Best Of » Best Of 2005

Just Folks

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Best Outing of a Cartoon Character
Editorial pick
James Dobson goes after SpongeBob

In January, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson set off alarms with his revelation that SpongeBob, the happy little guy who lives in a pineapple under the sea, is trying to indoctrinate the nation's children with pro-homosexual beliefs. Other beloved characters, including Jimmy Neutron, Cookie Monster, the Little Mermaid, and, of course, Barney, also were in on the plot, which Dobson announced at a black-tie dinner celebrating President Bush's election victory in Washington. -- CD

Best Philanthropist
Readers poll winner
El Pomar Foundation

10 Lake Circle, 633-7733

elpomar.org

Founded in 1937 by Spencer and Julie Penrose, the elegant El Pomar Foundation has grown into one of the West's largest and most long-lived private foundations. Not content to fund just one aspect of civic life, El Pomar devotes millions of dollars to projects that run the gamut, from arts and culture to natural preservation to education to health care. In fact, it helps so many people do so much good here, we might even be able to forgive that pesky $4 million relocation grant back in the day to a little California outfit called Focus on the Family. -- BLS

Best Radio Talk Host - Readers poll winner - Tony D. and Papi (The Tony D. and Papi Show) - KKML-AM 1300 - RICK GORHAM
  • Rick Gorham
  • Best Radio Talk Host Readers poll winner Tony D. and Papi (The Tony D. and Papi Show) KKML-AM 1300

Best Use of a County Commissioner as a Verb
Editorial pick
City Councilman Darryl Glenn

In July, Colorado Springs City Councilman Darryl Glenn admitted to grabbing a stack of four Independent newspapers containing a light news article about the little green mascot he brings to official meetings. "I had to pull a Jim Bensberg," Glenn joked, a reference to the widely publicized scandal last year in which surveillance cameras caught County Commissioner Jim Bensberg hauling away what appeared to be a stack of Independents that contained a critical column about him. A new Colorado law makes it a criminal offense to take more than four copies of a free newspaper. -- CD

Best Radio Talk Host
Readers' poll winner
Tony D. and Papi (The Tony D. and Papi Show)

KKML-AM 1300
Weekdays, 6-10 a.m.
sportsanimal1300.com

The recipe for good sports radio requires one part knowledge, one part testosterone and one part silliness. The Tony D. and Papi Show is great because it includes all of these elements. Plus, it's the only local sports talk show, so it covers CC hockey and Air Force games as well as national sports. The show launched last November with Tony D., a seasoned sports radio personality. Papi, a performer and owner of a promotions company, won a contest to be co-host this spring. The two share fast-paced, witty banter that keeps listeners interested for four hours. -- SG

Best Eric Christen saga
Editorial pick
Election Day 2004

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District 11 school board member Eric Christen was a busy, busy boy last Nov. 2. A designated Republican poll watcher, the elected official showed up to North Middle School, a polling place, and began planting strategic schoolyard signs advertising his favorite candidates. This is, uh, potentially illegal by state statute and certainly a violation of D-11 policy. When one teacher confronted him, Christen blurted, "It's outrageous that you are teaching our children." After the principal asked the school janitor to remove the signs, Christen threatened the janitor, saying he would be fired. Then, Christen spent at least a portion of the day talking on his cell phone, also a clear violation of the rules for poll watchers, as it could lead to election fraud. -- CD

Best Sportscaster
Readers poll winner
John Owens

KKTV Channel 11 (CBS)

kktv.com

"AND NOW IT'S TIME FOR SPORTS!" Owens' trademark exclamation has let news viewers know there are exciting things ahead in the broadcast since he went to work at the station nearly a quarter-century ago. And directing sports at the station isn't even his first career. After serving 21 years with the Air Force, Owens worked as a radio announcer at KVOR for a decade, then landed the gig at KKTV. We hope he's home to stay. -- CD

Best Venue Switcharoo
Editorial pick
Soda Jerk's Move to and Acquisition of Darkside/Black Sheep

Best Local Scandal - Readers poll winner - Best Douglas Bruce Saga - Editorial pick - County Commissioner Douglas Bruces towed junker
  • Best Local Scandal Readers poll winner Best Douglas Bruce Saga Editorial pick County Commissioner Douglas Bruces towed junker

2106 E. Platte Ave.

sodajerkpresents.com

When it became apparent that the Navajo Hogan was going through some, er, troubles, Soda Jerk's main Springs nizzle, Marc Peralta, packed up the whole carnival o' rock and moved it to Darkside, where he threw a seamless series of shows and whose lease he's since taken over. With the city's current dearth of live music venues -- especially for music of the loud and/or abrasive sort that Soda Jerk promotes -- we all ought to thank our lucky punk stars that Soda Jerk found such a quick and painless move, and hope that the venue, now called Black Sheep, turns out to be a permanent home. -- AR

Best Spin Control
Editorial pick
Ted Haggard's advice to not be spooky or weird

This year, the national spotlight landed squarely on Ted Haggard, pastor of New Life Church and president of the National Association of Evangelicals. In a mass-distributed e-mail on May 10, Haggard provided his flock with some savvy tips on dealing with the media, including these gems:

"Use words that make sense to [reporters]. Speak their language. Don't talk about the devil, demons, voices speaking to you, God giving you supernatural revelations, etc."

"If [Barbara Walters] talks with you, don't be spooky or weird. Don't switch into a glassy-eyed heavenly mode ..." -- CD

Doug Bruce
  • Doug Bruce

Best Media Debut
Editorial pick
Western Skies

KRCC FM 91.5; Saturdays, 4 p.m.,

Thursdays, 7 p.m.

westernskies.krcc.org

Last fall, Colorado College-supported KRCC gave Southern Colorado residents what they'd been clamoring for, for years: a locally produced radio news show that focuses on the region's big issues. Colorado native and Western Skies producer Eric Whitney strikes a fine balance between local news and national context, with his pieces frequently being relayed across the country through the National Public Radio network. He's also been busy training a cadre of radio reporters. Whether he's tracking the local impact of the Iraq war or introducing a feature about the Pikes Peak Derby Dames, the region benefits. -- DW

Best Local Scandal
Readers' poll winner
Best Douglas Bruce Saga
Editorial pick County Commissioner Douglas Bruce's towed junker

Self-claimed hater of government Douglas Bruce clearly is loving his new gig as an elected government official. And the perks of being a politician! Goodness! Who else could get their non-drivable, busted-up old Honda towed away from a city street to the impound, let it sit for two months accumulating $400 in fees, get all kinds of press coverage about the outrage, and finally convince a judge to let him have it back, for nothing, with the taxpayers towing it back to his house? Not us working stiffs, that's for sure. -- CD

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