Sportsmens Report
January 23, 2018
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A look back at 2017

By: Bill Hanson
December 29, 2017
Sportsmanís Report

Looking back at 2017 and all that happened in the past year will give you goose bumps. The new space program(s) run by individuals and privately held corporations has really come into its own in 2017. Reusable rockets, reusable pods for ferrying goods and supplies to the space station are just the beginning for the future of space. The one thing that gives me great pride is the depth of support and the sense of pride young Americans have in this new effort. They are justifiably excited about the future of space — their passion will keep the vision moving. Government funding was curtailed in the 1970s when society took objection to spending money on space while people at home were so needy. 30 years later, space exploration is again pumping in the veins of America.

The Tubbs fire is a line in the sand, there was life before Tubbs and life after. Like a serious earthquake, an act of nature is a force that cannot be ‘handled’. Our hope is that the collective response to catastrophic events can be enhanced by lessons learned from the Tubbs fire. One thing comes through strong and clear, people of Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino Counties are resilient and we work together in times of disaster. 

Great hope arrives at the doorstep of the new year, more jobs are on the horizon not just to rebuild the wildfire devastation, but in the can-do attitude of people here and the jobs that will come naturally to that thinking.

Resolutions for the New Year

For the Sportsman think of all the outdoor activities you can do this year. Pick some trips, day trips and longer vacations and mini vacations you can do. If you set them early in your calendar the more likely they will happen. That is the number one resolution.

Pack a roll of small garbage bags in your trunk and resolve to fill one on every trip into the outback including a ‘Sunday’ drive. There are so many two-legged pigs in the world it is hard to imagine what is going through their mind when they toss trash into our parks and wilderness. Just picking up debris sets an example for our children and those who are unconscious when it comes to polluting our space. 

Resolve to make 2018 the year you take positive steps toward personal safety. If you do not want guns in your life, get creative. There are self-defense classes in a number of disciplines, get serious about this and help protect our loved ones and ourselves. If physical training is not your cup of tea, then take a hard look at sprays, stun guns and other more passive-effective forms of defense.

Get a positive attitude toward ‘hate’ in ourselves and our community. Hate to some degree lives in all of us. Take last year’s election as an example; so many revile the current administration in Washington, to the extent that some start to foam at the mouth when the president’s name is mentioned. Embrace that feeling, metaphorically spit it out into your hand, for some it may be more than two hands can hold. Turn it slowly around and look at what this ball of hate means to you, your life and the lives of others. You can put it back in your mouth and choke it back down later, don’t try to change your thinking just yet. Resolve to use the new year to look at your hate and think of ways to use that ‘hateful’ energy in more positive ways. There are so many things you can do to make our community a better place than to waste energy on hate. Consider the same thing on issues you may not agree on and find it in your heart to face your hate, disgust, prejudices and behaviors that you find repulsive and work to redirect that energy to a more positive goal. We will all be better for it.


Bill Hanson is a Sonoma County native and lifelong sportsman. He is the former president of the Sonoma County Mycological Association. Look for his column in The Community Voice each week.