A reminder: The APNA Board holds monthly meetings on the 2nd Tuesday of each month (except January), at 6:30 PM. Because of COVID-19, APNA Board meetings are currently being held on line, at APNA Meeting Stream .
Meetings are open to all residents. Attending them is a great way to stay informed about issues of neighborhood-wide interest. We encourage you to attend!
Have you been taking more walks in the neighborhood than ever before because covid’s got your cooped up? Can you believe it is still in the 90s in November? After the hottest summer on record no less! Well…Armory Park has a wonderful opportunity for you to join in and try to beat the heat, green our streets and take a stab at climate change by planting street trees!
WHAT: Armory Park is partnering with Trees for Tucson to do a one-day tree planting project.
WHO: Residents can have a tree (or three) planted out front of their house along the sidewalk and/or help volunteer to plant trees! We also need volunteers to help get out the word.
Click here to learn more about the project and order a tree.
Click here to sign up to volunteer (flyering or tree planting).
GOAL: We hope to plant 60 trees on planting day with 30 volunteers. Will you join us??
Pima County Health Department and Downtown Tucson Partnership have teamed up to provide free COVID-19 testing to individuals who work, live, and play downtown.
The new Downtown Tucson Testing Center will be located at 88 E Broadway Blvd., on the southwest corner of Broadway Blvd. and Sixth Ave. Testing will begin Friday October 16th from 10AM to 2PM every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Those seeking testing can register without an appointment on-site OR by appointment at www.pima.gov/covid19testing
While the new site is free and open to anyone, planners from the Health Department and Downtown Tucson Partnership are hopeful that the site will serve as an ideal and convenient place for downtown employers to direct employees for testing should they have any symptoms of COVID-19.
“Quick and accessible testing is a key factor in helping businesses protect their employees and patrons as the pandemic continues,” said Health Department Director Dr. Theresa Cullen. “We want to do all that we can to support businesses as they get back on their feet.”
The testing is being conducted by Paradigm Laboratories via their mobile testing unit. Results will be available in 72 hours or less and can be accessed through Paradigm’s easy to use online portal.
Tucson Electric Power has graciously offered the former MiAn Sushi retail and patio space for a socially distant patient registration and waiting area.
To learn more about COVID-19 in Pima County, visit http://www.pima.gov/covid19. More information about the Downtown Tucson Partnership can be found online at DowntownTucson.org
Early voting began this morning! Visit the Pima County Recorder’s website for Election 2020 info. https://www.recorder.pima.gov/ElectionInformation
The Downtown Merchant’s Association, in partnership with Downtown Tucson Partnership and the Pima County Health Department, have the plans in place for a Grand Reopening of businesses in the downtown core. That reopening is coming on October 1st. All of the plans have the public’s health and safety as keys to the reopening.
Each business displaying this Ready for You emblem has demonstrated to Pima County Health inspectors that it is complying with the safety standards required for a safe reopening. You can find the full list of those standards at www.pimaready.com.
A message from APNA President David Bachman-Williams:
This is a notification that if you want to vote in the neighborhood association elections that you have to have a current membership up to date. Our bylaws require that you be a member at least 45 days before the election. The election will be November 10. You need to have your membership be current by September 25. If you are not sure whether your membership is up to date please contact Phyllis (firstname.lastname@example.org), our membership chair.
A message from APNA President David Bachman-Williams:
Dear Armory Park residents,
We have received a letter announcing the closing of the Neighbors Feeding Neighbors program by the Episcopal Church. We have happily and generously been a conduit of donations to this program by both donations accompanying membership forms and through our Home Tours.
Please do not include donations to Neighbors Feeding Neighbors with memberships from now on. Our APNA Board will have this issue on the agenda for next Tuesday’s meeting. We will begin to look for replacement charities to support.
We are thankful for the years that Jeff Bailey and his crew put into Neighbors Feeding Neighbors, bringing tasty, hot nutritious meals to people along with some welcome and needed human contact.
For those of you who have donated money to NFN in the last month you will be contacted about what to do with your donation after the board meeting Tuesday.
Not a member of the Armory Park Neighborhood Association? Please consider joining at https://armoryparktucson.org/membership/.
Our community made a great response to the threat of the proposed Central Business District expansion within Armory Park. A team of individuals and a strong response from many residents provided our council member, Steve Kozachik, with the information he needed to take action. His results were quick and effective, so this threat has passed for now.
Neighbors have expressed appreciation for the efforts of all involved, but one player has not yet been recognized. Without the contribution of our neighborhood association (APNA) none of this would have been achieved. It was at a Board meeting that the threat first became apparent and the Board expressed its concern. Very soon after, email polling of the Board authorized an aggressive response against the expansion within Armory Park. The second Zoom meeting, attended by many residents and Board members, gave City staff notice that the fight was on. President David Bachman-Williams spoke for the neighborhood in expressing our disapproval of the expansion. Only by having an active association did we learn of the threat and have a powerful voice opposing it.
APNA is built on the membership of neighbors. Our listserv has 350 email addresses enrolled. A number of those are for couples so the number of individuals subscribed is greater. 405 people follow our Facebook page. APNA has 136 members today, a third of the listserv users and Facebook followers. More people willing to pay the $10 per person annual dues strengthens the voice of our Board and President. As small as the dues are, they pay for meeting space and other expenses. Without an APNA financial contribution, the recent sidewalk improvements could not have been completed. The bottom line:
— Please pay your dues now (If you have already, thanks). Contact Phyllis Factor (Pefnaz@gmail.com), our membership chair.
— Serve as an officer, as a Board Director, on a committee or as a project team worker. 2021 elections are this November.
Armory Park is a great neighborhood, but only active engagement by our residents can keep it that way. Thanks for your active contribution.
This morning the following was posted on the Armory Park listserv:
You have seen some discussion here about the City’s intent to expand the Central Business District (CBD) in Armory Park, prompted by Martha’s email. Yesterday your APNA Board of Directors approved a response to the related Findings of Conditions Report and expansion of the CBD within Armory Park. Both are attached as PDF documents.
The report’s statements of conditions within Armory Park are grossly inaccurate. The adjectives slum and blighted were applied to the entire proposed expansion area, including the Stone/6th Avenue corridor within Armory Park. These labels were legally essential to expand the CBD and permit the generous tax relief which can help large property development. Since there are no large vacant properties in the AP CBD area, demolition will be required to construct large developments. The CBD is the foundation for large subsidized property developments. They may take many years to appear. In Armory Park, first settled in the 1870s, we must take the long view.
At the public Zoom meeting last Wednesday, I was told that the report was not subject to rebuttal because it was merely a “finding of facts”. Our only option, the staff attorney said, would be to ask the Mayor and Council to reject the report. That effort begins today.
In the current post factual world, it is not surprising to learn of a factual report which is not factual. Nevertheless, we cannot allow these characterizations of our neighborhood to go unchallenged. The organization responsible for the report, the Office of Economic Initiatives, prepared the report and it is not hard to imagine in what direction their bias might lie. Had they consulted others, the bias might have been less prominent. APNA was not consulted or informed before the report was published. This is poor staff work at best or manipulation at worst. Mayor and Council should be embarrassed by the poor staff work. We can hope that the City Manager will be called to account.
There is another public meeting by Zoom at 11 this morning. I expect it will be another PR event but I will still participate. John Burr and I will represent the APNA position but don’t expect any change to result. If things go as expected, our first approach to Mayor and Council will happen this afternoon.
Public pressure is the only means likely to change the situation at this late date. Other residential neighborhoods are also being wrapped into the expanded CBD. If you have contacts in any of them, please alert them to the danger for their communities.
APNA Response to Findings of Conditions Report v3a