Publisher's Note: Predictions for 2008
By Jody Reese
In years past I have tried to predict what will happen in the coming year. My predictions haven’t been good, so I thought I’d try something new. This time around I thought it might be to list a few nice things to look forward to 2008 — sort of a wish list.
• Charity: It’s true that charity begins at home and New Hampshire has been rated one of the more stingy states in its giving, though we tend to volunteer more than others. Still you can’t buy food for hungry kids or build a theater with volunteer hours. These things require cold hard cash. I hope that we give more in the coming year.
• Indy success: Concord’s new independent film haunt Red River Theatres is fast becoming a must for many southern New Hampshire residents. I expect and hope that in 2008 it will continue to attract audiences, proving that independent film has another home in southern New Hampshire (Wilton Town Hall Theatre was the first and remains a gem).
• Cheesy: While southern New Hampshire has a few good cheese shops, we don’t have near enough of them considering how close we live to Vermont and Quebec, two great cheese-making places. Here’s hoping 2008 will see more cheese.
• Bucks: This one’s not so much a hope as a rant. I can’t stand Starbucks, but many around seem to think that more Starbucks will help southern New Hampshire become more like everywhere else. Oh, wait. We don’t need no Starbucks. Here’s hoping they end their northern expansion and the local guys and Dunkin’ Donuts continue their hegemony.
• Patriots perfect: It would be great to see our Patriots go to the Super Bowl, win it and then go on to win enough games next season to definitively go down as the best team ever (you hear that, Dave Long?). This year’s Patriots are focused and not afraid to risk it all. That’s how you win.
• Schools: 2008 would be a great year for Gov. John Lynch and the legislature to finally fix school funding, so that school districts would know almost to the penny what kind of aid they would be getting from the state. I still favor a method for paying for education that does not involve property taxes. There’s something unfair about a system that taxes people based on the value of their homes and not the cash in their wallets. I hope we find the courage to tackle this.
• Snow: Yes, it still does snow in New Hampshire and all the ski hills and snowmobile dealers are sure happy that it does. For town and city governments, though, this snow is an unwelcome expense. Communities were getting used to — and budgeting for — little snow. That means this year a lot of towns and cities are going to find it very hard to keep taxes down. This encourages communities to skimp on snow removal and that’s dangerous for us drivers. Here’s hoping that local governments will think of our safety first.