Pauls Note: Friday, November 20, 2020

Paul's Ward 3 News and Updates
 
Friday, November 20, 2020
 
News and Updates
Pet of the Week                 
Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings
Ward 3 Events
City Wide Events
Did You Know?
 
Ward 3 News and Updates
 
On behalf of Council Member Paul Durham, the Ward 3 staff wishes everyone a lovely and safe Thanksgiving Thursday. We give thanks for the privilege to celebrate and for the food we have. However, this Thanksgiving will be different and for life-saving reason. Responsible health experts are strongly suggesting that Thanksgiving celebrations be small to avoid spreading the COVID-19 virus. In this week’s Ward 3 newsletter, we bring you information on the resurgent rise of COVID cases in Pima County. From the onset of the pandemic early this year, reliable experts predicted that the virus would hit us hard this winter. And it appears so. 
 
You’ll also read about proposed changes in the city’s recycling program and a proposal to change the building code that could allow homeowners to build affordable casitas on their property. This would increase homeowners’ investments, provide extended family living space and create inter-generational wealth for their families. 
 
As always there are activities in Ward 3 and around the city in which families can participate and enjoy. So please enjoy your Thanksgiving Day, in whatever way you celebrate, but make sure to limit the number of people around and practice safe distancing. Do it for your health and that of your loved ones. 
 
Free Turkey Giveaway 
 
Tomorrow, Saturday, the City of Tucson’s Parks and Recreation Department, and United Healthcare will distribute 1,000 turkeys at the Donna Liggins Center at Mansfield Park from 9 am to 12 noon or until all the turkeys have been given away. Recipients must drive into the parking lot off of North Sixth Avenue and a frozen turkey will be placed in your car. One turkey per car. 
 
 
Thanksgiving, of course, is a time when many residents give their time or share what they have with others who lack food and money. In Ward 3 the Friends of Marty Birdman Center, a small group of caring residents associated with the recreation center of the same name at the Balboa Heights Park on North Castro Avenue, will step up again next week. The group in pre-COVID years distributed Thanksgiving meals to people at the park. But because of the pandemic the group will prepare 20 meals which will be delivered to Keeling and Nash elementary schools. School staff will then give the meals to 10 families from each school. The turkeys and food were donated by several individuals and in addition, each family will receive a Fry’s gift card. 
 
While the pandemic has altered our lives and in many cases destroyed lives or seriously damaged families, Ward 3 residents continue to respond with their generosity. We thank the Friends of Marty Birdman Center and others for their persistence and dedication to our community during these trying days. 
 
Lastly, next week several churches and organizations will offer free meals each day of the week. In Ward 3 and nearby there will be several sites on various days. 
 
Sunday, Holy Family Church, 338 W. University Blvd., 3–4 pm 
Monday, Grace St. Paul-Joseph’s Pantry, 2331 E Adams St., 9 am-12 pm 
Tuesday, Caridad Community Kitchen, 845 N. Main Ave., 3-4 pm 
Wednesday, Grace St. Paul-Joseph’s Pantry, 9 am–12 pm; Caridad Community Kitchen, 3–4 pm 
Thursday, Salvation Army Thanksgiving Meal @ St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 1145 E. Fort Lowell Rd., 11 am–1 pm 
Friday, Grace St. Paul-Joseph’s Pantry 9 am–12 pm 
 
COVID-19
 
We are looking forward to the time when we no longer need to provide regular updates to readers related to COVID-19 cases and public health responses. Sadly, that time has not yet come.
 
Cases by Day for Pima County, updated 11/19/20
 
The graph above is illustrative. We are witnessing rapid increases in cases in Pima County. On Tuesday, Dr. Cullen from the Pima County Health Department presented to Mayor and Council regarding the current outbreak. A few highlights worth sharing include that the 7-day rolling average of new cases on October 19 was 59 and on Tuesday (11/17) was 347.
 
Additionally, even while testing is widely available and results are still coming back in a reasonably short time period (16-48 hours), our hospitals are very stressed. Bed availability is low in our hospitals and we have recently seen single-digit numbers of ICU bed availability. This is one reason why it is so important to get your flu vaccine. Many of the hospital beds are full right now, not necessarily because of COVID-positive patients, but because people are experiencing seasonal illness.
 
Please be sure to be smart. In addition to getting your flu vaccine, here are things that you and loved ones can do to benefit public health and reduce the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19 during the holidays (and beyond).
 
Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona
 
The second round of federal CARES Act funding for artists is open for applications. Additionally the City of Tucson We Are One/Somos Uno funds will be made available for venues which have lost revenue due to the pandemic. The Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona will accept applications from artists until November 30 and from stages and venues until December 1.
 
The emergency funds for artists is to provide short-term emergency disaster relief to help prevent eviction, prevent homelessness, assist with rent or mortgage payments, assist with subsidies for utility payments to preserve essential services. For stages and venues, funds will reimburse direct losses due to business interruption. One-time emergency relief funds will reimburse venues up to $50,000 in lost income.
 
 
Funding assistance is open to individual artists who meet all of the following criteria at the time of application:
 
● 18 years of age or older
● Reside within Tucson city limits, or within the city of South Tucson
● Primary source of income is related to artistic production, teaching artist residencies, arts and cultural events, or contract work with nonprofit arts organizations. Full-time employed educators and faculty at colleges or universities are not eligible to apply for this particular opportunity.
 
The Arts Foundation estimates that since March when the pandemic hit, the aggregate income loss suffered by local artists was more than $1.5 million, and arts organizations and venues lost more than $18 million.
 
Accessory Dwelling Units
 
This Tuesday, Mayor and Council discussed Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). ADUs are often referred to as guest houses, casitas, granny flats, etc. They can be an attached studio apartment, a garage conversion or in the form of a guest house.
 
 
ADUs can help to:
  • Increase the supply of affordable housing
  • Encourage flexible housing options for seniors and support aging in place strategies
  • Support multi-generational households
  • Provide supplemental income to landowners and promote neighborhood stability
  • Support climate-resilient infill development
Council Member Durham has been advocating for the City of Tucson to adopt an ordinance permitting ADUs for quite a while. This began a couple of years ago as a number of Ward 3 residents were seeking to add ADUs to their home lots to be able to address the astronomically high need for affordable, senior housing in Tucson.
 
Currently if a household wants to add living quarters for an older or younger relative (think about your in-law or adult child post-graduation) they would not be able to add a fully independent residence.
 
Under current law you may not legally add an oven to a guest house. For families who want to be close and share resources, but not be required to cook every meal together, there is not currently an option to achieve this. For individuals, like some of those Ward 3 constituents, who wanted to add ADUs and market them to seniors as a way to be part of the solution to the housing crisis, you cannot without being intimately linked to your new tenant or by adding a complete separate single-family residence (which is quite complicated and typically cost-prohibitive). What this also means is that we have a ton of unpermitted existing residences in Tucson (i.e., guest houses with ovens).
 
Now there are legitimate concerns related to whether ADUs will just be used as a new mini-dorm or student housing option. As part of the process moving forward, The City of Tucson will be working with stakeholders and neighborhood groups to make sure we strike the right balance with this new ordinance. For instance, in neighborhood or historical preservation zones, existing design guidelines would need to be maintained. We can also place limits on the number of people who can live in an ADU (typically it would be 1-2 adults whereas group dwelling are 5 or more) as well as place requirements that the property owner live in either in the primary or the accessory dwelling. In short, the goal would be to make sure that the ordinance addressed the unique needs of different zones in the City of Tucson.
 
Additionally, Council Member Durham and Council Member Santa Cruz are working with staff to ensure that this new policy extends Mayor and Council’s work to promote equity and climate resiliency. One of the issues that the Ward 3 office is tracking is how developing an ADU can be more accessible to low to moderate income homeowners to support housing and household stability. This is a need we see frequently in Tucson in established neighborhoods like Old Pascua and Barrio Blue Moon, where families have outgrown their family homes. The reality is that for many Tucsonans, living in a multi-generational household can be a survival strategy. For many grandparents caring for their grandchildren, the ability to add square footage to a home can be critical. Most homeowners are not familiar with development processes, and we will be looking creatively at how these long-established households can utilize ADUs as a housing stability strategy.
 
Here’s what the process will look like moving forward:
 
We will publish notices of those public meetings in this newsletter. Stay tuned.
 
Composting and Glass Reuse Program
 
We shared recently that Mayor and Council were considering important changes to the glass recycling and composting programs. On Tuesday, Mayor and Council took action to divert waste produced by City of Tucson departments away from our Los Reales Landfill and to reduce our carbon footprint by reusing glass locally.
 
Our composting program will process and divert about 35,000 tons of green waste per year, which represents a 6% annual waste diversion rate. The operating costs of composting food scraps and green waste as compared to landfilling will result in operating savings of $5 per ton which represents projected annual savings in the amount $175,000.
 
Most important for our residents, this is an initial opportunity for the City of Tucson to better understand how to implement a curbside composting program in the future.
 
The Mayor and Council also voted on Tuesday to remove glass from the residential and commercial blue barrel program. Starting Feb. 1, 2021, glass will no longer be accepted in the blue bins. Instead glass will be collected at drop-off sites across the city including our existing Neighborhood Recycling Centers as well as additional sites. In Ward 3, two of our locations for glass recycling will be the Mansfield Park Neighborhood Recycling Center (2000 N 4th Ave.) and the Westside TPD Substation (1310 W Miracle Mile).
 
 
An example of the special glass recycling bins that will be located at Neighborhood Recycling Centers and other sites.
 
By removing glass from curbside collection, the City of Tucson will reduce processing costs at the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF, AKA our recycling facility), while implementing a community-wide glass collection program that keeps glass for reuse locally. The reuse of glass locally provides the City with more program control, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
 
Drop-off sites will be opening in February, and information will be mailed to all EGSD customers in January. Glass containers dropped off should be empty, clean, and dry, with lids and caps removed. There is no need to remove the labels. 
 
Starting February 21, 2021, here is what will be accepted in the blue barrel program:
 
Plastic bottles, jugs, and containers
Paper 
Cardboard
Aluminum/tin cans
 
Anyone with questions can email EShelp@tucsonaz.gov or call 791-3171. 
 
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Pet of the Week
 
 
 
Sparkles is a beautiful 6-year-old Calico who is waiting for you at Pima Animal Care Center. She is a lovey dove and gets along with everybody. She’s very sociable and likes to mingle with dogs, cats and especially children.
 
Sparkles is currently in foster care but is available for adoption! If you are interested in adopting her, please email PACC.foster@pima.gov.
 
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Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings
 
Ft Lowell/Country Club meeting
Monday
November 23
6-7 pm
Join Zoom Meeting
 
Keeling
Monday
November 23
7:00 pm
Join by phone:
+1 669 900 9128 
Meeting ID: 871 3912 4614
 
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Ward 3 Events
 
Thanksgiving Turkey Drive-Thru Event
Saturday
November 21
9 am-12 pm
Donna Liggins Rec Center
2160 N 6th Ave
Enter on 6th Ave heading north
 
School Employee Free Shopping Day
Saturday
November 21
1-4 pm
Literacy Connects
200 E Yavapai
 
Good News Community Church Annual Warm Clothing Giveaway & Open House
 
 
 
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City Wide Events
 
Iskashitaa at Firehouse Artisan’s Market
Saturday November 21 & Sunday November 22
10am-5pm
1030 N 4th Ave 
at the historic Firehouse built ca. 1915-1917
 
Iskashitaa will be selling gifts with a conscience, made from locally harvested fruits, herbs & seeds.
 
 
If you would like to volunteer at their table sign up at https://signup.com/go/HMNkpyN
 
Thanksgiving Drive Thru
Wednesday
November 25
11 am-2 pm
Gospel Rescue Mission Center of Opportunity
4550 S Palo Verde Rd
 
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Did You Know?
 
Make Your Voice Heard By Taking Survey
 
 
The online public input tools for the People, Communities, and Homes Investment Plan (P-CHIP) allows the public to provide input on priorities and how to allocate funding for investing in Tucson's most-vulnerable populations. This information will then be one of the determining factors to direct funding for homeless services, housing stability, neighborhood enhancements, and more. Start off with the Priorities Survey to give feedback on what you think are the most important issues for the P-CHIP to address. Once finished, move to the Budget Tool to show how you would invest in the priorities outlined in Part 1. The public input tools will be open until Monday, Nov. 23, 2020.
 
#MaskUpTucson
 
In order to stem the spread of COVID-19, every person in the City of Tucson over 5 years old is required to cover their nose and mouth with a face covering when in public. It’s for both your protection, and to keep others safe. In the video linked below, Tucson city leaders show why they wear masks. People can spread COVID-19 before they ever show symptoms, or even if they don't have symptoms. Masks should fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face, be secured with ties or ear loops, include multiple layers of fabric, allow for breathing without restriction, and be able to be washed and dried in a machine without damaging the mask or changing the shape. For more tips on masks and other COVID-19 information, follow the links below.
 
Brush & Bulky 2021 Schedules Now Available
 
 
The City of Tucson's Environmental and General Services Department (EGSD) is sending a direct mail piece with Brush & Bulky (B&B) 2021 information, including a map, schedule, and sticker with your specific dates to put on your refrigerator. City of Tucson residents receive B&B collection twice a year. This is your opportunity to clean your yard, garage, or storage shed and get rid of any debris. EGSD encourages residents to download the free Recycle Coach app to get notifications about when trash, recycling, and B&B will be collected.
B&B information
Recycle Coach
 
Don’t Forget the Trash!
 
The Thanksgiving Day holiday will be observed on Thursday, November 26. Residential and commercial trash and recycling will not be collected on Thursday. Trash and recycling collection service for Thursday and Friday will be delayed by one day.
 
The Los Reales landfill will be closed on Thursday only, which means Household Hazardous Waste will not be available either.
 
Holiday collection schedules are available online here.
 
Free Online Workshops at Literacy Connects
 
Sign up now for the Winter session. For kids ages 11-14. Learn about writing and acting for film, digital animation, music creation and more! Sign up now.
 
 
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Council Member Paul Durham is on Social Media!
 
Follow us on Twitter: @CMPaul_Durham
 
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