People & Places

  • Personal Best

    Ben Graber

    Clowning Around In five years on the Broward County Commission, Ben Graber has developed a reputation as a fresh-air guy. When the room stinks, Graber's usually the one to open the window. That goes all the way back to his outspoken criticism of the commission's choice of an inept company to run the county's 2002 election (resulting in widespread goof-ups… More >>
  • Best Political Scandal

    Broward Sheriff's Office bogus crime stats

    It was around this time last year that the Broward Sheriff's Office, the sixth-largest in the country, reported that it had solved more than 50 percent of the crimes committed in 2003. That was more than twice the national average. It was also a lie. Some of the "solved" crimes were pinned on people who had airtight if highly inconvenient… More >>
  • Best Political Comeback

    Sylvia Poitier

    Appointed in 1985 by then-Gov. Bob Graham, Sylvia Poitier -- a cousin by marriage to actor Sidney Poitier -- was the first African-American to take a seat on the Broward County Commission. She served several terms and then made the unfortunate decision to vote for a deal that forced Broward taxpayers to purchase land worth $40 million from developer Michael… More >>
  • Best Volunteer

    Alan Silva

    Help Wanted: Top administrator for Fort Lauderdale, a city plagued with millions of dollars in debt, poor worker morale, and overgenerous pension plans. Qualified applicants should have more brain cells than former City Manager Floyd T. Johnson, the ability to brush off criticism from the press and cops, and a willingness to do dirty work. Salary is not competitive. In… More >>
  • Best Citizen

    Diane Smart

    One of the greatest acts of bravery in South Florida is to say no to a developer. This is a real-estate-brokering, condo-tower-building, home-razing madhouse, and standing between the wrecking ball and the next doomed edifice isn't an easy -- or common -- stance. That's why Diane Smart, a founder and vice president of the Broward Trust for Historic Preservation, is… More >>
  • Best Lawyer

    Bill Laswell

    After 15 years at the Broward Public Defender's Office, Assistant Public Defender Bill Laswell -- whom many people refer to simply as "Laz" -- is this month giving up a profession that has made him among the best-respected barristers in South Florida. A gruff, no-nonsense 65-year-old with a gray, grandfatherly beard, he ran a lucrative private practice in his native… More >>
  • Best Political Activist

    Joe Major

    Joe Major is on top of things in Broward County's black community. He's keeping an eye on county commissioners and their developer friends, who are intent on cashing in at the expense of the people who call the area home. He also works tirelessly to convince city commissioners to annex less fortunate areas, which is desperately needed. And, like any… More >>
  • Best Politician in Palm Beach

    Palm Beach County Commissioner Karen Marcus

    Before we begin discussing this 21-year member of the commission, who has pushed purchase of beachfront land for the public, let's get one thing straight: If the Scripps Research Center goes where the commission wants to put it, Palm Beach County is screwed. Putting Scripps, which ultimately will be the equivalent of a small city of about 50,000 people, way… More >>
  • Best Politician in Broward

    Broward County Commissioner Ben Graber

    It's damned hard to find a decent politician in Broward County. They all seem to be getting their greedy pockets stuffed, often by unscrupulous developers (yeah, that means you, Ilene Lieberman and Josephus Eggelletion). But Ben Graber, a doctor by trade, has not only resisted the big money from special interests but has had the guts to criticize those who… More >>
  • Best Locally Generated Internet Site

    Independentgirls.com

    Yes, you can spend hours discussing the ins and outs of South Florida's escort business on here. Many do. Indeed, this is a site you should keep away from junior. It's rich with porno. But for those who do not choose to partake, the IndiBoard is still the best way to take our area's pulse, to see exactly what condition… More >>
  • Best Blog

    http://the_bone.blogspot.com

    "The Bone" was nicknamed in high school for his skeletal frame. At this site, he offers a pleasant mix of politics, cultural observations, and whimsy. It's a winning combination in a blogosphere filled with the raspy screeds of right- and left-wingers and the idle musings of 14-year-olds about school activities. The Bone is a 32-year-old teacher from Fort Lauderdale who… More >>
  • Best Festival

    Florida Renaissance Festival at Quiet Waters Park

    Generally, the word huzzah is in short supply these days, its usage replaced by other exhortations of good will that tend to impart a more, shall we say, modern resonance. But for one glorious month each and every spring, the verdant glades and cool brooks of Quiet Waters Park resound with hollers of "Huzzah!" As you traipse around all day,… More >>
  • Best Quote

    Broward County Sheriff Ken Jenne

    The art of providing an effective political quote lies in the ability to say the opposite of the truth and make it sound good and earnest. George W. Bush (a.k.a. Karl Michael Rove Gerson) is a master of this art. How brilliant was it when he kept referring to starting the war in Iraq as "securing the peace"? George Orwell… More >>
  • Best Bum

    Flippin' George

    It's Friday night at 11:30 or so, and the first of the alcohol-induced quarrels is under way in downtown West Palm Beach; a feuding 30-something couple causes a small commotion outside O'Shea's Irish Pub on Clematis Street. Just as the conflict looks as if it might get physical, a third party intervenes and a truce is called. But the mediator… More >>
  • Best Near-Death Experience

    Aaron Carter's Turnpike Inferno

    Citizens, beware! Even teenie-pop hack fame cannot protect you from the dangers of Florida's Turnpike! Witness the fate of young Aaron Carter, the auteur/snot behind such schoolyard hits as "That's How I Beat Shaq" and "Aaron's Party (Come Get It)." The 17-year-old was piloting his Escalade to Orlando shortly after midnight on January 8 when a mattress reportedly blew off… More >>
  • Best New Trend

    Bedhead

    Hey there, hipster, did you just wake up? No? It sure looks like it, what with that scraggly, disheveled hairstyle. It's hard to imagine that you actually spent half an hour trying to look like you didn't spend half an hour on your hair. Oh, but that's the latest craze around here. The Jackson Pollack of hairdos, bedhead once was… More >>
  • Best Sun-Sentinel Writer

    Brittany Wallman

    First, a disclosure. This Sentinel writer is married to a New Times writer, who shall remain unnamed but who had nothing, nada, zip to do with this. Hell, her choice of spouse means this lady had to go above and beyond for this honor. But the fact is, she rocks. Sure, Sally Kestin is a crack investigator, but she won… More >>
  • Best Miami Herald Writer

    Nicholas Spangler

    He could win this honor simply for one of the ballsier obituary leads you're likely to see in a daily newspaper: "Deid sah Milk Yelnats." That's "Stanley Klim has died," backward, beginning a farewell to a hilarious bartender who liked to reverse his name. It highlights Spangler's ability to produce stories for the newspaper that (blessedly) do not sound like… More >>
  • Best Palm Beach Post Writer

    Mary McLachlin

    Many old-timers in the newspaper business will some day find themselves in the back corner of the features department typing up TV listings. But in the cutthroat world of newspapering, Mary McLachlin is much more than a survivor. She spent 17 years as the Palm Beach Post's number-one reporter before retiring in February. Since the paper started keeping its articles… More >>
  • Best Reason to Proofread the Death Notices

    The January 23 Sun-Sentinel obituary page

    Obits offer the dual ghoulish fascination of rubbernecking and peering ahead into your own future. Will you be the great-grandfather who expires at age 92 surrounded by loved ones? The gone-too-soon 60-year-old whose heart explodes as he walks out of his favorite deli? Or the 24-year-old hit by a train? The page normalizes death and dying by treating them like… More >>
  • Best 'Zine

    Closer

    While it feels strange to bestow a 'zine award upon glossier-than-thou Closer, it's indicative of the fact that those hand-typed, mimeographed, fly-by-night 'zines are pretty much gone for good. They have the Internet on computers now, you know, and that's where most 'zines exist these days. Sure, you half-expect a big honkin' whiff of expensive perfume to accost you when… More >>
  • Best TV News Reporter

    Patricia Andreu, WTVJ-TV (Channel 6)

    NBC 6 reporter Patricia Andreu's background is as diverse and interesting as South Florida's. Born to Cuban parents in London, she studied politics in France before coming to Washington, D.C., to serve as an associate producer for CNN. She traveled the globe covering stories, including the 1992 coup in Haiti and the 1991 Middle East peace conference. In 1995, NBC… More >>
  • Best TV News Anchor

    Julia Yarbough, WTVJ-TV (Channel 6)

    We could go cheap here and talk about Yarbough's being the Foxy Brown of local TV news. But we won't sink to that level. TV news is a serious business, and Yarbough is a serious journalist. Last fall, for instance, she was a "celebrity judge" of a reality show called America's Most Eligible. There, she bore the critically important responsibility… More >>
  • Best Local Boy Gone Bad

    Josephus Eggelletion

    It's hard to say that this Broward County commissioner has gone bad because that would mean he suddenly changed. But Eggelletion has been just plain bad for many years. He still deserves this distinction because this past annum has been an especially horrendous one for the man called Joe. Let's see, he's been exposed as a paid shill for developers.… More >>
  • Best TV Station

    WPLG-TV (Channel 10)

    WPLG didn't win just because Dwight Lauderdale is the smoothest MF-er in the history of news broadcasting. No, Lauderdale may be suave, but that doesn't change the fact that his material is sometimes as shallow as the royal gene pool. No, the real reason WPLG is the highest-quality TV station in South Florida is Michael Putney, who has for years… More >>
  • Best Weathercaster

    Elita Loresca, WSVN-TV (Channel 7)

    When local weather babe Jackie Johnson left the Sunshine State for a gig in Los Angeles, WSVN-TV (Channel 7) had some purdy shoes to fill. Instead of going the tried-and-true route of replacing Johnson with another bubbly blond, the TV station chose exotic bombshell Elita Loresca, whose oval-shaped eyes and glistening black hair give her a cat-like beauty. To top… More >>
  • Best Sportscaster

    Eric Reid, the Sunshine Network

    Yeah, the Heat's play-by-play man has a radio voice as polished as an FBI agent's loafers, but he's the real deal -- a genuine sports aficionado. Though he promotes his team a little too much at times (and is paid to do it), Reid has a rare exuberance. He knows the game without talking his head off about it (unlike,… More >>
  • Best Career Move

    Rick Sanchez

    Ah, the twists and turns of Slick Rick's broadcasting career. He gained local fame and fortune at WSVN-TV (Channel 7), the local Fox affiliate, where he often made fatal car accidents sound like the end of the world. In 2002, Rick made it to the big time at MSNBC, where he took corporate shilling to a new level, once uttering… More >>
  • Best Radio Station

    89.1 FM

    It costs only around $10,000 to buy a transmitter, wire an antenna atop the Norfolk Island pine in your front yard, and transmit your jams to the world. But the FCC will hit you with a $100,000 fine if they catch you. So you've got to admire the tenacity of our local pirate/underground stations, whose proprietors risk ruin to bring… More >>
  • Best FM Radio Personality

    Andy Wagner, WLRN-FM (91.3)

    Dry like a martini in the Sahara, WLRN-FM (91.3)'s Andy Wagner has become a local favorite thanks to his unflappable British calm and quick wit. A world traveler and ten-year veteran of the BBC in London, the Bristol native landed in Miami on assignment in '99 and started with the station in late '02. As local host and producer of… More >>
  • Best AM Radio Personality

    Jamusa, WAVS-AM (1170)

    Thousands of Caribbean expats know and love the man born Denver Silvera and rechristened with an acronym for Jamaican Artists and Music United with the Sound of America. Part roots-reggae disc jockey, part comedian, part motivational speaker, Jamusa fills his drive-time show (Wednesday 4 to 6 p.m., Thursday and Friday 3 to 6 p.m.) with laughter, high jinks, and loads… More >>
  • Best Flack

    Jan Mitchell

    Take it from us. The best public relations specialists aren't the shrillest or the ones with the most free goodies (don't expect a story in New Times just because you sent an unsolicited gifty) or even the ones who call you the most. The best ones are, like Jan Mitchell, the ones who deliver the goods. Mitchell, one of the… More >>
  • Best New Novelist

    Sean Rowe

    As some of our long-time readers might remember, Rowe holds the dubious distinction of having been the very first staff writer for New Times Broward-Palm Beach when it was launched back in the last century (circa 1997). But after about 18 months on the job, he decided to leave the sprawling madness of South Florida for the sprawling countryside of… More >>
  • Best Hotel

    Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa

    There are 637 guest rooms at this beachfront hotel, but you probably won't spend much time in yours. No, you'll be hanging out at 3030, its swank bar, or eating freshly cooked chocolate waffles at Riva, the award-winning restaurant. The massive $18 brunch is just enough fuel for your tour along A1A on a rented Segway. Oh, you'd prefer to… More >>
  • Best Local Girl Gone Bad

    Elizabeth Fago

    Not long after Palm Beach County landed the honor of becoming the new home of the Scripps Research Institute, Jeb Bush supporter Elizabeth Fago became chairwoman of the board that would oversee state funding to the project. Fago even gave a million bucks to Scripps as a show of support. But soon, Fago's two decades of problems were revealed; there… More >>
  • Best Charity

    Chief Sitting Bull Organic Garden

    Nobody's sure why, but Lake Worth has become the Haight-Ashbury of South Florida. It's a place where free-thinkers and hippie types have settled, run for office, and staged regular public protests. The center of this alternative universe in consumer-driven SoFla is Chief Sitting Bull Organic Garden. Taking up three lots behind a convenience store, the garden is run by a… More >>
  • Best Sign

    Harry's Open Door

    The sign outside this dive bar is often a source of entertainment on that boring ride along Dixie Highway from West Palm Beach to Lake Worth. Its finest bit of humor came last year: "Celebrating 30 years without some stupid slogan."… More >>
  • Best Bumper Sticker

    There's not a helluva lot to smile about when you're sitting in Fort Lauderdale's molasses-slow traffic during winter. The tourists and snowbirds swarm the city the way cattle egrets fill a barnyard at feeding time. Simple errands become lost days. So double-thanks to the gray-haired fellow recently driving his bright-yellow Land Rover through downtown with these two messages plastered on… More >>
  • Best New Building in Broward

    Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport's new parking garage

    Hands down, the most common directions requested on the street in east-central Broward County have been, "Do you know how to get to [random rental car return address]?" Truly it was a logistical nightmare, asking out-of-towners late for flights to Easter-egg-hunt for their rental agencies. And there were tons of out-of-towners. In 2004, Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport moved almost… More >>
  • Best New Building in Palm Beach

    The 1916 Courthouse

    The best new building in Palm Beach is 89 years old. And it's been on life support for 13 years. That's how long local preservationists have been struggling to save the 1916 County Courthouse on the corner of Banyan Boulevard and Dixie Highway. The neoclassical building was practically buried in 1972, when it disappeared inside an ugly "New Brutalist" wraparound… More >>
  • Best Architectural Eyesore

    The Waverly at Las Olas Condominiums

    Picture this: You're driving north on U.S. 1 just south of the Henry E. Kinney Tunnel. Along with the little buzz you get from knowing that you're about to drive under a river, you have a pretty respectable view of the ever-changing downtown Fort Lauderdale skyline. Then you emerge from the tunnel, and there it is, a sight only slightly… More >>
  • Best Place to See an Alligator

    Miccosukee Service Plaza

    Relatives from Albany or Indianapolis or Pennsyltucky are visiting, and they ain't never seen an alligator, 'cept on TV. So you load 'em up in the car and drive all the way to Shark Valley and pay your $10 and start walking down that road where it's hot as hell and the bugs are out for blood. And you don't… More >>
  • Best Candidate for Urban Renewal

    Downtown Dania Beach

    The two-mile drive west from A1A along Dania Beach Boulevard -- mostly between two towering rows of unbroken treeline, with nary a strip mall in sight -- is one of the more relaxing in Broward County. Then, just past the jai-alai fronton, you encounter Federal Highway, Dania's boon and bane. By far the most visible strip in the town, the… More >>
  • Best Public Restroom

    Shuck-N-Dive

    Ladies, move on to the next category. This isn't likely to interest you. OK, now that it's just us guys, here's why Shuck's head is so fine: boobs. Big ones. Perky ones. Tanned ones. A couple of dozen framed photos adorn the wall above the two urinals and toilet stall. A few of them show the mammaries of professional football… More >>
  • Best City in Which to Live

    Lauderdale-by-the-Sea

    Even with its sparkling new condominium towers and rejuvenated downtown, America's Venice has nothing on its quaint little neighbor, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. Billed as "The Prettiest Small Town in America," this burg is but a half-square-mile located between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean. Its beach has somehow escaped the knickknack consumerism associated with Broward's other sandy, waterfront patches. And the… More >>
  • Best Local Boy Gone Good

    Dan Catalfumo

    Accused of abusing his fiancée, Dan Catalfumo followed the textbook defense taken by many a rich man before him. Catalfumo, who heads a $100 million construction empire, faced an aggravated battery charge for a November 2003 fight with girlfriend Heather Hill that could've landed him in state prison for 15 years. So he hired a high-priced legal team headed by… More >>
  • Best Suburban Neighborhood

    North Andrews

    Still looking for a nice suburban home in Broward County? Poinsettia Park and Wilton Manors will set you back at least $400,000 these days. Have your eye on something out west? You better like inflated prices, cookie-cutter adobes, and I-595 traffic jams. In Broward, where anything under $250,000 is considered affordable, the North Andrews neighborhood remains one of the few… More >>
  • Best Mile of Broward

    The south part of West Lake

    Broward County's eastern parts have been mightily colonized in the past few years. These days, condo skyscrapers are more common than thongs on Fort Lauderdale Beach. But there is a stretch of this God-forsaken sprawl just off the Intracoastal Waterway where you can let down your hair, lean back, and feel as if you are miles from civilization. The southern… More >>
  • Best Mile of Palm Beach

    Bryant Park to Lake Worth Pier

    This mile has two possible endings -- kind of like one of those interactive mystery stories. And you've got to hoof it. But it has only one beginning, the mansion built by G. Sherman Chides in 1925 at 1 Fifth Ave., the southernmost end of Bryant Park. You can't miss it -- "La Florentia, The Wedding Cake Castle," a fantastical… More >>
  • Best Road to Avoid

    The Road to Perdition

    You can lay off the booze, renew your wedding vows, pay down your Visa bill, and apologize to your mother -- maybe that'll steer you clear of the gaping maw of hell. But if you've gotta get to work, there isn't much we can do to keep you from entering the inferno. Like most Floridians, you probably spend 100 hours… More >>
  • Best Local Girl Gone Good

    Sandora Irvin

    Basketball was about all that Sandora Irvin had when she grew up in Pompano Beach. Her mother spent her time on the streets, a drug addict. Her father, Daughn Irvin (former Dallas Cowboys' star Michael Irvin's younger brother), wasn't around much. So she was raised mostly by grandparents, coaches, and anybody else kind enough to help. The only place that… More >>
  • Best Defense Against Terrorism

    Hollywood Police Department

    Hollywood police do heinous things to patriotic American citizens, so just imagine what they would do to Middle Eastern terrorists if they got their heavy hands on them. There have been accusations of manslaughter, assault, and sexual battery -- and that's just one officer, Pete Salvo. How does the city respond to the brutality? It makes Salvo the Officer of… More >>
  • Best Political Protest

    Fort Lauderdale city employees'wearing gags

    Maybe Alan Silva, Fort Lauderdale's volunteer city manager at the time, didn't actually intend his new policy to become a gag order per se. But it sure looked that way when he decreed in late May that no city employee could talk to the media, neighborhood and civic groups, homeowners or businesses without clearance from above. When the city's communications… More >>
  • Best Power Couple

    Mary and Kevin McCarty

    She's a long-time member of the Palm Beach County Board of Commissioners and a onetime chairwoman of the county's Republican Party. He's on the board of governors for the South Florida Water Management District and a bond underwriter for Bear Stearns & Co. in Boca Raton. Together, they oversee public budgets of more than $3 billion and lord over almost… More >>

Best of Award Graphics

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