The Sunshine Coast created a lot of headlines, both positive and negative, for us at Coast Reporter in 2003.
This week we give you, the reader, a chance to look back at the news and events that shaped 2003 on the Coast.
News items ranged from the fire on the Queen of Surrey ferry to the strike which shut down the system for two days to the volunteer centre closing in January.
There were several protests at St. Mary's Hospital and rallies to MLA Harold Long's office and a rash of break-ins in Selma Park. Education was in the news with controversy erupting over changes in bus routes, the budget and funding cuts to community schools.
Logging protests heated up again in Mt. Elphinstone with activists blockading logging operations. Then there was the dispute over Olga Towert and her garden with the Sunshine Coast Regional District, the opening of the Seaside Centre, the shut down (for now) of the new visitor information centre in Gibsons, the announcement of the new sewer plant for Gibsons, the Seaside Condo deal in Sechelt, a forest fire in the Tetrahedron, a helicopter crash on the beach, Extra Foods opening their doors and more labour unrest as IWA workers hit the picket line.
But that was just the tip of the iceberg.
There were also a lot of good new stories and community events, too.
How about the generosity of the Sunshine Coast coming together to help Farouk Albayate and his family in war-torn Iraq, the Scout Jamboree in Roberts Creek, the Outrigger Races in Gibsons, Canada Day events on the Coast, jazz festivals in Gibsons and Pender Harbour, arts and entertainment events up and down the Coast, so many in fact, you can't mention them all - and the list goes on and on.
Athletes also made their mark this year from Ryan Dempster to Madison Lamb to all the baseball and softball players who came back with provincial titles, Laurence Owen and his bike racing to the high school and soccer scene.
Yes, it was a busy year on the Sunshine Coast, and we're looking forward to an even busier 2004. So this week, sit back, relax and enjoy a look back at 2003.
Happy New Year!