The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Zachary Hubbard

January 1, 2011

Top 10 New Year’s predictions for 2011

— Wow! I barely got the fall leaves raked up this year before our beautiful region was covered with a deep blanket of snow.

Winter is upon us, and so is a new year. So, in keeping with my perfect record as the pre-eminent, prescient prognosticator of Pennsylvania, I give you my Top 10 New Year’s predictions for 2011.

10. The Johnstown City Council meetings go national on cable TV. The “smackdowns” top the viewer ratings and draw an Emmy nomination for best reality show.

9. A local politician succeeds in obtaining a gambling casino license

for Johnstown. Only a few days before the scheduled opening, the whole thing vanishes in a giant sinkhole. Taxpayers get soaked because the builder failed to purchase mine subsidence insurance.

8. The national ethanol craze winds down and corn prices plummet as the market becomes glutted with the grain. An entrepreneur from Kentucky saves the day for the area’s corn farmers by opening a Bourbon whiskey distillery in Cambria City. Even though the economy remains weak, most Cambria City folks don’t seem to mind anymore.

7. In a move to reduce American obesity under ObamaCare, the president issues an executive order outlawing potato chips. The same Kentucky entrepreneur (see No. 8) bails out local potato farmers by building a vodka distillery in Ebensburg. Folks in Ebensburg seem even happier than those in Cambria City.

6. All Point Stadium events are canceled for the year. The turf is plowed under to plant corn and potatoes.

5. In a sly legal maneuver, Richland Township annexes the city of Johnstown. Two days later they give it back after realizing they can’t afford to pay for the sewer upgrades.

4. Over a series of several nights, most of the vacant, blighted buildings in Johnstown mysteriously blow up. A radical group calling itself the Blight Elimination Bureau of Pennsylvania (BEBOP) claims responsibility. The blasts are music to the ears of local citizens. The city police don’t investigate.

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Zachary Hubbard

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