If we were to ask Franciscan friar and philosopher William of Ockham for advice (as in "Ockham's razor"), he'd probably tell us the simplest solution, the one that relies on the fewest assumptions, is best. In this case, that would probably be taking out the failing Newport Dam and letting Pacific Power pay to restore the riverside habitats.
But instead of keeping it simple, we've gone back and forth and back again, attempting to find a compromise between the Free The River and Save Mirror Pond camps. The problem is, all this public process hasn't got us much closer to a solution, as it still relies on a plethora of external factors that cannot be predicted with any certainty.
2nd Place: Truth in Site's opposition to the new OSU-Cascades campus.
To be fair, this is more a failure of the public to accept a pretty thorough process. Let's face it, it's highly unlikely the appeals court—or if they push it, the Oregon Supreme Court—will overturn the previous approvals, yet the university has spent and will spend funds on legal fees that could/should go toward educating future generations.