Eugene Weekly : Design Matters : 12.31.08

Brighter Days Ahead?
Yes we canny predictions for the New Year 
By Jerry Diethelm

Once a year when I unscrew the lid to the jar of the future and stick my tongue deep down into the salty, sweet and the tart, I ponder just how much advanced knowledge it is really safe to spread about …

 But did you know, or have you heard, and could you, would you believe that:

1. The new Matt Knight Arena will turn out to be so expensive that all the players will have to go without shoes?

2.  Barack Obama’s party in Washington, D.C., will be stopped on the street under suspicion that all the white guys are carrying guns?

3. Architect Otto Poticha will hear a bell, get his wings, and be transformed overnight into an evangelist for “Butt Beautiful”?

4. The proposal for a single-payer national health insurance will come so close to passing in Congress that it will make people sick?

5. Public works will cease to be an oxymoron, while Microsoft Works and Middle East peace will stay on the list?

6. The Eugene Employees Police Association, EEPA, leadership will drop their pretense at association and just become EEP!?

7. Suppressed electrocardiograms will reveal that Dick Cheney’s heart stopped beating long ago?

8. Not having to listen to George Bush speak will be the first step in ending torture?

9. Donald Rumsfeld will be sentenced to 40 years of Mesopotamian community service and sent up the rivers (Tigris and Euphrates)?

10. The Eugene UGB (Urban Growth Boundary) will become the UFB (Urban Food Boundary), a food belt around the city, causing the sprawl community to go forth and soil themselves?

11. Interest rates will fall so low that everyone will lose interest?

12. The term “marketing” will lose a major share of its market because so many corrupt little piggies went there?

13. GM will give up buses and go back to making electric trolleys, including a sustainable beauty for Willamette Street, while GM executives will be prosecuted and sentenced to driving American cars?

14. To counter the new Great Depression, all Midwest corn production will be switched from feed and ethanol and channeled into fattening the national sense of humor?

15. Kitty Piercy will change her motto from “A Mayor for All Eugene” to “Feral Kitty”?

16. McKenzie-Willamette Hospital will operate on itself and find the true obstruction of their BM (Big Move) and decide to MRI (Maintain Residence In) Springfield where they were born?

17. The ODOT I-5 Bridge project will collapse, not being able to support ODOT’s ponderous, burdensome and heavy-handed bureaucracy?  And that they will be saved by a sign removed from on high?

18. Prophets will once more arrive in Eugene bringing the gift of a bright new concept for our downtown: “It will become a center for retail shopping in Eugene.” And yet again, the gullible will gather and gobble? 

19. The city planning process for rezoning the EWEB property on the riverfront could become a type 2, 3 or 4, but will more likely turn out to be a type 6, known as a Calvin, where they make it up as they go along?  And that there will once again be a tug-of-war over the Millrace?

20. The meaning of conservation and conservative will at long last be reclaimed by those whose core interest is in conserving things, while liberal will once again be associated with liberty and our Bill of Rights?

21. There will be convened a Great Council of All the Gods and Goddesses where it will be decided to stop giving humans so many excuses to kill one another?

22. Betty Taylor will be elevated to Queen of the City Council by acclamation, and like her British counterpart, take up wearing outrageous hats?

23. Skidoo! 


Jerry Diethelm of Eugene is an architect, landscape architect, and planning and design consultant.