Thursday, December 28, 2017

2017 Year in Review

Damn Arbor Logo by Jon Wilcox

2017 was a good year for Damn Arbor. The 2016 election motivated me to bring the site back from a semi-mothballed state and to focus more coverage on local political issues. Looking over our top articles for 2017, it seems that you, gentle reader, were thirsty for local political coverage. Indeed, five of Damn Arbor's top 10 articles for 2017 fall into the broad category of local politics. Also this year, the Ann launched its daily newsletter, Annthology. The newsletter definitely helped drive traffic to Damn Arbor and did a great job catalyzing more coverage of local issues. If you haven't signed up for Annthology, you should consider checking it out in 2018.

All of this wouldn't be possible without you, gentle reader. If it were not for your continued readership, Damn Arbor would just be an echo in the void of the internet. Thank you for your continued support.

Without further ado, here are Damn Arbor's ten most popular articles with commentary from yours truly.

10. Two U of M Professors named 2017 MacArthur Fellows
This short article got a lot of traffic because someone on /r/annarbor linked to it.

9. Where is the best neighborhood fireworks display?
This article wasn't exactly hard-hitting journalism. That said the article asked a question that a lot of folks had on their mind.

8. Ma Lou's Fried Chicken, a review
A review Ypsilanti's newest fried chicken restaurant. Spoiler alert: the food is quite good.

7. Art Fair Bingo 2017
An update to the classic Art Fair Bingo game. Provided to us by UMich Senior RJ Cron.

6. How did a picture from Ann Arbor's 1998 anti-Klan protest become a logo for anti-racist punks in Germany?
This article looked at the Goodnight White Pride logo which is based on a picture from Ann Arbor's 1998 anti-Klan protest. How did that picture become travel across the Atlantic to become the anti-racist logo? Nobody seems to know.

5. Last day to register for November election
This article from October was just a friendly reminder to register to vote. Maybe in the future Michigan can get same day voter registration. That would be nice.

4. Ypsilanti City Council votes to enter purchase agreement with International Village for Water Street
One of the two top ten articles on the continuing Water Street saga. I filed this article at 1:02 AM on Wednesday, September 20, 2017, four minutes after the Ypsilanti City Council voted to enter the purchase agreement with International Village. Never underestimate the importance of attending city council meetings in person.

3. Ypsilanti City Council Report: Ypsilanti on track to forbid municipal solicitation of immigration status
Another report from an Ypsilanti City Council meeting. This one from January when the Ypsilanti City Council voted to forbid city employees from inquiring about immigration status except in specific situations.

2. Scorekeepers, the most popular Uber destination in Michigan
This could have been a throwaway article if MGoBlog had not tweeted it and linked to the post. Thanks MGoBlog. Also, I'm happy you are writing about local politics.

1. How a resolution to hold a hearing on affordable housing at Water Street became a flashpoint for controversy
This article from guest writer, Nathanael Paul Romero, was by far the most read article on Damn Arbor in 2017. It covered a particularly contentious Ypsilanti City Council Meeting in September of this year. I really appreciate Nathanael giving Damn Arbor permission to publish his write-up of the meeting.

Well there you have it gentle reader, Damn Arbor's first ever year in review. Again, thank you all for reading. I'd like to give special thanks to people who contributed articles this year: Gautam Hans, Ed Vielmetti, Chris Dzombak, Lauren Trimble, Matt Siegfried, John Richard Thompson, and Nathanael Paul Romero.