As we get older, we occasionally get smarter, but we definitely have the advantage of looking backward in time to a greater degree than younger folks. This advantage enables us older people to predict, based on experience, what the future may hold. I offer these predictions at local, state, national and international levels, 25 years hence.
    At a local level: The Fayetteville Museum of Art campus has taken all but an 8’ x  10’ plot of ground at Festival Park. Museum trustees recently voted to have an iron monument placed near the location where park activities for all the community once occurred.
On the former site of Rowan Park now stands Chavonne Towers. These 20-story high-rise apartments effectively prevent sunlight from reaching many Haymount residents, some of whom are skin cancer patients and are ever so grateful.
  {mosimage}  The FAST system has been expanded to cover an area from the Market House to Ray Avenue to Old Street. Fares have been recently adjusted upward to $20 with no transfers allowed. The bus fleet of retired ambulances is regarded by homeless people as an improvement over the Volkswagen minibuses which were lately given to the Senior Citizens Center.
    The Public Works Commission has announced that citizens of the Phase V annexation area, a.k.a. "The Big Bang," will be getting water and sewer completion within the next five to 10 years. The city council has assured all affected residents that the assessment fee will be capped at $50,000.
    At a state level: The North Carolina Department of Community Corrections has announced that 16 of the state’s parolees and probationers have reported to their parole officers at least once this year. The other 256,314 parolees and probationers have not. The department is justifiably proud of this improvement in department effectiveness.
    The North Carolina Legislature has seen a remarkable downturn in members asked to resign for graft and corruption charges and convictions. It is anticipated that both the Senate and House will soon be able to meet with quorums when vacancies are filled.
    The North Carolina Department of Transportation removed $70 billion from the highway trust fund to finance non-highway projects in the governor’s home county, as well as that of the department’s secretary. The News and Observer recently reported that contributors to the governor’s campaign fund in other state jurisdictions are outraged.
    "He may be a crook," one contributor is quoted as saying, "but he is supposed to be our crook."
At a national level: Newly elected president Chelsea Clinton has promised in her inaugural address to have our troops out of Iraq within 10 years. Iraqi civilian deaths have now exceeded 25 million. A spokesman for the young Iraqi democracy’s remaining one million, Achmund al-Ruketpropella, stated that the departure of American troops will not be a decade too soon.
    The governor of New York has admitted that he is really Larry Flint. The attorney for Flint’s estate has called the assertion a "damnable lie."Publicist for Hugh Hefner’s widow, Paris Hilton, has issued a press release claiming her client and the governor never did anything kinky.
San Francisco has issued a ban on heterosexual marriage. Mayor Ryan Seacrest has claimed that the City by the Bay was going to start "cleaning up its act." Music promoter Simon Cowell was quoted as saying that, as usual, he did not know what Seacrest meant by that.
    Food prices have risen to record levels as holdover Bush administration policies of raising food for fuel continues to starve the nation and the world. The U.S. is receiving emergency food shipments from Bangladesh and Darfar. These countries have benefited by not having UN relief agencies involved in their food production and distribution to the extent that they are now net food exporters.
In the world of sports, Major League Baseball Commissioner Barry Bonds announced that there was no proof that performance-enhancing drugs have been used by any Major League players. At the same news conference, Bonds announced that Barry Bonds III had hit a season-record 453 home runs playing for the New York Yankees.
    "His salary may be $24 billion for two years but he is worth every billion of it," boasted Commissioner Bonds.
    At a global level: Oil futures fell sharply to $500 per barrel on the news that vast oil reserves have been discovered in Israel.
    "They should call their mothers," observed one international oil trader.
    "It was always God’s will," commented Israel’s prime minister, "it was just a little late coming."
    Iran, North Korea and Pakistan are hosting the 20th annual Non-nuclear Proliferation Conference in Tehran. All 156 countries with nuclear-weapons capabilities expect to attend. The United States has begged off, claiming, "they were not going to be piled on by a bunch of schoolyard bullies." The Vatican and Monaco took particular offense at the insinuation.

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