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Best of Tucson® 2009 

25th Anniversary Edition

We really wanted to make this Best of Tucson® something special.

For one thing, it's the Tucson Weekly's 25th anniversary year. For another, as you know, the economy as of late has been ... well, I'll just say challenging, and leave it at that—and therefore, we feel it's more important than ever to highlight the people, organizations, places and businesses that make Tucson a fine place to call home.

Well, here is the final result of all our efforts for the last eight months. I think we have succeeded in making this issue truly special—and by "we," I don't only mean those of us who toil in the figurative trenches at Weekly World Central. I also mean you, our readers. You turned out in droves to vote this year—we received 1,468 eligible ballots during our voting period. That's a lot of you, and we appreciate it; after all, it's not an easy task to sift through almost 140 categories and vote in at least 20 of them—yet you did. Thank you.

Thanks also go to Ruben Moreno, who did our amazing art this year. He did the splendid illustrations for our Roaring '20s-themed issue four years ago, and when we devised our theme this year, we decided he was our man to pull it off. Dude has talent, and we're thrilled at the illustrations he did.

Now, about that theme ...

This is, by far, the most complex Best of Tucson® theme we've had in recent memory. The theme's title is short—four digits, to be exact: 1984. But there is a lot of meaning crammed into those four digits. Of course, 1984 is the year in which the Weekly was founded, so we started with an '80s theme. Then we decided to bring the '80s—the styles, the fashions, the vibe, the look—into the modern-day. (Consider the theme a bridge, of sorts, between today and the time of the Weekly's founding.) Finally, we borrowed a little bit of the sinister Big Brother aspect of the George Orwell novel 1984. (Given some of the crap that's gone on in the last nine years, it seemed appropriate to do so.) And there you have it.

Aside from Ruben, the other big stars of this issue are Adam Kurtz and Irene Messina. Adam arranged, coordinated and finagled all of the visuals in the issue, and did all of the layout. Irene did many, many things for the issue; for example, she helped with the editing and proofing—and even had the initial idea for what led to the theme.

A total of 28 writers penned the various words for this issue—for cheap, I might add—and did a fantastic job. Big thanks also go to Jessica Canchola, Samantha Sais and Best of Tucson® stalwart Kelly Rashka for their eye-catching photographs. The design staffers—Duane Hollis, Greg Willhite, Gary Smathers and James Werner—deserve major credit for rounding up all of the ads and making sure the issue looks amazing. James also needs to be recognized for getting all of this stuff online; trust me when I say that it's a lot of work to do so. Thanks also go to John Banks and DesertNet for their help.

The advertising staff deserves a huge shout-out for, well, keeping the lights on and the paychecks coming. Without the work of Jill A'Hearn and Monica Akyol and their staffers—Alan Schultz, Laura Bohling, Sarah Cadrobbi, Dana Padula, Dave White, Stephen Meyers, Mayalan Molina and Rebecca Rogers—we literally couldn't have done this. Thanks also to the smart advertisers who opened their wallets to be in the issue.

Finally, thanks to all of the honorees and runners-up in this issue. As I said, your hard work and efforts make Tucson a great place. Congrats on your much-deserved honors.

Welcome, everyone, to Best of Tucson®23: 1984.

Previous Winners

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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