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The list: Stories to watch in 2013
As a complement to last week's year-end review, here's a quick list of stories we think we'll all be following in 2013.
- Amtrak: According to a story in today's paper, Amtrak saw a record number of passengers on its San Joaquin line in 2012 (more than 1 million). On its face, that's good news for fans of alternative transportation (which in this area = not cars) and more than noteworthy for those trying to sell high speed rail. Especially given that Valley leaders are working to create a new regional rail agency to oversee the line and hopefully improve service, ridership and revenue. Buried in the story, however is the fact that the line (all but 5 of 45 Amtrak lines in fact) continues to operate at a loss ($5.79 per passenger).
- Guns: This one seems especially relevant given the deluge of gunfire I heard on New Year's Eve and the fact I found a bullet (not a shell casing, an actual bullet) smashed up on the sidewalk near my house. Gun control has long been a contentious issue, one that has been reinvigorated by the murder of 20 children. And there's more than a small bit of irony (if I understand the word) in the fact that days after a mass shooting at a school, The Fresno Bee (and other papers, no doubt) reported gun stores were seeing record sales.
- Downtown: Barring a giant earthquake opening up a hole and engulfing the entirety of Fresno south of Belmont avenue, downtown will continue to remain an issue of note (seriously. Check back next year). A faction of city leaders (and others) will continue to insist on its importance in creating a vibrant cultural (and economic) landscape, while people who haven't been there in 20 years continue to think of it as vast, desolate wasteland just sucking away the city's resources. Meanwhile, new businesses (and events) will continue on under the radar.
- Radio: Listening to the radio is always a mixed bag. The minute you find something you like ... stations change formats. On-air talent gets fired and re-hired and fired again. We had all of that and more in 2012, which will make it interesting for those navigating the dial 2013. Fresno State sports is now soley on 940 AM. KMJ is restructuring and just announced the addition of the Maddy Report --Valley Views Edition, which will air 9 to 10 a.m. Sundays, starting Jan. 6. The new KYNO (now at 1430 AM) is oldies and it is great. I've heard Arthur Brown's "Fire" half a dozen times and love it more each time. Clear Channel is now doing Power Talk, which is whatever. Also: Ozmosis and The Local Show.