So much for Mayan prophecies of doom. We’re all still here, still kickin’.
What is sure to end soon, however, is this year. Goodbye 2012.
One for the ages? Probably not.
Still, get ready for all the year-end top ten lists and predictions for the upcoming year.
I have some forecasts of my own to offer. Here are a few special predictions just for you.
I think the Southern Nevada economy is finally rebounding from the crushing recession that started in 2008. Home prices are rising, unemployment is falling and you get the general feeling that development is slowly returning. This upcoming year won’t totally restore the lost wealth, jobs and faith stolen by the recession, but I think it will mark a real turning point. This recession is going into the rearview mirror. For Pahrump, we hope it means a little more job opportunities for residents here as well as a boost in local home values. We know more than a few of our neighbors could use the help.
Out with the old and in with the new is usually a good thing. But I think we all will get a few not-so-pretty surprises with some of the incoming politicians who won in November. I don’t really want to name any names just now, but I predict at least one of the new victors will do, or say, something really crazy in their first year in office and it might cost them the job in the future. Let’s hope not. But let’s also be realistic. This is Pahrump, Nye County, baby!
With one major election over in 2012, get ready for the 2014 campaigning to start toward the end of 2013. The races to watch are the assessor’s Shirley Matson , the DA’s he’s a Democrat and the sheriff’s one word: Brutal .
I think the ghosts of old Mexico might return to make Shirley Matson’s re-election a hard-fought campaign. But even as shocking as this next statement might be, I personally think Matson has taken her lumps and learned to be a better public servant for it. But a savvy political opportunist will likely take her on.
District Attorney Brian Kunzi has done an outstanding job. It would really be a stretch to think someone could come in and unseat him. But, he is also a Democrat in a sea of rabid Republicans, who vote with their left brains tied behind their backs, which means Kunzi is likely not immune to a challenge regardless of his job performance.
The big time race, as always, will be the race for sheriff. DeMeo has waffled on whether he plans to run again — I think he might do it just to spite some of his detractors. But what would really make the sheriff’s race brutal is if Asst. Sheriff Rick Marshall faces Capt. Bill Becht, DeMeo’s left- and right-hand men at the NCSO. I can see these two scrappers bloodying the water so much a third candidate Frank J. Maurizio? Ben Gulley? takes advantage and makes a real contest for both of them. Watch the fireworks on this one start flying sometime next fall.
Finally, a plan long in the making, a plan to attract a steady stream of tourists to Pahrump will finally take hold. After all the failures and false starts, a bold idea generates some real buzz. Is it Harley World? Are the soccer fields that popular? Will a messianic talking burro arrive from the desert wearing a fat Elvis costume to make next year’s Fall Festival the greatest show on earth? I have no idea. But what I do believe is that the town is very close to scoring a major coup in its efforts to ramp up tourism. Good going!
The Pahrump Valley Trojans wrestling team will win the championships this year. Someone call animal control, those Clayton boys are loose again!
Already a second-hand Mecca for thrifty retirees, I predict Pahrump’s senior-serving cottage industries will turn the town into a full blown grey-haired heaven, with newly retired folks flocking here from Ohio Why, oh, why, oh, did I ever leave Ohio? , New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, and some places, rusty and as yet revealed. Theses newcomers will revitalize social life for the older cliques, rejuvenating groups like Rotary and Kiwanis and turning the senior center and other hangouts Inspirations? into veritable discotheques. Sweet!
The town could rebrand itself. Instead of the “base camp for adventure,” it could be, “Pahrump, the pitstop before purgatory.”
Catchy, huh? Feel free to steal for any t-shirts you’d like to make.
I guess I’m out of predictions for now. I haven’t forgotten, though, that the new year is also a time for resolutions. If you don’t have one, try one of these on for size.
* If you are one of the thousands of people around these parts who are unemployed or under-employed, fight the urge to give up. Never give up! Your resolution should be about finding gainful employment, staying busy and making money. Work three jobs if you have to, even if it means you have to swallow your pride. You’ll be a better person for it later.
* Also, stay healthy. Be resolved to eat better food, cut out the bad habits everything in moderation and get off the couch a few hours a week. Start small and make being healthy a priority in 2013.
* Be financially smarter this year. After the toll the last five years has taken on everybody’s wallet, by now you should have figured out that setting a realistic financial plan in place is vastly important. Even if it just means being a better budgeter of your own funds, that’s at least better than doing nothing. Make 2013 the year you decide to treat your finances like an adult, reduce debt, cut frivolous spending, save some money for a rainy day and set clearer future goals for yourself.
* And maybe you are one of the lucky ones who have already done all of this. Mr. and Mrs. Perfect really don’t need any resolution. Is that so? Well, for you, I suggest you be resolved to donate more of your time and money and effort to the well-being of your neighbors and your community. Give a little and you just might get a lot of joy in return. Make that a priority not just in the new year, but in life.
Happy New Year!