The year was defined by an eclectic blend of controversial decisions and endeavors.
Also by Lorraine Gennaro
This year was like a Whitman's Sampler. Each month represented a treat filled with an assortment of goodness.
However, there are always those candies disliked by some. And in 2006, a few issues popped up that were about as pleasing as a hardened nougat.
Despite numerous objections, South Philly might become the next Atlantic City; the impromptu enforcement of a smoking ban was no breath of fresh air for some local businesses; and a "Speak English" sign at Geno's Steaks became a meaty argument.
Yet, there also were those stories that connected and bolstered the community. A new high school lovingly opened its doors, as did a new curfew center, and South Philly embraced its ever-evolving diversity during numerous events.
These were the highs and lows that shaped '06 into a year we'll never forget.
Libraries enacted Saturday hours almost a year after budget cuts impacting the branches' services and staff created a firestorm of controversy.
An anti-violence prayer vigil was held outside Discovery Pre-School, 2031 S. Seventh St., after 30-year-old Jarmar Smith was felled by gunfire.
Local community centers and schools honored the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through a series of events during the 11th annual Martin Luther King Day of Service. Barrett Middle School students conducted a presentation and watched a video of the civil-rights leader speaking at the school, 16th and Wharton streets, nearly 40 years ago.
Pleasing some residents, the Board of Revision of Taxes delayed the controversial reassessment plan of city properties.
The Point Breeze Avenue Business Association was awarded $5,000 to keep trash at bay.
An 18-wheeler overturned on I-95, spilling its toxic haul on the roadway. The incident shut down a one-mile stretch of highway for 15 hours.
Glitches in the Medicare Part D program worried local seniors, but informational sessions helped ease frustrations.
A wellness facility inside the St. Agnes Continuing Care Center, Broad and McKean streets, said goodbye, despite some intense objections by its users.