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East County faces challenges in 2008

Here are our hopes, ideas and challenges for a better East County in 2008. If you have some of your own, please feel free to respond to this editorial at www.theoutlookonline.com.

• For Multnomah County Sheriff Bernie Gusto: a gold watch and an overdue retirement party.

• For Gresham Mayor Shane T. Bemis: a repeat of his 2007 performance in 2008.

• A new Sellwood Bridge, so that East County residents won't have to feel guilty if the current one tumbles into the Willamette.

• For county board of commissioner candidates Carla Piluso and Diane McKeel: a mud-free race - let's prove that two decent people actually can run for office without attacking each other.

• We're hoping for fruitful negotiations on the location for a Troutdale library. The community has waited too long to get its own branch.

• Oregon citizens need a clear signal from the state Board of Nursing that patient safety - not protecting incompetent nurses - is job No. 1.

• Same for the Oregon Parole Board: Let's start keeping dangerous rapists and other criminals behind bars for their full prison terms.

• For the city of Fairview: a rousing 100th birthday celebration and a successful campaign against a proposed mega-casino in neighboring Wood Village.

• For Wood Village: A couple more restaurants in the Wood Village Town Center and a better use than a casino for the old greyhound park - just about anything would qualify.

• Multnomah County Chairman Ted Wheeler has been a gust of fresh air in county government - hard working 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 for a short, productive session when it meets in February.

• For the Gresham Police Department: money for more officers so the city can begin to turn the tide on crime.

• On the subject of crime, how about a plan to open the $58 million, never-been-used Wapato jail?

• At some point, someone needs to film a GOOD movie in Oregon.

• For local weather forecasters: Call at least one snowstorm correctly this year.

• Now that Troutdale has completed its 100th birthday celebration, maybe it can spend 2008 celebrating the 80th year of its mayor, Paul Thalhofer.

• In Gresham, the city needs forward progress on the arts center and sports park.

• For Oregon voters: at least one visit from the presidential nominees, and a few less initiatives to wade through in November.

• For local Realtors: more buyers.

• We're wishing for deeper snow on the mountain, but safer drivers on Highway 26.

• For Oregon residents serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, same as the past three years: a speedy and safe return home.

Happy New Year.