Friday, September 15, 2023

Bits and Pieces

$90 million lawsuit against town commences on tragic Naranja Park entrance death
The Town of Oro Valley has been noticed that it is being sued in the tragic death of Olivia Villalobos and injury to her sister Avry on St. Patricks Day.  “The Town received notice of claims for the accident involving the two young girls hit while walking on Naranja Drive near the park. There are three separate claims totaling over $90 million. The claims have been forwarded to our insurance company who should appoint an attorney to represent us. We’ll plan for a brief executive session on October 4 for the topic.” (Source: Wilkins email to council, 9-14-23). Read about this most tragic accident here.

Don’t get fooled by “AI” voice impersonators
Criminals are employing Artificial Intelligence (AI) for voice impersonation, a concerning development. One common scam involves imitating a family member, like a grandchild, who claims to be in distress and urgently needs cash cards. It’s crucial not to be deceived by this. Instead, independently verify the situation with your friends and family before taking any action.  For more information visit the Safe Circle web site.

Oro Valley is home of High School Southern Arizona State Champions
Bet you did not know that “Other than Salpointe Catholic in 2013, three of the last four Southern Arizona State Champions came from Oro Valley. That includes Pusch Ridge Christian Academy, Ironwood Ridge and CDO. CDO and I-Ridge are part of the Amphitheater Unified School District.” This year’s CDO’s football team looks good enough to challenge for another state title. (Source)

Reader suggests Oro Valley annex for “real business” growth
Oro Valley, along with the rest of Southern Arizona, struggles to attract substantial businesses that can generate high-quality employment opportunities for the community. While retail jobs are beneficial, they often come with lower wages. What steps can be taken to address this challenge? This from one of our readers: “The central issue revolves around the high land costs in Oro Valley, particularly with Venture West and Kai owned properties. In contrast, lands in Casa Grande, Eloy, and the outskirts of Chandler are more budget-friendly. To tackle this, Oro Valley should contemplate annexing 500 acres on its western fringe, converting it into a Tech Park conveniently situated around a 10-minute drive from I-10.”

Town grows by 36 acres
The Town Council voted last week to annex 36 acres of land at La Canada and W Moore. The land is zoned for low density residential use. (See panel right)

Town votes to settle Joplin law suit
Some time ago, we reported on an incident at Naranja Park involving 17-year-old football player Elijah Joplin, who suffered a severe eye injury following a collision with a light stanchion positioned near the field's out-of-bounds line during an event sponsored by Victory Fundraising. It's worth noting that the Town of Oro Valley provided the fields and, to the best of our knowledge, delineated the field boundaries. Adding to the complexity of the situation is a $2 million insurance policy that is being distributed among the parties involved. Joplin subsequently filed a lawsuit against the town and others. In July, the council convened an Executive Session, and last week, they voted to approve what we believe to be settlement documents. (Source: LOVE’s outstanding research sleuth)

Tropical Smoothie coming to Oro Valley 
Last week, the Town Council unanimously granted a "conditional use permit" for a Cafe Tropical Smoothie Drive-Thru at the Canada Crossroads Center, situated at the Southwest Corner of La Canada and Lambert Lane. Samith Patel, the proprietor and operator of this establishment, selected this location because of the presence of various existing restaurants within the center, such as Harvest, Cafe Torino, and Subway. During the meeting, the Council deliberated on modifying the specific details of the proposed facility, with a particular emphasis on minimizing the potential for cars to idle in front of patrons dining outside at Harvest or Cafe Torino.

Register for "CommunityAcademy"
"Would you like to learn more about local government and help shape Oro Valley’s future? Then we invite you to register for Oro Valley’s Fall 2023 Community Academy, which will have a special focus on the upcoming Townwide planning efforts. For 26 years, the Town has been hosting this free, informative and award-winning series. Please register by Oct. 1 to reserve your spot." (Source: Town of Oro Valley Press Release) This is the 26th anniversary of the Academy.

Rothschild Contract "ReUpped"
Last week's Town Council's decision to continue employing Jonathan Rothschild and his law firm as external legal counsel raises some eyebrows, given that the firm was initially engaged during the tenure of the previous town manager. It's noteworthy that Rothschild maintains close ties with the Tucson development community.

New conservator over Vistoso Trails Nature Preserve
Archeology Southwest is now responsible for the easement that protects the 202 acres of the Vistoso Trails Nature Preserve. Their job is to insure that the land remains as open desert forever. The Conservation Fund had been the administrator.

First Avenue Construction to cause delays starting September 25
The Town “…will remove and replace the asphalt on First Avenue beginning at the Cañada del Oro River bridge and extending east to Oracle Road starting Sept. 25 through Oct. 3. Traffic will be restricted to one lane in each direction during construction hours, which are from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Speed will be reduced to 25 mph. Drivers are asked to find alternative routes during construction hours to avoid long delays.” (Source: Town of Oro Valley Media Release)

- - -