Karin's Note: Thursday, August 15, 2013

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

Dear Tucsonans,

Jobs and Our Economy

I mentioned last week the City’s partnership with area hospitals to draw down $70 million in federal healthcare funding. The money will help cover costs that would otherwise burden local providers that are struggling to sustain services to the uninsured. Here’s a message from healthcare leaders about that initiative.

The healthcare sector remains central in our work to create more high-wage jobs for local residents. Additional good news related to that goal came through today.

More and more we’re seeing evidence that the City’s focus on trade, local businesses and tech startups does create better paying jobs for Tucsonans. Challenges remain, and we’re going to tackle those together as we learn from every setback and success along the way.

Local Businesses

Earlier this year I championed another step toward promoting the success of local businesses. With unanimous support from the Mayor and Council, we established a policy for depositing more of the City’s own reserves in local banks and/or credit unions. Through this “community banking” initiative, Alliance Bank prevailed in a competitive process.

The City of Tucson has shifted $5 million to Alliance, which has a proven commitment to local lending. Recent Tucson projects highlighted in their existing portfolio include: Ghost Ranch Lodge, several solar panel installations (including at the Tucson Convention Center), the Mercado San Augustine, One North Fifth/Depot Plaza, and La Paloma Family Services. More of this community-based lending will occur now that we’re putting our taxpayers’ dollars to work double-time. It’s great to take another step together to invest locally and create jobs here at home.

Another positive development has been achieved by our Small Business Commission. Several appointees and I have advocated for a Small Business Liaison and Hotline within the City Manager’s Office for several years. With encouragement from the Mayor and City Manager, that recommendation will soon be implemented. I’ll keep you posted as our Economic Development Team in the manager’s office prepares to open the hotline and provide this central, single point of contact.

The goal is twofold: 1) easier access to information and problem-solving for small and medium-sized business owners, and 2) documentation of any bureaucratic barriers to business success so those can be addressed by the Manager and Mayor/Council as the City continues to improve its business climate. Special thanks Chris Kaselemis and his team in economic development for taking this on with great enthusiasm and utilizing existing resources. Thanks as well to Karen Clifton and Katharine Kent and their colleagues on the Small Business Commission. They’ll continue to provide guidance as we launch the hotline, provide focused customer service, and look for patterns/outcomes from the calls received.

Art and Youth Employment

This week a good crowd gathered to enjoy the unveiling of new public art at the NE corner of N First Avenue and Navajo. Read more about the project via the Tucson Pima Arts Council.

Area business owners, artists, families and neighbors expressed appreciation for the creative investment and iconic landmark. Check it out next time you’re in the area; and while you’re at it you can enjoy a great breakfast/lunch/dinner at the Range Rider’s Grill (aka Boondock’s to the north of the artwork) and pick up all the maps you’ll need for your next road trip at Tucson Map and Flag (across First Ave). Like so many corners throughout Ward 3 and our City, you can find your new favorite local restaurant or business each time you explore!

Clean City and Transit

Here’s an article from Metro Magazine highlighting Sun Tran’s contribution toward keeping Tucson clean and sustainable.
Tucson has long been recognized by the American Lung Association for our high air quality. It’s great to have our transit system the first featured in this publication’s Clean Cities and held up as a model for others to emulate.

Transit Fares

Staff continues to solicit public comment on the proposal to phase out the economy fare in Sun Van so that passengers would pay $2 reduced fare (vs. $1 reduced fare) starting in October and $3 starting next July, the full fare price. Tonight’s public meeting is: Eastside City Hall, media room, 7575 E. Speedway Blvd, 4-5 p.m.

Please let me know your thoughts as well by emailing ward3@tucsonaz.gov or by calling 791-4711.



Ward 3 Events:

-Ward 3 Neighbors Alliance – Wednesday, August 21 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Woods Memorial Library, 3455 North First Avenue. The program includes a quarterly Public Safety update on recent statistics and trends from representatives from Midtown and Westside division of TPD. The Ward 3 Neighbors Alliance is still recruiting 5 board members for an initial one-year term. If you are interested in serving as a board member or you would like to nominate someone you believe would be a good candidate, please email your questions or suggestions to Carlos Nagle at closfree@gmail.com The board election will be held in October: board nominations are due the end of August.

SAVE THE DATE: Wednesday, August 28th from 5:30 to 8:00 PM at TPD West, Council Member Uhlich invites you to "Transportation 101: How Transportation Planning and Funding Works in our Community.”  How many of your tax dollars go to support transportation, and how much of that comes back to our region?  How do Tucson, Pima County, and PAG plan for future roadway improvements, bike boulevards, greenways, our shared mass transit system, or maintenance of our current transportation assets? Get answers to these questions and more, at the Ward 3 sponsored Transportation 101. Key City and PAG/RTA leaders will be on hand to answer your questions and hear your thoughts.

SAVE THE DATE: Saturday, September 21 from 8:30 a.m. to Noon.  4th Annual Ward 3 Shred-It Event! This year’s event will be at Mansfield Park, 2000 N. 4th Avenue. First box is free, and subsequent boxes are $5 each and/or donate to our non-profit partners, Lend A Hand and Boys and Girls Club of Tucson. More information: Ward 3 Council Office, 791-4711.


Upcoming Neighborhood and Coalition Meeting(s):

-Cabrini NA – Tuesday, August 20 at 6:00 p.m. Vineyard Church, 3150 E. Ft. Lowell
-Samos NA – Tuesday, August 20 at 6:00 p.m. Salpointe High School, 1545 E. Copper
-Keeling NA – Monday, August 26 at 7:00 p.m. Cornerstone Fellowship, 2902 N. Geronimo
-Jefferson Park NA – Wednesday, August 28 at 6:00 p.m. Ward 3 Council Office, 1510 E. Grant


Citywide Events:

-Tucson Bird and Wildlife Festival – Friday- Sunday, August 16, 17, 18. The Riverpark Inn, 350 S. Freeway. This free event includes live birds and reptiles, talks on natural history, wildlife exhibits and vendor booths. 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10:00 a.m.to 2:00 p.m. on Sunday. More info: 528-0510 X 7009.

-Tucson Modern Streetcar Design Charrett Follow-up Meetings – The City of Tucson invites all property owners, residents, businesses, neighborhood representatives, developers and U of A stakeholders to participate in a series of follow-up meetings related to the Tucson Modern Streetcar Land Use Design Charrett that were held in January. The purpose of these meetings is to provide information regarding proposed strategies being developed to help the community achieve the vision for the Modern Streetcar Focus Area.

The meeting schedule is as follows:
Meeting 3: Downtown Entertainment Districts & Downtown Cultural/Convention District
Monday, August 19th 6:00 PM
Location: Public Works Building, 201 N Stone Ave., Basement Conf. Rm. C

Meeting 4: Western Terminus -- Mercado District and Menlo Park
Monday, August 26th 6:00 PM
Location: Public Works Building, 201 N. Stone Avenue, Basement Conf. Rm. C

  Questions about the meetings can be sent to The Planning Center: info@azplanningcenter.com

-Career Exploration for Veterans – Tuesday, August 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Kino Veterans’ Workforce Center, 2801 E. Ajo Way (west of Country Club). Sponsored by Pima County OneStop Career Center, this free day of presentations will show jobseekers how to use online tools and assess transferability of skills from military experience to new career choices. To sign up and get more info: 740-4646 or 243-6700.

-Did you know…?

…that it is your last chance to register for fall leisure classes through Parks and Recreation? If you want to learn  to belly dance, faux finish your Venetian plaster wall, do Aqualates (Pilates in the pool) or build a gizmo with your 5-year-old (Gizmos-a-Go-Go ), you can take that class through Parks & Rec, but you need to register NOW.  Technically the deadline for fall classes is Aug. 18, but since that’s Sunday the cut-off for registration is really tomorrow (Friday).  There are literally hundreds of courses available to youth, teens, adults and seniors. Pick up a fall 2013 program guide & class catalog at the Ward 3 council office, 1510 E Grant Rd, or the Donna Liggins Center, 2160 N. 6th Ave., or check it out online at https://www.tucsonaz.gov/parks, then register at www.ezeereg.com.  Fall classes run from Aug. 25 to Nov. 23.  For the December mini-session, register by Nov. 24.  The Spring 2014 program guide & class catalog will be available Tuesday, Nov. 12.

…that the deadline to propose a project for United Way’s annual Days of Caring is 5 pm Monday, Aug. 19?  Days of Caring, our community's single largest volunteer event, will take place this year on October 23 and 26. All nonprofit organizations, schools and childcare centers in Southern Arizona are eligible to propose projects (general repair and painting, filing, planting a garden, almost anything). Everybody is eligible to volunteer time, talent and energy to get the tasks done. United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona will do all the organizing. Last year, 2,600 volunteers participated in 130 projects with 91 nonprofit agencies and schools. It’s a great opportunity for organizations to share their mission and establish ongoing relationships with the community, register a project by 5 pm Monday.  Volunteer registration opens to all on Sept. 9.  For further information, contact daysofcaring@unitedwaytucson.org.

…that HHW Collection is coming to your Neighborhood?  Last month, the Tucson/Pima County Household Hazardous Waste Program (HHW) made changes to provide residents with easier access to its services. HHW consists of waste that can harm people, animals, and contaminate groundwater if not properly disposed, such as car batteries, solvents, paint, cleaners, antifreeze, and other household products.  With the changes to the collection events, Second Saturday Outreach Collection events are now held in a different neighborhood each month. The previous collection site on Irvington is now closed. For a list of future collection locations, check our schedule First Saturday collections will be held monthly at the Eastside Service Center, 7575 E. Speedway Blvd., from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.  Home Pickup Program is also available through HHW.  Residents within Tucson City Limits who cannot reach one of our HHW Collection Sites may schedule a $25 home pickup. To schedule a pickup date or for more information, call ES customer service at (520) 791-3171.  For further inquiries, call customer service or visit https://www.tucsonaz.gov/es/household-hazardous-waste. You can also download the MyWaste app to your smartphone, which keeps users informed of curbside collection days, HHW collection events, and more.

…that the City of Tucson Public Housing Program is accepting applications for various Public Housing Waiting Lists? The applications are being accepted beginning Wednesday, July 31 at 10:00 a.m. for Tucson House at 1501 N. Oracle Road (studio, 1 and 2 bedroom apartments) and Wednesday, August 14 at 10:00 a.m. for 1-6 bedroom units on various unrestricted general occupancy lists. More info and assistance call 791-4742.  Applications accepted until further notice.

 …that Basic CERT Training is back!  The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) educates citizens about disaster preparedness and basic disaster response skills. This training can prepare you to assist your family, neighbors and workplace when professional responders are not immediately available. The course includes 24 hours of instruction and practical exercises dealing with disaster preparation, fire suppression, medical operations, terrorism, search & rescue, command organization and disaster psychology.  The schedule for this training is:  Tuesday and Thursday evenings  (Sept. 24, Sept. 26, Oct. 1, and Oct. 3 from 5:30 to 9:30 pm)  followed by an all-day session Saturday, Oct. 5, 8 am to 5 pm.  Classes will be held at the UA Medical Research Building at Speedway & Campbell, where there is plenty of free parking.  There is no fee for the course, but donations are appreciated to help offset funding cuts.  To register, email your name, address and phone to TucsonCERT@cox.net.  For more information, call Stephen Schuldenfrei at 520-344-7769.