July is finally here and with it came the halfway point for 2016. I know, it went by fast, right?

A lot has happened these past six months, for sure. But what has been happening around the Region? And more importantly, halfway through, are my predictions for what would happen this year coming true, or do I look like fool?

Let’s take a look:

  • Obviously, the results of the state’s Governor and Senate races remain to be seen. Until Indiana makes its decision, these goes down as a no-decisions.
  • The Dunes pavilion banquet hall looks like it’s going to get its liquor license. Point for me.
  • Barely a peep so far this year on that South Shore expansion. But I was right about seeing bikes on the train. Two points.
  • The USW and ArcelorMittal agreed on a new three-year contract. That’s a welcome bit of good news for the local steel industry, especially amidst the reports of closures and layoffs that seemed frequent for a little while there. I’m not sure this will put an end to market uncertainty in the face of globalization, but I’ll happily surrender a point here with this outcome.
  • Is Illinois still dysfunctional? Consider the saga of the George Lucas Museum that wasn’t: The city wanted it. The state wanted it. Communities in need of jobs wanted it. Star Wars lovers from Portage to Milwaukee to Peoria wanted it. The only ones who didn’t want it were a handful of people dedicated to the preservation of the city’s parks, even though the park land in question was actually a parking lot. And in the end, they won, scaring Lucas off and killing the project. Obviously, this is small potatoes compared the state’s other problems, but  I'm focusing on it because dysfunction that’s comical is in rather short supply, and i'm trying to do something light and fun here. I’m taking the point on this one.
  • The World Series is still months away, but the Chicago Cubs are looking tough. When people talk about them having a chance, they’re serious, not saying that with an eye roll or a caveat about curses. Coincidentally, this season has corresponded with the U.K. voting to leave the European Union, which some alarmists are saying is the first step toward the splintering of Europe and other disastrous worldwide repercussions. So unless the Cubs fall into a post-All-Star Game swoon, maybe it isn’t too late to start preparing for the apocalypse…

So, thus far, my predictions stand at three correct, one incorrect, and three to be determined. Not bad…

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