A year of grappling with the impossible

It was a where-were-you-when-you-heard-about-it? event.
 
I stood in the small newsroom of WNPR, staring up at a TV with a half-dozen others. A producer sat at her computer, scanning the initial reports coming in from other news outlets.
 
“CBS radio says 26 are dead,” she said in a flat tone, while a reporter standing behind her thrust out her right arm, hand raised in a stop-the-traffic pose.  “No!” she said, shaking her head, “that’s impossible.”  
 
And so 2012 ended in a fog of funerals and memorials and a presidential visit and people looking to our leaders to lead us out of what should have been impossible.
 
Appropriately, 2013 ends with a final report on the shootings — the 7,000-page report was issued Friday afternoon. In his cover letter, public safety Commissioner Reuben F. Bradford says, “The investigation of this incident is unparalleled in the one hundred and ten year history of the Connecticut State Police.”   
 
Earlier this month, Mirror reporters looked at what has happened this year in the wake of the shootings — the changes we’ve made to our mental health system; what we’ve done to improve school security; how our legislature has responded, at least initially; and how Newtown has become a national symbol and meeting point for national gun control groups. (All of our Newtown coverage can be seen at www.ctmirror.org/newtown.)
 
This year, as in our previous three years, The Connecticut Mirror has provided broad and deep coverage of other events too:  how the long-running Sheff desegregation case continues to evolve; the push by a group of UConn students to change how the university responds to reports of sexual assault; Metro-North’s critical condition; and Connecticut’s continuing fiscal challenges. Recently, reporter Keith M. Phaneuf has reported on what has turned into a partisan battle over the state’s actual unemployment rate.
 
But the rollout of the Affordable Care Act — nationally and in Connecticut — has largely dominated the news, certainly in the past several months, and The Mirror’s stories on the ACA, commonly referred to as Obamacare, are consistently some of the best-read of all we publish.  If you haven’t looked at our Obamacare coverage –- which may be the best in the state -– go to www.ctmirror.org/obamacare.
 
From rollout to implementation, The Mirror will continue following the profound changes the ACA is making in our health care system.  And as we start our 5th year, we’ll continue to provide the deep coverage of events and issues vital to Connecticut in 2014.
 
Finally…
 
In the past few weeks, we’ve asked readers to tell us what they think should be priorities for our lawmakers and candidates for public office in 2014.
 
The Mirror’s first public policy opinion e-publication, “2014: Looking Ahead — Your View,” will be launched in late January, and we want to include your views.  In 500 words or less, tell us what’s important to you, your family and business.   If you want lower taxes, where should the state look to raise money?  How are we doing in improving our schools, the environment?  Is our business climate improving?   How should we tackle the challenges of upgrading our transportation system and infrastructure?   
 
Explain which issues are most important to you, and send me this in an email – by Jan. 3. Include your name, professional association, if applicable, town and phone. And please include a headshot in a jpg or png file.  Send to: jfrank@ctmirror.org.
 
And from all of us at The Connecticut Mirror – we hope your new year is healthy and happy. 
 
Jenifer Frank
Mirror Editor

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