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Best of Atlanta 2006 Cityscape

 

Best Of Atlanta 2006 Cityscape Large


Cityscape

Best Local Hero BOA Award Winner

Judith Curry
When Hurricane Katrina tore into the Gulf Coast, it created a perverse, but tempting, chance to make a point about global warming. Scientists had long figured a hotter atmosphere would agitate the storm cycle, creating more or bigger storms, or both. Was Katrina an example? Just after the storm hit,more...
When Hurricane Katrina tore into the Gulf Coast, it created a perverse, but tempting, chance to make a point about global warming. Scientists had long figured a hotter atmosphere would agitate the storm cycle, creating more or bigger storms, or both. Was Katrina an example? Just after the storm hit, JUDITH CURRY, along with other atmospheric scientists at Georgia Tech, happened to co-publish a landmark study on hurricanes and global warming. They concluded the strongest hurricanes are getting even stronger as the Earth gets hotter. At a Washington briefing where Curry was asked to describe the research, a congressional aide with ties to the coal industry tried to portray her work as out-of-step with mainstream science. It didn’t work. Reporters at first concentrated on the aide’s trumped-up controversy. But the well-timed research eventually sunk into the public’s mind as yet more evidence of the costs of climate change. Curry has walked a difficult tightrope for scientists: While she’s been candid about the evidence for global warming, she’s steered clear of pontificating on issues outside her expertise. She and her Tech colleagues have kept their eyes on their own work, which is just what we need if we wish to understand what we’re doing to this planet. less...

Best Local Troublemaker BOA Award Winner

Joe Parko
Meet JOE PARKO, and you think “ordinary guy.” The retired Georgia State professor is anything but. Behind a gentle smile and shock of white hair is a firebrand. Parko, a Quaker, has been among Atlanta’s most indefatigable critics of George Bush and his Iraq misadventure. Inmore...
Meet JOE PARKO, and you think “ordinary guy.” The retired Georgia State professor is anything but. Behind a gentle smile and shock of white hair is a firebrand. Parko, a Quaker, has been among Atlanta’s most indefatigable critics of George Bush and his Iraq misadventure. In November 2002, before the war began, Parko began an all-American exercise. He tried to confront one of his U.S. senators — unhinged hawk Zell Miller — with questions about the war: Will we face more terrorism if we attack Iraq? How many people will be killed? Parko and four other activists refused to leave the senator’s Colony Square office until Miller agreed to meet with them. Instead of setting up a meeting with his constituents, Miller’s minions called the police. The activists, now dubbed the Atlanta Five, were busted for “criminal trespass.” Two years later, a judge threw the case out of court. Since then, Parko’s exported his fight for peace from Midtown to such far-flung lands as Iraq and Palestine. He uses letters, speeches and demonstrations. He’s a gentle but dogged hell-raiser. less...

Best Morality Tale BOA Award Winner

Bill Campbell
If you didn’t believe BILL CAMPBELL was a crook when he was mayor, then you weren’t paying attention. A puzzling jury verdict acquitted the slickster on racketeering charges. But Hizzoner still will be sporting prison scrubs for the next couple of years, because he couldn’tmore...
If you didn’t believe BILL CAMPBELL was a crook when he was mayor, then you weren’t paying attention. A puzzling jury verdict acquitted the slickster on racketeering charges. But Hizzoner still will be sporting prison scrubs for the next couple of years, because he couldn’t escape the tax evasion charges. Even though Campbell’s high-profile trial, conviction and incarceration gave Atlanta a black eye, letting him get away with his skullduggery as he ran the city into the ground would’ve tarnished our reputation all the more. Perhaps as much as the verdict, justice was served by the courtroom revelation of the former mayor as a petty, vindictive philanderer who spent as much time playing blackjack and taking vacations on other people’s dimes as he did at City Hall. And when he gets out of the slammer, maybe he can run for mayor of Tunica, Miss. less...

Best Nana-Na-Na, Hey Hey Hey, Goodbye! BOA Award Winner

Ralph Reed
We Georgians may be a little slow occasionally, but at least we’re not dumb enough to elect RALPH REED lieutenant governor. Reed cut his teeth at the Christian Coalition, and built his career as a take-no-prisoners GOP consultant who never let the truth stand in the way of a good campaign soundmore...
We Georgians may be a little slow occasionally, but at least we’re not dumb enough to elect RALPH REED lieutenant governor. Reed cut his teeth at the Christian Coalition, and built his career as a take-no-prisoners GOP consultant who never let the truth stand in the way of a good campaign sound bite. For reasons known only to him, he decided that becoming lieutenant governor of Georgia would be his first stepping stone to becoming president — yes, president of the United States. In the end, the scandal over his dealings with lobbyist Jack Abramoff (and his cynical exploitation of Christian activists in the campaign he waged against Indian casinos with money supplied by Abramoff’s casino clients) proved too much for even Georgia’s Republicans to swallow. The good news: He was stomped in last July’s GOP primary. The bad news: Reed’s a bit like a zombie — he’s likely to remain on Georgia’s political scene for decades. less...

Best New Building BOA Award Winner

Terminus 100
TERMINUS 100 may not be quite finished yet, but when it’s completed in the spring, the 26-story glass-and-steel high-rise will bring a Fifth Avenue vibe to the intersection of Peachtree and Piedmont roads. The Buckhead tower, designed by Duda/Paine Architects of Durham, N.C., is the first ofmore...

TERMINUS 100 may not be quite finished yet, but when it’s completed in the spring, the 26-story glass-and-steel high-rise will bring a Fifth Avenue vibe to the intersection of Peachtree and Piedmont roads. The Buckhead tower, designed by Duda/Paine Architects of Durham, N.C., is the first of five planned by Cousins Properties on the 10-acre site. It will be anchored by two floors of retail space set up against the sidewalk, with a glitzy, Vegas-style restaurant plaza around the side. A stunning example of Atlanta’s mixed-use building renaissance, Terminus 100 is certain to bring a new jolt of energy to a rapidly changing part of town. The high-profile address and highfalutin architecture already has roped in a high-profile tenant: Cousins itself plans to move from the suburbs into the Buckhead building. That’s certainly making a statement.
www.terminus-atlanta.com


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Best Place to Splish Splash BOA Award Winner

Ocoee River
For continuous whitewater fun within a couple of hours of a major city, it’s hard to match the OCOEE RIVER. Just north of the Tennessee line, the Ocoee’s most famous as the site of the 1996 Olympics whitewater course. But it’s also an incredibly accessible stream for half-daymore...

For continuous whitewater fun within a couple of hours of a major city, it’s hard to match the OCOEE RIVER. Just north of the Tennessee line, the Ocoee’s most famous as the site of the 1996 Olympics whitewater course. But it’s also an incredibly accessible stream for half-day and full-day guided rafting trips. The Class III-IV rapids aren’t super dangerous, but you definitely don’t want to try them without an expert. An added convenience: The Ocoee’s dam-released flows ensure a good ride even in the driest days of summer.
Nantahala Outdoor Center, 888-905-7238, www.noc.com; Wildwater Limited, 800-451-9972, ,a href="http://www.wildwaterrafting.com">www.wildwaterrafting.com.

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Best Place to Spot Celebs BOA Award Winner

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Best Urban Radio Station BOA Award Winner

Hot 107.9(WHTA-FM)
Check the playlists at some of the urban stations in the A, and it’ll seem as if the program directors are stationed in New York. But take a listen to HOT 107.9 (WHTA-FM) and you’ll immediately hear the difference — Hot 107.9 keeps it dirty. In addition to the hit parade, you’llmore...

Check the playlists at some of the urban stations in the A, and it’ll seem as if the program directors are stationed in New York. But take a listen to HOT 107.9 (WHTA-FM) and you’ll immediately hear the difference — Hot 107.9 keeps it dirty. In addition to the hit parade, you’ll hear unknown local/regional hip-hop acts, no matter the time slot or the on-air personality. The station has a history of breaking out new artists, and Hot 107.9 is responsible for launching a bevy of musical trends such as bass, bounce, crunk and (these days) snap.
www.hot107atl.com

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Best Annual Event BOA Award Winner

National Black Arts Festival
Atlanta is a city of festivals. There’s the Dogwood Festival at Piedmont Park, Pride Week, the return of the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Downtown Festival and on and on. Our favorite is the NATIONAL BLACK ARTS FESTIVAL, which transforms the city for 10 days each July into a cultural haven, wheremore...

Atlanta is a city of festivals. There’s the Dogwood Festival at Piedmont Park, Pride Week, the return of the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Downtown Festival and on and on. Our favorite is the NATIONAL BLACK ARTS FESTIVAL, which transforms the city for 10 days each July into a cultural haven, where dance troupes, musicians and artists pay homage to the African diaspora. This year’s highlights included performances by Grammy-nominated composer and trumpeter Hannibal Lokumbe and the Forces of Nature Dance Theater Company. In addition, there was the Pan-African Film Festival and an eclectic artists’ market.
www.nbaf.org.

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Best Beach Retreat BOA Award Winner

Cumberland Island
With rapid construction overtaking Atlanta’s already jammed streets, there’s no better way to escape than to cruise down to CUMBERLAND ISLAND. It’s Georgia’s biggest barrier island, and it can only be reached by ferry, making it a subtropical oasis for a plethora ofmore...

With rapid construction overtaking Atlanta’s already jammed streets, there’s no better way to escape than to cruise down to CUMBERLAND ISLAND. It’s Georgia’s biggest barrier island, and it can only be reached by ferry, making it a subtropical oasis for a plethora of animals, including egrets, pelicans and wild horses. Walk along the secluded beach, with its backdrop of smooth, white dunes, and you might catch a glimpse of loggerhead turtles laying eggs. Or venture under the island’s canopy of massive live oaks to spot anything from painted buntings to armadillos. Be sure to check out Plum Orchard, the remnants of the Carnegie family’s Tara-esque mansion, built in the 1890s. The island’s serenity is constantly threatened by politician-led schemes to turn it into a tourist trap. For now, however, it remains the crown jewel of Georgia’s “Golden Isles.” If you visit, go between now and April, because the island’s wildlife also includes sand gnats and mosquitoes.
912-882-4336. www.nps.gov/cuis


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Best Celebrity BOA Award Winner

Cee-Lo
This time last year, CEE-LO was another B-level celebrity known as much for his role as the indulgent father on MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16” and his songwriting (“Don’t Cha” by the Pussycat Dolls) as for his music. Then, he released St. Elsewhere, themore...
This time last year, CEE-LO was another B-level celebrity known as much for his role as the indulgent father on MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16” and his songwriting (“Don’t Cha” by the Pussycat Dolls) as for his music. Then, he released St. Elsewhere, the album he’d spent more than a year working on with Danger Mouse. Collectively known as Gnarls Barkley, they produced the song of the summer, “Crazy,” which sounds like Sly and the Family Stone jettisoned into 2006. The song hit the top of the charts in the U.K. before it was even officially released. It did the same in the United States once it was released here. “Crazy,” with its haunting lyrics and Cee-Lo’s soaring voice on the chorus, finally launched him into major league stardom. Ain’t that crazy? less...

Best Country Radio Station BOA Award Winner

Eagle 106.7 (WYAY-FM)
Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, Tift Merritt, Del McCoury, Steve Earle, Dwight Yoakam, Rodney Crowell, Lyle Lovett, Alison Krauss — don’t you wish there was a great country station in town that had artists like those on its playlist? One of the best examples of how disconnected countrymore...

Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, Tift Merritt, Del McCoury, Steve Earle, Dwight Yoakam, Rodney Crowell, Lyle Lovett, Alison Krauss — don’t you wish there was a great country station in town that had artists like those on its playlist? One of the best examples of how disconnected country radio is from its fan base came a few years back when the Oh Brother, Where Art Thou soundtrack was the No. 1 album on the country charts with virtually no airplay from country stations. Although it doesn’t entirely overcome that shortcoming, our favorite local station is EAGLE 106.7 (WYAY-FM) because of Hall of Fame disc jockey Rhubarb Jones and because of the station’s willingness to dip into the past and play such artists as Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard on weekends.
www.wyay.com.

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Best Intown Park BOA Award Winner

Perennially overshadowed by its flashier Midtown sibling, the 131-acre GRANT PARK has something of a split personality. On its western side, the city’s oldest park offers a serene, leafy sanctum from the bustle of the city, with historic fountains, fresh water springs, ancient footbridges andmore...
Perennially overshadowed by its flashier Midtown sibling, the 131-acre GRANT PARK has something of a split personality. On its western side, the city’s oldest park offers a serene, leafy sanctum from the bustle of the city, with historic fountains, fresh water springs, ancient footbridges and restful nooks. In its middle are a popular soccer field, tennis courts, public swimming pools, a playground and a network of shaded walking paths. The open space along its eastern edge is the perfect setting for a summer’s worth of cookouts and family get-togethers. Stir in a family-friendly zoo, the Cyclorama and the well-preserved Confederate Fort Walker, and you’ve got a park that perfectly reflects the diversity of the city around it. less...

Best Jogging Path BOA Award Winner

For years, cross-country teams have jogged on the rooted paths and trekked up the grueling hills of KENNESAW MOUNTAIN NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD PARK. The park offers about 17 miles of trails that wind through some of the Civil War battlefields, monuments and earthworks. And there’s a spectacularmore...
For years, cross-country teams have jogged on the rooted paths and trekked up the grueling hills of KENNESAW MOUNTAIN NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD PARK. The park offers about 17 miles of trails that wind through some of the Civil War battlefields, monuments and earthworks. And there’s a spectacular view of Atlanta from the top of the mountain. Though crowded at times, the diverse routes allow beginners and hardcore athletes alike to enjoy the expansive park. The park could get even better if officials decide to limit some of the teams (which can be as large as 100 members) to only certain running times to cut down on the wear and tear of the site. That’ll leave you alone with nature for a good sweat. less...

Best Mountain Escape BOA Award Winner

Chattooga River

BEST MOUNTAIN ESCAPE


In the early 1970s, the CHATTOOGA RIVER was officially dubbed one of the nation’s first “Wild and Scenic Rivers.” That remains an apt description for the river, which rises in North Carolina before forming the northernmost part of the Georgia and South Carolina border. Its awe-inspiring rapids (which non-experts should only attempt on trips led by highly qualified guides) cut a gorgeous gorge through verdant, unspoiled mountains. There are only a couple of road crossings and no buildings along the Wild and Scenic stretches: Section 3, which intersperses steep drops with scenic pools, and Section 4, where the rapids get steeper and more frequent. To really escape from civilization, set aside a whole weekend for an overnight trip on both sections.
Nantahala Outdoor Center, 888-905-7238, www.noc.com; Wildwater Limited, 800-451-9972, www.wildwaterrafting.com.

Best Person You Hate to Love BOA Award Winner

Clark Howard
He’s corny and occasionally hokey. His sincerity seems too good to be true. He’s too nerdy to be cool. But WSB-AM (750)’s CLARK HOWARD has earned his reputation as the most trusted public figure in Atlanta. He genuinely does care about the people who call his show with theirmore...
He’s corny and occasionally hokey. His sincerity seems too good to be true. He’s too nerdy to be cool. But WSB-AM (750)’s CLARK HOWARD has earned his reputation as the most trusted public figure in Atlanta. He genuinely does care about the people who call his show with their consumer problems (or at least their spending habits), and he offers them sound advice. He’s already filthy rich and doesn’t need the gig; he does it because he loves it. As a college student, Howard worked for Ralph Nader, an experience that has informed him ever since. He’s not afraid to take on the powers-that-be (his contract specifies there will be no sacred cows on his show). Although it pains us to admire a guy who eats bargain meals at Burger King and scrounges for bargains, Howard’s a rare treasure: If he says it, you can take it to the bank. less...

Best Place to Bike BOA Award Winner

Silver Comet Trail
Named after a passenger train that ran along the same route from 1947 to 1968, the SILVER COMET TRAIL is a gorgeous stretch of pavement with a pastoral feel that’ll make you wonder whether you pedaled through a time warp into bygone, rural Georgia. The path runs 60 miles west across three counties.more...
Named after a passenger train that ran along the same route from 1947 to 1968, the SILVER COMET TRAIL is a gorgeous stretch of pavement with a pastoral feel that’ll make you wonder whether you pedaled through a time warp into bygone, rural Georgia. The path runs 60 miles west across three counties. That’s right, 60 freakin’ miles. Bikers, runners and walkers are free to do their thing without dodging traffic, and the scenery is breathtaking. The rails-to-trails project is an ambitious undertaking: When it’s completed, Silver Comet will connect with Alabama’s Chief Ladiga Trail to form a continuous, 93-mile path from Smyrna to Anniston, Ala. If you try to ride the whole thing, just remember: You’ll either need someone to pick you up at the other end, or your trip length will have gotten 93 miles longer. less...

Best Real TV Journalist BOA Award Winner

Dale Cardwell
You’ve heard the jokes about TV newspeople. The “blow-dries.” The “news babes.” The “rip-and-read” anchors. The “if it bleeds, it leads” sensationalists. They’re all true, but there are good journalists lurkingmore...
You’ve heard the jokes about TV newspeople. The “blow-dries.” The “news babes.” The “rip-and-read” anchors. The “if it bleeds, it leads” sensationalists. They’re all true, but there are good journalists lurking on the edges of the tube. They may not be easy to find, but they’re there. Our guy is WSB-TV/Channel 2’s DALE CARDWELL. He broke, or helped break, the criminal investigation of former Mayor Bill Campbell, the stories that led to the grounding of Gov. Sonny Perdue’s use of state aircraft for personal flights, the accounts of corruption associated with former DeKalb County Sheriff Sid Dorsey, the stories of the financial scandal that forced Fulton Sheriff Jackie Barrett from office, as well as the “mansion fund” stories that led to former Gov. Zell Miller returning more than $150,000 to the taxpayers of Georgia. Cardwell’s been a thorn to the mighty, including DeKalb CEO Vernon Jones, and he’s even exposed the threat of terrorism at DeKalb Peachtree Airport. less...

Best Sign Atlanta Isn't Like the Rest of Georgia BOA Award Winner

Pride Week
In a state where there was going to be a special session of the friggin’ Legislature to reinstitute a ban on gay marriage — a practice that was already illegal to start with — PRIDE WEEK symbolizes why Atlanta often feels like an oasis surrounded by a moat (the Perimeter).more...
In a state where there was going to be a special session of the friggin’ Legislature to reinstitute a ban on gay marriage — a practice that was already illegal to start with — PRIDE WEEK symbolizes why Atlanta often feels like an oasis surrounded by a moat (the Perimeter). Venturing outside the moat can give you a case of cultural whiplash. Whoa! What was that? A Confederate flag? Pride week — one of the most colorful, outrageous and unifying events of the year — couldn’t take place anywhere in the Southeast but Atlanta. As a city, Atlanta is a gumbo of cultures and ethnicities and, yes, sexual preferences. People who live here expect diversity and embrace it. less...

Best Sportscaster BOA Award Winner

Fred Kalil
A few years ago, when WXIA-TV/Channel 11’s FRED KALIL made his return to the Braves clubhouse at Turner Field following his recovery from surgery to remove a brain tumor, he found himself surrounded by players and coaches. Their concern about his welfare was obvious and quite genuine, even formore...
A few years ago, when WXIA-TV/Channel 11’s FRED KALIL made his return to the Braves clubhouse at Turner Field following his recovery from surgery to remove a brain tumor, he found himself surrounded by players and coaches. Their concern about his welfare was obvious and quite genuine, even for a member of the media. Kalil’s sincerity comes across in person and on camera. He’s the pick of both the readers and our editorial staff for a simple reason: In an age where sports anchors are increasingly shrill and believe that smart-ass repartee is more important than offering solid information, Kalil remains a refreshing change of pace. He gives us substance over style. less...

Best Bizarro News Story BOA Award Winner

John Mark Karr
Atlanta’s tangential relationship to the murder of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey just gets stranger and stranger. JonBenet was born here and is buried here, even though she was murdered in Boulder, Col. And JOHN MARK KARR, who confessed to her killing during a press conference at the police stationmore...
Atlanta’s tangential relationship to the murder of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey just gets stranger and stranger. JonBenet was born here and is buried here, even though she was murdered in Boulder, Col. And JOHN MARK KARR, who confessed to her killing during a press conference at the police station in Thailand, grew up in metro Atlanta. And what is it with Thailand and accused Atlanta killers? That’s where Buckhead millionaire James Sullivan fled and was captured before he was brought back and convicted of engineering a hit on his wife, Lita Sullivan. In August, the media wolfpack, led by CNN’s shrill-meister Nancy Grace (another Atlanta connection — she used to be a Fulton County prosecutor), immediately descended on the Karr story and had the guy practically convicted before he ever got on his flight to the States. And what was up with that flight, anyway? Sitting in business class sipping champagne and eating prawns? Of course, everyone — except Lin Wood, the Atlanta-based attorney for the Ramseys — had egg on their face when Karr’s DNA didn’t match DNA found at the crime scene. The sad part is, this is the second Boulder district attorney to bumble the investigation while the real killer still walks free. less...

Best Crash and Burn BOA Award Winner

Atlanta Braves
Last time we checked, the ATLANTA BRAVES had won 14 straight division titles. But last time we checked this year, they were more than 15 games out of first place and struggling even to reach a .500 record. In truth, this has been coming for a long time. The Braves haven’t been competitive inmore...
Last time we checked, the ATLANTA BRAVES had won 14 straight division titles. But last time we checked this year, they were more than 15 games out of first place and struggling even to reach a .500 record. In truth, this has been coming for a long time. The Braves haven’t been competitive in the post-season since Ted Turner gave up control of the team. When the team allowed pitching coach Leo Mazzone to bolt to the Baltimore Orioles in the off-season, it was the final straw. John Smoltz aside, this year’s pitching has been atrocious. The streak is over. With a sale of the team to Liberty Media pending, the future indeed looks bleak. Where have you gone, Turner? Ted Turner, a city turns its lonely eyes to you. less...

Best Ear to the Ground BOA Award Winner

Richard Eldredge

Best Local Do-Gooder(s) BOA Award Winner

Carol and Boake Moore, Chelsea Butler, and Stan King
After the killing waters of Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and Mississippi, Atlantans reached out to help. Among them were CAROL AND BOAKE MOORE, who welcomed 30 Katrina evacuees into their expansive Roswell home overlooking the Chattahoochee. CHELSEA BUTLER, founded a group called Weekendmore...
After the killing waters of Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and Mississippi, Atlantans reached out to help. Among them were CAROL AND BOAKE MOORE, who welcomed 30 Katrina evacuees into their expansive Roswell home overlooking the Chattahoochee. CHELSEA BUTLER, founded a group called Weekend Atlanta Rescue Effort and took weekend trips to New Orleans to bring evacuees to metro Atlanta and helped them navigate the relief system. And STAN KING, a Marietta retiree-turned-woodworker, drove to Mississippi to collect debris from the storm to build birdhouses. He sells them at $100 a pop and donates the proceeds to help Gulf Coast residents rebuild their homes. The Moores, Butler and King are among hundreds (if not thousands) of Atlantans who share this award. less...

Best Local Politico BOA Award Winner

Nan Orrock
Georgia has no lack of bad politicians. Linda Schrenko, Bill Campbell, Ralph Reed. You name ’em. What’s often missed is that we have some damn fine people in public office. Among them are Herhonner Shirley Franklin, U.S. Rep. John Lewis and the Fulton Commission’s Karen Handel.more...
Georgia has no lack of bad politicians. Linda Schrenko, Bill Campbell, Ralph Reed. You name ’em. What’s often missed is that we have some damn fine people in public office. Among them are Herhonner Shirley Franklin, U.S. Rep. John Lewis and the Fulton Commission’s Karen Handel. But this year’s pick for Best Politico is NAN ORROCK, a state House member since 1987 and a shoo-in to win the Eastside’s District 36 state Senate seat in November. What makes Orrock special? Consistency, for a start. She marched for Civil Rights in the ‘60s, has been a factory worker and union organizer, and helped found The Great Speckled Bird underground newspaper. As a legislator, she’s been tireless in working for real family issues. But Orrock’s also the rare Georgia politician who’s managed to increase her influence while holding true to progressive principles. She rose in the state House to minority whip, one of the top-ranked Democrats. Her smarts, energy and guts will quickly make her a force to reckon with in the Senate. less...

Best New Thing About Atlanta BOA Award Winner

Beltline
Not a strip of sod or a splotch of asphalt has been laid for the BELTLINE. But only months after local governments gave it the go-ahead, Atlanta’s most ambitious public-improvement project ever is transforming our landscape. In June, Atlanta purchased the 300–acre Bellwood Quarry tomore...
Not a strip of sod or a splotch of asphalt has been laid for the BELTLINE. But only months after local governments gave it the go-ahead, Atlanta’s most ambitious public-improvement project ever is transforming our landscape. In June, Atlanta purchased the 300–acre Bellwood Quarry to turn it into the city’s largest park. And private developers already are announcing plans for projects that (mostly) complement the tighter, more transit-oriented development the Beltline is designed to encourage. More than that, the Beltline is giving city and civic leaders a powerful tool to reimagine how we’ll live in the future. The project — which envisions a 22-mile transit corridor, along with parks and new development around the urban core — is sure to test our ability over the next couple of decades to make the right choices. Already, bitter disagreements are breaking out: Buses or light rail? Skyscrapers or midrises? But that’s much better for the city than being mired in great dreams that never become reality. If we do the Beltline well, it could be the best thing to happen to Atlanta since the Civil Rights Movement. less...

Best Non-Commercial Station BOA Award Winner

Radio Free Georgia, WRFG-FM (89.3)
Back when RADIO FREE GEORGIA, WRFG-FM (89.3), went on the air in 1973, people who listened were like a secret society. The signal didn’t go far outside the perimeter — of Little Five Points, that is — and the uninitiated usually discovered the station by channel-surfing ormore...

Back when RADIO FREE GEORGIA, WRFG-FM (89.3), went on the air in 1973, people who listened were like a secret society. The signal didn’t go far outside the perimeter — of Little Five Points, that is — and the uninitiated usually discovered the station by channel-surfing or from a friend in the know: “Hey, have you checked out Radio Free Georgia?” Even the station’s name suggests its counterculture leanings. WRFG has the most eclectic playlist in Atlanta: blues, Zydeco, Americana, bluegrass, music from India, doo-wop, jazz, Latin and hip-hop. Today, Radio Free Georgia broadcasts at 100,000 watts, but it’s remained true to its roots of playing the kind of music you’ll never hear on commercial radio.
,a href="http://www.wrfg.org">www.wrfg.org.

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Best Overall Radio Station BOA Award Winner

Album 88
Year after year, as other radio stations fall in and out of favor and change formats and call letters, ALBUM 88 never seems to change. Year after year, it just plays great, cutting-edge, alternative music. The only drawback is that the Georgia State stalwart, WRAS-FM (88.5), doesn’t broadcastmore...

Year after year, as other radio stations fall in and out of favor and change formats and call letters, ALBUM 88 never seems to change. Year after year, it just plays great, cutting-edge, alternative music. The only drawback is that the Georgia State stalwart, WRAS-FM (88.5), doesn’t broadcast on the Web — it’s been trying since 2003, but refuses to comply with federal regulations that would threaten the station’s fierce independence to play exactly what it wants to play. Thankfully, the station has a booming 100,000-watt signal. You first heard R.E.M. and U2 and the Police on WRAS. Today, it is where you’ll first hear tomorrow’s stars: Jennifer O’Conner, Sufjan Stevens and Silversun Pickups. We don’t know what the institutional formula is for Album 88’s success, but we hope the station’s managers never lose it.


www.wras.org

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Best Reason to Believe in Atlanta BOA Award Winner

Shirley Franklin
SHIRLEY FRANKLIN was elected mayor in 2001. The city was in shambles. She faced a budget crisis and — even more — City Hall faced a crisis of confidence. Her predecessor, Bill Campbell, had mired the government in a series of scandals. Campbell (see “Best Morality Tale”)more...
SHIRLEY FRANKLIN was elected mayor in 2001. The city was in shambles. She faced a budget crisis and — even more — City Hall faced a crisis of confidence. Her predecessor, Bill Campbell, had mired the government in a series of scandals. Campbell (see “Best Morality Tale”) also pandered to racial division. A second bad mayor in a row would have been disastrous. “Shirley,” as nearly everyone calls her, has healed the wounds. She stabilized city finances, trimmed (some) overstaffing, hired a competent police chief, and led the way to fix the city’s ancient sewer system. In her second term, as Campbell prepared for his trial on influence peddling and tax evasion charges, Shirley managed something nobody could have imagined during the Campbell years: With the help of many others, she united the city behind one of the most dramatic civic improvement projects any American city has attempted in decades. Just ask yourself, would the Beltline ever have gotten as far as it has without Shirley? less...

Best Sign Atlanta Isn't like L.A. BOA Award Winner

Or are we...?
Maybe we should start with the things that are similar. Smog. Check. Traffic. Double-check. Self-absorbed stars. Check. L.A. is surrounded by ocean and desert, but political junkies describe Atlanta as a blue island surrounded by an ocean of red. So a check for that one, too — kind of. Rodeomore...
Maybe we should start with the things that are similar. Smog. Check. Traffic. Double-check. Self-absorbed stars. Check. L.A. is surrounded by ocean and desert, but political junkies describe Atlanta as a blue island surrounded by an ocean of red. So a check for that one, too — kind of. Rodeo Drive, Lenox Square. Check. Endless sprawl. Check. Hispanic laborers. Check (the one difference is that L.A. Latinos already have plenty of political power, while Atlanta Latinos are about to get power). Hollywood studios, hip-hop studios. Check. Malibu, Duluth. Check. Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson. Check. Mel Gibson, Dallas Austin. Check. Courtney, Whitney. Check. Kobe Bryant, Michael Vick. Check. OK. Enough already. Yes, come to think of it, we have become L.A. ... with more rain. less...

Best Street Character BOA Award Winner

Baton Bob

Best Suburb BOA Award Winner

Clarkston
There’s no suburb in Atlanta where you’ll hear Vietnamese, Somali, Urdu and Serbo-Croatian as commonly spoken as it is in CLARKSTON. The town popped up in the 1830s, when railroad workers laid tracks to connect Atlanta to Augusta. Because the railroad made it easy to commute to Atlantamore...

There’s no suburb in Atlanta where you’ll hear Vietnamese, Somali, Urdu and Serbo-Croatian as commonly spoken as it is in CLARKSTON. The town popped up in the 1830s, when railroad workers laid tracks to connect Atlanta to Augusta. Because the railroad made it easy to commute to Atlanta for work, Clarkston became one of the first suburbs in the South. It fell on hard times in the 1970s and ’80s, but retained its quiet, modest charm. Then, refugees who flocked to Clarkston for public transportation and affordable housing transformed it into a vibrant, eclectic hamlet, and now a new generation of commuters is fixing up old homes and building new ones. How many other quaint neighborhoods have 4-bedroom, 2-bath houses with a backyard for $145,000?
www.cityofclarkston.com


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Best Swan Dive BOA Award Winner

Cathy Cox
When she kicked off her quest to become governor last year, Georgia Secretary of State CATHY COX had everything going for her. She’d raised more money than Mark Taylor, her Democratic primary opponent, and had a 10-point lead in the polls as late as October. Then, her campaign manager was caughtmore...
When she kicked off her quest to become governor last year, Georgia Secretary of State CATHY COX had everything going for her. She’d raised more money than Mark Taylor, her Democratic primary opponent, and had a 10-point lead in the polls as late as October. Then, her campaign manager was caught doctoring Taylor’s bio on the online encyclopedia Wikipedia — and Cox allowed herself to be bullied by Taylor’s people into firing him. Headed downhill, she pressed the accelerator by ticking off liberals and conservatives alike when she waffled repeatedly over the gay marriage issue. Through it all, Cox failed to capture voters with any innovative or inspirational ideas. She came off as if she had no stomach for what it took to play with heavyweights. We still think the woman from Bainbridge is a promising leader, but only if she’s picked up the right lessons from her unimaginative and unsure run for governor. less...

Best Athlete BOA Award Winner

Andruw Jones
It wasn’t so long ago that ANDRUW JONES walked into the office of Atlanta Braves general manager John Schuerholz without his agent and agreed to a long-term contract that gave the Braves a significant hometown discount. His reward? Now that the contract is ending next year, Jones was placedmore...
It wasn’t so long ago that ANDRUW JONES walked into the office of Atlanta Braves general manager John Schuerholz without his agent and agreed to a long-term contract that gave the Braves a significant hometown discount. His reward? Now that the contract is ending next year, Jones was placed on waivers this year to test the trade waters. We’ll agree with Jones that it was “rude” and that the Braves would never have placed Chipper Jones or John Smoltz on waivers. We also understand the realities of a budget forced on the team by out-of-town ownership. The pity is that we’re about to lose Andruw just as he hits his prime. He’s developed into one of the most dangerous power hitters in the game, and just happens to be the sweetest-fielding centerfielder since Willie Mays. Enjoy him while you still can. Without Andruw patrolling the outfield, Turner Field just won’t be the same. less...

Best Columnist BOA Award Winner

Cynthia Tucker
Ever the fair-minded, we excluded CL’s own columnists for critics’ consideration in this category. But that shouldn’t detract from our admiration for AJC Editorial Page Editor CYNTHIA TUCKER. Tucker sometimes is dismissively tagged as the daily’s liberal columnistmore...

Ever the fair-minded, we excluded CL’s own columnists for critics’ consideration in this category. But that shouldn’t detract from our admiration for AJC Editorial Page Editor CYNTHIA TUCKER. Tucker sometimes is dismissively tagged as the daily’s liberal columnist (which anyone might be, compared to GOP shill Jim Wooten). But those who’ve read her with an open mind over the past 20 years knows her as a remarkably independent voice of reason. She produces timely and often courageous columns that dare to expose the clay feet of such local idols as Cynthia McKinney and the King family. Yet she’s no bomb-thrower; she chooses her words carefully, her tone is moderate, her arguments are persuasive and her positions have been remarkably consistent. She was among the first to publicly call out Bill Campbell; she never wavered from that opinion and darned if she wasn’t proven to be right on the money. We are a stronger community on account of her.
www.ajc.com.

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Best Golf Course BOA Award Winner

If you’re a golf snob, then you don’t mind the drive to some of Georgia’s premiere golf courses with lush grounds, breathtaking views and heart-stopping greens fees. But we prefer to stay a bit closer to home and use our nine irons at the NORTH FULTON GOLF COURSE. Owned bymore...
If you’re a golf snob, then you don’t mind the drive to some of Georgia’s premiere golf courses with lush grounds, breathtaking views and heart-stopping greens fees. But we prefer to stay a bit closer to home and use our nine irons at the NORTH FULTON GOLF COURSE. Owned by the city of Atlanta and situated next to Chastain Park, the par-3 and 4 course offers some of the most affordable golf (under $50) in the state. (Before the city took it over, the course was home to a pre-Masters PGA tournament.) It’s the perfect place for executives and amateurs alike to spend an afternoon. But if you go on the weekends, get there early to avoid at least a 30-minute wait. less...

Best Old Thing About Atlanta BOA Award Winner

It’s tough to find much of anything in Atlanta older than OAKLAND CEMETERY, and arguably no place in this city wears its age more gracefully. Founded as a six-acre graveyard in 1850, Oakland exploded in size and, um, popularity as a result of the Civil War. Today, it serves as the final restingmore...
It’s tough to find much of anything in Atlanta older than OAKLAND CEMETERY, and arguably no place in this city wears its age more gracefully. Founded as a six-acre graveyard in 1850, Oakland exploded in size and, um, popularity as a result of the Civil War. Today, it serves as the final resting place for Bobby Jones, Margaret Mitchell, Maynard Jackson and 70,000 of the famous and obscure, including legions of unknown Confederate soldiers. But you needn’t be a history buff or a goth geek to appreciate the cemetery’s collection of ornate mausoleums and endless cobblestone paths. In fact, Oakland is quite living-friendly; it’s open every day of the year to provide a cheerfully morbid spot for a picnic or a stroll. less...

Best OTP Park BOA Award Winner

The name Kennesaw comes from the Cherokee word “gah-nee-sah,” which means burial ground. Fitting, since the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain ended the lives of an estimated 4,000 men in the summer of 1864, with 62,000 others either captured or injured. Nowadays, the site of some of the heaviestmore...
The name Kennesaw comes from the Cherokee word “gah-nee-sah,” which means burial ground. Fitting, since the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain ended the lives of an estimated 4,000 men in the summer of 1864, with 62,000 others either captured or injured. Nowadays, the site of some of the heaviest fighting of the Civil War’s Atlanta Campaign has become the 2,888-acre KENNESAW MOUNTAIN NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD PARK. Trek to this well-preserved site for a first-hand history lesson more interesting than anything they told you in class. There are more than 17 miles of trails for walking, and a 1.4-mile hike to the summit. Just don’t try to make off with any historical mementos of your own. Doing so could cost you $100,000 or even land you in jail. Plus, it’s just plain disrespectful. less...

Best Person You Love to Hate BOA Award Winner

Neal Boortz
Well, if it isn’t our own John Sugg, then it has to be Atlanta’s contribution to big-league talk radio, NEAL BOORTZ. Whether Boortz is trumpeting his Flat Earth Society views on global warming (yeah, sure, Neal, it isn’t happening), frothing up generalized hatred against Muslims,more...
Well, if it isn’t our own John Sugg, then it has to be Atlanta’s contribution to big-league talk radio, NEAL BOORTZ. Whether Boortz is trumpeting his Flat Earth Society views on global warming (yeah, sure, Neal, it isn’t happening), frothing up generalized hatred against Muslims, or demagogue-ing the idea of a national sales tax to rip off middle-class Americans, he’s still an essential listen ... if only to know what the other side is thinking. We’ll at least give Boortz points for his willingness to tackle sacred cows and to bandy about big ideas — no matter how wrongheaded he is about them. Unlike most talk-radio blowhards, he’s had an impact on at least one policy debate by doggedly advocating the sales tax (which he incongruously calls “Fair Tax”). Besides, if we couldn’t hear this particular Cox Enterprises employee bloviating each morning on AM radio, our blood pressure might drop to an unhealthy level. less...

Best Place to Mountain Bike BOA Award Winner

Yellow River Mountain Bike Trail
The beautiful part of the YELLOW RIVER MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAIL is its accessibility. No, we’re not talking about how close it is to town (although that’s another big plus). Whether you’re an expert rider hungry for a challenge or an eager newbie who’s just shed his trainingmore...
The beautiful part of the YELLOW RIVER MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAIL is its accessibility. No, we’re not talking about how close it is to town (although that’s another big plus). Whether you’re an expert rider hungry for a challenge or an eager newbie who’s just shed his training wheels, this place has what you’re looking for. The Creek Loop, which was designed by a mountain biker, consists of about five miles of tough climbs and exhilarating drop-offs. The River Loop, on the other hand, offers novices a far mellower ride. Some bikers say a recent trail makeover robbed the Creek Loop of some of its danger, but it’s still a hell of a ride. less...

Best Playground BOA Award Winner

John Howell Park
Across from Inman Park Middle School, JOHN HOWELL PARK features two playgrounds: one for tots and one for school-age kids. Though neither playground is particularly large, both age groups can find plenty to amuse themselves. Older kids can run across a wobbly bridge and crawl through tubes under much-covetedmore...
Across from Inman Park Middle School, JOHN HOWELL PARK features two playgrounds: one for tots and one for school-age kids. Though neither playground is particularly large, both age groups can find plenty to amuse themselves. Older kids can run across a wobbly bridge and crawl through tubes under much-coveted shade. The toddler set can run amok in a sandbox, experience bouncy rocking-horse-like rides, and find a fire engine suitable for climbing on, under and through. Best of all, high-tech rubberized flooring covers the entire playground, so if your kids fall you won’t feel as guilty. less...

Best Rock Station BOA Award Winner

Dave-FM (92.9)
“Rock is dead, they say,” was the Who’s infamous proclamation in the ’70s, and they may have been more prescient than they realized. It’s no coincidence that most rock stations in Atlanta now have classic rock formats. All old, all the time. They may be dinosaurmore...

“Rock is dead, they say,” was the Who’s infamous proclamation in the ’70s, and they may have been more prescient than they realized. It’s no coincidence that most rock stations in Atlanta now have classic rock formats. All old, all the time. They may be dinosaur bands but a lot of them still put out new material, which never gets played on the radio. Without the Internet, would anyone have even heard of one of the most important albums of the year, Neil Young’s Living With War? That’s why we like the freewheeling format of DAVE-FM (92.9). There’s an interesting blend of old and new, and Mara Davis has the spiciest tongue on the local radio scene. Long live rock!


www.929davefm.com/.

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Best Use of a "Get Out of Jail Free" Card BOA Award Winner

Dallas Austin
DALLAS AUSTIN, dude, what were you thinking? We’ll wait to see whether Austin’s bust earlier this year in Dubai will damage the good-guy reputation the music producer has built in Atlanta, or if the escapade turns out to be his own little Teflon hit. But it certainly was handy to bemore...
DALLAS AUSTIN, dude, what were you thinking? We’ll wait to see whether Austin’s bust earlier this year in Dubai will damage the good-guy reputation the music producer has built in Atlanta, or if the escapade turns out to be his own little Teflon hit. But it certainly was handy to be able to call for help from high-powered Atlanta entertainment attorney Joel Katz, who in turn fetched assistance from ultra-conservative Sen. (and Mormon Church crooner) Orrin Hatch. Austin ended up with a pardon and quickly got a ticket out of the Persian Gulf emirate. Sometimes — especially when you do something really, really dumb — it pays to have friends in high places. less...

Best Wi-Fi Location BOA Award Winner

Teahouse 11:11
With everyone seemingly owning a laptop and Wi-Fi coffee shops popping up all over town, more and more people are escaping the office or classroom to get away, to work away from work. In our Westside neighborhood, the place to surf while you sip your java is Octane. But the most unique coffeehouse experiencemore...
With everyone seemingly owning a laptop and Wi-Fi coffee shops popping up all over town, more and more people are escaping the office or classroom to get away, to work away from work. In our Westside neighborhood, the place to surf while you sip your java is Octane. But the most unique coffeehouse experience citywide may well be 11:11 TEAHOUSE. There’s a medicinal herb garden, and its luscious wafts of peppermint, ginger and rosemary make it as serene of a setting as you could ever hope for. Plus, there are 30 exotic tea combinations concocted from 150 herbs, and the prerequisite free Wi-Fi access. The chain coffee shops have their place, but to get unique you have to go local. less...

Best Guilty Pleasure (And Best Party) BOA Award Winner

Atlanta Peach

Best Local Television Anchor BOA Award Winner

John Pruitt
Because he’s sat next to a shining star such as Monica Kaufman for all these years, it’s been too easy to overlook JOHN PRUITT. But as a news reader, he’s the local version of the late Peter Jennings — authoritative, fatherly and never rattled. Pruitt started out asmore...
Because he’s sat next to a shining star such as Monica Kaufman for all these years, it’s been too easy to overlook JOHN PRUITT. But as a news reader, he’s the local version of the late Peter Jennings — authoritative, fatherly and never rattled. Pruitt started out as a reporter, covering stories as varied as the funeral of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the kidnapping of Barbara Jane Mackle and Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign. Despite a mid-career 15-year run at WXIA-TV/Channel 11, Pruitt will always be associated with WSB-TV/Channel 2 and Kaufman, his longtime broadcast partner. He’s been giving Atlantans their news for nearly 40 years. Between Monica’s ever-changing hairstyles and wardrobe, and Pruitt’s ability to remain steady and ageless, they are the yin and yang of Atlanta television news. less...

Best Neighborhood Festival BOA Award Winner

Inman Park Festival
We know it’s won several years in a row, and we like to vary our picks when possible. But the INMAN PARK FESTIVAL proves it’s special every single April. There’s no better place to browse booths filled with modestly priced rustic art, plants, handmade jewelry and kitsch. Themore...

We know it’s won several years in a row, and we like to vary our picks when possible. But the INMAN PARK FESTIVAL proves it’s special every single April. There’s no better place to browse booths filled with modestly priced rustic art, plants, handmade jewelry and kitsch. The neighborhood’s elegant Victorian homes make the scenery awesome. The crowd’s diverse. The music’s great, and very varied. And unlike most neighborhood fests, the three-day Inman Park event takes place under the leafy shade of narrow tree-lined streets. What really sets the festival apart, though, is its opening day parade, which features colorful floats, grinning politicos and, of course, the Feed and Seed Marching Abominable Marching Band.
www.inmanpark.org/festival.

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Best Quirk About Atlanta BOA Award Winner

Most Adults Who Live in Atlanta ain't From Around Here
Hang out in Atlanta long enough and you’ll discover that MOST ADULTS WHO LIVE IN ATLANTA AIN’T FROM AROUND HERE. Just ask around. Atlanta sucks up folks from parts of the Southeast that suck. But it’s not just Southerners moving in; plenty of newfangled carpetbaggers came downmore...
Hang out in Atlanta long enough and you’ll discover that MOST ADULTS WHO LIVE IN ATLANTA AIN’T FROM AROUND HERE. Just ask around. Atlanta sucks up folks from parts of the Southeast that suck. But it’s not just Southerners moving in; plenty of newfangled carpetbaggers came down during the dot-com era and that crazy international event called the Olympics. More are now flooding in from scores of other nations. In 1990, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Atlanta’s metro population at 2.9 million. By 2005, it had swelled to 5.1 million. And well more than half the people who live in DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties weren’t even born in Georgia. Should you run into a native, avoid asking about Atlanta back in the day. You’ll only get stories that begin with, “I remember when ... .” less...

Best Radio DJ BOA Award Winner

Marvin Evangelista
He stumbles over words. He screws up his PSAs. He’s a total spaz. And he undoubtedly grates on some listeners’ nerves. But those people are just jealous they don’t have the charm, energy and personality of WRAS-FM (88.5)’s MARVIN EVANGELISTA. Evangelista hosts severalmore...

He stumbles over words. He screws up his PSAs. He’s a total spaz. And he undoubtedly grates on some listeners’ nerves. But those people are just jealous they don’t have the charm, energy and personality of WRAS-FM (88.5)’s MARVIN EVANGELISTA. Evangelista hosts several Album 88 programs, including “Soul Kitchen.” In endearingly awkward fits and bursts, he offers hilarious commentary and witty criticisms of his own shortcomings as a DJ. And in an impressive attempt to prove he can walk the walk as well as talk the talk, Evangelista wiped the floor clean in AccessAtlanta’s 2005 air guitar contest. His re-enactment of AC/DC’s “Problem Child” would make even Bob Pollard proud.
404-651-4488. <a href="http://www.wras.org" target="_blank"www.wras.org.

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Best Climbing Wall BOA Award Winner

Atlanta Rocks Indoor Climbing
And 4411 Bankers Circle, suite A, Doraville, 770-242-7625.

Best Local Blogger BOA Award Winner

Rodney Ho
Entertainment blogger for the AJC

Best Local Celebrity BOA Award Winner

Andre 3000
Member of OutKast and actor

Best Mountain Escape BOA Award Winner

Blue Ridge Mountains

Best Person You Love To Hate BOA Award Winner

Cynthia McKinney

Best Place to Spot Celebrities BOA Award Winner

Lenox Square

Best Sign Isn't Like the Rest of Georgia BOA Award Winner

Liberals, gays and traffic

Best TV Sports Anchor BOA Award Winner

Fred Kalil
WXIA/Channel 11 Weeknights, 6 and 11 p.m. www.11alive.com

Best Place to Road Bike BOA Award Winner

Silver Comet Trail

Best Bizarro Local News Story BOA Award Winner

Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney's incident with a Capitol Hill security guard

Best Local Athlete BOA Award Winner

Michael Vick
Atlanta Falcons player www.atlantafalcons.com

Best Local Blogger BOA Award Winner

Spencer Sloan

Best Local Troublemaker BOA Award Winner

Cynthia McKinney
Congresswoman for Georgia's Fourth District www.house.gov/mckinney

Best Local Website BOA Award Winner

AJC.com

Best Morning Drive-Time Radio Show BOA Award Winner

WWWQ / All The HIts Q100 Weekdays 5:30 - 10 a.m. www.allthehitsq100.com

Best Overall Radio Station BOA Award Winner

WBZY-FM (105.3) The Buzz

Best Radio DJ BOA Award Winner

Aaron Hickman
WBZY-FM (105.3) The Buzz Weekdays 7 p.m. - 12 a.m. www.buzzatlanta.com

Best TV Weather Person BOA Award Winner

Glenn Burns
WSB/Channel 2 Weeknights, 5,6 and 11 p.m. www.wsbtv.com

Best Annual Event BOA Award Winner

Gay Pride Festival

Best Beach Retreat BOA Award Winner

Tybee Island

Best Columnist BOA Award Winner

Hollis Gillespie
Creative Loafing

Best Country Music Radio Station BOA Award Winner

WKHX-FM (101.5 FM)
210 Interstate North Parkway, suite 600, 404-741-1015. www.wkhx.com

Best Person You Hate To Love BOA Award Winner

Neal Boortz on WSB-AM (750)

Best Quirk About Atlanta BOA Award Winner

Traffic

Best Local Do-Gooder BOA Award Winner

Jimmy Carter

Best Local Do-Gooder BOA Award Winner

Clark Howard
WSB-AM (750) www.clarkhoward.com

Best Local Hero BOA Award Winner

Shirley Franklin

Best Locally Produced Podcast BOA Award Winner

"Mostly ITP," Georgia Podcast Network

Best Local Politico BOA Award Winner

Shirley Franklin

Best Local TV or Newspaper Reporter BOA Award Winner

Clark Howard
WSB/Channel 2 www.clarkhoward.com

Best Neighborhood BOA Award Winner

Virginia-Highland

Best Neighborhood Festival BOA Award Winner

Inman Park Festival

Best Rock Station BOA Award Winner

WBZY-FM (105.3) The Buzz
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Best Climbing Wall BOA Award Winner

Atlanta Rocks Indoor Climbing
And 4411 Bankers Circle, suite A, Doraville, 770-242-7625.

Best Local Blogger BOA Award Winner

Rodney Ho
Entertainment blogger for the AJC

Best Local Celebrity BOA Award Winner

Andre 3000
Member of OutKast and actor

Best Local Hero BOA Award Winner

Judith Curry
When Hurricane Katrina tore into the Gulf Coast, it created a perverse, but tempting, chance to make a point about global warming. Scientists had long figured a hotter atmosphere would agitate the storm cycle, creating more or bigger storms, or both. Was Katrina an example? Just after the storm hit,more...
When Hurricane Katrina tore into the Gulf Coast, it created a perverse, but tempting, chance to make a point about global warming. Scientists had long figured a hotter atmosphere would agitate the storm cycle, creating more or bigger storms, or both. Was Katrina an example? Just after the storm hit, JUDITH CURRY, along with other atmospheric scientists at Georgia Tech, happened to co-publish a landmark study on hurricanes and global warming. They concluded the strongest hurricanes are getting even stronger as the Earth gets hotter. At a Washington briefing where Curry was asked to describe the research, a congressional aide with ties to the coal industry tried to portray her work as out-of-step with mainstream science. It didn’t work. Reporters at first concentrated on the aide’s trumped-up controversy. But the well-timed research eventually sunk into the public’s mind as yet more evidence of the costs of climate change. Curry has walked a difficult tightrope for scientists: While she’s been candid about the evidence for global warming, she’s steered clear of pontificating on issues outside her expertise. She and her Tech colleagues have kept their eyes on their own work, which is just what we need if we wish to understand what we’re doing to this planet. less...

Best Local Troublemaker BOA Award Winner

Joe Parko
Meet JOE PARKO, and you think “ordinary guy.” The retired Georgia State professor is anything but. Behind a gentle smile and shock of white hair is a firebrand. Parko, a Quaker, has been among Atlanta’s most indefatigable critics of George Bush and his Iraq misadventure. Inmore...
Meet JOE PARKO, and you think “ordinary guy.” The retired Georgia State professor is anything but. Behind a gentle smile and shock of white hair is a firebrand. Parko, a Quaker, has been among Atlanta’s most indefatigable critics of George Bush and his Iraq misadventure. In November 2002, before the war began, Parko began an all-American exercise. He tried to confront one of his U.S. senators — unhinged hawk Zell Miller — with questions about the war: Will we face more terrorism if we attack Iraq? How many people will be killed? Parko and four other activists refused to leave the senator’s Colony Square office until Miller agreed to meet with them. Instead of setting up a meeting with his constituents, Miller’s minions called the police. The activists, now dubbed the Atlanta Five, were busted for “criminal trespass.” Two years later, a judge threw the case out of court. Since then, Parko’s exported his fight for peace from Midtown to such far-flung lands as Iraq and Palestine. He uses letters, speeches and demonstrations. He’s a gentle but dogged hell-raiser. less...

Best Morality Tale BOA Award Winner

Bill Campbell
If you didn’t believe BILL CAMPBELL was a crook when he was mayor, then you weren’t paying attention. A puzzling jury verdict acquitted the slickster on racketeering charges. But Hizzoner still will be sporting prison scrubs for the next couple of years, because he couldn’tmore...
If you didn’t believe BILL CAMPBELL was a crook when he was mayor, then you weren’t paying attention. A puzzling jury verdict acquitted the slickster on racketeering charges. But Hizzoner still will be sporting prison scrubs for the next couple of years, because he couldn’t escape the tax evasion charges. Even though Campbell’s high-profile trial, conviction and incarceration gave Atlanta a black eye, letting him get away with his skullduggery as he ran the city into the ground would’ve tarnished our reputation all the more. Perhaps as much as the verdict, justice was served by the courtroom revelation of the former mayor as a petty, vindictive philanderer who spent as much time playing blackjack and taking vacations on other people’s dimes as he did at City Hall. And when he gets out of the slammer, maybe he can run for mayor of Tunica, Miss. less...

Best Mountain Escape BOA Award Winner

Blue Ridge Mountains

Best Nana-Na-Na, Hey Hey Hey, Goodbye! BOA Award Winner

Ralph Reed
We Georgians may be a little slow occasionally, but at least we’re not dumb enough to elect RALPH REED lieutenant governor. Reed cut his teeth at the Christian Coalition, and built his career as a take-no-prisoners GOP consultant who never let the truth stand in the way of a good campaign soundmore...
We Georgians may be a little slow occasionally, but at least we’re not dumb enough to elect RALPH REED lieutenant governor. Reed cut his teeth at the Christian Coalition, and built his career as a take-no-prisoners GOP consultant who never let the truth stand in the way of a good campaign sound bite. For reasons known only to him, he decided that becoming lieutenant governor of Georgia would be his first stepping stone to becoming president — yes, president of the United States. In the end, the scandal over his dealings with lobbyist Jack Abramoff (and his cynical exploitation of Christian activists in the campaign he waged against Indian casinos with money supplied by Abramoff’s casino clients) proved too much for even Georgia’s Republicans to swallow. The good news: He was stomped in last July’s GOP primary. The bad news: Reed’s a bit like a zombie — he’s likely to remain on Georgia’s political scene for decades. less...

Best New Building BOA Award Winner

Terminus 100
TERMINUS 100 may not be quite finished yet, but when it’s completed in the spring, the 26-story glass-and-steel high-rise will bring a Fifth Avenue vibe to the intersection of Peachtree and Piedmont roads. The Buckhead tower, designed by Duda/Paine Architects of Durham, N.C., is the first ofmore...

TERMINUS 100 may not be quite finished yet, but when it’s completed in the spring, the 26-story glass-and-steel high-rise will bring a Fifth Avenue vibe to the intersection of Peachtree and Piedmont roads. The Buckhead tower, designed by Duda/Paine Architects of Durham, N.C., is the first of five planned by Cousins Properties on the 10-acre site. It will be anchored by two floors of retail space set up against the sidewalk, with a glitzy, Vegas-style restaurant plaza around the side. A stunning example of Atlanta’s mixed-use building renaissance, Terminus 100 is certain to bring a new jolt of energy to a rapidly changing part of town. The high-profile address and highfalutin architecture already has roped in a high-profile tenant: Cousins itself plans to move from the suburbs into the Buckhead building. That’s certainly making a statement.
www.terminus-atlanta.com


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Best Person You Love To Hate BOA Award Winner

Cynthia McKinney

Best Place to Splish Splash BOA Award Winner

Ocoee River
For continuous whitewater fun within a couple of hours of a major city, it’s hard to match the OCOEE RIVER. Just north of the Tennessee line, the Ocoee’s most famous as the site of the 1996 Olympics whitewater course. But it’s also an incredibly accessible stream for half-daymore...

For continuous whitewater fun within a couple of hours of a major city, it’s hard to match the OCOEE RIVER. Just north of the Tennessee line, the Ocoee’s most famous as the site of the 1996 Olympics whitewater course. But it’s also an incredibly accessible stream for half-day and full-day guided rafting trips. The Class III-IV rapids aren’t super dangerous, but you definitely don’t want to try them without an expert. An added convenience: The Ocoee’s dam-released flows ensure a good ride even in the driest days of summer.
Nantahala Outdoor Center, 888-905-7238, www.noc.com; Wildwater Limited, 800-451-9972, ,a href="http://www.wildwaterrafting.com">www.wildwaterrafting.com.

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Best Place to Spot Celebrities BOA Award Winner

Lenox Square

Best Place to Spot Celebs BOA Award Winner

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Best Sign Isn't Like the Rest of Georgia BOA Award Winner

Liberals, gays and traffic

Best TV Sports Anchor BOA Award Winner

Fred Kalil
WXIA/Channel 11 Weeknights, 6 and 11 p.m. www.11alive.com

Best Urban Radio Station BOA Award Winner

Hot 107.9(WHTA-FM)
Check the playlists at some of the urban stations in the A, and it’ll seem as if the program directors are stationed in New York. But take a listen to HOT 107.9 (WHTA-FM) and you’ll immediately hear the difference — Hot 107.9 keeps it dirty. In addition to the hit parade, you’llmore...

Check the playlists at some of the urban stations in the A, and it’ll seem as if the program directors are stationed in New York. But take a listen to HOT 107.9 (WHTA-FM) and you’ll immediately hear the difference — Hot 107.9 keeps it dirty. In addition to the hit parade, you’ll hear unknown local/regional hip-hop acts, no matter the time slot or the on-air personality. The station has a history of breaking out new artists, and Hot 107.9 is responsible for launching a bevy of musical trends such as bass, bounce, crunk and (these days) snap.
www.hot107atl.com

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Best Annual Event BOA Award Winner

National Black Arts Festival
Atlanta is a city of festivals. There’s the Dogwood Festival at Piedmont Park, Pride Week, the return of the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Downtown Festival and on and on. Our favorite is the NATIONAL BLACK ARTS FESTIVAL, which transforms the city for 10 days each July into a cultural haven, wheremore...

Atlanta is a city of festivals. There’s the Dogwood Festival at Piedmont Park, Pride Week, the return of the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Downtown Festival and on and on. Our favorite is the NATIONAL BLACK ARTS FESTIVAL, which transforms the city for 10 days each July into a cultural haven, where dance troupes, musicians and artists pay homage to the African diaspora. This year’s highlights included performances by Grammy-nominated composer and trumpeter Hannibal Lokumbe and the Forces of Nature Dance Theater Company. In addition, there was the Pan-African Film Festival and an eclectic artists’ market.
www.nbaf.org.

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Best Beach Retreat BOA Award Winner

Cumberland Island
With rapid construction overtaking Atlanta’s already jammed streets, there’s no better way to escape than to cruise down to CUMBERLAND ISLAND. It’s Georgia’s biggest barrier island, and it can only be reached by ferry, making it a subtropical oasis for a plethora ofmore...

With rapid construction overtaking Atlanta’s already jammed streets, there’s no better way to escape than to cruise down to CUMBERLAND ISLAND. It’s Georgia’s biggest barrier island, and it can only be reached by ferry, making it a subtropical oasis for a plethora of animals, including egrets, pelicans and wild horses. Walk along the secluded beach, with its backdrop of smooth, white dunes, and you might catch a glimpse of loggerhead turtles laying eggs. Or venture under the island’s canopy of massive live oaks to spot anything from painted buntings to armadillos. Be sure to check out Plum Orchard, the remnants of the Carnegie family’s Tara-esque mansion, built in the 1890s. The island’s serenity is constantly threatened by politician-led schemes to turn it into a tourist trap. For now, however, it remains the crown jewel of Georgia’s “Golden Isles.” If you visit, go between now and April, because the island’s wildlife also includes sand gnats and mosquitoes.
912-882-4336. www.nps.gov/cuis


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Best Celebrity BOA Award Winner

Cee-Lo
This time last year, CEE-LO was another B-level celebrity known as much for his role as the indulgent father on MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16” and his songwriting (“Don’t Cha” by the Pussycat Dolls) as for his music. Then, he released St. Elsewhere, themore...
This time last year, CEE-LO was another B-level celebrity known as much for his role as the indulgent father on MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16” and his songwriting (“Don’t Cha” by the Pussycat Dolls) as for his music. Then, he released St. Elsewhere, the album he’d spent more than a year working on with Danger Mouse. Collectively known as Gnarls Barkley, they produced the song of the summer, “Crazy,” which sounds like Sly and the Family Stone jettisoned into 2006. The song hit the top of the charts in the U.K. before it was even officially released. It did the same in the United States once it was released here. “Crazy,” with its haunting lyrics and Cee-Lo’s soaring voice on the chorus, finally launched him into major league stardom. Ain’t that crazy? less...

Best Country Radio Station BOA Award Winner

Eagle 106.7 (WYAY-FM)
Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, Tift Merritt, Del McCoury, Steve Earle, Dwight Yoakam, Rodney Crowell, Lyle Lovett, Alison Krauss — don’t you wish there was a great country station in town that had artists like those on its playlist? One of the best examples of how disconnected countrymore...

Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, Tift Merritt, Del McCoury, Steve Earle, Dwight Yoakam, Rodney Crowell, Lyle Lovett, Alison Krauss — don’t you wish there was a great country station in town that had artists like those on its playlist? One of the best examples of how disconnected country radio is from its fan base came a few years back when the Oh Brother, Where Art Thou soundtrack was the No. 1 album on the country charts with virtually no airplay from country stations. Although it doesn’t entirely overcome that shortcoming, our favorite local station is EAGLE 106.7 (WYAY-FM) because of Hall of Fame disc jockey Rhubarb Jones and because of the station’s willingness to dip into the past and play such artists as Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard on weekends.
www.wyay.com.

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Best Intown Park BOA Award Winner

Perennially overshadowed by its flashier Midtown sibling, the 131-acre GRANT PARK has something of a split personality. On its western side, the city’s oldest park offers a serene, leafy sanctum from the bustle of the city, with historic fountains, fresh water springs, ancient footbridges andmore...
Perennially overshadowed by its flashier Midtown sibling, the 131-acre GRANT PARK has something of a split personality. On its western side, the city’s oldest park offers a serene, leafy sanctum from the bustle of the city, with historic fountains, fresh water springs, ancient footbridges and restful nooks. In its middle are a popular soccer field, tennis courts, public swimming pools, a playground and a network of shaded walking paths. The open space along its eastern edge is the perfect setting for a summer’s worth of cookouts and family get-togethers. Stir in a family-friendly zoo, the Cyclorama and the well-preserved Confederate Fort Walker, and you’ve got a park that perfectly reflects the diversity of the city around it. less...

Best Jogging Path BOA Award Winner

For years, cross-country teams have jogged on the rooted paths and trekked up the grueling hills of KENNESAW MOUNTAIN NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD PARK. The park offers about 17 miles of trails that wind through some of the Civil War battlefields, monuments and earthworks. And there’s a spectacularmore...
For years, cross-country teams have jogged on the rooted paths and trekked up the grueling hills of KENNESAW MOUNTAIN NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD PARK. The park offers about 17 miles of trails that wind through some of the Civil War battlefields, monuments and earthworks. And there’s a spectacular view of Atlanta from the top of the mountain. Though crowded at times, the diverse routes allow beginners and hardcore athletes alike to enjoy the expansive park. The park could get even better if officials decide to limit some of the teams (which can be as large as 100 members) to only certain running times to cut down on the wear and tear of the site. That’ll leave you alone with nature for a good sweat. less...

Best Mountain Escape BOA Award Winner

Chattooga River

BEST MOUNTAIN ESCAPE


In the early 1970s, the CHATTOOGA RIVER was officially dubbed one of the nation’s first “Wild and Scenic Rivers.” That remains an apt description for the river, which rises in North Carolina before forming the northernmost part of the Georgia and South Carolina border. Its awe-inspiring rapids (which non-experts should only attempt on trips led by highly qualified guides) cut a gorgeous gorge through verdant, unspoiled mountains. There are only a couple of road crossings and no buildings along the Wild and Scenic stretches: Section 3, which intersperses steep drops with scenic pools, and Section 4, where the rapids get steeper and more frequent. To really escape from civilization, set aside a whole weekend for an overnight trip on both sections.
Nantahala Outdoor Center, 888-905-7238, www.noc.com; Wildwater Limited, 800-451-9972, www.wildwaterrafting.com.

Best Person You Hate to Love BOA Award Winner

Clark Howard
He’s corny and occasionally hokey. His sincerity seems too good to be true. He’s too nerdy to be cool. But WSB-AM (750)’s CLARK HOWARD has earned his reputation as the most trusted public figure in Atlanta. He genuinely does care about the people who call his show with theirmore...
He’s corny and occasionally hokey. His sincerity seems too good to be true. He’s too nerdy to be cool. But WSB-AM (750)’s CLARK HOWARD has earned his reputation as the most trusted public figure in Atlanta. He genuinely does care about the people who call his show with their consumer problems (or at least their spending habits), and he offers them sound advice. He’s already filthy rich and doesn’t need the gig; he does it because he loves it. As a college student, Howard worked for Ralph Nader, an experience that has informed him ever since. He’s not afraid to take on the powers-that-be (his contract specifies there will be no sacred cows on his show). Although it pains us to admire a guy who eats bargain meals at Burger King and scrounges for bargains, Howard’s a rare treasure: If he says it, you can take it to the bank. less...

Best Place to Bike BOA Award Winner

Silver Comet Trail
Named after a passenger train that ran along the same route from 1947 to 1968, the SILVER COMET TRAIL is a gorgeous stretch of pavement with a pastoral feel that’ll make you wonder whether you pedaled through a time warp into bygone, rural Georgia. The path runs 60 miles west across three counties.more...
Named after a passenger train that ran along the same route from 1947 to 1968, the SILVER COMET TRAIL is a gorgeous stretch of pavement with a pastoral feel that’ll make you wonder whether you pedaled through a time warp into bygone, rural Georgia. The path runs 60 miles west across three counties. That’s right, 60 freakin’ miles. Bikers, runners and walkers are free to do their thing without dodging traffic, and the scenery is breathtaking. The rails-to-trails project is an ambitious undertaking: When it’s completed, Silver Comet will connect with Alabama’s Chief Ladiga Trail to form a continuous, 93-mile path from Smyrna to Anniston, Ala. If you try to ride the whole thing, just remember: You’ll either need someone to pick you up at the other end, or your trip length will have gotten 93 miles longer. less...

Best Place to Road Bike BOA Award Winner

Silver Comet Trail

Best Real TV Journalist BOA Award Winner

Dale Cardwell
You’ve heard the jokes about TV newspeople. The “blow-dries.” The “news babes.” The “rip-and-read” anchors. The “if it bleeds, it leads” sensationalists. They’re all true, but there are good journalists lurkingmore...
You’ve heard the jokes about TV newspeople. The “blow-dries.” The “news babes.” The “rip-and-read” anchors. The “if it bleeds, it leads” sensationalists. They’re all true, but there are good journalists lurking on the edges of the tube. They may not be easy to find, but they’re there. Our guy is WSB-TV/Channel 2’s DALE CARDWELL. He broke, or helped break, the criminal investigation of former Mayor Bill Campbell, the stories that led to the grounding of Gov. Sonny Perdue’s use of state aircraft for personal flights, the accounts of corruption associated with former DeKalb County Sheriff Sid Dorsey, the stories of the financial scandal that forced Fulton Sheriff Jackie Barrett from office, as well as the “mansion fund” stories that led to former Gov. Zell Miller returning more than $150,000 to the taxpayers of Georgia. Cardwell’s been a thorn to the mighty, including DeKalb CEO Vernon Jones, and he’s even exposed the threat of terrorism at DeKalb Peachtree Airport. less...

Best Sign Atlanta Isn't Like the Rest of Georgia BOA Award Winner

Pride Week
In a state where there was going to be a special session of the friggin’ Legislature to reinstitute a ban on gay marriage — a practice that was already illegal to start with — PRIDE WEEK symbolizes why Atlanta often feels like an oasis surrounded by a moat (the Perimeter).more...
In a state where there was going to be a special session of the friggin’ Legislature to reinstitute a ban on gay marriage — a practice that was already illegal to start with — PRIDE WEEK symbolizes why Atlanta often feels like an oasis surrounded by a moat (the Perimeter). Venturing outside the moat can give you a case of cultural whiplash. Whoa! What was that? A Confederate flag? Pride week — one of the most colorful, outrageous and unifying events of the year — couldn’t take place anywhere in the Southeast but Atlanta. As a city, Atlanta is a gumbo of cultures and ethnicities and, yes, sexual preferences. People who live here expect diversity and embrace it. less...

Best Sportscaster BOA Award Winner

Fred Kalil
A few years ago, when WXIA-TV/Channel 11’s FRED KALIL made his return to the Braves clubhouse at Turner Field following his recovery from surgery to remove a brain tumor, he found himself surrounded by players and coaches. Their concern about his welfare was obvious and quite genuine, even formore...
A few years ago, when WXIA-TV/Channel 11’s FRED KALIL made his return to the Braves clubhouse at Turner Field following his recovery from surgery to remove a brain tumor, he found himself surrounded by players and coaches. Their concern about his welfare was obvious and quite genuine, even for a member of the media. Kalil’s sincerity comes across in person and on camera. He’s the pick of both the readers and our editorial staff for a simple reason: In an age where sports anchors are increasingly shrill and believe that smart-ass repartee is more important than offering solid information, Kalil remains a refreshing change of pace. He gives us substance over style. less...

Best Bizarro Local News Story BOA Award Winner

Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney's incident with a Capitol Hill security guard

Best Bizarro News Story BOA Award Winner

John Mark Karr
Atlanta’s tangential relationship to the murder of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey just gets stranger and stranger. JonBenet was born here and is buried here, even though she was murdered in Boulder, Col. And JOHN MARK KARR, who confessed to her killing during a press conference at the police stationmore...
Atlanta’s tangential relationship to the murder of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey just gets stranger and stranger. JonBenet was born here and is buried here, even though she was murdered in Boulder, Col. And JOHN MARK KARR, who confessed to her killing during a press conference at the police station in Thailand, grew up in metro Atlanta. And what is it with Thailand and accused Atlanta killers? That’s where Buckhead millionaire James Sullivan fled and was captured before he was brought back and convicted of engineering a hit on his wife, Lita Sullivan. In August, the media wolfpack, led by CNN’s shrill-meister Nancy Grace (another Atlanta connection — she used to be a Fulton County prosecutor), immediately descended on the Karr story and had the guy practically convicted before he ever got on his flight to the States. And what was up with that flight, anyway? Sitting in business class sipping champagne and eating prawns? Of course, everyone — except Lin Wood, the Atlanta-based attorney for the Ramseys — had egg on their face when Karr’s DNA didn’t match DNA found at the crime scene. The sad part is, this is the second Boulder district attorney to bumble the investigation while the real killer still walks free. less...

Best Crash and Burn BOA Award Winner

Atlanta Braves
Last time we checked, the ATLANTA BRAVES had won 14 straight division titles. But last time we checked this year, they were more than 15 games out of first place and struggling even to reach a .500 record. In truth, this has been coming for a long time. The Braves haven’t been competitive inmore...
Last time we checked, the ATLANTA BRAVES had won 14 straight division titles. But last time we checked this year, they were more than 15 games out of first place and struggling even to reach a .500 record. In truth, this has been coming for a long time. The Braves haven’t been competitive in the post-season since Ted Turner gave up control of the team. When the team allowed pitching coach Leo Mazzone to bolt to the Baltimore Orioles in the off-season, it was the final straw. John Smoltz aside, this year’s pitching has been atrocious. The streak is over. With a sale of the team to Liberty Media pending, the future indeed looks bleak. Where have you gone, Turner? Ted Turner, a city turns its lonely eyes to you. less...

Best Ear to the Ground BOA Award Winner

Richard Eldredge

Best Local Athlete BOA Award Winner

Michael Vick
Atlanta Falcons player www.atlantafalcons.com

Best Local Blogger BOA Award Winner

Spencer Sloan

Best Local Do-Gooder(s) BOA Award Winner

Carol and Boake Moore, Chelsea Butler, and Stan King
After the killing waters of Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and Mississippi, Atlantans reached out to help. Among them were CAROL AND BOAKE MOORE, who welcomed 30 Katrina evacuees into their expansive Roswell home overlooking the Chattahoochee. CHELSEA BUTLER, founded a group called Weekendmore...
After the killing waters of Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and Mississippi, Atlantans reached out to help. Among them were CAROL AND BOAKE MOORE, who welcomed 30 Katrina evacuees into their expansive Roswell home overlooking the Chattahoochee. CHELSEA BUTLER, founded a group called Weekend Atlanta Rescue Effort and took weekend trips to New Orleans to bring evacuees to metro Atlanta and helped them navigate the relief system. And STAN KING, a Marietta retiree-turned-woodworker, drove to Mississippi to collect debris from the storm to build birdhouses. He sells them at $100 a pop and donates the proceeds to help Gulf Coast residents rebuild their homes. The Moores, Butler and King are among hundreds (if not thousands) of Atlantans who share this award. less...

Best Local Politico BOA Award Winner

Nan Orrock
Georgia has no lack of bad politicians. Linda Schrenko, Bill Campbell, Ralph Reed. You name ’em. What’s often missed is that we have some damn fine people in public office. Among them are Herhonner Shirley Franklin, U.S. Rep. John Lewis and the Fulton Commission’s Karen Handel.more...
Georgia has no lack of bad politicians. Linda Schrenko, Bill Campbell, Ralph Reed. You name ’em. What’s often missed is that we have some damn fine people in public office. Among them are Herhonner Shirley Franklin, U.S. Rep. John Lewis and the Fulton Commission’s Karen Handel. But this year’s pick for Best Politico is NAN ORROCK, a state House member since 1987 and a shoo-in to win the Eastside’s District 36 state Senate seat in November. What makes Orrock special? Consistency, for a start. She marched for Civil Rights in the ‘60s, has been a factory worker and union organizer, and helped found The Great Speckled Bird underground newspaper. As a legislator, she’s been tireless in working for real family issues. But Orrock’s also the rare Georgia politician who’s managed to increase her influence while holding true to progressive principles. She rose in the state House to minority whip, one of the top-ranked Democrats. Her smarts, energy and guts will quickly make her a force to reckon with in the Senate. less...

Best Local Troublemaker BOA Award Winner

Cynthia McKinney
Congresswoman for Georgia's Fourth District www.house.gov/mckinney

Best Local Website BOA Award Winner

AJC.com


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