Port Times Record. 1/6/2005.

Welcome to 2005. Despite the way it began, with the entire world focused on an immense tragedy, we think it'll turn out to be a great year for our community.

Here are just a few predictions for what the year ahead may have in store — good, bad and ugly. For a fun, low-cost game, hold onto this list and see if we're right!

• Brookhaven Highway Superintendent John Rouse will continue improving department operations, something that we hope will be evident the next time it snows. It's not that Democrats plow and pave better than Republicans, it's that Rouse has taken a stale, woefully out-of-date organization and begun to turn it around.

• The Campaign for Fiscal Equity court decision will remain a financial sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of every school district in the region, but nothing will be resolved. The state will not suddenly hike spending on city schools by $10 billion or so, nor will it radically cut aid to schools here. Instead, expect more foot-dragging in Albany, continued hand-wringing in suburban districts — and even more litigation.

• Civic life across the North Shore will be dominated by the Broadwater Energy liquid natural gas terminal proposal. Not a single civic organization or local politician will immediately back the plan, but it won't just drift away like the Shoreham incinerator proposal did.

• The Miller Place-Rocky Point St. Patrick's Day Parade, the Lions Club fair, the Port Jefferson Charles Dickens Festival and all the other wonderful events that celebrate our community will go off without a hitch. We predict you'll have a great time if you go.

To all our readers, we hope you have an enjoyable and memorable year.