It’s difficult to predict the future, even if you own the best crystal ball money can buy. Certainly, no one would have believed at the start of 2013 that three young Cleveland women who had been missing for around a decade would be found alive. And who would have guessed that Akron’s minor-league baseball team would change its name from the Aeros to the RubberDucks?
The traditional drop of the ball in Times Square understandably triggers thoughts of what the next year will bring. To get some answers, we asked local experts and Beacon Journal beat reporters to tell us what they think might happen in 2014.
As you will see, they were given a choice of responding with either serious or humorous predictions.
Anne Miller is a jolly psychic medium who lives in Canton. She is quick to break out in a hearty chuckle and slow to deliver bad news.
We reached out to Miller to give us some predictions on news headlines. (Though it was tempting to comment on some of the predictions involving Washington, D.C., we have resisted.)
• A large business will reopen in Akron, meaning jobs for many.
• There will be a fight to preserve an old building in downtown Akron.
• Talks will take place regarding repairs of some sort at E.J. Thomas Hall.
• President Barack Obama will come up with a unique idea to improve his popularity.
• There are many political disagreements in Washington; some careers are going to end.
• A breach of confidence causes an upheaval in Washington.
• There is a big weather concern on an island in the Pacific Ocean.
• A New York religious disagreement culminates in a possible riot.
• Actor Leonardo DiCaprio is going to be nominated for an Oscar, but Tom Hanks is probably going to win.
Browns: During stadium renovations, the Browns install a giant hamster wheel so fans can take out their Groundhog Day frustrations. The team fails to make playoffs, but at least season ticket holders have trimmer waistlines.
Cavs: LeBron James returns in free agency. He morphs into Uncle Drew and develops two bad knees.
Indians: Ubaldo Jimenez leaves, wins the Cy Young Award. But the best team in town becomes so popular that Terry Francona hires a driver for his scooter and takes a victory lap in the outfield after every win.
— Marla Ridenour, Beacon Journal sports columnist
A vibrant pinkish-purple called Radiant Orchid will show up more frequently in home accents, thanks to the Pantone Color Institute’s naming the hue its Color of the Year for 2014.
As LED replacement light bulbs become cheaper and brighter, more Americans will be willing to give them a try in their homes.
Interest in food gardening will continue to grow, with many gardeners dabbling in unusual crops.
— Mary Beth Breckenridge, Beacon Journal home writer
A theater specializing in art-house and foreign films will open in downtown Akron. People in Fairlawn and Chapel Hill will still complain it’s too far to drive.
“Physical” media — the name given DVDs and CDs in the digital-download age — will die. Reason: lack of exercise.
— Rich Heldenfels, Beacon Journal popular culture writer
Northeast Ohio will continue to be one of the most affordable areas of the country. This year, we will see an increasingly stable market. The regional market now has a six-month inventory of homes for sale, compared to nine months one year ago. Fewer homes on the market means it takes less time to sell a home and the seller gets a higher price. You can also expect to see fewer foreclosures and those that are for sale will be priced higher than in previous years. Bargains will still be available but they will sell very quickly.
Can interest rates stay this low forever? Not likely, but don’t let that stop you from buying. Interest rates will still be low and it just means you will get a higher mortgage interest deduction on your taxes. Buyers need to be aware that mortgage lending standards are changing as of Jan. 10. They should work closely with a lender to make sure they meet the new requirements. Buyers and sellers should also work closely with a realtor that has the expertise to help them navigate through market and lending changes.
— Kathy Smith, Realtor with Keller Williams Chervenic
Broccoli is tired of being drenched in cheese sauce or drowned in cream soup just to be noticed.
This nemesis of President George H.W. Bush is fighting its green-monster image with a public relations and marketing campaign aimed at trying to unseat kale as the trendy vegetable du jour.
To see more about broccoli’s assault on kale, visit www.broccolivskale.com.
— Lisa Abraham,
Beacon Journal food writer
As pets continue to naturally do dumb things, such as ingesting lingering Christmas decorations, reindeer antlers and anything else left in their reach by humans who should know better, pet insurance will become increasingly popular to help defray the medical bills when the items must be surgically removed.
Hipster, urban backyard poultry farming will continue to trend with breeders buying their “fancy chickens” high-priced lodgings suitable for upscale neighborhoods from cookware leader Williams-Sonoma. The coops the company is shilling are touted to be made by “Woodcrafters in Amish County, [sic] Ohio” — wherever that is.
People with allergies to cats can now purchase a hypoallergenic feline to love. The Allerca GD Cat by Lifestyle Pets is engineered using selective breeding to encourage naturally present genetic divergences to provide cat lovers with a pet that is “more effective and efficient than regular animal related allergy medicine,” according to the company’s literature. Lifestyle Pets is based in California, as if you couldn’t guess.
— Kathy Antoniotti,
Beacon Journal pet writer
We asked some Cleveland meteorologists to predict the weather for us, but none responded. Weather predictions can be cloudy, with a chance of scrutiny.
But the Old Farmer’s Almanac for 2014 predicts winter will be slightly milder than normal, with near-normal precipitation and below-normal snowfall in most of the region. The coldest periods will be early and mid-January, and in early to mid-February.
April and May will be warmer and a bit rainier than normal. Summer will be hotter than normal in mid-June, early to mid-July, and late August. September and October will be warmer and drier than normal.
Happy New Year!
Kim Hone-McMahan can be reached at 330-996-3742 or firstname.lastname@example.org.