Current Publishing’s annual tradition of consulting the Magic 8-Ball is here again, and this year we eagerly await the answers to our most probing of questions, some serious and others not so serious.

If past years are any indication, the little black ball with blurry floating mechanism can be quite the prognosticator. Last year, for example, we asked: “Will the NSA require all Americans to carry smartphones for easier tracking?” And the 8-Ball replied: “My sources say no.” If that’s not proof that the sphere is a reliable source, we don’t know what is.

When asking these questions, we want the reader to know we print the first answer the 8-Ball gives us. There’s no shaking the sphere a second or third time seeking answers we might think are funny or acceptable, either socially or ethically. It is what it is, and the results speak for themselves. So, here’s another round of keen questioning, this time asking what 2015 will look like in our neck of this mysterious cosmos:

Q: Will Gov. Paul LePage manage to avoid verbal gaffes in 2015?

A: Outlook not so good

Q: Will the Republican-led Maine Senate and Democrat-led House of Representatives be able to work together on a bipartisan basis?

A: My sources say no

Q: Will the statewide ballot feature a referendum regarding marijuana legalization next year?

A: Reply hazy, try again

(Later)

A: Signs point to yes

Q: Will it pass?

A: Most likely

Q: Will electricity rates prove to be an economic drain on Maine’s economy in 2015?

A: Very doubtful

Q: Will gasoline dip below the $2 mark?

A: Signs point to yes

Q: Will the Portland-Montreal pipeline continue to flow despite Canadian plans to dig new pipelines around Maine?

A: Most likely

Q: Will the contents of Westbrook’s bicentennial time capsule be revealed prior to its opening in 100 years?

A: Reply hazy, try again

(Later)

A: Outlook good

Q: Will development begin on the former Snyder property on Stroudwater Street in 2015?

A: Don’t count on it

Q: Will the Maine Department of Transportation uphold its finding that the speed limit should be increased on Stroudwater Street?

A: Outlook not so good

Q: Will the Bridge Street bridge redesign, removal of the Saccarappa dams and extension of the riverwalk have a positive effect on Westbrook’s downtown?

A: Outlook good

Q: Will the Westbrook City Council move to enact a recall ordinance in 2015?

A: Don’t count on it

Q: Will the University of Southern Maine strip the exterior of another historic Gorham building in 2015?

A: Most likely

Q: Will the vacant gas station in Gorham Village go away?

A: Outlook good

Q: Will the Lakes Region Senior Center move back into Little Falls School?

A: Very doubtful


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