Sunday, January 3, 2016

Looking Forward Into 2016 Locally

GOUVEIA: Looking ahead fearlessly to 2016’s headlines

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Posted: Sunday, December 27, 2015 9:41 pm | Updated: 11:11 pm, Mon Dec 28, 2015.
With only a scant few days remaining in 2015, the tendency is to look back on the past twelve months and reflect on the many people, personalities and events that dominated the last year.
But here we look forever forward, pressing ahead to anticipate the upcoming the New Year. While we aren’t always right (sometimes intentionally, other times not), we give our sports guru Mark Farinella a run for his money in the “Fearless Prognostication” category.
So continuing our tradition of breaking the news before it happens, I now offer you a brief glimpse into the future. These are the headlines that will no doubt be dominating our pages during the exciting year of 2016:
President-Elect O’Malley Appoints Donald Trump Ambassador to Mexico. In an attempt to provide political balance, presidential election winner Martin O’Malley names the outspoken Trump – who finished last in the Republican primary after his affair with Hillary Clinton was discovered – as ambassador to our neighbor to the south. Mexico immediately declares war on the US, and incoming Secretary of Defense Taylor Swift announces plans to surrender.
Seekonk TA Shawn Cadime Seeks Student Council Presidency. The Seekonk administrator continued his attempts to leave his job by seeking the top position at Seekonk High. It was the only local office he had not yet sought. Early polls have Cadime slightly ahead of MaryJane Boxholder, but trailing Jimmy Smith by double-digits. A rally is scheduled next week after finals.
North Attleboro Passes Override For Turf Field. After attempts to provide more money for the town’s operational budget failed repeatedly, voters overwhelmingly passed a debt exclusion to spend $1 million on a new football field. It is believed the loss to Attleboro last Thanksgiving Day was the tipping point. RTM Coordinating Committee Chair Bob Nerz has been named to head the installation project.
Patriots Announce Move To Plainville. Unable to come to terms on a new lease with Foxboro selectmen, Robert Kraft announced the team will move down Route One into welcoming Plainville. The entire Patriot Place complex and Gillette Stadium will be relocated to the area near Plainridge Casino. In a related story, Plainville selectmen voted last week to eliminate all property taxes.
Norton Opens First Drive-Thru Solar Plant. The Norton Planning Board has approved plans for the nation’s first drive-thru solar energy facility. Residents with electric cars and cell phones will be able to get a charge merely by passing through, and free coffee and donuts will be included. The facility will be built in the center of town, which has been vacant since all businesses fled following other planning board decisions. All residential abutters will be relocated to domed, gated facilities elsewhere in town.
Attleboro Mayor Dumas Announces Run For Governor. Fresh off revitalizing Attleboro, longtime mayor Kevin Dumas announces he will challenge Governor Charlie Baker in the next Republican primary. The Attleboro City Council immediately comes out in support of his bid, and petitions the state to move up the election process to as soon as possible.
Mansfield Institutes Loyalty Pledge For Appointees. Plagued by appointed town officials who actually vote their own minds, Mansfield selectmen in 2016 make signing a loyalty pledge a prerequisite for becoming appointed to town office. All appointees must guarantee in writing they will not vote in opposition to what selectmen decide is best or they will not be reappointed. Selectman Olivier Kozlowski will head the project.
After Another Mass Shooting, Gun Sales Increase. After the latest in a long string of mass shootings in public or semi-public places, gun sales soar to new heights as the NRA preys on fears the government will now try and take away guns. Attempts at limiting new gun sales are portrayed as movement towards communism and socialism, and a new law allows them to be purchased at drugstores with prescriptions.
The MBTA Announces Plans To Improve Service. After a six-inch snowstorm knocked out service for three months, the MBTA once again promised to increase and improve performance. The T pledged to provide new driverless trains, except this time they will be driverless on purpose. The MBTA budget will be doubled in an attempt to improve service levels by at least one percent.
Happy New Year, good readers.
Bill Gouveia is a local columnist and longtime local official. He can be emailed at and followed on Twitter at @Billinsidelook.

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