I always view a new year with trepidation, wondering what will happen and how we will cope with difficulties that are certain to arise. But I am, in the end, an optimist. The feeling lasts through January but then I see the days getting longer, and start to think that all is well.
Progress is being made in New Hope on the new McCaffrey’s Market and there’s a second Wegman’s coming to Lower Makefield. The River House at Odette’s is barreling towards completion this spring and The Raven Inn has come down to make way for off-site parking.
The Main Street bridge over SEPTA tracks in Sellersville will be enclosed the entire year to “rehabilitate” the bridge built in 1927.
Construction of the Scudder Falls Bridge is expected to end in late summer of 2021. A pedestrian and bicycle path on the new bridge’s upstream side will open for public use this summer.
I asked Herald staffers what they expect in 2020. The views are varied; the points of view are different and the writing styles are wonderfully different.
Mike Kendrick, well known in the Doylestown area as a community leader, sells advertising for the Herald. He reminded me that the County Theater Expansion Project will affect parking and events for at least the next 12 to 18 months. “It will be beneficial in the long run,” he said.
Mike is looking forward to Doylestown Pride Week in June 17-21. New location due to County, the Doylestown Historical Society’s 25th anniversary and Delaware Valley University’s 125th anniversary.
Joli Weber of Lambertville, also in sales, is looking forward to shopping at Basil Bandwagon, which finally just opened in Lambertville. She’s wondering when the Centre Bridge Inn will reopen and watching the addition of a running track around the football field at South Hunterdon High School.
“It takes too much energy to worry about things that may never come to pass, so I do my best not to,” said Melinda Rizzo, who lives in Milford Township, Pa. “I’d rather push the ‘worry’ headspace into looking for fresh opportunities to grow, learn, discover and explore, and 2020 is a wide open landscape. As my only child prepares to graduate from college in May and is applying to graduate programs, I am excited about the changes – and challenges 2020 will bring.”
Melinda sees the new year as a time for fresh starts. “I look forward to watching the ‘big thinkers’ find new ways to consider and solve old problems – population and overcrowding living and learning conditions, resource management and climate.
Being a local news reporter, she wonders “How will our local officials manage the ‘little problems’ we live with every day like storm water management, development and commerce corridors, and promoting downtown revitalization efforts.”
A true optimist, she says, “I can’t wait to report the stories 2020 will bring.”
Chris Ruvo reports on local news in several municipalities but his thinking for the new year, has a broad scope.
“Uncertainty is a prevailing feeling headed into 2020, mainly because of the outlook for the economy,” Chris says. “The United States. is still in the midst of an unprecedented run of growth. GDP has been growing steadily, the stock market has been performing well, and unemployment continues to hover near historic lows – all great things.
“And yet, there’s a creeping sense that a correction could be just around the corner. The trade conflict with China and disruption in Europe from ‘Brexit’ fuel the worry. Still, none of those things are necessarily fatal if navigated correctly. The question mark is will they be?”
And writer Cliff Lebowitz is hopeful. “Certainly there is cause for optimism for Upper Bucks in 2020,” Cliff said. “We saw some encouraging progress in 2019 with speeding and other traffic concerns in Tinicum and Bedminster, featuring more intensive cooperative efforts among municipal officials, their staffs, and PennDOT; intensive cooperation that is already scheduled to continue in 2020.
“Meanwhile, we got an amazing new supermarket in Nockamixon at an already busy intersection, apparently without creating new traffic difficulties, again thanks to township officials, their staff, and PennDOT, while environmental concerns for a new housing development were promptly addressed, and similar concerns are already in progress for an expanded commercial development.
“In Richland, development continues with new walking and cycling trails, with more to come, while the new Haycock Township Community Center is fulfilling the hopes of township officials who risked supporting it. And the Palisades School District stepped up its already strong commitment to community participation, with still more of that to come.”
Photographer Chiara Chandoha has much to say about 2020. “My thoughts for 2020 are to move forward in my life as an empty nester. It is my first year without children in college, they have all graduated and they all have jobs and their own apartments in New England.”
And 2020 is the first year, in 30 years Chiara had not been caring for an ailing family member. Her father, photographer Walter Chandoha, died in 2019.
“My family and I will be creating an archive of the enormous published works of my father’s lifetime. ... He had so many projects he left unfinished, I and my siblings will bring them to life for him.
“Climate change is a huge concern for me. I will be planting many trees in 2020 and volunteering where I think it will help the next generations become aware of how to take care of our ailing planet.”
Kathryn Finegan Clark, a prolific writer of news of the Delaware Valley, said it all in a few words. “I look toward 2020 with both excitement and fear while still cherishing the dream that love will conquer hatred.”
Happy New Year!