As 2014 arrives, we can’t help but feel a rush of optimism. After all, there are signs of a strengthening economic recovery in our region, and there’s a buoyancy at the Rose Garden, er, Moda Center, as the Trail Blazers look to be the destiny team for the new year.

Even the U.S. Congress has taken baby steps toward a more bipartisan approach to solving the nation’s most basic problems.

Still, we have plenty of issues to worry about as the new year unfolds, which brings us to our annual wish list for the coming year:

  1. For the West Linn-Wilsonville School District: Let’s add some days to the calendar, more teachers in the rooms and strive to reduce those class sizes.
  2. For West Linn: Petty lawsuits and recalls against the city council and mayor waning.
  3. For the Lake Oswego-Tigard Water Treatment Plant process: Neighbors and cities actually listening to each other and working together for the next three years and beyond.
  4. To property owner Michael Wright and the homeless campers at R2D2: An offer they can’t refuse — and one that will hold up in court and doesn’t contradict any previous city deals — that will put an end to the soap opera beneath the Chinatown Gate.
  5. To Portland’s many homeless: a city policy with a more realistic outlook than Portland’s Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness, since everybody knows ending homelessness isn’t possible.
  6. For Wilsonville: To continue to growing in both business and housing with strong planning for the future while maintaining the character that makes the city what it is today.
  7. To the residents of Troutdale: We wish you more drama with the continued arrival of television and movie crews, which are drawn to your town’s charm and scenic beauty; and much, much less drama from your city government.
  8. For the weary residents of the city of Damascus: Agreement on a comprehensive land use plan and a bottle of extra strength Tylenol.
  9. For the friends of the Olin Y. Bignall Aquatic Center in Sandy: A hope that you find a solution to the crisis in permanent funding before times runs out and the plug is pulled on the pool.
  10. For TriMet and ATU 757: A just contract that allows the transit system to move forward without the existing rancor.
  11. For the Trail Blazers: A second NBA championship — and for their fans, the euphoria of celebrating down Southwest Broadway for the first time in 37 years.
  12. For LaMarcus Aldridge: A Most Valuable Player award, joining Bill Walton (1977-78) as the only Trail Blazer ever to have achieved such distinction.
  13. For the Timbers: a Major League Soccer Cup title, giving Portland the opportunity to call itself the pro sports capital of the U.S.
  14. For the Portland Thunder: A successful first Arena Football League campaign, with strong crowds a playoff appearance — and promise of a return for a second season in 2015.
  15. For Cover Oregon: 10,000 electric typewriters to help with all those paper applications.
  16. For the Oregon Legislature: The opportunity finally to build that new bridge.
  17. For Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber: A worthy opponent in either May or November. But on another topic, does the state’s next governor really want to stub his or her toe on some sort of sales-tax proposal? It’s only been voted down nine times in Oregon already. 
  18. For the Port of Portland: Perhaps just a modicum of public appreciation for the economic role it plays in the region.
  19. To the producers of the Portland-based television series “Grimm” and “Portlandia”: Keep taking your storylines out into the suburbs. They love the attention out there.
  20. For Oregon Lottery director Jack Roberts: A backbone to enforce the Oregon Constitution’s ban on non-tribal casinos at faux delis that are mini-casinos, at Jantzen Beach’s Lottery Row and at street corners throughout the state
  21. For voters: The wisdom to recognize that the Oregon Constitution’s ban on same-sex marriage has been overtaken by the steady march of civil rights in this nation. Nineteen other states now recognize same-sex unions, and it’s time for Oregonians to repeal a ban that was put in place just 10 years ago.
  22. For Oregon basketball: a Final Four berth, the next step in Dana Altman’s bid to provide the Ducks with their first NCAA basketball championship since the first year (1938-39).
  23. For Oregon State baseball: Another College World Series crown, confirming Pat Casey — who won national titles in 2006 and ’07 — as the nation’s premier coach.
  24. And for all of us: In a year when voters will be asked to loosen marijuana laws and liquor purchases, how about less dependence on brain-numbing substances and a little more time spent exercising our minds and bodies in the wonders of Oregon’s outdoors.

It’s just a small suggestion.

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