We're nearly three weeks into the new year. 2004 wasn't all that bad, but I reckon it could have been better for some. Here's hoping that 2005 will shape up for the following:
• The Sunnyside School District-it's only fair our local school officials receive full funding from the state, as pointed out by Superintendent Rick Cole at last month's school board meeting. Cole and the other superintendents who make up the Washington Association of School Administrators are threatening to take state lawmakers to court in an effort to receive all of the money they say our school districts are due. Fair is fair, after all. I mean, how can the Sunnyside School District expect to educate our youth properly on a paltry budget of just $50 million this year? Why...$50 million is barely enough to keep the lights on in our school buildings. Let's hope in 2005 state lawmakers decide to severely cut, or better yet, eliminate funding for useless programs. They could slash the budget of the DSHS, after all, the people who are served by that agency are just poor folk and they probably wouldn't miss the money. Or maybe the Employment Security Division could be wiped from the state slate...those people collecting unemployment insurance checks surely could find jobs if they put their minds to it. Or better yet, why don't all of us who have jobs in the private sector (you know, us fat cats who have money to burn) voluntarily send in blank checks to our local school districts.
• Major League Baseball players-let's hope the boos and hisses they hear in 2005 for not putting up the kind of numbers as they did in past years won't seriously affect their self-esteem. Maybe 2005 will bring with it a miracle pill that when taken, will wipe out a positive reaction to the mandated steroid tests and instead register the results as negative. This is 2005, after all, and the pill-makers are always coming out with something to fix our problems. Why should Major League Baseball players be exempt from such technology? Heaven knows, our professional track and field athletes have been beating drug and steroid testing for years.
• Those people who use the services provided by the Sunnyside Parks and Recreation Department-come on, do you really need a qualified, well established parks and rec director like the 17-year veteran the City of Sunnyside just canned? Guys like him with all that experience, who oversaw and managed the explosion of the programs offered by the local parks and rec department during his tenure, must be over-rated. Surely any rummy can work up an annual operating budget and put together and maintain recreational programs that interest all facets of the community.
• The brand new Sunnyside Community Center-maybe 2005 will be the year this new structure will be up and running as envisioned by the group that got the ball rolling on this project. I'm not holding my breath, though, considering the city is calling the shots on the day-to-day operations. Maybe, just maybe, the likes of a Greg Uberuaga or a Rey Pascua or a Carlos Maya...common sense type people who know what type of community center activities would appeal to local residents...could be convinced to oversee the daily goings-on there.
• Gov. Christine Gregoire-well, last year she wanted the governor's mansion, and now she's got it (by hook or by crook). Based on what she said during her campaign she'd work to deliver, I guess 2005 will bring affordable health care premiums, full funding for the schools, as well as a booming economy and increased benefits for our military veterans. Boy, I can hardly wait for the turn-around. Go get 'em, Chris.
• Downtown Sunnyside-perhaps 2005 will be the year someone comes up with a theme or idea that will draw visitors from afar. Heck, a downtown area that appeals to all who live in just Sunnyside would be an improvement.