On occasion, I struggle to find an idea for this column. This week, I had many ideas, but none seemed to lend themselves to more than a sentence or two. So here’s what’s on my mind as we enter 2014:
• I will not miss 2013. In Washington, our lawmakers did little to help put millions of jobless Americans back to work. In Raleigh, our lawmakers perhaps went too far in their efforts to prevent voter fraud.
• I look forward to 2014. Good Lord and good grades willing, my daughter will graduate from high school in June. In August, student loans willing, she will enter Western Carolina University, where she plans to become a teacher, like her mom.
• I don’t know how the state decides its road-building priorities for Johnston County, but N.C. 42 needs to be four lanes from Buffalo Road east of Clayton to Interstate 40 in the Cleveland community.
Every Tuesday and Wednesday morning, I see the cars pouring onto U.S. 70 Business from N.C. 42 East, and at least once a week, I find myself on N.C. 42 West, where two construction projects – a hospital and an apartment complex – promise to add traffic to an already heavily traveled road.
N.C. 42 can’t be four lanes soon enough.
• Speaking of road needs, Smithfield has its Booker Dairy Road Extension, and the town is nearing completion of Smithfield Crossings, designed to ease congestion on Industrial Park Drive. Soon, then, I hope town leaders will wish for – and lobby for – a new Interstate 95 interchange. The present interchange is at least easy to navigate, but it’s cramped and dark and hardly welcoming. The county seat deserves better.
• Last year about this time, I wrote about my resolution for the new year, which was to try to do something constructive every day, beyond my job of course. I am disappointed to report that I made good on my resolution for only about two months.
But my failure isn’t keeping me from approaching this new year with renewed resolve. This past week I have been thinking about projects I want to complete this year, not something every day, which proved unrealistic, at least for me, but things I can accomplish throughout the year.
I haven’t put anything on paper yet, but I promise to let you know how things work out. In the meantime, I hope your 2014 is everything you hope it will be.