Umm, okay, here we go, with an amount of clairvoyance equal to Jeanne Dixon’s here are our fearless predictions for 2008:

1. Swim Club Cell Tower Defeated. After numerous sit-ins, a “Hands Across the Boulevard”, and a vicious Letter to the Editor on the personal dirt of Jackie McDermott, the application for a cell tower at Cranford Swim Club is withdrawn. Since the club is still in dire need of cash, they start a very quiet (for a while) late-night brothel operation that makes the surrounding residents wish they just had a cell tower instead.

2. Flood Control. By promising to have a sign that says Frank Lautenberg Flood Gate in type so large it can be seen from Jupiter, we get about 1/8th of the money we need for flood control. Using Bette Kowalski’s leadership and clout, we get $50 from the county.

3. Cranford Crossing remains largely vacant. (Okay, fish in a barrel…but I wanted one of the them to be right.)

4. Property Taxes go up. (Okay, two right.)

5. Riot at MusicFest. Since George McDonough is no longer a public servant, he is denied access to the VIP tent at Nomahegan. George, craning his neck from the other side of the fence, is incensed. He sees people inside he considers undeserving. Chaos ensues.

Meanwhile, using fake credentials, Tina Renna gets in and is snapping pictures furiously with a cellphone camera. Fodder for 2 months of posts at County Watchers is obtained, as is an expose on the treatment of prisoners by the Union County Police Department, including how Sheriff Froehlich uses his walker for inappropriate interrogation techniques.

6. Riverfront gets tabled. After 17 straight meetings hearing the same complaints from the same people, the TC tables it for a couple of years so some of the really old protesters will die or be in nursing homes.

7. Anne Estabrook becomes US Senator. We get loads of Federal $, and surprisingly, Birchwood gets quickly approved by the T0wn Council.

8. The tripling of tolls on the turnpike results in local roads being clogged with the traffic of interstate trucks and revenue targets being missed. To boost revenues, Governor Corzine decides to make most state roads have tolls. Route 22 becomes gridlocked between 287 and Newark Airport 21 hours a day so drivers can pay 35 cents each time they pass an Exxon. In Cranford, the Artist Framer building and Cervantes are demolished so that EZPass lanes can be installed on North Avenue, which we are suddenly reminded is State Route 28.

9. The Rahway Valley Sewerage Authority gets privatized after “the powers that be” offer massive bribes to those who vote for it. Soonafter, John Stossel does an expose on the corruption and scandal on 20/20, which results in nothing as nobody watches 20/20 anymore.

10. With ratings flagging, and multiple bombs for series (“Tell Me You Love Me” and “John from Cincinnatti”) HBO is desperate for a new mobster saga to recreate the magic of the Sopranos by having a drama of a competing mafia family located in another territory in NJ. Imaginatively titled “The Baritones”, local viewers will recognize locations such as Swan Cleaners and Dim Sum II with the empty Amazon Cafe becoming the storefront for “Puttanesca” (a local social club/restaurant) and the facade of Cleveland Plaza will double as the entrance to East Jersey State Prison.

 We’ll follow up later in the year to see how we did.

 Happy New Year!

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