I hope everyone had a merry Christmas.

Well 2018 is coming to a close, and what a year it has been.

We saw a community divided over the idea of a proposed Timbisha Shoshone casino in Ridgecrest. Now that the issue appears to be dead for now, I would like to see the community heal as Pat Farris suggested at the last Ridgecrest City Council meeting.

If the city is interested in economic development, and I hate to say it, but there seems some doubt about that, the council’s Economic Development Committee needs to meet and come up with ideas everyone can agree on.

Perhaps the city needs to look at then-mayoral candidate Tom Wiknich’s ideas he brought forward a couple of years ago. One was to recruit businesses already located in California as a way of diversifying the local economy.

I hope the Indian Wells Valley Economic Development Corporation will come up with ideas everyone can support. I know there was talk of an aquatics center.

With Gavin Newsom getting ready to succeed outgoing Gov. Jerry Brown, I shudder to think what California will look like.

Incoming state Sen. Shannon Grove and Assemblymember Vince Fong will have their work cut out for them as they represent their constituents in Sacramento.

I hope the Rand Communities Water District will be successful in implementing the Kern County Grand Jury’s recommendations. From what I read in the paper, it looks like the district is off to a good start.

Washington, D.C. is ending the year with a partial government shutdown over funding for a border wall and vacancies in President Donald Trump’s administration.

I hope Congress and the president will come to an agreement soon so workers affected by the shutdown can get paid again.

Trump was unable to get the wall built when the Republicans controlled both houses of Congress. With the Democrats taking over the House of Representatives next week, getting funding for the wall will be more difficult.

It seems there is a hint of hypocrisy here. Presidential candidates from both parties campaigned on the need for greater border security, but little has been done about it. Illegal immigration continues to be a problem.

Members of Congress need to put their party labels aside and come up with solutions to address the issues facing the nation. Perhaps the Problem Solvers Caucus can be instrumental in this effort.

Right now it seems what is needed in Congress and Trump’s often chaotic White House is adult supervision.

I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. If you are going out, please do not drink and drive.

— John V. Ciani is a retired Daily Independent reporter and contributing columnist.

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The views expressed are those of the columnist and do not necessarily represent the official stance of the Daily Independent.