In many ways, 2012 was a year of closure.
In Van Cortlandt Park, Memorial Grove — a tribute to veterans built thanks to the relentless advocacy of two local vets — finally opened this summer after six years of the duo’s campaigning. The fences around the Parade Ground — which the Department of Parks and Recreation started renovating in 2008 as part of the city’s approximately $240 million mitigation fund to offset the inconvenience of the Croton Water Filtration Plant construction — also came down. Even the filtration plant itself looks as though it will be tested for the first time in 2013.
Horace Mann alumni, who had been silent for decades, spoke out about what they said was an environment where sexual abuse flourished. The family of Drane Nikac, the Kingsbridge woman who was killed in 2009 by a car driven by former Det. Kevin Spellman, of Riverdale, heard the jury read its guilty verdict and, along with Mr. Spellman’s family, will enter the new year having closed that chapter of their tragedy.
We re-elected a president after a seemingly endless campaign season, redrew our state senate lines after a decade and saw former state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. convicted of crimes he had long been accused of.
And then just as things seemed to be wrapping up, previously unimaginable events blew us wide open.
First there was superstorm Sandy, her howling wind hammering our shores, turning a story in its own right about residents living without electricity, heat and hot water, into a sidebar to the citywide tale of lives lost and homes and businesses destroyed.
The massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School once again brought us together as a community and a nation to watch the horror unfold and to wrangle with the politics of preventing it from ever happening again.
As we went to press, the nation was teetering on a “fiscal cliff” and Our Lady of Angels Catholic school was scrambling to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars necessary to remain open next fall.
In 2013, we will likely see the paving of the historic Putnam Trail in Van Cortlandt Park, the completion of Tulfan Terrace, which became a symbol of overdevelopment in Riverdale, and a decision on whether the iconic Castle on the Parkway — DeWitt Clinton High School — will be shuttered.
If nothing else, 2012 certainly has us waiting with baited breath to see just what will happen in 2013.