Best wishes, and hope, for 2011
The year 2010 had the feel of treading water: Portland's economy showed little improvement, but it also didn't get worse. And that was pretty much the theme for the year, as the Portland area's ambitions were placed on hold while everyone awaited better days ahead.
With that prospect of economic recovery in mind, here is our annual wish list for Portland and environs for the New Year that's coming:
• For Mayor Sam Adams: how about some actual accomplishments that voters can judge if he decides to run for re-election.
• For TriMet: a breakthrough in the stalemated contract negotiations with its employee union (which now are within binding arbitration). Plus, the final $35.2 million need to finish funding the Portland to Milwaukie MAX light rail line.
• For Portland Public Schools: voter support to begin the overdue process of renovating and rebuilding aging schools. Also: a final high school redesign plan that everyone understands and supports.
• For Portland homeowners and real estate agents: some evidence that we've hit the housing bottom and that prices and demand are starting to rise once again.
• For Paul Allen: a new Rose Quarter redevelopment plan worth investing in.
• For Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton: a successful end to the Kyron Horman case.
• For Portland Police Chief Mike Reese: fewer controversial police shootings.
• For the Portland Business Alliance: agreement that the real task ahead is creating more jobs and restoring Portland's average wages.
• For Duck fans and Coach Chip Kelly: reasonable expectations beginning next season. You can't play for anational championship every year.
• For the City of Roses: a Major League Baseball or National Hockey League franchise. But we wishfor that every year.
• For Portland's Mercy Corps: additional help to implement its humanitarian ideas that could boost the economy of quake-ravaged Haiti.
• For local pedestrians: attentive drivers.
• For local drivers: attentive pedestrians.
• For the city's cabdrivers and town car drivers who've been fighting and bribingover too few fares: peace on Earth, or at least on the city'ssidewalks and in its hotel zones.
• For Metro President-elect Tom Hughes: opportunities to provethe region can support thousands more jobs without hurting the environment and livability.
• For Sellwood Bridge travelers: enough support from Clackamas County residents to guarantee the $22 million share of the replacement bridge needed to keep the project on track.
• For Columbia River Crossing planners: a final design that looks good, handles all foreseeable bi-state travel and finds enough financial support from regional, state and federal governments to be built.
• For Oregon Gov.-elect John Kitzhaber: the fortitude to lead the creation of a first-ever, long-term strategy for Oregon and the hope for an economic miracle that prevents Legislature from cutting as much from the budget as anticipated.
Don't count on it happening that quickly, though.