Local Commentary

Editorial: That January Check List

Three and a half weeks in now, most are settling into the New Year, beginning to get the hang of writing “2012” on their checks and lingering longer and longer on those summer vacation destination web sites. As a public service, here’s our check list to help you make sure you’re not overlooking something:

• New Year’s Resolutions – Remember those? Are they still operative for you, or have you already surrendered to inertia? Maybe you are just a slow starter. There’s nothing to say you can’t start in May.

• Eating better and exercising – Always a good idea, and don’t disrespect even your small victories. You don’t need an Armageddon scenario to make real progress. For example, the single best way to exercise is by taking brisk walks. It’s the big secret the exercise industry doesn’t want you to know, and the price is right. The other big secret is that any exercise is better than no exercise. We are told that unless we put in a certain amount of time each day, we’re not doing ourselves any good. Horse feathers! Every gallop up the stairs, every trot to the mailbox helps.

• The weather – Please, please don’t start petitioning the heavens for more snow! So far this year, we’re enjoying one of the mildest in a long time, and we’re happy to keep it that way. Anyone who runs a business knows how disruptive severe weather can be in a whole variety of ways. Besides, mild weather means the City doesn’t have to spend money on clearing roads, etc., so we as taxpayers benefit.

• Local campaigns – This is the time frame when the May Falls Church City Council and School Board elections begin to take shape. The buzz intensifies on who is going to run and who won’t. The big change this time is that there will be no CBC nominating convention in February. Is anyone else feeling a little set adrift as a result?

• National elections – All those debates and four contests in January are keeping things interesting in the GOP primary process even this early. Remember when the first primary was in New Hampshire in mid-February? There’s so much attention being paid on the primaries that those trying to gain liftoff for other important races this year – such as for the U.S. Senate in Virginia – are having a hard time getting anyone’s attention.

• Local and state budgets. The news is not good.

• Assessments. Due in early February, they’ll tell us this year that home values are appreciating modestly. That means a bigger tax bill, but betters chances for further rebounding for anyone wanting to sell or refinance.

• Local sports. It’s shaping up as another banner year for our local high school winter sports teams. Last year, both the girls and boys basketball teams made the state’s final four. This year could see a repeat.