OK, dear readers, here are my Berkshire-related predictions for the coming year. I offer them up every year with several caveats.

Some of them predict things that I don't want to see happen, so I predict them in hopes of jinxing them. Then sometimes I predict things that I don't really think will happen, but I offer them up to make them self fulfilling-prophecies. Finally, there are those things that I really think will happen. Your job is to figure out which is which. So here they are.

The hotel on Bridge Street in Great Barrington will get built but with significant modifications.

The new mayor of Pittsfield will have to deal with significant blow-back from a position that some people believe undermines the "law and order" mentality of the police department.

The "Dugway Road Murder" will be solved by an amateur sleuth. The woman, who specializes in cold cases, will prove that the murder was committed by a repeat offender who is currently incarcerated. The final proof will come from a cellmate who says that he heard a confession. Five years will be shaved off the cellmate's sentence.

The mayors of Adams, North Adams and Pittsfield will arrange for joint services. State Sen. Benjamin Downing will ask the commonwealth to provide seed money for the arrangement.

The Berkshire Hills Regional School District and the Southern Berkshire District will finally combine in a burst of sanity. State Rep. "Smitty" Pignatelli will get the credit.

A lawyer will face criminal charges for bilking his clients.


A Great Barrington Planning Board member will face questions about conflict of interest.

The brilliant Jennifer Browdy of Simon's Rock will run for the town's Selectboard. She will win an overwhelming victory.

Everybody's favorite, Steve Bannon, will run for Great Barrington town moderator and will be overwhelmingly elected. David Magadini will NOT run against him.

This author will ask to see his FBI file and will be amazed to see every meeting with the great Pete Seeger chronicled.

Roselle Chartock will sign a contract with a major TV network because she owns the only actual talking dog in the world.

District Attorney David Capeless will convene a meeting of district attorneys from around the state to consider the heroin epidemic. He will heavily rely on psychiatrist Jennifer Michaels who knows more about addiction than anyone else in the county and probably the state. Capeless will suggest that there has to be balance — both enforcement of the law and rehabilitation programs available for addicts who are arrested for criminal activity.

The gigantic streetlight poles in Great Barrington will lead to a rare retraction in the Smithsonian Magazine that will read, "The editors regret that they have to rescind their designation of Great Barrington, Massachusetts, as the best small town in America."

Happy Traum, the best folk singer in America, will be booked into the Guthrie Center in Van Deusenville, which is in Housatonic, which is in Great Barrington. George Lay will announce that he has never seen tickets go that fast.

Jane Iredale will receive a huge offer to sell Iredale Cosmetics. It will involve so much money that she won't be able to turn it down. The people of Great Barrington, faced with losing her international headquarters, will look at each other and say, "Now what will we do?" Someone will suggest that maybe you should have thought about that earlier.

A local weekly newspaper will close.

Trumpet player Jeff Stevens will be honored, as will musicians Don McGrory, Charlie Tokarz and David Grover.

Finally, you, dear readers, will enjoy a safe, happy and healthy new year.

Alan Chartock, a Great Barrington resident, is president and CEO of WAMC Northeast Public Radio and a professor emeritus of communications at SUNY-Albany.