Welcome to Sustainable Tucson

Food Resilience — Learning to Adapt, Survive & Thrive in the 21st Century

Monday, June 13, 2016
6:00 pmto8:00 pm

Do you think Tucson can become more Food Resilient than we are today? Today, there is:
* Less than 4 days of food in the major grocery stores’ supply chains.¶
* Less than 2 weeks of food in most people’s homes. And¶
* No one is responsible for the fossil fuel based, global supply chain that brings us everything.

Our next General Meeting will start the discussion of what resources Tucson already has to begin to change this, and what we can do to get started. This meeting is a joint presentation of Sustainable Tucson and the Ward 3 Neighbors Alliance.

The FOOD RESILIENCE PROJECT of Feeding Tucson/Sustainable Tucson is determined to change that. Our Vision: Tucson will become a more resilient community as we work together to sustainably grow and eat lots more local food. (Basic strategy is outlined here.)

What will it take and how can we do it? That’s the challenge and the fun.

If you want to be part of the movement that will make Tucson a more sustainable and resilient 21st Century city, you can start by share your ideas on how to support small groups of neighbors to become more food resilient thru this SURVEY.

As always, the Sustainable Tucson General Meeting is at the
Downtown Main Library, Basement meeting room
6:00 to 8:00 (doors open at 5:30)

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Sustainability and Architecture: USGBC ADVANCE and Tucson’s Prospective 2030 District®

Monday, May 9, 2016
5:30 pmto6:00 pm

For our May General Meeting, Sustainable Tucson is very pleased to present “Sustainability and Architecture: USGBC ADVANCE and Tucson’s Prospective 2030 District®.” This program will present the innovative partnership between the 2030 Districts and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)-Arizona Sonoran Branch, with the goal of developing a 2030 District® here in Tucson.

First established in Seattle, 2030 Districts® are unique private/ public partnerships that bring property owners, managers, and developers together with local governments, businesses, and community stakeholders to provide a business model for urban sustainability through collaboration, leveraged financing, and shared resources. Now in 11 other cities across North America, 2030 Districts® are forming to meet the energy, water, and vehicle emissions reduction targets for existing buildings and new construction called for by Architecture 2030 in the 2030 Challenge for Planning.

Here in Tucson, since late January of this year, a growing group of representatives from community environmental organizations, City and County departments, and building professionals have been meeting regularly to explore the development of a 2030 District in Tucson. Initial focus has been on forming a District in the Bonita neighborhood in Menlo Park, but there is also interest in expanding to include downtown Tucson and the U of A. The 2030 Challenge for Planning goals, which need to be adopted to form a District, if successfully met, would result in reducing energy use, water use, and CO2 transportation emissions by 50% District-wide by 2030.

USGBC-Arizona Sonoran Branch members, working together with Architecture 2030 and 2030 Districts® representatives, have formed the Tucson ADVANCE/2030 District Partnership (TADP), in a joint effort to provide free resources and tools such as ENERGY STAR to benchmark, develop, and implement creative strategies, best practices, and verification methods for measuring progress towards the goals of the 2030 Challenge for Planning and the Tucson 2030 District. (See article below for related training event.)

Speakers include:
Peter Dobrovolny: Retired Architect/Planner and 2030 District Advocate. Peter was instrumental in forming the first 2030 District in Seattle and is currently facilitating the exploration of a 2030 District in Tucson
Michael Peel: Community and Government Relations Liaison, Pima Community College. Michael is facilitating the USGBC ADVANCE training that is focused on development of the Tucson ADVANCE Prospective 2030 District.
Ray Clamons: Owner of Xylon Designs Sustainable Architecture & Water Harvesting Landscapes. Ray has produced the concept of the Bonita District – Tucson 2030 District and is currently active in planning for that District.
Joel Loveland: Professor Emeritus University of Washington (UW) School of Architecture and Director, UW Center for Integrated Design; 2030 District Advocate. Joel is currently supporting Peter and Michael in the area of building performance analysis and benchmarking for the emerging 2030 District in Tucson.

Monday, May 9, 2016
Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Lower level Conference room
101 N Stone (lower level parking off Alameda St.)
Program begins at 6:00pm. Doors open at 5:30 for networking.

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ST April General Mtg – Tucson’s Energy-Economy-Climate Revolution

Monday, April 11, 2016
5:30 pmto8:00 pm

Sustainable Tucson’s April General Meeting will provide an up-to-the-minute update on efforts to pave the way for creating a positive energy-economy-climate future for our region.

Tucson-based international economist Skip Laitner will report for the RENEW team on this important three-part community initiative. These include 1) intervening in the Arizona Corporation Commission’s current energy rate cases for southern Arizona; 2) high-level discussions with senior Tucson Electric Power staff; and 3) building community support for a sane and prosperous energy future.

RENEW (Ratepayers Expect New Economic Wisdom) is a collaboration of Tucson-based individuals, groups, and businesses who have begun the hard discussion of positive strategies that might strengthen the region’s economy at the same time we transition to clean, renewable energy sources.

Monday, April 11, 2016
Downtown Library, 101 N Stone
Lower level Conference room.
Program begins at 6:00pm. Doors open at 5:30

 

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Sustainability on the Chopping Block – Tucson City Council Decision April 19th

Tuesday, April 19, 2016
5:30 pmto8:00 pm

XXX

This is an urgent appeal to the Sustainability Community to show up and speak out for sustainability and reject an unnecessary road widening plan which will cost millions and do nothing for sustainable mobility and economic vitality.

XXXXX

We have limited opportunities to help shape decisions about urban form and public infrastructure which effect the way we live and generate climate-changing GHG emissions. This is one of them.

XXX

 

The Tucson Mayor and Council will decide at their April 19th Regular Meeting on how to proceed with the 30% design proposal on the table. We urge you to sign the popular “Vote No” petition below sponsored by the Broadway Coalition and ALSO submit your “negative” comments on the 30% Design here at the City’s website.

XXX

When: Tuesday, April 19th,  5:30 pm

Where:  Tucson City Hall Council Chambers

We Should Develop Historic Broadway NOT wastefully widen the roadway!

 

Say YES to smart development and NO to another bad alignment plan for Broadway. Why would we spend $75 million for no appreciable improvement in traffic?

 

On April 19th, the City of Tucson will vote whether to:

XXX

1) Widen Historic Broadway even though traffic hasn’t increased for 20 years,

2) Demolish 30+ buildings and businesses, and

3) Ignore the community’s overwhelming plea to design a vibrant, history and place-preserving, climate-friendly future where local businesses thrive and more people prefer to safely walk, bike, and use public transit.

XXX

The City’s alignment plan would set a horrible precedent for our economic future!

XXX

We need to stop wasteful public spending on unnecessary widening of roads when we need to:

XXX

1) Revitalize our historic places leading into Downtown Tucson.

2) Repave our unsafe, crumbling Tucson streets and roads.

3) Invest in alternatives to more cars – walking, biking, public transit.

4) Encourage and enable use of renewable energy – electric vehicles, Street Car extensions.

Our Petition Campaign has exceeded the first goal of 1,000 signatures with over 400 comments. Please add your name, comment if you like, and see what other Tucsonan’s are saying:

 

Time for Action is Now!

 

For background on Broadway Widening , references, articles, and research go here:

 

 

Why Are We Spending $74 Million

and

Destroying 30 Buildings in a Central Historic Area

while

Producing No Traffic Improvement?

By Dave Bilgray

 

 

The Broadway Improvement Project is not needed, and will provide no benefit to the residents of Tucson.  The City’s own data shows that widening Broadway will provide only a 6-second improvement in travel time.

 

The City of Tucson wants to bulldoze dozens of buildings, many of them historically significant, to handle nonexistent traffic increases which were projected 30 years ago, but did not materialize.

 

The effort started in the 80s, when City analysts predicted a substantial increase in Broadway traffic by 2005. This began a decades-long push to widen Broadway, despite a consulting firm’s analysis that widening would not improve traffic flow.  The reason is the delays at intersections.  The City got funding for the project in 2006, as part of the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) proposition.

 

But the traffic increase didn’t happen, for two reasons:

 

1. Population growth, which had been primarily to the East, went to the Northwest instead.

2. Aviation Parkway was completed in the 90s, providing an alternative for residents in Southeast Tucson.

 

In 2009, a consultant’s study showed that Broadway traffic was essentially unchanged since the 80s. That should have squelched the project. But the City said it was obligated to do the job, because voters approved it as part of the RTA. (Not true. The RTA proposition said a change in the plan was permitted if there was “no degradation in performance”. That 6-second difference is 1 percent, which would certainly be within the limit.)

 

So the City’s plans continued. The original design was for widening Broadway to 8 lanes, 150 feet wide. That’s half the length of a football field. More than 100 structures would be demolished, mostly locally-owned businesses, including nearly everything on the North side of Broadway, from Euclid to Country Club.

 

There was strong opposition by thousands of citizens and several neighborhood associations.  This resulted in creation of a citizen’s task force, with representatives from business, neighborhood, and disabled communities. Between June 2012 and May 2015, the task force held 37 design meetings, coordinated by City staff and consultants. There were 5 Open Houses, each attended by several hundred people, and five Business and Property Owner Meetings.

 

In late 2014, a compromise was reached between the City, RTA, and task force, calling for 6 lanes, with an estimated 10-12 buildings to be torn down. City agencies and consultants were to work out technical details.

 

We have now received the revised plan. It calls for at least 30 buildings to be demolished — triple the City’s compromise estimate — including 2 blocks of houses in Rincon Heights.  Many other buildings will become inaccessible, and will likely be destroyed, because their driveways and/or parking lots will be wiped out.  There also are changes at intersections which impact nearby neighborhoods, by diverting or blocking traffic flow.

 

Will the Broadway Corridor be a gateway to our revitalized downtown, with locally-owned businesses, and human scale?  Or will it be a wide swath of asphalt, straddled by empty lots and the dream of big box stores?

 

Tucson got a black eye with Rio Nuevo.  Let’s not do it again.  The money can be spent on sidewalks, landscaping, and ADA compliance, which would enhance the area. Please tell your City Council member to reject this wasteful and harmful idea, once and for all.

 

For more info:   www.facebook.com/broadwaycoalition

 

Thanks to Margot Garcia, for providing background and chronological information; Les Pierce, for identifying important items in City and RTA documents; and Bob Cook, for wording suggestions.

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Food Resilience — Learning to Adapt, Survive & Thrive in the 21st Century

posted May 14, 2016
Monday, June 13, 2016
6:00 pmto8:00 pm

Do you think Tucson can become more Food Resilient than we are today? Today, there is:
* Less than 4 days of food in the major grocery stores’ supply chains.¶
* Less than 2 weeks of food in most people’s homes. And¶
* No one is responsible for the fossil fuel based, global supply chain that brings us everything.

Our next General Meeting will start the discussion of what resources Tucson already has to begin to change this, and what we can do to get started. This meeting is a joint presentation of Sustainable Tucson and the Ward 3 Neighbors Alliance.

The FOOD RESILIENCE PROJECT of Feeding Tucson/Sustainable Tucson is determined to change that. Our Vision: Tucson will become a more resilient community as we work together to sustainably grow and eat lots more local food. (Basic strategy is outlined here.)

What will it take and how can we do it? That’s the challenge and the fun.

If you want to be part of the movement that will make Tucson a more sustainable and resilient 21st Century city, you can start by share your ideas on how to support small groups of neighbors to become more food resilient thru this SURVEY.

As always, the Sustainable Tucson General Meeting is at the
Downtown Main Library, Basement meeting room
6:00 to 8:00 (doors open at 5:30)

comment on this post »

 

ST April General Mtg – Tucson’s Energy-Economy-Climate Revolution

posted April 6, 2016
Monday, April 11, 2016
5:30 pmto8:00 pm

Sustainable Tucson’s April General Meeting will provide an up-to-the-minute update on efforts to pave the way for creating a positive energy-economy-climate future for our region.

Tucson-based international economist Skip Laitner will report for the RENEW team on this important three-part community initiative. These include 1) intervening in the Arizona Corporation Commission’s current energy rate cases for southern Arizona; 2) high-level discussions with senior Tucson Electric Power staff; and 3) building community support for a sane and prosperous energy future.

RENEW (Ratepayers Expect New Economic Wisdom) is a collaboration of Tucson-based individuals, groups, and businesses who have begun the hard discussion of positive strategies that might strengthen the region’s economy at the same time we transition to clean, renewable energy sources.

Monday, April 11, 2016
Downtown Library, 101 N Stone
Lower level Conference room.
Program begins at 6:00pm. Doors open at 5:30

 

comment on this post »

 

Sustainability on the Chopping Block – Tucson City Council Decision April 19th

posted March 31, 2016
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
5:30 pmto8:00 pm

XXX

This is an urgent appeal to the Sustainability Community to show up and speak out for sustainability and reject an unnecessary road widening plan which will cost millions and do nothing for sustainable mobility and economic vitality.

XXXXX

We have limited opportunities to help shape decisions about urban form and public infrastructure which effect the way we live and generate climate-changing GHG emissions. This is one of them.

XXX

 

The Tucson Mayor and Council will decide at their April 19th Regular Meeting on how to proceed with the 30% design proposal on the table. We urge you to sign the popular “Vote No” petition below sponsored by the Broadway Coalition and ALSO submit your “negative” comments on the 30% Design here at the City’s website.

XXX

When: Tuesday, April 19th,  5:30 pm

Where:  Tucson City Hall Council Chambers

We Should Develop Historic Broadway NOT wastefully widen the roadway!

 

Say YES to smart development and NO to another bad alignment plan for Broadway. Why would we spend $75 million for no appreciable improvement in traffic?

 

On April 19th, the City of Tucson will vote whether to:

XXX

1) Widen Historic Broadway even though traffic hasn’t increased for 20 years,

2) Demolish 30+ buildings and businesses, and

3) Ignore the community’s overwhelming plea to design a vibrant, history and place-preserving, climate-friendly future where local businesses thrive and more people prefer to safely walk, bike, and use public transit.

XXX

The City’s alignment plan would set a horrible precedent for our economic future!

XXX

We need to stop wasteful public spending on unnecessary widening of roads when we need to:

XXX

1) Revitalize our historic places leading into Downtown Tucson.

2) Repave our unsafe, crumbling Tucson streets and roads.

3) Invest in alternatives to more cars – walking, biking, public transit.

4) Encourage and enable use of renewable energy – electric vehicles, Street Car extensions.

Our Petition Campaign has exceeded the first goal of 1,000 signatures with over 400 comments. Please add your name, comment if you like, and see what other Tucsonan’s are saying:

 

Time for Action is Now!

 

For background on Broadway Widening , references, articles, and research go here:

 

 

Why Are We Spending $74 Million

and

Destroying 30 Buildings in a Central Historic Area

while

Producing No Traffic Improvement?

By Dave Bilgray

 

 

The Broadway Improvement Project is not needed, and will provide no benefit to the residents of Tucson.  The City’s own data shows that widening Broadway will provide only a 6-second improvement in travel time.

 

The City of Tucson wants to bulldoze dozens of buildings, many of them historically significant, to handle nonexistent traffic increases which were projected 30 years ago, but did not materialize.

 

The effort started in the 80s, when City analysts predicted a substantial increase in Broadway traffic by 2005. This began a decades-long push to widen Broadway, despite a consulting firm’s analysis that widening would not improve traffic flow.  The reason is the delays at intersections.  The City got funding for the project in 2006, as part of the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) proposition.

 

But the traffic increase didn’t happen, for two reasons:

 

1. Population growth, which had been primarily to the East, went to the Northwest instead.

2. Aviation Parkway was completed in the 90s, providing an alternative for residents in Southeast Tucson.

 

In 2009, a consultant’s study showed that Broadway traffic was essentially unchanged since the 80s. That should have squelched the project. But the City said it was obligated to do the job, because voters approved it as part of the RTA. (Not true. The RTA proposition said a change in the plan was permitted if there was “no degradation in performance”. That 6-second difference is 1 percent, which would certainly be within the limit.)

 

So the City’s plans continued. The original design was for widening Broadway to 8 lanes, 150 feet wide. That’s half the length of a football field. More than 100 structures would be demolished, mostly locally-owned businesses, including nearly everything on the North side of Broadway, from Euclid to Country Club.

 

There was strong opposition by thousands of citizens and several neighborhood associations.  This resulted in creation of a citizen’s task force, with representatives from business, neighborhood, and disabled communities. Between June 2012 and May 2015, the task force held 37 design meetings, coordinated by City staff and consultants. There were 5 Open Houses, each attended by several hundred people, and five Business and Property Owner Meetings.

 

In late 2014, a compromise was reached between the City, RTA, and task force, calling for 6 lanes, with an estimated 10-12 buildings to be torn down. City agencies and consultants were to work out technical details.

 

We have now received the revised plan. It calls for at least 30 buildings to be demolished — triple the City’s compromise estimate — including 2 blocks of houses in Rincon Heights.  Many other buildings will become inaccessible, and will likely be destroyed, because their driveways and/or parking lots will be wiped out.  There also are changes at intersections which impact nearby neighborhoods, by diverting or blocking traffic flow.

 

Will the Broadway Corridor be a gateway to our revitalized downtown, with locally-owned businesses, and human scale?  Or will it be a wide swath of asphalt, straddled by empty lots and the dream of big box stores?

 

Tucson got a black eye with Rio Nuevo.  Let’s not do it again.  The money can be spent on sidewalks, landscaping, and ADA compliance, which would enhance the area. Please tell your City Council member to reject this wasteful and harmful idea, once and for all.

 

For more info:   www.facebook.com/broadwaycoalition

 

Thanks to Margot Garcia, for providing background and chronological information; Les Pierce, for identifying important items in City and RTA documents; and Bob Cook, for wording suggestions.

comment on this post »

 

Climate Change and Pima County Operations

posted March 2, 2016
Monday, March 14, 2016
5:30 pmto8:00 pm

Climate Change and Pima County Operations:

Mitigation and Adaptation through Energy Efficiency, Water Efficiency, and Renewable Energy

The Sustainable Tucson general meeting for March continues this year’s focus on climate change and local impacts and actions.

In Pima County, residents, businesses, and public services primarily rely on energy generated by natural gas and coal-fired thermoelectric plants and on water supplied by the Colorado River and transported by the Central Arizona Project (CAP).

The production and transmission of energy and water supplies are linked, and the costs of these resources are rising as a result of scarcity issues, growing demands. and regulatory uncertainty around renewables. Furthermore, energy and water supplies are vulnerable to the effects of climate variability, such as prolonged drought, which further influence costs. Electricity and water costs for Pima County are projected to rise 10-30% in the coming years. While existing County policies and tools have thus far kept rising costs at bay, new strategies and infrastructure need to be considered in the context of these increasing and compounded risks.

Speakers will include:

Dr. Julie Robinson, Pima County Sustainability Program Manager

Others to be announced.

Presentations will be followed by audience Q&A.

The event will take place in the downstairs conference room of the Joel Valdez Main Library in downtown Tucson. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for meet & greet begins at 5:30; the program will begin at 6:00.
Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone, Lower Level Meeting Room
(Free lower level parking off Alameda St.)

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Local Climate Change Actions: Policy and Progress

posted January 27, 2016
Monday, February 8, 2016
5:30 pmto8:00 pm

Continuing Sustainable Tucson’s theme of “Climate Change and Actions for Our Sustainable Future”, please join us at the February General Meeting to hear about the progress being made locally on the policy and actions front.

Find out what is happening within Tucson City government, Tucson’s Climate Change committee’s upcoming recommendation to establish a new carbon emission goal of “Net-zero carbon emissions by 2040”, and how it can be reinforced by putting a price on carbon emissions through national legislation promoted by the Citizen’s Climate Lobby.

Speakers will include:

  • Ryan Anderson, Planning, Transportation, and Sustainability Policy Advisor, City of Tucson, Office of the Mayor
  • Ben Champion, D.Phil., Director, Office of Sustainability, University of Arizona, Co-chair City of Tucson Climate Change committee
  • Suzanne Tveit, Arizona coordinator, Citizen’s Climate Lobby

Presentations will be followed by audience Q&A.

The event will take place in the downstairs conference room of the Joel Valdez Main Library in downtown Tucson. Meet & greet begins at 5:30; the program will begin at 6:00. Doors open at 5:30 pm.

Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone, Lower Level Meeting Room,
(Free lower level parking off Alameda St.)

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Special event for November

posted November 1, 2015
Thursday, November 19, 2015
6:30 pmto9:00 pm

Sustainable Tucson is co-sponsoring a special movie at the Loft Theater – “This Changes Everything” by Naomi Klein.

The presentation also features a post-film panel discussion with Luis Alberto Perales of Tierra y Libertad, Bob Cook of Sustainable Tucson, and Diana Liverman of UA Institute of the Environment.

This presentation is part of Science on Screen at The Loft, an initiative of the Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation, with major support from the Alfred P. Sloane Foundation. Movie starts at 7:00pm. Loft Theater, 3233 E. Speedway.

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October Meeting – Film and Panel Discussion

posted October 9, 2015
Monday, October 12, 2015
5:30 pmto8:00 pm

On October 12th, the Sonoran Permaculture Guild and Sustainable Tucson host a special evening to view a new documentary,
INHABIT: A Permaculture Perspective.
Permaculture is a unique design system for human settlement that mimics natural ecosystems. This thought-provoking film shows how Permaculture principles help communities become more sustainable and resilient.

Following the film, a panel composed of local permaculture design professionals will answer your questions and discuss how permaculture principles can be applied to our Sonoran desert. Panelist are:
* DAN DORSEY – lead teacher and designer for Sonoran Permaculture Guild, LLC, teaching Permaculture Design certification and related workshops such as Water Harvesting, Growing Food at Home, Bee Keeping, and Aquaponics.
* JUSTIN BRAMHALL – teacher with the Sonoran Permaculture Guild, specializing in sustainable design and implementation of landscapes using water harvesting and Permaculture design principles.
* SYLVIA LINDEMAN – licensed contractor, and owner of Grow With the Flow Landscaping Company LLC, specializing in design and implementation of low water use Permaculture type landscaping.

The event will take place in the downstairs conference room of the Joel Valdez Library in downtown Tucson. Meet & greet begins at 5:30, the 90 minute film will begin at 5:45. You can view the trailer at: inhabitfilm.com.

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ENVISION TUCSON SUSTAINABLE FESTIVAL

posted October 9, 2015


Join us at this year’s 5th annual Envision Tucson Sustainable Festival, October 18, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the YWCA, 525 Bonita Avenue. The Festival will showcase the many features of sustainable living in Tucson and our desert Southwest.

We’re very excited about the great variety of activities and exhibits at this year’s event. Over 40 exhibitors, demonstrators, and vendors will be sure to provide something for everyone.

A few of the highlights of this event:
** The Festival is the starting point for PAG Solar Partnership’s neighborhood Solar Tour.
**The Tucson Electric Vehicle Association will display a wide variety of electric vehicles
** The Southern Arizona Green Chamber of Commerce will present this year’s Climate Leadership Challenge recognition awards.
** In recognition of National Co-op Month, the ‘Co-op Cluster’ will showcase local co-ops that use this sustainable business model.
** The Festival is the kick-off event for 10West, a weeklong celebration of innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship.

Throughout the day, local and native foods will be featured in food preparation demonstrations. Examples of solar cooking will demonstrate an exciting way to be sustainable. Visionary speakers will be looking at how we can attain the sustainable future we need and want. The Annual Green School Recognition will again honor a local school that promotes ecological education, school gardening, and related activities. This year, that award goes to Davis Bilingual Magnet School. And we’ll dedicate Phase 2 of the Festival-installed vegetable garden at the YWCA.

Admission and parking are free, or come by bike and Living Streets Alliance will provide a Bike Valet service for those who come by bike.

Come to the Festival! Explore what’s going on now in our community, get more involved, learn new skills, and share your own vision of a sustainable community.

For more information: www.envisiontucsonsustainable.org and like us on Facebook at Envision Tucson Sustainable, or contact Paula Schlusberg .

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NO AUGUST MEETING

posted August 7, 2015

Sustainable Tucson is on hiatus for August. General Meetings will start up again in September. Stay tuned for news.

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Your chance to support urban food production in Tucson

posted August 7, 2015

The Planning Commission is holding a Public Hearing on proposed Urban Agriculture zoning rules. The new zoning laws will make legal a lot of things that are currently done but are actually illegal (just overlooked). The Planning Commission set a new hearing date: SEPTEMBER 16, 6 PM, at the Mayor and Council Chambers, 255 W Alameda.

Two years ago, the voters adopted Plan Tucson, the General Plan to guide the City government for the next 10 years. It calls for the City to promote urban agriculture. You can find out more about the new rules in this excellent summary of one of the key issues (small animals) by Merrill Eisenberg.

Get involved:

  • You can attend the meeting, and tell the Mayor and Council what you think.
  • And you can sign a petition to support the new rules
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Want to support rooftop solar and fight climate change? You’re invited!

posted July 6, 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
5:30 pmto8:00 pm

Join Sustainable Tucson, Sierra Club, and Tierra Y Libertad Organization to support solar and fight coal!

Help us plan a media event and rally in front of Tucson Electric Power (TEP) headquarters to tell TEP to stop attacking rooftop solar and to divest from the San Juan coal plant.

What: Planning meeting for future media event and rally in front of TEP’s downtown headquarters
When: Monday, July 13, 5:30-8 pm
Doors open at 5:30 pm. The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.
Where: Joel D. Valdez Main Library, lower level meeting room
101 N. Stone
Parking: free — lower level off Alameda St.
Bike/Transit: Walk two blocks east from the Ronstadt Transit Center, just north of new protected bike path on Stone Ave.

Join us! Free and open to the public! For more information, contact:
dan.millis@sierraclub.org – (520) 620-6401
-or-
hello@sustainabletucson.org

Our goals are:

1) Force TEP to retract the June 1, 2015 ‘grandfathering’ date for new rooftop solar customers (net metering)

-and-

2) Force TEP to divest their stake in the polluting, out-of-state San Juan coal plant.

At this Planning Meeting, we will review the issues, create effective messaging for the rally and for a media campaign leading up to the event, and plan the logistics for the rally.

Background:

This spring, TEP submitted a plan to state regulators that would end net metering, the process that allows rooftop solar customers to receive fair credit for all of the energy their solar panels produce. New solar customers after June 1, 2015 would no longer be able to ‘bank’ the solar energy produced by their panels and use it later. This proposal was unfair and was opposed by many Tucsonans, and TEP withdrew most of their proposal. However, TEP told state regulators that they intend to submit the proposal again in 2016, keeping the June 1, 2015 ‘grandfathering’ date. The result is that between now and the end of 2016, when a decision is scheduled to be made, new solar customers won’t be able to make an informed decision about how much solar to install. Most potential customers will choose to defer on solar. As a result, local solar companies will lose business and Tucson will lose clean energy jobs.

TEP has been attacking rooftop solar while staying invested in a costly, polluting coal plant in New Mexico called the San Juan Generating Station. Operators of this greenhouse gas-producing plant have come up with a plan for partial closure, keeping part of it running. Many investors, utilities, and municipalities walked away from the deal when it was revealed that continued operations at San Juan would cost about $1 billion more than anticipated. TEP, on the other hand, plans to continue to generate about 15% of Tucson’s electricity from the San Juan plant’s dirty coal. Help us promote a better plan!

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Rooftop Solar Update

posted June 18, 2015

The ACC has received well over 400 letters opposing TEP’s proposal to charge an extra fee (read “penalty”) to owners who install new rooftop solar systems, and at the hearing in Tucson on June 10, ACC staff recommended that any consideration of that fee take place in the context of a full rate hearing. The judge will make a recommendation to the Commission, which will then consider how to proceed. See article in the Arizona Daily Star

In the meantime, please continue to send letters or emails to the 5 commissioners opposing the TEP fee proposal and supporting expansion of rooftop solar. Information and guidelines can be found on the Sustainable Tucson website
For even more information, or if you prefer to submit comments on line, you can also go to the Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter website:

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Join Sustainable Tucson and the US Green Building Council-Sonoran Branch

posted June 18, 2015
Thursday, June 18, 2015
4:30 pmto6:30 pm

What does LEED Platinum housing look like? What’s being done to help the growing numbers of grandparents raising their grandkids? Join Sustainable Tucson and the US Green Building Council-Sonoran Branch for a tour of Primavera Foundation’s Las Abuelitas Family Housing. The tour will be led by Savannah McDonald, of Poster Frost Mirto, Inc., the architects of the project.

The event is free but space is limited so pre-registration is required – and spaces for the tour are going fast. Go to the event page to register.

-A mixer with summer heat-quenching Aguas Frescas served by Dish-for-Dosha will follow the tour. -

When: June 18, 2015
4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Where: Las Abuelitas Family Housing
440 E. 26th St., Tucson, AZ

Tour is now full. Please join us for the mixer at Las Abuelitas Community Room.

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News Notes

 

Climate Smart Southwest: Ready or Hot? – National climate change conference in Tucson – Sep 20-21

posted July 23, 2013

[ Friday, September 20, 2013; 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Saturday, September 21, 2013; 7:30 am to 5:30 pm. ] Free lecture Friday evening at the TEP Unisource Building, 88 East Broadway, Tucson AZ

Saturday conference at the Tucson Convention Center (details below)

Tucson will be hosting a climate change conference focused on public health and climate adaptation in September, sponsored by Physicians for Social Responsibility and 35 other local and national organizations. The following guest [...]

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Building Sustainable Cities – New York Times Conference April 25

posted May 8, 2013

See the online video archive of the entire conference at nytenergyfortomorrow.com
ENERGY FOR TOMORROW – BUILDING SUSTAINABLE CITIES
A NEW YORK TIMES CONFERENCE
IN COLLABORATION WITH RICHARD ATTIAS AND ASSOCIATES
APRIL 25, 2013
THE TIMESCENTER, NEW YORK CITY
 
THE CONCEPT
According to U.N. data, the worldwide urban population over the next 40 years will increase by 3.1 billion people. Where will [...]

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Phoenix in the Climate Crosshairs

posted March 17, 2013

Phoenix in the Climate Crosshairs
by William deBuys
 
If cities were stocks, you’d want to short Phoenix.

Of course, it’s an easy city to pick on. The nation’s 13th largest metropolitan area (nudging out Detroit) crams 4.3 million people into a low bowl in a hot desert, where horrific heat waves and windstorms visit it regularly. It snuggles [...]

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Edgar Cahn, TimeBanks USA – How President Obama Can Beat The Odds And Make Good On His Commitments

posted January 23, 2013

How President Obama Can Beat The Odds And Make Good On His Commitments
from Edgar S. Cahn, CEO TimeBanks USA,
Distinguished Professor of Law, UDC David A. Clarke School of Law
In his Inaugural Address, President Obama made some commitments that seem to defy fiscal reality:
  “A little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has [...]

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Eco-Health Relationship Browser – EPA Sustainable and Healthy Communities

posted October 23, 2012

Eco-Health Relationship Browser
EPA Sustainable and Healthy Communities (SHC) Research News Flash
September 25, 2012
The EPA Sustainable and Healthy Communities Research Program is pleased to announce the launch of the Eco-Health Relationship Browser, an easy-to-use new online tool from the SHC program.
The Eco-Health Relationship Browser illustrates the linkages between human health and ecosystem services—benefits supplied by nature. [...]

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Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math – by Bill McKibben in Rolling Stone

posted July 21, 2012

Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math
Three simple numbers that add up to global catastrophe – and that make clear who the real enemy is
by Bill McKibben (350.org)
This story is from the August 2nd, 2012 issue of Rolling Stone.
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/global-warmings-terrifying-new-math-20120719
If the pictures of those towering wildfires in Colorado haven’t convinced you, or the size of your AC bill [...]

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NYT Publishes Private Industry Documents: “Shale Gas Called a Ponzi Scheme”

posted June 27, 2012

Documents: Industry Privately Skeptical of Shale Gas
Over the past six months, The New York Times reviewed thousands of pages of documents related to shale gas, including hundreds of industry e-mails, internal agency documents and reports by analysts. A selection of these documents is included here; names and identifying information have been redacted to protect the [...]

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Overpeck lecture – audio recording online here

posted April 8, 2012

An audio recording of Dr. Jonathan Overpeck’s presentation at DuVal Auditorium in Tucson February 13th 2012 is now available here on the Sustainable Tucson website.
To listen or download, please go to the first comment on ST February Meeting – Climate Change in Tucson and the Southwest – Dr Jonathan Overpeck.

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ST statement of support for Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Tucson

posted January 1, 2012

Sustainable Tucson’s statement of support for the Occupy Wall Street movement and Occupy Tucson
The mission of Sustainable Tucson is to create a community-wide network of people and organizations facilitating and accelerating Tucson’s transition to sustainability through education and collaborative action.
A sustainable community embodies social justice and economic justice as well as environmental justice. Our vision [...]

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6 Burning Questions About the Violent Crackdowns on Occupations Around the Country

posted November 20, 2011

6 Burning Questions About the Violent Crackdowns on Occupations Around the Country
By Lynn Parramore, AlterNet Posted on November 15, 2011 http://www.alternet.org/story/153083 /6_burning_questions_about_the_violent_crackdowns_ on_occupations_around_the_country
Occurring without provocation, the Occupy crackdown gives the appearance of an orchestrated effort to thwart an emerging protest movement. Early morning Tuesday, in New York City, hundreds of police officers, many in riot gear, swept [...]

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Sustainable Tucson comments on proposed Rosemont Mine

posted November 16, 2011

Sustainable Tucson comments on proposed Rosemont Mine
Sustainable Tucson is a non-profit, grass-roots organization that builds regional resilience and sustainability through awareness raising, community engagement and public/private partnerships. We recognize the need to focus on sustainability within the Sonoran bioregion.
The proposal by the Augusta Resources Corporation to develop a copper mine in the Santa Rita mountains [...]

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Saying No to WalMart, A Town Builds its Own Store

posted November 13, 2011

Buying Underwear, Along With the Whole Store
By AMY CORTESE
 
SARANAC LAKE, N.Y.
 
THE residents of Saranac Lake, a picturesque town in the Adirondacks, are a hardy lot — they have to be to withstand winter temperatures that can drop to 30 below zero. But since the local Ames department store went out of business in 2002 — [...]

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Local News & Announcements

Apr 20, 2016
LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS AND YWCA OFFER FREE WORKSHOPS

Apr 18, 2016
“Catching the Sun” New Film Screening

Apr 6, 2016
We Need to Electrify As Much Transportation As We Can – Heinberg

Mar 31, 2016
Historic Broadway widening links and articles

Mar 31, 2016
Intro to Broadway Project – Who, What, When, Why?

Mar 31, 2016
Has HDR Engineers done what they were hired to do?

Mar 31, 2016
City’s April 2016 Plan differs from Previous Recommendations and Adoptions

Mar 31, 2016
10 Impacts of the Proposed Broadway Widening

Mar 31, 2016
Sustainability on the Chopping Block – Tucson City Council Decision April 19th

Mar 26, 2016
Sign online petition for a sustainable Broadway

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Stay Informed

For the latest news on all sustainability subjects, www.resilience.org, is one of the best sources on the internet. Stay informed with news, analysis, and opinion on energy, climate change, resource depletion, geopolitics, water, food, transportation, economic development, health, community resilience, debt and currency crises, buildings, the environment, and sustainability solutions. Resilience.org is a project of the Post Carbon Institute and serves as the primary North American clearinghouse for sustainability communications.

News

Apr 6, 2016
We Need to Electrify As Much Transportation As We Can – Heinberg

Nov 16, 2015
Duality in Climate Science

Oct 9, 2015
ENVISION TUCSON SUSTAINABLE FESTIVAL

Jul 11, 2015
The University of Arizona now offers a new online degree program, B.S. in Sustainable Built Environments

Feb 3, 2015
Response to assertions made about energy’s costs, systems

Jan 28, 2015
An Energy Partnership / Climate Solution for Tucson?

Jan 23, 2015
Economic development: Start with a Tucson metropolitan microgrid

Dec 21, 2014
Climate: The Crisis and the Movement

Dec 21, 2014
What climate change asks of us

Dec 20, 2014
The Oil Price Crash of 2014

Jun 12, 2014
What climate activists should learn from the Monterey Shale downgrade

Jun 12, 2014
The great imaginary California oil boom: Over before it started

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