It’s customary this time of year for news outlets to take a step back and peer into its archives to reflect on some of the more memorable stories of the past year.
Though we’re doing the same this week with a look back at some of our favorite snapshots in our revamped sports coverage, we thought it equally important to consider the year ahead.
At the onset, 2012 has the look of a busy year.
In local politics, Newport will soon have a new city manager and candidates will soon be declaring their intentions to run for a slew of offices from council and school committee, to general assembly.
On the federal level, the race for CD-1 is shaping up to be one to watch with former state Rep. John Loughlin and Brendan Doherty duking it out on the Republican side to unseat incumbent Rep. David N. Cicilline following what has been a rocky first term. Meanwhile, in the senate, it will be a choice between two Newporters, with Republican Barry Hinckley hoping his campaign of limited government strikes a chord with voters in his challenge against Democrat Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse.
Retailers are already looking to the summer, and the promise held by a trio of events: the start of the Newport-Bermuda Race, the debut of the America’s Cup World Series Regatta, and the return of the Tall Ships.
2012 will also be the year when the ground is broken on two major public construction projects: the $30 million Claiborne d. Pell Elementary School, and an $80-million upgrade to the city’s antiquated water treatment plants. Lower Thames Street is also expected to get a facelift by way of a pilot project being coordinated through the city that calls for various streetscape improvements to a small section of the rutted out roadway. Speaking of roads, with the Washington Square project finally complete, expect city leaders to look toward improving Broadway as the next area eyed for rehabilitation.
By this time next year, the city should also be well into developing a course of action for redeveloping the city’s remaining elementary schools, which will be shuttered upon completion of the new Pell School on Dexter Street.
If all goes well, Newport will have a new public boating center in the heart of the Yachting Village just in time for the boating season. An issue that we’ve followed closely, the redevelopment of the Lower Thames Street Armory, should – as it has for the last several years – be a familiar theme within these pages.
So too, should the city’s effort to redevelop the North End, specifically related to the potential acquisition of the former Naval Hospital and the reconfiguration of the Pell Bridge exit ramps.
As we’ve learned only recently, we can also expect to hear more debate about the future of Newport Grand and the push to convert the former jai alai fronton into a full-scale casino.
Then of course, there’s Queen Anne Square, which dominated headlines of late. We expect to be following closely the project as it moves from concept to reality.
Homeowners in Newport will also have a better idea of what their properties are worth as a full revaluation wraps up, while we once again expect to be following up on efforts to help those without homes.
The next year could also be transformative for grassroots organizations such as BikeNewport, which has been making headlines with their quest to make Newport the most bicycle-friendly community in the state.
Of course there are sure to be countless more stories and issues that will arise over the coming year that we haven’t made mention of here, but we’ll do our best to cover them and look forward to the conversation playing out in our Letters section and online at Newport-Now.com.
In the meantime, from all of us at Newport This Week and Newport Now, have a happy and safe New Year!