Happy New Year!

I did my “look back” piece for 2015 last week. Now that we’re in 2016, it’s time to look to the future.

The predictions I made for the area going into last year were admittedly a little ambitious and starry-eyed (though they weren't entirely off). So this year, I’ll keep things a little more grounded.

So, in 2016:

  • The Dunes pavilion liquor license controversy will drag on, but eventually, I wouldn’t be surprised if Pavilion Partners LLC gets their wish and is permitted to serve alcohol in their proposed banquet center.
  • The expansion project of the South Shore line will continue, though still slowly and incrementally. The average commuter won’t notice much difference this year, except maybe some riders bringing bikes on the weekend.
  • Our local steel industry will continue to face uncertainty in its balance act with the global market. I don’t really have more to add to this vague generality, but I wouldn’t be optimistic for a turnaround.
  • Governor Mike Pence looks quite vulnerable in this year’s election, but unless he pulls another major blunder like the RFRA, the race will still be close. It all might come down to voter turnout.
  • Unless the Republican nominee to succeed our retiring Senator Dan Coats turns out to be another Richard Mourdock (in either the no-compromise hardliner or foot-in-mouth respect), the GOP will probably retain the seat.
  • Illinois will continue to be dysfunctional, sending more residents and businesses our way. Our casinos can probably rest easy, for now.
  • The Cubs will win the World Series. The celebration will be short-lived, however, as this event will bring upon the Rapture, the zombie apocalypse, a meteor, an alien invasion and everything Bill Murray talked about in Ghostbusters.*

*I should note that whenever I make sports predictions, I turn out to be wrong way more often than right. Go Sox!

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