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A glimpse into the future
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As another year ends, it’s natural to look ahead and wonder what the next 12 months will bring. Lucky for you, the Journal editorial staff have all gazed into their crystal balls and made some predictions for the year 2010.
The following predictions are more an exercise in creative writing than considered opinions on what might actually happen, so sit back, start celebrating the new year early and enjoy our look into the future.
• In 2010, the Turlock Unified School District Board of Trustees will no longer be able to balance the budget without drastic measures due to further cuts in the state budget. The district will have to bite the bullet and cut sporting activities in order to afford legal counsel to defend themselves against the Joe Debely Stadium lawsuit.
A brand new field will sit empty due to a lack of extra-curricular funding brought about by neighborhood parties that don’t approve of high school sports.
• Turlock's homeless will still not have a permanent shelter. Instead, the city's solution to the homeless problem will rely upon a shelter in Patterson. The homeless will respond by constructing a more permanent tent city on county land just outside Turlock city limits.
• The 2010 election year will continue the theme of change. Two of the three councilmembers whose terms will expire this year will not be reelected.
Whether it's Mayor John Lazar, Vice Mayor Ted Howze, or Councilman Kurt Spycher whose got his head on the chopping block is harder to foresee. All have done enough good to earn them reelection, and enough bad to kick them to the curb.
• The City of Turlock will break ground on both the Public Safety Facility and the Carnegie Arts Center. Both groundbreakings will — surprise — occur at the height of election season.
• In 2010, Turlock will enter the national spotlight. The “In God We Trust” inscription on the wall of the City Council Chambers will spark a national debate over the legitimacy of protecting religious mantras as national slogans. A law suit will be filed to keep the wall blank, but it will ultimately be shot down. “In God We Trust” will be emblazoned in all its glory on the wall of City Hall. A week later it will be vandalized. It will be repaired and vandalized several times, until the city council decides to compromise. Leaders from all religions represented within city limits will be invited to submit a slogan for the wall.
By the end of the year the approved slogan will read “In God, Buddha, Vahiguru, Shiva, Satan, Christ, The Supreme One, The Flying Spaghetti Monster and no god at all do we trust.” The city will then realize that they cannot afford to hire someone to paint such a lengthy slogan. They will scrap the whole “In God We Trust” idea and they will invite local elementary school students to leave painted hand prints on the wall. The hand prints will remain for many years.
• Turlock’s economy and downtown bridal destination marketing strategy will get a major boost when a Hollywood production company decides to set up shop in the downtown sector. The resulting movie, “Revenge of the Jilted Bride” will go on to enjoy box office success and rave reviews, but alas, Turlock will not fair as well. The use of pyrotechnics and an earthquake machine will cause even further damage and delays for the Carnegie Arts Center and a production mishap beheads the Califia statue on Main Street.
• Seeing clearly that the State of California is beyond help — and having reached term limits — Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will look to the U.S. Senate. Schwarzenegger will run as the Republican candidate in opposition to Barbara Boxer, and will win.
• The new Turlock Irrigation District board will have their first irrigation season made easy, thanks to strong rains this winter. Farmers will get all the water they need — though not all the water they want — as the board makes the easy decision to build reserves while still granting a reasonable allotment.
• It turns out that scientists had been misinterpreting the Mayan prophecy of 2012. On Dec. 21, 2010, the world will come to an end as archeologists scratch their heads and realize they forgot to carry that two.
— Alex Cantatore, Maegan Martens, Andrea Goodwin, Sabra Stafford and Kristina Hacker all contributed to this report.