In the spirit of the New Year, we have decided to make some news predictions for the coming year. To ensure the highest degree of accuracy, we combined our cutting-edge newsroom technology (the Internet) with one of the most reliable indicators of future events – the Magic 8 Ball.

We sought answers at – a Web site that simulates the Magic 8 Ball. (The Magic 8 Ball is a registered trademark of Mattel Inc., which is not affiliated with the Web site.)

While the answers Magic 8 Ball provides are sometimes reliable, Magic 8 Ball is not always known for its certainty. Consequently, some future events remain cloudy.

Based loosely on news stories from the last year, the questions are asked in the spirit of fun. We hope readers will take them in that vein. Here are the actual Magic 8 Ball answers to our questions:

Q: Will the sign at Scarborough’s new Cabela’s sporting goods store be visible from the International Space Station?

A: Yes – definitely

Q: How about the lines of traffic on Route 1 and Payne Road?

A: Cannot predict now

Q: After a particularly heated debate last year over the school budget in Cape Elizabeth, will town councilors and school board members decide that flipping a coin this year would be much more civilized?

A: Most likely

Q: After installing artificial turf athletic fields, will Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough decide that the next logical steps would be to build domes over their fields and begin televising all games on local cable access channels on Monday nights?

A: You may rely on it

Q: Once communities, following the lead of Portland, ban all chain restaurants, will Mainers be forced to travel to New Hampshire to get a decent cup of coffee?

A: Yes

Q: Without a new Wal-Mart in Westbrook, will frugal shoppers be forced to travel to Scarborough and Windham?

A: Don’t count it

Q: Will Gorham’s historic clock in the First Parish Church steeple take a licking and keep on ticking?

A: Reply hazy, try again

Q: Will the Legislature ever pass meaningful tax reform?

A: On second thought, let’s not waste Magic 8 Ball’s time.

Brendan Moran, editor

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