Saying goodbye to 2017 should not be easy tonight. Though anyone can find much to complain about, this was a pretty good year by community and statewide standards.
- Locally and nationally, we saw booming economic growth and record stock market gains.
- U.S. News & World Report found Colorado Springs the second-most desirable city among people who could choose to move anywhere, second only to Honolulu.
- Colorado Springs became so desirable in 2017 demographers announced the population will exceed Denver's within 15 years.
- Tourism is up in Colorado Springs and throughout the state.
- Unemployment is low, locally and statewide.
- The local hosing market continues setting records, as businesses and families move here.
- Plans are underway to widen I-25, the city's major north-south lifeline, between Monument and Castle Rock.
- Voters felt economically secure enough to approve funding for schools and our city's long-neglected stormwater infrastructure.
Those are just some good news tidbits of 2017, which should carry over into 2018.
The past year has not been easy for those who wanted a different outcome in the presidential and congressional elections. We only hope President Donald Trump and the majority in Congress work to allay fears about the country's future.
Imagine a 2018 in which average Americans focus more on careers, children and households - and less on the federal government.
We have a few other hopes and dreams to make 2018 better than 2017:
- The federal courts continues defending and expanding religious liberty for people of all faiths and denominations.
- Crews break ground on expanding I-25.
- Investors and builders create more affordable housing.
- Congress and public health officials provide adequate help to people burdened and threatened by the Air Force's use of toxic foam as a firefighting agent.
- Put more cops on the streets, and a reduction in violence and other crimes.
- Give better pay for teachers, who are leaving Colorado for neighboring states.
- Get a new home for big blue frame at the future United States Olympic Museum.
- Fewer instances of sexual impropriety and abuse in the workplace.
- Better regulation of big commercial pot, which jeopardizes the potential of Colorado's young generations.
- And, of course, more worldwide stability and peace.
We embark upon 2018 as a country embroiled in uncharacteristic levels of cultural and political rancor. We also enter the year with high levels of economic optimism, looming tax cuts and hope for unprecedented economic growth.
Not everyone should be sad to see the passing of 2017. Everyone should be excited to learn from and build on the past year's wins and losses, planning for success in 2018.
Let's continue making this a stable, strong and compassionate country, as generations have done for 241 years. Happy New Year, and let's all make it a good one!
The Gazette editorial board