Axios Salt Lake City

Picture of the Salt Lake City skyline

Good morning. It's Friday. 🥳

  • Today's weather: High of 86° with a slight chance of thunderstorms. Look for a sunny weekend, though, with highs in the low 90s.

Situational awareness: Today is National Food Truck Day. Here's a list of local food trucks to support from the Food Truck League.

Today's newsletter is 761 words — a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: Primary races we’re watching

Three U.S. Senate candidates behind podiums and American flags.
Incumbent U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, right, speaks as former state lawmaker Becky Edwards, left, and political staffer Ally Isom, center, looks on during a Republican primary debate Wednesday, June 1, 2022, in Draper, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Utah's primary election is on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The winners of the June 28 election will move on to compete this November.

Of note: Mail-in ballots need to be postmarked by Monday, June 27 or dropped off at a ballot drop box before 8pm on Election Day.

Here are some of the races to watch:

1. U.S. Senate

The incumbent, Mike Lee, will face two Republican challengers, Becky Edwards and Ally Isom.

  • Edwards formerly served as a Republican in the Utah House of Representatives from 2009 to 2018.
  • Isom, a former Kaysville City councilmember, worked as the deputy chief of staff and communications director for former Gov. Gary Herbert.

The intrigue: The winner of the primary will compete in November against Independent candidate Evan McMullin, who is being backed by the Utah Democratic Party.

  • In a historic move, Democratic delegates voted in April to support McMullin over Democrat Kael Weston in hopes to increase the odds of defeating a Republican on the November ballot.
2. House District 4

Incumbent Rep. Kera Birkeland (R-Morgan) faces opponent Raelene Blocker.

  • Blocker's experience includes serving on school community councils, medical boards and volunteering as an emergency medical technician and firefighter, according to her campaign biography.

The intrigue: Birkeland entered the national spotlight after co-sponsoring a controversial bill to ban transgender girls from competing in school sports matching their gender identity.

Full story: Five races to watch in Utah's primary

2. Homelessness: Up in Utah, down in SLC

Illustration of the dotted outline of a house key, but no house key.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Homelessness is rising again in Utah after at least three years of steady decline, state officials announced this week. And it's likely due to skyrocketing housing costs.

Driving the news: The state's yearly report on the issue shows the number of Utahns experiencing homelessness for the first time in 2021 was 14% higher than in 2020.

  • Utahns without housing are also taking longer to find homes, with the number of people who spent more than a year in shelters nearly doubling from 2020 to 2021.

By the numbers: 10,447 Utahns checked into shelters or other temporary housing in 2021, up from 10,164 in 2020.

  • 7,712 experienced homelessness for the first time.

Salt Lake County is where most of Utah's homeless population lives — but the number of people staying in shelters here decreased, while it rose in the rest of the state.

  • Shelters in the county reported fewer people this year partly because people were staying there longer, so they didn’t have the capacity to accept as many people, said Sarah Nielson, spokesperson for the state Department of Workforce Services, which compiled the report.
  • Both Salt Lake County and City received homelessness prevention grants that other communities did not, which likely enabled some residents to remain housed.

Read more.

3. Fry Sauce: Get your tasty headlines here

Illustration of the letters SLC spelled out in mayonnaise and ketchup, which swirls into fry sauce.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

🌊 Flash flooding in Capitol Reef National Park destroyed several vehicles, and stranded tourists were rescued by helicopter. (KUTV)

🤳 U.S. Rep. John Curtis is the latest target of the right-wing media outlet Project Veritas. A member of the outlet surreptitiously recorded a campaign worker saying Curtis doesn’t like abortion trigger laws. (

  • Curtis’ campaign has accused his primary opponent, Chris Herrod, of enlisting Project Veritas, noting Herrod posted the video before it appeared on the group’s social media channels. Herrod denies he was involved.

📉Home prices are starting to drop in Provo, where almost half of the sellers dropped their asking prices in May. (Deseret News)

🚠 The latest gondola proposal in Little Cottonwood Canyon is drawing fire from backcountry enthusiasts and community leaders. (FOX 13)

4.🕵️ Where in Salt Lake?

A rusty dial on a metal panel on an old machine.
Where in Salt Lake was this photo taken? Photo: Erin Alberty/Axios

It's time for another round of "Where in Salt Lake?"

State of play: This photo was taken somewhere in Salt Lake City. Do you recognize the place?

📷 Hit reply to this email to submit your guess. If you're right, you could win some Axios swag!

  • If no one guesses, we'll take a second photo from a different angle and give you another try.

Good luck!

New jobs to check out

🌳 Branch out with our Job Board.

  1. Sr. Product Manager at Vesta.
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Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Post a job.

5. 😋 One sweet thing to go

A cream puff is drizzled with chocolate and sitting on a metal table.

Erin here!

Carol's Pastry Shop is a trip back in time, when you could tuck a retail business into a back alley of a residential neighborhood and thrive for generations.

  • The family photos, the old-timey memorabilia, the clunky screen door — and the cream puffs at this Sugarhouse fixture are great.

Details: For $1.29, you can sink your teeth into a simple sandwich of pastry, whipped cream and raspberry filling with chocolate on top.

  • The eclairs are also great, with pretty little frosting flowers and two different sizes to suit your appetite.

Address: 1991 Lincoln St.

Hours: 8am to 5pm Tuesday–Saturday

You tell us: What's your favorite eatery that feels like a time machine? Reply to this email to send us your suggestions.

👓 Kim is almost done reading the thriller novel "The Paris Apartment."

🐿️ Erin got those mail-order see-through braces, and now she can't stop tapping her teeth together like a chipmunk.