It's the dawn of a new year, and since I'm a na & #271;ve idealist, I'd like to think every fresh year is full of promise and hope. So here's a modest list for 2009.

I'd like to see:

- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger spend evenings rewatching the Terminator series and his other old action films. Maybe that would give him courage.

- Dov Charney continue to shed his wacky image so he can gain better command of American Apparel's destiny. This is no small matter, since the company has more than 10,000 employees and is one of the few big made-in-America clothing manufacturers. On second thought, maybe he should turn over the CEO position to a professional manager so Charney can be chairman and chief creative officer.

- A sincere embrace of City Controller Laura Chick's idea to privatize parts of city government. If you really don't believe the private sector can perform most tasks faster, better and cheaper than government, consider that this is a city where the cops bust you for failing to have a bicycle license, but government agencies are virtually incapable of selling you that license. (See the article on Page 3.)

- Taco trucks get the ability to sell their food without harassment.

- A clean ports program that doesn't kill off hundreds of little truck companies that did nothing wrong.

- David Beckham play up to his promise and his paycheck.

- Additional concrete action plans to ease L.A.'s choking traffic.

- L.A. Live become a success.

- L.A.'s non-profit sector find a way, some way, to make it to 2010 whole.

- An awards season in which we we're not subjected to the usual barrage of such overwrought phrases as "a rare cinematic tour de force," "luminescent and galvanizing," "thrilling yet profound" or "a true emotional jolt." C'mon. Most of them are brainless flicks.

- The mothers and fathers of many of today's starlets to accept their duty as parents. Remember, I've admitted I'm a na & #271;ve idealist.

- Ezri Namvar investors get a good plan that gets them at least some of their money back quickly and fairly.

- Bernard Madoff investors get the inner peace that comes with acceptance.

- A vastly better year on Wall Street for American Apparel, Entravision Communications and CB Richard Ellis, whose stocks swooned 89 percent, 81 percent and 82 percent, respectively, in 2008.

- A much better year for most of L.A.'s companies, for that matter. Look at page 25 if you want to see once-in-a-lifetime carnage in the column of 52-week price changes. (At least, let's hope it's once in a lifetime.)

- A continuation of good times for Amgen, Aerovironment and Hot Topic, whose stocks soared 24 percent, 46 percent and 55 percent, respectively, in 2008.

And here's hoping that we all enjoy a healthy and, yes, a prosperous year in 2009.

Charles Crumpley is editor of the Business Journal. He can be reached at

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