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EDITORíS DESK: To Stories of the Year... and beyond

       There's nothing like hammering out the annual Stories of the Year to lend at least a fleeting grasp of What It's All About in our little Westside world.
       And even that modest claim is probably a stretch. Realistically, it's more like a glimmer of a sense of a grasp. There are so many currents and undercurrents involved in all that's going on. Individual trials. Success and failure. Inter-national anguish. Generation gaps. Dueling ideas. The maze of new technology. Drones, anyone?
       Regarding our top story, I try sometimes to imagine what it would be like to be a property developer, deciding what land to invest in and what to do with it once you have it... then waiting perhaps seven years, as in the Palmer House project, before profits start rolling in. For Gold Hill Mesa, it was more like 10 years, much of which was spent (along with gobs of money) satisfying state and federal health regulators that the land could actually be made safe enough to live on.
       And then there are the disappointments. One of the projects, which would have easily made our "sprucing up" list if not for city disfavor, was the Calvary Worship Center expansion plan, which it proposed in response to its increasing congregation and a wish to aid the less fortunate on our side of town. I don't mean to belittle the concerns of the neighbors nor the analytical efforts of the Planning Commission - all I can really say is that the next time the city revises its comprehensive plan, somebody needs to mull the intrinsic conflict between the diametrically opposed civic desires for "infill" and "neighborhood preservation." In any case, I don't think it will be pretty when Calvary's appeal goes before City Council in late January.
       But to get back to the Stories of the Year, it was kind of fun (though time-consuming) to dig through everything we'd covered in 2014. Some of the research required late phone calls - as 2015 loomed like a giant champagne bottle - to see if the passage of time had changed things.
       Anyway, it's all done now, and you're welcome to quibble about the choices. But truly, nothing anybody says will diminish my appreciation for what entrepreneurs brought to our side of town this past year. After two years of tough sledding (note the Page 1 photo!), such achievements were nice to see. Here's to more in 2015.

- K.J.