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Our Opinion: Let's make 2013 a year of solutions

The optimism accompanying a brand-new year too often proves misplaced. But before 2013 becomes tarnished by reality, let’s dream about what could be — as opposed to what will be.

Here are just a few of our wishes for the Portland area as it enters this still very young year:

For new Mayor Charlie Hales: How about no scandals in his first 90 days?

For Portland-area workers: that Nike justifies the support it received from the Legislature by creating more than 500 new jobs in this state.

Speaking of the Legislature: Is it too much to hope lawmakers can continue the practical, bipartisan approach they demonstrated in the 2011-12 sessions? House Speaker Tina Kotek of Portland may hold the key.

For bus and train riders: an end to posturing by TriMet and the transit union. Let’s get down to business and negotiate a contract that helps control the agency’s budget problems while still providing employees with decent wages and benefits.

Meanwhile, let’s hope that Metro and its supporters wake up to the fact that its multimodal transportation plans aren’t working equally well everywhere in the region. Downtown Portland is benefiting from the emphasis on mass transit far more that Clackamas and Washington counties, which have growing congestion problems that need to be addressed.

On the subject of Clackamas County: How about a small reprieve from all that bickering?

We all should hope that the gun debate quickly focuses on practical solutions that include reasonable, enforceable restrictions on high-capacity firearms and effective intervention for those with mental problems.

For local basketball fans: A free-agent NBA star to gladly take all the salary cap space the Trail Blazers are keeping open for next season. We’re also looking for a playoff berth in Terry Stotts’ first season as Blazer coach.

A Memorial Cup championship banner for the Portland Winterhawks to hang in Veterans Memorial Coliseum — with Western Hockey League Commissioner Ron Robison and reinstated Winterhawk coach-general manager Mike Johnston in attendance.

While we’re dreaming, let’s hope for an NCAA slap on the wrist to the Oregon Ducks to conclude the investigation of alleged recruiting violations. If not that, then maybe coach Chip Kelly can stick around to face the music, instead of jumping to the NFL, like Pete Carroll, who jumped ship just as USC was being hammered by the NCAA.

For Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson: Something to do during the Major League Soccer playoffs besides wait till next year. Or a playoff berth for the new Portland Thorns women’s pro soccer team, at least.

For Oregon State football coach Mike Riley, the lowest-paid head coach in the Pac-12: a pay raise. Plus, more money in the coaching pool so he can retain his solid staff of assistants.

For those whose interests encompass more than sports, let’s encourage more people to attend live events to support an ailing arts industry, and let’s place television, movies, Internet and video games in better perspective.

Some of us are wishing that Esperanza Spalding, Grammy-winning jazz bassist, never cuts her hair!

Season three ofPortlandia ought to continue to spoof its namesake city, rather than became too, uh, weird.

For Portland Community College: the right person to fill the large void being left by departing PCC President Preston Pulliams — and that means not only someone with the skills to run the state’s largest institution of higher learning, but also a leader like Pulliams who understands Portland and is willing to commit for the long term.

For Portland Public Schools: No missteps as the district starts to spend nearly half a billion dollars on new and refurbished school buildings.

Heres wishing for success as health care providers adjust to monumental changes on the way for the local, state and national medical system.

Along those lines, let’s hope everybody tries to do 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise — something as simple as walking — and drinks plenty of water each day in 2013. After all, that’s the best health care plan there is.