This was a bad year for columnists, with several high-profile voices—most notably Doug Grow—getting the ax as part of the Strib's restructuring. But it's been a great year for Nick Coleman, thanks in large part to the 35W bridge collapse. In the monumental disaster, Coleman has finally found a cause big enough to support his righteous outrage. Time and again this year, he pointed out the fallacy and shameless chicanery of Carol Molnau's MnDOT, in a way that mere news reports could not. But it wasn't just his relentless pounding of this year's biggest local story that makes Coleman one of the few must-reads in the ever-thinning Strib; he was equally elegant in chronicling smaller, human stories, such as the grandmother who worked for Taco Bell for 30 years and took a bullet for her employer before unceremoniously getting clipped without severance or medical benefits—a story that would become all too familiar as the year went on.