Best of Ashland

Best of Ashland 2012

Topped off by the cracked beam at the Angus Bowmer Theatre, which rallied the entire community around the Shakespeare Festival.

The City Council didn’t do anything too crazy last year, which is momentous in itself. They thought about turning North Main into a 2-lane street, and they thought about easing up on the restrictions for cell phone towers, but in the end cooler heads prevailed.

The Council also accepted some proposals by the Committee on Homelessness, although they balked at providing free showers at the Grove. The latter, by the way, was pinpointed by the police department as a possible site for expansion, but after catching a lot of flak from the public, the Council also backed off on that proposal.

Best of Ashland 2013

Before jumping into this 23rd annual readers' survey, let's review some of the more momentous events of the last year.

The first news item for January 2012 was "ACH looking to form alliance with another hospital system." This is kind of crucial because without it, Ashland Community Hospital could be history. Last summer they thought a deal was done with Dignity Health Care, but community dissatisfaction with Dignity put the kibosh on it. ACH is trying to work something out with Asante as we speak.

The great Ashland Chicken Wars heated up last spring, as people with backyard chicken coops wanted to City to loosen up a little bit with our fine feathered friends. In the end, the City Council compromised, making it a little easier to raise chickens in town.

Best of Ashland 2014

The last "Best of Ashland" was in January/February 2013, and since then we've had a presidential inauguration, a royal pregnancy (and birth), a new Pope, a leak within the National Security Agency (they should be bugged!), the Obamacare website imploding, Miley Cyrus twerking, and pure craziness in Syria and Iran. I almost feel as if I'm in a time warp.

Locally, we had the ACH-Asante merger (a good thing), the Plaza remodel (botched by the City if you listen to a lot of people), the City's crackdown on vacation rentals (more of the Mommy State, in my opinion), the Road Diet experiment (half love it, half hate it, but that's democracy), and the Normal Avenue Neighborhood Plan (the City wants to squeeze as many people as possible into that box).
This is the 24th running of the "Best of Ashland," and it continues to grow in popularity, as we received over 400 responses this year. Yes, there were 144 categories, but we only asked that people answer the ones they were most knowledgeable about.

Best of Ashland 2015

Another year, another “Best of Ashland,” and once again our readers responded beautifully, sending in over 300 ballots. Yes, there were 144 categories and while some complained that it was too much, we only asked that readers respond to as many as they felt comfortable with.
It’s been a fairly ho-hum year in Ashland since the last “Best” was published in February 2014, so maybe this survey will help bust things open.