As we leave 2019 and enter a new decade, it’s time for reflection. A lot happened last year that will carry over into 2020, and then there were stories that were hot for a while and then fizzled. There are also changes to the neighborhood — some still in the pipeline — the effects of which remain to be seen. And, as our city grows, taking stock of 2019 can also serve to help our new neighbors as they settle into Seattle.

Online Readers’ Choice

The Queen Anne News is well aware that some readers look forward to picking up the paper every week, while others enjoy getting the news a little sooner at queenannenews.com. Using analytics, we’re breaking down the stories that received the most clicks in 2019.

1. Online readers were excited about Corino Bonjrada’s new Peruvian-inspired Pink Salt restaurant, which opened in Magnolia Village in June.

The story of Pink Salt’s takeover of the former Magnolia’s Restaurant space was the top-read article of 2019.

See what all the fuss is about at pinksaltseattle.com.

2. Our second most-read story was about the Madriz family, who had plans to restore The Shanty Cafe in Lower Queen Anne as a Mexican restaurant, only to end up losing nearly $300,000 to an unlicensed contractor with a criminal past.

An attempt to save The Shanty even caught the attention of KIRO 7’s Jesse Jones, but a GoFundMe campaign was unsuccessful in raising capital needed to restart construction.

Jose Madriz tells Queen Anne News he’s had offers on the property that he’s considering.

3. We’re combining our third and tenth most-read articles here, as they relate to the tragic deaths of three children who had been passengers in a vehicle driven by David J. Cohen that rolled over outside Cle Elum in August 2018.

Nico Luiggi and Leo Schneider attended Hamilton International Middle School, and were friends with Cohen’s son, Max, who died at the scene. Luiggi died in October 2018, followed by Schneider in January.

Rather than take the case to trial, Kittitas County Deputy Prosecutor Craig Juris ended up offering Cohen a plea agreement, which he accepted. Cohen received 75 months in prison during his sentencing in September.

4. Anyone looking out over the Ship Canal on Nov. 10, 2018 would have seen it lit up by the four-alarm Gascoigne Lumber fire, which destroyed five structures, including a storage building filled with finished lumber and wood trim.

That’s where Matthew D. Hooper started the fire, which was one of several he admitted to setting between Nov. 8-28 in North Queen Anne and Ballard. The Gascoigne fire was the first four-alarm fire in Seattle since 2010.

Hooper was already in custody in Whatcom County when he was identified as a suspect.

Hooper ended up pleading guilty to one count of second-degree arson and was sentenced in November to 89 months in prison.

5. The fifth spot belongs to Port of Seattle Commissioner Fred Felleman and our general election preview of the Position 5 commissioner and his challenger, Garth Jacobson.

This article had a surge of clicks as the deadline to get November ballots loomed, as did a lot of our candidate profiles, so we thank our readers for trusting our reporting as they decided the general election.

6. Readers were curious to learn about The Paragon bar and grill changing hands after 25 years in Queen Anne.

Eric and Kim Rogozienski took over the business from Todd Ivester, who came up to Seattle to run The Paragon, which got its start in San Francisco. Ivester bought the Seattle outpost in 1999, and it’s now the only one in business.

The Paragon closed in May and reopened in August, after a deep clean and updating of its interior and menu.

7. A business feature we wrote in May about a subscription service for air masks and filters got a lot of clicks, likely by people who remembered how bad the wildfire smoke was in summer 2018.

This summer ended up being milder in terms of wildfires, at least in Washington. Puraka is still in business, and serving many other areas where air quality is low more frequently than Seattle.

8. Our online readership certainly loves a good food story, though they may have had mixed feelings about the news that 5 Spot was ending its dinner service. This was a basic notice with a lot of clicks.

9. Here we again lump together two well-read articles that happen to be about the same subject. In this case, it was Seattle City Council District 7 candidate IsabelleKerner.

A young candidate and former intern to Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell, Kerner referred to the homelessness crisis as a camping issue, and had pushed the idea of converting shipping containers into housing units.

At the time of her filing, Kerner had been engaged in a lawsuit against the city for the Seattle Police Department’s handling of her 2017 assault case in Capitol Hill.

The Office of Professional Accountability found Kerner’s complaint of unprofessional conduct sustained and that officers did not do an adequate investigation.

Kerner ended up dropping the case in May, citing a desire to work with SPD if elected and her acceptance of one officer’s apology as her reasons.

She did not advance in the primary.

10. And we wrap up the online-readers’ choice portion of this 2019 roundup with another foodie piece about Suzana Olmos opening her Korean-Mexican restaurant Lazy Susan in Uptown, where Crow had operated for the past 15 years.

Lazy Susan is now open at the corner of Fifth Avenue North and Aloha Street, and Champagne Diner has filled her old Citizen Six space in Interbay.

Editor’s Choice

Not to let the internet have the last word, we’re going to — quickly — lay out what we consider to be the big stories of 2019, many of which will carry over this year.

1. Oak View Group broke ground on a newSeattle Center arena, aiming to open for basketball and hockey in spring 2021. The arena is doubling in size by way of digging down, and will once again be topped with its iconic roof and fitted with its landmarked windows when all is said and done. For nearly $1 billion, we think it should look pretty nice.

2. We received a Magnolia Bridge study that confirmed residents really want a 1:1 replacement, however, an Armory Way Bridge option ranked really well, and is estimated to cost less. The city currently can’t afford any option, and is well into studying the Ballard Bridge now. While every District 7 candidate made a campaign promise to replace Magnolia Bridge, Ballard may get priority if it keeps getting stuck open. It happened twice in December, and the last time it was for more than four hours.

3. After years of trying, a developer has made headway in moving forward designs for a 50,000-square-foot Safeway and more than 300 apartments to replace Queen Anne’s old grocery store on the hill. barrientosRYAN squeaked by the EarlyDesign Guidance meeting, but in 2020 the West Design Review Board will still need convincing that a mega Safeway should be allowed and no other retailers be included as required with a project of this size.

Meanwhile, Security Properties is gearing up for its EDG meeting on Jan. 8, where it will share designs for redeveloping the Magnolia Albertsons site. The store will change to a 25,000-square-foot Safeway, with about 138 condo units on top, under the proposal.

4. Plans to redevelop the Fort Lawton Army Reserve Center with affordable housing, open space and playfields remain on hold.

The Discovery Park Community Alliance, led by Magnolia resident Elizabeth Campbell, has been fighting housing plans at Fort Lawton for 15 years. Campbell wants it annexed into Discovery Park.

After getting a judge to require an environmental impact statement before moving forward with a redevelopment plan, Campbell filed a challenge of the EIS. When she lost that fight, she filed a land-use petition to stop the decided project after its approval in June.

As of press time, Campbell had not responded to a request by the City of Seattle to U.S. District Court Judge John C. Coughenor, asking for a rescheduling of the case. Campbell’s latest attorney filed a motion to withdraw, as she could no longer afford to retain him. She still has to submit an updated complaint that includes the Army and Seattle Public Schools as parties in the case.

If the city gets its motion approved, that complaint would be due no later than Jan. 17.

5. Sound Transit will spend 2020 assessing Ballard light rail extension route options. The Washington Legislature will be asked this session to fund the creation of a community preservation and development authority to handle redeveloping the Washington National Guard’s Seattle armory site.

Both projects will mean big changes in Interbay, and potentially some crossover.

Light rail’s future hinges on the fate of Initiative 976, which would cap car-tab fees at $30. While approved by voters in November, I-976 is being challenged by a coalition led by the City of Seattle and King County.

The armory being redeveloped first requires funding to relocate the National Guard to a new readiness center in North Bend, with the state being asked to cover the lion’s share of the cost.