Check presented to Cooper Center in honor of Olivia Cajero Bedford
President Denise Garland presented a $500 check to Colin Waite, Director of the Cooper Center, in honor of the late Olivia Cajero Bedford at the Spring Membership Meeting. The check will help support the mission of the Cooper Center in bringing an appreciation of the desert to children of all ages living in the Tucson area. Olivia's family, seated in the front row, was present at the meeting. At the meeting Marie Light, hydrologist at Tucson Water, gave a presentation on water harvesting and more.
Special Meeting with Old Tucson: The Gates Pass Area Neighborhood Association Board of Directors met on July 21 at 1:00 p.m. by Zoom with nine Pima County representatives from Transportation, Natural Resources, Parks, Trails, Attraction and Tourism Departments, along with the new General Manager for Old Tucson, Kiki Keefner and John Harper from the American Heritage Railways Company. The meeting agenda & notes follow:
1. Welcome and participant introductions
2. Who is Gates Pass Area Neighborhood Association?
• Established 1987
• Number of members – 253
• Our partners
• A few accomplishments
3. Who are American Heritage Railways & the Old Tucson Team?
• They have managed museums, hotels and theme parks
• They want to focus at Old Tucson on preservation, education and entertainment
• They will be selling "timed tickets" in order to control crowds and create an enjoyable safe experience for all. They will slowly build up attendance numbers to see what works well
• They did an internal traffic study during the period when they competed on the County's RFP contract to manage Old Tucson
• Many of GPANA's concerns were discussed during the RFP competition process
4. Issues of Concern for GPANA
• Auto and motorcycle speeding and accidents (bicycles too)
• Graffiti on roadways and signs
• Illegal shooting on foot or from vehicles
• Pedestrians walking to and from events
• Publicizing alternate routes to Old Tucson
5. Plans for Old Tucson
• Night Fall will be their first event
• They are working to hire staff
• The County had made many amazing improvements to the facility before locating a management group
6. Opportunities to work together to keep the area safe and clean, while making Old Tucson successful
• Kiki agreed to keep a good line of communication open with GPANA
• We will work to share dates and details with each other about events we can work on together like GPANA's Spring and Fall cleanup days
The GPANA Board of Directors has met during the first 3 months of 2021, via Zoom, with local officials: Adelita Grijalva, Supervisor, Vice Chair, District 5; Lt. Steven Carpenter, Pima County Sheriff's Department; Ana Olivares, Director, Pima County Department of Transportation; Commander Jason Monson, Correctional Officers Training Academy. CLICK HERE TO READ THE SUMMARY.
Reckless shooters arrested in our area
Reports of shooting were reported to the Sheriff's Department during the wee hours of May 9, 2022. Our president Denise Garland followed up for more info by contacting her contact at the Sheriff's Office, Jakob Nixon. Here is his response:
I did some looking and saw that we did respond to that area for a shots heard call. We were able to make contact with a vehicle in the area and arrested all five occupants for Reckless Discharge of a Firearm. They were shooting a .22 caliber rifle, ages were 19 to 25 years of age and all admitted to shooting the rifle into the hillside. From the call data it looks like two different homeowners called 911 to report the shots. You can tell the members to call 911 anytime they see something suspicious or out of place. We can’t catch anyone if we don’t know about it and the sooner they report something the greater the chance the suspects are still in the area. The reportees for this call gave a good location, a basic description of possible suspects and that it looked like they were in a vehicle. We were able to get the department airplane enroute to the area within three minutes of the call being reported. The airplane camera observed and recorded the suspects actually shooting the gun and then trying to leave the area when they heard the sirens of the deputies responding.
The important takeaway is that if you hear gunshots, immediately call 911. Like he says, they can't catch anyone if they don't know about it. And the sooner they know about it the better chance they have of catching the suspects.
On August 11, 2021, President Denise Garland and Secretary Donna Snyder met, via Zoom, with Chris Poirer, Deputy Director, Pima County Development Services. The focus of the meeting was to discuss Pima County code enforcement. CLICK HERE FOR THE SUMMARY.