By editorial board • 

Many 'usual suspects' make N-R's Top 10 list

The Top 10 local news stories of the past year, published in Tuesday’s paper, combined a mix of usual suspects and one-time occurrences.

One predictable subject for a Top 10 spot is the unpredictability of the weather. This is the sixth time in the past 10 years that a weather phenomenon made the News-Register’s Top 10.

Mother Nature was particularly headline-grabbing in 2013. McMinnville witnessed a once-in-a-lifetime local occurrence when a small tornado ripped down Northeast Alpine Avenue in June. News of the tornado swept across the nation. And even without the twister, weather was worthy of mention since, as reported in today’s paper, 2013 was the driest year on record. 

Also earning its sixth Top 10 spot of the past decade was the Newberg-Dundee Bypass. In 2003, a series of ODOT public hearings, some design work and a measly $1.2 million in funds recapped the year. 2013 was a relatively quiet year for the bypass following the major headlines in 2012 that the bypass project was set to go. While the story didn’t land many major headlines last year, it was a worthy Top 10 candidate with the first contracts going out to bid and initial earth moving that marked the beginning of construction. 

The top local 2013 story, of course, was the financial demise of Evergreen International Aviation. It was Evergreen’s sixth Top 10 appearance in the past seven years, but most of the earlier stories discussed growth at the aviation and space museum complex. Few stories have created as many front page headlines in one year than the myriad lawsuits, selling of assets and closure of subsidiaries surrounding Evergreen this year. It all led to a New Year’s Eve filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, as reported in today’s paper. We have no doubt that in 2014, continuation of the Evergreen story will earn another Top 10 spot.

In some form, the economy almost always is a top story, especially in recent years. While many people continue to struggle, 2013 produced some optimistic economic news and several signs of recovery.

Finally, the last “usual suspect,” making its fifth appearance in recent years, was Riverbend Landfill. Waste Management won approval for a berm to add capacity, pushed forward on its initiative to turn buffer land into a community asset and filed a bid for landfill expansion on adjoining lands. Again, expect Riverbend to make another showing on next year’s list.

Naturally, a few stories just miss gaining a spot in annual Top 10 compilation. After three straight appearances on the list, Baker Rock was left off this year. In April, Baker Rock Resources won its third go-round at the Land Use Board of Appeals, and the company seems destined to win the Grand Island mining operation it seeks. Another honorable mention in 2013 was the closing and subsequent re-opening of KLYC 1260 Radio.

Here’s to another year of attention-grabbing news, and thanks to all who participate with their letters to the editor. Keep connected in 2014 — we know there will be plenty to read and write about.


Don Dix

The articles states --"One predictable subject for a Top 10 spot is the unpredictability of the weather. This is the sixth time in the past 10 years that a weather phenomenon made the News-Register’s Top 10."

Weather unpredictable? Really! If that be true (which it is), why do some people become enthralled with dire predictions of rising temperatures because humans (supposedly) are heating up the planet?

Ask yourself, how close to actual are the daily predictions made by forecasters? Sometimes accurate, sometimes not even close. Go a couple days in advance, and the correct ratio falls steeply.

Last year, a meteorologist complained that people were paying to much attention to the predictions made by a groundhog's activities. He explained that the groundhog had only a 37% correct ratio, so those predictions were quite faulty. But when asked, the man literally boasted that the human weather predictions 'rose' to the 38% correct category. Yet 1% less is faulty?

So, if using similar weather models to predict daily weather can only be around 40% correct, how does one put much faith in the predictions made for 30, 40, or 100 years from now? Not the wisest choice.

All the scientists with impressive credentials that study weather can make all the predictions they wish, but one big belch ( or lack of one ) from the Sun changes everything. Historical change of climate, temperatures, and life forms has a direct correlation to activities of the Sun -- and the scientists blame humans -- it's the only factor they can actual chase (and possibly control).

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