Retrospection is always useful.
Here's a quick look back at some of the best local happenings of 2012. The list is impressive. And the kudos are well-deserved.
Best election coverage: The Naples Daily News came through big time. In the run-up to Nov. 6, the Daily News told us all we needed to know about referendums, constitutional amendments and the many candidates on a long ballot. If you read the Daily News, you were an informed voter.
Best new cultural event: That's easy. The ArtsNaples Festival, brainchild of Merlin Lickhalter, burst on the scene with a presentation of all things Russian — from theater to art to music. It gave us all a good reason to stay in May.
Best new organization: Murray Hendel's Collier Community Alliance (CCA) brought together community leaders from all over the county to weigh in on local issues. (OK, I admit this choice was self-serving.)
Best comeback: Myra Janco Daniels, founder of the Naples Philharmonic, came off the sidelines to help raise funds for a new center for latchkey children. Given her track record, Daniels will no doubt succeed.
Best-run election: The winner, hands down, was the Collier County Supervisor of Elections Office. While Lee County fumbled and bumbled, Jennifer Edwards' thoroughbred operation handled a massive turnout flawlessly.
Best news in education: There are two winners here — approval of the local funding referendum and the startling news that Florida fourth-graders ranked near the top in global reading scores.
Best political change: Tim Nance's victory in Collier County Commission District 5 marked a sea change in local politics. The new county commission is off and running — and in the right direction.
Best music: How often do you get to hear three Tchaikovsky symphonies performed live in a single year? In 2012 we did. The Phil gave us Tchaikovsky's 1st, 4th and 6th.
Best new museum: The Golisano Children's Museum gave visitors still another reason to come to Naples. My wife and I have already steered two sets of grandchildren through this marvelous facility.
Best economic news: Arthrex's $25 million-plus expansion gave the local economy a much-needed shot in the arm. CEO Reinhold Schmieding continues to lead the way.
Everything may be a mess in Washington, but locally we have some things to cheer about.
We certainly did in 2012. It turned out to be a pretty good year.