OUR VIEW: 2011 — the year between 2010 and 2012

By Daily News • Last Updated 12:38 am on Saturday, December 31, 2011

It seems 2011 will go down as a gap year between major events.
We reported hundreds of stories in the 305 editions of The Daily News and the constant stream posted at www.thedailynews.cc this year. Much of it was important, but likely little of it will be remembered by our children and grandchildren decades from now.
This year, we remembered the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks 10 years ago and Greenville losing Electrolux five years ago. Both are endemic of the problems we are facing today — a loss of security and a prolonged economic slump still plaguing us.
The economy is improving a little, but that was the case 365 days ago. Positive economic news is trickling in a little more every day. Michigan welcomed a new governor one year ago, Rick Snyder, who is systematically redoing the way our state does business.
But the climb out of the deep hole our state was in a few short years ago is moving slowly. Hence, we’re probably staring at another year of malaise on many levels — just a little less than this year.
The bad economy likely is behind a crime wave this year, which dominated two of our top 10 stories this year.
We lost several local luminaries who opened their pockets and gave of themselves to make our communities the great places they are. The true effects of their leadership will be will continue for years to come.
Two local recreational trails were completed — finally. But people already made made extensive use of both, so the end seems rather anticlimactic.
Belding worked hard to save one of the last historic downtown buildings. But the final chapter has yet to be written in that saga.
Greenville’s high school football program said goodbye to Black Field, its home since the 1930s. Legacy Field will debut next year. Sure, the emotions of leaving are still raw for some today. But a new tradition will develop at Legacy Field.
Belding schools continued work on their $38.8 million renovation and expansion. This a great project, but the finished product is still more than a year off.
Montcalm Township endured its share of strife again. The same was true last year, the year before that, the year before that… you get the picture. The situation is calmed down now and we hope it stays that way. But only time will tell.
The Montcalm County 4-H Fair moved from its cramped home on Hillcrest Street in Greenville to its expansive new home on Peck Road just north of town. The inaugural event at the new 65-acre fairgrounds went well, but the facility remains a work in progress.
Spectrum Health kicked off a major renovation and expansion in Greenville this year. It will be great when complete, but we’ll have to wait a while for that.
Likely, 2012 will be much more consequential than its predecessor.
For starters, we have another presidential election to endure. If the campaign for the Republican nomination so far is any indication, hold on. It’s going to be interesting.
Many of the projects listed above will be finished. We can begin establishing new traditions at Legacy Field, Belding students can revel in their new school facilities, the county fair will be a little bigger and better and patients will have a better experience at Spectrum Health United Hospital.
We won’t relive the boom years of the 1990s, but all indications are the economy will continue improving all year. That means more jobs, higher income and an all around better year of us all.
Only God knows what we’ll be talking about a year from now. We look to 2012 with hope for our area, state and nation.

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