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Wednesday, December 19 , 2018, 6:36 am | Fair 42º

 
 
 
 

For Noozhawk’s Readers, Tea Fire Was Biggest Local Story of 2008

We took an informal poll and asked you to weigh in on the events of the past year. Here's how you voted.

Smoke from the Tea Fire gave a full moon a copper cast from the vantage point of Las Manos Lane on the Mesa.
Smoke from the Tea Fire gave a full moon a copper cast from the vantage point of Las Manos Lane on the Mesa. (Sage Kemmerley photo)

You voted, Noozhawk readers, and we counted. Last week, we set up a poll asking what you thought was the the biggest local news story in 2008.

Out of 470 votes, the biggest story by far for Noozhawk readers in our unofficial, unscientific poll was the Tea Fire, with 49 percent of the vote. No surprise there: The Tea Fire disrupted the lives of hundreds of local residents who suffered everything from minor property damage to life-threatening burns. The blaze will continue to be in the back of our minds in 2009 as the community braces for winter storms and residents work to rebuild lost homes.

The South Coast’s other fire, the Gap Fire in the foothills north of the Goleta Valley, came in second, with 12 percent of the vote. While larger than the Tea Fire at about 9,500 acres burned, that fire remained largely in the Los Padres National Forest and in agricultural lands on the northern border of the Goleta Valley.

The Goleta City Council election came in as the third biggest story in 2008 for the Noozhawk readers who voted — ahead of even the presidential election (5 percent), the 19th District Senate and 3rd District county supervisor races (12 percent and 11 percent, respectively).

The fourth-biggest story, according to the poll, was the budget nightmare for county Mental Health Services, which at one point threatened to lay off 70 employees. While the cuts were not as deep as predicted, the county continues to reckon with its budget deficit.

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Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

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Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.