2012 was a year of good intentions and some setbacks for communities south of Boston

The year was full of high ambitions in a number of our communities. Some were outright successes, some a step toward new goals, and some were simply inspiring. Green energy proponents rejoiced at the half a dozen new wind turbines reaching into the sky for renewable power. A police crackdown on a notoriously dangerous highway resulted in fewer deaths. A city tackled pedestrian safety, and vowed to keep working on it. A $1 billion proposal to build a casino strained ties between the town and its biggest taxpayer. A promising athlete diagnosed with cancer is determined to play again. A popular restaurant owner detained by federal authorities as an undocumented alien was helped by his community and set free. And a big milestone: The Pilgrim nuclear power plant’s operating license was renewed despite significant opposition and the specter of a nuclear disaster in Japan.

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