Predictions for 2009


1. As you are well aware, I have predicted a revolution for 2009. Things will not be the same on the federal, state, and local levels. Things may never be the same in the world. We, the citizens, are going to have to rise to the challenges that face us this new year . We need to do so with compassion, non-violence, creativity, and determination. The times, they are a-changin'.

2. Galesburg is going to get a new mayor. The question is – Will it do us any good? We need to pick someone who can rise above what has been, and move us toward what could be. The same way many of us came together to pick a new president, we need to do the same thing on a local level. We need to find that person we can support for mayor and start that campaign – now. We need a mayor and four alderman who can work together to move us forward. We either make this happen, or cash it in.

3. If number two doesn't work, I predict the citizens will demand we put Galesburg up for sale on eBay.

4. Our unemployment rate will hit 30%, although it will never be reported. Officially, the way the powers that be count the unemployed is like how they counted the votes in 2000. Inaccurately.

5. When I add up all the signs and symptoms, the crystal ball is showing that the mall will close in 2009. There goes our indoor walking track. K-Mart might stand on its own, as might J.C. Penney, Bergner’s and Sears. The rest, as they say, will be history.

6. At least one major car dealer will go down this year. Quite possibly two.

7. I think Galesburg will benefit from Obama being President. It will come in a gift from his economic stimulus package, assuming the city gets something in that qualifies, which is probably a huge assumption.

8. I'm betting that there will be at least one young, unmarried, female who will get pregnant this year who made a contract with her parents to not have sex before age 35. Abstinence, or Just Saying No, is not a good contraception policy. Pills are better.

9. I'm betting our poverty gets worse this year. I wouldn't worry so much about defining it or blaming anyone for it. It's here. We would be wise to do something about it. Open your eyes, and you'll see who’s got it and what it looks like. Look in a mirror, you might even see it. If not, be thankful and give some money to someone else who is not so fortunate.

10. I still think there's going to be a unionization attempt at Wal-Mart. This year will be as good as any. I said the same for last year, but I know better now. I'm going to have to start it.

11. There is going to be bad trouble between Israel and Palestine this year, and out of nowhere someone is going to solve it.

12. GREDA will close up shop this year. Without city support, and losing various other taxing bodies’ support, more businesses will withdraw their investment over the year. This will leave us with a new beginning, not nothing, as many GREDA supporters like to point out. What we have had is nothing. The powers that be want to make a personality issue out of this whole thing, but it isn't. It is an economic and political issue. A strong mayor, probably a full-time one, could do more for our economic development in this city than anyone or anything has done over the past 50 years.

13. Another rerun: Swedough's will re-open, but Lord knows what it will be. I'm thinking drug store and soda fountain.


The economy is going to be tough on Galesburg in 2009. Unfortunately, I don't see much in the crystal ball to be optimistic about. I would really like to be wrong, and much of it hinges on the federal stimulus package and anything we might be able to get out of that, and electing a mayor who can build a coalition of four alderman. If those two things happen, 2009 might be a year to remember. It could truly be a revolutionary year, or just another one in our continuing downward spiral.