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Most popular blogs on MyNorthwest in 2020

A protester stands in front of Seattle police officers on Capitol Hill. (Getty Images)

Commentators and personalities on KIRO Radio, KTTH, and MyNorthwest provided insight on a variety of topics busy year of news both locally and across the U.S. That includes commentary on calls for police reform in Seattle, the ongoing COVID crisis, the formation of the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, and more.

1. Rantz: At least 118 Seattle police officers left department in mass exodus

At least 118 Seattle police officers separated from the department, the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH confirmed in late October. In September alone, 39 officers left the force when the typical number for that month is between 5 and 7. That trend continued as the year went on, with many officers citing the tense relationship between SPD and city council as their prime motivation for leaving the department. Read more from Jason Rantz.

2. Opinion: Debunking myths of the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone

The Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone — later known as the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest — may have culminated in a series of tragic shootings, but it wasn’t always like that in the early days of its existence.

During that more peaceful time, food and first aid tents were scattered throughout the six-block radius. Kids drew in chalk on the pavement. Hot dog vendors sold food on street corners. Memorials to George Floyd and Breonna Taylor sat in front of graffiti art adorning surrounding buildings, and spirited discussions and debates took place in public forums in front of the then-empty East Precinct. Read more from MyNorthwest’s Nick Bowman.

3. Dori’s open letter to Jeff Bezos

Amid the passage of a new tax on big businesses, Dori Monson penned a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, urging him to consider leaving a city becoming less and less friendly to large corporations.

“Show them what happens when you take our biggest private employer out of the city,” Dori wrote. “Show them what socialism looks like when they run out of other people’s money to confiscate.” Read more from Dori Monson.

4. Nordstrom in-store piano players depart with no public goodbye

They were a fixture at many Nordstrom stores from the 1980s until well into the 21st century, and they were especially appreciated during the holidays. But, it turns out that sometime in last year or so, the only remaining Nordstrom piano player hit the last notes on a classic tune – probably from the American song book – and then closed the lid on the old Steinway and walked off into history as those final notes faded away. Read more from KIRO Radio historian Feliks Banel.

5. John Curley’s epic battle for room on an airplane armrest

The competition for real estate in America is cutthroat, and nowhere is that more pronounced than on an airplane armrest, where elbows and forearms jaw at each other for entire flights. On a recent flight, John Curley found himself in such a battle. Read more from KIRO Radio’s Tom & Curley Show.

6. Rantz: Selfish Seattle to force coronavirus shelter-in-place directive

Before Gov. Jay Inslee ever issued Washington’s first stay-at-home order, there were concerns that Seattle residents were largely to blame for rising COVID cases after a weekend of ignoring pleas to avoid gathering in groups.

“It’s not so much that only Seattlites went out when they didn’t need to,” KTTH’s Jason Rantz wrote. “It’s how many decided to ignore advice and treat this weekend like we didn’t have a global pandemic on our hands.” Read more from Jason Rantz.

7. Ross: What the SARS outbreak taught us about coronavirus

If we look at how early-2000s SARS outbreak was handled, we learn a lot about what drove the spread of COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic in the United States. If we look at how that outbreak unfolded: The CDC went into emergency mode in March of 2003 with quarantines and travel restrictions, and in the end there were 29 confirmed cases in the U.S.

This time was different, in that the new virus had milder symptoms, but that also meant it was able to spread undetected for longer, leading to a far more disastrous situation in the weeks and months to follow. Read more from Dave Ross.

8. Local nurse recovers from COVID-19 while her husband fights to stay alive

In April, a Tacoma nurse was living a nightmare, stuck at home, alone, trying to recover from COVID-19 while her husband battled to stay alive at the hospital where she works. Read more from KIRO Radio’s Gee & Ursula Show.

9. Opinion: As outbreak wanes in Washington, there’s only one ‘real solution’ to reopening

As the coronavirus pandemic first began to level out in Washington, a discussion surfaced regarding when exactly we should begin to reopen. Today, we still haven’t arrived at a solid answer to that question, with the debate continuing to rage between politicians and health officials alike. Read more from MyNorthwest’s Nick Bowman.

10. Engineers believe West Seattle Bridge could eventually suffer partial collapse

Engineers watching the West Seattle Bridge believe it is more likely the 36-year-old span will collapse rather than the cracking simply slowing and stopping on its own. That led to the creation of an evacuation plan, as well as added safety measures should the worst come to pass. Read more from KIRO Radio traffic reporter Chris Sullivan.

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