My 2021 Review | Urban Living
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My 2021 Review



Everyone in news media has a Top 10 of 2021, followed by predictions—so I'll be cheeky here and give you my thoughts as well, in no particular order.

1—COVID: It's here forever, that's what we're learning.

2—Housing demand: It will remain at all-time highs for at least the next few years.

3—Inflation: It came racing in and ended the year at its highest point since 1982. And it will keep moving up this next year, which means more people unable to afford their first home or pay rent. Average mortgage rates will probably move close to 4% for a 30-year loan, up almost 1 point from 2021.

4—Camping bans: Salt Lake City's mayor continued to outlaw camping by the unsheltered—despite not quite figuring out how to open overflow shelters when it's only 8 degrees outside—and directing the police to give out tickets for "Camping and Sleeping on Public Grounds." By just trying to stay alive, those suffering rack up fines that they can never pay.

5—The dying Great Salt Lake: Scientists told us in 2021 that this crucial part of our ecosystem has lost about half of its water due to the decades-long, extreme drought. The direct impacts of global warming on our snowfall remain the biggest threat to the Greatest Snow on Earth.

6—The drought: High temperatures and minimal rain brought one of the nation's largest reservoirs, Lake Powell, to half its capacity, with many other lakes and reservoirs in the state at all-time lows.

7—The torture and murder of newlyweds Crystal Turner and Kylen Schulte in Moab this summer: Local and national news focused on the murder of Gabby Petito around the same time, despite her not living in Utah and not being killed here. This lesbian couple deserves the same kind of coverage until their murderer is found. Their family has released horrific details of their deaths by torture and have hired private investigators to help bring justice and closure.

8—The condo collapse in Surfside, Florida in June: Due to structure failure, about half of the 12-story building collapsed with 98 people confirmed dead. The local HOA knew there were problems, but kept pushing off work until they could get more affordable bids. This could happen in Salt Lake as we have many older condo buildings that could collapse in an earthquake.

9—The Utes! (Or, as my granddaughter calls them, "The OOOOOTS"): Utah achieved a historic first by playing in the Rose Bowl. I was lucky enough to score a ticket to the Oregon game, where I almost froze to death and we pounded Oregon into submission. Huzzahs to BYU, who earned a trip to the Independence Bowl, and Utah State, who slammed the Oregon State Beavers in the Jimmy Kimmel Bowl in December. Also, the Utes ski team won the NCAA Championship.

10—That damned supply chain: I can sell you a home, but good luck getting that new refrigerator or washer/dryer that you want anytime soon.