New Year's Wishes for a Happy Salinas
January, 2011

A week into 2011 and some of those resolutions are already looking a little, well, irresolute. But before we give up yet again on carrying around a little less weight and a lot more money, here are a few wishes for a happy Salinas 2011. I’m sure you have some of your own.

A bookstore would be nice. My dear wife, believe it or not, read 50 books last year. How’s she going to feed her habit without wasting $4 gas driving all over the Central Coast looking for a bookstore?

It’s a thrill to see people actually reading books, even if they are clogging the aisles. For you youngsters, books, magazines and newspapers like The Californian are made of paper and have words, uh, “text,” printed on them in real ink, kind of like tattoos. Your school has them. They take up space and can be heavy, but it does make you look smarter if you have them on “bookshelves” in your home. That’s good if “smarter” is the look you want, although it may clash with “cool” or “down,” or even “sick.”

Then there are libraries. We have three of them in Salinas, open from time to time. They are great places for kids to go (quietly, please) to actually learn things they’d never learn dodging bullets on the street. I’m wishing good fortune for our libraries, complete with expanded hours, better collections, more computers (why would you need a book when you have a computer?) and, above all, fewer words and more pictures because that, ironically, is what some people like to “read.”

I wish the new football/soccer complex being planned for North Salinas and Palma gets built by the rodeo folks. Football games at the rodeo grounds are fine, and I always wanted to know how they converted the dirt into a gridiron, but, c’mon man. That place is really made for broncos and bulls, and I don’t mean local sports teams.

For everyone serving in the armed forces, especially in war zones, I really hope 2011 means a very happy, safe and glorious reunion with friends and family. Inasmuch as Peace on Earth is so two weeks ago, I’ll just wish the best of luck to our service people, including local law enforcement, as they deal with the bad guys at home and abroad.

That the gangbangers would quit gangbanging is a wish we all share. Maybe we could put them in the libraries where they might learn there’s a world beyond the ‘hood (but somebody would have to teach them to read, let alone think). Or how about making them write essays, esay, on why killing each other is important, or what exactly “disrespect” means. Bet you they’d flunk that one. I really wish the next fool who pops another kid would stop for one second and reconsider, but now I’m hallucinating from too many unresolved Christmas cookies.

I wish this stupid economy would improve, it’s hurting everyone I know and most people I don’t know. If people do have money to spend, they’re rightly holding onto it.

I really wish the genius politicians who think they are doing us a favor by taking our money and spending it for us would just go away. More hallucinations.

There are lots more wishes that would make 2011 the happiest new year of all, but I’m out of space. How about you? If you have any wishes that would make this a great year for all of us, please share them so we can all look ahead more hopefully. Thanks.