So what do we make of the collective experience of our region in 2012?
Well, our schools faced financial hardships that, in many instances, led to closings, cuts and tax increases.
There was a disquieting amount of violent crime, with two people killed and three wounded in five unrelated shootings. One is too many shootings, five is scary.
The natural gas drilling impact leveled off. But it is by no means over. The industry is here for the long haul and the first payments of gas impact fees helped ease infrastructure needs created by the presence of the industry.
The year produced the landmark completion of the major piece of Susquehanna Health's revitalization and modernization with the opening of the patient tower at Susquehanna Regional Medical Center. Besides improving local health care, the hospital's striking modernization signals stability of one of the pre-eminent employers in teh city of Williamsport.
The other landmark moment came with completion of the replacement of the former Arch Street Bridge. The new DuBoistown Bridge, a major improvement, means the three bridges that cross the river between Williamsport and South Williamsport have been replaced in the past 20 years. That's a nice star to put on the local portfolio.
Economic development news is dominated by projects planned and announced that would drastically alter the physical complexion and impression locally.
A convention center-motel complex are in the beginnings of construction at the Faxon exit of the Beltway. An ambitious Destination 2014 project downtown seems near the action point, with plans to modernize and expand the Pickelner Arena for multi-sports use and renovate the existing YMCA building into executive-style apartments. The frontage to this would be a one-acre, green focal point for center city Williamsport.
This private development will allow the YMCA to pursue its plans for a new, modern, wellness facility at the south entrance to the modernized Williamsport Hospital campus of Susquehanna Health.
A lot has to happen for all these developments to match their blueprints, but they are encouraging.
We have our problems too much violence, an often lurching economy, fiscal struggles for our schools and municipalities but there are reasons to be hopeful in the year ahead.