Friday, December 30, 2011

Top New Year’s resolutions for 2012

Here comes 2012 and rolling in with it will be a tsunami of New Year's resolutions. And just in case people are too full of holiday excesses to think of more than the classics—losing weight, getting fit, studying harder and being kinder—here are some we'd recommend.

Technologically clueless Americans: To wake up and smell the drones before they become so commonplace in our cities, towns and neighborhoods that we forget there's a right to privacy embodied in the U.S. Constitution.

Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich: To learn that his proposal to drag Supreme Court justices who disagree with Congress in front of congressional committees horrifies democracy-loving Americans, not just his fellow historians.

National Football League: To move faster to adopt concussion-detection devices and to prohibit players who may have suffered a concussion from returning to the playing field with injuries that could leave them with lifelong disabilities.

Idaho gas drillers: To stop lobbying to prohibit counties from exerting local control over drilling operations. If counties have no control and the state offers few or no protections, communities could be left helpless to offset threats to the health, safety and welfare of their residents.

Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna: To stop his private war on teachers and to rethink rushing all schools to virtual instruction.

Gov. Butch Otter and the Department of Fish and Game: To stop crying "wolf" over the decline of big-game herds in the Lolo zone without explaining that it was proceeding apace even before wolf reintroduction because the fine habitat created by early 20th-century forest fires has disappeared as evergreens took over in a natural succession.

Baldy's ski patrollers: To stick with it and civilize the barbarians who insist on inhabiting the same space as slower, more sensible skiers and boarders.

The New York Times, The Washington Post and television news operations: To acknowledge every day that news happens on the West Coast, too.

Sun Valley City Council: To come to grips with the fact that small local businesses that collect local sales taxes in the area operate on such thin margins that to ask them to make up for a $400,000 cut in public marketing funds is to try to squeeze blood from the proverbial turnip.

Blaine County School District board of trustees: To quit playing games with the Idaho Open Meeting Law and to be straight with the public about the subject of closed-door meetings.

Sidecountry skiing malcontents: To realize that the backside of Bald Mountain isn't their private property.

Cities of Sun Valley and Ketchum: Same as last year—to open meetings of the publicly funded Sun Valley Marketing Alliance to the public that's paying for it.

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl: Same as last year—to survive kidnapping and imprisonment by the Taliban in Afghanistan and to come home to his family in Hailey. The valley hasn't forgotten you.

U.S. Senate: Same as last year—to get rid of filibuster rules that allow the minority to stop bills favored by the majority.

All candidates for president: To repeat every day, "I will stick to the facts."

Idaho legislators: Same as last year—to actually read the pile of research on phoning and texting while driving and to outlaw both before any more people die needless deaths by phone.

Lagging household recyclers: To recycle stuff like there will be no tomorrow, if you don't.

Idaho Transportation Department: To put together funding for wildlife tunnels and overpasses to reduce collisions on state Highway 75.

County and airport officials: To come up with solutions to the airport's problems that won't decimate the Sun Valley area's economy.

Idaho Republican legislators: To stop abusing the Blaine County School District and others by trying to destabilize long-term tax overrides approved by voters.

Sun Valley Co.: To keep up efforts to build business with winter ski races and summer bike races on Baldy and construction of improvements for visitors like the terrain park on Dollar Mountain that is so popular.

Idaho Legislature: To come into the 21st century by joining the quest to tax online sales and to quit penalizing bricks-and-mortar retailers in the state.

Idahoans: To view with a jaundiced eye lawmakers that carry legislation written by the group with the benign-sounding name of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a nonprofit funded by big business.

U.S. House Republicans: To quit using the Environmental Protection Agency as the whipping boy for the nation's economic problems. Any whipping should be applied to Wall Street financial firms.

President Obama: To stand up for himself and his administration.

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