THE RESULTS FROM the Arizona Press Club are in, with Tucson Weekly staffers bringing home a record 11 awards in the state's top journalism competition.
Arts Editor Margaret Regan took first-place honors in the commentary category for medium publications for her Collage column "Death And Art," which the judge called "well-written, literate, evocative and poignant."
Regan also helped The Weekly sweep the medium publications feature writing category with her third-place finish for "Uttering the Unspeakable," a piece on local author Nancy Mairs. Judge Susan Carey of The Wall Street Journal said Regan's piece was "a rich snapshot of an intellectual, feminist and writer who no doubt was hard to parse."
Senior Editor Jim Nintzel picked up first place in the feature writing category for "The Forever People," a story looking at the immortality spas of Scottsdale. "The tongue-in-cheek tone, kinky asides and laconic descriptions of gruesome practices makes this tale of cryogenics and life hereafter a funny send-up of yet another New Age shenanigan," wrote Carey. "Bravo!"
Contributing writer Leo W. Banks completed the sweep with second-prize honors for his story of a pilot who drops the ashes of wishes from his airplane as he flies over Carefree, Arizona. "This small but satisfying portrait of the Worry Free ash-dumper has all the elements of a light, bright feature: an improbable premise, a touch of the grotesque, logistical problems and human faith in strange remedies," Carey said.
Ace Art Director Hector Acuña won second place in the medium publications layout/design category for his work on "Peñasco Press," a story about the newspaper business in Rocky Point, Mexico. Judge Thomas Baer, an editor with the Farmington (Mich.) Observer, said Acuña's "layout and design makes me think that this newspaper--like the paper described in the story--is a kind of hang-loose, alternative publication." Right on!
Columnist Jeff Smith finished in second place for the Don Schellie Award for feature column writing. Judge Peter Bhatia of The Oregonian said Smith's columns boasted a "powerful point of view, successfully expressed. This entrant's columns were successful because of the author's effective story-telling abilities and obvious compassion for whatever subject he tackled."
Eighth Day columnist Hannah Glasston came in second place in the medium publications' general reporting category for "ROTC Rocks The Cradle," which investigated Junior ROTC programs in local high schools. "Highly original story on the brewing controversy of high school ROTC programs," said judge Christopher G. Broderick of the Rocky Mountain News. "Instead of the usual coverage afforded these kinds of programs, the writer found subtle factors about the program that lead to people questioning how much is propaganda versus educational."
Contributor Gregory McNamee took second-place honors in the environmental reporting category for "A River Ran Through It," a look at the future of the San Pedro River. "I like the mixture of natural history and contemporary issues," wrote judge Thomas Knudson of the Sacramento Bee.
"Random Shots" cartoonist Rand Carlson won second place in the Portfolio Illustration category. Judge Evangelia Philippidis of the Columbus Dispatch said Carlson "knows how to use tools well to manipulate images for a clever outcome." Carlson also took first place in the category for his work for the Phoenix New Times.
Contributor Timothy Gassen took second place for "Ice Man," a profile of UA hockey coach Leo Golembiewski, which the judge described as "equal parts color, quotes and research--making it a complete, well written package."
Columnist Tom Danehy picked up a third-place finish in the commentary category for medium publications for "Guns and Laws," which the judge said was "useful public information on gun issue."
Congratulations to the winners and a special thanks to the folks behind the scenes in sales, production, distribution and elsewhere in the crazy pipeline that produces this rag each week. It's their hard work that makes The Weekly possible.
And a final thanks to those of you out there picking us up every week.
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