Good news brings 2013 to a close

leallan@tcsn.netDecember 23, 2013 

I’ve never liked the Christmas season much.

So needless to say, this time of the year I’m looking for anything to make me feel good. The network news shows, with their “If it bleeds, it leads” mentality, don’t help much.

Fortunately, there have been some news reports that actually put a smile on my face — some good news, if you will, to bring 2013 to a close.

I, for one, was delighted to see our president walk over and shake the hand of Raul Castro. I thought to myself, “It’s about time.” We need more hand-shaking between nations, not confrontation.

It was encouraging to learn that things may improve with the agreement to get Iran to dump its bomb-making materials. Of course we don’t know if we can trust “them,” but I also think that on the other side, they wonder if they can trust us. For once we’re giving diplomacy a chance to work instead of sending in the troops.

Finally, we have some kind of compromised agreement in Congress on a budget. Not everyone got what they wanted, but the American people got a break from a gridlocked Congress. I hope more compromise follows, and we get a functioning Congress again.

I’m proud of the role The Tribune played in bringing the water issues to the forefront of discussion. The five-part series started it all off, and the follow-up stories have made it clear what the issues are as we strive to reduce the drawdown on such a precious resource — our drinking and ag water.

I feel good every time I drive by the self-help housing project on the north end of El Camino Real where about a dozen families are putting in sweat equity that will result in them getting a home when the work is done, probably by the spring of 2014.

Although I’m not Catholic, I like Pope Francis. He is bringing a fresh new face to the church. In fact, he is challenging all religious leaders to practice the spirit that many of us only one put into action at this time of the year. Pope Francis wants it to become a way of life all year long — care for others, don’t pass judgment on the gay community and have compassion for those in need.

Such news has made my life merrier this Christmas season.

Lon Allan’s column is special to The Tribune. He has lived in Atascadero for nearly five decades and his column appears here every week. Reach Allan at 466-8529 or leallan@tcsn.net.

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