Best radio station for music
Best of Seattle 2006
World City Edition
Reader picks at a glance
Clearly, the music still matters to you. KEXP-FM (90.3) won by a landslide—once again. KEXP, like other clever locals stations, launched a blog this year, further extending its grip on Seattle's music taste and listener involvement. Keep obsessing, Seattle. www.kexp.org.
Best local morning radio show
It's important to start your day right. That's why listeners still have their radio alarms tuned to JOHN IN THE MORNING on KEXP-FM (90.3) after all these years. No screaming commercials, no obnoxious personalities, no crappy club music—just John Richards, his jams, and baby Arlie making sure we not only rise but shine. www.kexp.org
Best Local Talk Show Host
You may not know how to spell his name (Scherr, Schurr, Shear, Sherrer, and Cher), but hey, this is radio so it doesn't matter. You picked STEVE SCHER, host of the two-hour public radio talk-fest "Weekday" on KUOW-FM (94.9). Five days a week, he asks smart questions, fields calls from outraged listeners, and chases Ron Sims, Greg Nickels, and other slippery pols for answers. His eclectic tastes and endless curiosity make his interviews refreshingly unpredictable. And in this era of "hot talk," Scher's intelligent pursuit of answers to complex questions provides an oasis of substance in the radio desert. www.kuow.org
Best local TV personality
As it says on the KING-TV Web site, "the mere fact that JOHN CURLEY has a job in TV should be proof enough for anyone that there is indeed a god." Or maybe Curley is God himself. Either way, you voted for him. "Well," one voter wrote, "at least he's involved in the community." As a good God should be. www.king5.com
Best daily newspaper
It might be the locally owned thing, it might be the fact that THE SEATTLE TIMES still provides you with your favorite columnist (see below), or maybe you just like the comics better—you tipped the scale to The Times for the second year in a row. But just like last year, the feisty second-place Seattle Post-Intelligencer lost by only a small margin. www.seattletimes.com
Best daily newspaper columnist
NICOLE BRODEUR of The Seattle Times gets your vote for a second straight year, edging out the city's other big-name scribes—Susan Paynter, Robert Jamieson, Joel Connelly, and Art Thiel of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and Danny Westneat and Jerry Large of the Times. Brodeur seems to bring a layperson's horse sense to any given topic, as she did last year when everyone was talking about a certain barnyard in the exurbs: "Like me, you may have spent the past few days starting questions that you just couldn't finish out loud. Questions about the man, the horse, and the goings-on at that farm in Enumclaw. Why would he . . . ? And then, how did they . . . ? But then, wouldn't it . . . ? There are answers, to be sure. Just none I can print here." seattletimes.nw source.com/html/nicolebrodeur.
Best religious leader
Do you love the VERY REV. MICHAEL G. RYAN or what? Pastor of St. James Cathedral for 18 years, the passion of Mike Ryan touches you not only during Mass at the beautiful, domed 1907 building, but also on the cathedral's extensive Web site, which publishes Ryan's homilies. And for all of you who voted for yourselves: very clever. Maybe you can all start your own congregation. www.stjames-cathedral.org
Best local Web site
Seattle's corner of the national sensation CRAIGSLIST has provided us with everything from free couches to miscellaneous romance, from rides to IKEA to some damn good jobs. All while keeping it local. And you never know, maybe you'll even get a free couch from the guy you drive to IKEA, discover you'd really like to hire him, and then the two of you end up getting some miscellaneous romance on the side! See, everyone wins. seattle.craigslist.org
Best Local Blog
David Goldstein's HORSESASS.ORG blog is the one you like best, presumably because it is reliably liberal, ruthless, and funny. Goldstein also helps host and promote the local Drinking Liberally club gatherings at the Montlake Alehouse, where pols and wonks make regular appearances. Those events are recorded and disseminated via podcast. And this year, Goldstein expanded his liberal empire to the airwaves of KIRO-AM (710), where he holds forth Sunday evenings. www.horsesass.org.
Best Local Politician
He's a congressman for life, or until he doesn't want the job. In liberal Seattle, it's just fine with you that in print U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott is followed by "D-Baghdad" as often as "D-Seattle," and that Sunny Jim travels the world on the lobbyist's dime more than anyone in Washington's D.C. delegation. www.house.gov/mcdermott/.
TIM EYMAN? You voted for Tim Eyman? The washed-up, citizens-initiative-addicted watch salesman whose obsession with monkey-wrenching worthy public spending knows no bounds? The guy who recently delivered petitions in Olympia wearing a Buzz Lightyear costume? This is some sort of counterintuitive subliminal message you're sending, right?
Best Local Celebrity
Being a "Seattle celebrity" is kind of an oxymoron because few people here are famous for, well, being famous. Others look to escape fame here. But due to their good works and deep pockets, BILL AND MELINDA GATES have emerged as people we're proud of—a globe-trotting power couple determined to spend their fortune saving the world (see Best Local Cause, below). Runners-up, celebs named Tom: Tom Hulce, Tom Robbins, Tom Skeritt, Tom Douglas . . .
Best local sports star
If naming food at the ballpark after ICHIRO SUZUKI isn't enough (the Ichiroll—how cute), then Web sites such as www.collectingichiro.com should tip you off. People around the world love our ritualistic, $12.5 million Japanese legend, who hits well over .300 and is on a pace to set another season hits record. mariners.mlb.com
Best Local Cause
Some voters seem to favor lost causes, nominating "Save the Meth Heads," "Lesser Seattle," and "Mary Kay Letourneau" in this category. But the worthy favorite was the charitable colossus, the BILL AND MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION, soon to be a $60 billion charity that combines the fortunes of two of the world's richest men, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, and run by Bill and wife Melinda. Not only have they created a Seattle-based platform for transforming global health and reforming public education, but the foundation continues to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into local charities, nonprofits, and social-service agencies that form part of the region's safety net. Their good works have not gone unnoticed.www.gatesfoundation.org.
Best Local Scandal
The SEATTLE MONORAIL PROJECT will soon be history, but not before one last accolade from you, smart readers. Altogether now: Whom do we see about getting our $100 million back? www.elevated.org.
Best Place to Work
Old-timer Boeing barely made the list, and lots of folks thought "the Pike Place Market" would be fun—you know, all that cool food and flowers and stuff. One suck-up even said "Seattle Weekly" (we know who you are, and the publisher is slipping a little something extra into your pay envelope this week). But MICROSOFT wins this year's honors, and given the fact they've created so many local millionaires, who can argue? www.microsoft.com/careers
Best Viaduct Solution
Well, few folks like the Alaskan Way Viaduct. You mostly demanded that it be "destroyed," "blown up," "bulldozed," or "airlifted to Bosnia." But getting rid of the tottering old structure has never been the issue, the question is: What do we replace it with? Your favored choice: Big Dig, Shmig Dig, put the eyesore underground in a waterfront tunnel, the solution backed by big-spender Mayor Greg Nickels. Maybe we should have asked how many billion dollars you each are willing to kick in. www.seattle.gov/mayor/issues/viaduct/