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December 2021

Utah economy

Trump, Biden, vaccine terms, infrastructure bill – one year in politics

2021 has been a fascinating political year. We take a look at some of the things learned over the past 12 months.

For Democrats at the national level, controlling Washington, 2021 has started with high hopes for major legislative achievements. Republicans have been playing defense all year, overshadowed by the former president’s presence Donald trump. What are the lessons of their successes and their failures?

Pignanelli: “The history of politics of the year has been one of partisan, cultural and ideological divisions that defy easy resolution. Neither side has the strength to really impose its will. So, in 2021, governing was just plain difficult. “- Gerald Seib, Wall Street Journal

For political observers, 2021 has confirmed that traditional rules of politics remain important. For example, an understanding of mathematics is essential for success. A three-vote majority in the United States House and a one-vote majority in the United States Senate is not a mandate. Instead, these numbers signal an absolute requirement for collaboration to be successful at anything.

President Joseph biden, when he was a senator, was a past master in the art of concocting coalitions on major legislative initiatives. So, it was no surprise that the bipartisanship of Congress achieved the greatest legislative achievement, the $ 1.2 trillion in infrastructure improvements. But for everything else, the progressives on the left apparently need tutoring on this lesson.

Election activities in 2021 further underscored that voters care about the future, not the past. Democrats who sent messages against Trump and Republicans who kissed the former president have behaved badly. The “things happen so be prepared” rule has been ignored, at a cost. Variants of the coronavirus, the withdrawal from Afghanistan, and price inflation have all raised jurisdictional issues with the Biden administration.

The principle “Democracy is disorderly” was obvious. Americans are struggling to teach about race, mandatory vaccinations, the principles of non-discrimination, and climate change. While seeming confusing and traumatic, all Americans are engaged in conversations about these issues.

The overarching lesson of 2021 is that Americans cannot be taken for granted. They rightly ask for explanations and participation in the process. It is truly heartwarming.

Webb: The biggest political lesson of 2021 is: don’t go too far; don’t assume you have a mandate to take the country in a radical new direction when you don’t. A corollary is this: understand the state of mind of the country, especially the inner-city working class citizens, before you try to force radical change. Don’t try to rule the whole country through the prism of East Coast and West Coast values.

Democrats won the Presidency and the United States House and Senate fairly (despite Trump’s protests). But the margins of victory were tiny. The Senate is 50-50. Republicans won many seats in the House. And Joe Biden barely won the presidency.

But instead of ruling with a bit of humility, from the center, reaching out to the other side, Democrats have turned to a left-wing grand slam home run, defending every ultra-progressive problem and agenda imaginable.

Now Biden suffers from near-historically low approval ratings, the progressive wing of the party is angry and disillusioned, and the stage is set for Republicans to win big midway through 2022. He’s never been realistic. for progressive democrats to try to transform society.

Meanwhile, Republicans have effectively played the loyal opposition all year. But when they have to happen in elections and political initiatives, the wild card that is the Trump card could mess things up.

In Utah, the priorities of a new governor, a stubborn Republican legislature, a vibrant economy, and the dangers of a redistribution combined to produce an intriguing year. What have we learned about our state policy?

Pignanelli: The Utahns are a pragmatic people, and many actions of our state officials reflected this virtue. Controversial social issues have been reviewed, but also confined to prevent them from entering into deliberations on other topics. The critical attention to the issues of water, air quality, climate change and growth was subtle but very real.

Utah thrives with a diverse demographic flavor. We are a global center of innovation for technology, financial services and healthcare. However, the “Utah Way” remains a priority. Another refreshing sign of the times.

Webb: Utah is by no means perfect. We face our share of problems. We have to do a better job with education, for example. But we have good governance in Utah. Our state and local leaders are not ignorant of the problems. They resolve them in a thoughtful and reasonable manner. They look after basic needs and balance budgets. They are in line with the priorities and values ​​of citizens. Now is a good time to be a Utahn.

The COVID-19 pandemic was over everything in 2021. What political impact has the dreaded coronavirus had?

Pignanelli: The response to the pandemic has become a litmus test for many office holders across the political spectrum. This will influence cross-party competitions in 2022.

Webb: It is regrettable that the pandemic has turned into a political issue that divides. Trump has been vilified by his opponents for not controlling the pandemic. But Biden and the Democrats did no better. It’s a tough battle, tougher than we expected. Biden’s struggles with COVID-19 – including not being prepared with millions of test kits needed right now – are contributing to his low approval ratings.

The reality is that neither Biden nor Trump deserves criticism for things beyond their control. But when bad things happen, those responsible are blamed.

Republican LaVarr Webb is a former journalist and semi-retired smallholder farmer and political consultant. E-mail: [email protected]. Frank Pignanelli is a lawyer, lobbyist, and political advisor from Salt Lake who served as Democrat in the Utah Legislature. E-mail: [email protected].

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Salt lake city

Are the Jazz a better team away from Salt Lake City?

Donovan Mitchell and Quin Snyder in Utah’s win over Dallas. (Shafkat Anowar, Deseret News)

Estimated reading time: 3-4 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY – With their 120-105 victory over Portland on Wednesday, the Utah Jazz extended their best-game winning streak on the road to eight games.

The Jazz are proving to be some of the best road teams in the league. They are 12-3 in Salt Lake City and have a better net plus-12.0 on the road. But during their winning streak on the road, the Jazz have also lost four home games so, to be frank, quite disconcerting.

They lost on last-second (or almost last-second) shots to the New Orleans Pelicans and Memphis Grizzlies, then followed a four-game road sweep with back-to-back home losses to below average opponents.

So what gives?

“Well, it’s not that we don’t like playing at home and it’s not our fans, so you can take those two things out,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said.

Note.

To be fair, Utah has been far from awful at Vivint Arena. The Jazz are 13-6 and if you take the two last-second losses away, the road-to-home story probably doesn’t exist.

Utah, after all, has the third-best net score in home games over-9.1; it’s still really very good. The two teams they are watching, however, are the same teams that are also ahead of them in the Western Conference standings: Golden State and Phoenix.

The Suns have been three games better than the Jazz at home; the Warriors were four. Without a few woes at home, the Jazz would be exactly where they were last year – holding the NBA’s best record. For Snyder, this is more of a coincidence than anything else.

“I think the record is sometimes misleading because you can play at home or on the road when your team is playing well, or when you are not playing as well,” Snyder said. “We lost a few tight home games that I thought shouldn’t have been close – we lost them on the last possession – so there are two of them out there where we weren’t really playing well at the basketball, and it shows. “

Rudy Gobert, however, said there might be something to the narrative after all. He admitted that the road games were more like a “mission” that the team could fully focus on together.

“We fly together, we stay together in the same hotel, and then we go to the game,” said Gobert. “Maybe sometimes when we’re at home we’re a little more distracted and we’re not as good.”

Gobert said the team have looked fresher on the road this season – a stark contrast to how things normally go in the league.

That said, Gobert has made it clear that he doesn’t know the real reason for the discrepancy between the home and road records, and the narrative is about to be heavily contested.

The Jazz will get a few tough home games this weekend – the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, then the top-ranked Warriors on Saturday – before heading off for a busy month of travel. In January, Utah will play 11 of its 16 road games. When the calendar came out it looked like a daunting task.

Now, that begs this question: could this actually be a good thing?

“We’re going to find out if we can continue to be as effective,” Snyder said.

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Utah economy

Here’s what state and local officials have to say about the 2022 economic forecast for southern Utah – St George News

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Composite image. Background photo by Marchmeena29 / iStock / Getty Images Plus. Inset left Unsplash public domain photo. Center inset photo by smodj / iStock / Getty Images Plus. Public domain right insert from Pixabay, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – What is the economic forecast for southern Utah in 2022? According to some employment officials and state and local enterprises, this is as good as possible under the circumstances.

Mark Knold, chief economist of the Utah Department of Manpower Services, location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of the Utah Department of Workforce Services, St. George News

Mark Knold, chief economist for Utah’s Department of Workforce Services, said the only thing holding back growth would be a labor shortage.

“You’re going to have above average demand for business and commerce, but you’re probably going to have below average growth because of the 2% unemployment rate,” Knold said.

The shutdown resulting from the pandemic does not appear to have caused lasting damage to Utah’s economy, particularly in Washington and Iron Counties. The unemployment rate in Washington County was 4.7% in October 2020. This figure fell to 2% in October 2021. The story was similar in Iron County, with unemployment falling from 4.1% in October 2020 to 2% in October 2021.

Before the pandemic, Utah was at full employment for at least two years, with a work participation rate of 68.5%, which is the estimated population maximum for Utah. The labor force participation rate is a measure that reflects anyone aged 16 and over who can work, whether they are working or looking for a job. At the height of the pandemic, turnout fell to 67% in Utah.

Knold said the current unemployment rate is a bit misleading because many people who had jobs before the pandemic have decided not to return to work or have stopped looking altogether during the pandemic. Another factor is the decrease in the number of people with a second job.

“We find that in the long run, about 6% of workers in Utah have second jobs,” Knold said. “This fell to 4.5% during the pandemic and has not yet recovered to 6%.”

Typically, about 13,000 Utah residents have second jobs. At present, there are still around 5,000 people who have not taken up a second job.

The bottom line is that the economy is set for strong economic growth in southern Utah, but that growth will be tempered by a shortage in the job market. All of this is great news for workers looking to make a little extra money or quit an unsatisfying job, Knold said.

“People always want to improve the skill set, the quality of the pay scale,” he said. “It’s probably the best environment to do it. “

Harnessing the economy in Iron County

2021 ends in style in Iron County. Danny Stewart, director of development for Cedar City and Iron County, said all economic indicators were up from the previous year.

Danny Stewart, Director of Economic Development for Cedar City and Iron County, date and location unspecified | Photo courtesy of Iron County Economic Development, St. George News

“We’ve been busy in all areas: growth, construction and sales,” said Stewart. “Our biggest challenge is finding the workers to meet the demand. “

Construction in Iron County was already exploding before the pandemic. Despite the shutdown last year, this growth continues.

“At the end of August 2021, we were up 37% from 2020 for issuance of residential building permits,” said Stewart.

Part of the building frenzy can be attributed to new people migrating to Iron County. Additionally, Stewart said many people who grew up in the area choose to stay there, which is a trend reversal.

“We traditionally export most of our educated young people,” said Stewart. “They are high school or college graduates and are moving to find opportunities elsewhere. “

2022 is set to be an economically strong year for Iron County, limited only by an anticipated shortage of people to cover all the jobs created. Stewart says this is great news for those looking for a job.

“There are a lot of opportunities at all levels of employment here,” said Stewart. “It’s definitely a market for job seekers right now. “

Women in business

Women in southern Utah quickly pivoted during the pandemic shutdown. Debbie Drake, director of the southern office of the Women’s Business Center in Utah, said women who own small businesses have really risen to the challenge during the pandemic.

“They stepped up their efforts, worked even harder, thought outside the box and worked together to make things happen,” Drake said.

Home-based businesses like bakeries, online educational programs and social media services have increased during the shutdown. These areas are expected to continue to grow in 2022. Drake said she expects most businesses to use a virtual hybrid model to stay flexible in these uncertain times.

Women’s Business Center South Office Exploring Opportunities Conference, Cedar City, Utah, September 2021 | Photo courtesy of Maddi Melling Photography, St. George News

“The advantage of virtual business is that you can sell to anyone,” she said.

Women who want to start a new business can receive free help and advice from the Southern Utah Women’s Business Center office. Drake said his organization offers resources, advice and free training for start-ups.

“One of the things we offer is a statewide directory of women-owned businesses,” she said. “It will be linked to city and county websites so people can search for women-owned businesses in their area.”

Drake said her office is also embarking on a photo tour of women-owned businesses. A photographer takes photos in each of the 14 counties served by the southern office of the Women’s Business Center in Utah. The photos will be featured in various marketing publications.

Drake predicts a positive year for businesswomen in southern Utah. With interest rates low and demand for goods and services, positive things are on the horizon for women looking to start a new business or increase demand for their existing services.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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Salt lake city government

One of the best emerging markets funds shines a spotlight on Indian stocks

In the world of investing in emerging markets, China often dominates. This is not surprising, given that the nation is the largest economy in the group.

But Ajay Krishnan, senior portfolio manager for the $ 415 million


Wasatch Emerging Markets Selection

(symbol: WAESX), believes that Indian companies offer a better return on capital in the long term.

In China, starting new businesses may be easier because of access to capital, while the Indian government has not provided sufficient capital, says Krishnan. This makes Indian businesses better stewards of money in general. “Chinese companies are striving to be the biggest,” he said. “Indian companies aim to be more profitable and generate returns on capital and cash flow. “

This view is clear from the fund’s allocation to India, at 30%, while its exposure to China only represents 6% of the portfolio. In comparison, the fund’s benchmark,


MSCI Emerging Markets,

has a 13.2% weight for India, and a whopping 33% of the index is in China.

Emerging Market Select’s focus on India helped the fund to significantly outperform its benchmark and its emerging market diversified peers and index, by around 20 percentage points over three years, around 12 percentage points over five years. It ranks in the top 1% of its peers, with an annualized return of 23.1% over the past five years. Although the Gold Medalist Morningstar Fund has no charge, its expense ratio of 1.5% is high compared to its peers.

Krishnan, 53, helped launch Emerging Markets Select in 2012. He was instrumental in expanding the company’s emerging markets portfolio in the mid-2000s, when it began to explore the space. , headed at the time by then-director of international investments, Roger Edgley, now retired. Krishnan is also a senior portfolio manager for the $ 653 million


Wasatch emerging India

(WAINX).

Krishnan has worked at Wasatch since he was hired as a junior analyst in 1994. He remained with the Salt Lake City-based company as its assets grew during the tech boom and flourished in its collaborative culture. This corporate culture and the focus on long-term investing give Wasatch its edge, he says. Scott Thomas and Matt Dreith are the associate portfolio managers of the fund, and they all work with 10 researchers who support the company’s emerging market strategies.

Krishnan says India’s push to digitize is an investment opportunity.

Photograph by Lindsay D’Addato

The team uses a mix of quantitative and bottom-up fundamental research to select companies in any industry or country, looking for what Krishnan calls “high probability targets”: companies with desirable metrics like returns. high capital and low debt.

Wasatch wants to own companies for more than five years, so analysts build their own profit models to understand the value of a long-term opportunity. This allows them to buy advantageous companies without having to worry about short-term price fluctuations. They don’t hedge currencies, but integrate currency risk into the potential return of an investment using macroeconomic analysis, says Krishnan.

Technology and financial services are the # 1 and # 2 sectors of the fund. While managers don’t start with themes, they sometimes intersect, such as providing financial services to underbanked and unbanked populations.

1st operation


Bajaj Finance

(BAF.India) illustrates how Krishnan thinks and acts. In 2015, the fund bought shares of the Indian non-bank consumer credit company, impressed with its handling and the way the company uses data. Bajaj uses technology and analytics to fine-tune its service offerings, adjusting the loan offer according to market conditions. “It’s more of a tech company that just happens to be in the lending business,” he says.

In the fall of 2018, the industry caved in to bad debt, causing the share price to drop 40% from its all-time high. The fund stepped in to increase its positions, as its research showed Bajaj could access capital. The share price has since doubled.

Investors underappreciate India’s digitalization push, Krishnan says. Over the past five years, the Indian government has expanded broadband internet infrastructure and created a digital public payment system so that everyone has a bank account as well as a secure cloud-based digital locker. to store, share and verify documents. Combine this push with a young and digitally savvy population, and India is embarking on a virtuous cycle that could last for years to come.

“So far India hasn’t had a tailwind like this,” he says. “India is building a digital country and I think that’s what will serve it well over the next decade. ”

This shift towards digitization and digital banking should benefit other Indian companies, such as holding company n ° 6


HDFC Bank

(HDFCB.India), a leading private lender providing basic banking services, owned by the fund since 2002.

While on the whole Indian stocks have become more expensive, Krishnan says that many lower quality companies are those with higher valuations, and that there are “many high quality companies that trade at higher valuations. very reasonable valuations “.

Total return
1 year 3 years 5 years
WAESX 22.6% 31.8% 23.1%
MSCI Emerging Markets Index -0.1 11.4 10.5
Top 10 holdings
Company / Teletypewriter % of net assets
Bajaj Finance / BAF. India 7.0%
Larsen & Toubro Infotech / LTI. India 5.9
Sea Ltd / SE 5.6
Silergie / 6415.Taiwan 5.3
Globant / GLOB 5.1
HDFC Bank / HDFCB India 4.8
Power Technology Voltronic / 6409 Taiwan 4.6
MercadoLibre / MELI 4.4
TCS Group Holding / TCS.UK 4.3
Lasertec / 6920.Japan 4.2
TOTAL: 51.2%

Note: Assets as of September 30. Returns until December 27; three- and five-year returns are annualized

Sources: Bloomberg; Global Investors Wasatch

Krishnan also sees e-commerce opportunities in Latin America. The fund held Argentina


Free Mercado

(MELI) since 2014, today n ° 8 of the holding company. He bought it as an e-commerce company, but now believes the company’s payments division, MercadoPago, could be a fintech disruptor. In 2021, the company announced an investment of $ 1.8 billion in its operations in Brazil. This could make MercadoLibre a competitor to Brazilian banks if it goes into electronic credit.

Krishnan acknowledges concerns about the impact on emerging markets if the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, which is widely expected in the first half of 2022. When the Fed raised rates in 2013, it led to a rising US dollar and a sharp decline in many emerging market currencies. decline, including Brazil and India, as these countries had low foreign exchange reserves and high foreign currency debt.

Today is different, says Krishnan. Most of the large emerging countries have current account surpluses and build up foreign exchange reserves, he notes: “From a macro perspective, emerging markets are extremely well positioned.

E-mail: [email protected]


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Salt lakes real estate

Bonnie Lanice Morris | News, Sports, Jobs

Bonnie Lanice Morris was born in Jacksonville, Florida on September 8, 1953.

She had an idyllic childhood at her parents’ 75-acre children’s riding camp, Rocking Horse Stables. She had an immense love for animals and always had a menagerie of rescue animals running around. She moved to Penn Yan, New York, in 1978 and soon after founded Lake Valley Realty, one of the largest real estate agencies in the Finger Lakes.

In 1998, she moved to Lake Placid with her three children – Chris, Sarah and Emma – and was Sales Manager at Whiteface Club & Resort until 2004. Later she had her brokerage shop which enabled her to travel a lot around the world and in almost every state with his dogs, Sami and Tate, and his cats, Booch and Bobbi.

She never stayed in one place for very long and loved to plan trips with her children in the motorhome. Some of his favorite places were Sante Fe, New Mexico; Carpinteria, California; the Oregon coast; and the Salt River in Mesa, Arizona. Bonnie was an avid photographer and was constantly taking stunning photos, especially of wild animals. She was repairing a boat with her daughter Emma (an ongoing project) and they frequently camping, hiking and kayaking together. She was a strong advocate for wild horses in the United States and spoke frequently of their mistreatment and abuse. Whenever possible, she helped save horses, most often former thoroughbreds sent to slaughter by the rodeo and racing industries.

Bonnie had a lasting impact on everyone she met; she was an extraordinarily generous and free-spirited person. She will be sadly missed by all who knew her.

Bonnie was a proud and devoted mother to Christopher Morris Schuck, Sarah Morris Schuck and Emma Johanna Morris Downey. She is also survived by her sister, Linda Mertsock, and her beloved pets.

She was predeceased by her parents, 1st Lt. Landis D. Morris and Bernice H. Olsen, and two brothers, Wyman and Duke Morris.

There will be no calling hours.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Return to Freedom – Wild Horse Conservation, Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary, or Joshua Fund, Inc. Dog Rescue.

MB Clark, Inc. Funeral Home in Lake Placid is in charge of the arrangements.

Please visit www.mbclarkfuneralhome.com.


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Salt lake city

Historian sheds light on who else is buried near Brigham Young

Editor’s Note This story is only available to Salt Lake Tribune subscribers. Thank you for supporting local journalism.

Historians have shed new light on some small mysteries surrounding the Salt Lake City tomb of Mormon pioneer prophet Brigham Young.

Teams from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are renovating the small cemetery in the avenues as part of work that includes the addition of improved lighting and other upgrades to better protect the historic site of ‘a recent increase in vandalism and trespassing.

Radar penetrating the cemetery floor before construction detected “more than 40” burial sites, of which only about a dozen have been marked, a church historical curator told city officials earlier this year. .

Church officials have since declined to elaborate on comments on the graves of Emily Utt, a Utah-based curator of historic sites for the faith, delivered to the city’s city council in July. Historic Monuments Commission in its review of the renovations.

But a retired church historian who has studied relics from Utah’s pioneering past said the results came as no surprise. Nearly 48 graves are documented in burial lists and death records related to the family cemetery at 140 E. First Avenue, said Randy Dixon, including wives, children, grandchildren and a few neighbors from the polygamous leader of Latter-day Saints.

The radar investigation, according to Dixon, was not intended to locate all of the burial plots in the cemetery, but rather to locate those located in the sections where the walkways, trees and the wrought iron fence of the cemetery are being overhauled. .

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Brigham Young Family Cemetery, 140 E. First Avenue, Saturday, November 27, 2021.

The burials at the cemetery, located on land once owned by Young, predate the powerful leader’s death in 1877, said Dixon, who retired from the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City. One-third of an acre site was used long after his burial for extended family members and those associated with larger households who survived him.

“Over the years those markers have deteriorated and gone, but, at this point anyway, they’re not trying to identify all of these other graves,” he said. “They just wanted to make sure it wouldn’t disturb anything in the area where they were working.”

As with Temple Square a block to the west, the border-era cemetery, which is now surrounded by houses and apartments, is being improved, according to church plans released in the ‘city Hall.

As part of replacing its separate stone paths, walls, lights and mature trees, church officials in April asked for approval to increase the height of the decorative wrought iron fence. of 32 inches around the cemetery, also known as the Mormon. Commemorative monument to the pioneers.

Church officials have sought to raise the fence to between 5 and 9.5 feet as an additional safety measure in light of an increase in vandalism over the past two years, including graffiti on Young’s plaque and the theft of several tombstones.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Aerial view of the Brigham Young Family Cemetery, 140 E. First Avenue, Saturday, November 27, 2021.

The Brigham Young Family Cemetery is a designated Historic Landmark in the City’s Historic Avenues district. This gives the Historic Monuments Commission authority over the proposed changes, and commission members refused in July and September to approve the church’s plans to change the fence.

The wrought iron fence mounted on top of a stone wall around the cemetery and a similar enclosure around Young’s grave were both designed and manufactured by William J. Silver, a metalwork operator in Salt Lake City.

Although they expressed sympathy for the security concerns, commission members and city employees concluded that the church’s plans to temporarily weld new wrought iron bars to the bottom of the existing fence, then to attach this taller structure to the stone wall surrounding the cemetery “have no historical basis.

Then, around Thanksgiving, as the church unsuccessfully appealed the commission’s decision, the fence disappeared from the cemetery, in apparent violation of a city order that approved further work on the site.

In documents filed three days before Christmas, officials essentially sought permission retroactively with a request for approval. “We are proposing to remove the perimeter fence to make necessary repairs and improve structural performance,” church officials wrote – after the fence was gone.

“These repairs are easier to do in a store than on-site,” they wrote, noting that the removal would also spare neighbors the noise of sandblasting and painting the fence and “minimize potential damage to other features of the fence. site”.

“Each section of the fence will be labeled and cataloged before being removed to ensure all parts are reinstalled in the original location,” church officials wrote. The same care, they said, would be taken with a smaller fence surrounding Young’s white tomb maker, which was also removed around Thanksgiving.

Offsite work on the perimeter fence was to include lengthening its anchor points in the stone wall, depending on the application, replacing and repairing missing or damaged parts and removing some L-shaped brackets. added to the fence over the years.

And as per the city’s approval of the application on December 22, there are no changes to the height of the existing fence at this time.

In a statement issued on Dec. 7, a church spokesperson said that “the historic wrought-iron fence that surrounds the cemetery has been carefully removed and is being temporarily stored off-site for preservation.”

“It will be restored and relocated as part of the project,” the spokesperson said. Meanwhile, a 6-foot chain-link perimeter fence still surrounded the cemetery on Monday as renovations continued.


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Utah economy

Utah House Majority: Great Salt Lake Recession Could Cost State Billions | Utah

(The Center Square) – Utah’s Great Salt Lake has fallen 20.35 feet since 1986 and a continued decline could have devastating effects on the state’s economy, according to a Social media video posted Monday by the Utah House Majority, a week before a summit that is expected to discuss the impact of the lake’s decline.

The lake’s continued recession could cost 6,500 jobs and up to $ 2 billion a year, according to the video.

Speaker of the House Brad Wilson of R-Kaysville hosts the Grand Lac Salé Summit on January 5. It will include conservationists, industry leaders and state lawmakers “to discuss possible policy solutions to ensure that the Great Salt Lake is preserved for future generations to enjoy”, Wilson said in a Twitter post.

The state’s problems would go beyond environmental concerns if the lake continues to recede, according to the video. Snowfall could decrease by 27 to 45 inches per year, costing the ski industry up to $ 9.6 million per year.

Dust from the lake could release unhealthy levels of arsenic, lithium and zirconium in the area, causing hardship for residents.

The lake’s decline is said to be exacerbated by the increase in the state’s population, which is expected to double by 2065 and will require more water from the lake, according to the video.

The lake issue is also being addressed by federal lawmakers. U.S. Representative Blake Moore, R-Utah, co-sponsors the Law on the ecosystems of saline lakes in the States of the Great Basin. The bill would provide resources for scientists and federal officials to monitor salt lakes and recommend management and conservation programs.

“Utah’s Great Salt Lake is a critically important ecosystem, habitat, and tourism and business engine,” Moore said in a press release earlier this year. “But today, its water levels are at an all-time low, leading to habitat loss, decreased water flows and air quality issues.”

The bill was passed by the House committee on natural resources.

Republican US Senator Mitt Romney introduced a similar bill in the US Senate.

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Salt lakes real estate

Housing Market, Labor Shortages and Supply Chain Problems: Economic Year in Review | Local

TWIN FALLS – It’s been a roller coaster year for the economy of south-central Idaho.

The housing market has been described as a “perfect storm” by realtors, appraisers and builders. Restaurants struggled to find employees. And supply chain shortages have affected all industries.

“All of these challenges, I wish we had a quick fix to solve them all, but they all seem to be related,” said Shawn Barigar, president of the Twin Falls Chamber of Commerce.

Some of those challenges may linger into the New Year and others are showing signs of abating, Barigar said. The chamber expects tourism to pick up in 2022, with international travel becoming an option again.

The board expects more international travelers from Asia to come on sightseeing buses en route to Yellowstone.

On the other hand, the housing market could face the same problems as this year.

“Looks like another wild ride for this coming year,” said Stan Tobiason, owner of Super Realty.

People also read …

In May, house prices in Twin Falls were up 29.4% since 2020. The median price for a single-family home reached $ 320,000.

In September and October, things started to improve for the first time in 14 months, Tobiason said.

“It was so much fun having good news for buyers and telling them up front that they don’t have to try seven to eight times,” he said.

This brief reprieve did not last long.

In November, homes began to sell instantly, inventory began to decline, and sellers began to receive several offers again.

Realtor.com has ranked Salt Lake City and Boise as the top two housing markets positioned for growth in 2022. With Twin Falls in the middle, Tobiason also expects strong growth here.

Supply shortages were another factor plaguing the housing industry. During the summer, wood was a limiting factor and now it’s something else.

“Garage doors have been out of stock for several months,” he said. “There is still a missing component.

The Chamber of Commerce had direct experience with delivery delays in 2021.

In September 2020, they ordered bikes for rent at the visitor center.

“We finally got them in September 2021, so it took 12 months to get bikes available,” Barigar said.

The auto industry has been hit particularly hard by shipping delays and supply chain shortages, he said.

Christian Robinson, general sales manager for Twin Falls Subaru, said new car production volume recently declined by 30%.

“I ordered a car for a customer the other day and it won’t be there until May,” Robinson said.

The world still faces a shortage of semiconductor chips that will most likely continue until 2022, he said. Multiple factors, including the pandemic, have led to a lack of inventory.

The chips used in automobiles are the same as in digital devices, such as televisions and video game systems. As a result of working from home and quarantines, more and more people were buying technology instead of a new vehicle, he said.

Buying used vehicles has helped the dealership maintain a significant supply of options for customers, he said.

“As you drive around town some lots seem to have closed,” Robinson said.

Another challenge facing the auto industry was labor shortages. Some delays in the inventory can be attributed to the lack of staff at the train stations to get the wagons off the trains.

I felt like almost every business in Twin Falls was hiring this year, Barigar said.

“You couldn’t drive on Blue Lakes without seeing help-seeking signs in every store along the way and it continues, exacerbated by housing issues,” he said.

The region has low unemployment and many employers need help

Although south-central Idaho’s unemployment rate has continued to decline, local recruiting agencies have struggled to find workers to fill the positions.

The unemployment rate in Twin Falls County was estimated at 2.1% in November. This is a number seasonally adjusted by the Idaho Department of Labor Statistics.

“Today if I had the people I could fill about 180 positions and that’s just in Magic Valley,” said Brenda Hedrick, branch manager for Ascend Staffing. Timetable-News in September.

Hedrick has worked in staffing for almost three decades and had never seen anything like it before. More employees started applying in the fall, but she feared that would change if COVID cases continued to rise.

To survive, some restaurants have chosen to reduce hours.

The Cove of Twin Falls, Scooter’s Chillin’-N-Grillin ‘and others posted on Facebook in August that long hours were wearing out their staff.

Debra Urrutia, owner of The Cove, said staff shortages were worse than COVID closures in 2020.

Telling customers when they walk in that the wait time is going to be more than an hour is difficult for a company’s reputation, Urrutia told the Timetable-News previously. Its small staff worked until 12 noon to cover missing employees.

Workforce shortage hits restaurants in Twin Falls

In November, for the first time since the start of the pandemic, the unemployment rate in south-central Idaho fell below its pre-pandemic level, according to the Department of Labor Statistics. Idaho.

“There is growing unease over increasing terminations, housing costs and inflationary pressures, all of which threaten to reverse much of this progress,” the Department of Labor Statistics said. from Idaho in a press release. “As we prepare to enter 2022, the pace of Idaho’s labor market recovery gives the impression that much of the damage caused by the pandemic will be recouped.”

Health care and social assistance, retailing and manufacturing experienced the greatest hiring difficulties, the statement said.

Barigar said that despite all the challenges, 2021 has turned out to be a good year. South-central Idaho has seen robust growth and new opportunities.

“Our community has come together in the past and we have a strong regional presence and a good stable economic base, especially in agriculture,” he said. “I think God willing there is snow in the mountains and water in the spring and we are all in good shape for the New Year.”


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Salt lake city government

Robert Gehrke looked at Utah’s future for 2022, here’s what he saw

From redistribution to Mitt Romney and the Real Housewives, Robert Gehrke offers his annual forecast for 2022.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Robert Gehrke.

Like every year around this time, I spent the last weekend lighting incense and sage, reading tea leaves, consulting maps, and shaking a magic eight ball.

I even killed a chicken to try to guess what to expect in Utah in 2022.

OKAY. It was a chicken sandwich, and I ate it. The point is, I am committed to helping each of you prepare for what lies ahead in the coming year.

First, a recap of my predictions for 2021, in which it was predicted that former President Donald Trump would spend the year ranting, expressing grievances and generally slamming (it’s nailed down); the legislature would ignore the Utah Independent Redistricting Commission and Gerrymander Salt Lake County (of course); President Joe Biden would restore Utah’s national monuments and the state would go on (yes); and selfish vaccine deniers would prolong the pandemic (and, boy, have they ever done that!).

I also predicted that Senator Mitt Romney would be key if Congress is to do something (see also: the Infrastructure Bill); the legislature would avoid large-scale tax reform, Rep. Burgess Owens would say something bizarre and embarrassing (a giveaway, really).

There were a few hiccups. I didn’t think Democrats could win both Georgia Senate elections and hope no one wasted too much money on my prediction that the Utah Jazz would advance to the Western Conference Finals (they lost in the semi-finals).

Still, a decent record proving that I am listening more and more to the universe. So as long as the chips in my vaccines don’t cause too much interference, here’s what’s in store for 2022.

From the “Hope I’m Wrong” files, Senator Mike Lee will be re-elected.

I’ve said before that Ally Isom and former Rep. Becky Edwards are good candidates and would be a big improvement over Lee, but Lee is popular with the fundamentalist Republican wing and beating him will be very difficult, especially s ‘they split the dissenting vote. . I don’t see any challenger giving up at this point.

On paper, it’s safe to say that anti-Trump independent challenger Evan McMullin has a shot at beating Lee, but it feels a bit like hitting a hole in a blindfold. He will fight well, but despite clear differences between Lee and McMullin, he will fail to convince Democrats who see it as a trade of Lee for another Republican.

In the aftermath of the redistribution, Republicans will win the US House, but I think Democrats barely manage to keep the Senate – if you consider what they have now, it’s the Senate’s “hold”. The divided Congress means nothing will be done and Biden’s presidency will be mostly inconsequential.

Better Boundaries continue to send emails asking for money for a possible lawsuit challenging the Legislative Redistribution, but my magic ball doesn’t predict that they actually pull the trigger. The legislature will not empty the independent commission, at least not right away. They have nine years to do so and voters have short memories. The Utah Democrats will lose two House seats within the redesigned boundaries.

Right-wing activists pushing a voting initiative with a host of terrible ideas to make voting more difficult – restrict registration, end postal and early voting and revert to hand-marked paper ballots – don’t will not even come close to doing it on the ballot. The Legislative Assembly’s audit of Utah’s voting system will come back perfectly, proving that state elections are up. It won’t matter for the aforementioned crowd of tin foil hats. And, despite positive reviews from voters, ranked voting will not be extended (at Mike Lee’s request).

• Utah will experience another severe drought, which is evident since we have experienced drought for the past 25 years. Lakes and reservoirs will remain low and large fires will burn. But some initial, late action will be taken in water conservation.

• In the face of a host of lost rights for transgender Utahns, critical racial theory and anti-government bills, Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith and the recently formed Silicon Slopes Political Action Committee will be pushed. to take a leading role as the voice of reason and perhaps provide a little cover for Governor Spencer Cox to push back the legislature.

• One of Salt Lake City’s real housewives will file for divorce, but she won’t be the one you expect!

• In the sports world, The University of Utah will shock Ohio State in THE Rose Bowl; this time, the Jazz will really make the final of the Western Conference; Salt Lake City will attempt to host the 2030 Olympic Winter Games; and my Detroit Lions will make the playoffs next season (no, really).

• This one’s more of a wish than a prediction, but we’ll finally put COVID-19 in our rearview mirrors (mostly) and we can stop worrying about what anti-vaxxers or anti-maskers or merchants think. conspiracy. We can return to a semblance of pre-pandemic life, filled with well-deserved peace and prosperity.

Happy 2022!


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Video of a snow squall in Salt Lake City

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – It wasn’t a white Christmas in Utah, but a flurry of snow arrived early Sunday morning for part of the state. The state battled a multitude of weather impacts as a robust cold front approached and swept through northern Utah early Sunday morning. This front has triggered a “snow squall warning” for a few counties. A snow squall is an intense, short-lived gust of heavy snowfall that results in a rapid reduction in visibility and is often accompanied by gusts of wind. Sudden whiteout conditions and slippery or muddy roads can easily lead to many accidents.

Wind gusts were noticeable overnight, particularly in the western part of the state as well as in Tooele and Salt Lake counties, as a wind advisory went into effect at 2 a.m. Winds were sustained between 25 and 35 miles per hour with gusts of up to 55 miles per hour. Some places saw gusts higher than those with a gust of 62 mph recorded at the Evanston, Wyoming airport at squall time. We still expect blustery northwesterly winds throughout the day with the wind advisory being maintained for some areas until 7pm.

As a result of this weather system, colder air begins to set in for us and much cooler temperatures for our region. Most will be sitting in the 1930s and 1940s with mostly cloudy skies. As evening and night approach, we remain calmer but start to see even colder air coming in with our next meteorologist and this storm seems quite cold. Another round of statewide snowfall is possible Monday evening. We have implemented an active model at the end of the year, with a possible risk of snow several days next week.

Get your latest forecast here:

Stay ahead of any winter weather conditions with Utah’s most accurate forecasts live and online. We are There4You!


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