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Ready For the New Year, Resolutions In Hand

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It’s that time when many of us resolve to make big changes in the coming year. Out with the bad old stuff and in with the promise of the new. We’re going to get healthier, richer and happier. We’re going to gain new skills and go better places.

That’s the idea anyway. Of course, by the second week of January, many of us have forgotten or decided to ignore our New Year’s resolutions. If you’re serious, though, you’ll tell other people so they can hold you accountable.

I’ll spit out my resolutions right here in virtual print for you and everyone else to see. Feel free to hold me accountable as 2011 wears on.

I resolve to stop being so hard on downtown Redding. No, it doesn’t compare to downtown Chico or downtown Ashland or downtown Santa Rosa. In some ways, it doesn’t compare even to downtown Colusa. But downtown Redding does have things going for it, and I need to appreciate them. There are multiple performing arts venues, led by the always-inspiring Cascade Theatre. The nightclub scene is hopping on weekends, especially if you’re younger than 30. Shasta College has invested heavily in downtown, as have some property owners and the owners of businesses such as Need 2 Speed, Enjoy, Yaks, Grilla Bites and Kobe Steak and Seafood. Downtown events like the Asphalt Cowboy’s Pancake Breakfast, Marketfest, ArtHop and the annual rodeo and Christmas parades remain great community gatherings. Heck, I even did much of this year’s Christmas shopping downtown.

I resolve to visit Lassen Volcanic National Park at least three times. My wife and I typically make a couple trips to Lassen every year, usually to go hiking and enjoy the wildflowers. But we didn’t enter the park even once in 2010. That’s not acceptable. Lassen has a ton to offer, and, with the exception of a few touristy spots, it has none of the usual national park crowds.

I resolve not to miss the Manton Apple Festival. Sort of a tie-died version of Lake Woebegone, the apple fest is my favorite community event of the year. However, conflicts have kept me from the gathering for the past two years. In 2011, I’ll be there early enough to grab an apple fritter.

I resolve not to make fun of the local newspaper. Wait … I’ve got to make these resolutions realistic. Scratch this one.

I resolve to finish cleaning up from the 2003 snowstorm. You may remember the storm that hit seven years ago between Christmas and New Year’s Day. A foot of very wet snow fell on our 3 acres west of Redding. Then the wind blew. It was lethal for many of our live oak trees. Even some black oaks and gray pines didn’t fare well. I have spent more days than I care to recall, usually with a chainsaw in my hands, clearing the mess. Give me two more afternoons this spring, and I’ll have it licked. Unless it snows hard again.

I resolve to run more often with other people. Like many runners, I do most of my miles solo. It’s not that runners are anti-social. We simply have our own personal and training schedules, and matching those with another runner’s schedules is difficult. Still, I enjoy the company, and it’s usually rewarding for me to try to hang with faster runners (which is most of them). I’m part of an informal Saturday morning running group, and I should show up more than once every six weeks – even when they meet at 7 freaking ayem.

I resolve not to strangle the next Southern Californian who, upon learning I live near Redding, moans, “Oh, it’s sooooo hot there. We stopped for gas one time on our way to Oregon, and I thought my eyeballs were going to melt.” Gosh, it’s hot here in the summertime? Who knew? Actually, I don’t hear this observation nearly as often since the Sundial Bridge has become such an attraction. Despite what the previous mayor might think, it’s better to be known for an architectural wonder than for intolerable weather.

I resolve to figure out whether those are crows or ravens that wake me up at first light every spring morning. I probably shouldn’t resolve to shoot every last one of them, should I?

I resolve to pedal a bike from my house to Shasta Dam and back. I’ve had this outing on my list for a few years and, really, it’s not that far. Less than 50 miles round trip. Now that the Sacramento River Rail Trail and Middle Creek Trail between Old Shasta and the Sacramento River are paved, the ride should be an absolute piece of cake – even if it takes me three or four hours to eat.

I resolve to stop procrastinating. I’m off to a good start, as I finished these resolutions before the first day of 2011.

Have any resolutions of your own? Share them if you’re willing to have A News Café readers ask you in a few months, “Hey, what ever happened to …?”

Happy New Year!

shigley-mugshotPaul Shigley is senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a frequent contributor to Planning magazine and resolves to write a new tagline for 2011. He lives in Centerville. Paul Shigley may be reached at pauls.anewscafe@gmail.com.

A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Greenberg, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment.

Paul Shigley

has been a professional journalist since 1987. For 12 years, he served as editor or senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a statewide trade publication for land use planners, real estate development professionals and attorneys. Prior to that, he worked as a reporter or editor at newspapers in Redding, Grass Valley, Napa and Calistoga. Shigley's work also has appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Planning magazine, Governing magazine, California Law Week, National Speed Sport News and elsewhere. In addition, he is co-author of Guide to California Planning, a college text and reference book, and is currently working on a book for the American Planning Association about the Bay Delta and California water resources. A graduate of California State University, Sacramento, Shigley has contributed to A News Cafe since 2009. He and his wife, Dana, live in western Shasta County.

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