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Mon., Jan. 1, 2007

Maybe no one knows what the future holds.

But here at the front door of 2007, a lot of things seem very, very probable.

“Cats,” for instance, is coming back to town. Coeur d’Alene’s world-famous hamburger counter, Hudson’s, will turn 100. Comcast will raise its rates, and Avista will try to.

At least all of those things are scheduled or planned.

Some of what’s coming is no big secret. Perhaps you’ve heard that the U.S. Figure Skating Championships will be here later this month. Or that Spokane is hosting the first two rounds of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament in March. Or that “Antiques Roadshow” is paying a visit.

Some of it may be less well-known: The MAC plans exhibits on the history of shoes, and another with a cast of a Tyrannosaurus rex. The first “Book ATM” will debut in some cities, allowing users to pick a book from a computerized library and then wait while it’s printed and bound. Auto experts predict in-car satellite TV systems by the end of the year.

But who really knows? “The future,” as Yogi Berra said, “ain’t what it used to be.”

Here’s a selective and highly incomplete look at what’s expected or guessed at for the coming year.

In the news

“Iraq will dominate world events again, with President Bush planning to announce a new strategy early in the year.

“2007 will be a significant political year in both Washington and Idaho. In Olympia, the Democrat-controlled Legislature will figure out how to spend or save a tax windfall of $1.9 billion. In Boise, the GOP-dominated Capitol will be dealing with a highway funding shortfall, overflowing state prisons and tax issues.

“While presidential candidates jockey for position on the national scene, key city positions will be on the ballot in November for Spokane, Spokane Valley and Coeur d’Alene. Spokane Mayor Dennis Hession is expected to run for another term.

“The federal prosecution of serial killer Joseph Duncan is expected to proceed, with many watching to see whether the death penalty is pursued. The FBI is expected to conclude its investigation into the Otto Zehm case in Spokane.

“On the horizon are the enormous new Cabela’s store in Post Falls, expected to open in the fall, and the opening of a new Coeur d’Alene library.

“At Washington State University, V. Lane Rawlins will spend his final months on the job before turning over the position to Elson Floyd. The Spokane Regional Health District, meanwhile, will be shopping for a new boss after the firing of Kim Thorburn.

Big tickets in Spokane

“U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Jan. 21-28

“NCAA men’s basketball tournament, March 16, 18

“Antiques Roadshow,” Aug. 4

“State 2B Basketball, Feb. 28-March 2

Random examples of scheduled entertainment

Jerry Lee Lewis, Northern Quest, Jan 14

“Blue Man Group, Spokane Arena, Feb. 6

“Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Big Easy, March 2

“Rascal Flatts, Spokane Arena, March 7

“”Cats,” INB Performing Arts Center, June 24-26

“An Evening with Howie Mandel, WSU’s Beasley Coliseum, April 14

Annual traditions

“Sandpoint Winter Carnival, Jan. 12-14

“Spokane International Film Festival, Jan. 25-28, Feb. 1-4

“St. Patrick’s Day parade, March 17

“Get Lit!, April 19-21

“Bloomsday, May 6

“Car d’Lane, June 15-16

“Ironman triathlon in Coeur d’Alene, June 24

Hoopfest, June 30-July 1

“Julyamsh Powwow, July 20-21

“Festival at Sandpoint, Aug. 2-12

“Coeur d’Alene Art on the Green, Aug. 3-5

“North Idaho Fair & Rodeo, August 22-26

“Pig Out in the Park, Aug. 29-31 and Sept 1-3

“Spokane County Interstate Fair, Sept. 7-16

100 years ago

“Spokane voters approve a levy to pay for a park system. The city hires the Olmsted brothers to do a study on the city’s parks. Spokane Chamber of Commerce came up with the Spokane Trophy, an award for the Navy’s best battleship.

“In 1907, Harley Hudson opened a lunch tent on Coeur d’Alene’s Main Street. This year, Hudson’s Hamburgers, a Lake City landmark, will mark its 100th year.

“Sandpoint officially switched from a village to a city government in 1907.

Tuesday yule

“Christmas will be on a Tuesday.

The Fourth of July will be on a Wednesday.

“Easter is April 8.

“Thanksgiving is Nov. 22.

Random wisdom from the Web – referring to an upcoming book on UFOs

“The theory and premise … is that many UFO sightings may not be the result of aliens visiting the Earth. Rather, they may be examples of encounters with a hidden, indigenous civilization that co-exists with us right here on Earth, in stealth, and that, paradoxically, is in many ways far in advance of us, yet in other ways is less so – and is perhaps even in decline. This is likely to be the most talked-about book of the year.”


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