 banning the use of steroids at the Greyhound racing facility. Imagine our surprise to learn that the track started driving the dogs outside South Tucson (and into Tucson) to inject the animals with those banned steroids. Mayor and Council moved to extend the ban in the City of Tucson to prevent that sidestepping and to support the will of South Tucson. As I noted in our meeting, if track operators don’t like the law they have the ability to engage in the democratic process to repeal the initiative. I was also persuaded by information we received documenting the negative health impacts of steroids on greyhounds. Though the track owner professes to keep the dosages low, it's hard to take that as fact, given the establishment's track record of skirting the South Tucson ban in the first place. It's important to me to err on the side of the animals' welfare and to side with the people of South Tucson. Advocacy has clearly led to more humane treatment of greyhounds over time, but more progress and compliance with protections enacted remain worthy goals
Fix Gun Checks
I applaud the City of South Tucson for this week adopting the same Fix Gun Checks resolution passed by the Tucson Mayor and Council in August. Mayor Jennifer Eckstrom and I coauthored an Op Ed piece about the national campaign to fix our broken background check system, which should be appearing in the Arizona Daily Star in the next couple of days. The Mayor of Golden, Colorado, Marjorie Sloan, has been in touch to work toward passage of the resolution in her community and others have been in touch to join the cause as well. The January 8th survivors and family members of victims have, through their leadership and perseverance, raised awareness nationwide and inspired action to reduce gun violence. If you’d like to add your voice you can do so at www.fixgunchecks.org or www.DemandaPlan.org.
Mayor and Council unanimously rejected a request from Town West to extend a rezoning authorization at the NW corner of Stone and Toole (Franklin) for an additional five years. As noted by Councilmember Romero, the initial rezoning was tied to a specific development plan (including condos, a microbrewery, and hotel) which Town West acknowledged will not be constructed. They have other concepts in mind, however those do not fit with the rezoning that would have been extended. Because of that Councilmember Romero's recommendation makes sense: work with Town West, the Warehouse Arts Management Organization, nearby residents and other downtown stakeholders to reshape that plan through an open public process.
I did highlight on Tuesday that our experience with Town West in Ward 3 in recent years has been very positive, most notably as they work to rehabilitate a horribly blighted apartment complex just east of the Campbell/Fort Lowell intersection. Their track record at the location, working with Richland Heights East and adjacent residents and businesses, proves to me the company can be a great investor and partner. I applaud Councilmember Romero's leadership in the negotiations over the downtown property, and expect it will ultimately host a project that reinforces downtown revitalization and the exciting "arts avenue" emerging in the Warehouse Arts District.
Federal Transportation Funding
"Use it or lose it" is the message we've received from the Federal Government related to transportation dollars allocated between 2006 and 2011. Using it can be blocked by a number of factors (required environmental or archaeological clearances, for example). We got good news this week that funds not yet contracted for projects in our region can and will be immediately allocated to the street car construction so we keep the jobs and the money here in Tucson. At the same time, I have insisted that City staff work with me over the coming weeks, to push for the environmental clearance needed to proceed on the transportation enhancements along Campbell Avenue before shifting those funds ($250,000). The improvements on Campbell have been in the works for several years and would inject investment in an area vital to our community's overall economy. With environmental clearance from the state we can get it done, and still dedicate the lion's share of federal "sweep" money (over $4 million) to the street car project.
Welcome to the Neighborhood!
On a personal note, I’d like to welcome Umi-Star to the neighborhood. This new sushi bar/Asian-fusion bar at 2502 N Campbell, which opens tomorrow, is sure to be a great addition to the neighborhood! Asian Street Tacos and a Spicy Tuna “Roll,” anyone?
As always, please let me and my staff know of questions or concerns you have.
Ward 3 Events:
-Free Solar Energy Seminar – Tuesday, September 18 from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Amphi High School Auditorium, 125 W. Yavapai Road. Tucson Electric Power invites you to spend 90 minutes to gain a wealth of knowledge on current and future solar projects. TEP has partners with the University of Arizona, City of Tucson, Pima County and local businesses and the community to make Tucson one of the largest sun-powered cities in the country. No RSVP necessary.
- Ward 3 Neighbors Alliance – Wednesday, September 19. This month members will meet for a free screening of “Watershed-Exploring a New Water Ethic for the New West.” The movie starts at 7:00 p.m. at the Loft Cinemas, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. There will be a panel discussion after the film. More information at: http://www.loftcinema.com/film/watershed-free-screening/
- St. Demetrios Greek Festival – Thursday – Sunday, September 20-23. 1145 E. Fort Lowell Road. Greek food, drink, music, dance lessons, Greek market, children’s activities and tours of the church. $3 admission fee. More info: 888-0505 or www.stdemtucson.org. Volunteers Needed!
- Car Free Tucson 2012 – Friday, September 21, 6:30 – 8:30 a.m. Take a bus, ride a bike, walk or share a ride! Sun Rideshare will host a food station at the bus stop at 4th Avenue at Sahuaro (Mansfield Park). Stop by for a muffin and juice and meet some new friends. More info: Ruth Reiman at 792-1093 or email@example.com
- Guided Bike Ride in Keeling – Saturday, September 29 beginning at 8:15 a.m. Meet at the Keeling Desert Park on Glenn, west of Fontana. Participate in a safety class and bike ride on the boulevard. Snacks, water, helmets (if needed) and bike locks will be provided for participants. Sponsored by “Keeling on the Move” in conjunction with the Keeling Neighborhood Association.
- Upcoming Ward 3 Neighborhood Meetings:
Cabrini Neighborhood Association – Monday, September 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the St. Francis Cabrini Church, 3201 Presidio.
Samos Neighborhood Association – Tuesday, September 18 at 6:30 p.m. at Salpointe High School, 7545 E. Copper.
Flowing Wells Neighborhood Association – Thursday, September 20 at 6:00 p.m. at the Ellie Towne Community Center, 1660 W. Ruthrauff. Council Member Karin Uhlich will be a guest speaker.
Mountain View Neighborhood Association – Thursday, September 20 at 6:00 p.m. at the Water of Life Church, 3269 N. Mountain Avenue.
City Wide Events:
-Sonoran Glass School Hosts Fundraiser – Saturday, September 15 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at 633 W. 18th Street. Marathon “Beads of Courage” features regional artists. Join in and make your own bracelet. Benefits children with cancer and other serious illnesses. More info: 884-7814.
-Walk to End Alzheimer’s – Saturday, October 13. 7:30 a.m. registration, walk begins at 9:00 a.m.at Reid Park, 900 S. Randolph Way. Start or join a team today! Info at www.tucsonalzheimerswalk.org or call the Alzheimer’s Association at 322-6601.
Did You Know…?
…that National Night Out is Tuesday, October 2nd? We’re keeping a list of what our neighborhood associations plan to do for this Annual event. If you haven’t given us your information, please call the Ward 3 Council Office at 791-4711 or send to: firstname.lastname@example.org
…That the City of Tucson is expanding their “Team Up to Clean Up! Neighborhood Clean-up Program? Now available to incorporated homeowners’ associations and small, organized groups of neighbors, the program offers free roll-off containers to assist residents who want to work together to clean-up their neighborhood. The program is coordinated by the City’s Environmental Services (ES) and Housing and Development (HCD) Departments. More information about the program is available online. Residents can visit the ES web page at http://cms3,tucsonaz.gov/es/neighborhoodclean-upsor call ES Customer Service at 791-3171. Information for neighborhood associations is available on the HCD website at http://cms3.tucsonaz.gov/hcd/neighborhood-clean-ups
…that fall is a great time to order your low-cost home shade trees for delivery from Trees for Tucson? Shade trees are ready for delivery in the next several weeks. You can get an order form at: http://www.tucsoncleanandbeautiful.org/trees-for-tucson
…that Plants for the Southwest at 50 E. Blacklidge (at Stone) is holding a special sale on Saturday, September 29th that will benefit Literacy Connects. From 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Plants for the Southwest will donate 50% of all plant sales to this non-profit that assists people of all ages in developing a sustainable culture of literacy and creative expression. More info: 628-8773.