26 December 2017

Top ten community posts on The RiotACT in 2017

| Amy M
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The most read community stories on The RiotACT in 2017 covered an eclectic range of topics. Our profiles of notable residents were popular, and ranged from the moving legacy of a remarkable octogenarian to a 17-year-old who was suspended after speaking out against changes at his school.

Stories about cyclist safety, threats to the region’s clean air and the board game craze sweeping Canberra made the top ten, but it was a story about the closure of a much-loved bookstore that attracted the highest number of reads in 2017.

And proving that The RiotACT readers have a great sense of humour, take a look at some of the witty responses to the question posed in our second-highest ranking story about what the new light rail vehicles should be named.

10. Board game mania sweeps Canberra

Board game mania swept the nation’s capital as Canberrans took to the revamped recreational activity in droves, reported Glynis Quinlan in the middle of a chilly Canberra winter. As she reported, mega specialist board game stores and board game restaurants and pubs sprung up around town and were thriving as Canberra developed a reputation as a board game business hub.

9. When the Greeks fed Goulburn, and taught us to dance

John Thistleton led readers on a nostalgic walk down memory lane in July, back to a time when cafés like the Acropolis, Continental, Green Valley, and George Diakoumis’ Monaro Food Fair were the place to be on a Friday night. He caught up with a legendary Greek family whose hospitality and generosity made dining at their café a memorable experience.

8. Auction to help heritage rail get back on track, says liquidator

Beyer-Garratt 6029 locomotive

Also in July, Ian Bushnell reported that the Canberra Railway Museum would be forced to auction off its assets, including 100-year-old carriages, to get the beleaguered organisation back on track. The organisation owed the tax office about $60,000 and had debts of $700,000 after the collapse of its ill-fated freight operation.

7. Wendell nears end of remarkable ride

John Thistleton’s moving tribute to a local legend in the final stages of terminal cancer was the standout community post in December, with readers touched by Wendell Rosewarne’s humility as much as his remarkable life.

6. Canberra disowns dirty little secret at Dalton

This sign outside the Dalton hotel shows how people feel about AGL’s gas-fired power plant

In June, we brought you a story about what John Thistleton called Canberra’s dirty (not-so-) little secret – plans for a $1.5 billion gas-fired power station at Dalton, just 80 kilometres away from the capital. Readers had plenty to say to the question of whether the ACT Government was being hypocritical by saying nothing about a new, dirty big fossil fuel plant in Dalton while claiming to be Australia’s leader in renewable energy.

5. Lives are at risk on Commonwealth Avenue Bridge

bridge photo

In March, Anne Treasure wrote about the dangers for cyclists on Commonwealth Avenue Bridge, including strong winds, low railings and human error. She called for action on developing a long-term solution to safety issues on the bridge, and The RiotACT readers were quick to respond with their thoughts on the topic.

4. From Santa to Star Wars: Canberra’s best Christmas light displays

In December, Glynis Quinlan took a tour of some of Canberra’s most spectacular suburban Christmas light displays and the story quickly made number 4 on the top ten list. Our tips for Christmas light hunters looking for a fun experience and our comprehensive list of the best locations around town had readers clicking.

3. Suspended St Edmund’s student contemplates future

In June, Doug Dobing reported that a 17-year-old St Edmund’s College student with a strong record of community service had been suspended for protesting against proposed school changes. John-Paul Romano was suspended indefinitely for apparent dangerous opinion and bringing St Edmund’s College Canberra into disrepute. The RiotACT readers expressed a range of views about whether a student should be suspended for voicing their opinion.

2. Can you think of any awesome names for the new Canberra Light Rail Vehicles?

light rail.

Elias Hallaj entered the top 10 at number two with his tongue-in-cheek story about suitable names for Canberra’s new light rail vehicles. He challenged The RiotACT readers to put on their thinking caps and think of some creative names, and the readers didn’t disappoint, with over 3,000 people voting for their preferred name. Topping the leaderboard was ‘Mooseheads Express’, with ‘Jackie Tram’ also in contention. Click on the article to see the other names that were suggested.

1. Iconic bookshop closes as death knell starts to sound on block of Curtin shops

Coming in at number one in the ten most popular posts about community in 2017 was Glynis Quinlan’s story in August about the closure of the much-loved Beyond Q bookshop. The shop was forced to close its doors after the death knell sounded on a block of shops in Curtin Square. Readers had mixed responses to the announcement, but the news that the store would reopen in Weston Creek was welcomed.

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