Saturday, March 31, 2007

Pricey new arena may be unwise; more at McKale?

UA's McKale Center east of downtown.

TUCSON -- City staff has unveiled a plan to spend $200 million on an arena complex downtown.

Unless we're going to get an NBA team -- the Tucson Suns? -- I'm not sure this is so smart.

Tucson already has a great arena, McKale Center at UA, close to downtown. The City should try harder to partner more with UA before spending big bucks on a new arena a couple of miles away from McKale.

"They're going to eat up all the TIF money," downtown-area activist Lillian Lopez-Grant said of the city. "And then they'll tell us it's all gone, too bad. We've been screwed so many times you almost accept it."

A new hotel may be wise (not if owned or run by the city), and improving TCC makes sense. But $130 million+ is lot of money to spend for an often empty arena with maybe a minor league hockey team and monster truck shows.

With peak oil and higher travel expenses, the big convention business may be on the downswing. We need downtown for Tucsonans first everyday, not just out of town convention goers a few times a year.

Tucson needs a creative Mayor who lives downtown, no longer Walkup the cheerleader from Starr Pass. Rio Nuevo suffers in part because the Mayor doesn't live downtown.

"Patterson just might be the dark horse Dems need." AZ Daily Star, 3/31/07

Any success with Rio Nuevo/New River should also include ecological restoration and related park-like improvements along the Rio Santa Cruz. At least then a new arena could overlook an attractive reborn river.

This arena plan seems desperate, uncreative, and outdated. Right now Rio Nuevo needs smart widespread progress, maybe not an expensive new city built and owned arena.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Climate Change Roundtable downtown April 6

TUCSON -- US Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva will host a Climate Change Roundtable with a broad coalition of experts from the Southwest region in environmental science, renewable and alternative energy and conservation on April 6th, 10:30am-noon, downtown at Armory Park Del Sol, 467 South 3rd Av.

The roundtable will discuss various issues surrounding climate change including the effects on our immediate environment here in Arizona, as well as the planet at large. The group will review current federal policy and discuss legislation geared toward encouraging renewable and alternative energy and lowering greenhouse gas emissions to help slow down the climate change process.

The roundtable will also discuss the results of the recently released U.N. report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The second phase of this report focuses on specific impacts at the regional level and will be released to press and policy makers at 10:00AM on Friday, April 6.

"Every community should be involved in efforts to mitigate global warming," said Grijalva. "This latest report shows that climate change affects everyone and our world faces a true planetary emergency. This is our opportunity to be a part of the solution, explore renewable energies to help leave a planet worthy of our children."

from Rep. Grijalva news release

Thursday, March 29, 2007

71-07; Dan P. for Mayor (?) website launched

Ruby and my mom, 2004.

TUCSON -- Today is my birthday. Made it to 36. I called my mom and dad and said thanks.

Thanks family for a nice birthday morning.

the Daniel Patterson for Mayor (?) website went up today.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Leadership: Service while cutting taxes and waste

RESPONSE to 4/4 Skinny

TUCSON -- There is no tax that hits most people harder than sales tax. Every time you spend a dollar locally, the tax is approaching 10% (8.1), one of the higher rates in the nation.

This is too high. It adds up to hundreds and thousands of dollars in taxes from each Tucsonan every year, especially costing families and people of lower income.

If I was Tucson Mayor, a sales tax cut plan would be a priority. I'd put together the best team of economists, business, citizen advocates, and all stakeholders to listen and try to hammer out an agreeable course of action, and then try to move for real tax relief for Tucsonans. We could also try to bring the county and other local governments along with a goal of an even metro Tucson sales tax.

Walkup has not been a leader here.

How much sales tax could be cut without compromising important city services I'm not sure yet, but a good goal could be eventually at 6% or less.

More revenue could perhaps be brought in through a one time reasonable fee from new residents moving to the city, higher but fair visitor fees on tourists, increased water hook up and impact fees in outlying areas such as the southlands, cutting trash and boosting recycling, producing and selling clean power from 10,000 solar rooftops by 2011, and increased vehicle registration monies that would go to the city if an agreement could be struck with the state.

The city also needs leadership to eliminate waste.

Growth must be made to truly pay for itself and the extra costs it brings for all. Current Tucsonans shouldn't have to and cannot afford to subsidize growth for the next half a million+ people planned to move in to the city. People want to move here, and they are willing to pay for it.

I often see ball field lights on at parks during the day, and at night when no one is playing. Add up this energy cost waste at each park, each day and night, all year city-wide and it can be significant.

City vehicles such as parking enforcement, parks, and police are often left running all day. Not only is this a big waste of expensive fuel and energy budgets, it also jacks up city temperatures and creates more global warming pollution in our neighborhoods. Shut off the ignition when out of the vehicle and we all save.

There are other ways to cut waste and taxes, these are just some from me. I am eager to listen to all.

We can cut sales taxes and waste and still have a more vibrant and helpful city government.

Will you help me do it?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

DRP desert photo published on AP, MSNBC; Poem

IMAGE: SAND MOUNTAINSand Mountain, Nevada. Daniel R. Patterson

NEW YORK -- I'm proud to say one of my photos of Sand Mountain, Nevada is being used this week in the major media on an environmental story.

I also recently had photos in the Los Angeles Times of the Death Valley region.

As a planner and ecologist, I take and use photos in my work. It's nice to have them being published so others may also see.

Some of you may have seen the personal poem to my wife taken off my blog and ran by the Weekly. Not sure why it was run as it has nothing to do with city politics? But it shows how hard it is to have any personal space and privacy even when just considering politics.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Vision: Rail soon, NW Tucson to SE & GV, Nogales

4/5 Tucson Citizen: Patterson supports biodiesel

TUCSON -- As I talk with people all over our big city about maybe running for Mayor, issues almost everyone mentions are energy and transportation.

We need additional affordable and sustainable alternatives to 'one person, one car' commuting, and getting around in growing million person plus metro Tucson.

Tucson needs a strong Mayor who will motivate the UP Railroad, Pima County, ADoT and all sides to sit down and agree on how to soon start cost-efficient heavy rail passenger service, on the existing lines or within existing railroad rights-of-way.

Walkup hasn't done it.

Some example train stops could be, northwest to southeast -- Red Rock, Marana, Grant Road, Downtown/UA, S. Tucson, DM, Houghton Rd./SE Tucson, Vail and Benson; also north-south trains to and from Downtown/UA to the Southside, Tucson Airport (TIA), Sahuarita, Green Valley, Rio Rico and Nogales.

This metro area system would also connect with the Tucson-Phoenix passenger line.

Bikes could be brought on the trains, like is allowed on the BART system in the SF Bay Area. Buses would provide good service out from the stops. The Downtown depot and Downtown Tucson would surely benefit.

Trains work all over America and the world, and they will work in Tucson to move people better, conserve, and help the economy.

But only if we elect a Tucson Mayor who has the vision and leadership to get it done.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Hearing popular support for a Mayoral campaign

TUCSON -- I've been hearing a lot of support for running for Mayor, I'm happy to report.

I'm talking with key people, and plan to make a decision by mid-April or sooner.

I'll be meeting with political activists and speaking at 6 and 8:45 pm Thursday 3/22 at The Shanty, 401 E. 9th St. Everyone is welcome.

City leader Patterson on influential radio show

TUCSON -- I'll be on the popular John C. Scott show as a possible candidate for Tucson Mayor, today, 3:10-3:30pm.

Listen at 1330 AM or online.

I also had a letter in The Hill yesterday.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Tucson needs change: Patterson for Mayor 07?

Daniel R. Patterson in the Wall Street Journal

UPDATE, 3/29: Dan P. for Mayor (?) website

TUCSON -- I've pulled papers from the city clerk to consider a run for Tucson Mayor.

I'm an independent, pro-community progressive centrist, and fiscally responsible Democrat. I have business experience, and important city experience as a Tucson Planning Commissioner and President of the Santa Rita Park Neighborhood Association.

I'm an Ecologist and Southwest Director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. My family and I live downtown. I helped get Reps. Gabrielle Giffords and Raul Grijalva elected to congress.

With Walkup, city residents are not getting much return on their investments in Rio Nuevo, growth management, water, and other programs. He's is a nice enough guy, but the former Raytheon executive hasn't accomplished enough for our city since taking charge in 2000.

Diverse voices are calling for a new Mayor.

"...Walkup has often been described in his seven years in office as Tucson's best cheerleader. His comments prepared for today's annual State of the City address will keep that description intact. Walkup's prepared remarks, for a speech that in essence is the opening salvo of his 2007 campaign for election to a third term, were long on cheers and platitudes and short on substance..." Tucson Citizen editorial, Jan 26 07.

"We’ve had enough cheerleading. Walkup’s monthly comments to Bill Buckmaster on KUAT-TV 6’s “Arizona Illustrated,” John C. Scott on KJLL 1330-AM and other media reporters don’t match reality. In every interview, the mayor assures us the Rio Nuevo downtown development project and other city efforts are “right on schedule,” and “going as planned,” with good things coming very soon. Many Tucson voters disagree. They’re critical, not just of Rio Nuevo, but also of traffic and transportation issues, growth, the ordeal of doing business with the city, and rising taxes and fees.
...someone should run. Tucson needs a leader and doer..." Inside Tucson Business, Steve Emerine, Mar 19 07.

Tucson needs a positive change at the top, and that could be Daniel Patterson for Mayor.

Mar 15 post updated Mar 19