Back when I was a young pup, just starting out in this business we call news, the first time they ever let me express my opinion in the paper (complete with mug shot and me wearing a loaner tie), it was during the New Year's season.
And like many columnists, humorists, opinionated hacks and the like, I took advantage of the season to write out resolutions for all the people in the news at the time.
At the time, it felt like a shining accomplishment. Here I was some punk college kid working for his hometown daily newspaper (one he actually delivered on a bicycle as a punk teenager), getting to act like one of those big-shot Page 2 columnists that hooked me into the business.
And in the 20-something years since, I haven't written another set of resolutions.
So, I'm due.
You've been warned.
McDonald's: If the plan is to open in Loma Linda, then be a good neighbor. Take the time to create -- and market -- items that will allay the fears of the community. Items that don't just have the word "salad" in them. Troll the Carl's Jr. website, and they offer their guacamole burger -- without the burger. I once saw a register card that touted the idea of using mushrooms as a subsititute as well. You've got the tortillas in restaurants, too. Use them.
Loma Linda's McDonald's Haters: Take this opportunity -- if it comes to town -- to affect changes for the restaurant, at least in your community. You do that by working with the local owner/operator. Present ideas on how they can better serve you. That way, the community gets the benefit of your ideas and the tax dollars. And if they don't want to change -- well, then vote with your wallets.
Tea Party members: Compromise [kom-pruh-mahyz]. a settlement of differences by mutual concessions; an agreement reached by adjustment of conflicting or opposing claims, principles, etc., by reciprocal modification of demands. Please. No one wants their taxes raised. NO ONE. But to sit on your hands making demands without giving anything substantial back? It's killing us out here in the real world (I believe you called it "Main Street").
Occupy members: Get the message straight and organized. Not just at the local level, but state and nationwide. The protest after the Rose Parade seems like a good start, since it has a unified message (corporate money out of politics). But you're going to need to start trying to use any of your clout to get behind people who will help make the political changes you want.
Terrorists/hooligans/protestors: Leave the Olympics alone. I know London 2012 is a juicy target for making a stand against whatever message you want to put out there. But no. There are going to be too many people there who just want to compete at their chosen endeavor for two weeks. Some of them have no chance of winning ... but they're at the Olympics, and no one should ever take that away from them over political or religious idealism.
Cos-play groups: Stop threatening news organizations with lawsuits. The Nathan Gastineau trial is serious business, and isn't about you. But your name is going to come up (and you probably won't like the context) and it will be the news organization's job to report what happens in court (which means we'll have to mention your name), with an absence of malice. At least two people's lives are going to be run through the mud in court and come out covered in muck, and you keep complaining about getting a speck of dirt on your sleeve. We get it -- the group didn't do anything wrong, and nothing ever happened at group events. But like it or not, you're a part of story, and that's not going to change.
National Hockey League: Learn from the lockouts that the National Football League and National Basketball Association and get your contract settled before it gets ugly. The one thing you need to realize is that if you go out, it won't garner the same attention that the other two leagues did this summer. So keep your house in order and get a deal done. And while you're at it, figure out the concussion problem you're having.
Fresh and Easy: Do something -- anything -- in Loma Linda. If you're staying, then give everyone a sign as to when you're going to open. If not, then take the signs and equipment and leave.
Everyone out there: Treat everyone with respect. Be nice to one another. Vote. Be heard. Don't let an election go by without sumbitting a ballot. Get involved or get left behind.
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