Some local COVID vaccination sites are changing operating hours because of expected increasing temperatures.
Starting Saturday, the two sites - Rillito Race Track, 4502 N. 1st Avenue, and Curtis Park, 2110 W. Curtis Road - will operate 7 to 11 a.m. and 7 to 10 p.m.
The Tucson area is expected to reach temperatures higher than 105 degrees during the next several days and precautions are being taken to keep clients, workers and volunteers safe, according to a news release from Pima County.
Some area vaccination sites are still offering lottery tickets* as incentives for those who have not yet been vaccinated.
June 12 - 14
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
*Incentives being offered to those getting first doses of vaccine.
The FEMA mobile units are scheduled to continue through June 26, although future locations are being moved to air-conditioned indoor buildings. Check pima.gov/covid19vaccine for updates on the FEMA units and all vaccination sites.
ORGAN PIPE CACTUS NATIONAL MONUMENT – Replanted saguaros stand like sentinels along a wide access road and a towering, 30-foot bollard barrier that’s part of construction ordered by then-President Donald Trump. But farther along the border, the new barrier ends, the road is incomplete, construction materials lay scattered and uprooted plants have long since died.
Locals, security experts and environmentalists say the half-finished project has introduced more problems than it fixed.
Now, the administration of President Joe Biden – which paused wall construction in January – faces a logistical, ethical and political quandary in determining the best way to proceed. Some groups and interests want the wall finished, others want to remove what has already been built.
Kelly Glenn-Kimbro, a fifth-generation rancher from Douglas, and Rijk Morawe of the National Park Service come from vastly different backgrounds and work along the border in different regions of Arizona. But both say the wall – as it stands – is little more than a political prop that has failed to secure the border with Mexico but has damaged landscapes and habitat in southern Arizona.
For them, the solution is to mitigate the damage caused during the building process by finishing access roads, completing flood control infrastructure and repairing as much environmental damage as possible.
“They got the fence built, right?” said Morawe, the chief of natural and cultural resources management at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, which runs 30 miles along the border. “Now they need to finish the project so that they don’t leave issues going forward.”
Glenn-Kimbro, who first caught the national spotlight in the 1980s when firearms manufacturer Ruger asked her to star in advertisements as the Ruger Girl, has been an advocate for border security for 45 years.
But the wall, for which $15 billion was allocated during Trump’s tenure, is a waste of taxpayers’ money, she said, because it doesn’t stop illegal border crossings. Glenn-Kimbro feels this way even though her ranch, which abuts Mexico, benefited financially from the construction.
“Instead of doing it right, they were just going to do it,” she said. “So instead of ending up with something very effective, they end up with something that’s a total disaster.”
In areas where barrier construction has been finished, there have been multiple reports of migrants scaling the wall with homemade ladders.
Making good on a campaign promise, Biden “paused” border wall construction in an executive order on his first day in office. The order demanded top officials in relevant departments, including Defense and Homeland Security, to present a plan by March 26 to redirect funds and repurpose contracts originally drawn up to build the wall.
That deadline passed without a resolution, leaving construction and staging sites along the wall abandoned with building materials baking in the sun, sections of constructed wall flat on the ground and various tasks undone, including the completion of floodgates, road grading, and measures to prevent flooding.
Still haven't gotten your COVID vaccine? TMC hopes its vaccination party will convince you to finally get it done.
Tucson Medical Center and Pima County will host a free Vaccine Fiesta on Saturday for those 12 and older.
The party will offer entertainment, prizes, games and food for those who get their shots from 9 a.m. to noon at the Udall Park Vaccine Clinic, 7200 E. Tanque Verde Road.
Walk-ins are welcome.
A University of Arizona economics professor said taxing carbon emissions would help solve the significant challenges that climate change poses to U.S. and world economies.
Dr. Derek Lemoine, associate professor of economics at the UA Eller College of Management, presented his research at the 2021 Breakfast With the Economists on Thursday.
Climate as a distribution of weather, which we “live through and experience,” matters for the economy, Lemoine said.
Lemoine discussed rising carbon emissions, saying “we are really restoring carbon conditions from way before even pre-humans ever existed, like we're really taking the planet pretty far back.” By 2050, carbon dioxide could reach levels unseen in 50 million years, he said.
Increasing carbon emissions increases global temperatures. In the early 1900s, Tucson months were cooler than the 20th-century average, and by the early 21st century, more months were warmer than the 20th-century average, according to data from the National Weather Service of Tucson.
Lemoine connected increases in temperature to things that affect humans: mortality, corn yields, electricity use, labor supply and even math scores.
Data from India and Italy showed that extreme heat correlated with an increase in mortality. Corn yields also suffered in extreme heat, he said, and the data has been replicated for other crops around the world. Although not clear as to why, he said minutes of labor per day fall as temperatures increase.
“I don't entirely understand what the channel is but it does seem to be true that productivity does fall in both extreme cold and extreme heat, and that has important implications for the economy as productivity growth is one of the main sources of economic growth in the medium and long run,” he said.
Truly understanding the impact of climate change on the economy means tracking how people are affected not in the short term by weather, but in the long run by permanent changes in climate.
“This is the economics of it. People react differently when things are happening over and over and when they expect them to happen over and over, and that's what we call adaptation,” said Lemoine.
He explained how Arizona residents install air-conditioning, thus adapting to expected high temperatures or after experiencing hot temperatures over time.
“Both of these are relevant to climate change, and both make climate differ from like the one-off kind of weather shocks we've been looking at, because people are going to live with hot weather over and over and over and over with climate change, and it's going to be hot over and over and over with climate change,” said Lemoine. “It’ll drive longer run investments than what you might see otherwise.”
Lemoine finds adaptation actually increases long‐run costs in U.S. agriculture when farmers adapt by using scarce resources.
If you get a COVID vaccination this weekend, you could win up to $10,000.
Pima County will give 100 lottery tickets at two vaccination sites from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. - May 29 at Westgate Shopping Center, 1785 W. Ajo Way, and May 31 at Pima Community College Desert Vista Campus, 5901 S. Calle Santa Cruz.
The 200 tickets, donated by The Arizona Lottery, have about a 1 in 4 chance of being winners, with a maximum prize of $10,000 and assorted smaller prizes.
Tickets will be given to the first 100 people age 21 and older getting the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or their first shot of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, which require two doses.
The University of Arizona's COVID-19 vaccination site will change its operating hours beginning Tuesday. The site will close for good on June 25.
UA campus vaccination site to change hours next week, close for good June 25
The new hours will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. After June 6, the site will no longer offer first-dose shots.
Anyone 12 years old and older is eligible for a vaccine. Children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, but no identification is required for either person.
As of Thursday, 442,004 people, about 42%, have received at least one vaccine shot in Pima County. Nearly 378,000 are fully vaccinated.
If you still need to get vaccinated, here are other locations:
WASHINGTON – Arizona and other Western states just lived through the driest year in more than a century, with no drought relief in sight in the near future, experts told a House panel Tuesday.
The period from last April to this March was the driest in the last 126 years for Arizona and other Western states, witnesses said. It caps a two-decade stretch that was the driest in more than 100 years that records have been kept – and one of the driest in the past 1,200 years based on paleohydrology evidence, one official said.
“We have never seen drought at the scale and intensity that we see right now, and it is possible that this may be the baseline for the future,” Elizabeth Klein, a senior counselor to the secretary of Interior, said in her testimony.
More than half of Arizona is currently experiencing “exceptional” drought conditions, the most severe level of drought, according to the National Integrated Drought Information System. The Arizona Department of Water Resources said most of the state got less than 25% of average precipitation for April.
The water shortage can affect everything from the amount of power generated by hydroelectric dams on the Colorado River to the risk of wildfire.
Tiffany Davila, public affairs officer for the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management, said that this year’s drought is much more severe than what Arizona saw at this time last year.
“Vegetation is stricken across the state; there isn’t one area that isn’t impacted by the drought,” Davila said. “It’s pretty much kindling at this point.”
Low water levels are also likely to trigger reductions in water agreements with agencies like the Central Arizona Project and the Salt River Project. But SRP officials said Tuesday that they have long been taking steps to mitigate the immediate impact of those reductions.
Here are this week's vaccination sites in Pima County.
For more information, head to the Pima County COVID-19 information site.
If you know of other sites we've missed, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
No appointment needed
Monday, May 23 - Tuesday, May 25
Monday, May 24
Thursday, May 27
Thursday, May 27 - Saturday, May 29
Saturday, May 29
Sunday, May 30
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Pima County is expanding vaccine opportunities, offering daily walk-in vaccinations at Foothills Mall.
On Sunday, the vaccination site, located in the former Old Navy store, began offering vaccinations for all ages from noon to 8 p.m. every day.
“The large operations made an incredible impact and allowed us to vaccinate hundreds of thousands of people in a matter of just months,” said Dr. Theresa Cullen, director of the Pima County Health Department. “Over the course of the last few months, we have also been tremendously successful in building up and perfecting our mobile and smaller-scale operations as well. It is easier than ever to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Pima County.”
Since the state began vaccinating children ages 12 to 15 after a green light from the FDA on May 13, the county has expanded its locations offering Pfizer.
The county continues to offer vaccinations at several mobile sites every week, along with the FEMA pop-up sites.
Thursday, May 20
Thursday, May 20 - Friday, May 21
Friday, May 21
Saturday, May 22
Sunday, May 23
Sunday, May 23 - Tuesday, May 25
“The number of places to get vaccinated and how easy the process has become is making it more accessible to those looking to join the over 3.1 million people in Arizona who have received at least one dose,” said Cullen. “Our goal is to be ready and nearby when someone makes the decision to get theirs.”
With its shift to smaller sites, some of the larger operations within the county will close, including the CareMore Health location at 4750 S. Landing Way, near Irvington and I-19, on May 21; and the Tucson Convention Center site will close May 28.
As of Wednesday, May 19, the state has administered more than 5.5 million vaccines, with about 37% of the Arizonans fully vaccinated. The state has remained at a substantial level of transmission for several weeks with a rate of about 65 cases per 100,000 for the week of May 2. Pima County remains below 50 cases per 100,000 for a moderate rate of transmission for the past three weeks.
Tucson Repeals Mask Mandate
After the Pima County Board of Supervisors voted to drop its mask mandate last week, the Tucson City Council followed suit and unanimously voted to repeal its mask mandate Tuesday night.