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Top 'hits' in 2020 at YourArlington

As we say good riddance to 2020, YourArlington joins news organizations in offering the year's "top stories," in this case, those about our town.

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But what puts one story above another? One measure is social impact, the story that most affected the life of the town.

For Arlington in 2020, that is assuredly the Covid-19 pandemic. The global story with ongoing local connections started with the February superspreader Biogen conference in Boston, which closed the Stratton School. By December, hope came via vaccines, one by Moderna, just down Mass. Ave. in Cambridge.

Apart from subjective factors determining what puts a story on top, an online site provides the numbers telling which stories had the most hits, as measured by the website's host. The listings below, of news stories and opinion pieces, include the number of readers reaching the story by the date of this report, Dec. 30.

Some surprises: Readers' choices did not always follow social impact, as you can see for yourself.

Note: A top-10 list is for pop songs. A top-11 offers a bit more.

Top-11 news stories

1.) 18,620: Sawtelle: Clerk hopeful cites tech background, need for upgrades, written by Bob Sprague

2.) 11,203: 2020 Town election information  

3.) 7,015: Arlington Covid-19 deaths stand at 2, as cases rise to 23, town website 

4.) 5,385: Town Covid-19 cases, death: From Oct. 27 to Nov. 30, town website 

5.) 5,365: Up to 140 apartments slated behind Mirak dealerships, Bob Sprague

6.) 4,988: Heights' first hotel approved as neighbors wary, Bob Sprague

7.) 4,914: 2nd resident tests negative for Covid-19, John Guilfoil

8.) 4,885: Lt. Pedrini addresses round-table discussion, Bob Sprague, town website

9.) 4,416: Town Covid-19 cases rise 19 from Oct. 14 to 19; deaths stay same, town website 

10.) 4,224: Wait is over in 5th day: Biden, Harris win, various sources

11.) 4,146: 7-0 vote backs 2 candidates for new school superintendent, Judith Pfeffer

Top-11 opinion 

1.) 4,336: AFD Theatre looks ahead, seeks your ideas, AFD Theatre 

2.) 3,607: Let's help town businesses in this uncertain time, Bob Sprague, town sources

3.) 3,476: Dining in Arlington: Take it out here, Gary Goldsmith

4.) 2,916: Mirak developers need to consider artists in its proposal, Robin Bergman

5.) 1,670: Let’s stop the Mugar development, Rep. Dave Rogers

6.) 1,559: Why Curro supports Town Hall statement of inclusion, Joe Curro

7.) 1,361Pronoun lessons: Help explaining gender complexity, AHS students Bea Croteau and Em

8.) 1,318: Lack of Covid plan at top sends shudders from nation to town, Bob Sprague

9.) 1,264:  Red Letter Poem: 33 through 39, Steven Ratiner

10.) 1,181: MLK committee questions superintendent hiring decision, MLK committee

11.) 1,361: Part 5, race series: History of police unions: Time to change, Barbara Thornton

Most-read stories on Patch in 2020

Top hits in 2019 at YourArlington

This listing was published Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020.

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