Gifts that would be great fun to give

December 20, 2018

Christmas is rapidly approaching, so it’s time for my annual column on gifts I’d like to see given this year, although — as you’ll see — they’re probably not very likely.

For Christmas this year, I’d be happy to give:

— The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers the ability to do a thorough job and still be finished with its Environmental Impact Statement on the segment of Highway 275 between West Point and Scribner in less than a year. Right now, it’s estimated to take two years to complete.

How many motorists would like to see that speeded up? The sounds of vehicle horns is deafening.

— All of Nebraska’s new state senators, including Timothy Gragert of Creighton, Ben Hansen of Blair and Mike Moser of Columbus, the ability to retain everything they need to know about being a lawmaker in one orientation session.

That’s not realistic at all, of course, but the sooner the new legislators get up to speed on how everything works in Lincoln, the quicker they’ll be able to effectively legislate and represent this corner of the state.

— State Sen. Jim Scheer, as speaker of the Legislature, an extra helping of wisdom and patience as he helps guide the Unicameral through what could be a contentious session.

— The Sunset Plaza an extra-long waiting list of tenants interested in leasing space in the Norfolk mall. It would be good for the plaza, good for Norfolk and good for shoppers from throughout Northeast and North Central Nebraska.

— A heaping box full of harmony and an extra degree of professionalism for the members of the board of directors of the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District.

This is too important an elective body to have to consistently deal with the kind of dysfunctionality that has popped up in recent months. We value each of the board members for their willingness to serve and their perspectives on challenging issues, but we’re hoping for calmer meetings ahead.

— A season in which expectations are met or even exceeded for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Cornhusker basketball team. This could be the year for that first NCAA men’s basketball tournament victory.

— Cooperative weather come spring and summer for all of the construction projects still under way in Norfolk, including housing developments, the Faith Regional Health Services’ medical office building, the Fountain Point medical complex and others. Like many others, we’re eager to see them completed and operational.

— A successful holiday campaign for the Norfolk Area Good Neighbors in reaching and exceeding the goal of $75,000. Actually, given the tremendous generosity always shown by Norfolk and area residents and companies, this gift is probably one that probably will become reality.

— A holiday season for all in which family gatherings are enjoyed, travel takes place safely and worship services are full as individuals and families celebrate the birth of Christ Jesus.

Merry Christmas to all.

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