People & Places

  • Personal Best

    Fane Lozmen

    Fane Lozman is walking proof that the Little Guy can beat City Hall. While Lozman is not especially small he's 6-foot-5 he was, in political terms, a kind of 95-pound weakling. We're talking about his lack of clout in his adopted home of Riviera Beach, where last year he quixotically took on a questionable redevelopment program that was… More >>
  • Best Lawyer

    Bill Gelin

    Spunky and sincere, defense attorney Bill Gelin is something of an oddity in the legal profession. He cares more about you than about being paid — he even gave back his law school-issued stopwatch and refuses to live his life in the standard six-minute billing cycles. Although lawyering is his living and he does charge for his services, this 40ish… More >>
  • Best Private Investigator

    Rory J. McMahon

    Rory J. McMahon is so good that he could've written the book on how to be a private investigator. Oh, wait, he did. It's titled the Practical Handbook for Private Investigators. Undoubtedly, this tropical paradise and the shysters the beachside landscape attracts is what provided both the inspiration and the knowledge base for McMahon's follow-up in 2004, Fraud Investigation, a… More >>
  • Best Flack

    Detective Kathy Collins Fort Lauderdale Police Department Office of Media Relations

    The best flacks know the best way to manage their message is simply to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but. Det. Kathy Collins of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department is as straight a shooter as they come in a job that requires an ability to control information. She's even-headed and always returns calls and e-mails, and she… More >>
  • Best Local Boy Gone Bad

    Kevin Companion Hollywood Police Department

    The young Companion was a pure Hollywood boy, the half-Irish son of a cop. And, bless him, he stayed Hollywood right up until the moment the feds slapped the cold cuffs on his wrists. Hollywood has a long history of organized crime, dating back to Meyer Lansky and a who's who of other Mafia figures who liked to chow down… More >>
  • Best Local Girl Gone Bad

    Susan Foster

    She came into office as a breath of fresh air, beating Bill Griffin, the terribly corrupt former Pompano Beach mayor who tried to transfer the last of the public beach to developer Michael Swerdlow. She helped kill that deal and brought what seemed like common sense and a kind of blue-collar decency into the halls of Pompano power. In a… More >>
  • Best Politician in Broward

    Ken Keechl Broward County Commissioner

    It's a sad trajectory, friends. If you follow local politics, you know the routine: Young and promising politician goes after a tired, ethically compromised old-timer, rides a wave of electoral energy into office, and, after a few years of learning the terrain, becomes a tired, ethically compromised old-timer. But man, it's fun to go along for the ride at the… More >>
  • Best Politician in Palm Beach

    Jerry Taylor Mayor of Boynton Beach

    When his city's CRA overpaid for a piece of land purchased from a Boynton insider, Mayor Taylor didn't try to defend it. He called the city on what he termed a huge mistake in the Palm Beach Post. That's Jerry Taylor. He calls it as he sees it, and while Boyntonians may not always agree with the mayor, they know… More >>
  • Best Political Activist

    Fane Lozman

    Numerous former public officials in two South Florida towns wish Fane Lozman would get a damned job. Because if he had one, they'd still have theirs. Lozman, a wealthy young guy who lives on a houseboat, has made the government's business his business and has turned North Bay Village and Riviera Beach upside down in the process. Most recently, he… More >>
  • Best SportsCaster Dave Van Horne

    WQAM-AM (560)

    The Van Horne voice is radio. As he calls Marlins games, his tightly controlled yet strangely melodic voice conveys volumes with the slightest change of intonation. The man is a master whose virtuosity has come with a lifetime of practice. Consider that he called his first Major League game in 1969 on the day the Montreal Expos were born. Now… More >>
  • Best Radio Station

    Lynks-FM (104.7)

    This Caribbean-formatted station is a one-stop shop for all things pertinent to the West Indian community in South Florida. From intelligent talk radio in the morning to reggae throughout the day, it may not be as youth-friendly as other radio stations in the area (which spin only dancehall tunes), but the one-drop and rockers-style reggae that's broadcast here is family-friendly.… More >>
  • Best AM Radio Personality

    Jim DeFede WINZ-AM (940)

    Remember Jim DeFede's journalism heyday, when he was making beautiful journalistic music at Miami New Times? That was DeFede Raw. Then he went to the Miami Herald, where we got DeFede Lite (if there can be such a thing for a man of his considerable girth). And now, after his famous firing from the newspaper, he's doing radio on WINZ-AM… More >>
  • Best FM Radio Personality

    DJ Khaled

    There aren't many radio DJs around the country who can lock down an entire time slot the way 99 Jamz DJ Khaled can. He's been bulldozing the competition during his weekly show, The Take Over. Lovers of urban music tune into him faithfully between 6 and 11 p.m., and there might as well not be another hip-hop DJ on the… More >>
  • Best TV News Anchor

    Dwight Lauderdale WPLG-TV (Channel 10)

    Newcomers could be forgiven for believing that Fort Lauderdale is actually named after Dwight Lauderdale, a dude who seems to have been here since time immemorial. (Actually, it's 1976.) For folks who've lived in the area for 30 years or more, Lauderdale is more than just a local institution. Unflappable and classy and one of the few TV journalists who… More >>
  • Best TV Reporter

    Kerry Sanders NBC News South Florida & Latin America

    He's earned a Peabody and two Emmys and has eked his way out of local newsdom to reach the world with his stories on the uniquely weird news of hurricanes, South American dictators, and the violent conflicts that pop up from time to time with our neighbors down that way. Sanders is officially listed as a Miami correspondent for NBC… More >>
  • Best Weathercaster

    Elita Loresca, WSVN-TV (Channel 7)

    Hurricanes will certainly hit South Florida again, and the question is: With whom would you rather weather the storm? An avuncular South Florida institution like Channel 10's Don Noe? Or an almond-eyed vixen like Channel 7's Elita Loresca? Poor Don doesn't stand a chance. Elita Loresca... her very name sounds dulcet to even the deafest ear. And on a visual… More >>
  • Best TV Station

    WFOR-TV (Channel 4)

    Everybody loves a good hidden-camera bust. Sometimes it's dirty dining. Sometimes, as during November sweeps on CBS 4, it's dirty politicians — who just happen to be dining, and wining, on the taxpayer dime only moments before showing up at a City Commission meeting! These Cooper City commissioners were so drunk with power (if not with wine) that on one… More >>
  • Best Quote

    Tim Hardaway

    We're yawning over Mara Giulianti's obfuscations. We're asleep before somebody can finish the name Ken Jenne. And while we're still cackling over Mitch Ceasar's abomination of a standup routine, we can't bear to repeat lines so unfunny. So this year, we're ignoring all the corrupt, lying, and downright stupid politicians and keeping it simple. We've selected a quote from a… More >>
  • Best Local Blog

    As the name suggests, this is a Miami-centric blog. But the duo behind it veers into lots of other South Florida territory, only getting caught in the Castrophobic sludge once or twice a day. Among its most redeeming qualities is a knack for picking up interesting — and abundant — local news about life in stucco-filled, traffic-jammed, sometimes sunny South… More >>
  • Best Sun-Sentinel Reporter

    John Holland

    It's surprisingly easy to beat the biggest daily in Broward into the ground on a big story. Let's face it: At least 80 percent of the Sentinel's reporters aren't exactly newshounds. They're more like harmless yuppie puppies. But no one relishes going against the Boston-bred Holland. When he gets his nose into the news, he's relentless — a veritable robo-reporter.… More >>
  • Best Palm Beach Post Writer

    Tom Dubocq

    Here's the problem with a lot of big daily newspapers: Their top executives are part of the same Chamber of Commerce clique they should be ripping apart in their pages. The Sun-Sentinel is a shining example of this, with V.P. and General Manager Howard Greenberg chumming it up with the political leaders and the Broward Alliance at every turn. All… More >>
  • Best Herald Reporter

    Debbie Cenziper

    OK, Cenziper has one of those cushy, glory-filled journalism jobs where you spend a year investigating something and then bust out with a report that's sure to win awards. Investigative reporters like her often have years-long lulls where they don't do anything all that special. But Cenziper has proven she's right where she belongs. Last year, her report on hurricane… More >>
  • Best Sportswriter

    Joe Capozzi Palm Beach Post

    Few things are more depressing than the steady deterioration of the sportswriting craft. The best writers in the business used to congregate on the sports page, where the lighter subject matter allowed for a bit more creativity and whimsy than, say, business coverage. But those days are gone. Now you have sportswriters who treat the games as if they're city… More >>
  • Best Local Celebrity

    Edward Barbanell

    It seems that actors spend a lifetime trying to become famous only to resent fame the moment they achieve it. Not Eddie Barbanell. The Coral Springs resident became a celebrity after he starred alongside Johnny Knoxville in The Ringer, and he hasn't stopped enjoying it since. Knoxville plays a reprobate who pretends to have a disability so he can compete… More >>
  • Best Charity

    Kids in Distress

    For an infant child abandoned in a public restroom, dropped in a Dumpster, or thrown from a car along the freeway, there's no such thing as a soft landing. But Kids in Distress is a South Florida nonprofit agency that cushions the blow. The main campus near Wilton Drive and Dixie Highway stays open 24 hours to receive abused children.… More >>
  • Best Church Marquee

    First United Methodist Church

    There's not enough room on a church signpost to print the Sermon on the Mount, so a pastor must beckon passersby with a punchy phrase, chock full of thought-provoking biblical wisdom. The kind of message that knocks around one's brain for a few days. That's the effect of the marquee in front of the First United Methodist Church, just south… More >>
  • Best Spiritual Cleansing

    Sister Faith's Sweat Lodge

    Sister Faith learned the ancient art of "sweating" from the Navajo Indians of Big Mountain, a reservation in Northwest Arizona. She builds her sweat lodge with limbs that have fallen from trees near her home, which sits on a half-acre of countryside outside Loxahatchee. It's a small oblong structure, no more than six feet by eight feet. But within that… More >>
  • Best Company Outing

    Golf Cart Polo International Polo Club Palm Beach

    Polo is a classy sport. No wonder Americans haven't really taken to it. But add alcohol and motorized vehicles, and voilà! At the International Polo Club, you can customize a company outing featuring a polo match with an announcer explaining the rules, food and drinks, and a "divot stomp," at which participants (champagne glasses firmly in hand) march onto the… More >>
  • Best Place to Take Out-of-Towners

    Mai-Kai Restaurant and Polynesian Show

    The tradition of kitsch is unique to our region, and the Mai-Kai is the king of kitsch. This tropical time warp has been owned and run by the same family for more than 50 years and boasts the amazing Molokai bar. Built out of an old movie set's pirate ship, this plank-floor rum factory is quickly disorienting. Water runs down… More >>
  • Best Public Transportation


    The trains make a helluva fuss as they pull into the station. And they show up only once an hour. But for car slaves in South Florida tired of sitting in north-south traffic along Interstate 95, Tri-Rail is a good alternative. Flying into the Miami Airport and not sure how to get to West Palm Beach? Hop on the train.… More >>
  • Best Weekend Getaway

    Key West Express at the Miami Seaquarium

    Living on a peninsula is awesome — until you want to get out of town. From South Florida, driving north or west will only get you more of the same scenery. Going east will just get you really wet. So it's no secret that the Keys are the most obvious and most charming destination — it's just that the drive… More >>
  • Best Hotel

    Brazilian Court

    If the sprawling, luxurious Breakers Resort is the famous grand dame of Palm Beach hotels, the Brazilian Court is its sexy little sister. Instead of welcoming guests through an ostentatious lobby with a two-lane valet, the Court seduces them through three discreet entrances. Instead of dressing up in formal, palatial, and immaculate lawns, this place flaunts its tantalizing assets: a… More >>
  • Best Public Restroom

    Roger Dean Stadium

    Roger Dean Stadium is all about spring training. It's known for its up-and-coming ballplayers (see next year's Marlins now), its cheap seats, and its famous Dean Dogs (hot dogs almost as long as your forearm). This place gets a lot of things right — even down to the men's bathrooms. Although the facilities manager and his workers deserve most of… More >>
  • Best Place to People-Watch

    The Fetish Factory's Alter Ego parties at Club X-It

    "Nipple laws and genital laws are in effect," one regular says, describing the Fetish Factory's monthly Alter Ego parties. "So women have to have the electrical-tape X's covering stuff up, and for men, a banana hammock is perfectly acceptable attire as long as the banana stays in the hammock." Funny but not quite accurate. Although there's a good dose of… More >>
  • Best City in Which to Be a Gourmet

    Boca Raton

    You can make fun of the $5,000 boob jobs and the codgers hopped up on Viagra, but while you've been sniggering, Boca Raton has thrown open one fantastic restaurant after another. Unless you're dining in Boca these days, practically the only eating of any consequence you're going to be doing is swallowing your own bitter words. The roster of restaurants… More >>
  • Best City in Which to Live

    Wilton Manors

    Wilton Manors was not always a fabulous place to live. In the mid-'90s, it was just another neighborhood of the kind that flourished throughout South Florida in those days: brown lawns sporting the occasional junker car, houses from the '60s and '70s that would have been pretty if only somebody had painted them, mom-and-pop businesses flashing in and out of… More >>
  • Best Suburban Neighborhood

    Riverland in Fort Lauderdale

    The best thing about discovering woodsy Riverland Road on foot are the secrets you'd never see from the street. Huge homes, old homes, ultramodern-homes, and slender waterways you never imagined existed. Doctors, lawyers, and college professors hide out down narrow, canopy-covered dead-end lanes that lie shaded from the sun and prying eyes. On the south side of curvy Riverland Road,… More >>
  • Best Road to Avoid

    I-595 westbound around 5 p.m.

    Don't have anywhere to be for a while? A long, long while? Then go ahead and make a late-afternoon appointment somewhere in Weston or Southwest Ranches. Try to get on any westbound 595 on-ramp — go ahead, just try it — and see how long it takes before you've ripped hair from your scalp by the fistful. Once you finally… More >>
  • Best Festival

    Delray Beach Garlic Festival

    When Rachael Ray makes a special trek to your annual food fest, you know you've hit prime time. The 2008 bad-breath bash will herald nine years' worth of celebrating the stinking rose, as it were, and it's finally come into its own. Once an unabashed novelty — and let's all pray that garlic ice cream stays a novelty — Delray's… More >>
  • Best Value on Las Olas

    Eating Cheap at Rino's Tuscan Grill

    Rino's is one of the most expensive restaurants on Las Olas Boulevard, and for good reason: Chef Rino Balzano serves some of the most mind-bogglingly savory fare in the world. Though the meats get a lot of attention — and it's a pitiable beast who hasn't seen what the man can do with a lamb shank and some risotto —… More >>

Best of Award Graphics