Here are our hopes, ideas and challenges for a better Portland in 2008. If you have some of your own, please feel free to respond to this editorial at triblettersBut let's all remember that good ideas are not enough - we all need to commit to get these and other priorities done.
• For Multnomah County Sheriff Bernie Giusto: a gold watch and an overdue retirement party.
• Here's hoping that Portland Mayor Tom Potter can make it through the end of his term with no more hissy fits - and maybe even act like a mayor once in a while.
• For the region: a clear transportation plan that includes expanded highway lanes, maintenance for existing roads and transit.
The plan must be achievable and able to support the regional economy and livability and improve the environment and public safety. While this is a tough test, it's past time that we have some clue where we're going and how we are going to get there.
• And while we're talking transportation, how about saving the Sellwood Bridge before it tumbles into the Willamette? If we could land a new bridge for Sauvie Island, surely we can do the same for Sellwood. When does Sauvie Island really have traffic issues, anyway, other than at Halloween?
• Oregon citizens need a clear signal from the Oregon State Board of Nursing that patient safety - not protecting incompetent nurses - is job. No. 1.
• Same for the state parole board: Let's start keeping dangerous rapists and other criminals behind bars for their full prison terms.
• Greg Oden seems like a nice kid. Let's hope he can bounce back from microfracture knee surgery and play for the Trail Blazers next season - Portland really is a better city when the Blazers are winning.
• Speaking of nice guys, Multnomah County Chairman Ted Wheeler has been a gust of fresh air in county government - hardworking and earnest. Let's hope the job doesn't eat him alive.
• We're rooting for TriMet General Manager Fred Hansen to get the thugs off his trains and even to collect fares on occasion.
• The 2008 Oregon Legislature, meeting for the first time in annual session, must make good on its promise of a short, productive session when it meets in February.
• Let's work to make sure Portland sustains - and expands - its leadership in sustainability.
• How about a plan to open the $58 million, never-been-used Wapato jail?
• The city really ought to find an appropriate way to honor César Chávez. How about naming a new park or all of the city's community gardens in his honor?
• For Portland Public Schools: All that's needed is a few more students.
• At some point, someone needs to film a good movie in Oregon.
• We need better relations between bicyclists and motorists on Portland streets.
• For Portland weather forecasters: Call at least one snowstorm correctly this year.
• For Oregon voters: at least one visit from the presidential nominees, and not so many initiatives to wade through in November.
• For local real estate agents: more buyers.
• We're wishing for deep snow on the mountain, but safer drivers on U.S. Highway 26.
• For city Commissioner Randy Leonard: a roll of duct tape, a can of spray paint and a biodiesel-powered float in the 2008 Rose Festival's Grand Floral Parade.
• For Oregon residents serving in Iraq and Afghanistan: a speedy and safe return home.
Happy New Year.