“There’s no heavier burden than great potential,” Charles Schultz via Linus van Pelt

The new year is a time of resolve. Lose weight. Exercise more. Read, read, read.

For Highland and the rest of the Inland Empire, the challenge is to take advantage of the regional economy while it is still thriving. As we said several times in this space last year, the west side of Highland shows great promise.

The San Bernardino International Airport has roared back with more economic impact than Norton Air Force Base once provided. Construction of the Sterling Natural Resources Center, which will provide a reliable source of water, is underway.

The always-generous San Manuel Band of Mission Indians continues to invest heavily in the region. It is spending millions of dollars in road construction, including a new interchange at State Route 210 and Victoria Avenue, which will improve access to a new 500-room hotel and an expanded casino.

On Wednesday, Jan. 9, the tribe will break ground on Mary’s Village, a transitional housing complex for homeless men that will be built at 256 S. Artesian Avenue next to Mary's Mercy Center in San Bernardino.

It’s hard to imagine Highland without the tribe.

With the promise of economic expansion, the key is education and training to make sure local residents fill those jobs. The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors took a major step toward reaching that goal with the Vision2Succeed campaign. It will bring together employers, entrepreneurs, schools, community colleges and our fine local universities to provide the training for well-paying careers and college opportunities.

Of course, many mysteries remain for Highland.

Can a new push for the Harmony housing project convince voters that development in the eastern reaches of the town provide the rooftops to support more retail outlets without creating traffic nightmares and spoiling the environment?

Will the vision of the Golden Triangle to provide high-end shopping and dining north of Greenspot Road become reality? In a world where online shopping is evermore popular, does brick-and-mortar retail still make sense?

The Highland Community News will continue to be engaged in this conversation. We encourage all residents to become involved, too. Send us letters. Make your voice heard.

Hear that? It’s opportunity is knocking. Let’s answer.

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