Determining the “most important” Capitol Hill stories of 2012 starts at a base level. What is important? For CHS, it is what events, incidents, crimes, and amazements we’ll remember many, many years from now. Predicting what will be memorable? It’s a fool’s game. Honestly, we’re only guessing. Views, comments and “interestingness” will be our guide. Fortunately, we’ve done this before:
Below, we’ve once again collected the “most important” Hill stories of the year. They are listed in no particular order though some of the year’s biggest stories are included up top. We based our “importance” measurement on stories that were viewed and commented on the most during the year. We also focused on stories our readers spent the most time on over the months of 2012. It’s an arbitrary list. Even more arbitrarily, we selected what we feel were the biggest stories for a poll that you can weigh in on. Poll closes at midnight as we ring in 2013. If you think there is a story we should have included but didn’t, let us know in comments. We’re proud to have been here for another year of writing these stories down and making them part of the things you’ll remember many, many years from now. Thanks for being part of CHS.
- Marriage equality was achieved in the state of Washington and Capitol Hill was the movement’s headquarters. There was opposition — even here at home. But, eventually, there was celebration in the streets. There was cake. And there were weddings.
- Nowhere did the worlds of 2012 Capitol Hill collide harder than at Melrose and Pine the day CHS reported that developers were moving in and planning a giant, mixed-use apartment project on the Bauhaus block.
- Road rage, it seems, claimed the life of a man who worked — and made quite a few friends — on the Hill. The trial in the Yancy Noll murder case will start in the new year.
- As bleary-eyed as the vision of what comes next is, I-502’s passage helped cement a new wing of the Capitol Hill economy. Meanwhile, the state got out of the booze business.
- The spread of microhousing projects helped to galvanize a new spirit of activism on the Hill. Don’t call them NIMBY.
- The final pieces of Capitol Hill’s auto row past were sold off and prepared for the new era of housing, retail, food and drink.
- Linda came to Broadway.
- The project that will bring light rail to Capitol Hill reached the half-way point with the completion of tunneling from Montlake to downtown — via Broadway. Some were more eager than others for the digging to be done with.
- Some stories have an outsized impact because of personal connections. In the case of Gary Raub, the homeless man who frequented Capitol Hill arrested for a murder that happened 36 years ago across the country, so many of us could say, “I saw him all the time.”
- Things have changed. For a time, there, Capitol Hill was alight with frequent protests and marches. The June “dance party” protest — and SPD’s liberal application of pepper spray was one harbinger of the coming slow down in radical activity. The incident was also a challenging welcome for new East Precinct commander Capt. Ron Wilson.
- Even as new apartment buildings opened and entered the market, rents soared.
- Flights of fancy happen — especially ones that involve gondolas to Capitol Hill.
- Q brought new life to Capitol Hill’s dance scene.
- More life and death. Many were left asking questions following Capitol Hill comedian and cafe owner Tristan Devin’s exit from the stage.
- CHS also continued to report on suicides involving the I-5 overpasses along the base of Capitol Hill.
- Darek Darewski was shot to death on Harvard Ave.
- The year started icy, freezing cold and covered in snow.
- The Capitol Hill Block Party moved forward with a new owner and a newly expanded format — and might have been the most successful festival yet at blending sales succes and neighborhood love.
- Excitement for The Wandering Goose helped reinvigorate 15th Ave E.
- The Pine Box gave Capitol Hill a beer hall.
- After 36 years, B&O Espresso shut down on E Olive Way — with a hopeful promise to return.
- Travelers left the Hill after 14 years.
- Also passed: The Elite.
- 18-year-old Nap Cantwell — son of Elysian founder Dick Cantwell — died of injuries sustained in a bike crash at Pike and Boren.
- Gloria Leonidas was shot and killed for her car in the Town Hall parking lot in a murder spree that left five people dead before the shooter took his own life.
- The charred, tagged and tragic Marion Apartments finally came down.
- A ginormous — and pretty amazing — 260-unit Pike/Pine apartment and preservation project moved through the design phase and will be ready for construction starting in 2013.
MORE CHS YEAR IN REVIEW 2012