Editorial: Goodbye and good riddance, 2016

With just a few days left before the dawn of a new year, let us be among the first to bid good riddance to 2016.

So long, old year.  Don’t let the door hit you on the backside on the way out.

So what, exactly, went wrong during the past 12 months?  Where to begin…

For one thing, we lost too many good people this year — not just among the celebrity set — but here in Langley as well, with the untimely deaths of friends, such as actor Mike Roberds and Fort Langley’s Brenda Alberts.

Some have lost loved ones, suddenly and horribly, to the growing overdose crisis, as many of us were just hearing  the words fentanyl and naloxone — and, later, the even scarier word, carfentanil — for the first time.

In 2016, as housing prices continued to climb, many young (and not-so-young) people came to the stunning realization they may never know the satisfaction of owning their own home.

While more than 100 Paddington Station residents lost their homes to fire, their next door neighbours learned that they will be forced out of their apartments into an all-but-non-existent low-income housing market, with the slated demolition of Carroll and Merton Courts.

And whether you’re happy with the outcome of the U.S. election or not, we can probably all agree that for months, we were forced to sit through one of the ugliest political spectacles in recent memory.

We continued to see atrocities carried out on innocent victims in Syria and the random acts of violence perpetrated by a few sick-minded individuals — most recently at a Christmas market in Berlin.

We have no idea what 2017 holds in store. And we certainly won’t tempt fate by suggesting it can’t be any worse than its predecessor.

All we can do is hope for the best, and do our part — in whatever ways are within our control — to make it a better year.

That starts in the wee hours of Jan. 1.

If you’re heading out to welcome the New Year, don’t drink and drive, obviously.

And drugs? Not worth the risk — period.

Whether it’s a car crash or an overdose, one bad decision could easily bring 2017 to a screeching halt for you — or someone else — before it’s really even begun.

From that perspective, at least, ringing in  2017 as a better year is all about making good choices.

Langley Times