Enough already with all the year-end stuff. Time to look ahead. I'm banking on the following news breaking in Greater Portland during 2008:
A winter-storm warning will result in the sale of every pair of tire chains, windshield scraper and decent-looking fleece hat in the city of Portland. Then, exactly 15 snowflakes will fall.
Multnomah County Sheriff Bernie Giusto, subject of various rumors, investigations and official studies for myriad management shortcomings will remain in the headlines. One likely sequence of events: He will be caught coming on to an undercover cop in a public restroom. The undercover cop will be a woman. A thorough study will be made of the incident. The undercover cop will turn out to be the wife of a high-ranking government official. Sheriff Giusto will get a raise. The county will levy a new tax on public-restroom use to cover the cost of the study.
Portland's local-food movement will intensify, with the hippest chefs plowing up their parking lots in order to raise grass-fed beef on site.
Fourteen new luxury condo developments will break ground in downtown Portland and nine, at the last minute, will switch to rental units because of the iffy real estate market. At least half of all new high-rises will have street-level restaurants serving complex hybrid cuisine. Not one of the places will serve chili dogs.
A vacationing New York Times writer will discover that one of the new sans-chili dog bistros reminds him of the good old days in Greenwich Village, and write a glowing tribute. The bistro's prices will double. It will lose its lease and a framing shop will take its place.
Portland bicyclists will win exclusive use of all main roads during rush hours, while motorists are made to sit quietly at curbside, engines switched off to keep carbon footprints small. Any opening of street-side car doors for any reason will be punishable by stiff fines.
Curbside recycling will expand bins beyond the current paper/glass/metal/plastic to include separate receptacles for polyester, record albums, sensible shoes and Top Ramen containers.
Paul Allen will sell the naming rights of his Trailblazer's Rose Garden, but Portlanders will never call it anything but the Rose Garden.
Portland will levy a poor tax on downtown panhandlers and perhaps... a "pole tax" on strippers.