Midtown Celebrates Seventh Annual Urban Living Tour Nov. 2

The seventh Annual Midtown Urban Living Tour is coming to town Nov. 2 to showcase some of the city’s longest-standing residences. The self-guided tour will provide participants with exclusive access to explore unique buildings across Midtown Phoenix. Included in the list of stops are the award-winning Artisan Lofts on Central, the historic Villa Del Coronado, Tapestry, 1 Lexington, Beadle View and Chateau de Ville, built-in classic New Orleans style.

By offering a glimpse into Central Phoenix’s most unique high-rise condominiums and more, The Midtown Neighborhood Association hopes that more residents and tourists will view the district as a prime place to live alongside incredible cultural centers and businesses.

“The Midtown Urban Living Tour allows thousands of attendees to see what urban living in Phoenix truly is about.” said Susan Thompson, president of Midtown Neighborhood Association. “One of the few dense areas in Phoenix that is surrounded by historic neighborhoods, impeccable restaurants and outstanding community, we are so excited to show off what makes this neighborhood truly special.”

Free trolleys will run from 11am to 5pm to give tour-goers easy access to each of the buildings. All day tickets are $20/ day. Tickets are available online at bit.ly/mult2019tix.

Each building is within walking distance of a light rail station. The Midtown Neighborhood Association also encourages participants to use Grid Bike Share and ride-share apps like Lyft and Uber.

SUSD’s Nutrition Services Eliminates Reduced Lunch Fee — 800 Students Could Benefit

For many years, the Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) has charged $0.40 per lunch to students who qualify under federal guidelines for a reduced-price meal. Beginning with the 2019–20 school year that starts Aug. 5, SUSD will waive that $0.40 fee for participating students, offering them lunch at no charge. SUSD already waives reduced-price breakfast fees.

In the 2018–19 school year, nearly 800 SUSD students qualified for reduced-price meals.

SUSD Nutrition Services Director Patti Bilbrey says SUSD is pleased to be able to assist families that depend on school meals through the federal Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act in a new way.

“We saw a growing need in the community of families that used to qualify for free meals just missing the cutoff and moving into the reduced-meal category,” says Bilbrey. “We never want to see a student go without a meal, so we worked out a plan to be able to waive lunch fees to help these families in need.”

Bilbrey says that the combination of the Jan. 2019 increase in Arizona’s minimum wage to $11 an hour and no change in federal poverty guidelines has resulted in some families now having too much income to qualify their students for meals for the upcoming school year. More than 5,000 SUSD students qualified for the free meal program last school year.

“Because we run Nutrition Services like a business, keeping a strict eye on our costs and ensuring that we are not wasting food by making too much, we have the fiscal strength to be able to waive these fees,” Bilbrey says. “It’s the right thing to do for our families.”

Families must apply and meet federal income guidelines every school year in order for their students to receive free or reduced-price school meals. Their previous year’s status is good for 30 days into the new school year, but they must re-apply within that time in order to continue. Applications for the 2019–20 school year can be completed online at susd.org/meals or by downloading a paper application at that same link and turning it in at the student’s school.

SUSD’s Nutrition Services offers meals on each of the district’s 29 school campuses throughout the school year and during summer programming. On average, it serves 11,000 meals per school day and more than 2 million meals throughout the school year.

For additional information about the Scottsdale Unified School District, visit susd.org.

Photo by USDAgov on Foter.com / CC BY

City of Phoenix Special Election Slated For Aug. 27 — Voter Registration Deadline is July 29

The City of Phoenix will conduct a Special Election Tuesday, Aug. 27, in whi​​​ch registered voters will decide on two ballot measures that propose to amend City Charter provisions pertaining to Pensions and Light Rail. Early voting will begin July 31.

The first measure, Proposition 105, is a proposed Charter Amendment submitted by Initiative I-4-18 pertaining to Light Rail.

The second measure, Proposition 106, is a proposed Charter Amendment submitted by Initiative I-1-18 pertaining to City of Phoenix Pensions.

​​​​Voters in City of Phoenix elections are not required to vote at a specified polling place in the voter’s precinct. Voters can use any of the voting centers to cast a ballot. The voting centers will be open for voting for three days. This method of voting is only available for City of Phoenix elections. For faster service, voters are encouraged to bring their driver license, state-issued identification card or voter identification card.

The voting centers for this election will be open for three days:

  • Saturday, Aug. 24, from 10am to 4pm
  • Monday, Aug. 26, from 9am to 6pm​
  • Tuesday, Aug. 27 (Election Day) from 6am to 7pm

A Publicity Pamphlet with additional information on both measures is available online, as is additional information about City of Phoenix elections.

Those who are not already registered to vote, July 29 is the last day to register in order to participate in the Aug. 27 Special Election. To register to vote in this and future elections, visit https://servicearizona.com and click on the “Voter Registration” link.

July 4 Restrictions Set for Phoenix Trailheads

In an effort to reduce fire danger, the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department will restrict vehicle access to trailheads located in the city’s desert parks and mountain preserves on July 4 starting at 3pm. The annual fire ban for those areas that started on May 1 remains in effect.

City of Phoenix Park Rangers will close entrance gates at 3pm to Camelback Mountain, Deem Hills Recreation Area, Papago Park, Phoenix Mountains Park and Recreation Area, Phoenix Mountains Preserve, Phoenix Sonoran Preserve, North Mountain Park, Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area and South Mountain Park/Preserve. Additionally, the upper lookouts in South Mountain Park/Preserve will be emptied and closed at 1pm.

The following list of regulations will apply July 4 in those areas:

  • No fireworks
  • No open fires (part of annual fire ban that went into effect on May 1)
  • No charcoal fires, even in established picnic areas (gas grills are permitted)
  • No smoking outside of a vehicle (part of annual fire ban)
  • No alcoholic beverages
  • No glass beverage containers

Parks and Recreation Department staff encourage residents to celebrate Independence Day by attending one of the city’s official events. Information about those free, family-oriented events is available at phoenix.gov/fabphx4.

Phoenix Park Rangers remind those who visit the city’s desert parks and mountain preserves during warm weather months to use extra caution. Heat-related illnesses are common from May to October, and generally occur because the victim has been overexposed to heat or overexerted their body. The Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department and Fire Department ask that trail users follow important “Take a Hike. Do it Right.”” safety guidelines and advise against hiking during triple-digit heat.

Park rangers also remind trail users that dogs are prohibited on all City of Phoenix trails when the temperature is 100 degrees or warmer.

Additional information is available at phoenix.gov/summer.

Phoenix Mayor Announces Public Safety Policy Meeting

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego has scheduled a July 2 policy meeting to discuss the issue of public safety.  This meeting comes just two weeks after the Community Listening Session at which Mayor Gallego assured residents that the city would come back with ideas within 30 days to address community concerns.

At last week’s Phoenix City Council Meeting, discussion included having an ad-hoc committee to review past recommendations and to have the council look into a civilian review board.

Mayor Gallego plans to address these items at the July 2 policy meeting.  The council will also hear from Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams.  The chief will give an update on her action plan in response to the mayor’s commitment to present ideas to the community within 30 days. She will ask council to approve two items.

The two items up for action are:

  • Request to issue procurement for early intervention system
  • Request to issue procurement for public opinion research firms

Discussion items:

  • Staff will present civilian review board options and council will provide direction on further policy development and research

The July 2 policy meeting will be held at the regular time, 2:30pm, at the City Council Chambers.  The agenda will be posted by Thursday, June 27.

For additional information, visit www.phoenix.gov.

Photo by Got Credit on Foter.com / CC BY

Public Safety Exercise in Downtown Phoenix

During the month of June, the Phoenix Police, Fire and Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management departments will be conducting public safety training exercises in the downtown Phoenix area near the Phoenix Convention Center. This first exercise will occur in the early morning Sunday, June 2.

Residents in and around downtown Phoenix may see emergency vehicles and equipment from multiple public safety jurisdictions as preparations begin for the 2019 National Homeland Security Conference coming to the Phoenix Convention Center.

The purpose of this public safety exercise is to enhance first responders’ preparedness.

Any questions concerning the exercise from the public can be directed to 602.376.3981.

Phoenix to Elect New Mayor, Council Members March 12 — Early Voting is Open

Early voting for the March 12 City of Phoenix Special Election began Feb. 13, and mail-in ballots for the election were mailed out that same day. The election is being conducted by the Phoenix City Clerk’s Office. City of Phoenix voters will vote in a runoff election to fill a vacancy for Mayor for a term that expires April 19, 2021. Also, residents in District 5 will vote to fill its vacated Council seat for a term that expires April 19, 2021, while residents in District 8 will vote to fill its vacated Council seat for a term that expires April 17, 2023.

Mail-in ballots will be sent to voters on the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL) and those who requested an early mail-in ballot. Voters who are not already scheduled to receive a ballot by mail can request an early ballot by mail by submitting a signed, written request to the City Clerk Department. Request forms are available at phoenix.gov/elections, at City public service counters and libraries, or by calling the City Clerk Department at 602.261.8683 or by using the 7-1-1 Relay System. Early Ballot requests must be received by the City Clerk Department no later than 5pm Friday, March 1. Voters can also check the status of their early ballot at phoenix.gov/elections.

Voted early ballots may be returned by mail or may be delivered to Phoenix City Hall, which is also an early voting site, or to any voting center location March 9, 11 or 12 (Election Day). To be counted, voted early ballots must be received by an election official no later than 7pm on Election Day.

In-person early voting, which began Feb.13, will be available weekdays through Friday, March 8, during normal business hours on the 15th Floor of Phoenix City Hall, 200 West Washington Street, Phoenix. (City offices will be closed Monday, Feb. 18, for the President’s Day holiday.) If an early mail-in ballot was damaged or spoiled, it may be exchanged at the early voting site or request to replace the early ballot by calling 602.261.8683. Accessible voting devices that permit voters with disabilities to vote independently will be available at this site.

Voting centers will be used for this election. For voting convenience, the voting centers will be open Saturday, March 9; and continue Monday, March 11, and Tuesday, March 12 (Election Day). Voting centers will be open March 9, 10am–4pm; March 11, 9am–6pm; and March 12, 6am–7pm

A list and map of the voting centers are available at phoenix.gov/elections and in the Sample Ballot Pamphlet mailed to each resident’s address where there is a registered voter unless all voters in the household have requested to obtain the Pamphlet electronically.

For more information about the upcoming election, contact the Phoenix City Clerk Department at 602.261.8683, visit phoenix.gov/elections, or use the 7-1-1 Relay System. Follow on Twitter @PHXElections.

PVSchools Governing Board To Host Bagels with the Board Feb. 6

As part of an ongoing effort to foster collegiality and promote transparency, the PVSchools Governing Board announced its Bagels with the Board events. These events occur quarterly and are held at various schools throughout the district.

The next Bagels with the Board for the 2018-19 school year will be held Wednesday, Feb. 6, from 10-11am at Larkspur Elementary School. (Directions to Larkspur Elementary.)

All members of the community are invited to attend this event to have an opportunity to talk with Governing Board members. Bagels and coffee will be provided. Learn more about PVSchools at www.pvschools.net.

Arizona VFWs Partner with Local Organizations to ‘March Out Hunger’

Food insecurity is defined as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life. In the United States, food insecurity affects one in eight people, and one in five households served by a local food bank has at least one member who has served in the U.S. military. This is according to Feeding America, the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States.

Humana, a health and well-being company and a national affiliate partner of the VFW, is bringing the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. (VFW) and St. Mary’s Food Bank (one of Feeding America’s network of food banks) together to impact food insecurity locally. Last year, Humana partnered with Feeding America to stage a series of events that drove food donations and raised awareness of food insecurity with a focus on helping veterans.

To address food insecurity among veterans locally, Human, Arizona VFWs and St. Mary’s have partnered to host a food and fund drive, which runs through Feb. 28. The campaign kicked off Saturday, Jan. 19, with a Rucksack March at the Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon. In the military, soldiers carry a heavily-loaded rucksack, similar to a backpack, over a long distance. To bring awareness to food insecurity among military and veterans’ community, participants brought packs filled with food donations and marched the 5K route, delivering the food to St. Mary’s Food Bank at the finish line.

As part of the “March Out Hunger” campaign, non-perishable food will be collected at 19 VFW Posts in Maricopa County, the Humana neighborhood center and 11 Iora Primary Care locations. In the Northeast Valley, community members may drop off donations at:

  • VFW Post 3513, 7220 E. Wilshire Drive, Scottsdale
  • VFW Post 7507, 9624 N. Monterey Drive, Fountain Hills
  • VFW Post 9400, 804 E. Purdue Ave. (7th Street and Cave Creek Road), Phoenix
  • Iora Primary Care – Greenway, 3202 E. Greenway Road, Phoenix

In addition to food donations, members of the community can provide monetary donations to this food drive at http://smfba.convio.net/marchouthunger2019. Learn more about the participating organizations at www.humana.com; www.vfw.org; and www.firstfoodbank.org.

Save the Date: And the Beat Goes On — Annual fundraiser for Children’s Museum

The Children’s Museum of Phoenix, in conjunction with the 2019 Children’s Museum Gala co-chairs, Cathy Brown and Rebecca Light, announced the details of its biggest fundraiser of the year: And the Beat Goes On. Set for Saturday, March 9, this special event takes place at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix.

The evening begins at 6pm with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction inside the Museum. The event continues outside with a live auction, and dinner under the stars. Entertainment will include interactive music from Frank Thompson from AZ Rhythm Connection. Following dinner, guests are invited to an after-party, featuring a dessert reception and music to dance the night away in the Museum’s trendy event space, The Monroe. The evening will be emceed by auctioneer Bobby D. Ehlert of Call To Auction.

One hundred CDs will be available for sale at the event for $150 each. The guest with the winning CD will have the opportunity to claim one of the live auction items before they go up for bid.

Proceeds from this event directly benefit the Museum’s Every Child Program, which provides free or reduced rate Museum access to families battling financial, emotional or circumstantial challenges. Over 50,000 people visit the Museum annually through the Every Child Program.

Tickets to the fundraising event are $275 per person and are available by calling Tenneille Choi at 602.648.2761 or online at www.tinyurl.com/cmopgala.

The Children’s Museum of Phoenix is located at 215 North 7th Street. For more information visit www.childrensmuseumofphoenix.org.

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