On Saturday we listed our Top 7 WSB ’07 video picks; on Sunday, the Top 7 most-discussed WSB posts of the year. Finally tonight, with hours to go till 2008, the more traditional list – top West Seattle stories of the year. Let us know if you think something else should have made the Top 7. Here goes:
#7 — 4132 CALIFORNIA FIRE: This August inferno was the biggest West Seattle fire of the year, and it was arson; no arrests reported to this day, but reconstruction of the project is now well under way.
#6 — CALIFORNIA/ADMIRAL REPAVING: From March through July, city crews repaved major stretches of two of West Seattle’s most significant arterials. (Ah, if only Fauntleroy and Alki, among others, could get the same love.)
#4 — ALKI STATUE OF LIBERTY RETURNS, BUT THE SAGA’S NOT OVER: A big year for this West Seattle icon: The plaza project hit the radar in July; the recast statue returned to its original pedestal on September 11th; the plaza fundraising has two more weeks to go. Bound to be a major story again in ’08.
And one last Casey Kasem turn … the countdown continues:
#3 — WATER TAXI HAS RECORD YEAR, BECOMES PART OF KING COUNTY FERRY DISTRICT: The Elliott Bay Water Taxi had its biggest day ever during “Freeway Fright ’07,” and went on to be the spark plug for a new county transportation agency.
#2 — CONSTRUCTION BEGINS FOR THE FIRST OF THE JUNCTION MEGAPROJECTS: Big new buildings are coming to The Junction, and construction is in full swing for the first one, Leon Capelouto’s 41st/42nd/Alaska mixed-use building, where the crane equpment moved in just today, 9 months after demolition work began in earnest at the ex-Hollywood Video site. Right behind it is Mural (behind Petco), and Fauntleroy Place is set to break ground in the new year.
#1 — HULING/GEE SAGA. At least in terms of square footage, the Huling Brothers car dealerships comprised the biggest business in West Seattle, and they began 2007 with what originally promised to be an orderly handoff to a new owner, Spokane-based Gee. Two weeks later, three arrests threw a new spotlight on the sale, as a trio of former Huling employees wound up in a criminal case that horrified people citywide; eight months later, Gee filed suit before closing the dealership, claiming the scandal doomed it from the start, while the Hulings contended otherwise. What’s next for this in ’08? Two suspects from the criminal case await trial (one’s already been convicted); also in the legal queue is the Gee lawsuit; and West Seattle waits to see what will become of the valuable, now-empty land where the disputed dealership once sat.
Whatever ’08 brings, we’re looking forward to continuing to bring it to you as it happens, as the 24/7/365 place for West Seattle news, information, and discussion. So much of it is really your news, as you’ve taken the time to share what’s happening where you are; you can e-mail, call, text (etc.) WSB any time!