The Weekly's 10 most-viewed stories in 2014

Accidents, retail comings and goings, and positive psychology top Palo Alto Online's list

What local stories gripped readers of in 2014?

Our top stories this year included everything from a thoughtful piece on teachers easing the academically intense culture at local high schools by creating "positive psychology" courses to the heated clash between visitors to the Stanford Dish and residents over a proposed parking plan.

Also attracting attention were the July car crash on a University Avenue sidewalk that injured six people and the Palo Alto High School principal disciplined for harassment.

Based on the number of page views for each story, here are the most-read stories of 2014 on the Palo Alto Weekly's website.

10. Palo Alto considers a 'net-zero' growth vision

by Gennady Sheyner, July 9

As Palo Alto moves toward adopting a new vision for growth, officials are considering one ambitious alternative that would significantly transform the city's commercial hubs: a transition into a "net-zero" community.

9. Residents clash over Dish parking plan

by Gennady Sheyner, Feb. 7

A plan to move dozens of parking spaces from the street next to the Stanford Dish trail to a parking lot more than half a mile away has created a rift between visitors to the scenic preserve and the residents who live next to it.

8. New push for music program in East Palo Alto schools

by Chris Kenrick, April 25

A desire to give kids a "sense of belonging" in high school is fueling a new push to restore music education in public schools in East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park.

7. Two people require surgery after car crashes into Palo Alto restaurant

by Elena Kadvany, Sue Dremann and Gennady Sheyner, July 31

Two people who were injured, one critically, required surgery after a silver Nissan crashed into a downtown Palo Alto cafe on Thursday. The accident, which injured six people including the driver, prompted police to shut down a section of University Avenue to traffic for most of the afternoon.

6. Shop Talk: More mall, restaurants flock downtown

by Daryl Savage, Aug. 18

In this week's Shop Talk column, read the latest on Stanford Shopping Center's big expansion, three new restaurants set to open in downtown Palo Alto and the sad closure of a 200-square-foot business.

5. Ex-Paly principal disciplined for harassment

by Palo Alto Weekly staff, April 11

Former Palo Alto High School principal Phil Winston, who resigned last June 13 citing health and "work-life balance" reasons, was under investigation at the time by school district officials for multiple allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior involving both staff and students, according to documents obtained by the Weekly from the district.

4. Happy Donuts to close on Friday

by Sue Dremann, June 5

One of the two sit-down places in Palo Alto where one can hang out or satisfy a 3 a.m. craving, Happy Donuts at 3916 El Camino Real, is closing on Friday, June 6.

3. In new classes, students explore the brighter side

by Chris Kenrick, Feb. 21

In the academically intense culture of Gunn High School, a class where students gather in "gratitude circles" and practice mindfulness exercises has become a welcome respite for stressed-out teens.

2. Residents return stacks of catalogs to Palo Alto Restoration Hardware

by Barbara Wood, June 18

Nancy Reyering and six other volunteers from Woodside and Portola Valley made a delivery to the Restoration Hardware store in Palo Alto on Wednesday that they hope might send a message to the home furnishings store's corporate headquarters.

1. Palo Alto teen killed on tracks Tuesday

by Elena Kadvany, Nov. 4

A 16-year-old Palo Alto male died on the train tracks early Tuesday morning, Caltrain spokeswoman Christine Dunn has confirmed.

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3 people like this
Posted by Pull the trigger already
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 27, 2014 at 8:37 pm

Why does Phil Winston still work here? How could that possibly make sense?

1 person likes this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2014 at 1:22 pm

This is just taking into account each thread or each news story. When taking into account the fact that oftentimes there are multiple threads on a certain topic, or the fact that a topic is suddenly locked to registered users, then we can't really see from this what we were most concerned about.

Adding the views on multiple threads on the same topic may result in a different order or even a different top ten. Since there is no way of saying how many more views there would be if a thread remained unlocked, then this top ten is really not a good count of what we were most interested in during the year.

1 person likes this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 28, 2014 at 5:49 pm

How did they come up with this list? Happy Donuts? Restoration Hardware catalogues? Sorry - does not qualify as what the main topics are for this year.

How about Airplane Noise? This topic has run consistently for a number of years. How about the city council elections and reduction in council size? How about the 7.7 acres in Foothill Park? How about the back room trades on development?

Problem here is that every big story has multiple discussions and follow-ups in the Weekly. The same topic can be viewed in numerous separate threads.

1 person likes this
Posted by Phil supporter
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 29, 2014 at 12:02 pm

I support Phil Winston without supporting his unwise comments. He was young and did not realize that he could not come in as a change agent and give either PAEA or CSEA ammunition in the form of lazy comments. Teachers or staff resisting change will collect those comments and when they get enough they will set the attack. It happened to Kevin Skelly as well, but with the parents going after him. Phil is in absolutely no danger of being fired, released, or even being pressured. Why not? Because now he has PAEA protection.

Like this comment
Posted by Judith
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Dec 31, 2014 at 12:06 pm

@ Resident 1: according to the story - Based on the number of page views for each story, - is how they "came up with this". These stories may not have been the ones that you were most interested in, but that is how they arrived at them.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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