Downtown Tucsonan

Discussions in APNA and Historic Board meetings often cover things that are occurring in the downtown area. The Downtown Tucson Partnership has a feature on their website that may keep us better informed. Their Downtown Tucsonan page, reached at the NEWS tab (or https://www.downtowntucson.org/news/), will give you articles of interest. If you want a month by month reports covering  announcements, construction, housing and more, go to:  (https://www.downtowntucson.org/2017/10/downtown-pulse/).

Keeping up with the action downtown can facilitate those activities that attracted many of us to Armory Park. On the other hand you may learn of causes for concern regarding neighborhood and historic preservation. It’s a changing world out there; STAY INFORMED.

Help for Homeless Neighbors

As downtown residents, most of us are familiar with the Downtown Tucson Partnership (DTP). Their mission statement is: To be the catalyst for making Downtown Tucson the place people want to live, work, and play; where new ideas happen; and that is the economic development and cultural epicenter of the region. The ability to attract businesses and customers is an essential component.

One part of this effort is to minimize unpleasant experiences for downtown visitors. Unfortunately our large homeless population is often part of unpleasant experiences. DTP has taken a number of steps to discourage homeless people from making downtown public areas their home. One example is cleaning pavements in areas where people congregate overnight. The use of machinery and water spray makes the areas uncomfortable places to sleep.

One consequence of these steps is that homeless people move into residential areas and parks nearby. We see the increased homeless population in Armory Park on a daily basis. Also, even though these people don’t fit easily into the mainstream of society, they still deserve humane treatment.

DTP also recognizes these things so they have created a program labeled dtp connects. With this effort, DTP is trying to connect homeless individuals with the many programs which offer help.

dtp connects 1

dtp connects 2

You may want to get some of these cards to share with a homeless neighbor or to inform yourself. To learn more, go to the DTP site at https://www.downtowntucson.org/clean-and-safe/dtp-connects/. This contact information may also be helpful:

Security Ambassadors (520) 940-1038

Maintenance Ambassadors (520) 940-0806

The Downtown Tucson Partnership is located at 100 N. Stone, Suite 101, Tucson, Arizona 85701. For questions and general information, please call (520) 268-9030. 

APNA General Meeting Very Informative

Last night president Anne Cooper led a very informative general meeting of the Armory Park Neighborhood Association. It was well attended. Some of the highlights seem worth passing along to those who could not be there.

DeeDee means, APNA social chair presented recognition to those Christmas decorators who won prizes in the various categories:

Best Overall 211 S. 4th Ave. Michael Boren and Badhdadi Homeira,
El Amador Bed and Breakfast LLC
Best Old Fashioned 330 E. 3rd Ave. Jefferson Bailey and Richard Steen
Best Vintage 541 S. 6th Ave.  Matthew Noli and Megan Marcello
Best Macy’s Window Display
–  Ken Ellison and Tony Casteel  339 E. 16th St.
–  Randy Nico  333 E. 16th St.
Best Wreath 322 E. 18th St. Pedro and Rachel Vasquez
Best Inclusive 620 S.3rd Ave. Michael Lex and Dorothy Kret
Christmas Gone Wild 544 S. 6th Ave. Esthermarie Hillman
Chalk Art on 5th Ave. Janet Miller

Brian Chanecka from the main library at 101 N Stone Avenue told the group that the branch was seeking to forge closer ties with the neighborhoods nearby. He intends toLibrary attend the monthly APNA meetings to keep our community informed of activities at the library. He distributed a printed newsletter highlighting March’s activities and the month’s calendar. The best way to view the calendar and specific activities is to go to the library’s website at:
https://www.library.pima.gov/locations/mai/. If you want to know about events at the library, click on the Events tab just below the main heading. If you click on the other Events tab near the top center of the page, you can see information about all library branches.

We are fortunate to have an excellent library within walking distance, and there is free parking in the underground garage if you drive. Give our library a try.

There has been concern among residents in the northeast corner of Armory Park about disturbances which may be associated with the Community Bridges facility at 250 S Toole. Dane Binder and Toby Hall came to explain the nature of the facility and answer questions or concerns.

Community Bridges, Inc. (CBI) is a private non-profit, 501(c)(3) with a 31 year history of providing comprehensive behavioral health programs which include prevention, education and treatment services. The organization offers fully integrated medical and behavioral health care in 14 communities in Maricopa, Pinal, Gila, Yuma, Navajo, Apache and Cochise Counties. The facility next to Armory Park does outpatient services and now has 32 beds for inpatients’ short stays, usually seven days or less. For longer term care, patients are referred to other services. The facility also has mobile teams to reach out to those in distress throughout the city. The teams are available 24/7 and can be alerted through their crisis line, 622-6000. When someone constitutes an imminent risk of danger to themselves or others they are typically brought to a facility called the Crisis Response Center on Ajo Rd or a hospital with a locked unit, not Community Bridges. The community, including police, have received training surrounding that point.

Questioners and commentors raised a number of points. The facility has no exterior security. Frequent police and ambulance calls caused concern. Trash is often left around the facility. The facility attracts people who may be threatening to our residents. The CBI response was that people who come there want and need help so are less inclined to cause trouble. Staff tries to get the people inside the facility and keep them there but have no legal power to restrain them from leaving. Staff has extensive experience in dealing with such patients and can usually control the situation. When necessary, staff will call 911 for police help. Such calls have a level of 2 or 3 of the 8 levels for police response priority.

Others commented that the service provided is valuable to the community and possibly lifesaving for the patients. The facility is in an industrial area and is appropriate for that zoning. There are other activities nearby which may attract noisy and inebriated people, so one should be cautious before assuming CBI is the source of a problem. Toby and Dane will report to their company executives on the meeting and relay requests for motion lighting and exterior security. If you have any questions about Community Bridges Inc, contact Dane at dbinder2@cbridges.com. The number for the admin office based in Mesa, AZ is 480-831-7566. For immediate safety concerns please contact 911. 

Note: The verbiage above in italics was added based on feedback from Dane.

Martha McClements made a short presentation regarding the AP Historic Zone Advisory Board APHZAB). She explained that exterior changes required review and approval because most of Armory Park is in a Historic Preservation Zone. While that adds a little expense and inconvenience to exterior structural projects, it also preserves our neighborhood’s historic character and has a benefit of reduced property taxes. She said that the APHZAB is attempting to reach out in the community to keep our residents better informed. If in doubt about the review requirement for your project, contact her at mmcclements@earthlink.net. She also passed out this information sheet: Martha

After you have reviewed the website at the top of the handout, here is the link to the survey:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1_zHSTRACUxZlosBFX-W1vz8_NTaFT_sGZzYIgEU8J9I/edit

Final notes: A hearing on the Baffert project at 6th and 18th will be held in Mayor and Council chambers at 6:00 PM on April 12th. The final planning on sidewalk improvements is nearly complete. Since there is not enough money to do the entire neighborhood, the needs must be prioritized. If you have contributed money to the project, your need will be given priority consideration. The next porch party will be on March 24th from 5-7 PM. Further details will appear in the listserv. Armory Park del Sol will be having a potluck. Here is the invitation.

APdS Spring potluck 2018

Armory Park Plan Published

Susan Beirer and Steve Grede made a presentation to APNA last May regarding a plan to document and preserve the public landscape (streetscape) of Armory Park. At that time it was agreed that the final document would be added to APNA website when finished. That has now happened and now Armory Park Conservation Master Plan 2017 is available to be downloaded as a PDF. It has been published by the Heritage Conservation Program of the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture.

The plan came out of Helen Erickson’s Preservation Planning spring 2017 class.  Whatever your level of interest in Armory Park’s public spaces you will find something for you in this document. If your interest in the history and landscape is not too deep, scan through the pictures and read some of the related text. You will learn some new things about Armory Park. If you are deeply interested, you won’t want to miss a single word.

Contact Susan Bierer (sbierer@email.arizona.edu) with any questions.

Merry Christmas

It may seem a little early for Christmas wishes but this is about Christmas past. Bill Duffy has announced the results of our 2016 Armory Park Holiday Lighting and Decoration Contest WINNERS! The pictures were too much for the listserv so you can see them here. This is Bill’s message:

The judges have spoken, and the votes have been counted! We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 Armory Park Holiday Lighting and Decoration Contest. First, three categories the judges decided to add after they toured the neighborhood. Each of these three will receive a $10 Gift Certificate from Johnny Gibson’s Market. 1. Best Front Entry: 714 S 3rd Ave. (Sorry – this is the one winner the judges forgot to take a photo of!)

3a 812 S 4th Ave
812 S 4th Ave

Continue reading “Merry Christmas”