This week's issue seems to be all about looking ahead.

The cover story is our annual roundup of New Year's Eve festivities. You've got about a week and a half to figure out how to celebrate the passing of a rather depressing year and welcome one that probably won't be much better. Make your reservations now, because a lot of people are ready to blow off steam.

Planning ahead is hardly the forte of Pima County officials, judging from how chronically surprised they are by budget overruns and other complications in their transportation programs. Chris Limberis reports on their dismayed bickering in the Currents section.

Kids tend not to think much about the future, which is how they fall into so many bad decisions. A theatrical organization called Coming To puts teen drug and alcohol problems on the stage, in an attempt to shake some sense into local adolescents. Against the odds, it can work, as you'll see in the Arts section.

And whether it's a question of poor planning, indifferent funding organizations, iffy management or malevolent outside forces, the Rialto Theatre has pursued a choppy course toward anchoring the eastern Downtown Arts District. Contrary to rumors, though, the Rialto hasn't sunk yet. Find out why in this week's Music section.

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