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Our wishes for 2014

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 2014 unfolds, which brings us to our annual wish list for the coming year:

n For Hillsboro: That the city’s planning commissioners listen to the voices of their citizens and recognize that not all growth is beneficial as they consider WalMart’s application for a “neighborhood market” at Cornelius Pass Road and Baseline.

n For the Hillsboro Police Department: After more than nine months of searching, that the city’s new police chief, Lee Dobrowolski, meets the lofty expectations and stringent qualifications the position demands. We’re optimistic.

n For the Hillsboro School District: That voters in the district wake up and realize that voting “No” on school bond measures is counterproductive, and the negative impact of not supporting local schools far outweighs the perceived benefits of residents having a few extra dollars in their pockets each month.

n 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 Hillsboro campuses can find a better way to limit hazardous emissions and connect with community members who are concerned about air quality and traffic.

n For Portland’s restaurants: Giant worm-bins to handle your scraps. Odors at Nature’s Needs composting facility in North Plains dropped by more than 90 percent after Washington County commissioners banned commercial food waste at the site this spring. Lawmakers are trying to find a new home for Portland’s uneaten hummus and free-range chicken breasts. Until then, “how ’bout them worms?”

n 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.

n For the Timbers: A Major League Soccer Cup title, giving Portland the opportunity to call itself the pro sports capital of the U.S.

n For the Hillsboro Hops: A successful second season for this minor league baseball team, with strong crowds and a playoff appearance in your wonderful new stadium.

n For Cover Oregon: 10,000 electric typewriters to help with all those paper applications.

n For the Oregon Legislature: The opportunity finally to build that new bridge.

n For Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber: A worthy opponent in either May or November.

n For the Port of Portland: Perhaps just a modicum of public appreciation for the economic role it plays in the region.

n To the producers of the Portland-based television series “Grimm” and “Portlandia”: Keep taking your storylines out into the suburbs. We love the attention out here.

n For Oregon Lottery director Jack Roberts: A backbone to enforce the Oregon Constitution’s ban on non-tribal casinos at faux delis that are mini-casinos, at Jantzen Beach’s Lottery Row and at street corners throughout the state.

n 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 10 long years ago.

n 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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