Yesterday we brought you part one of our top news stories of the last two months, the year, and all-time. (Since we’ve only been up and running since mid-October, they’re one and the same.)

Here now is the full list, in reverse order. Stories that pre-dated our launch, like the San Bruno tragedy, are not represented. But as 2010 was a year in which much of the biggest news seemed to be back-loaded into the late-fall and winter months, an eventful initial period for our nascent blog it still was.

10 – Macy’s Santa tells dirty Jokes, gets fired, winds Up on Leno

John Toomey, a 20-year veteran of the kid-on-knee wars at the iconic department store, dismays an elderly couple by telling them a mildly blue joke. Macy’s cans him, causing an uproar in the Santa-loving community and generating headlines as far away as Canada (closer to the North Pole, so understandable). Toomey is then offered a gig at Lefty O’Douls and caps off his 15 minutes in the limelight with a joke-telling cameo on Jay Leno.

9 – Roseville flash mob gets out of control

Lured by Sacramento Choral Society tweets, thousands of singers descend on the Westfield Galleria mall in Roseville, intent on singing the “Hallelujah Chorus.” The intended joyous event, billed as a flash mob, turns into a catastrophe after reports of a creaking and shifting floor spur an evacuation order by police. A good time was had by none.

8 – Who will succeed Gavin Newsom as mayor?

San Francisco’s mayor wins election as the state’s Lieutenant Governor, leaving a vacancy that has every local politician who ever gazed into the mirror while imagining his name on the No. 1 parking spot at City Hall licking his lips. Only Gav, in order to exert maximum influence over the succession process, threatens to stay on into the next year. That’s a threat he makes good on. The penultimate act in this drama may play out next week, when the outgoing Board of Supervisors meets…

7 – NASA announces discovery of new life-form; some underwhelmed

NASA causes a stir by disseminating a cryptic press release that some speculate hints at the discovery of extraterrestrial life. The reality is more mundane yet still significant: Researchers had discovered arsenic-eating microbes at the bottom of Mono Lake in California’s Eastern Sierra, expanding the possibilities of just where in the universe life might blossom.

A number of scientists, however, are not convinced, and some claim that the paper documenting the discovery should never even have been published.

6 – Jean Quan wins ranked-choice election as Oakland mayor

Oakland Councilwoman Jean Quan, who lags former state senate leader Don Perata by 10 points after the first round of voting in the mayor’s race, mounts a stunning come-from-behind victory, enabled by the city’s new ranked-choice-voting system. Perata and supporters grumble, but Quan becomes both the city’s first female and first Asian American mayor.

5 – Proposition 8 appeal is televised

With cameras and microphones from several media organizations in the courtroom, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit hears oral arguments in support of and against a lower court’s ruling that Proposition 8, the successful voter initiative to ban same-sex marriages in California, is in fact unconstitutional. A ruling is expected around March.

4 – Standoff between police and distraught man on Bay Bridge creates massive traffic jam

A 51-year-old Antioch man, traveling with his daughter, stops his SUV on the Bay Bridge, calls 911, and threatens to blow up the vehicle. After a couple of hours, the man, who was distraught over marital problems, surrenders.

3 – Johannes Mehserle sentencing

All of Oakland is on tenterhooks before Mehserle, the white, former BART cop found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of unarmed Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old black man, is scheduled to be sentenced. When the judge hands down his decision — two years minus time served — Grant’s family and many in Oakland are outraged. One-hundred-and-fifty-two people are arrested during a protest.

2 – Full lunar eclipse

The first time that a lunar eclipse coincides with the winter solstice since 1638 creates a fury of interest in the Bay Area, with many searching for places to view the event in person and online.

1 – The Giants win the World Series

The people have spoken. The Giants improbable World Series victory, the team’s first since 1954 and first ever in San Francisco, was our most popular topic. Good news — sometimes it clicks.

Author

Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks writes mostly on film for KQED Arts. He is also an online editor and writer for KQED's daily news blog, News Fix. Jon is a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S.

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