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Wisch Lists are for New Year’s

Today’s newspaper column from The Daily Journal (Kankakee, Ill.) and The Times (Ottawa, Ill.)

Wisch Lists are for New Year’s

The WISCH LIST

Dec. 31, 2011

Wish lists are for Christmas.

But Wisch Lists? Well, they’re for New Year’s.

And as we prepare to turn the page on 2011, I wanted to beat Dick Clark – or, I guess, Ryan Seacrest – to the punch and drop the ball on my year-end Wisch List well before they drop the ball in Times Square.

Speaking of which, you might be interested in knowing that a ball has dropped from the flagpole of One Times Square in Manhattan on every New Year’s Eve since Dec. 31, 1907, except for 1942 and 1943 when New York City was under wartime lighting restrictions in case of an enemy attack.

With no restrictions of my own, let’s get this ball rolling …

I Wisch the mild December that we’ve enjoyed means can expect an equally warm winter. But, after weathering Snowmageddon last February, I’m not holding my (visible) breath.

I Wisch the ill-advised 75-year agreement that Mayor Daley struck with a private parking meter company wasn’t the gift that keeps on, well, taking. Yes, street parking in Chicago is about to go up again by 25 or 50 cents. Beginning Monday, it’ll cost you $5.75 per hour to park in the Loop, $3.50 in the rest of downtown and a $1.75 elsewhere in the city.

I Wisch Theo Epstein had signed a player – say, Prince Fielder – who’s worth paying the price of Wrigley Field admission to see next season. I support rebuilding, but Manny Corpas and David DeJesus don’t exactly have me itching to buy tickets.

I Wisch that in lieu of a significant signing, the Cubs had dropped the prices for tickets stadium-wide in 2012. At least bleacher prices are going down, though.

I Wisch Jay Cutler was healthy. Or that Caleb Hanie was good.

I Wisch North Koreans didn’t have to fake grief for creepy propaganda footage.

I Wisch more years saw the likes of Moammar Gadhafi, Osama bin Laden and Kim Jong-il leave the Earth – enough years, at least, that we didn’t have the likes of those men around any longer.

I Wisch that when it comes to celebrating sports figures our society would cool it on creating myths out of mortal men.

I Wisch I’d never heard Jerry Sandusky’s name this year and that the authorities in Pennsylvania heard it a lot more about a decade ago. Or well before then.

I Wisch that since Chief Illiniwek is gone from the University of Illinois, his critics would just leave him alone. Now, however, there’s a campaign to eliminate the school’s 3-in-1 halftime song because it reminds fans of the Chief. Enough already with the thought control in Champaign.

I Wisch I believed that after Rod Blagoejvich, all Illinois politicians would get their acts together. But I doubt that they will.

I Wisch Derrick Rose the best of luck against the Miami Heat this season. It looks like the kid is probably going to need it.

I Wisch the violence and killing would stop in Englewood, where Rose grew up on Chicago’s South Side. This year, murder dropped by 2 percent overall in Chicago, but it still increased by 40 percent in that neighborhood.

I Wisch there was an easy answer to Englewood’s problem.

I Wisch I could blame Lovie Smith, Mike Martz and Jerry Angelo for the Bears’ collapse this season, but I can’t. Hard not to blame the injuries, instead.

I Wisch that Illinois’ freakishly talented 7-foot sophomore Meyers Leonard would stay in Champaign for one more year.

I Wisch that 2012 included 28-hour days. I’d get more done. And more sleep, too. But not tonight. Happy 2012, everyone.