Do you I Ching? Maybe shuffle arcana to get good tarot readings? Or sprinkle stardust in order to see through Bakersfield's haze?
Whatever your talisman, crystal ball or amulet, the time has come to put it to good use. The Californian is offering you the chance to prognosticate about Bakersfield's future.
You may think you're the diva of divination or the king of conjecture, but if you're really the best of the best you'll win an expenses-paid seat for a trip to Mars!
But almost as good, the best guesser gets a $200 gift certificate to Imbibe Wine.
All you have to do is answer the following 25 questions about the year 2014 and either deliver your completed questionnaire to The Californian by Jan. 31 or postmark it by the same date. You can print out the contest from www.bakersfield.com, but you cannot enter online.
The rules are simple:
Anyone except employees and family members of The Californian and its publications and foundation can enter.
One entry per person.
Illegible entries will not be counted. All questions must be answered. The full questionnaire must be returned.
All mailed entries must be postmarked by Jan. 31, 2014. Be sure to use correct postage.
Each entry must include a name, address and phone number.
Any ties will be decided by the tiebreaker. The guess closest to the tiebreaker's correct number without going over wins. If the tiebreaker is a tie, the winner is decided by the earlier postmarked entry.
All decisions are final. The winner will be identified by Feb. 1, 2015.
1. The status of Centennial Corridor by year's end will be:
a) environmental documents approved and on track to be built
b) environmental documents not approved
c) the project is changed to a monorail
d) no longer slated to be built
2. At the end of 2014, how many Internet cafes will still be operational in incorporated Bakersfield, according to the city's latest count?
d) 13 or more
3. True/False: Bakersfield native Kevin Harvick will finish among the Top 3 in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series.
4. The median sale price of an existing, single-family home in Bakersfield on Oct. 31, according to Gary Crabtree, the dean of Bakersfield single-family home values, will be:
a) less than $180,000
b) between $180,001 and $190,000
c) between $190,001 and $200,000
d) more than $200,001
5. Which local government will euthanize more animals at its animal care shelter?
a) County of Kern
b) City of Bakersfield
6. How many Kern County residents will have enrolled in health plans via the state's health exchange, Covered California, when its enrollment period ends in March?
a) up to 5,000
b) 5,001 to 15,000
c) 15,001 to 30,000
d) 30,001 or more
7. The number of people in Kern County who reportedly will die of West Nile virus in 2014 will be ______.
8. How many people in Bakersfield and Kern County will either receive citations or be arrested by the Bakersfield Police Department, Bakersfield Fire Department, Kern County Sheriff's Office or Kern County Fire Department for any kind of fireworks violation surrounding the July 4 holiday?
a) fewer than 40
b) between 41 and 85
c) between 86 and 130
d) 131 or more
9. True/False: A Kern County school will make it to the national "We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution" competition.
10. When the U.S. Census Bureau releases its 2013 population estimate for Kern County, it will calculate the population as:
a) fewer than 866,977 people
b) 866,978 to 869,000 people
c) 869,001 to 875,000 people
d) 875,001 or more people
11. The number of pedestrian and cycling deaths in Kern County will be:
a) 20 or fewer
b) 21 to 25
c) 26 to 30
d) 31 or more
12. True/False: The Amberton Wall will be torn down.
13. The total number of wins by the Bakersfield Blaze baseball team will be:
d) 80 or more
14. The date the National Weather Service thermometer at Meadows Field airport first registers 100 degrees will be ______.
15. On July 1, the price of West Texas Intermediate oil will be:
a) less than $75 per barrel
b) between $75 and $90 per barrel
c) between $90.01 and $110 per barrel
d) more than $110.01 per barrel
16. True/False: There will be more than 200 dog bites reported in Kern County.
17. How many Kern County high school football teams will be invited to the CIF playoffs?
d) 3 or more
18. The property tax assessment of Occidental Petroleum's Kern holdings has fallen from $9.3 billion in 2011 to $4.8 billion in 2013. In 2014, the value of Oxy's property will:
a) continue to plummet to below $4.5 billion
b) remain relatively steady between $4.5 billion and $4.99 billion
c) increase to between $5 billion and $5.99 billion
d) jump to $6 billion or higher
19. Which football team will win more games in 2014?
a) Bakersfield High School
b) Bakersfield College
c) Fresno State
20. Bikini-clad baristas from the proposed Bottoms Up coffee shop to be located across the street from Bakersfield Christian High School will:
a) never serve a cup of coffee at that site
b) be forced to wear other garb
c) begin serving java in the month of ____
d) offer half price drinks to all AP students
21. True/False: The Kern County Museum will raise the $102,000 necessary to move and refurbish Merle Haggard's childhood home.
22. By year's end, UC Berkeley and Cal State Fullerton professors will have identified ____ new species of legless lizards in Kern County.
23. How many medical marijuana collectives/dispensaries/associations will still be open in incorporated Bakersfield on Dec. 31, according to the city's latest count?
b) 1 to 8
d) 16 or more
24. Which of the following goals will be achieved in 2014 in the fight against valley fever?
a) a skin test will be made available for public purchase
b) a new drug to treat valley fever will be brought to market
c) both a and b
d) none of the above
25. True/False: For the first time in history, the San Joaquin Valley saw zero violations of the one-hour ozone air pollution standard in 2013. In 2014, the valley will again record no violations of the one-hour standard.
TIEBREAKER: The total attendance at the 2014 Kern County Fair will be ________.
Mail entries to:
The Bakersfield Californian
c/o Swami 2014 -- Newsroom
P.O. Bin 440
Bakersfield, CA 93302