Turning the page on 2012…Here come the teen years

The clock has struck midnight. The ball in Times Square has dropped. New calendars have been pinned to the wall and can all breathe a sigh of relief that we survived yet another doomsday prediction, the holiday rush, shopping returns and even the champagne bubbles of New Year’s Eve.

As we forge ahead with a new beginning, let us reflect on the events that shaped 2012, the year we just bid adieu.

Minnesotans were blessed — or cursed for those who love outdoor winter activities — with a mild winter followed by a hot summer. The weather caused thin ice advisories, a water shortage, and even a nationwide drought. Minnesotans investigated ways to prevent invasive species from damaging precious resources. Wildfires raged in Colorado and Superstorm Sandy hurtled through the Northeast reminding residents of the destruction and danger that can occur living within the grasp of hurricane waters.

The London Summer Olympics shone on the international stage as the world’s best athletes competed for glory. Champlin and Dayton dancers from Northland School of Dance were in the middle of it all, performing throughout the events.

Back home, Champlin Park High School swimmers were inspired by fellow Minnesota competitors Missy Franklin, of Minnetonka and Rachel Bootsma, of Eden Prairie, who made a splash in the Olympic pool.

On the heels of the Olympics, Americans turned their sights on an election. While the presidential election took the spotlight, Minnesota waged a battle on the issues of voter identification and the definition of marriage.

Locally, both Champlin and Dayton’s mayors announced new intentions; one to retire from service, another to seek higher office. The door was open for new leaders. Dayton saw a record number of candidates for two open council seats and Champlin voters faced a three-way race for mayor.

People were interested in taking a stand. Minnesotans made their voices heard nabbing the title for the highest voter turnout in the nation for the 8th year running.

If 2012 came in like a lamb, with its mild temps, it surely went out like a lion. Heartbreak gripped the nation as an elementary school shooting in Connecticut claimed the lives of 26 children and school staff just days before the Christmas holiday.

In its aftermath, the nation’s leaders are wrestling with gun control issues.

Time will tell what is in store for us as the 2000’s hit the teen years. One can only hope the transition goes more smoothly than Lindsey Lohan’s transition to adulthood. Welcome to 2013.