Here’s my Christmas wish list for SK

As Christmas morning dawns once again in this year of Our Lord 2004, I am reminded once again how many battles we’ve fought as a culture.

And refight at particular times every year despite our declared victory the year before.

For example, the cry that Christmas was becoming too commercial, that we as Americans had lost touch with, and track of, what the holiday is really supposed to be about, seemed to start about the time I turned 21, which anyone who can see my picture next to this column knows was a very long time ago.

But social truth, however unpleasant, however heathen-ish it might be, is social (if not always moral) truth. The religious aspects of Christmas are still present and in some areas like ours even dominant, but any close watching of your television, or a careful perusal of the suddenly fattened (by advertisements) Sunday newspapers amply proves that Christmas shopping, not Christ, is King in many American precincts.

Rather than get embroiled in the seemingly endless discussion about the right and wrong of this, a debate which has been swirling around me (and you) for more than 30 years, I’m simply going to share my holiday wishes for some of the folks we write about and you read about.

-- I sincerely hope the citizens of South Kitsap who ride foot ferries will actually finally receive a new dock to replace the decrepit old Sidney Dock, which was many pedestrian tourists’ first look at Port Orchard for too many years.

I know this very paper recently reported such a deed would be done, but forgive me if I wait until completion to believe in sugar plums, elves and a decent dock for foot ferry passengers.

-- I devoutly wish the poor citizens of Manchester, who have been stuck between a stinky, failing septic system and heavy pumping fines for a while now, finally get the sewer line extension they so desperately have needed for so long. Even if they have to foot some of the bill themselves.


-- I hope for a gun safety class for the Olalla man who shot himself in the leg Dec. 2, while cleaning his gun.

As a reporter I’ve written about hundreds of these guys in the past 30 years. Surveys in metropolitan areas claim taxi driving is the most dangerous profession — armed passengers, you see.

But in the rural areas, where I’ve practiced (some would say never mastered) journalism, there is always some guy shooting off a finger or blowing a hole in his leg while “cleaning” his weapon.

Please learn how to handle firearms if you’re determined to have them.

-- It won’t be this time, but I heartily hope Dino Rossi and little Chrissie Gregoire eventually run in a election one of them wins by more than 50 votes.

My Republican friends and my Democratic friends have bored us all for far too long with their cries of “Submit” on the one hand and “More recount, please” on the other.

Share the damn job, but shut up.

-- Since Kitsap law enforcement seems to always be claiming to need more money for crime fighting, yet always claims they are controlling said crime when their methods are critiqued, however gently, I wish them an outbreak of something non-lethal.

Maybe a rash of burglaries where the thieves only steal cell phones and personal computers.

That way your next ferry ride might consist of something other than jerks screaming their self-importance into tinier and tinier phones, while the person across the aisle from them scans porn or sports news with a demented leer or glare, while the art of conversation goes further and further down the pipe.

Let’s get those officers out there doing something new and challenging. Then maybe they’ll stop complaining about salaries and equipment for a few months.

-- Finally, I want to wish you and yours a very merry Christmas and an even happier New Year.

Dennis Wilken is a former Port Orchard Independent reporter.

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