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Happy to Be Here: What will be, will be — part 2


Last week, this space was filled with comments from Herald staff about the new year. More comments have arrived and they’re printed below.

“One of the things I’ve always loved about the newspaper business is the anticipation of the unexpected and the opportunity to share when that happens,” Joe Ferry wrote. “Personally, I think 2020 is the year Perkasie breaks out in a big way with all the benefits and challenges that go along with economic development.”

Barrie-John Murphy looks back before forward. “Life in plastic, it’s fantastic,” goes the lyric of Aqua’s hit 1997 single “Barbie Girl,” he wrote. Then he adds,”Well, plastic is not so fantastic for the wildlife that have to deal with it and die from it on a daily basis.

“Walking around Upper Bucks, I see plastic bags on trees, in creeks; bottles bob by me when I’m swimming in the Delaware River. At the Turkey Hill or Wawa, I’m given a plastic bag for one little candy bar. No thanks.

“In Western Europe, they charge you for a bag. Here, it’s given without prompting. We really have to end or addiction to plastic bags and bottles. Change can happen, and it can start with younger generations in our local school districts. A short 10-minute presentation would go a long way. Lambertville and Philadelphia council recently banned single-use plastic bags. Will local municipalities follow and stop these growing seas of plastic?”

Ann Meredith, director of Herald Publishing, is feeling optimistic that in 2020, the year of Earth Day’s 50th anniversary, more individuals and communities will become engaged in the environmental movement than ever before. “So many people are taking positive action,” she said. “From the number of people bringing their own bags to the market, to New Jersey being close to passing a statewide ban on plastic bags and straws, it feels like big change is in the air – and water!”

Writer Freda Savana, a Doylestown Borough native, has witnessed many changes, large and small in her beloved hometown. “But 2020 and the new decade it ushers in, I believe, will bring a seismic shift in the heart and soul of our community,” she said. “With an abundance of new housing and new businesses and all the unbridled energy that generates, the future looks bright. Let’s all keep our hands on the steering wheel.”

“I hope the town of Flemington finally moves forward on the Union Hotel project, and improves and strengthens downtown,” said one person who sells advertising in the River Towns area. “It’s been a long time coming, and we who live there hope this will be the year the improvements start.”

Writer Connie Wrzesniewski is waiting with baited breath to hear about the Pushcart Prize winner. She is a poetry nominee. “As I sit here pondering, I realize that 2020 is the first double digit year since 1919 (I think). That’s a long time to wait.

“This year Philadelphia will welcome its first female police chief. The Michener Museum will welcome yet another new CEO. Plastic bags having a one time use will no longer be used in stores. This is a personal yay for me. Hate them,” she wrote.

“And, there will be a first Power Ball winner of 2020.”

Carol Ross, one of the Herald photographers who shows up almost everywhere, is trying not to look at the year 2020 with trepidation but it seems that is where her heart is headed, “knowing that there will be more friends lost, although maybe new friends made.

“One of the best advantages of working for the Herald is meeting so many wonderful people.

“And yes, there is an election, probably the biggest concern that I have but onto local concerns. So glad that McCaffrey’s is opening. Driving through New Hope I have noticed many stores shuttered. That is certainly sad and concerning. When I drove past Kmart in Doylestown a few days ago, I wondered how many years this would remain an empty shell and how it would affect the rest of the shopping center. On a bright note it was wonderful to see the Odette’s building that was moved in New Hope brought back to life.”

“News stories will leap onto us faster than usual this year, with impeachment, the economy and a presidential election leading the pack,” writer John Harding wrote.

“All that can be discouraging or angrifying to those who want calm and peace for themselves and their families, but very exciting for journalists. It can also sometimes be difficult for reporters to maintain their professional neutrality, but that’s part of the challenge. For commentators, however, it will be a very productive year.

“So when does the decade end, anyway? Now or when 2020 finishes?”

“My feelings about the world politically and in terms of global health are ones of great concern,” wrote Camille Mancuso, the Chatterbox. “I feel we are in a place unlike any before both in terms of international cooperation and hope, and the physical health of our home planet. Every living being should be working toward Earth’s health and toward mitigating the dangers presented in international relations.

“As for our community, I find our people to be the kind that make daily life here even better than I hoped it would ever be. My mother always called me her ‘country daughter.’ Luckily, Bucks County still offers all a country girl and her family could want. I hope we won’t lose any more vintage ‘in town’ homes to a desire for McMansions on the river.

“I hope we can find the balance between retaining the intimate community with the great heart that we have, and always work to keep Bucks County a place where we can see cornfields, sunflowers, pumpkin patches and sky.”