Best Neighborhood Activist

When he learned last year that Walgreens planned a traffic-magnet, suburban-style store in his funky-chic Northwood neighborhood -- a residential district north of West Palm Beach's downtown -- Carl Flick sounded the alarm. He and his neighbors had spent the last decade pulling Northwood out of a 20-year slump. And while the drug chain's proposed $4 million investment would have been a boost to the area's lagging business district, it would also have meant compromising the neighborhood's New Urbanist master plan. From his post as head of the volunteer Northwood Citizens Planning Committee, Flick used his e-mail expertise and professional savvy (he works as a senior planner for Palm Beach County) to rally the citizenry and stiffen the spines of the city fathers, who drew a line in the pavement and refused the chain's zoning exemption. Just say no to drug stores.

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