Karin's Note: Friday, April 4, 2014

Karin's Note: Friday, April 4, 2014

-Ward 3 Events
-Upcoming Area Neighborhood and Coalition Meeting(s)
-Citywide Events
-Did You Know?


Dear Tucsonans,


City Budget

On the evening of Tuesday April 15th, Councilmember Kozachik has arranged for the City Finance and Budget staff to offer a presentation and “community roundtable” on the FY2015 budget taking shape. He has graciously agreed to have me sit in and to extend the invitation to folks in Ward 3 and all others receiving my e-notes. That way we can bring more people together and make the best use of your time and the City staff’s.

Here is Steve’s invite, which conveys much of what I am hearing and would hope for as well: https://www.tucsonaz.gov/files/ward6/Roundtable_Invite.pdf. The Roundtable will take place from 5:30 – 8:00 pm at the Ward 6 office (3202 E. 1st St).

In the meantime I am continuing to review the initial outline presented by the City Manager, which he is finalizing in order to make his formal recommendations to Mayor/Council on April 23rd. Councilmember Kozachik has released some of his feedback on the budget, and I will be outlining my own prior to April 23rd as well. I’m getting a lot of input, and I encourage you to continue sharing your thoughts with me via email or phone messages. That will help me represent the community’s values and priorities at the table as we work toward Mayor/Council Public Hearings (May 6th, June 3rd and potentially more) and the adoption of a responsive and responsible budget by mid-June.



I’m hosting a Town Hall on Water on April 24th from 6:00 - 7:30 pm at the Ward 3 office. Tucson Water will offer information on our immediate and long-range plans for sustaining water supplies and water quality. We have made great strides thanks to our Water and Wastewater Infrastructure, Supply and Planning Study (aka WISP) and associated Action Plan (http://www.tucsonpimawaterstudy.com/). The WISP, initiated at my request along with Supervisor Elias and Supervisor Bronson in 2008, was jointly adopted by the Mayor/Council and County Board of Supervisors in 2010. It opened an era of regional cooperation and collaboration after decades of inter-jurisdictional mistrust and competition.

By the end of 2013, Tucson Water had purchased stored a full year’s supply of excess CAP water (we’re buying our full annual allocation of 144,000 acre feet even though we currently use less than that). We will continue adding considerably to our “stored water” each year, which creates an important water security buffer for our future.

Groundwater pumping by Tucson Water has been reduced from the peak of nearly 120,000 acre feet per year in 2000-2001 to the current (and 1959) level of roughly 30,000 acre feet. Beyond that we’re actively recharging and “wheeling” more CAP water allocations into the region in partnership with other water users like Oro Valley, Vail, and the Pascua Yaqui Tribe. That further reduces groundwater pumping across our valley, as does the increase of reclaimed water use and recharge made possible through partnerships with Pima County and others.

We can all be proud of these important advances in water stewardship achieved over the past five years. We need to continue working together to be sure we stay on this course. We also need to invest wisely in more partnerships and infrastructure to realize even greater progress moving forward. I hope you’ll join us April 24th.


Taking Care of Our Corner of Tucson

Residents in Ward 3 have worked long and hard, year in and year out, to protect and improve the quality of life throughout area neighborhoods. In the past month in particular I want to recognize leaders in the Flowing Wells Community Coalition and the Northwest/El Cortez Neighborhoods.
Flowing Wells residents alerted me and my staff to serious crime and graffiti problems. They’ve also rolled up their sleeves to beautify the area. My office has organized a follow-up graffiti abatement sweep with City contractor GPC and we’ll work together to keep blight from taking root. All credit goes to the residents who raised their voices and took action!

The same goes for Northwest/El Cortez. Congratulations to them for completing their Conserve to Enhance (C2E) grant project this weekend. Working together, the neighborhoods have constructed seven water harvesting basins with curb cuts to take water off the streets in both communities to help grow trees. The project will reduce street run off, provide shade along easements, reduce the heat island effect, and beautify both neighborhoods. Funding for the Conserve to Enhance grants comes from Tucson Water. If you want to learn how to create water harvesting basins, come out and help the neighborhood volunteers finish their project on Saturday and Sunday, April 5th and 6th from 1:00 to 5:00 pm at 2101 N. 1st Ave., 601 E. Elm St., and 442 E. Linden St. Basins are already dug and curb cuts are done, so you'll be building with rocks and plants. Bring gloves and wear closed-toed shoes. Food, drink, and Reggae provided.

I could fill ten pages noting similar service from residents in Keeling and Hedrick Acres and Mountain View, Richland Heights East and Prince/Tucson, Limberlost and Amphi, Doolen/Fruitvale and Dodge-Flower Neighborhoods. In fact we’ll share more in each enote to highlight how Tucsonans throughout Ward 3—in every neighborhood--help keep their areas safe, clean, and distinctive.


Thank You, Linda

As many of you know, Linda Mehall has served as my Executive Assistant since 2007. If you’ve ever called the Ward 3 office you also know that her main mission and success has been serving our constituents. Time and again over the years I have heard praise and gratitude from residents for her advocacy, effectiveness, and goodwill.

Yesterday Linda worked her last day here and I’d be lying if I didn’t note a certain happy glow and bounce in her step as she enters “pseudo-retirement”. Linda has always had a no-nonsense way of working with me, City staff, and our community. Her skills and her experience will be sorely missed as will her unfiltered commentary and steady, calming presence. I know she’ll bring smiles around here for years to come (and I suspect we’ll be calling her by Monday for some follow-up advice - whether she answers the phone is anyone’s guess!). All of us in the Ward 3 office wish her and her husband Pat the very best.

Thank you, Linda. Thank you.


Have a great weekend,



Ward 3 Events:


-Free Tax Help – Tuesdays 1:00 – 5:00 pm and Saturdays 9:00 am – noon at the Ward 3 City Council Office Community Room, 1510 E. Grant Road. The VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program is once again open at the Ward 3 office. Volunteers will be at this location on Tuesday afternoons and Saturday mornings, through April 12th, preparing tax returns free of charge. No appointment necessary, clients are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. Those wishing to receive assistance must bring a picture I.D. and original Social Security card for each family member, proof of income, including W2 and 1099 forms, documentation of deductible expenses, prior year tax return if possible, and account routing numbers for those wanting to have direct deposit of refunds.


-The Great Rillito Wash Up! – Saturday, April 5th from 8:00 am – 12:00 pm, starting just east of Oracle Rd on the south side river path. Join Pima County RFCD and Tucson Clean & Beautiful in cleaning up the Rillito riverbed. Bring your refillable water bottles and sunscreen! Gloves, grabbers, and water will be provided. Wear long pants and sturdy close-toe shoes. For more info contact Suzie Bohnet at 724-4600.


-Flowing Wells Neighborhood Walk & Talk – Saturday, April 5th from 9:00 – 11:00 am, starting at the southeast corner of N. Palmgrove Dr. and W. Roger Rd in front of the Learning Center. Join Living Streets Alliance for a walk through Westwood Village area of Flowing Wells and explore what would make your neighborhood a better place to walk.  Coffee and pastries will be provided.  Wear comfortable shoes, dress appropriately for the weather, and bring your camera along if you can. For more information, contact Evren Sonmez at 520- 440-9131 or evren@livingstreetsalliance.org.


-Sing-along, Scavenger Hunt, and Campfire – Saturday, April 5th from 5:30 - 8:30 pm at Valley of the Moon 2544 E. Allen Rd. Join the magical folk at Valley of the Moon for this free outdoor event at Tucson's very own historic fantasy fairy land. Hunt for historical artifacts and gems hidden among the winding trails and secret grottos then come to the campfire for songs, stories, and roasted marshmallows! Feel free to come in costume, bring an instrument, lawn furniture, your camera, or a story or song to share.  Valley of the Moon is open and free on the first Saturday of every month, around sunset. Visit http://www.tucsonvalleyofthemoon.com/ for more information. NOTE: Valley of the Moon is seeking song-leaders and storytellers for this event. Please contact Zack Jarrett at valleymoon1@yahoo.com if you would like to be included in the schedule.


-Lend A Hand Yard Sale – Saturday and Sunday, April 5th and 6th, from 7:00 am - 1:00 pm at 1545 E. Water St. It's that time of year again! Many Ward 3 neighborhoods benefit significantly from the services to seniors that LAH provide. Don't forget to come by tomorrow or Sunday to shop and support the cause – there are always some wonderful things hidden in among what used to be your stuff.

-Campbell-Grant Spring Picnic – Sunday, April 6th from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm at Conner Park. Join the Campbell Grant NE Neighborhood Association for their spring picnic! Bring a side dish to share.


-Donna Liggins Recreation Center Open House – Friday, April 11th from 4:30 – 7:30 pm at the Donna R. Liggins Recreation Center, 2160 N. 6th Ave. The Tucson Parks and Recreation Department invites you to an open house at the Donna Liggins Center to introduce the addition of open play volleyball, expanded game room hours, and enhanced senior programming. A volleyball skills competition with prizes will take place from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. for ages 11 and up. Additionally, tours of the facility will showcase the new senior room and several of the senior activities such as Enhance Fitness, Walking Club, Needle Nook, and Billiards. Other activities throughout the night will include a “Walk Through Time" neighborhood display of historical articles and pictures of the El Cortez-Sugar Hill neighborhoods, Mansfield Park, and Donna Liggins Center. Activities for children to participate in will be available as well as light snacks and drinks. Call AJ Rico at 520-791-3247 for more information or see the flyer at https://www.tucsonaz.gov/files/ward3/Donna_Liggins_Center_Open_House_4.1.14.pdf\


-Keeling Park Cleanup - Saturday, April 12th from 8:00 am at Keeling Park 245 E Glenn St. Join Keeling neighbors and help out at their monthly park cleanup!


- EGGstravaganza – Saturday, April 19th from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm at Mansfield Park 2000 N. 4th Ave. The City of Tucson Parks and Recreation and Tucson Water present the 15th Annual EGGstravaganza! Enjoy free family fun with carnival games, egg hunts, prizes and the Easter Bunny! Food available for purchase. Bring an empty basket for the hunt!


- “What You Always Wanted to Know About Water…” – Thursday, April 24th from 6:00 - 7:30 pm at the Ward 3 office. Tucson Water invites you to celebrate Water Awareness Month and learn more about water! Meet experts, ask questions, and enjoy light refreshments. Check out this link for more detail: https://www.tucsonaz.gov/files/water/docs/April_Water_Session_3.pdf


- Shred-it Event – Saturday, April 26th from 9:00 am – noon at Mansfield Park 2000 N. 4th Avenue. Council Member Karin Uhlich and Pima County Constable Bennett Bernal invite you to bring documents that you wish to have securely destructed. Your first box is free and everything after that costs only $5.00 a box. Proceeds to benefit Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse and Lend a Hand.


-Suppers for Signs – Sunday, April 27th at 4:30 pm. Join the Jefferson Park neighborhood for supper, Louie’s famous Sangria, a raffle, and a display of historic photos from the oral history project. Supper is $15.00 and JP wine glasses may be purchased for $10. Proceeds will contribute to the purchase of 32 street signs for the Jefferson Park historic designation. By reservation only. Call 623-9044.



Upcoming Neighborhood and Coalition Meetings:

-Alvernon/Grant Initiative (AGI/TNBC) – Tuesday, April 8 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at Emerge! 2425 N. Haskell

-Campus Community Relations Committee (CCRC) – Tuesday, April 8 from 6:00 pm at U of A Student Union

- Mountain/1st NA – Saturday, April 12th from 9:00 - 10:00 am at Mitchell Park 1100 E. Mitchell


Citywide Events:


-Tucson Hullabaloo – Saturday, April 5th – Sunday, April 6th at Armory Park 221 S. 6th Ave. Presented in conjunction with Cyclovia Tucson, Tucson Hullabaloo is a celebration of all things Tucson! Bring your family and come join for bike parades, costume contests, entertainment and more. More info at http://tucsonhulla.com/


-Viva La Local – Sunday, April 6th from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm at Rillito Downs 4502 N 1st Ave. In conjunction with Cyclovia Tucson, Viva La Local Food Festival celebrates the joyous local flavors of Baja Arizona. Food, drink, farmers market, music, and more… Come be part of the experience! Free admission with $5 food and drink tastings. For more info, visit http://www.vivalalocalfoodfest.com/#about


- Color the Mural – Sunday, April 6th 10:00 am – 3:00 pm at the House of Neighborly Service 243 W. 33rd St. Get ready to paint! In conjunction with Cyclovia Tucson, Safos Dance Theatre is creating a mural to reflect the 50+ year history of the House of Neighborly Service in the City of South Tucson. Paints, brushes, and aprons will be provided. http://safosdance.wixsite.com/color


-Cyclovia Tucson – Sunday, April 6th from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm from Downtown to South Tucson. Five miles of car-free city streets for walking, biking, and all-out fun! Presented by the Living Streets Alliance, this annual event temporarily transforms Tucson’s streets into safe recreational space open to everyone, and is a proven cost-effective way to introduce thousands of Tucsonans to sustainable, healthy, safe and active transportation habits. Visit https://www.cycloviatucson.org/ for more info.

-2014 Pima County Victims’ Rights Week Commemoration - Tuesday, April 8th at 3:30 pm at the YWCA of Tucson, 525 N. Bonita Ave. The event will honor and recognize individuals who have made a difference in the lives of crime victims.  Light appetizers and refreshments will be provided.  RSVP by Wednesday, April 2nd at 520-740-5525.

-Tucson Samaritans and The Loft present Which Way Home Wednesday, April 9th 7:00 pm at The Loft Cinema 3233 E. Speedway Blvd – Tucson Samaritans present a screening of Which Way Home, an Oscar-nominated documentary about unaccompanied minor children traveling to the U.S. Screening to be followed by a panel discussion. Visit http://www.tucsonsamaritans.org/ for more info.

-Take Back the Night – Wednesday, April 9th with 4:30 – 5:30 pm march from the Main Library 101 N. Stone Ave and 6:30 – 9:00 pm main event at Mercado San Agustin 100 S. Avenida del Convento. Take Back the Night focuses mainly on anti-sexual violence action for survivors. March from the Main Library to the Mercado where there will be performances, community art, and a survivor speakout. Bring mementos for the community shrine. Everyone is welcome! Advocates will be on site. For more info, visit https://www.facebook.com/TBTN.Tucson.

-A Community Conversation on Health Equity - Thursday, April 10th from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm at the YWCA 525 N. Bonita Ave. The Healthy Pima Initiative, a community collaborative facilitated by the Pima County Health Department, invites the community to learn about health equity and how to get involved. Panelists include County Supervisor Richard Elias and County Attorney Barbara LaWall. Free and open to the public.


-Pennington Street Block Party - Friday, April 11th 4:00 – 7:00 pm at Pennington Street downtown between Stone and Scott. City High School invites the Tucson community to the 6th annual Pennington Street Block Party. Join as City High launches Global Youth Service Day in Southern Arizona with a lively downtown street party! Enjoy live music, performances, art installations and more for all-ages. Mayor Jonathan Rothschild will present the Ray Davies Student Service Award to kick off the event at 4:00 pm and City High will celebrate their 10th birthday with a cupcake celebration at 5:30 pm. Visit http://cityhighschool.org/community/blockparty/.

- 20th Annual Earth Day Festival – Saturday, April 12th 9:00 am – 2:00 pm at Reid Park.  Join the largest Earth Day event in Tucson to celebrate Southern Arizona’s unique environment. Be an exhibitor, join the parade, or come as a spectator. For more details and to register, visit www.tucsonearthday.org.

-3rd Annual Youth & Peace Conference – Saturday, April 12th 9:30 am – 4:00 pm at Wakefield Middle School 101 W. 44th St. Join for a free conference for youth 10 to 23 years & parents/adults who work with youth! Workshops will be focused on three themes: Speaking Up & Out, Expressing Ourselves, and Engaging Our Community with Art & Technology. After Party from 4:30 – 6:00 pm. http://www.higherground.me/youthpeaceaz/

-11th Annual El Grupo Bicycle Scavenger Hunt – Saturday, April 12th starting at 9:00 am at El Grupo’s new clubhouse location just north of downtown. Annual fundraiser to support El Grupo’s mission of empowering youth through bicycles. Bring your bike (and friends!). The event features a scavenger hunt, lunch, drinks, and a large raffle with prizes from awesome local businesses. Contact 520-304-9682 or visit https://www.elgrupocycling.org for more info and registration.

-Tucson Artists Open Studios – Saturday, April 12th and Sunday, April 13th from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm. Over 130 artists in 85 locations across Tucson open their studios to the public so they can see the creative process at work. Complete listings and detailed studio locator maps are online at www.tucsonopenstudios.com.




Did You Know...?


… that applications are due by April 11 for the 2014 round of Conserve to Enhance (C2E)  Community Enhancement Project  grants? C2E welcomes applications from community groups seeking to improve their neighborhood streetscapes and urban washes. Proposals must come from local groups or organizations consisting of three or more individuals from separate, unrelated households. The projects must directly benefit a neighborhood’s natural areas and waterways through conservation or restoration practices, including passive rainwater harvesting in common areas, green infrastructure to mitigate stormwater runoff, native vegetation restoration, and soil conservation and erosion control in or near washes. More information and a link to the application can be found through Watershed Management Group at https://watershedmg.org/advocacy/c2e.

Funding for these grants comes from contributions to the Open Space/Riparian check box on the Tucson Water bill and donations from C2E program participants. You can support C2E—and future project grants like these—by giving through the Riparian checkbox on your Tucson Water utility bill or by enrolling in C2E. 


…that there's still time to sign up for the Crime Free Multi-Housing training on Thursday, April 10? Crime Free Multi-Housing is an international program that partners property owners, residents, and law enforcement to eliminate crime in multi-housing properties.  This solution-oriented program improves personal safety for tenants, and the stable, more satisfied tenant base makes better neighbors. If there are multi-unit housing complexes in your community, you can benefit from this free 8-hour seminar presented by the police and fire departments. All classes take place from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm at the Patrick J. Hardesty Multi-Service Center, 1100 S. Alvernon. To register for the April 10 class, contact Becky Noel Rebecca.Noel@tucsonaz.gov.  To learn more about the full program, go to https://www.tucsonaz.gov/police/crime-free-multi-housing. Next cycle begins July 10.


…that The Rillito River Project is looking for volunteers to help with Bat Night? Bat Night is an environmental performance art event held under the Campbell Avenue bridge which draws thousands of people to enjoy the flight of the bats as well as dance and musical performances.  The event will take place this year on Saturday, May 3rd from 5:30 - 8:30 pm. If you would like to volunteer to help, please contact Ann Modica at modica@math.arizona.edu.  This is a very exciting, fun project and a true community effort!


…that the Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT) and Tucson Electric Power (TEP) will now remove trees growing into overhead utility lines? For each tree that is removed, TDOT will replace it with two new trees that are shorter in stature or replanted in an area away from overhead utility lines. The replacement trees will be watered with irrigation lines already in place. The new program will reduce maintenance costs for TEP and will improve the aesthetics and tree canopy of the city’s landscape. Previously, trees growing into overhead power lines were pruned with a ‘V’ cut, which reshapes the tree’s canopy into an unnatural shape. Read the news release at https://www.tucsonaz.gov/files/media-releases/Tree_Replacement_Program.pdf.