Brent Batten: The most important Year in Review of our lifetime

The year 2012 will long be remembered for the most important election of our lifetime.

Just like 2008, 2004, 2000 and 1996.

But while historians will argue for years about how Barack Obama managed to win election with the economy doing so poorly, how Mitt Romney managed to lose it and how Joe Biden managed to grin like a hyena through the whole thing, other news will go virtually undissected.

That's where our year in review comes in.

It's a chance to remind ourselves of some to the least important news of our lifetime, just like in 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008.

JANUARY

2— Collier elections officials unveil a new smartphone app to assist voters. The app lets voters check precinct locations, read ballot initiatives and text OMG and LOL to politicians in real time during their speeches.

4— A Goodland man is reunited with his missing cat, which was found in Colorado. While it is unclear why the cat ended up there, most theories center around Colorado's liberal laws concerning the use of medicinal catnip.

6— Radio personality Trey Radel announces his intention to run for Congress. Radel promises to bring to Washington a high ethical standard, a commitment to a balanced budget and traffic and weather at the top and bottom of every hour.

11— Collier elections officials conduct logic tests on the county's voting machines. Regrettably, no such tests are available for the county's voters.

14— Retiring Naples Philharmonic Center founder Myra Daniels is honored at a reception. The event features cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and a 21-bassoon salute.

18— Longtime Naples Mayor Bill Barnett conducts his last meeting as mayor. In appreciation of his years of service, Barnett is given a plaque and lifetime access to the mayor's personal bathroom.

20— Housing inventory in Southwest Florida hits a five-year low. Realtors credit consumer confidence, a rebounding economy and their "Buy One, Get One Free" coupons in the newspaper.

21— Tamiami Ford unveils a $3 million makeover to its showroom. The new design allows salesmen to cut the amount of time its takes them to descend on prospective customers walking onto the lot from 4.6 to 4.3 seconds.

22— A Lee County civil suit involving New York Mets pitcher Johan Santana goes to arbitration. Because of the duration of the case, Santana is pulled in favor of Jon Rauch.

27— Lavish dinners are served around Collier County as part of the Naples Winter Wine Festival. In keeping with the event's theme of "Magic," patrons make glasses of Pinot Grigio disappear.

FEBRUARY

1— Tourism is reported on the upswing in Southwest Florida. Leading indicators are higher traffic volumes, an increase in tourist tax receipts and a three-day waiting list for reservations at Burger King.

4— Collier middle schools students are reprimanded for using Facebook to rank "who's hot." Educators say the practice is hurtful to students not listed and threatens to distract students from the real purpose of Facebook — reposting corny inspirational messages.

5— The Boston Red Sox spring training facility informally dubbed "Fenway South" nears completion east of Fort Myers. The stadium boasts authentic Fenway touches including a Green Monster wall, seats close to the playing field and $8 cups of beer.

10— Huge crowds show up for the opening of the first Trader Joe's store in Naples. Customers say they are attracted by the unique brands, the reasonable prices and the sense of superiority that comes from being trendy.

11— A Naples woman earns a spot as a contestant on the reality TV show, "Worst Cooks in America." In an unrelated development, her family members earn spots as contestants on the reality TV show, "Worst Cases of Salmonella in America."

13— Naples new Mayor John Sorey moves into his new office. Challenges facing him include balancing the budget, reaching labor agreements with city unions and getting Bill Barnett out of the mayor's personal bathroom.

16— Marco Island resident Bill Lambier Sr., the father of the former Detroit Pistons center, receives the Cosgrove Award for his work with children. Lambier is praised for teaching kids the value of integrity, hard work and a well-placed elbow to the opponent's ribs while the referee isn't looking.

17— Media members are treated to a tour of the new Red Sox spring training stadium. The stadium's features include spacious locker rooms, a Wi-Fi enabled press box and an interview room where Bobby Valentine can whine about his players and coaches.

25— The Golisano Children's Museum of Naples opens. Hands-on exhibits teach kids how to explore the Everglades, understand the coastal ecosystem and get gum out of hair.

29— The Florida Highway Patrol announces a crackdown on aggressive drivers. Troopers say they will be on the lookout for drivers who tailgate, make frequent lane changes and have abnormally tan left-hand middle fingers.

MARCH

2— At the Immokalee Farmers Market, FEMA-funded repairs to damage caused by Hurricane Wilma in 2005 are nearly complete. FEMA officials say once that work is done, they'll get busy on repairs to damage caused by Hurricane Ernesto in 2006.

3— The Boston Red Sox play their first game at the new "Fenway South" spring training stadium. The park includes realistic Fenway touches such as a hand-operated scoreboard, seats on top of the left field wall and buckets of fried chicken in the locker room for the starting pitchers.

6— Presidential candidate Mitt Romney defeats Rick Santorum in Florida's Republican primary. Exit polls show voters favor Romney because of his success as a manager. Plus they think it would be cool to have a president named "Mitt."

7— Baseball writer Peter Gammons tweets that the Washington Nationals are closer to settling on Fort Myers' City of Palm Park as their spring training home. To follow Gammons' tweets, go toSpringing into action.

8— Lee County Library officials announce a crackdown on collection of overdue materials. Adolescent boys rush to retrieve copies of “Tropic of Capricorn” from underneath their mattresses before the new penalties kick in.

10— Authorities say the number of Collier County drivers over age 90 is increasing. To arrive at their findings, they say they reviewed driver license records, checked police citations and counted the number of cars with Ohio license plates driving slowly in the left hand lane with their right turn signal on.

11— Lee County deputies are trained to spot signs of marijuana use during traffic stops. Indicators include nervous behavior, glassy eyes and an empty box of Ho Hos on the car seat.

17— Naples holds its annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. To complement the event, the jail drunk tank serves corned beef and cabbage.

18— Gov. Rick Scott considers signing a new law imposing tougher penalties for video voyeurism. Reporters watch the deliberations through a window using a telephoto lens.

28— A study shows having two drinks a day cuts the risk of heart attack. Regulars at the Blue Martini calculate they should be heart attack free until 2066.

29— An exhibit at the Naples Philharmonic Center features Star Wars costumes and paraphernalia. Due to a scheduling conflict, the Mos Eisley Cantina house band is unable to perform.

COMING THURSDAY: Springing into action.

© 2012 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Stories

Related Links

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.

Features