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Harry's Gang: Pete the prognosticator has some ideas about 2021


January 1, 2021

Thankfully, no one remembers my predictions from last year, so there's no way to gauge my accuracy or prognostic ability. Just trust me when I say I was very accurate and remarkably prescient.

So, emboldened by the veracity of my history of accurate predictions of the future, I give you my predictions for 2021:

• We will continue to wear masks well into spring, and again shortly after Labor Day. Not because the coronavirus stages a comeback, but because so many people have put so much effort into designing fashionable masks and masks that make a statement, that masks will become as commonplace as gloves and hats. Since we've been so accustomed to wearing masks, the trend will last a little bit longer than disco did in the 1970s, and will look only slightly less ridiculous.

• The Cloquet Public Library will reopen in force, with its new addition and meeting spaces becoming popular for community meetings, senior social activities, education opportunities for all, and will also be a great place for pre-driving-age teens to meet and hang out.

• Someone will take over the former Avenue C restaurant space, probably serving a contemporary Greek and Italian menu, with a bar that quickly becomes the toast of the town. Parking will be a bear, which only increases the charm of the place. The entire West End will start to become hip again, and rents will increase accordingly. So accordingly, that Pine Knot News will have to add a coffee bar to the front of our offices to help make ends meet. With Common Ground just down the street, and Wood City Nutrition across from that, old downtown will be bustling from morning until late in the evening.

• There will be only one weekly newspaper serving Cloquet and northern Carlton County.

• Use of the designated bike lanes around town will grow exponentially.

Cloquet will host a spectacular Fourth of July party, complete with fireworks. Part of the festivities will be held at the Pinehurst Park pool, which will have been open since Memorial Day.

• The Carlton school district will finally solve its longtime problems by agreeing to consolidate with another school district (note: I am careful not to predict which school district will consolidate with Carlton). But I will say that the success of "distance learning," which was forced upon us by the coronavirus pandemic, will allow some unusual partnerships that will alleviate many of the roadblocks preventing Carlton's success. In fact, the consolidation will seem so simple and so logical, many will wonder how they didn't figure it out years ago.

• People will sit on patios at local restaurants to eat and drink, not because it's mandatory but just because it's pleasant.

• Apple will come out with a new electronic device that does some very important task we never knew we needed to have done. It will be impossible to operate unless you are a teenager or have a master's degree in computer science. We will all try to be first in line to overpay for the device, which will soon be illegal to operate while driving.

• CAT-7, the local cable access channel, will become relevant again. People will pause while flipping channels to see the latest Cloquet news and information scroll by, and maybe watch part of a local church service, political talk show, locally made movie or recorded sports event. CAT-7 will be the first channel many people use at the start of their day to see what the weather will be like, and maybe find out what's going on in Carlton County that weekend.

• Finally, President Biden will surprise us all with his stamina and leadership. Politics will continue as usual, but the tone will lighten a bit and both sides will start working together again, just like they did when America truly was great.

There's no need to keep a copy of these predictions til next year. You can count on me to remind you then, that I was right all along. Just like last year.

Pete Radosevich is the publisher of the Pine Knot News and an attorney in Esko who hosts the cable access talk show Harry's Gang on CAT-7. His opinions are his own. Contact him at [email protected]


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