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A look forward to 2017

This is the last issue of The Winsted Journal for 2016. Nationally, the year will probably be best remembered for a very cutthroat and oftentimes angry presidential election.

The campaign leading up to the election was very divisive when it came to many social issues.

Even almost two months after the election, those divisions remain and apparently will continue on into the new year.

Locally, 2016 will be remembered for the seeds of economic growth being planted in the Northwest Corner.

These included Winsted’s new zoning regulations, a $7.4 million military contract awarded to Barkhamsted company Tru-Hitch, the ongoing construction of a new Allied Health program building for Northwestern Connecticut Community College [NCCC] and the continued growth of the Whiting Mills artists studios building.

The year will also be remembered for various awards given to local people and places by national magazines and state organizations: The Connecticut Association of Schools named Gilbert School Principal Alan Strauss as a Principal of the Year, Gilbert was chosen as a “Silver Medal” award winner by U.S. News and World Report and Yankee Magazine named both The American Museum of Tort Law and the Whiting Mills artist studios building as two of the “Best of New England” in its 2016 travel guide.

While there were many highs and lows in 2016, the upcoming year looks to be a very interesting and potentially a quite unpredictable roller coaster ride.

Here are a few events to look towards during 2017.

The Trump presidency

Donald Trump is scheduled to be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States on Friday, Jan. 20.

While there has been considerable analysis from Internet pundits and talking heads on news channels about how his presidency will impact America as a whole, it is hard to determine what impact he will directly have on Connecticut. 

Whether you like and agree with Trump’s politics or you fully disagree with him and dislike him, get ready for an interesting four years.

Regaining local control of the Winchester School District

State receivership of the school district started in July 2015.

As part of that receivership, the Board of Education lost control over decisions pertaining to the district.

The state is scheduled to return control of the school district to the Board of Education by July 1.

Whether or not this happens remains to be seen.

However, over the past year and a half, the state has spent a lot of time and effort putting the district’s finances, curriculum and special education programs in order, mostly thanks to former Receiver Robert Travaglini and now current Receiver Freeman Burr.

Hopefully, when the town regains control of the school district, this positive momentum will continue.

This momentum will include the hiring of a new superintendent of schools, which is also scheduled to take place in 2017.

Completion of NCCC’s 

Allied Health building

The new building is scheduled to be open and ready for the fall 2017 semester.

The building has been on the drawing table for many years.

Once completed, it will be a major boost for NCCC, its programs and the town.

Whether or not Hartford Hospital will build its planned medical center next door is yet to be determined.

Municipal elections

The two-year term for all seven members of the Board of Selectmen will be up this November.

Also, the four-year terms of five of the nine members of the Board of Education will be up.

While the campaigns during municipal election season in Winsted are not as angry and contentious in tone as presidential elections, there have been moments of great debate and disagreement between candidates.

It should be interesting to see who will run again and if there are new candidates running.

With all of these events coming up, 2017 should be an interesting year.

No one can really say for sure whether or not 2017 will be a great year or a terrible year.

In the end, the year is what you make of it.

We hope that people all come together to make the next year a great year.

On behalf of the staff of The Winsted Journal, including everyone who works hard each week to bring to you the newspaper, we wish everyone a merry Christmas, a happy Hanukkah, a happy Kwanzaa and a happy new year. 

Our next issue will be published on Friday, Jan. 6.