Well, the new year is here. It’s usually a time of optimism and hope, but I’m not so sure that’s true this particular new year.

The year will get really new Jan. 20 with the inauguration of the new president.

With the high level of incendiary rhetoric, the electoral and popular votes going to different candidates, the active unhappiness of so many with the outcome of the election, and the entrusting of the government to someone who’s never been in government, there is a palpable sense of anxiety about our future.

We’ll see.

President-to-be Trump has already walked back or stopped talking about some of his more infamous promises/threats. And at times, has even sounded like a New Deal Democrat in terms of government spending on infrastructure. But there’s still that Twitter thing…

Here’s praying for the best.

The economic news in many ways has been pretty good. But locally there was some ominous news about big box stores being in trouble and closing up shop.

Macy’s is one of the two remaining anchors of River Oaks Mall in Calumet City and a major contributor of taxes to our city. Some good news from a reliable source (our own NWI Times) is that the Macy’s at River Oaks will remain (though with possible job cuts). Let’s hope so.

Although there is generally good business in Calumet City, the first thing that local businessmen mention when I ask about their businesses is taxes. And being so close to Indiana with its lower tax base, it’s hard to attract and keep retail business in town.

Businesses go to more affluent places. Money goes to money.

On a side note, I did see a fresh coat of paint on the former Pizza Hut building on River Oaks Drive. There’s talk a new restaurant is coming to that location.

AROUND TOWN

The annual Bob Hambric Classic will be held at TF North this Saturday and Sunday. Top basketball teams from the area and beyond engage in some high level games with proceeds going to the fight against cancer. The first game is 2 p.m. Saturday at the school.

St. Victor Trivia Nite will be Jan. 21 at 7:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Knock Hall. Contact me for details. It’s always a fun night.

Thanks for reading.

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