Cook: Predictions and promises for 2019

Cook: Predictions and promises for 2019

December 30th, 2018 by David Cook in Opinion Columns

Atlanta Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos, right, and Josh Donaldson laugh during a baseball press conference Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018, in Atlanta. Looking to improve on their first division title in five years, the Braves agreed to one-year contract with the former AL MVP. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

David Cook

David Cook

Photo by Ashlee Culverhouse /Times Free Press.

In 2019, Donald Trump's presidency will come to an end.

During soccer season, more fans will go see the Chattanooga Football Club play than the new Chattanooga Red Wolves.

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke will announce he's running for Lamar Alexander's seat in the U.S. Senate.

So will U.S. Rep. Diane Black.

And outgoing Gov. Bill Haslam.

Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond will finally fire Detective Blake Kilpatrick, now suspended with pay while the U.S. Department of Justice investigates the citizen-cell-phone video of Kilpatrick beating and punching a local man, Charles Toney Jr., while arresting him.

The new "Avengers: Endgame" movie, scheduled to release in April, will be the second-highest grossing movie of all time. (Behind unsinkable "Avatar.")

Jordan Peele's new horror movie "Us" — releasing in March — will be the highest grossing horror movie. (Overtaking Stephen King's "It.")

The Atlanta Braves will win the National League East, yet will lose the pennant to the Milwaukee Brewers.

Gov. Bill Lee will consider ending the death penalty in Tennessee, but remain clearly against sports gambling and medical marijuana in the Volunteer State.

"A Star is Born" will win the Oscar for Best Picture. Lady Gaga will win two Oscars — Best Actress and Best Original Song. (Only three other women in the 21st century have won multiple Oscars on the same night.)

The Chattanooga Lookouts will play their last season downtown, as construction begins on a new stadium near South Broad Street. Taxpayers are not given a public referendum, and local leaders vote to help subsidize stadium construction.

The vacant Hawk Hill will be sold to — yawn — a developer, who then will build condos, starting at $2,500 a month.

Parking downtown will get worse. So will the Interstate 75/1-24 split, as the Tennessee Department of Transportation begins work this summer on the worst stretch of interstate in Tennessee.

Colin Kaepernick will run for Congress.

"Governments are about power, either the use of power for the people or the use of power for those who'll oppress the people. I can see Kaepernick looking at the example of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and saying, 'I want a little bit of that,'" predicts Lawrence Ross of TheRoot.com.

LSD and psilocybin will gain mainstream attention as scientists, doctors and researchers push the U.S. government to reclassify psychedelics for medical use. (Don't believe me? Read Michael Pollan's fascinating new book "How to Change Your Mind." It's one of the best books of 2018.)

The Toronto Raptors will win the NBA Finals, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers.

The use of plastic bags will continue to decline. (Plastic bags are the new cigarettes.) I'll do my part: my resolution in 2019 is to stop using plastic bags for shopping. Each time I fail, I'll donate $1 per bag to Chattanooga's Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center.

Congressional bipartisanship will return.

"In October, Congress passed the sweeping opioids bill — the Senate by 98 to 1 and the House by a whopping 393-8 — to expand prevention, treatment and recovery efforts across the nation. If bipartisanship is defined as passing bills having both Democratic and Republican cosponsors, according to Quorum, 2018 had the most congressional bipartisanship we've seen since 2008," writes Mary Kate Cary, former speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush, on Politico.com.

The new Chattanooga Bail Fund will have an immediate affect on dozens of local incarcerated men and women who would otherwise remain in jail, unable to afford bail. About half of all Hamilton County inmates have yet to reach trial; the fund would pay their bail, allowing them to go home and back to work. Started by CALEB (Chattanoogans in Action for Love, Equality and Benevolence), the fund has some $30,000 in donations, including two local foundation grants.

Local veteran Terry Davis will continue his righteous and transformative work with local children and teens, especially at Woodmore Elementary. May every school have someone as devoted as Davis and his UnaVerSoul Kids program.

Rental scooters will make their appearance downtown. Soon, nearly everyone will wish they hadn't.

Facebook use will decline in the West.

"Amazon will begin to face more anti-trust questions," suggested my wise buddy Jeff, who also predicts a busted downtown housing market.

"Chattanooga's popularity won't keep pace with all the new downtown housing, causing developments to delay, sell-off or fail," he said.

Finally, as Trump's presidency crumbles, several Republicans will announce 2020 campaigns for the White House.

Among them, Bob Corker.

David Cook writes a Sunday column and can be reached at dcook@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6329.


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