We would like to take a moment to thank you, our readers for being part of this community that we created in 2005 when CTNewsJunkie was originally launched.

It has been, to put it mildly, a bumpy ride for news organizations everywhere trying to figure out a revenue model that supports quality journalism. But throughout these nearly 17 years you’ve embraced us and our efforts, and for that we are grateful.

Aside from our gratitude and holiday wishes, we’d like to take a moment for a public service announcement based on the week we’ve just had in West Hartford.

Please – everyone – try to drive sanely and safely. There hasn’t been much evidence of either of those habits on our roads lately. Two pedestrians lost their lives this week in West Hartford, and another was grievously injured, in three separate incidents that included a hit-and-run on Tuesday. The driver in that incident had not yet been apprehended as of Friday, Dec. 23. Another pedestrian was killed in West Hartford center earlier this year.

But this week there are families, as well as all their friends and colleagues – likely extending to hundreds if not thousands of people – who are grieving instead of celebrating. And the two West Hartford deaths on Dec. 20 and 21 – followed by another pedestrian killed Dec. 22 in Norwich – bring Connecticut to a record total of 71 pedestrians and cyclists killed this year.

Going forward into 2023 and beyond, please take a moment each time before you start your vehicle. Take a deep breath and think intentionally about how you’re going to drive on your way to wherever you are going. Make a point of driving like you are part of a community. Everyone needs to slow down, exercise some patience, and be 100% present when operating a motor vehicle. Put the phone down. Care about others. Be safe. Be courteous. Be focused. It saves lives.

And on that note, it’s time for a few days off.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukkah, and happy holidays!

–Doug, Christine & the whole crew at CTNewsJunkie