The Top 10 stories of the first half of 2016

Which story tops our list?

June 28, 2016

We are already through six months of 2016 and wow, has a lot happened. Now that we are at the halfway point, we rounded up our favorite stories in 2016 so far from Seattle and beyond and pulled out our top 10 and ranked them! These were the most watched, most read, most shared stories in the first six months of the year, ranked by the team here at The End.

Now let's get started:

10. Facebook Introduces New Like Buttons

Photo courtesy of

Ever since you could add a thumbs up to a post on Facebook, people have always wanted to be able to 'Dislike' the not-so-good stuff they saw come through their feed. Whether your racist aunt posted something you disapproved of or your friend shared sad news, a simple 'Like' didn't seem to do anyone justice (side note: pick up the phone and call people sometimes). In February, Facebook announced new 'reactions' to the news feed allowing people to 'like,' 'love,' 'haha,' 'wow,' 'sad,' and 'angry' their friend's posts. It was a subtle, but great update to the platform that hadn't changed how you can interact with a post in a long time, which is why it comes in at number 10.

9. Macklemore's Mini-Tour Across Washington

If Macklemore And Ryan Lewis released a song in the middle of the woods and nobody was around to hear it, it would still probably become the hottest thing on social media that day. In May, Mr. Macklemore took to Twitter to announce a Washington-only tour in the lesser-populated cities like Yakima, Enumclaw, Bremerton and Hoquaim at an 1,100-seat theater. It's innovative, local-focused stuff like this that keeps a soft spot for the duo in even Macklemore's haters' hearts. Oh, the shows sold out in just under an hour, by the way. People were clammoring over the news and it seemed to be one of the most popular Seattle music items of the first half of 2016, so to number 9 you go, Macklemore! 

8. Seattle NBA Stadium Proposal Shot Down :-(

Betrayal, hope, disappointment, hope, anger, disappointment. Ever since the Sonics left, Seattle basketball fans have gone through a series of emotions not unlike those of a breakup. However, when a realistic plan for a new stadium that would bring basketball and hockey back to Seattle (yes, professional hockey has been here before), we all rejoiced. But when the Seattle City Council shot down the proposal due to location, our hopes and dreams were dashed. Everything leading up to the vote, the vote itself, and the sexism in the fallout after the vote made national headlines for all the wrong reasons. It's a sad story to crack the top 10, but one of the dominating headlines in Seattle for these first six months.  

7. Real World Returns to Seattle

"MTV is still producing Real World and— yes, really. It's going to— no, you stop laughing...." Yes, The Real World is setting up shop in Seattle, Capitol Hill to be more specific, for the first time since 1998. As you might recall, the last time the mega-house of beautiful 20-somethings was in Seattle, the crew worked part-time for us here at The End. While we aren't sure that everyone in Seattle is stoked for the return of the OG reality TV show, we're sure it will make for...interesting (?) entertainment and maybe we'll see ourselves on TV. Or maybe it's a better idea to avoid Capitol Hill for a few months. Either way, MTV setting up shop in the Emerald City is enough to put them at number 7.

6. New Ice Cream on the Block

Chocolate To End All Chocolates

Mmmmmmm....chocolate. We don't want to toot our horn too much here, but when your ice cream tastes as good as ours does AND does some good for YouthCare, it's hard not to include it in the top 10. We introduced The Chocolate To End All Chocolates ice cream this year in partnership with Full Tilt Ice Cream, with a portion of the proceeds going to support homeless youth through YouthCare. Just this week, pints of the ice cream started to show up on the shelves of local Seattle markets. Ice cream is almost always worthy of a top 10 spot on any list, and scoops in at number 6 on ours.

5. 2016 New Music Round-Up

There has been so much new music already in 2016 and even more is on the way. We have new albums from Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Lumineers, Band Of Horses, and Cave Singers, along with songs from Twenty One Pilots, Blink-182, Phantogram, Hozier and Bastille. Here's a quick round-up of what we have seen in the first six months and after you see the list, you'll see why it kicks off the top 5:

Red Hot Chili PeppersBlink-182 | Twenty One PilotsBastilleHozierCave SingersThe Strokes | Bear HandsThe Lumineers | Phantogram | Band Of Horses | Fitz And The Tantrums | The Head And The Heart | Beck | Radiohead

4. 99 Closes FOREVER

Ok, so maybe it wasn't forever, but the #99closure while big-ass drill Bertha burrowed beneath the bridge along the Seattle waterfront royally wrecked traffic flow for nearly two weeks. Now, we aren't saying Seattle traffic was good to begin with, but fighting fire with fire, at least in this instance, didn't help things along. Fortunately the drilling ended a couple days early and we were able to get back to our regularly-scheduled gridlock faster than we thought. With as fast as Seattle growing, how we manage traffic is going to be a big conversation for the forseeable future which is why #99closure cracks the top five and comes to a Seattle-esque abrupt stop at number 4.

3. Seattle Gets A New Light Rail


Speaking of traffic, part of the Seattle plan moving forward is expanding the light rail, which opened two new stops this year connecting Capitol Hill and the University of Washington to the line. The new stations can get you from UW to downtown in just a few minutes, which is a gamechanger for frat bros trying to pre-funk Huskies football games and Real World contestants trying to escape while they still can. 

2. Remembering Those We Have Lost

2016 might go down as one of the saddest years when it comes to artists, actors, athletes and musicians we have lost. In the first six months we have said goodbye to David Bowie, Prince, Alan Rickman, Phife Dawg, Muhammad Ali, Anton Yelchin and many more. The reactions to the deaths of people who we have never met brings people together who had/have a mutual respect and admiration for a person and their art, and it is why we have these artists up at number 2 on the list, to remember and appreciate their work and impact on the world and their industries.

1. Man In Tree

No story captivated the people of Seattle more so far this year than Man In Tree. He spent 24 hours at the top of the sequoia tree by Macy's in downtown Seattle, throwing branches, pinecones and apple slices at oblivious pedestrians below. What ensued was an internet sensation, a conversation on dealing with mental health issues* and the draw of thousands across the nation who live-streamed the saga online. Eventually Man In Tree came down under from the tree under his own power and went peacefully with the police. The saga that captivated a nation with nothing but a man in a tree (nothing new here in the PNW) earns the number one spot in our list of top stories. 

*The man is now in a hospital getting help from qualified professionals and we hope is able to get the help he needs.