The Star-News


Making the new year a better one for everyone

Sat, Dec 29 2012 12:00 PM Posted By: Richard Pena

In four days we will bid adieu to the year known as 2012 and welcome, with somewhat open arms, the one that we are going to dub 2013.

Now whether or not this is the right decision we can not say simply because we have no control over the outcome. It is either 2013 or the end of the world, as some pundits were proclaiming the other day. So, all in all, the vote is out for the new year with, of course, some recommendations or suggestions, that is, those that will make it one of those outstanding years instead of those that we bid goodbye as so much rubbish.

I have written an end of year column for about 30 years.  Back in those early times this space was full of resolutions made by me but not for me. The resolutions were for other persons or organizations,  cajoling them to improve themselves or something of that nature. I was presumptuous enough to declare that I need not make resolutions for me since how could one improve on that which is perfect?

Some readers were critical of me for taking this attitude, and since most of them were family members I decided to change my approach.

An example of those positive suggestions is something that just came to mind shortly before I came to my work station to compose this treatise.

I was watching the Chargers win a football game. It was one of those end-of-season games that had no particular meaning in the standings. Just one lackluster team beating another team that had more lackluster.

For more years than I can remember I have been a sport’s minded person in the San Diego area.  But I am also one of those individuals who is tired of saying, “Just wait until next year.”  All well and good but when is next year going to be that good year?

The National Football League has played 47 Super Bowls and the Chargers have been in one of them. Not to be outdone the the Padres have been in baseball’s National League for better than 50 years and have been in two World Series.  Needless to say neither team has ever been a champ.

The Padres and the Chargers are, of course, beyond our control so we are going to drop them and leave them to whatever their management sees fit.  We, instead, can see the positive nature of some of our local entities and perhaps should comment on them.

This just past Christmas Season saw the best, for example, in the Kiwanis Club of Bonita in the handing out of the ingredients for full holiday meals.  I saw first hand the joy that can come to the recipients of such larder. Perhaps, Kiwanis, and the other fine service clubs in the area can find some means of perpetuating this deed and bring joy year-round.

There is also the really great women organizations in the valley, the Sweetwater and the Chula Vista Woman’s Clubs along with Las Primeras and, I suspect, many others who are involved in many philanthropic endeavors.  I particularly like the many scholarships that are doled out each year to deserving but needy students.  The local chapter of the Retired Teacher’s Association is another group that deserves recognition for the distribution of scholarships.

Thinking of scholarships reminds us of schools in general.  We have, in the Sweetwater and Chula Vista School Districts some of the finest educators around. I, therefore, laud those individuals and will ignore the negative ones that seem to crop up in the news.  Remember that in June thousands of young people will be graduating or simply advancing in their education career.  This has not come about by accident.  The dedication of countless teachers and administrators has caused this to occur.

We would like to see a better promotion of the arts in the South Bay.  The visual arts, particularly need some attention. Someone in city government should shoulder this responsibility. An art museum, for example, somewhere downtown. Wishful thinking?  Maybe, but why not?

As for me I think that all I can do is show much thanks to those who have made my year fulfilling. Family members, caregivers, medics and others deserve my humble thanks. I also will include the readers of this space. May we all have a prosperous and positive 2013.


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