With the flip of calendar looming next week, the following, in no particular order, are my annual predictions for the year ahead.
Ocean City will not promote from within the police department for its next chief. Instead, a current chief with experience in the northeast will be chosen to replace Bernadette DiPino.
A member of the Ocean City Mayor and Council will call it quits as a result of political discontent.
Delmarva Power & Light’s plans to expand its substation in north Ocean City will be permitted to proceed in a 5-2 vote, despite opposition from the community.
Ocean City will initiate eminent domain legal proceedings on a north Ocean City movie theater with plans to build a larger transit station on the property.
The Maryland legislature will proclaim the soft crab sandwich the state’s official state sandwich. Special interest groups will start a petition to protest the move, questioning how the crab cake sandwich could be looked over for the honor. I would sign that petition.
Salisbury will elect a new mayor next spring.
Legislation will be introduced in Annapolis allowing breweries to begin making their own liquor.
A new full-scale microbrew pub, specializing in brick oven pizza, will open in northern Worcester County.
Work will continue on the new Route 50 service road, but it will not be completed.
A new movie theater will open in northern Worcester County.
Funding for the Snow Hill High School project will not be included in Worcester County’s budget.
A traffic light will not be erected at Routes 113 and 12 in Snow Hill.
Ocean City and the State Highway Administration will add a median barrier to heavy pedestrian areas along Coastal Highway. The idea being it will stop pedestrians from crossing Coastal Highway outside of the crosswalks.
Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler will announce his candidacy for governor as will Md. Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown.
Ocean City will add new paid parking areas in time for the summer season.
The Maryland legislature will tighten new gun control laws in response to the tragedy this month in Connecticut.
The Berlin Mayor and Council and the Berlin Fire Company (BFC) will hammer out a compromise to restore about half the funding the BFC used to receive from the town.
A local newspaper will go out of business.
Plans to install a wind turbine in Berlin will be denied due to resident concerns over its appearance.
For the first time in two years, the area will be spared any impact from a tropical storm.
Maryland legislators will again vote to increase the cigarette tax by a buck.
Ocean Pines will authorize a referendum to determine whether residents want to become a municipality.
A new three-digit area code will become necessary in Maryland.
The United States Postal Service will eliminate Saturday delivery.
The cost of a first-class mail stamp will balloon to 50 cents.
The Casino at Ocean Downs will unveil renovation plans to allow for the addition of table games at the Route 589 site.
The Waterkeeper Alliance will not appeal the recent decision in the controversial Clean Water Act lawsuit.
Speed cameras and red-light cameras will be added to Coastal Highway as a way to generate new income in Ocean City.
Cracker Barrel and Chili’s will be named as future restaurant tenants near the Wal-Mart and Home Depot on Route 50.
No further dualization work will take place on Route 113 due to funding shortages.
Parking rates at the Inlet parking lot will be increased in Ocean City.
Ocean City will alter its surfing beach policy by expanding the designated areas by a block and eliminating so-called “no surf” beaches from then rotation.
The Wicomico Street Pier will be rebuilt but at a shorter length than it was prior to Hurricane Sandy.
A major merger involving Johns Hopkins Hospital and a hospital on the shore will be announced.
In an effort to offset the expenses associated with hosting them every year, Ocean City will explore selling the naming rights to its leading special events, such as Nestle’s Winterfest of Lights or Holt Paper’s Sunfest.
Work will finally begin on the new long-awaited James M. Bennett Middle School in Salisbury.
Maryland will pass legislation making recycling of glass, aluminum and paper mandatory for all households.
The Army Corps of Engineers will conduct emergency dredging of the Inlet this winter, depositing the sand it digs out of the channel on the northern tip of Assateague Island.
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge toll will be increased again.
The Broncos will defeat the Packers in the Super Bowl.