1. Without hesitation has to be the Newtown, Connecticut mass school shootings. It was senseless, disturbing and scary to think that someone could do this for fame or notoriety, or because of that much hate for another human being. If this doesn’t lead to a ban in assault rifles, nothing will…
2. Superstorm Sandy which killed more than 70 people in the Caribbean, then moving north, with its high winds and high waters slammed into more than 800 miles of the eastern U.S. seaboard, killing at least 125 more people, and causing damage calculated at well over $60 billion — the second-costliest storm in U.S. history after 2005’s Hurricane Katrina. New York and New Jersey were the worst hit, with several hundred thousand homes and businesses damaged or destroyed – including the Jersey Shore… Toronto also got hit hard making it the 3rd hurricane / tropical storm that we had the pleasure of being in over the past couple years.
3. Penn State – 2012 was quite the year for Penn State and its storied football program. In January, longtime coach Joe Paterno died, his legacy forever tarnished by the sex-abuse scandal involving his former assistant, Jerry Sandusky which he knew about and did not stop. Sandusky was convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys, and sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison, which he still denied ever happened. In July, the NCAA imposed severe sanctions, including $60 million in fines, a four-year postseason ban on football and a reduction in football scholarships.
4. Syria – What began in 2011 as an outbreak of peaceful protests escalated into full-scale civil war pitting the beleaguered regime of Bashar Assad against a disparate but increasingly potent rebel opposition. The death toll at the turn of the calendar to 2013 exceeded 60,000. The U.S. and many other nations were supporting the opposition, albeit wary of outcomes that might help Islamic extremists gain power in the region.
5. The Olympics
6. The crash of the Italian cruise ship, the Costa Concordia and reports that the Captain crashed while trying to impress some woman watching him navigate through a rough stop, then fleeing the ship as it was going under.
7. The jump from the Stratosphere… So very cool to watch live online and on TV.
8. The economy – still in a recession…
9. The NHL Lockout
10. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s legal issues – being sued by a business owner with ties to left-wing council, then being removed from office (again from the left) over a conflict of interest which saw him use his position of Mayor to get his football team new jerseys…