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Hopes for the new year

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By Optic Editorial Board

With new years come fresh perspectives, at least in optimistic minds. Here are a few of our hopes for the new year:

We hope the Castañeda Hotel’s purchase comes off without a hitch and its renovation pumps new energy into the Railroad and New Town districts. This imposing edifice from the olden days of East Las Vegas is long overdue for a massive makeover, and we’re hopeful that buyer Sloane McFarland makes the best of it. May he have strong community support in his efforts.

We also hope and expect to see the Plaza Hotel come out of receivership and into the hands of a new owner, one who will take advantage of the improvements that Wid Slick made happen during his years at the helm of this Old Town centerpiece.

Also in the Old Town district, we hope someone with good business acumen steps forward and buys Tome on the Range. Nancy Colalillo created a top-notch independent bookstore, a community gem, and we’d hate to see it closed upon her retirement.

And for the entire city, we hope the Las Vegas Train Robbers has a great first season in 2013, and brings lots of fun and money into town. Maybe we’ll see a resurgence in community pride as well, as we all rally behind our very own professional baseball team.

At the state level, we wish Sen. Pete Campos success as president pro tem (assuming he’s elected to the position) and Tomas Salazar a great start as this area’s newest representative. We also hope Gov. Susana Martinez uses the art of compromise to become a more effective governor, and that helps her rise in the national Republican Party. The GOP needs more leaders like Martinez, but only if she can prove herself capable of getting things done.

The national Republican Party is at a crossroads. Level-headed leaders need to steer the party toward a greater inclusiveness and a reasonable middle ground. We’d like to see Congress functional again, and that’s something that hinges in large part on the struggle for control of the Republican Party.

One issue that’s been partisan in the past, but shouldn’t be, is global warming. The Republicans would be wise to follow the lead of people such as Jon Huntsman, former Utah governor and presidential candidate, who has unapologetically said he trusts the scientists and believes that the climate is indeed changing. There shouldn’t even be an argument over this one and yet, in the Republican Party, there is.

For his part, President Obama appears to be getting more serious about addressing climate change. We hope so. That would give us reason to be even more  hopeful not just this year, but in all the years ahead.