Some years, identifying the person, place, event, or incident that generated the most news has been a pretty easy thing to do.
This has been one of those years in which the choice of the Newsmaker of the Year has been more difficult, unlike the past two years, for instance, in which the hot negativity of the controversy surrounding Township Mayor Rick Green (culminating in his definitive election defeat) made him an obvious choice for 2011, while the positive atmosphere surrounding the local BC Summer Games made that event the obvious choice for 2010.
The problem this year was not like the conundrum of 2009, when too many huge news stories made pinpointing the top one a difficult task. We finally settled on the Golden Ears Bridge opening, over the gangland shootings that terrorized the community through the early months of the year.
There were many significant stories this year. But few stood out as game-changing or massively captivating the community.
The education beat saw the conclusion of the removal of a superintendent, actually part of a story about dealing with deficits from previous years, and new schools whose location choices certainly riled pockets of residents.
Langley Events Centre this year brought in some national and international scaled entertainment and sporting events.
Crime drew some heat this year, but most of that story, again, was centred on wrap-up of previous years' incidents.
Township council heated up as the year grew older - with concerns about decisions affecting Fort Langley's heritage status, decisions about their own pay cheques, and the decision to ban Jacob De Raadt from speaking to council or staff.
In the end, we felt that the national and international notoriety drawn into the fight to "save" the McLellan Forest from development might well have continuing repercussions for the prospects of local parklands - as well as council's decision-making processes and protocols - and that made it our pick for 2012 Newsmaker of the Year.