Friday, September 27, 2013

Reflections on Another Transportation Open House Meeting

I did not stay for the small group work exercises.  Now that I am attending these events by choice and not part of a consulting position, I can determine a) if I attend and b) how long I stay--just as any other community member can choose.  That's a luxury I appreciate these days.  I certainly applaud the 40 plus hours the citizens' task force has already put into this project with almost as many hours ahead on their "to do" list.  Having worked for five years with the Grant Road Improvement Plan's Task Force, I continue to be impressed by the willingness of some community members to engage, learn and decide what to recommend for Tucson's future.  So mostly, this post reflection is a "shout out" to the important roles Task Force members play--and to the other 200+ folks who also attended last night's working session. 

In spite of "the travails of Tucson" (hmm, is that similar to the "Perils of Pauline"--that old silent film picture which I have only seen in retrospective clips), the pluck of the public to hang in there with policy-making strongly suggests that our local democratic functions are not dead.  But they are becoming increasingly frayed by polarized thinking and the lack, in my opinion, of government/convenors to be willing to budget, thus, design, the necessary quality of public process necessary to "work through and deliberate" on, in this case, nine different alternatives for a contentious corridor plan.  It can't be done well in an hour.

I don't know how this story will end; heck, I don't know how the Grant Road story will end I worked on it from 2006-2012.  But I will continue to find a way to balance public involvement with personal detachment and honor those who can do more while I may do a bit less but with renewed passion for what I choose to do.  That's why, for me, the upcoming community conversations on happiness will probe answers to my question:  are we in Tucson ready to become a happier and more prosperous community?

Stay tuned for reflections on the answers to that question.

And here's the link to the ongoing Broadway Blvd. planning process.

Friday, September 13, 2013

La Cocina Redo

It's important that patrons walk past the orange sidewalk barriers and continue to support La Cocina as they go through a significant "redo".  We had lunch with a friend today, Mark and I splitting their delicious pulled pork w/slaw sandwich and side salad.  Mark took a couple of photos of the work in progress and we had a brief chat with Jo, the owner, who has taken on this effort as part of her continuing commitment to improve the downtown's venue's for good food (many items are gluten-free) and local music.

So while we celebrate the new spots opening along Congress and nearby side streets, we want to continue to shine the light on this "brightspot" which offers a sense of the Old Pueblo's eclectic mix of food, music and artisan galleries.  In a few months, the "redo" will be completed and will draw in folks again, but in the meantime, we need to make that effort to support La Cocina during this transition.

Here are the blueprints for the remodeled weather-friendly area with a new beverage bar being added.

And here is the action, dust not included!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Sonoran Arts Network September Issue

This on line publication is expanding.  There are many interesting reviews (including mine) and a reflective writing by the editor which shows how much passion and commitment it takes to produce this product.  I hope you will appreciate it (as I do) and subscribe if you are not yet getting it via email.