NEW YEAR: Andy Looks Forward To 2014

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The holidays are officially over and that usually bugs me a little.  I mean there’s nothing but three cold months ahead, taxes and potholes.

But I’m not going to dwell on the bummers to-be.  After all, a New Year is full of opportunity, and we know that 2014 will bring a few good things to Iowa, and who knows? Maybe there’s promise of even more.

We know that downtown Des Moines will look even better.  Projects from Walnut Street to the Wellmark YMCA get underway, the Des Moines Social Club puts a new face in an historic space.

Wells Fargo Arena won’t get NCAA basketball or wrestling, but so what?  There are still State tournaments and a Wild new tenant to pass winter months, and new hotel projects should help lure more events down the road.

We’ve got two ranked basketball teams ready to shoot their conferences full of holes.  Iowa should make the tournament for the first time in a while, and Iowa State fans have more than ever to look forward to, even if they’re looking back at something they just lost.

Johnny Orr was an Iowa Icon, but this year, let’s take the chance to appreciate the others who are still with us.  Hayden Fry, Simon Estes, Bob Ray, to name a few.

There’s a governor’s race, this year, so the ads and finger-pointing are unavoidable, but who knows? Maybe this is the year lawmakers start using words like compromise and cooperate, again.

Maybe the housing market keeps picking up speed and its rising tide raises all ships.

Maybe the speedway turns a corner now that NASCAR has the keys.

And maybe we spend more time enjoying the things we already have - off the beaten path, overlooked in the city, under our noses but somehow undiscovered.

I don’t do New Year’s resolutions.  But I will do this—at the end of this New Year, I’ll look back at what I said here, and see what worked out and what didn’t.  I’m willing to bet 2014 comes through big time. And if it doesn’t, well, then there’s always next year.

I’m Andy Fales and that’s What’s Bugging Me.