We thought it would be interesting to look back at 2008 and the top stories from our neighborhood this past year. We confess that this will really be more of a six month review since we started this site in July. Still, there are enough big stories to remember….
July: Over 350 people gathered in Discovery Park to hear the U.S. Army apologize to the families of 28 African American soldiers from Fort Lawton who were wrongly jailed in 1944. Magnolia residents Jack and Leslie Hamann led the charge to have the convictions overturned.
August: Magnolia’s so called messiest man was evicted from his long time home on 34th Ave West. Neighbors were relieved to have the man gone, saying the home was an eyesore. It was filled with debris and had no running water for over two years. The new owners have been hard at work fixing up the house.
September: Magnolia Voice broke the news that the Whole Foods Market construction on 15th Ave was stopped. The store planned to open by Thanksgiving but the troubled economy hurt the chain. The developer of the complex filed suit against Whole Foods for breaching the lease and it is now unclear if the store will ever open in that location.
October: The moving homeless camp dubbed Nickelsville settled into Discovery Park. The group stayed in the park for ten days amidst much legal wrangling and controversy before they were forced to leave by the city of Seattle. They moved to a church parking lot in the University Distrcit.
November: A large crowd challenged the city’s BAT (business, access and transit) lanes on 15th Ave West at a public meeting. City representatives struggled to explain the BAT lanes to residents who expressed anger and frustration. The city did back off on plans to ticket BAT lane violators following that meeting.
December: The big snow was the big story for this month and this year. For ten days we battled icy roads, school closures and cabin fever as Magnolia was buried with almost a foot of snow.
Stories to watch in 2009: The fight over the city’s plan to put a mixed-income neighborhood at the Fort Lawton Army Reserve Center, including housing for the homeless is being challenged legally and will heat up next year.
We should find out if Interbay will be home to a new jail. The site at 1600 Armory Way is listed as one of six potential sites for the regional misdemeaner jail.
Do you agree with our top story list or do you think there are issues we missed? And what do you think are the big issues facing Magnolia in 2009?