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This list represents a few of the stories that have either nagged me or tugged at my heart strings.

FILE PHOTO - Publisher Steve BrownLet me start off this column by saying this is not a comprehensive list of the year's top stories for The Outlook.

By no means does this comprise stories that garnered the most attention from readers through the past 12 months.

This list, plain and simple, represents a few of the stories that have either nagged at my sense of disappointment or tugged at my heart strings. So, in no particular order of importance, here's my swan song to 2017.

JUST LET IT GO

I was floored in early November to learn that former Damascus City Councilor James De Young was still waging his legal battle to have the courts overturn a voter-approved measure to disband the city of Damascus. I thought we'd all put that ugly chapter behind us.

Turns out De Young can't let it go. For some reason, he's convinced that a city is good idea, even though virtually nobody else in the Damascus vicinity is clambering to have the city reinstated.

The Appellate Court has picked up his case. Should it rule in his favor, it would void the 2016 election. Oy vey!

IN THE NAME OF SENSITIVITY

Some people were offended by the use of "Lynch" in the names of three schools in the Centennial School District. It seems that the word "Lynch," in any usage, conjures negative emotions among some people because of its connection with slavery. I won't ever understand how a name can be misconstrued as anything but a name. But I'm not a black man, and my ancestors were not slaves. I'd rather land on the side of sensitivity.

NOT ONLY NO, BUT HELL NO

I was disappointed when voters rejected a $125 million bond for upgrades to the Mt. Hood Community College campus. But I was without words when a lower-cost bond ($75 million) was rejected by an even-larger margin in May. This institution is a critical link between employers and employees in East Multnomah County, and an engine for economic development. This will be a serious question for the college's next president to overcome: How to convince the voters that support of this public institution is in their own best interests?

LET IT SNOW

Oh, Mother Nature, you threw your best at us last winter. But we survived. And here's a shout out to the city, county and state road crews who patched things up in the months after the snow and ice disappeared. So far, so good this winter.

LIVING THE DREAM

One of my favorite stories each year in The Outlook is our coverage of the "Live Your Dream" luncheon, put on by Soroptimist International of Gresham. This service club awards financial prizes to deserving women who are striving to improve their financial futures while holding down jobs, attending school and raising their children. This is always one of the more uplifting stories of the year. I'm looking forward to the 2018 event.

HERE COMES 2018

We at The Outlook enjoy bringing you these stories year after year. And we're grateful to all of our faithful readers — in print and online — who turn to us for coverage of their local events, news and feature stories. Thank you for your patronage. And we are especially grateful for the support of many advertising partners. We couldn't do this without you.

Happy New Year, East Multnomah County!

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