Editorial: A wish list for 2019

  • A woman poses for a photo at an installation of the new 2019 year on Red Square decorated for Christmas and New Year celebrations with the Spasskaya Tower in the background in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Dec. 21, 2018. AP PHOTO/Alexander Zemlianichenko

Published: 12/31/2018 9:31:10 AM

Did 2018 seem long to you? It started with a Women’s March redux and ended with a government shutdown. Along the way, former state Sen. Stan Rosenberg stepped down amid scandal, a new crop of legislators were elected to office, college campuses grappled with issues of race and policing, the Red Sox won the World Series, Amherst welcomed its first-ever Town Council, gas explosions rocked the Merrimack Valley, recreational marijuana became legal in our Valley, and legendary bar Hugo’s had its last call. We asked the Gazette’s editorial department (at least those of us here — some staffers were on vacation) what they hope to see in 2019.

Chad Cain, shared desk coordinator: “Listen to each other, no matter how much you disagree.”

Andy Castillo, features writer and photographer: “I wish something would be done with the neglected state-owned building at 155 Locust St. in Florence. I’ve been driving past that abandoned lot my entire life. It’s been decaying for decades.”

Dusty Christensen, staff writer: “I wish for the Pioneer Valley NewsGuild to agree to a strong contract with Newspapers of New England in the new year.”

Dan Crowley, managing editor: “I’d like to see less rain and more sunshine in 2019.”

​​​​​​Bera Dunau, staff writer: “I want to see more people reaching out to the Gazette when they feel a story needs to be told. I want to see more people reaching out to the Gazette when they are in need. I want to see more people reaching out to the Gazette when they’ve experienced a personal or professional triumph. I want to see more good-faith criticism of the Gazette. I want to drop my sugar intake drastically and dramatically increase the number of pushups I do a day. And finally, I want the New York Yankees to win the World Series. In crushing fashion.”

Dave Eisenstadter, swing editor: “I wish for less authoritarianism and more understanding in the world in 2019.”

Chris Goudreau, staff writer: “I’d like to see arts in the Pioneer Valley continue to thrive, whether that’s music, visual art, theater or dance.”

Kevin Gutting, staff writer and photographer: “My wish for 2019 is that all elected representatives will work for the common good of the country, above any political party or themselves.”

Brooke Hauser, editor in chief and opinion editor: “I want to see more letters to the editor written by first-time contributors, including kids like 10-year-old Northampton resident Audrey Preer, who encouraged her peers to contact Rep. Jim McGovern to ask him to support the bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, which “puts a price on carbon pollution,” she wrote. “By working together on both local and national levels, I think kids can make a big difference in fighting climate change.” I agree — and apparently so does Rep. McGovern, who sent Audrey a handwritten note, saying that he would be supporting carbon dividends in the new year. It’s great when civic engagement starts early!”

Greta Jochem, staff writer: “I’d love to see NETA traffic near the office calm down and lots of snow for a good ski season.”

Patti Lucchini, typesetter and Jill-of-all-trades: “To see the Boston Red Sox beat the New York Yankees again or to make it to 50 years of employment here. June 11 will have been here 48.”

Katy McColl Lukens, features editor: “A 12 noon class at Shiva Shakti — five days a week!”

Blaise Majkowski, designer: “I wish the upcoming ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ movie is as great as the recent ‘Kong: Skull Island’ movie. Ditto for the toys.”

Scott Merzbach, staff writer: “My wish is for the Gazette to continue keeping our readers informed about municipal affairs by shining the spotlight on decisions made by local officials, while also giving our readers interesting and compelling stories about their Valley neighbors.”

Mike Moran, sports editor: “We’ve been fortunate to see successful professional sports teams at their best. The Patriots reached the Super Bowl, albeit losing to Philadelphia. The Red Sox capped a remarkable year with a World Series championship. The Celtics and Bruins were right there. Here’s to another year of enjoying the success. It could be worse. We could be New York.”

Brenda Nelson, librarian and receptionist: “I really hope this country can make some serious advances in providing single-payer health care for all. So many of the problems working people are facing are tied up with this basic human right.”

Erin O’Neill, digital audience editor: “I’d like to see more people subscribe to their local newspaper. Studies have shown that towns without strong local news coverage see lower civic engagement from voters and politicians while government borrowing costs and other expenses rise. It costs money to report, edit and print good journalism. So, please subscribe to the Daily Hampshire Gazette or your local news media of choice. Your subscription helps hold public officials accountable.”

James Pentland, night managing editor: “I would like the national news media to pay less attention to Trump and more attention to what our government is doing. How about a bit more focus on the real? What’s going on with our military involvements overseas, or with our emboldened corporations at home, how are the regulatory agencies faring under the siege tactics of this administration, what are the effects on the natural world, on scientific inquiry? We could use stories of people trying to make sense of situations that are, at bottom, about policies we have bought and paid for. That’s what democratic societies care about. Wars don’t stop because we stop paying attention to them, but we would all benefit if we could give the president in the White House a lot less air in 2019.”

Steve Pfarrer, arts editor: “I’d like to see a mass movement or huge march, like the Women’s March of January 2017, to protest the Trump administration’s refusal to recognize the threat of climate change and its policy of opening up vast amounts of federal land to oil and gas drilling.”

Lucy Pickett, editorial department designer: “Well, of course I wish for world peace, but closer to home, I wish that the pot shoppers going to NETA would not park in the employee spaces at the Gazette. I really hate coming back from lunch and not having anywhere to park.”

Jerrey Roberts, photographer: “Though I know this is a big wish and is unlikely to be fulfilled, I’d like everyone to put down their cell phone and drive!”

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