Plenty of questions to be answered in 2014 | Petri Dish

Pyrotechnic spectacles aren't the only way of welcoming a new year.

There are bear dances in Moldavia, pickle drops in Pennsylvania. And in Ecuador, many celebrate the arrival by torching hand-constructed life-sized effigies to symbolize the burning of one's regrets and the baggage of the previous 12 months, so they can begin the next dozen with a fresh slate.

Oh, if it was only so easy to forget and move on.

Alas, 2013 left a ration of questions to be answered in the course of 2014. Here is a sampling. (Feel free to email me your predictive answers.)

Will the Boeing Co. build the 777X in Washington even if the Machinists reject the contract extension offer this week?

Will Gov. Jay Inslee and Snohomish County Executive John Lovick give up their pensions if the Machinists vote to give up theirs?

Will the tally be so close that a recount and lawsuit are needed to determine the outcome?

Does John Koster's new job as Snohomish County ombudsman mean the popular Republican won't run for political office again?

Can retiring County Councilman Dave Gossett count on getting a job in the Lovick administration too?

With Gold Bar Mayor Linda Loen and Councilman Thomas Palmer living under the same roof, are their honey-do lists public records?

Can Democrats retake the seat Republican state Rep. Mike Hope of Mill Creek muscled away from them six years ago?

Will Hope manage to publish his book, "100 Ideas for Washington's Future", before he becomes part of its past?

While on the subject of the 44th Legislative District, is this the final year for Rep. Hans Dunshee, D-Snohomish?

Or are the latest rumors of his retirement the concoction of a wishful member of the GOP?

Will the strongest challenger to newly appointed Rep. June Robinson, D-Everett be another Democrat?

Will the only challenger to Sen. Rodney Tom, D-Medina, be other Democrats?

Is budget-writing Republican Sen. Andy Hill of Redmond the next Dino Rossi?

Will a poll be released showing Hill as the top Republican candidate for governor in 2016 – and beating Inslee in a one-on-one match-up?

And will Inslee reply there's still a half to be played?

Can Democrats win enough seats to recapture the majority in the state Senate?

Can Republicans win enough seats to regain the majority in the United States Senate?

Will anyone challenge the Democratic incumbents in Washington's congressional delegation?

Will Congress pass a farm bill to avoid driving the U.S. off the "Dairy cliff" and leaving hungry families even hungrier?

How many people will decide to spend some of their coffee money on cannabis?

Who will expend more on legal marijuana products - the generation of Baby Boomers or that of Miley Cyrus?

Will the Mariners still be in the pennant race when the Seahawks report for training camp?

Will the Seahawks begin next season as Super Bowl champions?

Here's hoping you get all the answers you're looking for 2014.

Political reporter Jerry Cornfield's blog, The Petri Dish, is at www.heraldnet.com. Contact him at 360-352-8623 or jcornfield@heraldnet.com.

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