With a struggling economy, it seems people are tightening belts and rethinking budget plans. Lawmakers and city leaders are still trying to hash out exactly how to deal with budget shortfalls, and more Arizonans are trying to weather the storm with a state unemployment rate of nearly 7 percent. The push for fiscal prudence has also made it to Arizona’s independent and private schools, though so far those schools are fairing well.. KJZZ’s Tony Ganzer reports.
It was clear with the commercials for payday loans, video games, and “the only way to tell her you love her”…jewelry of course. It was also clear during midnight mass, with the less-than-cheery gentleman sitting and scowling next to us. The holiday season is also clearly in effect as homeless men and women flood the vacant street corners with sometimes curious, sometimes suspicious signs.
Phoenix is an anomaly because of its climate. A warm summer prevents homeless residents from panhandling during the day…it’s just too hot, and every year people literally die from the 115 degree highs. But during the holiday season homelessness is more evident, though the legitimacy of those in need is not always clear.
Phoenix maintains partnerships with cities around the world as a way to promote cultural and economic ties. The sister cities program includes partnerships with places in Mexico, Canada and Japan. But it’s a relationship with the city of Prague—the capitol of the Czech Republic that is the focus of our next story. KJZZ’s Tony Ganzer traveled to Europe on a fellowship, and found a city rich in culture and history that few Phoenicians know much about, even though there are close Arizona ties.
Today we begin an occasional series about raising kids in Arizona. We’ll look at some of the benefits and troubles associated with raising children in the state. In the coming months we’ll address issues like safety, education, culture, and this morning we look at a health issue. KJZZ’s Tony Ganzer reports that kids in the Valley sometimes have a hard time finding clean air.