Karin's Note: Thursday, September 19, 2013

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

Dear Tucsonans,

Parks and Leash Laws

My office has received considerable feedback on the planned discussion of “off leash” programs to be discussed by the city’s Parks Commission. The item is on the Commission’s agenda next Wednesday, September 25, 2013 3:30 p.m. at the Tucson Parks and Recreation Administration Mesquite Room, 900 S. Randolph Way.

Since many of you cannot attend meetings during business hours, I am requesting that the Commission offer follow up sessions over the coming months in the evening. We will also be sure to continue forwarding the notes and comments we receive to the Ward 3 Commissioner, so keep your thoughts coming.
As I stated last week, the goal of such programs in other cities is to uphold public health and safety while expanding opportunities for dog owners to exercise their pets. While we work with Pima County to review the whole system for animal care and control (including the worthy question of how to fund more spay/neuter services) we’ll get specific figures on how much in fine revenues we’re collecting within City limits (for off-leash and other violations) and what costs we’re covering (courts, etc.).

I look forward to learning more about best practices and the public input received. A recommendation from the Parks Commission would require formal Mayor and Council approval at one of our regularly scheduled meetings prior to any changes taking effect.

Downtown Transit Center

For months now groups have been discussing the Ronstadt Transit Center and what potentials there might be for improving the site to better serve the public’s needs. Next Tuesday Mayor and Council will receive an update from staff on the dialogue and related information/study.

I am hearing from most groups (bus riders, downtown investors, neighborhoods) that it would be premature to move the property into any kind of bid/development process. Many want:  1) Sun Tran to complete its comprehensive operational analysis, 2) time to evaluate the integration of the street car with bus and other modes of traffic (car, bike, pedestrian) and,  3) a clear vision and set of goals so the process yields the optimal involvement of public and potential private resources aimed at achieving the vision/goals.  Staff will provide Mayor and Council with recommendations for how to proceed given the lay of the land today and downtown’s overall horizon.

Ward 3 Neighbors Alliance

Last night there was another great turnout at the Ward 3 Neighbors Alliance meeting at Woods Library, the only Ward-based neighborhood alliance like it in the city. The topic was how neighbors can help local businesses succeed and thrive, and the presenters were Deanna Chevas of Local First Arizona (https://www.localfirstaz.com/) and David Higuera, my Ward 3 point person on business concerns.

The conversation included: ways neighbors can help spread the word about the benefits of buying local; how to identify the locally-owned businesses in their neighborhoods; how to partner with those businesses on mutually beneficial promotions; how to organize "cash mobs" to support local businesses; creating networking/lead opportunities for local business owners; expanding the Neighbors Alliance to include more local business owners and franchises; and more.  It was a great conversation that should lead to further partnerships.

Please take a look below at the many events and activities that are taking place in the next few weeks.   I hope to see you out and about. 

Lastly, please take a look at the information on the Climate Smart Southwest Conference taking place this weekend under the “Did you Know” section.


Ward 3 Events:

-4th Annual Ward 3 Shred-It Event - Saturday, September 21 from 8:30 a.m. to Noon. Partnering again with Constable Bennett Bernal, this year’s event will be held at Mansfield Park, 2000 N. 4th Avenue. First box is free, and subsequent boxes are $5 each with donations going to our non-profit partners, Lend A Hand and Boys and Girls Club of Tucson. For more information, contact Cheryl Rodgers at Ward 3 Council Office, 791-4711.

-Doolen/Fruitvale Neighborhood Cleanup – Saturday, September 21 from 8:00 – 11:00 a.m. Meet at the Sparkman Butterfly Garden at 2645 N. Sparkman. Everyone welcome! More info: Cathy at 881-5880.

-Coronado Heights Neighborhood Mural Project and Graffiti Cleanup – Saturday, September 21 at 9:00 a.m. Meet at the Corner of Laguna and Castro. Bring water, sunscreen and work gloves. If you have yard cleanup gear, please bring it along. More info: bernijilka@gmail.com

-Tucson Police Department Hosts Neighborhood Cleanup- Saturday, September 21 from 8:00 a.m. to Noon (with BBQ to follow). Area of focus will be Tyndall Avenue between Hedrick and Blacklidge in Ward 3. Amphi High School student volunteers and many local businesses will be on hand to assist. All volunteers welcome! Meet at Hedrick Drive and North Tyndall at 8:00 a.m.  More information: Officer Sean Travers: Sean.Travers@tucsonaz.gov or the Ward 3 Council Office at 791-4711.

-Donna Liggins Center Open House – Wednesday, September 25 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. This free informational event will highlight programs for seniors ages 50+, i.e. walking clubs, arts and crafts, billiards, movies and field trips just to name a few. Light refreshments will be served. More information: 791-3247.

-Doolen Middle School Soccer Fields and Walk Path Dedication – Saturday, September 28 at 9:30 a.m. Special thanks to the TUSD, the Fort Lowell Soccer Club, the City of Tucson’s Parks and Recreation Department and the Doolen/Fruitvale NA for their work in making this project a reality. Ribbon cutting event!

-GAIN/National Night Out – Tuesday, October 1.  There are several events planned for the annual GAIN/National Night Out evening in Ward 3.  Once again, Balboa Heights Neighborhood is throwing a party at the Marty Birdman Center from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Similarly, the Ward 3 Neighbors Alliance along with St. James United Methodist Church at 3255 N. Campbell is hosting a multi-neighborhood gathering from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.  For more information about either of these contact the Ward 3 office at 791-4711.

-Music, Food and Pet Fair – Saturday, October 5 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Council Member Karin Uhlich, Tucson Symphony Orchestra, and the Friends of Mansfield Park invite you to a fun-filled, free morning! Activities begin at 10:00 a.m. with a performance of “Pinocchio” by the Wind Quintet at the Tucson Symphony Center at 2175 N. 6th Avenue (just south of Grant road). Across the street at Mansfield Park (2000 N. 4th Avenue) Tucson Police Department’s K9 unit, Pima County Animal Center and Pet Partners and Handi-Dog volunteers will be on hand to answer questions. The Doolen Middle School Jazz Band will perform. Bring your pets—certificates will be awarded for best costume, hairdos and other categories. There will be face-painting, prizes, magicians and food trucks. More information available at the Ward 3 Council Office, 791-4711.

Upcoming Neighborhood and Coalition Meeting(s):

-Jefferson Park NA – Wednesday, September 25 at 6:00 p.m. Ward 3 Council Office, 1510 E. Grant

-Keeling NA – Monday, September 30 at 7:00 p.m. Cornerstone Church, 2902 N. Geronimo

Citywide Events:

-Healthy Communities: Focus on Mental Health Forum – Wednesday, September 25 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Pima Community College Downtown Campus Amethyst Room, 1255 N. Stone. Project Civil Discourse invites you to participate in a community discussion on mental health. For more information and registration: www.projectcivildiscourse.org

 -Sunday Pops in the Park – Sunday, September 22 and 29. 7:00 p.m. Reid Park’s DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center. Free concert, beautiful surroundings and weather and wonderful music.

-Fire Benefit Concert for St. Demetrios – Saturday, September 28 at 7:00 p.m. Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress Street. Artists Bill Cantos, Mari Falcone, the Jim Howell Band along with the Tucson Jazz Institute Ellington Big Band. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Tickets available at the Fox Theatre Box Office, on line athttp://foxtucson.com/  or at St. Demetrios Church at 1145 E. Fort Lowell Road.  More information is available at (520) 888-0505 or


-Did you know…?

…that Tucson will be hosting a Climate Change Conference focused on public health and climate this weekend?The following guest article by Susan Waites has more details:

Conference:  Climate Smart Southwest:  Ready or Hot? – By Susan Waites

We have all been hearing lots about climate change.  Have you ever wondered if climate change will affect us here in the Southwest?  Have you ever wondered if climate change will affect you and members of your family personally?   Here’s an opportunity to find out.  You can attend this conference focused on public health and climate adaptation coming up Friday and Saturday September 20th and 21st.  The conference is being sponsored by the Physicians for Social Responsibility and 35 other local and national organizations.

To kick off this community event there will be a free talk by Eric Klinenberg, Professor of Sociology at New York University and the author of the bestselling book Heat Wave:  A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago, about the July 1995 week long triple digit heat wave that took over 700 lives.  Dr. Klinenberg will give his talk Friday September 20 from 7 to 8pm at the TEP Unisource Building Conference Room, 88 E. Broadway in Tucson.  While this event is free and open to the public, you please RSVP as space is limited.  You can do so by going to the conference website http://www.psr.org/chapters/arizona/climate-smart-southwest/.
On Saturday September 21 the conference itself will take place from 7:30am to 5:30pm at the Tucson Convention Center.  The cost is just $35 ($15 for current students) which includes a free buffet lunch and free onsite parking at the TCC.  The morning of the conference will be dedicated to hearing nationally and internationally known speakers present information about climate change and emerging health problems, food security, mental health, and about how we can educate our children, build neighborhood resilience, and address cross cultural issues as we adapt to climate change.  In the afternoon conference attendees will have the opportunity to participate in workshops to prepare and respond to the challenges posed by climate change.  To register for Saturday’s events go to http://www.psr.org/chapters/arizona/climate-smart-southwest/

The Climate Smart Southwest Conference will be a unique opportunity to learn how climate change will affect you and your family.  Best of all, you’ll learn what you can do be prepared and help yourself and your loved ones meet the challenges we will face with a changing climate.  For more information, go to http://www.psr.org/chapters/arizona/climate-smart-southwest/.  If you need more information, please contact Dr. Barbara Warren at bwarre01@gmail.com

…that September is National Preparedness Month?  We all love our furry friends. Don’t forget about them during your planning. Be sure to include supplies and food for your pets in your 72-hour kits (medications, extra water, and food). Check our FEMA’s website: https://www.ready.gov/animals for tips on including your pets in your emergency plans.

…that Cox Communications is once again sponsoring free Movies in the Park this fall? Friday, September 27, Toy Story presented at Kennedy Park; Friday, October 4, Toy Story 2 presented at Freedom Park: Saturday, October 26, Toy Story 3 presented at Reid Park. All movies start at dusk, but come early (5:30 p.m.) to enjoy jumping castles, face painting, clowns, music and food trucks. More info: saaca.org or call (520) 797-3959.