Celebrate New Year, but be safe

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It’s hard to believe 2010 is nearly over. Despite the fact that economists say we’ve now been in a economic recovery for more than a year, 2010 was still a hard year, especially for the nearly 15 percent of us still out of work in Lancaster County.
But the news here in Lancaster County wasn’t all bad. This year, we’ve seen a number of significant openings. The new Walmart in Indian Land, a prototype superstore, and ALDI, the area’s third grocery store, both opened in August.
Red Ventures, an Internet marketing firm that moved its headquarters to the county in late 2009, broke ground for its second building in June. It’s expected to bring 1,000 jobs over the next 10 years.
2010 was also a politically contentious year, with voter anger rising to sweep many Democratic politicians out of Washington. Our own Mick Mulvaney was swept into Washington on the rising Republican tide after unseating 14-term District 5 Congressman John Spratt. It will be interesting to see what Mulvaney does once he gets settled in his Capitol office.
We’re looking forward to 2011, which we hope will be a much brighter year for all of us.
As we end this year, it is appropriate to reflect on the past year and celebrate the new one. Many will be doing just that on New Year’s Eve – celebrating. We hope everyone has a joyous – yet safe – celebration.
Those celebrations often include champagne or some other spirits. If you are of the drinking age, we hope you have a good time. But if you drink, please don’t drive.
Drinking and driving is a deadly mix with tragic results. DUI accidents can result in death, pain and guilt. They can also result in jail time, court time, auto repairs, medical costs and higher insurance premiums. Driving under the influence is just not worth it.
If you are going to drink, make sure you have a designated driver. Bartenders or party hosts must know when to cut patrons or guests off before they become a danger to themselves and others.
We also caution those traveling on New Year’s Eve. This is a night when more drunken and impaired drivers are on the highways. That means you should pay more attention while driving.
If you choose to shoot off fireworks to celebrate the new year, be sure to follow local laws and use common sense.
Follow all safety directions and maintain proper distances when shooting fireworks. Keep children away from fireworks and keep a bucket of water handy for unwanted flare-ups.
And don’t mix fireworks and alcohol. Too much alcohol and even a few fireworks can blow up into a sad reality.
Have fun as you say goodbye to 2010 and welcome 2011. But please do so safely.