Somehow, we’ve already passed the halfway point of 2019.
Only months remain in this decade, which, when they make documentaries about it, will probably be remembered for Obama and Trump, the Cubs finally winning the World Series, the explosive growth of social media in society, and hoverboards.
But why look back when you can look forward?
Here, then, are three predictions for the second half of 2019:
• DeKalb County will see at least one big new industrial development announced. There’s already been some talk about companies showing interest in sites around the DeKalb-Sycamore area.
Owners of Park 88, the industrial park just off Peace Road in DeKalb, have asked to rezone 102 acres of property from residential to industrial use. There are unused industrial buildings available in other places, too, and there have been rumblings about interest in them.
There’s been no official announcement of any development, and DeKalb city officials have said that the move at Park 88 isn’t in anticipation of anything in particular.
But state lawmakers did recently pass an important tax incentive program for data centers, and those do take a lot of space. So we’ll see.
• “Destination DeKalb” will break attendance records. We’ll get good weather over the Thanksgiving weekend and crowds this year at the IHSA State Football Championships at Huskie Stadium will be the largest yet.
If you check out Shaw Media prep football expert Steve Soucie’s playoff predictions on FridayNightDrive.com – a must-read for football fans – there are a lot of big-drawing northern Illinois schools with an excellent chance of making it to the finals.
Teams such as Sterling and Batavia, Prairie Ridge and Cary Grove from McHenry County, and other schools with large and devoted fanbases all have a good chance at making a run here.
Could DeKalb or Sycamore make it to state and pack the stands? That would be something.
• Communities will opt out of marijuana in DeKalb County. I expect Sycamore’s City Council and probably other communities will vote to prohibit the sale of recreational marijuana within their boundaries, some by the end of the year.
DeKalb’s council, on the other hand, will establish zoning regulations for marijuana dispensaries and impose the 3% municipal tax that the state’s legalization law permits.
There probably won’t be any pot being (legally) sold in this county in January 2020 – and there may not be for some time to come. The state’s inadequate medical marijuana program never allowed a dispensary here, and who knows if an existing medical dispensary will try to open a location here in 2020.
Eventually someone will, however, and their first choice likely will be DeKalb.
As other communities see the money DeKalb collects in tax revenue, they may decide to lift their bans.
That was how things unfolded with video gambling, which went from banned by many communities to being available at seemingly every gin mill and half the strip malls in the state.
Anyway, enjoy the last half of the year, everyone. Let’s make the most of the tail end of the 2010s.
• Eric Olson is general manager of the Daily Chronicle, part of Shaw Media Illinois. Reach him at 815-756-4841 ext. 2257, email
email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter @DC_Editor.