Karin's Note: Friday, March 14, 2014

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


Dear Tucsonans,

Clear Skies

I’m sure I wasn’t the only person wondering about the haze in the skies around our city over the past day or two. It reminded me that when I visited Phoenix recently, Representative Victoria Steele commented on how much she has noticed the poor air quality there compared with Tucson’s. Hazy days are far more common in Phoenix, as are smog and air quality alerts urging folks to stay indoors.

Turns out the recent haze here has been caused by gusty winds kicking up dust throughout the Valley. In Phoenix that factor plus pollutants combine to create their air quality concerns. When the state took Phoenix’s funds for transit (they also took Tucson’s), an environmental group succeeded in getting their funds back because transit investments are an element of their federally-mandated strategy to improve air quality over the coming years.
Which brings me to my main point: We shouldn’t take for granted how fortunate we are in Tucson to enjoy outstanding air quality. In 2013 the American Lung Association ranked Tucson the #1 cleanest metropolitan area out of 227 across the country for lowest 24-hour particle pollution (and #8 for annual particle pollution levels).

Our investments in transit help keep our air clean, as this article for February 2013 highlights: http://www.masstransitmag.com/press_release/10877696/sun-tran-focuses-on-air-quality-with-47-new-buses . I’m often asked why non-transit-riders should contribute to transit through our allocation of local tax dollars. Air quality, as well as the overall reduction in traffic congestion accomplished through transit, are just two of the reasons why. I hope the air here clears for the weekend as the winds die down; and I hope they stay clear in the future as we continue to develop alternative modes of transportation that serve the health and well-being our entire community.

Ward 3 Service

I am pleased to announce that Brianda Torres-Traylor has joined the Ward 3 staff as my incoming Executive Assistant. Bidding farewell to Linda Mehall won’t be easy. She’s been with us for seven years, and her no-nonsense way of handling constituent concerns earned her consistent high praise from area residents and businesses. Thank you, Linda, for your dedication and service. We’ll miss you.

Brianda comes to us with deep familiarity of and commitment to Ward 3. She has been volunteering with Doolen School and also the Ward 3 Neighbors Alliance. She lives in Jefferson Park and has already jumped into action at the office. We’re excited to now have both Brianda and Matt Kopec, another long-time community volunteer (most recently on the City’s redistricting and bond advisory committees) on the staff.  Along with Judith Anderson and Tamara Prime, Ward 3 and Tucson couldn’t ask for a better mix of hard working, talented public servants.

Mayor and Council Meeting

Next Tuesday my requested update anti-graffiti work is on the Study Session agenda. In addition we will be discussing potential approaches for choosing local Charter Changes worthy of voter consideration and hearing more on budget forecasts from the City Manager. 

I’m also excited that during our Regular meeting in the evening, we will be holding a public hearing for the Historic Landmark Designation Simplification and reformatting effort that we’ve been working closely on with city staff, a subcommittee of the Tucson-Pima Historical Commission and Representative Demion Clinco of the Tucson Preservation Foundation.  The main goal of this effort is to simplify the landmark designation process for owners of historic properties that are of ‘exceptional value or quality’ (by National Register of Historic Places criteria) in illustrating the heritage of Tucson.  As many historic properties are significant cultural resources in our community, we all benefit when owners choose to highlight their properties through this process.
The agenda and materials for all these items are available (and updated regularly) at this link: https://www.tucsonaz.gov/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=1244&doctype=AGENDA

Thanks for your involvement and input every step of the way. 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 to eligible low-income families and individuals. 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.

-Keeling Mural Repair – Sunday, March 16th at 9:00 am - Join Keeling neighbors and other volunteers in a fun event to repair and refresh the beautiful mural located at Los Altos and Ft. Lowell. Special paint and brushes will be used to paint over places where the mural has been tagged, matching the colors of the original artwork.  Contact keelingneighbors@gmail.com for more information.

-Ward 3 Neighbors Alliance with Mayor Jonathan Rothschild – Wednesday, March 19th from 6:00 - 7:45 pm. Mayor Rothschild has requested the opportunity to talk with residents of Ward 3 neighborhoods. Don’t miss this rare chance for a dialogue with the Mayor about your hopes and concerns for your neighborhood. For further information, contact Ron Spark at 664-6062 or rpsparkmd@yahoo.com.

-Sun Tran/Sun Van Open House – Friday, March 28th from 10:00 am - noon at the Woods Memorial Library. Sun Tran and Sun Van are hosting several open house events throughout the city for passengers and public to learn about service change and fare proposals, as well as provide comment. For more information or a schedule of other available sessions, contact the Ward 3 office at 791-4711 or ward3@tucsonaz.gov.

-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! If you have items to donate to a worthy cause, consider Lend A Hand. Donations are tax-deductible. And, of course, plan to come to the sale –there are always some wonderful things hidden in among what used to be your stuff. To donate items call Jane Hoffmann at 323-9299.

-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. Come and meet new supervisor AJ Rico and her staff. Take a tour of the facility, learn about enhanced programs for youth and seniors, and explore new programs such as open volleyball. Show off your serve in a volleyball skills competition from 5:30 – 7:30 pm for ages 7 to adult. Prizes in each category will be awarded. Other activities include a “Walk through Time” neighborhood display of historical articles and pictures of the El Cortez and 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.

- “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: April_2014_Water_Reliablity_sessions_FINAL.pdf


Upcoming Neighborhood and Coalition Meetings:

-Cabrini NA – Tuesday, March 18th at 6:00 pm - City Vineyard Church, 3450 E. Ft. Lowell

-Samos NA – Tuesday, March 18th at 6:30 pm - Salpointe High School, 1545 E. Copper

-Flowing Wells NA and Community Coalition– Thursday, March 20th at 6:00 pm - Ellie Towne Community Center, 1670 W. Ruthrauff Rd

-Mountain View NA Annual Meeting – Thursday, March 20th at 6:00 pm - Habitat for Humanity, 3501 N. Mountain

-Vista Del Monte NA Annual Meeting – Thursday, March 20th at 7:00 pm – Lighthouse YMCA, 2900 N. Columbus

-Hedrick Acres NA Annual Meeting – Monday, March 24th at 6:30 pm – Mountain Avenue Church of Christ, 2848 N. Mountain Ave.

-Keeling NA – Monday, March 24th at 7:00 pm – Cornerstone Fellowship, 2902 N. Geronimo

-Amphi Community Action Group – Wednesday, March 26th at 5:30 pm – Prince Elementary School Library, 125 E. Prince Rd

-EGGstravaganza Planning – Wednesday, March 26th at 5:30 pm - Donna R. Liggins Recreation Center, 2160 N. 6th Ave.

-Jefferson Park NA – Wednesday, March 26th at 6:00 pm – Ward 3 Community Room, 1510 E. Grant Rd

Amphi NA – Thursday, March 27th at 6:30 pm – 240 N. Geronimo



Citywide Events:

-Tucson St. Patrick’s Day Annual Parade – Saturday, March 15th at 10:00 am. Parade begins at Stone and 16th Street, traveling through Downtown and ending at Armory Park. More info: http://www.tucsonstpatricksday.com/

-Tucson Festival of Books – Saturday and Sunday, March 15th and 16th from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm, University of Arizona Mall. Authors, lectures, culinary presentations and more. Free admission and parking. More info: www.tucsonfestivalofbooks.org

- Public Hearing on Historic Landmark Designation – Tuesday, March 18th at 5:30 pm at City Hall. This next Mayor and Council meeting agenda includes a hearing on Historic Landmark (HL) Designation Simplification and Reformat – Text Amendment of the Unified Development Code, Section 5.8 “H” Historic Preservation Zone (HPZ). Find more info under Item 8 of the Regular Agenda: https://www.tucsonaz.gov/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=1244&doctype=AGENDA

-Fourth Avenue Street Fair – Friday through Sunday, March 21st to 23rd, from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm at 4th Avenue between University and 9th. Free to the public, the Fourth Avenue Street Fair brings together 400+ arts and crafts booths, 35+ food vendors, Main Stage, street musicians, food, jugglers, street performers, the ever so popular Free Kids hands-on-art Pavilion. More info: http://www.fourthavenue.org/general-information/

-NAMIWalks – Saturday, March 29th at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium, 2500 E. Ajo Way – Walk for Mental Health! NAMIWalks is an awareness-raising program of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. All proceeds from NAMIWalks will be used to fund NAMI’s programs, which include support, education, advocacy and the encouragement of research involving mental illnesses. Participate in the 3k or 5k. Registration begins at 7:00 am with the walk starting at 9:00 am from the baseball field. Not walking? Bring a chair or blanket and listen to the entertainment from 7:00 am to 12:00 pm. More info at http://www.namiwalksaz.org/

http://www.namiwalksaz.org/ - Blenman-Elm Home Tour - Sunday, March 30th from 12:30 - 5:00 pm. Tickets available at Grace St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 2331 E. Adams St.
 The Blenman-Elm Neighborhood will be donating part of their proceeds to Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse. Tickets are $10.00 (includes $1.00 donation to EMERGE!) available the afternoon of the tour at the Church. More info: http://www.emergecenter.org/


Did You Know...?


…that one of the Ward 3 treasures, Native Seeds/SEARCH, is a rock star among Tucson-based food security organizations? Since 1983, NS/S has been working to conserve the significant agricultural biodiversity of the arid Southwest and is a leader in the heirloom seed movement.  The organization has recently announced a leadership transition and the interim executive director is also one of Ward 3’s own: Chris Schmidt lives in Richland Heights East and sits on the board there. Congratulations, Chris, on the work you're doing for your neighborhood and the world!
You can visit NS/S this weekend at Science City at the Tucson Festival of Books or hit the website at www.nativeseeds.org, to sign up for Seedhead News and get information on upcoming events such as the spring plant sale (March 29 and 30) at their retail store, 3061 N Campbell, the Cholla Bud Harvesting Workshop (Friday, April 25), or a six-day Seed School teaching regional seed solutions (August 31 - September 5).

…that the Ward 3 5th Annual Shred-it Event will be held on Saturday, April 26th? More details will follow soon.  Save the date! 9:00 am to noon at Mansfield Park. 

…that the Yaqui (Yoeme) Lenten Ceremonies in the Old Pascua Yaqui Community have begun  and will continue through Easter Sunday? The Yoeme interpretation of the Catholic liturgy for the Easter season, through the re-enactment of the Passion of Jesus Christ, is concurrently dramatized with the Pre-Christian Pascola and Deer Dancing. Activities take place at Capilla San Ignacio de Loyola, Pascua Neighborhood Center, at 785 W. Sahuaro and are open to the public.  NO CELL PHONES, NO PHOTOS and NO RECORDINGS are allowed at the ceremonies.  For more information on dates and times of the traditional ceremonies, please call the Pascua Neighborhood Center at 791-4873.

…that March 17th through 23rd is Fix a Leak Week? Tucson Water and utilities across Arizona are partnering with the EPA’s WaterSense division to promote Fix a Leak Week to remind people of the amount of water collectively lost through minor household leaks. Visit https://www.tucsonaz.gov/water/fix-leak-week for links to online calculators for measuring the impact of drips and leaks, “Family Fact Sheets” in English and Spanish for finding and fixing leaks, helpful videos from the Regional Water Providers Consortium, and an activity learning page
for kids.

…that youth art submissions for Tucson Arts Brigade event are due by March 31? Youth arts submissions, in all media, for a one day event entitled "Color of Our Voices: A Generation of Creative Youth (G2A)" to take place Saturday April 26th 4:00 – 7:00 pm at the Maker House, 283 N. Stone Ave. To apply, youth up to age 24 can visit www.TucsonArtsBrigade.org and download an application, email info@TucsonArtsBrigade.org or call us at 520-623-2119. 

…that Lend A Hand is looking for a volunteer to accept telephoned transportation requests from clients a few hours per day, Monday-Friday. Calls received by voicemail will need to be confirmed by return call to the client within 24 hours. All of the week's requests will be relayed to the Program Coordinator on a scheduled basis via email for further handling. A backup volunteer will take over when you require time off. If you can be available a few hours a day to answer the provided cell phone, have a computer and knowledge of basic Microsoft Office software, and would like to join the Lend A Hand team, please contact Michelle Brubaker at 248-6882 or info@lahseniorhelp.org

… the wildly popular event Cyclovia Tucson is back for the 5th year in a row and needs your help as an Intersection Volunteer on April 5 or 6. You can get a free Cyclovia t-shirt if you sign up to volunteer before March 26th! There are 3-hour morning or afternoon shifts available, so you can enjoy the event as well.  Email Lindsay (lindsay@livingstreetsalliance.org) or check out more information about Cyclovia Tucson at https://www.cycloviatucson.org/

…that Living Streets Alliance is seeking Hullabaloo volunteers? Help out at the celebration of all things Tucson! Saturday and Sunday, April 5th and 6th at Armory Park. Volunteer for a 4-hour shift and get oodles of goodies. Contact Becky (becky@livingstreetsalliance.org) to sign up.

…that the deadline for proposals for City of Tucson Economic and Workforce Development Grants, and Special Events Grants for Fiscal Year 2015 is 4:00 p.m. on Friday, March 21? The development proposals should include items for small business and development, job training and education programs for adults, at-risk youth, and at-risk adults. Special events grants will be awarded to those who help develop the local economy via emerging and established special events that build the community, economy and tourism. Learn more about the grants at http://1.usa.gov/1c8i3YG

…that the City and County are collaborating on an interactive website to help residents in need of housing assistance? The Housing Help and Resources website at PimaCountyHelp.org uses interactive questioning to help people find housing programs for which they may be eligible. The site, available in multiple languages, offers information about 62 housing programs offered by 22 providers. It also includes information about rentals and landlord/tenant rights.