June 24, 2022
Happy Friday! Have a fun and safe weekend, and we'll see ya back here on Monday!
Today's weather: 🌥 A high of 108 with some clouds and a slight chance of a stray shower.
Situational awareness: Arizona Republican Party chair Kelli Ward and her husband, who signed documents wrongfully claiming to be Arizona's rightful presidential electors, received grand jury subpoenas, Politico reports.
Also: Congratulations to Tina Y., who was the first to tell us that the sculpture in yesterday's newsletter is in downtown Peoria!
Today's newsletter is 908 words — a 3.5-minute read.
1 big thing: We're paying more for our favorites
Inflation has come for our carne asada and bruschetta, folks.
What's happening: To find out how inflation is impacting the Valley, we created our own local index pegged to familiar items around town, including Filiberto's burritos and Postino WineCafe's bruschetta boards.
What we found: All but one item we analyzed (a classic dog from Ted's Hot Dogs) has increased in price since last year.
By the numbers: A Five Spot sandwich from Matt's Big Breakfast saw the biggest one-year hike, increasing 24% from $6.99 to $8.69.
- 🌯 A carne asada burrito at Filiberto's increased 18% from $8.18 to $9.68. From 2017-2021, the price increased 21%.
- 🍅 Postino bruschetta boards are up 5% this year, and its famous Board and Bottle deal is now $25 (it was $20 for years).
Context: Phoenix saw an 11% increase in prices between April 2021 and April 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- We had the highest inflation rate among big cities in the U.S.
Meanwhile: Wages grew by only a little more than 6% from March 2021 to March 2022.
🗯 Jessica's thought bubble: Rising prices have made me even more obsessed with finding a bargain (including, but not limited to, the Taco Bell value menu). Please send me your favorite cheap eats or happy hour deals!
What price increases have you seen throughout the Valley? Email us to let us know.
2. 🔑 Historic funding for housing
The state legislature committed an unprecedented $60 million to the Arizona Housing Trust Fund as part of this year's $15.8 billion budget, which passed Thursday.
- The money will be used to develop affordable housing and support other housing and homelessness programs.
- $20 million will go toward rural projects and $4 million total will be distributed to the Navajo and Hopi tribal nations.
Why it matters: Arizona has just 26 affordable and available rental homes per 100 extremely low-income renter households, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
What they're saying: "The most we got was $15 million a year or two ago so, $60 million? Heck, yeah. Let's go," Joan Serviss, executive director of the Arizona Housing Coalition, tells Axios.
Yes, but: The housing trust fund allocation was still short of the $100 million initial request from supporters.
What we're watching: Central Arizona Shelter Services CEO Lisa Glow tells Axios that advocates will ask Gov. Doug Ducey to deposit another $60 million of federal pandemic relief funds into the Housing Trust Fund.
The big picture: This significant investment in housing and homelessness services comes as the Valley sees record home and rental prices and a growing homeless population.
- "This is an acknowledgment in a bipartisan budget that we have got to take action on housing and homelessness," Glow says.
3. 🏀 Mathurin a Pacer. Terry a Bull.
Arizona Wildcats star Bennedict Mathurin is bound for Indianapolis after the Pacers took him with the sixth pick in the NBA draft Thursday.
Between the lines: With his athleticism and jump shot, Mathurin could have a quick impact on the Pacers.
- Mathurin is the highest draft pick — and first lottery pick — to come out of the University of Arizona since the Phoenix Suns took Deandre Ayton with the top pick in 2018.
1 touching thing: Mathurin had a necklace with him at the draft with the word "Domixworld" as a tribute to his older brother, Dominique, who died in 2014 after being hit by a car, the Arizona Daily Star wrote.
- "My brother is everything for me," Mathurin told ESPN after the Pacers drafted him. "He's the reason why I wake up every morning. ... And me wanting to be the best."
1 surprising thing: Wildcats shooting guard Dalen Terry went to the Chicago Bulls with the 18th pick, which was higher than just about any mock draft put him.
4. Chips and salsa: An extra side of news
💰 Candidates for Navajo Nation president discussed their plans to improve the tribe’s economy at a public forum. (Arizona Mirror)
A former Trump campaign official who was subpoenaed by the Department of Justice attended a meeting where 11 Republicans falsely declared themselves as Arizona’s rightful presidential electors in 2020. (AZcentral)
Queen Creek Mayor Gail Barney has died of a lung infection at age 74. (ABC15)
🏗 A $1 billion mixed-used development project in Scottsdale that had been on hold is now moving forward. (Phoenix Business Journal) (subscription required)
New jobs to check out
5. 🚗 Beat the heat with a Prescott road trip
It's time for another Arizona road trip to escape the unrelenting Valley heat. This week, we're guiding you through Prescott, the former territorial capital of Arizona.
The big picture: Prescott, built around a quintessential small-town courthouse square, is known for the Western saloons of Whiskey Row.
- Distance from Phoenix: 99 miles north via Interstate 17 and State Route 69.
- Average June temperature: High of 85, low of 51.
What to do:
- 🌊 Visit Watson Lake in the beautiful Granite Dells for picnicking, kayaking or hiking.
- 🏡 Tour the Sharlot Hall Museum, home to six historic buildings, including the former governor's mansion and the oldest log cabin in Arizona.
What to eat and drink:
- 🍝 Papa's Italian Restaurant boasts a huge menu of classic recipes and a rosé sauce to die for.
- 🐄 Farm Provisions rotates its menu seasonally to make use of the best local products on the market.
🙋🏻♀️ Jessica's thought bubble: I'm getting married in Prescott next April. What other spots should I recommend to guests?
You tell us: What other Arizona places should we feature in our summer road trip series?
📺 Jeremy will be a guest on The Journalist's Roundtable on PBS' "Arizona Horizon" at 5 and 10 pm today, so make sure to tune in.
🏡 Jessica is attending a "Full House"-themed birthday party for ABC 15 traffic anchor Megan Thompson.
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