Winner: This week came more evidence the Salt Lake metro area is recovering from the economic doldrums. The foreclosure rate fell by 22 percent during the first three months of 2012 when compared to the same time period in 2011, according to RealtyTrac. The drop was the fourth largest in the nation, right behind Portland, Ore., Las Vegas and Providence, R.I. The figures may signal that the local housing market has shed much of its troubled properties, which ought to mean an end to declining values, as well.
Loser: What's the buzz around town? We hope it's not a fierce mosquito season. Unusually warm weather has led to the type of mosquito breeding normally not seen in these parts until Mid-may, experts say. Abatement crews were busy this week spraying areas of standing water, trying to get a handle on the situation before it takes flight, so to speak. The good news, experts say, is that mosquitoes this early in the season aren't likely to be carrying any diseases. That doesn't happen until June, when the risk for West Nile Virus begins to take hold. Last year's incidence of the disease was low, but experts have no way to predict from year to year what each new season will bring. Get your DEET and your hand-operated swat team ready.
Winner: Norwegians have had to endure disturbing and heartbreaking testimony this week from mass-murderer Anders Behring Breivik, who has admitted to killing 77 people, most of them teenagers, during a rampage last year. The way the nation responded, however, has been inspiring. Breivik, an avowed hater of immigrants to Norway, has identified the children's song, "Children of the Rainbow" as a tool for brainwashing the nation's youth. In response, thousands of Norwegians have taken to the streets to sing the song in unison, including about 40,000 during a rainstorm in Oslo on Thursday. It was a marvelous example of battling evil with good.
Winner: William Lawlis Pace of California died this week at age 103. In doing so, however, he set the mark for the longest anyone has lived with a bullet in his head. Pace's brother accidentally shot him with their Dad's .22-caliber rifle in 1917. Doctors decided to leave it rather than risk brain damage by removing it. While it gave him a bit of facial nerve damage and limited his sight in one eye and hearing in one ear, the bullet did not keep him from leading a full life. He married, had children, traveled the world and was noted for his sense of humor and kindness, according to his obituary. It seems bad things that happen do not have to define our lives.