Ward 2 Council Member Paul Cunningham
Yesterday, the COVID-19 dashboard from the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) showed 239 new cases and 1 new death here in Pima County. The now fully approved Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine offers the surest protection against a virus that continues hospitalizing and killing those who aren’t vaccinated. Full approvals of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are expected in the near future. There are many places in Tucson to get tested and to get vaccinated.
After a summer layoff, Ready, Set, Rec! vans will be in city parks once again, starting with Ward 2’s own Palo Verde Park.
For years, the alarm has been sounding about water levels in Lake Mead. Well, the water level is now low enough to trigger a Tier 1 shortage.
There have been several new greenway projects in Tucson. There is one coming up here in Ward 2 that you’ll have a chance to weigh in on.
On August 9th, you’ll see something new on the streets of Tucson: cars with the “Barnacle.”
The Barnacle will replace the old boots that the police and parking enforcement would put on impounded vehicles. An officer or parking agent will put a sticker on the window with a hearing date and the device, a large yellow cover that prevents vision out of the driver’s side window, will be placed on the car.
Monday night, Jesse Owens Park hosted the West Coast Ballislife Crew. Ballislife barnstorms the country challenging local players to play basketball at local courts. 1500 people showed up to the event.
Among the players were nationally known figures on the “streetball” circuit such as international slam dunk champion Kenny Dobbs and former Harlem Globetrotter Tor’i “Bionic” Brooks.
It’s a good week to talk about rainwater and its importance as a potential resource for Tucson. As of this week, 2021’s monsoon total (1.64 inches) has already passed the total for the entire 2020 monsoon season (1.61 inches). Despite the flooded streets and occasional downed tree, we Tucsonans appreciate the relief that monsoon season can give us.
One of the calls my staff deals with increasing frequency is the presence of homeless people. Unfortunately, with the economic shock of the last 18 months, our homeless population has increased significantly.
Arizona voters passed Proposition 207 last November by an overwhelming margin. The most talked about provision of the new law is that recreational marijuana is now available, although regulated. There was another part of the proposition, however. That dealt with expunging the records of people with marijuana convictions. This makes so much sense. If people are making money off of marijuana as a legitimate business, why should people who got convicted years ago still suffer the consequences?
There is a third public safety service in our community, one that makes the work of the Fire and Police Departments possible. When you need service and call 911, you reach one of the employees of the Public Safety Communications Department (PSCD), which was formed in 2017. A couple of members of my staff made a visit to the center last week.
For Fathers Day, I wanted to tell you a bit about my father, Senator George Cunningham.
I grew up in a politically active family with governors and judges coming by the house, so it would probably surprise a lot of you that I wasn’t that interested in politics when I was growing up. I was well into adulthood when I first started following in his footsteps and becoming active in the community and sought elected office.
Last August, the Pima Council on Aging was awarded a federal grant to support dementia specialized supportive services for people living with Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias and their caregivers. They will be rolling out these programs over the coming weeks and months, and I’ll keep you up to date on them. You can also check their website, pcoa.org.
We have opened pools on a limited basis this summer, but we still need lifeguards. If you know a young person who is interested in lifeguarding, please visit our jobs page at https://jobapscloud.com/tucson/. The starting salary is 12.15/hr and they are taking applications through June 20th.
Last week, I gave some reasons why I am skeptical about having the city participate in an extension of the Regional Transportation Authority. One fact I didn’t mention: the fact that many current RTA projects, particularly in the city, may not end up fully funded.
In 2006, the voters of Pima County passed a law enabling the creation of a Regional Transportation Authority, as well as a half-cent excise (sales) tax to pay for transportation projects. The current RTA expires in 2026, which means it will soon be time for the voters to re-authorize the RTA and the tax. Unless there are significant changes, I am opposed to reauthorization.