This way madness lies … unless …

By Ron Leir

As we’re just days away from 2017, what better way to greet the New Year than to deliver some personal resolutions, some predictions and some holiday re-runs.

Here are my affirmations:

Resolution No. 1: Write shorter stories to make life easier for my readers (assuming there are any left with the patience required of a saint.) Maybe more pictures will help.

Resolution No. 2: Take a vacation – no, make that several vacations during the year. Maybe hanging out with the penguins during mating season will help clear my muddled mind.

Resolution No. 3: Have more patience. Don’t prejudge stuff. Be willing to be open to any and all possibilities. Listen – really listen – to what people say before rushing to get your point across.

Resolution No. 4: Try to be fully present every day or you may lose the opportunity for a key discovery. Drive or walk a different route to a well-traveled destination and take in your surroundings.

Resolution No. 5: Be especially kind to children for they are the future.

Resolution No. 6: Open your heart to humor for it can get you through the day. (Personal admonishment: Easy on the punning. Samuel Johnson called the pun the worst form of humor in the English language and I guess he has a point if it’s badly used.)

Resolution No. 7: Don’t procrastinate because – like laundry – the stuff you put off doing will pile up and bite you in the ass so organize your life. (Yes, easy to say but hard to do.)

Now, without further ado, here are some New Year’s forecasts I freely share:

In the interests of transparency, municipal zoning and planning boards will ensure that the public – and not just board members – will actually have the opportunity to see maps, photos, schematics and power point presentations for projects being discussed by those boards.

All microphones and recording equipment will be in good working order and all members of public boards will articulate clearly their thoughts on matters up for public consumption.

By no later than this coming summer, hundreds of Kearny bicyclists will be pedaling for all they’re worth along secure bike lanes up and down Kearny Ave.

Before the next Cleveland Ave. firehouse hose down, Harrison and its FMBA local will have squared away a new labor contract satisfactory to all concerned.

It is certain that another year will not pass before Belleville’s Friendly House rec center opens for business … as a QuickChek.

By the time the Kearny High School noise abatement/exterior renovation project is finished, planes from Liberty International Airport in Newark will be flying an alternate route, bypassing Kearny altogether.

Nutley’s Steve Rogers breezes through the GOP gubernatorial primary and, with the fervent backing of the Donald, easily defeats Dems’ pick John Wisniewski for all the marbles.

At long last, East Newark concludes negotiations with East Newark Town Centre for the redevelopment of the old Clark Thread complex as a full-scale amusement/theme park that borough officials predict, “will rival Disneyland.”  And yes, they may be wishing on a star.

Gov. Chris Christie publishes his tell-all book in which he takes credit for the Donald’s surprise victory and takes complete responsibility for Bridgegate. “I would’ve preferred to raise the tolls, just for Fort Lee commuters, but Bill Baroni wouldn’t let me do it,” he says.

The Donald abolishes all federal agencies and imposes rule by his billionaires club. Hillary climbs to the top of Trump Tower and threatens to jump to avoid prosecution for her errant emails but, amazingly, Trump pardons her. Immediately, Hillary files to run for mayor of New York.

For those holiday re-runs I promised you, just tune in to Antenna TV and that should satisfy every nostalgia fan among you.

Happy New Year!

Ron Leir | Observer Correspondent

Ron Leir has been a newspaperman since the late ’60s, starting his career with The Jersey Journal, having served as a summer reporter during college. He became a full-time scribe in February 1972, working mostly as a general assignment reporter in all areas except sports, including a 3-year stint as an assistant editor for entertainment, features, religion, etc. He retired from the JJ in May 2009 and came to The Observer shortly thereafter. He is also a part-time actor, mostly on stage, having worked most recently with the Kearny-based W.H.A.T. Co. and plays Sunday softball in Central Park, N.Y.