We’re filled with hope as the new year dawns

The OlympianJanuary 1, 2014 

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.

— Albert Einstein

New Year’s Day is one of those pivotal times of the year. It’s a day on which we are permitted to simultaneously look backward and forward. We can see where we’ve been, for better or worse, and think about where we want to go.

We hope federal politicians will recognize today that shutting down the government and threatening a global financial crisis over raising the debt ceiling were not good ideas.

And we hope voters in districts held by tea party candidates think so, too, especially when this year’s midterm elections roll around. But we’re not holding our breath.

If state lawmakers look back at last year’s multiple-special-session performance, we hope they see the value of meeting a deadline — and passing a transportation bill.

Gov. Jay Inslee has proposed a supplemental budget that does little more than maintain government operations. He’s offered lawmakers an opportunity to agree quickly this year and tackle the big issues in 2015.

That should appeal to legislators seeking re-election next year. It should also help them focus on other issues and to leave town on time.

Lawmakers could pass a transportation package, for example, and reconsider the Washington Voting Rights Act co-sponsored by Rep. Sam Hunt.

They might also think again about extending a mandate to conduct background checks for all gun sales. But let’s not get carried away. In an election year, lawmakers will likely let voters decide that issue on the 2014 ballot.

We hope the South Sound more fully embraces the concept of rapid rehousing. As others have discovered, ending homelessness requires getting people off the streets, out of shelters and into permanent housing. And doing it fast.

In the next year, we hope macho football players will not conjure up fake girlfriends or bully their teammates. We hope no one will twerk on our television screens.

We hope no elected officials will engage in sexting or, as one did up in Canada, smoke crack during drunken stupors.

We hope those who applied to grow, distribute or sell marijuana fare better than those who bought the state’s former liquor stores.

We hope everyone accomplishes meaningful goals in 2014 — and that includes you, Congress.

Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.

— Hal Borland

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