Saturday, August 13, 2022

editorial: 2022 is bound to be better

| January 2, 2022 1:00 AM

One of the greatest gifts is to be able to start something anew, especially if you’ve screwed up the previous assignment.

With the simple flip of a calendar page, all good things now seem possible.

Perhaps this is more preference than prediction — what we hope will be rather than what is most likely to occur — but that’s what a brand new year is for, isn’t it?

Two full years of pandemic poison has polluted all aspects of life, so first and foremost, we raise our glass to the prospect that COVID-19 will, if not die a painful death, at least be relegated to the sideline rather than control the field of play in ‘22.

The ripple effects of conquering COVID will be like tidal waves of positivity, bolstering the economy, easing the health care burden and maybe bringing fractured families and former colleagues a little closer together.

As long as we’re slurping greedily from the overflowing cup o’ optimism:

• Kootenai County won’t be able to put the brakes on growth — shutting it down completely wouldn’t be healthy anyway. But it will make progress with workforce housing, thanks in part to a public-private coalition headed by Kiki Miller and others.

• Political extremism, which has been exposed and does not represent the will of most longtime residents, will suffer several important defeats — including but not limited to the fall of Janice McGeachin and Priscilla Giddings in statewide races and the corralling of runaway horses on the North Idaho College board of trustees.

• Coeur d’Alene’s new mayor, Jim Hammond, will pick up right where 8-year Mayor Steve Widmyer left off — with a practical, apolitical approach to problem solving and public service. In fact, the county’s three largest cities will all boast outstanding leaders with Steve Griffitts and Ron Jacobson continuing their vigils in Hayden and Post Falls, respectively.

• Our public schools will deliver quality education despite the relentless efforts of those eager to tear them down. (See political extremism entry above.)

• Law and order will continue to be managed well. If you stop and think about how low our serious crime rates are and how responsive our law enforcement agencies can be, think of the dedicated men and women throughout these agencies. Think too of leaders like Sheriff Bob Norris and police chiefs like Lee White and Greg McLean.

Here’s hoping that 2022 is a damn sight better than 2021 — which upon further review should not be terribly difficult.

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