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:

  • For the city of Beaverton, meaningful community input during public outreach efforts to update the city’s visioning action plan, including feedback on what people would like to see on the former Westgate Theater property in downtown as well as suggestions on how to make Beaverton a destination for art, culture, recreation and more.
  • For Beaverton schools. We wish an end to budgetary woes for the next few years. Implementing new state standards is never pleasant, but we hope the transition goes smoothly. We also wish schools luck in communicating the need for voters to support a $680 bond measure proposal to present to voters on the May 2014 ballot to fund new schools, technology and major building renovations.
  • For homeless families and students. Our hope is that you find connections to resources and services needed to put you on the path to stable and permanent housing, rewarding employment and access to food and other essentials. To the community agencies and service providers who aid these families, we hope more community partners step up to support your efforts to improve and enhance lives.
  • For the new LifeChange Center for Women and Children. Welcome to the community. We wish you success in transforming the lives of the women and their children who call the center home. We also encourage area churches, businesses and all those who are able to step up to donate their time, skills and resources to renovate, furnish and support the center so that it can expand to support more women and their children who are overcoming homelessness, domestic violence or addiction.
  • For Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, police officers, sheriff’s deputies and other emergency service providers. We hope you return home safely after every shift, receive thank yous from community members when you are around town and continue your important work.
  • For the Beaverton Police Department. We wish you success in communicating the need for a bond measure in November to expand and retrofit City Hall so that when an earthquake or other natural disaster strikes, your team will be able to safely respond.
  • For Intel: Good luck with the ongoing expansions in Hillsboro, which benefit the entire region and justify the tax breaks the chipmaker is getting. We also hope the bright minds on their campuses can find a better way to connect with community members who are concerned about air quality.
  • For TriMet and ATU 757: a just contract that allows the transit system to move forward without the existing rancor.
  • 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.
  • For LaMarcus Aldridge: a Most Valuable Player award, joining Bill Walton (1977-78) as the only Trail Blazer ever to have achieved such distinction.
  • For the Timbers: a Major League Soccer Cup title, giving Portland the opportunity to call itself the pro sports capital of the U.S.
  • 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.
  • For the Oregon Legislature: the opportunity finally to build that new bridge.
  • 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.
  • To the producers of the Portland-based television series “Grimm” and “Portlandia:” Keep taking your storylines out into Washington County. Our communities love the attention.
  • 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.
  • 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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