2005 AltWeekly Awards Winners Announced

Editor’s Note: The first-place winners of the 2005 AltWeekly Awards contest are collected in the book “Best AltWeekly Writing and Design 2005.” Other supplementary material available on the Web includes interviews of the first-place winners, biographies of the 141 judges, biographies of the winners, and judges’ comments.

L.A. Weekly walked off with the highest number of first-place awards at the AltWeekly Awards luncheon June 17 in San Diego. Editor-in-chief Laurie Ochoa took away four little cheerleader trophies, which host Dan Savage selected to recognize the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies’ large papers.

The Los Angeles paper won not only for Jonathan Gold’s sterling food writing but for outstanding collaborations between designers and writers. It took first place (tying with Miami New Times) in Editorial Layout for “Kids Rock,” in Format Buster for “Zeitlist” and in Special Section for “Best of L.A.,” which was based on a “seven deadly sins” theme.

Two first-place winners, Ayana Taylor of the Jackson Free Press, and Abraham Mahshie, who was part of a winning reporting team at the San Antonio Current, were diversity fellows at their papers in 2004. Taylor won for News Story — Short Form, and the Current team for Media Reporting/Criticism. The Current’s two-part package on the impact of media monopolies on news quality received a special honor that goes to that category’s winner in the small-papers division: the Connye Miller Award for Media Reporting.

In Arts Criticism, the same two writers who took first in 2001 got first places this year: Godfrey Cheshire of Independent Weekly for the small-paper division and Kent Williams of Isthmus for the large-paper division.

A man who has been much in the news, Nigel Jaquiss of Willamette Week, took first place in Investigative Reporting for his stories that changed the way Oregonians regard one of the most powerful figures in state politics, former governor Neil Goldschmidt. Three decades ago, Jaquiss revealed, Goldschmidt committed statutory rape against a 14-year-old babysitter. Willamette Week’s expose also won this year’s Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Reporting.

Four papers took first in two categories each. The Chicago Reader’s Steve Bogira took first for Column for his riveting accounts of what goes on inside the courtroom, and Ben Joravsky tied for first place in the Column — Political category for his incisive analyses of political maneuvering in Chicago. At the small, feisty Folio Weekly in Jacksonville, Fla., Susan Cooper Eastman won first in Arts Feature for her story on the difficulties encountered by the man responsible for the popular song “Jingle Bell Rock,” and Susan Clark Armstrong took first in Investigative Reporting for her look at profligate, questionable spending by a local sheriff. At the Jackson Free Press, where Taylor took first in News Story — Short Form, Editor-in-Chief Donna Ladd placed first in the Feature Story category for her piece on a family whose three sons claim they were abused by the same priest. Orlando Weekly won in the Cover Design and Format Buster categories.

Illustrator Rick Sealock pulled off the feat of taking first place for Illustration in both the small-paper and large-paper categories, winning for illustrations he did for Reno News & Review and Sacramento News & Review.

A list of the winners follows.


Circulation < 50,000

First Place: Film Reviews: “Persian Crack-Up,” “The Prodigal Father” and “Of Stars and Skies,” Godfrey Cheshire, Independent Weekly

Second Place: Film Reviews: “All in the Family,” “The Passion of Michael Moore” and “Preaching to the Choir,” Nicholas Collias, Boise Weekly

Third Place: Book Reviews: “Daddies Dearest” and “No News is Bad News,” Margot Harrison, Seven Days

Honorable Mention: Theater Reviews: “Hurts So Good,” “Hot for Alien Trannies” and “Fun for All,” Ryan Masters, Monterey County Weekly

Circulation > 50,000

First Place: Reviews of Film, Art and Music: “No Pain, No Gain,” “Bare-Naked Lady” and “A Nice Set of Pipes,” Kent Williams, Isthmus

Second Place: Film Reviews: “About a Boy,” “Lands of Milk and Honey” and “Crying Time,” John Powers, L.A. Weekly

Third Place: Television Reviews: “Prime Jane,” “Adventures in the Skin Trade” and “Smooth Operators,” Joyce Millman, Boston Phoenix

Honorable Mention: Book and Film Reviews: “From Latvia With Love,” “Agent Provocateur” and “The Red Stuff,” Brendan Bernhard, L.A. Weekly


Circulation < 50,000

First Place: “Jingle Bell Crock,” Susan Cooper Eastman, Folio Weekly

Second Place: “The Conversation Artist,” John Rodat, Metroland

Third Place: “Artistic Warning,” Margaret Regan, Tucson Weekly

Honorable Mention (tie): “Seeking Son House,” Rich Gardner, City Newspaper

Honorable Mention (tie): “Twas Awe Like a Tewibble Dweam,” Dave Hickey, The Texas Observer

Circulation > 50,000

First Place: “Lunatic Fringe,” Michael Little, Washington City Paper

Second Place: “The Lighter Side of Torture,” Casey Logan, The Pitch

Third Place: “Paint by Numbers,” Andrea Grimes, Dallas Observer

Honorable Mention: “The 60 Million Dollar Man,” Steve Fennessy, Creative Loafing (Atlanta)


Fewer than five publications

First Place: “Slowpoke,” Jen Sorensen

Second Place: “BEK,” Bruce Eric Kaplan

Third Place: “Hoagie Dip,” Jay Bevenour

Honorable Mention (tie): “Lance Boyle,” Kirk Anderson

Honorable Mention (tie): “Topics,” Harley Schwadron

Five or more publications

First Place: “The City,” Derf (John Backderf)

Second Place: “Tom the Dancing Bug,” Ruben Bolling (Ken Fisher)

Third Place: “Sutton Impact,” Ward Sutton

Honorable Mention: “No Exit,” Andy Singer


Circulation < 50,000 First Place: The XX Files: “Steal Away,” “[Expletive Deleted]” and “Tainted Love,” Jennifer Loviglio, City Newspaper

Second Place: Citizen’s Journal: “Driving Lessons,” “Sunday Mourning & the Moral Mandate” and “Hate Group Groupie?”, Mark Kelly, Birmingham Weekly (PDF file)

Third Place: “Pecking Order,” “It’s About Time” and “Going Out of Style,” Melinda Ruley, Independent Weekly

Honorable Mention: Danehy: “If a Kid Doesn’t Go to High School,” “Don’t Believe What Some Idiot Lawyers Say” and “May Ronald Reagan Rest in Peace,” Tom Danehy, Tucson Weekly

Circulation > 50,000

First Place: Courtside: “What They See and What They Don’t,” “The Grand Inquisitor” and “Justice Junkies,” Steve Bogira, Chicago Reader

Second Place: Sentences: “Bear Witness,” “The Long and the Short of It” and “Upper Case,” Anonymous, Pittsburgh City Paper

Third Place: KC Strip: “Jail Baited,” “Star Stuck” and “Dream On, Chiquita,” Tony Ortega, The Pitch

Honorable Mention: Downing: “Watching You,” “A Dog’s Life” and “Up in the Air,” Margaret Downing, Houston Press


Circulation < 50,000

First Place: Andrew Wheat: “King’s Court,” “Indictment Heat Hits the Lobby,” and “Texas’ First Postmodern Lobbyist,” Andrew Wheat, The Texas Observer

Second Place: Hit & Run: “School Bucks” (PDF file), “Friends Like These” and “Community Inaction,” Paul Bass, New Haven Advocate

Third Place: Spin Cycle: “Don’t Be Hatin’,” “Legislating Under the Influence” and “Leapin’ Larry Raises the Stakes,” Kyle Whitmire, Birmingham Weekly (PDF file)

Honorable Mention: Frank Talk: “New Kid on the Block,” “Homeland Security on ICE” and “Voting Records Are True Lies,” Frank Cagle, Metro Pulse (PDF file)

Circulation > 50,000

First Place (tie): Freedom Watch: “The Criminal-Justice System Messes Up,” “Hiding the Gulag,” and “Street Artists Fight to Perform in Boston,” Harvey A. Silverglate (with Carl Takei and Dan Poulson), Boston Phoenix

First Place (tie): The Works: “Property Tax Roulette,” “The Government Is Lying to You” and “Hey Preservationists,” Ben Joravsky, Chicago Reader

Second Place: “Tower Inferno,” “Partners in Slime” and “Development Pressure,” Matt Smith, SF Weekly

Third Place: Nation: “Cuba Cages Librarians,” “GOP’s Heart of Darkness” and “John Ashcroft’s Achievements,” Nat Hentoff, The Village Voice (PDF file)

Honorable Mention: Calhoun: “The Joke’s on Us,” “Where’s the Rest of Him?” and “True Lies,” Patricia Calhoun, Westword


Circulation < 50,000

First Place: “Nader Wins!” “Von Who?” and “94 Reasons Not to Vote for Bush,” J.J. Marley, art and photo director; Brook Pifer, photographer; and Glenn Ferguson, illustrator, Orlando Weekly (PDF files)

Second Place: “The Parking Issue,” “With a Vigilant Eye” and “FCC,” Kris Adams and Alfred Hall, designers; Nancy Santos and Jason Zwiker, photographers; Charleston City Paper (PDF files)

Third Place: “No Soldier Left Behind,” “Nuclear Shuffle” and “The Aftermath,” Angela Moore, Santa Fe Reporter (PDF files)

Honorable Mention: “Biotech Gold Rush,” “The Brat Boom” and “Married With Problems,” Beth Allen, art director; Rory McNamara, photographer; Ben Fishman and Gordon Studer, illustrators; Pacific Sun

Circulation > 50,000

First Place: “Becoming ‘Ungay’,” “Forgotten” and “DELLeted,” Chris Street and Shannon Cornman, Oklahoma Gazette (PDF files)

Second Place: “The Art Is in the Mail,” “Falling on Deaf Ears” and “The Education of Lance Hill,” Dora Sison, Gambit Weekly (PDF file)

Third Place: “The Incredible Wicker Motorcycle,” “Fox5” and “Mac Daddy,” Pete Morelewicz, Washington City Paper

Honorable Mention: “Eat Me,” “Gay Marriage Issue” and “Black Box Backlash,” Karen Steichen, art director; Jacobson/Fernandez, illustrators; Rick Dahms, photographer; Seattle Weekly


Circulation < 50,000

First Place: “The Blogger,” Don Eggert, Seven Days (PDF file)

Second Place: “Out Damned Spot!”, Monica McGregor, Ventura County Reporter

Third Place: “Style: The Home Issue,” Kris Adams, Charleston City Paper

Honorable Mention: “Me Regeneration,” Kat Vellos, Folio Weekly (PDF file)

Circulation > 50,000

First Place (tie): “Kids Rock,” Ryan Ward, Cole Gerst and John Curry, L.A. Weekly

First Place (tie): “Coffin Classics,” Michael Shavalier, Miami New Times (PDF file)

Second Place: “Psyched Out,” Karen Steichen, art director; Jay Vidheecharoen, assistant art director; Tra Selhtrow, illustrator; Seattle Weekly

Third Place: “The Chiva Game,” Jay Vollmar, Westword (PDF file)

Honorable Mention: “Wave Action,” Kara Brown, Metro Silicon Valley

EDUCATION (Wild Card Category)

Circulation < 50,000

First Place: “Command Performance,” Parts 1 and 2, Terje Langeland, Colorado Springs Independent

Second Place: “Why Luis Can Read,” Carole Bass, New Haven Advocate

Third Place: “No Soldier Left Behind,” Zachary Smith, Santa Fe Reporter

Honorable Mention: “School or Scam?“, Jennifer Barnett Reed, Arkansas Times

Circulation > 50,000

First Place: “Flawed Priorities,” Tara Servatius, Creative Loafing (Charlotte)

Second Place: “The Girl in the Bathroom,” Kendrick Blackwood, The Pitch

Third Place: “HCCS’s Gift Basket Bonanza,” Josh Harkinson, Houston Press

Honorable Mention: “School of Life,” Lisa M. Collins, Metro Times


Circulation < 50,000

First Place: “Alleged Victims: Jackson Family Wants Closure From the Church,” Donna Ladd, Jackson Free Press

Second Place: “Alien Odyssey,” Brad Summerhill, Reno News & Review

Third Place: “Sight for Sore Eyes,” Travis Durfee, Metroland

Honorable Mention (tie): “Tom Metzger Sings Karaoke,” Didier Diels, San Diego CityBeat

Honorable Mention (tie): “The Visionary Blues,” Stephanie Kinnear, Ventura County Reporter (PDF file)

Circulation > 50,000

First Place: “Learning to Hit a Lick,” Mara Shalhoup, Creative Loafing (Atlanta)

Second Place: “Too Dumb to Die,” Trevor Aaronson, New Times Broward-Palm Beach

Third Place: “An American Family,” Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, and Epilogue, Celeste Fremon, L.A. Weekly

Honorable Mention (tie): “The Deadliest Day,” Eric Alan Barton, New Times Broward-Palm Beach

Honorable Mention (tie): “Lizard Is a Rat,” Justin Berton, East Bay Express


Circulation < 50,000

First Place: “Kraut in the Act,” “Bowled Over” and “Reclaiming Meatloaf,” Steve Billings, Metro Santa Cruz

Second Place: “Walking the Floor Over Stock,” “Artichoke Virgins and Other Annoyances,” and “Of Fish and Fists,” Jesse Yancy, Jackson Free Press

Third Place: Gut Instincts: “Burger Patrol,” “Give It Your Best Niggle” and “From the ‘Hood to Henrietta,” Adam Wilcox, City Newspaper

Honorable Mention (tie): Clean Plate Club: “The Menu As Masterpiece,” “The Burrito Wars” and “Rabbit Food, Reconsidered,” Melanie McGee, Mountain Xpress

Honorable Mention (tie): Flash in the Pan: “The Third Jerusalem Artichoke,” “Beet Surrender” and “Frolicking in the Fungal Jungle,” Ari LeVaux aka Chef Boy Ari, Missoula Independent

Circulation > 50,000

First Place: “Beyond Urban Rustic,” “The Post-Puck Generation” and “Koreatown’s Top 40,” Jonathan Gold, L.A. Weekly

Second Place: “The Cow Says Oink,” “Sex, Death & Oysters” and “Osso Buco Me? Osso Buco You!“, Robb Walsh, Houston Press

Third Place: “Two Sides of Beef,” Philip Dawdy, Seattle Weekly

Honorable Mention (tie): “How Now Mad Cow?“, “Marking Time” and “Daddy, Help!“, Mark Stuertz, Dallas Observer

Honorable Mention (tie): “Where There’s Smoke,” “Tried and True” and “Cottage Industry,” Sara Roahen, Gambit Weekly


Circulation < 50,000

First Place: “Dyer, Annotated,” Jeffrey C. Billman and J.J. Marley, Orlando Weekly (PDF file)

Second Place: “Come Here Often?“, Nell Boeschenstein, John Borgmeyer, Paul Fain and Ben Sellers, C-Ville Weekly

Third Place: “107 Reasons to Vote for Bush on Tuesday,” Paul McMorrow, Seth McM. Donlin and Joe Keohane, Boston’s Weekly Dig (PDF file)

Honorable Mention: “Divided We Stand,” Inlander Staff, Pacific Northwest Inlander (PDF file)

Circulation > 50,000

First Place: “The Zeitlist,” L.A. Weekly Staff, L.A. Weekly (PDF file)

Second Place: “15 Candidates! We Can Help: The Reader’s Guide to the Big Showdown,” Harold Henderson, Ben Joravsky, Ted Kleine, Tori Marlan, Michael Marsh, Michael Miner, Grant Pick, Kate Schmidt and Mike Sula, writers, and Tom Chalkley, illustrator, Chicago Reader

Third Place: “Homicidal Tendencies,” Van Smith, writer; M. Wartella, illustrator; and Joe MacLeod, art director; Baltimore City Paper

Honorable Mention: “Coors Bitter Brew,” “Minority Report” and “The Square in Still Life,” Enzo DiMatteo, NOW Magazine


Circulation < 50,000

First Place: “Best of Northern Nevada 2004,” Rick Sealock, Reno News & Review

Second Place: “Summer Books,” Joe Bluhm, Orlando Weekly

Third Place: “Steve McQueen,” Mario Zucca, C-Ville Weekly

Honorable Mention: “Inside the Black Box,” Richard Borge and Angela Moore, Santa Fe Reporter (PDF file)

Circulation > 50,000

First Place: “Boss Doolittle,” Rick Sealock, Sacramento News & Review

Second Place: “What’s Eating Us?“, Ryan Greis and Sean Hughes, Cincinnati CityBeat

Third Place: “Above It All,” Robert Meganck, Washington City Paper

Honorable Mention (tie): “Blood on Their Hands,” David Hollenbach, Phoenix New Times

Honorable Mention (tie): “The Cuba Factor,” Sheppard Fairey, Miami New Times (PDF file)


Circulation < 50,000

First Place: “Booty Call,” Susan Clark Armstrong, Folio Weekly (PDF file)

Second Place: “Rate of Exchange,” Jake Bernstein and Dave Mann, The Texas Observer

Third Place: “LA’s Real Drinking Problem,” Chip Jacobs and Kevin Uhrich, Pasadena Weekly (PDF file)

Honorable Mention: “Honor Among Thieves” Parts 1 and 2, Terje Langeland, Colorado Springs Independent

Circulation > 50,000

First Place: “The 30-Year Secret” and “Who Knew,” Nigel Jaquiss, Willamette Week

Second Place: “Sick District,” Bob Norman, New Times Broward-Palm Beach

Third Place: “Blue Mob,” Parts 1 and 2, Aina Hunter, Scene

Honorable Mention: Newsday Circulation Scandal Investigative Series, “Loseday,” “Dumping Newsday Every Day,” “For a Few Dollars More,” “Cleanup or Shakedown” and “Unbelievable!”, Christopher Twarowski and Long Island Press news staff, Long Island Press (PDF file)


Circulation < 50,000

First Place: Owning the Airwaves and Media Monopoly series, “Cross Talk,” “The Beast by the Tail,” “A Confluence of Dunces,” “Currying Favor,” “Talking Heads,” “Radio Free Gonzales,” “The Uprising” and “Policing the Airwaves,” Lisa Sorg, Elaine Wolff, Gilbert Garcia, Michael Cary, Abraham Mahshie and David Martin, San Antonio Current

(The first-place winner in this category and division will also be the recipient of the Connye Miller Award for Media Reporting.)

Second Place: “Deconstructing Al,” Brenda Bell, The Texas Observer

Third Place: “Bogus Outrage” and “Reagan Ain’t God,” Jeffrey C. Billman, Orlando Weekly

Honorable Mention: “A Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy” and “The Monitor,” Fiona Morgan, Independent Weekly

Circulation > 50,000

First Place: “At the Ripping Point,” Eric Celeste, Dallas Observer

Second Place: “A Tale of Two Papers,” “Feed Your Head” and “Secret Agents,” Dan Kennedy, Boston Phoenix

Third Place: “Gary Webb, R.I.P.,” Marc Cooper, L.A. Weekly

Honorable Mention: “Credibility Gap,” “Unethical or Accidental?” and “Newsday: Game Over,” Christopher Twarowski, Long Island Press


Circulation < 50,000

First Place: Sound Patrol: Reviews of Ike Turner’s “His Woman, Her Man,” Wilco’s “A Ghost Is Born” and Eminem’s “Encore,” René Spencer Saller, Illinois Times

Second Place: “Sound Poems” and “Buying Blare,” Sara Bir, North Bay Bohemian (PDF file)

Third Place: “Untitled” and “Rock & Roll Digger,” Steve Palopoli, Metro Santa Cruz

Honorable Mention: Latin Beat: “Sabado Gigante at Chino Latino,” “Mundo Rico” and “Salsa’s Sun and Lisbon by Night,” Sylvia Pfeiffenberger, Independent Weekly

Circulation > 50,000

First Place: I’m All Ears: I’m All Ears: “Why Don’t We Do It on the Road?” “Shake Your Tits,” “Playing Doctor,” Melissa Maerz, City Pages (Twin Cities)

Second Place: “Riddle Me This,” “The Bomb Squad” and “Buy These Records,” Jonathan Valania, PW-Philadelphia Weekly (PDF file)

Third Place: “Joiners In Believing,” “A New Small Future,” “Weddings and Funerals,” Alec Hanley Bemis, L.A. Weekly

Honorable Mention: “Happy in Hoboken,” “The Kids Are Alright” and “Whose Blues?“, Chris Herrington, The Memphis Flyer


Circulation < 50,000

First Place: “Cancer Wars,” Renee Downing, Tucson Weekly

Second Place: “Dump Life,” Susan Cooper Eastman, Folio Weekly (PDF file)

Third Place: “There Goes the Neighborhood,” John E. Citrone, Folio Weekly (PDF file)

Honorable Mention (tie): “The Companies He Keeps,” Jennifer Strom, Independent Weekly

Honorable Mention (tie): “The Golden Hour,” Emily Pyle, The Texas Observer

Circulation > 50,000

First Place: “Confessions and Recantations,” Ann Mullen, Metro Times

Second Place: “Insane Asylum,” Steve Fennessy, Creative Loafing (Atlanta)

Third Place: “Catch Him If You Can” and “Lord of the Lies,” Paul Rubin, Phoenix New Times

Honorable Mention: “Molecular Damage” and “Civil Outcome,” Paul Rubin, Phoenix New Times


Circulation < 50,000

First Place: “Not About Intimidation,” “Words vs. Deeds” and “X Marks the Boycott,” Ayana Taylor, Jackson Free Press

Second Place: “Smuggler’s Woe,” “Roach to the Rescue” and “The Plea of Tony the Beaver,” Paul Bass, New Haven Advocate

Third Place: “Zone of Contention,” “Clinic Wins on Appeal,” Noise in the ‘Hood,” John Borgmeyer, C-Ville Weekly

Honorable Mention: “The Election That Won’t Die,” “Problems in Pepperhill Park” and “Florida vs. Orkin,” Jeffrey C. Billman, Orlando Weekly

Circulation > 50,000

First Place: “Another Carswell Conviction,” “Prosecuting Patsy” and “Doing the Math,” Betty Brink (with Brooke Gray), Fort Worth Weekly

Second Place: “Call Me,” “File Not Found” and “Pepper Jacked,” David Holthouse, Westword

Third Place: “Firing Line,” “Carrying the Torch” and “Cooked Book,” Josh Harkinson, Houston Press

Honorable Mention: “Kidnapping the Kidnapper” and “Days of Fear, Days of Horror,” Borzou Daragahi, Long Island Press


Circulation < 50,000

First Place: “Nick at Night,” Nick Goodenough, Ventura County Reporter

Second Place: “A Gullah Tale,” photo essay, Nancy Santos, Charleston City Paper

Third Place: “Haiti After the Coup,” Alan Pogue, The Texas Observer (PDF file)

Honorable Mention: “Rites of Spring,” Walter Coker, Folio Weekly (PDF file)

Circulation > 50,000

First Place: “Let’s Have a War,” David Butow, Los Angeles CityBeat

Second Place: “Northeast of Kandahar,” Teun Voeten, L.A. Weekly (PDF file)

Third Place: “Praying for Recovery,” Max Whittaker, photographer, and Don Button, designer, Sacramento News & Review

Honorable Mention: “Prettyboy Reservoir,” Uli Loskot, Baltimore City Paper


Circulation < 50,000

First Place: “Summer Guide 2004,” Inlander Staff, Pacific Northwest Inlander

Second Place: “The Best of Greater Rochester,” Erica Curtis, City Newspaper

Third Place: “Annual Manual,” Kirk Ross, Grayson Currin, Byron Woods, York Wilson, Liz Holm and Kelly Lojk, Independent Weekly (PDF file)

Honorable Mention: “7 Nights,” Don Eggert, art director; Paula Routly, writer/editor; and Matthew Thorsen, photographer; Seven Days (PDF file)

Circulation > 50,000

First Place: “Best of L.A.,” (with cover), L.A. Weekly Staff, L.A. Weekly (PDF files)

Second Place: “Restaurant Guide 2004,” Byron Beck, Willamette Week

Third Place: “Marketing 215: Making a Good City Great,” City Paper Staff, Philadelphia City Paper

Honorable Mention: “50 Years of Rock-and-Roll,” Bruce VanWyngarden, editor; Chris Herrington, music editor; and Carrie Beasley, art director; The Memphis Flyer