We’re not much good at predictions, but here are a few wishes for the new year.
• We entered 2011 with hopes for a significant improvement in the struggling economy. Unfortunately, we’re still waiting. There have been a few signs that 2012 will be better. We hope that is the case.
• We hope government officials at all levels can make a more serious attempt at statesmanship rather than gamesmanship. That may be a vain hope in a presidential election year, but the nation can ill afford another year of politically motivated paralysis in its government dealings.
• It was disappointing to have a couple of major retailers announce in December that they would leave the Lawrence market. It would be nice to see some fresh retail faces in the community in the next year.
• To go along with the retail, Lawrence could use more jobs with wages high enough to help support that retail. New jobs are vital to the city’s growth and prosperity.
• We hope state officials are cautious and thoughtful about instituting drastic changes that will alter the face of Kansas for generations to come. There’s a difference between being innovative and being foolhardy. We should be willing to try new things, but we shouldn’t turn the state into a laboratory for experimental policies.
• Dare we hope that this is the year that both the funding and the legal hurdles are cleared and work on the east leg of the South Lawrence Trafficway moves forward?
• We wish Kansas University officials well in their assignment to elevate the school’s academic reputation and solidifying its standing in the Association of American Universities. New admission standards may be part of the plan, but it will be tricky to set higher standards without offending some in the state.
• Maybe this is the year KU football draws as much attention as KU basketball. That’s not a prediction, just a hope. New coach Charlie Weis already has brought positive attention to the football program and Jayhawk fans are keeping their fingers crossed.
A new year always brings new challenges, and we know that will be the case in 2012. We hope that whatever challenges face us as individuals, a city, a state or a nation, we will greet them with grace and determination to move forward and make things better.
Happy New Year!