Sunday, December 31, 2006


Each year at this time, we read in the papers about the top stories of the year that’s ending. Some papers and news outlets even have contests to see if someone in the general public can pick the same set as they did. We also see the stories about resolutions for the next year.

I want to do it a little differently, so I’m offering you my pick of the top five stories that I would like to read in 2007. Heck, it could turn out that I’m 100% wrong, but writing an opinion piece means that no matter what you write somebody, or a bunch of some bodies, are going to say that you’re wrong anyway! So, let’s get to it.

1. After a magnificent victory by the Tar Heels over Wisconsin in Atlanta on April 2d, the Lady Heels defeated Maryland in Cleveland on April 3d. No longer are the Connecticut Huskies the only Division I school to claim both men’s and women’s national champs. Because of the victories, UNC insignia sales put the Heels back in first place over that school in Texas. Now people can stop scratching their heads trying to figure out why so many people would want to wear burnt orange in the first place.

2. Mr Axel Rhodes, a long-term employee of the State Department of Transportation’s Pavement Management division, received a significant cash incentive award for his recent suggestion adopted by the department. Mr. Rhodes explained his idea this way: “Well, I was thinking one day when I was looking at the list of outstanding projects and some looked real familiar to me. So, I thought, why not do like the song says and adopt a new attitude. That became my suggestion —— why not get a new attitude and do it right the first time!” As a result of his suggestion, the DOT will save millions and the jobs on the task list will only appear once, since they’ll be done right the first time. Travelers on I-40 will be happier than pigs in slop, as will those who have endured shoddy work on Seawell School Road when it wasn’t done right the first, second, third, or …

3. Coach Butch Davis’ team brought out the Tar Heel fans from wherever they’ve been hiding, making the first game a sell-out. The team responded to the show of support by going 10-2 over the season and earning a bowl bid. As expected, the Tar Heel faithful will flock to Charlotte for the bowl game and tickets on the various Internet sites are going for over $4,000. Even some of the most severe critics now acknowledge that football can coexist with basketball and a coach earning a competitive salary can make a difference. When asked about this, Athletic Director Dick Baddour said, “I let the results speak for me.”

4. The soft refrains of that great song of togetherness could be heard emanating from the Friday Center as the participants on the Carolina North Leadership Advisory Committee joined hands and sang “Kum ba yah” with gusto. What caused this unexpected occurrence? The committee, after months of discussions and debates, agreed that the proposals for Carolina North will be a benefit to the community and the areas of concern can be worked out. As one participant put it, “We have all come to realize that everyone gains when we collaborate and work together rather than pursue narrow interests or personal agendas.” UNC officials were delighted with the work of the committee and between verses, thanked all of the members for their hard work that will bring a world-class facility to Orange County, Carrboro and Chapel Hill. After the last verse, an observer quipped, “I can say that I was there the day sanity won out over absurdity.”

5. The newest high school opened in the Chapel Hill–Carrboro Schools District with an enthusiastic crowd on hand to witness the ceremonial opening. Smaller than the other two high schools in the district, and without a senior class, students were enthusiastic about being part of a student body that will establish new traditions for those who follow to build upon. As one freshman put it, “Well dude, when you build a new school, somebody has to attend it. Redistricting sucks, but isn’t that a rule of gravity?” Other students expressed similar thoughts, as did some of the parents. The Superintendent of Schools observed that he was glad to lead a school system in a community that understood the complexities of redistricting and was committed to making it work.

Whatever the top stories of 2007 turn out to be, I wish you and yours the very best in the new year that will hopefully be one of peace. Dreams may be a waste of time but having the luxury to dream is a good thing.

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