The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Zachary Hubbard

January 1, 2012

Zachary Hubbard | Top 10 New Year’s predictions

— Hello, loyal readers. I hope that everyone had a wonderful 2011. 

Once again, it’s time for me to step out of my writer role and get down to the serious business of pronouncing my astonishingly inconceivable annual insights as the region’s perennial preposterous prognosticator. So, for your amazement and amusement, I offer my decidedly delirious and kind of serious top 10 New Year’s predictions for 2012. 

10. Members of the Johnstown City Council narrowly escape death when the room where they are debating further cuts in the city’s firefighter ranks catches fire from a defective light socket. 

9. Enamored by the promise of making easy gaming money, CamTran secures a license to install slot machines on the Inclined Plane. Passenger volume subsequently increases by 500 percent. However, the slots are removed after food stamp applications in the area increase tenfold.

8. After having its budget slashed, the National Park Service decides to raise cash by selling tickets for a re-enactment of the Great Johnstown Flood. NPS begins reconstructing the dam! Rep. Mark Critz becomes a local hero when he rushes through legislation to block the event.

7. Strapped for cash, Johnstown City Council votes to allow the drilling of a test gas well at Point Stadium. The project is scrapped when the Conemaugh River catches on fire.

6. Despite heated protests from local veterans groups, cash-starved Cambria County leases the War Memorial Arena to a local entrepreneur who converts it to a pierogi factory. The building finally becomes profitable.   

5. Congress follows through with plans to close Johnstown’s National Drug Intelligence Center. Two months later, firefighters responding to an alarm in the vacant building discover a meth lab engulfed in flames.

4. Citing the Antiquities Act of 1906, the Department of the Interior orders a halt to Johnstown’s long-awaited sewer rehabilitation project after an excavator uncovers evidence of a lost Indian civilization buried beneath the city. The Environmental Protection Agency subsequently fines the city $1,000 per day for the delay. 

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Zachary Hubbard
  • Zachary Hubbard NEW Zachary Hubbard | Some actions defy explanation

    Like a poorly delivered joke that leaves a comedian’s audience waiting for the punch line, there are scores of factors about American society that make me moan, “I don’t get it.” Sometimes it seems as if we Americans are losing our minds. I see evidence of this every day.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Zachary Hubbard NEW Zachary Hubbard | Obama should study Powell Doctrine

    During his tenure as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Colin Powell elaborated on eight questions he believed should be considered before committing U.S. military forces to war.

    June 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Zachary Hubbard NEW Zachary Hubbard | EPA taking jobs, hope from coal country

    I just returned from a visit to my birthplace in Harlan County, Kentucky, which lies in the southeast corner of the state.

    May 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Zachary Hubbard NEW Zachary Hubbard | Random thoughts on politics, our money

    Lately, the news has contained more baloney than usual. Let’s start with Ukraine, where I left off last time.

    April 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Zachary Hubbard NEW Zachary Hubbard | Obama's diplomacy pickle: Crimea crisis

    With all of the political pundits piling on about the current crisis in the Ukraine, I’m puzzled that I have yet to hear anyone seriously discuss Russia’s Near Abroad policy.

    March 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Zachary Hubbard | Federal contracting system broken, out of control

    I’ve been feeling surly. It started several weeks ago when Congress passed legislation making large cuts in the annual cost-of-living pay adjustments for active and retired military personnel.

    February 24, 2014

  • Zachary Hubbard NEW Zachary Hubbard | It was so cold ...

    Late last night I got a phone call from a friend stationed at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota. He told me that since early morning, the snow had been coming down steadily.

    January 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Zachary Hubbard NEW Zachary Hubbard | Throwing veterans under the bus

    Americans love honoring their military veterans. They cheer loudly for troops returning home from combat zones in far away countries; they hold veterans’ parades and decorate veterans’ graves; and they walk up to veterans and thank them for their service. Unfortunately, most of the honors end there.

    December 18, 2013 1 Photo

  • Zachary Hubbard NEW Zachary Hubbard | Republican Party is in need of a facelift

    Thirty-nine House Democrats facing re-election in 2014 recently jumped ship and sided with Republicans to vote for changes in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.

    November 25, 2013 1 Photo

  • Zachary Hubbard NEW Zachary Hubbard | For military brats, Germany was a magical place

    A long chapter in U.S. history is closing. The once behemoth U.S. military forces in Germany are slowly withdrawing. In April, the last Army tanks were shipped home, marking the first time in almost
    70 years there were no American tanks on German soil. While most Americans would consider this a political development, for some of us, it’s quite personal.

    November 5, 2013 1 Photo

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Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
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