City News

NewsNet 11-20-14

ABANDONED SHOPPING CART PROGRAM TURNS ONE YEAR OLD - It has been a little more than a year since the City of Tucson's Environmental Services department began collecting abandoned shopping carts reported via phone and the "My Waste" smartphone app. When the Mayor and Tucson City Council approved the program in October 2013, City staff estimated it would cost $40,000 for the first year, but that amount turned out to be less than $5,500 paid to the contractor. In the past year, 1,222 carts have been collected, mostly from Walmart, Fry's, Walgreens and Albertsons. If you see an abandoned shopping cart, please call 791-3171 or use the app to report it.
Watch a PSA about how the program works
- The El Tour Bicycle, Fitness & Health Expo opened this morning at the Tucson Convention Center (TCC) and will stay open until 9 p.m. The two-day, free event leads up to Saturday's big cycling race. The Expo is a trade show with cycling and health-related vendors and exhibitors. In addition, cyclists will be picking up their rider packets, timing devices and other items. The event is open to the public. The start and finish line for Saturday's Special Olympics El Tour de Tucson is located at Armory Park, across the street from Children’s Museum Tucson, on South 6th Avenue at 13th Street. Read more from Tucson News Now.
NANDI CELEBRATES 3-MONTH BIRTHDAY - Reid Park Zoo's baby elephant is three months old today. Nandi weighs more than 465 pounds, and she received her first vaccine (tetanus) last Thursday. Nandi is still figuring out how to manage the 40,000 muscles in her trunk, entertaining visitors to the Zoo. The Zoo is having a Facebook photo contest to find the best baby picture.
Read more from the Nandi Notebook in the Arizona Daily Star.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR HOME FROM BURGLARS - With the holidays approaching, it's a good time to make sure your home is burglar proof. In a video produced by Tucson 12 back in 2011 (link below), the Tucson Police Department shares tips to protect your residence.
- 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.

Draft Total Force Training Environmental Assessment public comment period will close Nov 24

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz.— The 60-Day public comment period for the draft Environmental Assessment for Total Force Training will close on Nov. 24.


Total Force Training refers to non-D-M unit training that is hosted on base, including Air Force, sister services, Reserve, Air National Guard, or partner nations.


NewsNet 11-19-14

MAYOR AND COUNCIL TO REVISIT TRANSIT ITEMS NEXT MONTH - The Mayor and Tucson City Council voted yesterday to move decisions regarding changes to transit routes and fares to the Dec. 9 meeting. Staff requested the route and fare changes to save approximately $1.2 million in the current fiscal year, but Mayor and Council requested more time to review recent input from the Transit Task Force and to examine other possible cost savings to the system. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star, ans see the agenda materials.
- The Tucson Police Department's (TPD) "Santa Cop Program" collects hundreds of toys and stuffed animals throughout the year. This year, TPD was able to donate the toys and stuffed animals to Tucson Troop Support. The donations will be given to the children of troops who are currently deployed. Many of the gifts came from the Ronald McDonald House and the American Legion (Post 7).
USA TODAY CHOOSES BEST RESTAURANTS IN TUCSON - Aside from scenery and great weather, Tucson is also becoming a destination for food connoisseurs. As USA Today 10 Best puts it, "There's no disputing that some of the best Mexican food in the country is found in the cafes and restaurants of the Old Pueblo. In fact, sometimes it seems like every corner in town has a great mom-and-pop Mexican restaurant dishing out amazing enchiladas, burritos, tacos, and of course, the homegrown Sonoran hot dog." Even so, there's plenty more than Mexican food, and the writer weighs in on her favorite places to eat. Most of the favorites are within walking distance of the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar.
- The onset of cold weather in Tucson introduces some potential dangers. From carbon monoxide poisoning to fire, the Tucson Fire Department offers tips to keep you safe. Watch a safety video, produced by Tucson 12.
JOB OPPORTUNITIES AT TUCSON WATER - Tucson Water has job openings for construction inspector, chemist, and system operator. The utility is interested in qualified candidates to care for the infrastructure and systems needed to deliver water to customers. Information about each job is available at Tucson Water's website.

Home Heating Safety Tips

From Barrett Baker at the Tucson Fire Department:

In Tucson, we generally have Summer,Winter, and very little in between. We can be challenged by going from near 90 degree high temperatures one week and lows in the 30’s just days later. As the need for warming the house increases, so can the dangers associated with fireplaces, furnaces, and space heaters. Below are a few reminders as you heat up while the temperatures drop.

NewsNet 11-18-14

AGENDA SPOTLIGHT: PROPOSED ORDINANCE HIGHLIGHTS PLAN TUCSON - The Mayor and Tucson City Council will review a proposed ordinance at today's Study Session regarding the implementation of policy from Plan Tucson, the voter-approved general plan. Plan Tucson was created through nearly 75 public meetings and calls for coordinated, consistent, and integrated planning of policies, programs, and projects across City departments. Also central to the Plan, is the regular communication and engagement of the city's residents, neighborhoods, businesses, and community organizations. The implementation and administration of Plan Tucson will be carried out by the City Manager, through the newly-created Office of Integrated Planning. The 2 p.m. meeting can be viewed live on Tucson 12.

EL TOUR DE TUCSON THIS WEEKEND - The annual Special Olympics El Tour de Tucson is this Saturday, and volunteers are still needed. The race attracts cyclists from around the world, bringing $13 million to $18 million into the local economy. So far, El Tour officials say they already have approximately 2,000 volunteers, but they could use several hundred more for the Bike Expo, Thursday and Friday. More information is at the link below. The start and finish line for Saturday's race is located at Armory Park, across the street from Children’s Museum Tucson on South 6th Avenue at 13th Street. Crossing the finish line ushers the riders into the next event - the El Tour Downtown Fiesta. Celebrate with non-stop music, food vendors, children's activities, awards, and more. Read more from Tucson News Now.
Volunteer contact -
El Tour registration

PUBLIC MEETINGS CONTINUE FOR INPUT ON POSSIBLE CHARTER CHANGES - Tucson's Charter Review Committee is asking for public comments as it reviews and makes recommendations about possible amendments to sections of the Tucson City Charter. A public meeting will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday 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,

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, beginning at 5 o'clock (until supplies run out) at the intersection of East Pima Street and North Columbus Boulevard.

'RIGOLETTO' COMES TO TCC - Arizona Opera returns to the Tucson Convention Center (TCC) this weekend for two performances of "Rigoletto." A court jester isn’t quite so funny when he has revenge on his mind. With unforgettable arias that are synonymous with Italian opera and a dramatic, twisting plot, Rigoletto features dark assassins, a philandering duke and the self-sacrificing Gilda. The production, set in 16th century Mantua, features baritone Michael Corvino as Rigoletto. Performances are Saturday (7:30-9:30 p.m.) and Sunday (2-3:30 p.m.) at the TCC Music Hall.

NewsNet 11-17-14

TUCSON POLICE STOP SUSPECTED FRAUD RING - Proactive policing by officers from the Tucson Police Department's Eastside Division put a stop to a potential fraud ring involving an extensive amount of stolen identifications, checks, credit cards, mail, and license plates. An officer on patrol last week conducted a traffic stop at the 700 block of South Camino Seco, and the driver fled on foot. Three others in the car remained in the vehicle and were detained. Several stolen license plates and stolen mail were found inside of the car, police said. Detectives from the TPD Fraud Unit and U.S. Postal Inspectors responded and interviewed the three detainees. All the passengers were arrested for Aggravated Identity Theft and booked into the Pima County Jail. The investigation continued and led detectives to the 11000 block of East Calle Aurora. Stolen identifications, checks, and credit cards were located at the residence, police said. The investigation is ongoing. Read more from TPD Facebook page.
TUCSON EARNS PERFECT SCORE IN LGBT EQUAL RIGHTS SURVEY - The City of Tucson earned a score of 100 in the latest survey from the Human Rights Commission, which works for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) equal rights. The Municipal Equality Index (MEI) examines the laws, policies, and services of municipalities, rating them on the basis of how they affect LGBT people who live and work there. Some of the categories include non-discrimination laws, recognition of civil unions, and local governments' relationships with the LGBT community. Read Tucson's scorecard from MEI.
COLD WEATHER BRINGS FURNACE SAFETY WARNINGS - Now that Tucson's temperatures are getting close to freezing, many people will be firing up their furnaces for the first time this season. Tucson Fire Captain Barrett Baker offers some tips to keep you safe when trying to get warm.
SANTA TO CALL TUCSON CHILDREN EARLY NEXT MONTH - Santa and his elves would like to add some sparkle to a child’s holiday season through the "Santa's Calling" program, courtesy of Tucson Parks and Recreation. The special child(ren) in your life, between ages of 3 and 8, will have an opportunity to speak with Santa and listen to his elves hard at work. Santa will make the calls from 5-8 p.m. on Dec. 2, 3, 4 (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday). In order to receive a call, you'll need to fill out a form and mail the request by Friday, Nov. 28.
GRAPES FOR APES - The Reid Park Zoo is hosting a fundraiser this Friday to help pay for habitat renovation for the Zoo's gibbon family, Billy, Moms, and Lilith. Enjoy wine, food, various activities, and animal encounters. Music also will be a part of Friday's event, with Gabriel Ayala performing. Uber will be offering rides home from the event for those drinking wine. Learn more about the event.

NewsNet 11-14-14

FAMILY FESTIVAL IN THE PARK THIS WEEKEND - The Tucson Parks and Recreation Department presents the 9th annual Family Festival in the Park tomorrow. This free community-wide event will be held from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Reid Park, 22nd Street and Country Club Road. The Festival is about having fun with your family, while also serving as an opportunity for Tucson Parks and Recreation to showcase programs and activities offered to the community. Activities include a carnival, games, inflatables, crafts, a golf clinic, tennis games, and demonstrations of leisure classes. Edith Ball Adaptive Recreation Center is hosting an afternoon of free swimming from noon - 4 p.m. Tucson City Golf will offer a free 10-minute golf instruction at the Randolph Driving Range, adjacent to the park, from 10 a.m. - noon. Entertainment will be presented throughout the day, and a variety of foods will be available for purchase through local vendors.

TUCSON GOLF COURSES GET MAKEOVERS - If you attend the free golf instruction referenced in the story above, you'll notice some changes at Randolph Golf Course. Players at Tucson City Golf are enjoying improvements, from the kitchen to the fairways. See what the golfers think, in this video from Tucson 12

RIDE A CAMEL AT REID PARK ZOO - Animals aren't just for show at Reid Park Zoo nowadays, as four dromedary (one-hump) camels are ready to give rides to guests. Winston, Luke, Mack and Riddle will give rides every day during Zoo hours (9 a.m. - 4 p.m.). The cost to ride is $7 (in addition to admission), and riders must be at least two-years-old. See photos at Reid Park Zoo's Facebook page.

IMPROVEMENT PROJECT AT KINO PARKWAY AND 22ND STREET CAUSES WEEKEND TRAFFIC SHIFT - The Kino Parkway and 22nd Street Intersection Improvement Project is nearing completion. As the work winds down, crews this weekend will begin shifting traffic to install the new traffic signals on 22nd Street and restripe the roadway. During this work, left turns in all directions at the Kino Parkway and 22nd Street intersection will not be permitted. The Ashton Company, Inc. is working under contract to the Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT). Read more about the weekend traffic patterns.

RIDE THE STREETCAR TO UA FOOTBALL GAME TOMORROW - Football fans can ride the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar to tomorrow's University of Arizona football game. Prior to the 1:30 p.m. game against Washington, fans can experience dining, entertainment, and retail opportunities at Main Gate Square, Fourth Avenue, Downtown Tucson, and the Mercado District, and then board the streetcar to the UA from any one of the 23 stops along the 3.9-mile route. Once on campus, Arizona Stadium is a short walk from the Second Street and Cherry Avenue stop. Fans can also park in one of the many garages downtown and take the streetcar to the game to avoid UA congestion. Beginning at 10:30 a.m., the Pennington Street Garage is offering discounted parking fees when you ask for the "Park, Dine, and Ride" bundle, which includes a Sun Link Day Pass and parking.
UA Parking and Transportation football info

Four Baseball Players Sign Letters to New Mexico State



Tucson, AZ – Four Pima Community College baseball players signed their national letters of intent on Wednesday to New Mexico State University.

Sophomore starting pitchers Marcel Renteria (Nogales HS) and Chris Kucko (Sahuarita HS), along with sophomore infielders Trey Stine (Ironwood Ridge HS) and Brandon Burke (Canyon del Oro HS) all signed and will play for New Mexico State University next fall.

The 2015 baseball season begins on Jan. 30 against Eastern Utah.




The Ashton Company Inc., under contract to the Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT), is nearing completion of the Kino Parkway and 22nd Street Intersection Improvement Project, and this weekend crews will begin shifting traffic to install the new traffic signals on 22nd Street and restripe the roadway. During this work, left turns in all directions at the Kino Parkway and 22nd Street intersection will not be allowed. 

Kino Parkway and 22nd Street Intersection Improvement: Weekend Traffic Shift

The Ashton Company Inc., under contract to the Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT), is nearing completion of the Kino Parkway and 22nd Street Intersection Improvement Project, and this weekend crews will begin shifting traffic to install the new traffic signals on 22nd Street and restripe the roadway. During this work, left turns in all directions at the Kino Parkway and 22nd Street intersection will not be allowed. 

NewsNet 11-13-14

GRANT ROAD WIDENING PHASE II PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE NEXT WEEK - The City of Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT) and the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) will host a public open house next Wednesday, 5:30-7 p.m., to discuss the widening of Grant Road. The meeting will be held at the Tucson Association of Realtors building, 2445 N. Tucson Boulevard, and there will be a brief presentation by the project team at 5:45 p.m. Staff from the City of Tucson's Office of Integrated Planning will discuss amending the Major Streets and Routes Plan (MSRP) to reflect the Grant Road widening alignment, from Oracle Road to Swan Road, approved by the Mayor and Tucson City Council in 2009. Staff will be available to answer questions regarding the MSRP and the amendment process. Grant Road Widening Phase II is from Stone Avenue to Park Avenue, and the design is 60 percent complete. Phase II construction is scheduled to begin in late 2015. Read the news release.
- The City of Tucson is receiving national recognition, with an award from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA). The GFOA's Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for Tucson's Office of Budget and Internal Audit reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meet the highest principles of governmental budgeting. In order to receive the award, the City had to satisfy nationally-recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. Read the news release.
OPEN ENROLLMENT FOR AFFORDABLE CARE ACT (ACA) BEGINS THIS WEEKEND - Saturday marks the start of a three-month period where people can enroll for health care under the Affordable Care Act (link below). Government leaders and nonprofits gathered yesterday to inform the public about open enrollment. "It’s one thing to say that health is important for individuals – and it is," said Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, "But health is also important for communities. There’s an economic cost to illness, to the person, their family, their employer, and their community." There are more than 100 health care plans available in Pima County. Read more from Tucson News Now.
TUCSON WATER IS PART OF CONSTRUCTION CAREER FAIR - More than 700 students from nearly 30 schools are meeting a variety of professionals during the two-day Southern Arizona Construction Career Days today and tomorrow. The event for high school students is hosted by the Arizona Transportation Builders Association and KE&G Construction. Tucson Water joins nearly 30 construction industry firms and contractors who will give students the opportunity to meet a variety of professionals and see displays and demonstrations related to careers in construction and infrastructure. The career fair is being held at the Tucson Rodeo Grounds. Read the news release.
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.


Southern Arizona Paving and Construction Co, under contract with the
City of Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT), has begun crack
sealing several roadways throughout the City of Tucson. The work is
scheduled to be complete by Wednesday, November 26, 2014. Crews will be
working Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. This work
is part of the voter-approved $100 million, five-year street bond
program - Road Recovery. During this work, travel lane restrictions will


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