Happy New Year, Western New York. It’s time to look ahead to 2017 (though wasn’t it just 1997?) – at headlines we may or may not be seeing in the coming 12 months. The only guarantee we make is that any one of these could actually occur, just as the Millennium Falcon could actually crash into the Starship Enterprise or a businessman with no government experience could be elected president. Just saying.
January: Trump takes oath; crime is eliminated.
The nation’s new president bans crime, thus making good on his convention speech promise that “The crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end” and “Beginning on Jan. 20, 2017, safety will be restored.” He also denies the existence of gravity and orders the tide not to come in. Some people get soaked, anyway.
February: Love breaks out on Valentine’s Day.
At the Capitol in Albany, missives are hand-delivered by a man with a briefcase. Unfortunately for all the recipients, these are not love notes but rather envelopes from U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
Meanwhile, candy and flowers arrive at the office of Buffalo School Board President Barbara Seals Nevergold. The only clues to the sender are a big heart and the initials C.P.
March: Let the sun shine in.
For Sunshine Week, dedicated to a free and independent press, newspapers continue to report things that are actually happening. Rush Limbaugh declares it to be fake news.
April: Paladino seeks help.
Carl Paladino seeks medical treatment for chronic, uncontrolled fire-breathing. Teams of doctors take turns washing his mouth out with soap.
May: Clinton sends an email.
Hillary Clinton, chastened by her brush with the law, sends her first email in several months. Having learned her lesson too well, though, she sends it from a State Department server. FBI Director James Comey tells everyone.
June: Summer arrives; Buffalo smiles.
The sun shines, Lake Erie beckons and the world is, for a short time, a perfect place.
July: Nation celebrates its 241st birthday.
Across the country, Americans pause in their daily sniping to celebrate, remembering that there is much more uniting than dividing them. Then the moment passes.
August: Rising seas threaten Florida coast.
As salt water seeps into the ground floor of Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump’s oceanfront resort in Palm Beach, the president orders immediate action dealing with climate change, saying “I told you all along that this was real.”
September: Union president protests.
As the Buffalo school year begins, teachers union President Philip Rumore organizes yet another protest march demanding a new contract, forgetting that one was approved last year. No one shows up.
October: No one arrested in Albany.
A month goes by without a report of a major scandal in the state capital. Legislators observe the milestone by demanding a pay raise.
November: Sheriff wins re-election.
Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard easily wins election to a new four-year term based on his promise to continue not enforcing laws he doesn’t like. Jail employees beat up an inmate in celebration.
December: 2017 ends as it began.
The year comes to an end with no wall built, Muslims still coming to the United States and, oddly enough, crime still occurring. Alec Baldwin signs a three-year contract with NBC.