While 2021 was dominated by stories about the pandemic, politics and February’s winter storm, readers of the San Antonio Report buzzed over an eclectic mix of stories that sparked their passions, good and bad.
So, we put together a list of the top 10 most-discussed stories on the San Antonio Report’s website in 2021.
The list features two stories on the University of Texas at San Antonio’s doomed six-year-old “tradition,” the deaths of two prominent San Antonians, and the return of an article from 2020 about a notorious and disturbing San Antonio police incident — which found new life this year on Reddit.
Four of our site’s most popular stories for 2021 were related to the pandemic and two others were tied to the freeze.
Our Facebook page was the social media site of choice for many who commented on our stories, but you can also offer your opinion on our site at the bottom of the story, or on our pages on Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Thanks for reading in 2021, and we look forward to keeping up the conversation in 2022!
1: ‘Come And Take It’ taken away
More than 900 commenters on “UTSA decision to end ‘Come and Take It’ tradition draws ire from UT System board” took to Facebook to air their views — for, against and indifferent — on the ban. As one of them, John Davila, put it: “This will literally have zero effect on any person’s life.”
2: Yes, a feces sandwich.
In June 2020, Matthew Luckhurst, a former San Antonio police officer who was removed from the force for two separate incidents involving feces and a feces-like substance, made news again in “SAPD officer fired after ‘feces sandwich’ incident loses second appeal for his job.” More than a year later, Reddit users caught wind of the story on the site, where it was reposted several times, proving there’s no such thing as old news.
3: Jobs and lobs
“Plastics manufacturer Nissei to move U.S. headquarters from California to San Antonio” caused a buzz on Facebook, but mostly a negative one. Some readers decried what this would do to the environment, while others suspected the company’s move was motivated by the low wages that would be offered and tax incentives. Still others feared that California’s politics would invade the community. Commenter Joel Reyna lightened the mood with his comment: “I thought Nissei made noodles.” For the record, that’s Nissin.
4: It’s not over till it’s over
UTSA graduate Charles Mercer reignited the debate over the banned “Come and Take It” slogan in his commentary “‘Come and Take It’: A symbol of defiance reinterpreted by UTSA students and alumni.” Again, the battle lines were drawn over the issue on Facebook, with hundreds of readers weighing in. The slogan remains banned.
5: *Everybody* has an opinion on South San Antonio ISD
Reaction to “South San ISD board reprimands superintendent, censures trustee” leaned heavily toward disapproval of the troubled district’s trustees. As reader Katherine Castillo wrote on Facebook: “And the saga continues with the school board vs. superintendent. Seems it will never stop.” Keep an eye out for education reporter Brooke Crum’s continuing coverage of this crucial district in 2022.
6: In memoriam
“San Antonio lung doctor Nasir Syed ‘sacrificed his life’ fighting COVID-19” prompted an outpouring of condolences for the leading pulmonologist and Muslim leader. Among the mourners was Ellie Gee, who wrote on Facebook: “Remember Nasir Syed, he made a difference.”
7: ‘Señor Sack’ Gabe Rivera, remembered
Ken Rodriguez’s commentary, “Remembering one of the great Hispanic athletes: Jefferson High School’s Gabe Rivera” showed just how much Rivera was loved in the community, and the sentiment was abundant in the story’s comments. Readers shared tales of the former Jefferson High School and Texas Tech standout, whose rookie season in the NFL ended in tragedy. Said Jose A. Pena on Facebook: “I never knew Gabe, but I hope he knew he was appreciated while he lived.”
8: Arson destroys a landmark
Readers were shocked and saddened by “Arson suspected in torching of historic Mason County Courthouse.” “Lots of tears for this loss in my hometown, yet the strength of this community will fuel the passion to rebuild,” wrote Rebecca Helterbrand on Facebook.
9: A Westside bar gets noticed
Who opens a bar in the middle of a pandemic? Jaime Macias did, and its success, featured in “A San Antonio story: Jaime’s Place gains national recognition for Westside roots,” drew fans, who called it “an awesome place to hang out” and “a nice, chill place” on Facebook.
10: Sour notes on the SA symphony
Arts reporter Nicholas Frank’s story “San Antonio Symphony proposes cutting size of orchestra by almost half” left many unhappy about the symphony’s current struggles. “It’s a tough decision. San Antonio supports the Spurs and Fiesta and Rodeo, but not the Symphony,” wrote James M. Holland.