The list is structured strictly according to the numbers of hits, rather than comments or other criteria. I have no way of knowing whether the hits are all from different people, and I suspect that some stories, such as the community park, have multiple posts from a few people which may skew the list. If there are other posts on the same subject I only link to the post receiving the most hits.
A few of the posts within top 10 are death notices, and I’m excluding those from the local list in the interest of tact and class.
1. Community Park – By far the most hits, and most comments. The post linked broke a record for comments previously held by a Reggae War post. There’ve been several other posts. Much like the Reggae War threads, if I go for any length of time without a new post on the subject there are a few posters who will keep posting. A review of the threads shows considerable repetition. There are other stories which draw more diversity in posters, but by far this story is receiving the most hits.
2. Tom Dimmick and Carol Bruno part ways – one of the final chapters of the Reggae War. This post, one of my shortest, drew an enormous number of hits and a slew of comments. There were a couple of follow-up posts, but the energy of the story seems to be over.
3. Estelle Fennel heads up HumCPR – in a moment which redefined local politics, Estelle joined the ranks of the property rights movement, normally reserved for folk of the conservative political persuasion. However, dynamics unique to Humboldt County culture have generated a new political paradigm pitting “urban” environmentalists, controlled growth advocates, and regulatory agencies against a coalition of hippie homesteaders, old guard, realtors, and developers. Some have called it a “false division” resulting from breakdowns in communication following the TPZ subdivision moratorium aimed at PALCO and two very disturbing incidents involving a Code Enforcement Unit in which the structure of accountability had broke down. I believe however that the new divide is very real based upon very distinct philosophies and ideologies as well as contrasting material interests. In any case, this was a very pivotal moment.
4. CLMP makes a play for community unity – In a story related to the one just above, the Civil Liberties Monitoring Project put together a meeting between the various interests and perspectives with regard to the General Plan Update and actually managed to facilitate the creation of a list of universally accepted talking points which were presented at the Planning Commission meeting last June. The meeting, for all its shortcomings, was the only one which came close to representing the diversity of opinions countywide. CLMP has since become a voice more critical of the county, although officially it’s focused more on process than policy substance.
5. David and Kaitlin come to KMUD – For whatever reason this short announcement of a new KMUD talk show generated a very long thread and drew a very large number of hits from both ends of the county. David and Kaitlin are very active in a number of issues and there are strong feelings for and against them. For blogging purposes they seem to the the Rob Arkley of the left.
6. Earthfirst! cofounder Mike Rozelle visits Garberville – I don’t think the topic was so much him as a discussion about the history of tree spiking. The visit, and the thread, brought out some old unresolved politics.
7. Swine Flu vaccinations – we had several threads which drew yet another intense discussion with multiple perspectives.
8. Buju’s return – several posts on this blog and several other blogs with heated discussions about homophobic violence, censorship, the rights of partyers, whether spirituality mitigates bigotry, People Productions, etc. It ended a bit differently than a couple of years ago when Banton played at the Mateel. The gay rights activists of the north county were apathetic to the politics which governed the dynamics down here and aggressively protested – spearheaded by Mitch Trachtenberg who told me (paraphrasing) “I felt we were making progress with the more traditional sources of bigotry only to find ourselves blindsided by the dreadlocked young people I thought were on my our side!” The show was set to take place in Eureka, but was ultimately canceled.
9. Planners come to Sohum – not the more recent event, but last spring some planners and Clif Clendenen came to Garberville in another CLMP organized event to discuss the GPU. That meeting was much more contentious than the most recent one.
10. Burglaries in Redway – I believe it turned out that only Holly’s business was burglarized. The discussion thread was short, but the interest in this very upsetting incident involving a much-loved business and owner drew numerous hits.
Looking over the list, it was obviously a very slow year in local news.
I will post a list of the non-local topics you found most interesting in short order.