Christine Stuart photo

As we say goodbye to 2007, I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on a year, which was both personally and professionally rewarding.

I started off the year with no guarantee CTNewsjunkie.com would be there when I woke up because the software that originally supported the site was susceptible to European spam. Thanks to our dedicated contributors and subscribers I was able to transfer the site to a new server and software platform.

By February the new and improved site was up and running, which allowed me to dedicate my time to reporting the news and there was a lot of it in 2007. Keep reading for our year in review news summary.

The first week of January, Gov. M. Jodi Rell had her inaugural parade and freelance photographer Ken Krayeske was arrested for photographing her. The charges against Krayeske were nolled, however, his lawsuit against Rell’s bodyguards and the Hartford Police Department is still pending.

Education spending – rather than universal health care – topped the legislative agenda and left us with an income tax hike. In the process, the veto-proof Democratic majority proved it didn’t have much muscle. The legislature debated marriage equality, but never voted on it, and the state Supreme Court heard arguments in a landmark marriage equality case, but have yet to publish a decision.

The legislature was able to convince Catholic hospitals to administer Plan B contraception to rape victims and also passed a law that makes it illegal not to report your firearm lost or stolen within 72 hours of realizing it’s missing.

The legislature’s Transportation Committee, which has oversight over the Department of Transportation, hesitated to take charge of the I-84 debacle. It finally decided to investigate while the contractor that screwed up the widening project continued to work for the state on other projects. And Gov. Rell failed again to properly vet a member of the Judicial branch when she nominated Judge John R. Downey for the Appellate Court vacancy. Downey withdrew shortly after a his nomination hearing tanked. Judiciary committee members had raised several of his decisions related to illegal immigrants’ access to the courts.

Then the fireworks started.

In June, Sen. Louis DeLuca, R-Woodbury, was arrested for conspiring with an alleged mobster to threaten his granddaughter’s allegedly abusive husband. He stepped down in November, moments before a committee of his peers prepared to subpoena the tapes of his conversations with undercover FBI agents posing as associates of James Galante, the trash hauler alleged to have mob ties.

In July, shortly after starting a freelance writing relationship with The New York Times, I got the opportunity to dig into what was probably the story of the year for Connecticut: two parolees were charged with murdering three members of a prominent Cheshire family during a heinous and random home invasion. The nature of the crime created an outpouring of grief and sympathy for Dr. William A. Petit, the lone survivor.

The crime also led state officials to rethink a number of criminal justice statutes and the parole system. And Gov. Rell opted to err on the side of caution, suspending all parole decisions indefinitely. Can you name another Republican governor who’s banned parole?

The situation with the criminal justice system will no doubt be the topic of discussion into the new year. At the minimum, there will be a special session of the legislature in January to address it.

As for CTNewsjunkie.com, I am looking to expand its capabilities by introducing video, courtesy of my husband Doug Hardy, who surprised me with video editing software on Christmas. It will take me a few weeks to learn, but I should have it down before the legislature is back in session this February. Also I hope to get the word out about advertising on the site. I want to raise enough money to continue to update the site, perhaps hire another reporter, and expand our news coverage.

Thanks again to our subscribers, contributors, supporters, and last, but not least, our dedicated readers.