It is always fun to pull out the old crystal ball, gaze into the orb and try to predict the future. I looked deeply into my “crystal ball” and came up with my own set of predictions.

Pennsylvania will, eventually, have a budget agreement. Gov. Wolf and the Legislature will reach a compromise maybe even before the end of this fiscal year.

At some point this year, our two new Jefferson County Commissioners will ask themselves why in the world they ever ran for office. The jail, the airport and the backlog of state funds will create a massive headache. The aspirin contract for Jefferson Place will be lucrative.

By mid-summer the race for the White House will boil down to two major candidates. One will be named Hillary and one won’t be named Donald.

There will be enough of a winter yet to make us all remember why we hate winter. I personally don’t care if I ever hear the words “polar vortex” ever again.

The rule by executive order exercised by this administration will become a tsunami. The backlash will force the Congress to limit the use of such orders in the future.

There will be a rush of American tourists to Cuba where they will be disappointed. Sorry, but there will not be a flood of American classic cars. It seems the Cubans have replaced many of the original parts just to keep them running.

The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro Brazil will result in sick athletes. The water quality for some events is worse than Lake Erie 50 years ago. These games will bring into focus the Olympic Committee’s selection process. Remember the smog-filled Beijing games?

Immigration will continue to be a key talking point but nothing major will be accomplished until a new President is sworn into office. Look for a few photo ops and head line stories but no fence and no mass deportations.

The sucking sound you hear will be America being pulled back into the Middle East. The turmoil created by our premature withdrawal will come back to haunt us.

Urban police forces will see a decline in the number of top rate officers they are able to recruit. The ill-advised rush to judge by some city governments and the U. S. Justice Department, has created an atmosphere among the police that is not conducive to strong law enforcement. Welcome to Baltimore, Chicago and Ferguson!

Brookville may start to resemble Yellowstone National Park. Eruptions in the old water lines will create geyser-like blow outs. The Municipal Authority will find it necessary to replace the old lines. Maybe this year it can be done before the paving is completed!

The Town Square will become a reality. After years of delay, the crown jewel of Main Street will be open to the public. After a year or so people will ask what we ever did without it.

The Scripture Rocks Park will also be open and will draw tourists to the area. It is off-beat, spiritual and just plain cool. It will also draw its share of kooks. There will need to be a constant campaign to rid the place of unwanted “memorials.”

I predict fans of the black and gold, on the diamond, the gridiron and the ice, will be disappointed. Although Rich Rhoades may disagree, I don’t see the Pirates getting into the play-offs. Their division is just too tough. The Steelers have a shot at the post season but only if they are healthy and not forced into any more disastrous mid-season acquisitions. The Penguins are in need of help. In the NHL almost everyone makes the play-offs but the Pens won’t be in it for long. Wait until next year!

Anti-gun lobbyists will continue to nibble away at Second Amendment rights. Gun sales will continue to rise.

The intrusion of social media into our lives will continue at an accelerated pace. I tremble to think what might be exposed next.

At the end of the year, 2016 will be like most other years: Filled with frustration and exaltation, terror and triumph, sadness and sweetness. I hope your year is filled with good news.

Bart

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