It’s the most wonderful time of year in the newsroom, when the Press gets hopped up on Christmas cookies and tallies up which stories drew the most readers’ eyeballs online this year.
The most-clicked stories of the year once again run the gamut from serious political coverage that weas featured in the print edition to local crime stories that only appeared on our website, with a few wild ones peppered throughout the list.
Here’s our Christmas gift to you, dear readers: our annual round-up of the top 10 most-read stories by the Press.
10. Syria’s Other Chemical War—The Real Reason Behind a U.S. Strike
Remember how we were about to bomb Syria this summer before President Obama backed off? Press publisher Jed Morey explored the underlying motivations in his column, Off the Reservation. Hint: It’s the same reason we bombed Iraq.
9. Fire Island Nude Beach Outlawed
One of the most controversial casualties of Sandy came months after the storm when the Fire Island National Seashore warned Long Island nudists that they would have to start covering up at Lighthouse Beach, east of Robert Moses State Park Field 5, or face fines. Of course, some still defiantly let it all hang out despite the nudity ban.
8. Long Island Slowly Drifting Toward Connecticut
Staff contributor Peter Tannen freaked out a few readers on either side of the Long Island Sound in the April Fools’ Day edition of his satirical column, Just Sayin’. Even funnier was how a few of LI’s crappy aggregators blindly rehashed the “news” as fact.
7. Former Hicksville Nuclear Site Leaves Sick Employees Seeking Justice
While the lingering effect of defense contractors poisoning the water Long Islanders drink with toxic chemicals is widely a cause for concern, a group of workers who’ve contracted rare cancers have emerged as a particularly egregious case.
6. Ex-Catholic School Teacher Charged With Child Porn
Disturbingly, we see teachers arrested for illegally possessing and/or sharing child pornography online nearly as frequently as cases emerge of teachers involved in inappropriate sexual relations with students. Draw your own conclusions why this one was the top read of such cases this year.
5. Nassau Cops Bust 104 Johns in Online Prostitution Sting
Turns out that having undercover female detectives post online prostitution ads to lure suspects to motels where the “Johns” were charged with patronizing prostitutes after allegedly agreeing to pay for sex is a controversial investigative technique. This one’s still playing out in the courts.
4. NDAA, Indefinite Detention, And The Battle Raging Against The Most Important Law You’ve Never Heard Of
Well, the government won and they now have the right to legally detail you indefinitely without a trial, thanks to a provision slipped into the National Defense Authorization Act, an annual military budget measure. An activist from LI who’s seen the system from the inside helped shed light on the issue, which plaintiffs who lost the latest round may still appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
3. Robert Mayer, Dix Hills Husband and Father, Still Missing After 7 Weeks
At this point, the 47-year-old electrician who was last seen on Father’s Day has been missing for more than six months. There have been no updates on his case. His family fears the worst.
2. Parents, Teachers Revolt Against Common Core
Jamie Franchi, the Press’ newest recruit to the news team, struck a nerve reporting on the new Common Core State Standards being rolled out in New York, an issue that has packed picket lines with soccer moms.
1. U.S. Military ‘Power Grab’ Goes Into Effect
In one of the lesser-reported-on steps in turning America into a police state, the Pentagon unilaterally granted itself authority over civil disturbances without presidential approval in “extraordinary emergency circumstances”—despite Constitutional restrictions against such a move.