Stars. Rogues. Victims. Heroes. Some burst into the headlines like meteors streaking across the sky. Some come into focus slowly, like old Polaroid prints.

However they arrive on the scene, most newsmakers vanish into obscurity after their 15 minutes of fame. Distracted by fresh scandals, new crises, we forget about them. Maybe this is a symptom of our shrinking national attention span. Maybe it's just a psychological defense mechanism, a natural response to a grinding cacophony of soundbites.

This week kicks off WW's 30th anniversary. To celebrate, we've prepared a yearlong series of events, including celebrations, charitable efforts and several special editions.

In this issue, we decided to circle back to some of the characters who have made this city a more interesting place. In some cases, we sought a deeper understanding of the events that propelled them into the headlines. In others, we simply tried to pick up the story where we left off and follow it through to the present.

Some folks were happy to talk to us--pleased that we still remembered their moment in the sun. Some were hesitant, loath to replay unpleasant memories. And some...well, let's just say they were about as friendly as a wet grizzly.

Life doesn't stop after the camera crews walk away. There are questions to answer. Debts to settle. Bills to pay. What surprised us is that sometimes, what people do after the media hurricane is more interesting than what they did before.

Chris Lydgate

Special Projects Editor