We’re gonna start doing our end o’ the year stuff now. 

Last year ‘round this time, your Lost Coast Outpost counted down its top 15 most trafficked stories of 2012, which was quite cute. But by all statistical metrics, this year kicked last year in the throat. As such, we’ve beefed up our countdown of this year’s most clicked posts to a clean, robust “fitty.” Over this year-ending/beginning week, we hope you’ll enjoy reliving Humboldt’s year that was, determined by what your fingers/eyeballs were for-better-or-worse drawn to.  

The rankings were compiled by (lightly) crunching the numbers provided for us by Google’s wonderful analytics service. In the event that closely related posts popped up in the rankings, lower performing posts were eliminated for the most-clicked post. For example, while the hunt for Shane Miller was a hot topic on LoCO for months, you’ll find only one mention of it on this list, otherwise this exercise would have been the year in Shane Miller. Feel free to whine about about this system.

Without further adieu, LoCO addicts … here’s your first fifteen 2013 Humboldty click magnets:

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50. Report of Law Enforcement Convoy Near Piercy

This was a common type of post in 2013. More than a few mornings this year, LoCO staff received reports from our readers of large herds of law enforcement vehicles either pre-gaming in parking lots or already snaking their way out to Humboldt’s hinterlands on their way to pay a visit to our county’s rural farmers. When this intel came in, we passed it on to the rest of you.

‘Cuz why not?

With this particular Piercy post, as was the case with many of LoCO’s convoy alerts, the fruits of the Humboldt County Sheriff Department’s efforts were featured on our site the following day.

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49. Dan Rather Reports on Marijuana From Humboldt

Back in August, great-grandfatherly newsman Dan Rather rolled into Humboldt for the only reason Dan Rather would roll into Humboldt: to see next-level marijuana.  

HumCo did not disappoint. The onetime CBS anchor — now producing “Dan Rather Reports” for something called AXS TV — got great green footage flying around in a helicopter with congressman Jared Huffman to gawk at Humboldt’s rural megagrows, walking along the Eel with the river’s friend Scott Greacen and ultimately produced a half hour long report “Gone to Pot” taking a look at the environmental and social impacts of NorCal’s illegal grows.

LoCO’s October post in question contained only a brief video preview of the report — those who wished to watch it had to either pony up to iTunes or know how to watch AXS TV. Since that time though, some kind soul has uploaded the entire thing for freeloading internet types to enjoy. Bless you, Faisal Azam.

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48. TWO MAKES IT TRUE: What Was That Giant Flash and Boom in Eureka Last Night?

For the second half of 2013, your Lost Coast Outpost abandoned its previous model of reporting newz and stuff and instead focused all of its energies on chasing every goddamn thing that went boom in the night. (Let us stop now.) Yes, Humboldt mysteriously exploded time and again this year. And LoCO was there every single freakin’ time. (Please let us stop now.)

The first and most trafficked post we devoted to the loud, local phenomenon spawned a catchphrase/philosophy that haunted our comment section for months after … Two Makes it True! The concept was explained in the initial post: 

“Standard journalistic practice requires three sources to triangulate the truth of an assertion. In “Two Makes It True,” the threshold is lower.”

Boom. Coming to LoCO in 2014: One Makes It Fun!

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47. “Am I going to jail?” Asks Eureka Man Stopped with Five Marijuana-Filled Garbage Bags

The answer was “yes.”

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46. Big Section of Old Town Eureka Being Evacuated

Speaking of booms, let us be thankful that Eureka didn’t have a serious one back in September. ‘Twas a Tuesday morning when police evacuated a large swath of Old Town — First and Second streets, between E and I — and the bomb squad was called in to save us all from … we didn’t know what! 

Long story short, we are not all dead. The hubbub was over an unexploded, turd-looking World War II-era ordnance unearthed at a construction site at the foot of H Street. On the plus side, we all feel a tad safer knowing law enforcement possess an adorable, bomb-bustin’ robot, photographed for this post by LoCO ace contributor Mark McKenna.

In retrospect, we should have named that robot. Buster, or something.

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45. Why Did Multiple Jets Touchdown at the Airport?

For goods or bads, paranoia is a big traffic driver on the Interwebs. This truth held once again in October when some scary looking military jets touched down at our this year-renamed California Redwood Coast Bigfoot Not-Weed Humboldt County Airport. Were we being occupied? No one knew where the jets were from or why they were here, but there were pictures and video on Facebook. Why not assume eminent destruction?

In chimed airport manager Emily Jacobs to let us know that the situation was even worse than we feared … they were Canadian. They only stayed for the night, but how they were able to land through our fog will forevermore be one of Humboldt’s great mysterious, eh?

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44. Flotilla of Military Helicopters Spotted Across Humboldt

How convenient that this post and the previous one fell back to back. Switch Canadian jets with U.S. Army helicopters, keep the populace paralyzed by UFO-induced terror and, yeah, you just about have it.

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43. Eight Camouflaged Men with Rifles Tie Victims To a Tree, Other Man Shot

Few press releases inspired as many countywide WTFs as this tale from earlier this month, alleged by those in the know to have been SoHum vigilante justice.  

The facts we do know: Two men visiting from Indiana found themselves confronted by a posse of camo-clad gentlemen wielding high-powered rifles. From the HCSO press release:

The males then tied the two men to a tree with rope. The two men saw their 25 year old male friend, the homeowner, had been shot and was bleeding. The suspects dressed in camouflaged told the two men tied to the tree not to say anything or they would kill them. The suspects then ordered the 25 year old male gunshot victim into a truck at gunpoint and left with him to an unknown location.

Yikes! The two were able to free themselves and their wounded friend ended up in the hospital. 

Where did the masked men take their captive? Was any of the mayhem related to the death and/or whereabouts of Garrett Rodriguez? We’re still waiting to hear on that one. 

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42. SoHum Mega Bust Features Unpermitted Roads, Filled-In Streams, Big, Dangerous Diesel Tanks

The big, splashy industrial marijuana grow bust reports came in fast and heavy during summer and fall. Nothing new.

Something we noticed at LoCO though: It seemed like this year there was a conscious effort by those tasked with with putting out the Sheriff’s Office press releases — we call ‘em “Humboldt’s most read authors” ‘round the office — to specifically highlight the environmental damage wrought by willfully negligent growers at their sites. Take this post, which notes that two large 1000 gallon diesel tanks “were directly over a stream which feeds the Elk Creek which is a Coho Salmon spawning habitat.”

While the march toward legalization is fine and inevitable, this stuff ain’t cool.

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41. HCSO Arrests 16 For Cultivating Marijuana in Bridgeville

Like we just said, whether it was a cluster of Bulgarians in the hills …

40. Sheriffs Arrest Fortuna Family on Weed, Gun Charges

… or the All-American family down the street, there were lots o’ weed busts this year.

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39. Redway Woman Missing

LoCO takes its role as relayer of important community information seriously. Thousands of eyeballs gather on this site daily. We do good when we can. 

Some of the most Facebook shared posts of the year were those, like this one, having to do with missing persons. Thankfully, in this instance, the subject was found.

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38. Shark Encounter Near the North Jetty

For the second consecutive year, “Sharktober” lived up to its name here on the North Coast. “Payin’ rent,” as they say.

In both cases, bodaciously, the would-be shark snack has rather heroically lived to tell the tale. This year’s victim/stud was College of the Redwoods English professor Jay Scrivner who, despite requiring surgery for his left thigh chomp wound, showed up to teach his Tuesday classes only 48 hours after the incident.

Go ahead. Ask for an extension on your two-page, double-spaced paper, chum. We dare you.

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37. Man Dead After Dispute in Ridgewood

Just sad.

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36. Arkley Email: Our County and City are Being Taken Over by the Homeless

Sure, everyone can agree that homelessness is a serious problem in Humboldt. But when you’re the richest guy in the county, are you really the best messenger to sound the alarm for the local homeless invasion? You can pour through the 669 comments — one of the highest commented posts of the year — if you’re hard pressed for an opinion.

The intent of the open email was to begin a dialogue on how to do away with the “policies being pursued by our County and City governments, and certain not-for-profits” that Arkley is convinced have made Humboldt “a Mecca for the homeless.”

“Specifically, I would like to know what policies and programs can be cut that will reduce the number of homeless,” Arkley wrote.

Discuss, friends. And check back tomorrow as our 2014 year in review trudges on …