ON Christmas Day, people exchange gifts. During Hanukkah, celebrants light candles and also give gifts for eight days. Boxing Day — Dec. 26 in England and Canada — is traditionally when folks exchange gifts or “open the alms box” for the poor.
Here on the opinion page, we’ve had an on-again, off-again tradition of giving gifts — more like wishes — to our local cities for the new year, 2012. We have a little fun with it. Tell us if you agree with our gift choices (letters.@firstname.lastname@example.org; letters.star-news@ sgvn.com; email@example.com):
After this month’s windstorm, we wish all cities a much better Emergency Operations Center filled with flashlights, chippers, chainsaws and lots of diesel- powered generators.
For all the folks of the San Gabriel Valley who lost power in the great storm of 2011, an emergency supply kit. You know, to get ready for the next one.
For Southern California Edison, an emergency plan.
For Pasadena, a Rose Bowl construction project whose funding gap isn’t always getting wider.
For Majestic Realty’s Ed Roski Jr., an NFL football owner in a boring small market who is suffering from an incurable case of California Dreamin.’
For Diamond Bar, with a new library and a new City Hall opening in 2012, donating their wish to a city that needs it.
For La Puente, a successful development of the old bowling alley property.
For El Monte, a Walmart. Really.
For Arcadia, something, anything, that can be built in the gigantic parking lot of Santa Anita Park.
For Temple City, we’ll stick with our perennial wish for the Camellia City: a completed retail development on the northeast corner of Rosemead Boulevard and Las Tunas Drive. (See, we didn’t say the word “Piazza.” Oops.)
For Montebello, someone to spin the Earth backward several years so their financial problems and bad loan decisions would go away.
For the staff, parents and mostly the students of the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, which will be the first in our area to begin an early start school year, a unseasonably cool month of August.
For Whittier, the redevelopment of the 75-acre Fred C. Nelles site, which is now in jeopardy with Thursday’s redevelopment decision in Sacramento.
For Walnut Valley Unified, a safebox for their SAT tests.
For Glendora, a redeveloped Route 66.
For the bicycle riders in the area, a black gold necklace, as in a paved “Emerald Necklace,” that connects the Rio Hondo River Bike Trail with the San Gabriel River Bike Trail, so riders don’t have to ride on the streets to complete the loop.
For hikers, hunters, off-roaders, birders, horse riders, or just anyone who has scratched her or his head when trying to figure out where a trail leads or how to reach the river from a street: A coordinated, well-signed, fully funded recreation management plan run by the National Park Service.
For Azusa, and the Rivers and Mountains Conservancy, a benefactor who can catch the vision for the River Wilderness Park.
For all of you, a healthy and prosperous new year.
Keep reading. And resolve to write a letter to the editor in 2012!