As we enter 2012, it’s time to pull the crystal ball out of the closet, give it a good shake and make our annual prognostications for the New Year.

Without further ado, here are our picks for 2012:

Waxahachie Independent School District —

• It’s going to be a big year for Waxahachie football. With a huge returning roster, we look for the Indians to have a shutdown defense combined with an explosive offense, resulting in another district championship. We also see the Tribe playing in December.

• In 2012, we also see WISD begin discussions on another bond referendum; primarily to address facility needs at the high school. While we don’t see the school board actually calling for a bond vote in the calendar year, it will be major topic of discussion by the end of the year.

Year of the Sun (and water) —

• In 2012, “solar weather” will become part of our main lexicon with everyone keeping an eye beyond the clouds, as what happens on the sun will have a major impact on what we do on earth — and how we do it. In a repeating cycle, 2012 will be an intense year for solar storms. What makes this cycle intense storms different is the fact that never in the history of human civilization have we been so dependent on electronic technology and satellites — both of which are extremely vulnerable to being knocked out by solar storms. While hoping for the best, the possibility exists for widespread outages for multiple systems we depend upon daily, such as communications (cell phones and television), Internet, GPS and virtually anything that utilizes satellites. The possibility exist that storms could exceed those of the Carrington Event of 1859, which caught telegraph offices on fire and sparked Northern Lights over Cuba and Hawaii. As we move into 2012, look for solar weather warnings to become a regular part of the daily news, along with advance warning apps available through NASA.

• Water will become another major topic — especially in Texas — as the drought continues through most of the year. This will also be the year when “water conservation” becomes a necessity for most Texans, opposed to a concept urged by environmentalists.

In politics —

• Get out your hip waders. We see 2012 being the absolute worst year in modern history for negative campaigns and pandering from politicians, testing our ability to believe in anything those who want to lead our nation have to say.

• We see the GOP Primary going all the way to the National Convention before the nominee is finally decided, and according to our crystal ball, it looks like a surprise candidate will emerge in a brokered convention.

• In the general election, don’t expect the political pundits on TV to project a winner before bedtime on Nov. 6. With the emergence of a third party candidate providing a viable alternative to current political structure dominated by two parties, the Electoral College — and possibly the courts — may end up deciding the victor.

The Economy —

• Blame 2012 on being an election year for nothing getting done by our elected officials. Unemployment, again, will remain the top economic issue throughout 2012, both nationally and locally. Barring another unusually big year for natural disasters (which negatively impacts the economy), we see little change in the jobless rate.

• On the positive side, we see a major increase in small business start-ups. Whether frustrated by the domination of corporate America or the inability to find employment, we see more dedicated Americans venturing out on their own into the world of entrepreneurship. That’s wonderful news for everyone, especially our local economies as small businesses make America run strong.

On behalf of everyone at the Daily Light, we wish everyone a very happy and prosperous New Year. Thanks for making us part of your daily routine.