Being more realistic with big predictions for 2024

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Will a presidential candidate like Donald Trump visit the Eastern Shore for a campaign rally this year?

BY TED SHOCKLEY, Eastern Shore First

None of my predictions for 2023 came true. I guessed Belle Haven would get more sidewalks and Accomack and Northampton school systems would merge. I was wrong.

I predicted surf fishing would be allowed on Fisherman Island. How can you have a place called Fisherman Island that doesn’t allow fishermen?

(Pet peeve: The name of Fisherman Island is a lie. There are no fishermen there. It should be called “No Fisherman Island.”)

But those were last year’s predictions. I’m being more realistic with my predictions for 2024.

— The town of Eastville advocates for the installation of rumble strips and new signage on U.S. Route 13 to reduce speeding.

Speeding on the highway is a safety issue but the speeding tickets written by Eastville’s police department aren’t cutting down on speeding. People keep speeding, so it’s still unsafe.

My prediction: The rumble strips and signs reading “Speed Enforcement Area” cut speeding tickets by 50%, improving safety and ending the policing-for-profit allegations.

— A presidential candidate will hold a campaign rally on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

Unless I’m mistaken, the Eastern Shore hasn’t had a visit from a sitting president since 1916, when Woodrow Wilson walked around Tangier Island.

The Eastern Shore mainland hasn’t had a sitting president visit since Grover Cleveland in 1892.

I cannot ever recall hearing of a presidential campaign rally on the Eastern Shore.

In 2017, then-President Donald Trump telephoned Tangier Mayor James “Ooker” Eskridge to talk about sea-level rise.

My prediction: Trump flies to Tangier Island to meet Eskridge in person and talk to voters.

— Northampton County officially names its newly remodeled educational building in Eastville “Northampton Combined School.” Because that’s what it is.

It should be like Chincoteague — the sign in front calls it “Chincoteague Combined School.” Within its walls are Chincoteague High and Chincoteague Middle schools.

Right now, it is called Northampton High School/Middle School. I think. It sure seems like a mouthful. The name of the campus has been clumsy since the middle school moved there.

My prediction: When completed, $82 million Northampton Combined School is a sleek new school with a sleek new name. It houses the county’s high and middle schools.

— The popular foodie television program “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives,” skips the Eastern Shore of Virginia for the 18th straight year.

When shameless self-promoter Guy Fieri started his popular television show in 2007, I knew he’d eventually feature a restaurant from the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

After a decade, I gave up watching the show because he’d never visited a local establishment.

Today, the show has featured almost 1,300 restaurants — and not one from our area.

That means Fieri, for all of his background and bluster, has never experienced good Eastern Shore of Virginia cuisine.

I’m beginning to think Fieri has a personal grudge against us. Maybe he got a speeding ticket in Eastville in that classic convertible he drives, and he’s sworn off our area forever.

My prediction: “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” continues to offend me by not featuring one of the Eastern Shore’s restaurants in 2024.

— Reach the writer at [email protected].

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