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16 Predictions for 2009:

1) The State of California will go into bankruptcy, a judge will take over running the state and do a far better job than the Governor and Legislature.

2) To raise funds the state will sell naming rights. In Santa Monica, the California Incline will become the Doritos Incline, and California Avenue will become Via Viagra.

3) In early 2009 the city will ban non-reusable grocery bags to help the environment. In late 2009 the city will also ban the sale of groceries, as food production often hurts ecosystems.

4) In late 2009 some member of the Sarah Palin family will choose Santa Monica to have her next baby.

5) The L.A. Times will fold and its iconic DT LA headquarters will become another branch of a laser eye surgery chain.

6) A city hall computer crash will erase Santa Monica’s Hedge Registry and the Hedge Wars will start all over again, further propelling the political career of Bobby Shriver.

7) The arborist Einsteins in city hall will decide to hack down the coral trees along San Vicente in favor of smaller and safer trees, and their remains will be composted with the remnants of the 4th Street ficus trees (the coral tree remains, not the remains of the arborist Einsteins in city hall).

8) Newly installed President Obama will visit Santa Monica and bring both change for the community and spare change for the homeless.

9) NASA’s SETI project will make contact with intelligent life in another galaxy, and in response, Arte Moreno will change his baseball team’s name to the Earth Angels of Anaheim.

10) The term “401K” will follow “carbon paper” and “phonograph needle” into oblivion.

11) The FAA will require Santa Monica Airport to allow Airbus A380 take-offs and landings even though the plane is half the size of the city.

12) The September 9, 2009, centennial celebration of Santa Monica Pier will be dampened when anthropologists discover that Native Americans constructed a reed and rock pier at the same site at least 300 years earlier.

13) Santa Monica’s very last residential block not to have permit parking will be declared a historic preservation district and residents forever will have to allow strangers to park on their public street.

14) The United Nations will declare the Third Street Promenade a World Heritage Site following a Friday evening when all nine street acts sang on key at the same time.

15) The Exposition light rail project from downtown L.A. to the sea will be delayed another 17 years with a new completion date that matches the bicentennial of the Santa Monica Pier (or 500th anniversary of the pier using the Native Americans’ construction date).

16) Mayor Genser will pardon this reporter for libel and then try and rescind the pardon the next day.

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