2012 San Diego SPJ Award Winners

View the complete list of this year’s winners

Sol Price Prize for Responsible Journalism.
This award goes to a journalist whose work not only meets ethical standards but also shows uncommon sensitivity to issues. These journalists pursued truth in the face of such obstacles as unpopularity, economic retribution or physical harm.
Award: Ashly McGlone, Tanya Sierra, Jeff McDonald & Wendy Fry, U-T San Diego, “Sweetwater schools series”
Judges’ Comments: “It is inspiring to see such a great deal of watchdog
journalism go into this story. It is obvious that the reporters who covered this
story worked relentlessly to seek the truth.”

Herbert Lockwood “Woody” Award.
This award honors the best in local humor writing and is named for San Diego’s legendary journalist, humorist and historian, Herbert “Woody” Lockwood, who passed away in February 2009 at age 91. Woody wrote and edited for the Pacific Beach Sentinel, La Mesa Scout, San Diego Independent, San Diego Daily Transcript and San Diego Metropolitan, and he also wrote several humorous books on San Diego history. This winner seems to have a lock on this prize – he has won it several years running.
Award: Irv Erdos, Escondido Magazine, “Escondido: An Unauthorized History”
Judges comments: “This is genuine satire that made me laugh with the first
line about sewer districts. It’s about the underbelly of a region’s social and
political character, from someone who knows the area well and is not afraid to
poke fun at himself and his hometown. If more newspapers wrote like this,
and less like PR machines, the public would trust journalists more.”

James Julian Memorial Award.
This award is named for the late Dr. James Julian, a journalism professor at San Diego State University who taught media law. It goes to the best community service story or series in a newspaper with a circulation of less than 65,000.
Award: Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine, “FEMA refund demand
spark firestorm of controversy”
Judges’ Comments: “Miriam Raftery did a great job tracing and following up
on FEMA’s behavior and actions towards the local survivors of the 2007
firestorms. Truly, this series of continuing stories meets the community
service criteria and is an example of the need that good reporting meets.”

COLLEGE MEDIA

Best Newspaper.

Honorable Mention: The Mesa Press, San Diego Mesa College

2nd Place: Southwestern College Sun, Southwestern College

1st Place: The Telescope, Palomar College

News story – print/online.

Honorable Mention: Sandy Coronilla, The Daily Aztec, San Diego State
University, Mayoral candidate seeks student support

2nd Place: Chris Rosario The Mesa Press, San Diego Mesa College Budget Cuts Spark Rally

1st Place: Sandy Coronilla, The Daily Aztec, San Diego State University
Lawmakers rage against CSU votes
Judges’ Comments: The writer provided a comprehensive background in this
thoughtfully-written story. Moreover, she skillfully withheld judgment of the
highly-charged controversy–yet her voice was heard. Brilliant!

In-Depth Reporting Story – print/online.

Honorable Mention: Kimi Kruesi, The Point Weekly, Point Loma Nazarene
University, Special watchdog report: Caf inspections

2nd Place: Nickolas Furr, Southwestern Sun, Southwestern College,
Board fires corner lot construction firm

1st Place: Nickolas Furr, Southwestern Sun, Southwestern College,
Former VP hid, dumped millions

Feature Story – print/online.

Honorable Mention: Rhett Creel, Southwestern Sun, Southwestern College,
‘America’s toughest sheriff’ draws a tough crowd

2nd Place: Amber Sykes, Southwestern Sun, Southwestern College,
Students work hard to feed homeless

1st Place: Thomas Lord, Southwestern Sun, Southwestern College, Seaside
Sensation

Sports Story – print/online.

2nd Place: Kaity Bergquist & Colleen Peters, The Telescope, Palomar

College, Head wrestling coach dedicates time and resources to hometown

wrestling programs

1st Place: Alexis Dominguez, Southwestern Sun, Southwestern College,
Geriatric Jaguar, 55, inspires the young pups
Judges’ Comments: Not only is this a great example of an exemplary “inside the locker room” sports story, but it’s also a wonderful profile piece for a truly rare individual. It’s a fresh angle compared to the standard “team defeated other team” sportswriting form — and surely more approachable to readers who don’t normally follow sports at all. (The jump hed is also great: “Freshmen Jag football player is also a real life Senior.”)

Multicultural Story – print/online.

2nd Place: Angelica Gonzales, Southwestern Sun, Southwestern College,
Woman who knows no borders

1st Place: Albert Fulcher, Southwestern Sun, Southwestern College,
New life after a near-death experience
Judges’ Comments: Wonderful, in-depth profile story connecting personal struggle with the themes of immigration and multi-lingual speakers. The reporter does a great job making Alonso-Post’s difficult circumstances relatable to a reader unfamiliar with the people and environments involved.

Arts/Entertainment Story – print/online.

Honorable Mention: Joe Llorin, The Mesa Press, San Diego Mesa College,
Jessica Lerner shares miracles with world

2nd Place: Cody Yarbro, Southwestern Sun, Southwestern College,
Child Protege blossoms as musical star

1st Place: Amber Sykes, Southwestern Sun, Southwestern College, Rushing
to the top

Review/Criticism – print/online.

2nd Place: Lauren Mapp, The Mesa Press, San Diego Mesa College, Good
libations await at West Coast Tavern

1st Place: Thomas Lord, Southwestern Sun, Southwestern College, Brilliant
pianist rolls over Beethoven
Judges’ Comments: Great, colorful review. Nice analogies between classical music and contemporary music to help make the physical act of piano playing more relatable.

Opinion/Editorial – print/online.

Honorable Mention: Andrew Fergin, The Mesa Press, San Diego Mesa
College, Staff Editorial: Nunez’s commutation insults Santos’ memory

2nd Place: Mary York, Southwestern Sun, Southwestern College,
Dear Dr. Melinda Nish, we have big plans and high hopes for you

1st Place: Andrew Fergin, The Mesa Press, San Diego Mesa College,
Would you prefer Christ or cuffs, sir?
Judges’ Comments: This is a well-reasoned piece that does everything an op-ed piece needs to. The piece is concise but skillfully presents a contentious situation and provides several solid arguments to underscore the stance given.

Column – print/online.

Honorable Mention: Amanda Abad, Southwestern Sun, Southwestern

College, Sex and the Sun

Honorable Mention: Anthony Dacong, Southwestern Sun, Southwestern
College, The quick slant

2nd Place: Angela Van Ostran, Southwestern Sun, Southwestern College,
The spinning wheel

1st Place: Albert Fulcher, Southwestern Sun, Southwestern College, The
Human Chord

News or Feature Series – print/online.

2nd Place: Mary York, Ernesto Rivera, Albert Fulcher & Serina Duarte,
Southwestern Sun, Southwestern College, Ayded Reyes (Runner detained by
INS, freed/Dream act is pathway to success/Winning race of her life)

1st Place: Joanna O’Hanlon, The Point Weekly, Point Loma Nazarene
University, A horse trainer and a ministry leader: A tale of two strippers
Judges’ Comments: This was an excellent two-part piece, anchored by some
very talented writing. It almost seems that this started as one story (rather than
starting as a planned series) and begged to become a series so that it could
truly convey everything it needed to. The topic and sources involved played
well into the multi-part format — I can imagine this piece being extended to
three parts or more, taking even more personal “profile piece”-esque angles.

Original Illustration or Cartoon – print/online.

2nd Place: Rashid Hasirbaf, Southwestern Sun, Southwestern College,
Veterans deserve our respect

1st Place: Diana Inocencio, Southwestern Sun, Southwestern College,
Women’s History Month
Judges’ Comments: Great design and use of photos. The page flows well and
it’s easy to match the quotes with the photos.

News Photo – print/online.

2nd Place: Albert Fulcher, Southwestern Sun, Southwestern College,
Remembering Eli

1st Place: Diana Inocencio, Southwestern Sun, Southwestern College,
Holding back the throng
Judges’ Comments: Photo captures tension in action.

Feature Photo – print/online.

Honorable Mention: Nicholas Santiago, The Mesa Press, San Diego Mesa College, Balboa Park

2nd Place: Marshall Murphy, Southwestern Sun, Southwestern College,
From detention to elation

1st Place: Nguyen Do, The Mesa Press, San Diego Mesa College,
Flamenco
Judges’ Comments: Photo captures movement and color of flamenco, a
significant cultural dance.

Sports Photo – print/online.

Honorable Mention: Deb Hellman, The Telescope, Palomar College,
Football: Palomar vs. Southwestern Sept. 3

2nd Place: Jiamay Austria, Southwestern Sun, Southwestern College,
Agony of Defeat

1st Place: Serina Duarte, Southwestern Sun, Southwestern College,
Getting it off his chest
Judges’ Comments: Why hasn’t this photo become a meme yet?

Layout and Design – print/online.

2nd Place: David Leonard, The Telescope, Palomar College,
Deadly Disease

1st Place: Diana Inocencio, Southwestern Sun, Southwestern College,
Operation Accreditation
Judges’ Comments: Assuming this ran alongside a more in-depth story or
series, this is a fun, cheeky presentation of what could have normally been a
cut-and-dry sidebar of bullet points.

Arts/Entertainment Program – television.

2nd Place: Tara Millspaugh, The Daily Aztec, DA TV, San Diego State

University, DA TV: The Extreme Justice League protecting students

1st Place: Thomas Lord, Christopher Soto & Walter Graham,
Southwestern Sun, Southwestern College, SWC Racket Room- Jessica Lerner

NEWSPAPER DESIGN, PHOTOGRAPHY & HEADLINES

News Design – single page, daily.

2nd Place: Lindsey Besecker, North County Times, 2011 Fall film preview

1st Place: Christy Flamenbaum, North County Times, North County Times

A1, Sept. 2, 2011

Judges’ Comments: Clean design. Headlines that pop. Good use of art

elements. Excellent page design and worthy of the win.

Feature Design – single page, daily.

2nd Place: Lindsey Besecker, North County Times, 2011 Fall film preview

1st Place: Patrick Gurczynski, North County Times, NC Times Sports C1,

Dec. 24, 2011

Judges’ Comments: Great page! A nice, clean design with great photos and
fresh headlines.

Feature Design – single page, non-daily.

1st Place: Forest Rhodes, Fallbrook/Bonsall Village News, Graduation 2011

Judges’ Comments: Impressive eye-popping design. Nice feature layout.

News Photo.

2nd Place: Hayne Palmour, North County Times, Red tide wows visitors on
North County beaches

1st Place: Bill Wechter. North County Times, Classes resume in Carlsbad
Unified, San Dieguito districts
Judges’ Comments: The photographer took what is often a mundane
assignment — resumption of school — and found a delightful “target” in the
mass of bodies. Even with the bravado that Jake’s spiked hair suggests, we
detect a bit of first-day apprehension.

Photo Essay.

Honorable Mention: Christine Rinaldi, Fallbrook/Bonsall Village News, Dogs
just want to have fun…at Foundation for Senior Care’s Paws in the Park

2nd Place: Christine Rinaldi, Fallbrook/Bonsall Village News, Fourth of July
pride shines in Fallbrook

1st Place: Nelvin C. Cepeda, U-T San Diego, Long Walk Home
Judges’ Comments: Visually stunning. Truly captures a story in every shot
and an epic as a whole series. The tremendous amount of time and effort paid
off with a captivating series of photos.

Feature Headline.

Honorable Mention: Denis C. Grasska, The Southern Cross, Boy Wizard
Battles Evil, While Muggle Tom Hanks Charms Julia Roberts

2nd Place: Denis C. Grasska, The Southern Cross, Darn Dirty Apes Attempt
to Put Their Stinking Paws on James Franco

1st Place: Denis C. Grasska, The Southern Cross, Perpendicular Parking
Judges’ Comments: Always great when you take a fun journalistic chance and
it works. This works. Thanks for the laugh.

NEWSPAPER SPECIAL SECTIONS

Special Section.

Honorable Mention: North County Times Sports Staff, North County Times,
NCT Prep Football 2011 Season Preview

2nd Place: Kristen Castillo, Jake Niklas, Elba Flamenco, Missy Kayko, Allan
Chiu & Anthony (Chusy) Haney-Jardine, Media Planet, San Francisco
Chronicle, ADHD Generation

1st Place: Joe Guerin & Tracye Grimes, The Daily Transcript, San Diego
Business History: 125 Years
Judges’ Comments: While there were more visually stunning entries, the depth and character of the content made this entry a hands down winner for its writing, photography and layout combination. The cover was a great topper capturing the entire theme cleanly and cleverly. A great deal of research and application to why the reader should want to know this made the end result satisfying to readers even if they don’t live in the area.

MAGAZINES

Feature Story.

Honorable Mention: Kristen Castillo, San Diego Style Weddings, Four
Reception Trends We Love

2nd Place: Nicole Sours Larson, Sea Magazine, Boating Out of Sight

1st Place: Nicole Sours Larson, Sea Magazine, Boating with Pets: Creative
solutions to keep cats and dogs safe on board
Judges’ Comments: Great topic. Engagingly written.

Health Story.

Honorable Mention: Elizabeth Marie Himchak, Rancho Magazine, Seniors
dancing for health, fun

2nd Place: Nicole Sours Larson, San Diego Pets Magazine, Reducing Miss
Amy

1st Place: Kristen Castillo, Family Health & Wellness Magazine, The Sweet
Life: Understanding Artificial Sweeteners and Sugar Substitutes
Judges’ Comments: Clean read and nice reporting on artificial sweeteners.

Food Story.

1st Place: Nicole Sours Larson, Riviera Magazine, Glass Half Full
Judges’ Comments: Nicely written story on an area winery that gives readers a
flavor of its history and a taste of why it’s succeeding.

Arts/Entertainment Story.

2nd Place: Pat Launer, San Diego Jewish Journal, Art Meets Orthodoxy

1st Place: Kendra Hartmann, San Diego Pets Magazine, How Michael Vick’s
fight dogs found their way home
Judges’ Comments: Kendra Hartmann writes an enjoyable feature and book
review on the horrifying topic of dog fighting. Though I was repulsed by the
topic, her story made me keep reading and even made me consider getting the
book to read more.

Sports.

1st Place: Kristen Castillo, Family Health & Wellness Magazine, Chill Out:
Cold Therapy Heats Up
Judges’ Comments: Nicely researched feature sports story on cryotherapy.

Column.

1st Place: Irv Erdos, Escondido Magazine, Escondido: An unauthorized history, Bicoastal culture clash, ‘Tis the seaon – baccala la la
Judges’ Comments: Irv Erdos’ “City Shticker” column offers a light look at the
world around him. His Christmas “traditions” piece was particularly
entertaining.

Original illustration or drawing.

1st Place: Forest Rhodes, Sourcebook 2011/Village News Inc., Santa
Margarita Trails
Judges’ Comments: Eye-catching illustration. Very nice combination of
topographic maps, satellite images, locator map and photos. This is an
excellent illustration and worthy of the first-place finish.

Layout and Design – Publication.

1st Place: Valley Sports Staff, Valley Sports Magazine, Valley Sports
Football Guide 2011
Judges’ Comments: This fall football guide is packed with information,
statistics, rosters, schedules and more. Any football fan in the region would
want to study it for the lowdown on the coming season.

News or Feature Series.

1st Place: Nicole Sours Larson, Sea Magazine, Quick Escape: Glorious
Glorietta Bay plus three other “Quick Escapes”
Judges’ Comments: Nicely written series that’s packed with go-and-do

information for travelers.

ONLINE

News Site

2nd Place: Tracye Grimes & The Daily Transcript Staff, The Daily Transcript

1st Place: U-T San Diego Staff, U-T San Diego, UTSanDiego.com
Judges’ Comments: Minimal design with crisp text optimized for obvious top
story with photo. Placement of advertising is tasteful. Nice placement of top
story poll.

Entertainment Site.

1st Place: Night & Day U-T San Diego Staff, U-T San Diego, Night & Day
Judges’ Comments: Easy functioning entertaining site with clear distinction of
categories.

Multimedia Package.

2nd Place: Lori Weisberg, U-T San Diego, The rise of food trucks

1st Place: Maggie Espinosa & Mike Eckel, SanDiego.com, San Diego Guide
To Volunteer Vacations
Judges’ Comments: Espinosa has a tight format that works: engaging video
over text a short intro and pithy items with links. It works, both due to the tight writing, solid video production, and Espinosa’s outgoing personality. So why this particular episode for first place? Because it’s about volunteering, which was more journalistically compelling than the other entries mostly about hotels.

Produced Video for Web Use.

Honorable Mention: Carlos Davalos, The Star-News, McCann and his military service

2nd Place: Carlos Rico & Elizabeth Malloy, The Daily Transcript, Comic-Con
2011: Wrap-up

1st Place: Carlos Rico, The Daily Transcript, New Thomas Jefferson School of Law building opens
Judges’ Comments: This video put a fresh spin on what could have been just
another ribbon-cutting ceremony. Great job.

Photography – Single Photo or Series.

Honorable Mention: Christina Macone-Greene, North County Times,
Walking for the cure, on two legs and four

Honorable Mention: Sarah Strong, The Daily Transcript, Wings of Gold

2nd Place: Christina Macone-Greene, North County Times, Fallbrook Dog
Fair full of tail-wagging fun

1st Place: Paul Gallaher, Fallbrook/Bonsall Village News,
thevillagenews.com, New library opens amidst fanfare
Judges’ Comments: I liked the framing and leading lines of the top
establishment shot. Also, great job capturing Director Aponte’s “frustrated
architect” gesture. Nice variety of shots here with lots of human interest.

Blog.

1st Place: Rick Rogers, DefenseTracker.com, Online Blog,

Judges’ Comments: Your work is not only informative, but also a genuine

public service for your readers.

RADIO/AUDIO

Serious Feature Story.

1st Place: Padma Nagappan, KPBS, From Gang Member To College Student
With Positive Peer Influence
Judges’ Comments: Good use of sound.

Light Feature Story.

1st Place: Kenny Goldberg, KPBS, Wheelchair Waltz
Judges’ Comments: Beautiful story! I love the people in the piece. Good use
of sound.

Investigative/Enterprise Story.

1st Place: Kyla Calvert, Emily Alpert & Neiko Will, KPBS &
voiceofsandiego.org, SD Schools Flagged For Earthquake Risks Left
Unchecked

Regular Beat.

2nd Place: Kyla Calvert, KPBS, Education Beat Reporting

1st Place: Alison St. John, KPBS, When Veterans Come Home
Judges’ Comments: Alison’s coverage of veteran’s issues is insightful, in depth and sensitive to a traumatized population of returning vets. She picked powerful prisms to delve into the issue, such as the particular needs of women soldiers suffering from Military Sexual Trauma or the “reverse” boot camp for soldiers returning home.
DEAN: Criticism or Commentary.

1st Place: Pat Launer & Michael Rovatsos, KSDS-FM, “Death of a Salesman” and “The Tragedy of the Commons”
Judges’ Comments: Nice voicing, love intro and outtro music – it
complements the piece well.

DEAN: Use of Sound.

1st Place: Kyla Calvert, KPBS, Staff Sing To Preserve Arts For San Diego
Students
Judges’ Comments: Good energy in writing and delivery, nice to hear from
school-age children and educators about the value of arts in education

News or Feature Series.

1st Place: Kenny Goldberg, KPBS, 30 Years Of AIDS In San Diego
Judges’ Comments: Gripping, good use of sound.

TELEVISION/VIDEO

Spot Breaking News Story.

1st Place: Stephen Fiorina, KGTV, Border Shooting/Lorenzo Return
Judges’ Comments: Both stories highlight reporter Steve Fiorina’s skill at weaving powerful narratives through tight fabrics of evocative images and sound bites. As emotion-laden as the pictures are, Fiorina trumps them with direct and cogent story-telling.

Serious Feature – Produced and Aired Same Day.

2nd Place: Stephen Fiorina, KGTV, Monty Returns\Mountain Snow

1st Place: Peggy Pico & Patty Lane, KPBS, Cancer Series
Judges’ Comments: The cancer story never had a brighter face than KPBS Science and Technology Reporter Peggy Pico. Pico’s personal experience as a breast cancer patient, coupled with her training as a nurse and science reporter, provides viewers with an upbeat look at the state of current treatment options. Incisive interviews by feature series hosts Amita Sharma and Joanne Faryon prove news you can use need not be expensive field productions to be engaging.

Serious Feature – Preproduced.

2nd Place: JW August, Felicia Kit, Mitch Blacher, Tyrus Gray & Arie Thanasoulis, KGTV 10News, Drugging Seniors

1st Place: Kenny Goldberg & Katie Euphrat, KPBS, Prescription Drugs: San Diego’s Leading Cause of Accidental Death
Judges’ Comments: Sad topic that was nicely handled.

Investigative/Enterprise – Single Story.

1st Place: JW August, Mitch Blacher, Arie Thanasoulis & Felicia Kit, KGTV
10News, Pacific Steel Recycling Pollution
Judges’ Comments: This five-minute expose is a praiseworthy use of screen time. Persuasive visuals, strong on-camera sources and damning documentation paint a picture of a foreign corporation unconcerned with potentially dangerous waste products exposed to the elements. Called to account, a truly non-responsive state regulator clams up on grounds it has an investigation underway after a nine-year wait. Like an overcooked steak, this piece is well done.

Investigative/Enterprise – Series.

1st Place: JW August, Mitch Blacher, Arie Thanasoulis & Felicia Kit, KGTV 10News, California Court Management Investigated
Judges’ Comments: Decent report. Fair and not overly sensational. Good use of interviews, b-roll and reporter narration.

Criminal Justice Report – Single Story or Series.

2nd Place: Stephen Fiorina, KGTV, Rivera Opening

1st Place: JW August, Mitch Blacher & Arie Thanasoulis, KGTV 10News,
Spousal Support
Judges’ Comments: Great follow through. Good exposé on a quirk in a law
that warranted attention.

Business/Consumer Report – Single Story or Series.

2nd Place: Kristen Castillo, Alexandra Dean, Tabitha Soren, Todd Parks, Javier Gomez & Dennis Mahr, Bloomberg TV, DIY Drones

1st Place: JW August, Felicia Kit, Mitch Blacher & Christian Cazares, KGTV 10News, Walmart Pricing Exposed
Judges’ Comments: A well done package. Informative and investigative. The narration was professional and didn’t fall into the overly hyped voice inflections that can take away from good reporting. Good work.

NON-DAILY REPORTING & WRITING

Breaking News Story.

2nd Place: Scott Hopkins, The Peninsula Beacon, BLOCKBUSTER
EXCLUSIVE: PLHS’ new coaching lineup likely to make opponents tremble

1st Place: Joe Naiman, Fallbrook/Bonsall Village News, Hall of Famer Duke
Snider passed at age 84
Judges’ Comments: Richly detailed obituary of one of baseball’s legendary
players. A real pleasure to read as well as educational.

Non-Deadline News Story.

Honorable Mention: Christina Macone-Greene, The Coast News, Community
Garden Advocates Fight Back

2nd Place: Elizabeth Marie Himchak, Rancho Bernardo News Journal, Ed
Brown Center likely to close doors

1st Place: Joe Tash, Del Mar Times, First medical marijuana cooperative
opens in DM
Judges’ Comments: The writer provided readers with a thorough report on the
struggles of a medical marijuana cooperative to operate in Del Mar, when
state law clashes with the wishes of city officials.

Feature Story.

Honorable Mention: Kendra Hartmann, La Jolla Village News, King of the
court

2nd Place: Arthur Lightbourn, Rancho Santa Fe Review, Cell phone inventor envisions an even greater revolution seeded by social networking

1st Place: Denis C. Grasska, The Southern Cross, ‘I’m Just a Little Story of
Mercy’
Judges’ Comments: This excellent piece by Denis Grasska gives readers
insight into a young woman who walked away from a promising modeling
career after realizing she’d strayed far from her Catholic upbringing, and now
uses that experience to share the story of her transformation through God’s
love and mercy and to promote her faith. This was clean, well-written copy
with a number of intriguing details in a small package.

Investigative/Enterprise Story – Single Subject.

1st Place: Kevin Crowe, Joanne Faryon & Andres Barraza, Investigative Newsource, KPBS, Economics of Absence: Empty Seats Cost School Districts Millions
Judges’ Comments: School funding everywhere is complex, and reporting on it often results in deadly dull stenographic journalism. Not so with this series. The reporters told the story of unequal funding and its consequences in clear, concise language, aided by anecdote, example, interactive maps and charts. This is a superb example of the effective use of investigative reporting to highlight an important public issue and show how it affects everyone. Excellent work.

Business Story.

Honorable Mention: Tim O’Leary, Temecula Valley News, DeJongs Dairy defies odds to remain an agricultural holdout

2nd Place: Kai Oliver-Kurtin, San Diego Downtown News, Hodad’s brings burgers with a personal touch to downtown

1st Place: Kendra Hartmann, La Jolla Village News, Raising the bar
Judges’ Comments: An excellent and detailed profile of a young man who became an entrepreneur by circumstance and succeeded with the help of his large family. Just a darn good business story.

Science/Technology Story.

1st Place: Lynne Friedmann, La Jolla Light, Panelists Ponder Survival of Internet During La Jolla Forum

Health Story.

Honorable Mention: Scott Hopkins, The Peninsula Beacon, Today’s classroom challenges: Newport Optometry puts student vision in focus

2nd Place: Elizabeth Marie Himchak, Rancho Bernardo News Journal, RB health study enters fourth decade

1st Place: Doug Brunk, Pediatric News, Social Media Concerns, Confuses Parents
Judges’ Comments: Timely topic that looks at health from a different-than-usual viewpoint.

Food Story.

Honorable Mention: Nicole Sours Larson, La Jolla Village News, Talking turkey: don’t be scared by the bird

2nd Place: Nathalie Taylor, Fallbrook/Bonsall Village News, Tantalizing ‘Taste of Fallbrook’ Pleases Palates

1st Place: Kai Oliver-Kurtin, San Diego Downtown News, Gaslamp eateries cater to the locals
Judges’ Comments: Excellent mixture of observation, descriptive assessment and time spent talking with the chef/owner to balance out the piece and all wrapped up in a eat local shell. Excellent work to win a very close and tough category full of personality.

Environmental Story.

2nd Place: Kendra Hartmann, La Jolla Village News, Bring home the veggies

1st Place: Elizabeth Marie Himchak, Rancho Bernardo News Journal, Big Green Bus teaches environmental issues …
Judges’ Comments: Brings in the local side of a national environmental tour. Covers the crucial areas crisply.

Education Story.

Honorable Mention: Elizabeth Marie Himchak, Rancho Bernardo News Journal, Mandarin Chinese offered at Del Norte High

2nd Place: Lucette Moramarco, Fallbrook/Bonsall Village News, La Paloma students learn by living history

1st Place: Scott Hopkins, The Peninsula Beacon, Young sailing enthusiast may revolutionize sport with his vision
Judges’ Comments: Nice feature about an exceptional student following his passion.

Political/Government Story.

Honorable Mention: Brooke Williams & Matt Pearce, Investigative Newsource, Industry Insiders Score Jobs on Issa’s Team

Honorable Mention: Brooke Williams, Investigative Newsource, Filner’s legislative machine: Scores of bills benefit veterans, private individuals

2nd Place: Kendra Hartmann, La Jolla Village News, City decision could close all La Jolla dispensaries

1st Place: Debbie Ramsey, Fallbrook/Bonsall Village News, Fallbrook grad nominated for U.S. Dept. of Treasury Post
Judges’ Comments: A great “local-girl does good” story. The writer does a
good job mixing current news with memories of the candidate as a high
school girl. I also really enjoyed the part about her father and could just see
him sitting there in the chambers listening to others talk about his daughter’s
accomplishments and beaming with pride. I liked the writer’s style and the
way the story flowed. Nice work.

Multicultural Story.

2nd Place: Joe Tash, Rancho Santa Fe Review, Learn what American Islam ‘is about’ at community center

1st Place: Christina Macone-Greene, The Coast News, Dance group overcomes adversity prevails with passion
Judges’ Comments: Cleanly written and easy for the reader to follow. Simplifies a complex subject so the reader can grasp both the basics and see the deeper issues involved.

Sports Story.

Honorable Mention: Debbie Ramsey, Fallbrook/Bonsall Village News, Parade inspires young unicyclist

2nd Place: Phillip Brents, The Star-News, Swim, bike, run … no sweat for first-time Otay Ranch triathlete

1st Place: Kendra Hartmann, La Jolla Village News, San Diego’s new knockout
Judges’ Comments: Story pulls you in and fact presentation hits you subtly with info in well crafted context work. Breakout was a great illustrator of the day in the life that would have bogged down story but worked very nicely as an addition to the main and provided an extra entry point for readers.

Arts/Entertainment Story.

Honorable Mention: Denis C. Grasska, The Southern Cross, Oscar-Winner: ‘The Grace Card’ Shows Way to Defeat Racism

Honorable Mention: Denis C. Grasska, The Southern Cross, ‘The Way’ Promotes Openness to Life, Speaks to Young and Old Alike

2nd Place: Elizabeth Marie Himchak, Rancho Bernardo News Journal, Former RB woman honored as England’s premier ballerina

1st Place: Christina Macone-Greene, The Coast News, Documentary Highlights Medical Mission
Judges’ Comments: The writer captured not only the entertainment value of the showing of a new documentary, but managed to tell the story behind the film with verve and style. A nice window into the lives of volunteer medical personnel and their supporters on a mission of mercy in Nicaragua.

Review/Criticism

2nd Place: Elizabeth Marie Himchak, Rancho Bernardo News Journal, ‘Some Lovers’ not your traditional love story

1st Place: Joe Naiman, Fallbrook/Bonsall Village News, Checker, Berry open Pala Casinoa’s 10th anniversary celebration with Rock & Roll
Judges’ Comments: The writer did a nice job of recreating the concert so those of us who were not there could see the aging Chuck Berry and Chubby Checker on stage. I also like the way he gave history about the singers and the other rock and roll legends who continued touring in their later years. It was an overall interesting read about these men who played such important roles in rock and roll history and how they try to keep that history alive so many years later.

Opinion/Editorial.

Honorable Mention: Steve Dreyer, Poway News Chieftain, Redevelopment must be saved

2nd Place: Steve Dreyer, Poway News Chieftain, Why dispensaries should be opposed

1st Place: Bill Gunderson, Los Angeles Business Journal, Obama’s Jobs Panel Needs Some Work
Judges’ Comments: The editorial starts out strong and gets the reader’s attention. The remainder of the column does a good job illustrating the writer’s stance and brings the issue to a local level that people can understand. I liked how the column used facts from a variety of sources to show action and that is what people want to see on this issue – action that creates jobs.

Column.

Honorable Mention: Carlos Davalos, The Star-News, From the editor

2nd Place: Helen Ofield, Lemon Grove Patch.com, 1961: Holiday Heists and Hijinx

1st Place: Barbara Bry & Neil Senturia, U-T San Diego, Innovation hub in Kearny Mesa cuts across ages and ethnicities
Judges’ Comments: This is a great idea for a column! The columns were well written in a casual but informative manner. I liked the way they introduced the readers to new local businesses and discussed the needs of local entrepreneurs.

News or Feature Series

2nd Place: Elizabeth Marie Himchak, Rancho Bernardo News Journal, COGG speaker warns about Islam’s growing influence

1st Place: Allison Sampite, The Star-News, If you’re breathing, there’s hope
Judges’ Comments: An important an ambitious occasional series that suffers only from some editing and formatting mistakes – for instance, on the third part, the paragraphs are neither indented nor spaced, making it a hard read. Sadly, that may have kept some readers from diving in, which would’ve been a shame. Because this is as important as a local topic gets.

DAILY REPORTING & WRITING

Breaking News Story.

Honorable Mention: Craig Gustafson, U-T San Diego, Unprecedented outage
leaves millions in the dark

2nd Place: Kristina Davis, Susan Shroder, Debbi Baker, Wendy Fry & Nathan
Scharn, U-T San Diego, Freeway shootings rattle the region

1st Place: Debbi Baker & Kristina Davis, U-T San Diego, Ruins of a rampage
Judges’ Comments: Great writing; awesome detail (“I could smell the
gunfire”…) and a tight, strong lede. Over all: super job.

Non-Deadline News Story.

Honorable Mention: Pat Maio, North County Times, Pricing for honey firms
up as local bee colonies collapse

2nd Place: Tanya Mannes, U-T San Diego, Why go through with a grocery
strike in this economy?

1st Place: Debbi Baker, U-T San Diego, Police dog, partner back after tragedy

Feature Story.

Honorable Mention: Matthew T. Hall, U-T San Diego, Sneakerhead’s 2,000
Nikes make a ShoeZeum

Honorable Mention: Pat Broderick, Los Angeles Daily Journal,
Deputy DA is Woman Priest

2nd Place: Mark Walker, North County Times, Marine from bloodied Camp
Pendleton unit faces new fight

1st Place: Brandon Lowrey, North County Times, A deadly night that has
lasted 33 years
Judges’ Comments: This was a pretty competitive group of entries, but this
piece really stood out. The story was gripping and vivid. It had excellent
prose, thorough reporting, and engaging storytelling. The writer held my
attention from beginning to end. I couldn’t wait to read the next part. The
writer expertly executed this story and made great use of dialogue to move the
story along. Though the murder happened 30 years ago, I felt like I was
reading something that happened yesterday. Excellent work!

Investigative/Enterprise Story – Single Subject.

Honorable Mention: Lindsay Hood, nbcsandiego.com, Illegal Immigrant
Interns at State Capitol

2nd Place: Debbi Baker & Matthew Hall, U-T San Diego, Troubled area
makes gains against gangs

1st Place: Ashly McGlone, Tanya Sierra, Wendy Fry & Jeff McDonald, U-T
San Diego, Sweetwater schools series
Judges’ Comments: This was a great example of the power of the press and
how a little investigative reporting can spur big changes in a community. It’s
great to see newspapers still give reporters time for this kind of work, and the
value to its readers — and the public as a whole — is obvious.

Business Story.

Honorable Mention: Tanya Mannes, U-T San Diego, Crown Books returns,
sort of

2nd Place: Lori Weisberg, U-T San Diego, Hollywood’s big spenders enjoy
Comic-Con in style

1st Place: George Varga, U-T San Diego, Taylor-made: San Diego guitars
prized worldwide
Judges’ Comments: This is a fascinating profile of both the founder and the
company itself and what it brings to the San Diego business community.

Real Estate Story.

Honorable Mention: Alexander Nguyen, Poway Patch.com, Foreclosure
Properties Not Always a Deal, Experts Say

2nd Place: Lori Weisberg, U-T San Diego, Decade of decline for ownership

1st Place: Andrew Keatts, The Daily Transcript, County VA home loans
boom in post-recession years
Judges’ Comments: Here’s an unusual angle covered in a great and precise
manner. This is something that should be covered in every area where there’s
a sizable military community. Innovative.

Science/Technology Story.

Honorable Mention: Emmet Pierce, Insure.com, What’s the better security
system: Dog or home alarm?

2nd Place: Bradley Fikes, North County Times, State stem cell initiative
transforms local research

1st Place: Claire Trageser, The Daily Transcript, Businesses that imitate
nature presented at Biomimicry Conference

Health Story.

Honorable Mention: Deanne Goodman & Ann Zevely, Carlsbad Patch.com,
Walking with Anthony: Charting a New Path After a Spinal Cord Injury

2nd Place: Emmet Pierce, Insure.com, Are you sick of trying to stay healthy?

1st Place: Beth Wood, U-T San Diego, Intelligent Aging / Technological
advances help ensure health, safety of older adults
Judges’ Comments: An interesting, useful survey of the new wave of
technologies that’s allowing more seniors to “age in place,” from GPS-based
monitors to automatic medication dispensers. The author effectively mixed
national information with local cases to relate the trend to the San Diego
audience.

Food Story.

Honorable Mention: Lori Weisberg, U-T San Diego, Semper famished, with
more options

2nd Place: Keli Dailey, U-T San Diego, Backstage at Market Restaurant

1st Place: Beth Wood, U-T San Diego, Whole Family Pitches in at
Abyssinian Bistro
Judges’ Comments: Great story — that you featured both the food, the place
and a fantastic family. I’m hungry, ready to go visit!

Environmental Story.

Honorable Mention: James Palen, The Daily Transcript, Firefighter safety
concerns leading to potential innovation in solar module market

2nd Place: Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine, County issues draft wind
ordinance; backcountry leaders level harsh criticism

1st Place: Padma Nagappan, The Daily Transcript, Proactive, multipronged
approach needed to secure water sources, experts say
Judges’ Comments: Informative story on a complicated topic

Education Story.

Honorable Mention: Christina Macone-Greene, U-T San Diego, Fallbrook
School of the Arts fills creative void

2nd Place: Stacy Brandt, North County Times, 14 kids break arms in
Palmquist playground since 2007

1st Place: Pat Broderick, Los Angeles Daily Journal, Checkmate

Political/Government Story.

Honorable Mention: Craig Gustafson, U-T San Diego, Former mayor wants
the record set straight

Honorable Mention: Claire Trageser, The Daily Transcript, New U-T owner
has history of support for Carl DeMaio

2nd Place: Chris Nichols, North County Times, Emotions continue to boil
over backcountry plan

1st Place: Lori Weisberg, U-T San Diego, Bidders for airport concessions
dispute response
Judges’ Comments: Lori Weisberg’s “Bidders For Airport Concessions
Dispute Response” was a refreshing example of watchdog journalism in a
community. The article thoroughly explored the controversy surrounding the
issue and shed light on the issue at hand. The article was extremely well
crafted and interesting. This article was very informative and a call to action
to change (or check) procedures within the community. The supporting quotes
were intelligent and enhanced the article. Good quotes come from good
questions from great journalists. Excellent job. Congratulations.

Legal Story.

Honorable Mention: Kristina Davis & Dana Littlefield, U-T San Diego,
Early flags about officer in testimony

2nd Place: Teri Figueroa, North County Times, Attorney describes 78 days of
defending John Gardner

1st Place: Kristina Davis, Brent Schrotenboer & Mark Zeigler, U-T San
Diego, Checkpoint stop started probe
Judges’ Comments: This is a complex story that is very well written and
makes it easy for the reader to follow all the players involved. Good work.

Multicultural Story.

Honorable Mention: Tanya Mannes, U-T San Diego, Who shops at
‘supermercados’?

2nd Place: George Varga, U-T San Diego, Ravi Shankar to soar anew here at
Sunday concert

1st Place: Lindsay Hood, nbcsandiego.com, DADT Repeal Means an Honest
Life: Marine
Judges’ Comments: Great local connection to an important national story.

Sports Story.

Honorable Mention: Michael Bower, Poway News Chieftain, RBHS has
opponents seeing double

2nd Place: Dan Hayes, North County Times, Team’s scoring woes
approaching historic levels

1st Place: Jeff Nahill, North County Times, Female jockey hopes to conquer
competition in first season at seaside oval
Judges’ Comments: Very well written. Lots of information and an unusual
topic.

Arts/Entertainment Story.

Honorable Mention: Pat Launer, Encinitas Patch.com, Richard II: Not the
Guy with the Hump

2nd Place: Alison Gang, U-T San Diego, Filmmaker is crusader with a camera

1st Place: George Varga, U-T San Diego, Humphrey’s Concerts celebrates
30th anniversary
Judges’ Comments: How Humphrey’s came to be and continues to be a major
player in the San Diego music scene was far from your typical anniversary
story.

Review/Criticism.

Honorable Mention: Alison Gang, U-T San Diego, Fonda is no plain Jane:
Biography takes a frank look at star’s transformational public life

2nd Place: George Varga, U-T San Diego, Roll over Beethoven, let Vedder
tell you the news

1st Place: Pat Launer, Encinitas Patch.com, May the Farce Be With You
Judges’ Comments: Fun, lively and well-written review that made me want to
take in the performance. Good work here.

Opinion/Editorial.

Honorable Mention: Richard Riehl, North County Times, Echoes of irrational
fear

2nd Place: Bill Gunderson, U-T San Diego, Not rain nor sleet, but $25 billion
can stop the mail

1st Place: Gail Chatfield, North County Times, Apples and oranges and
Threats

Column.

2nd Place: Rick Rogers, North County Times, Columns

1st Place: Irv Erdos, North County Times, In search of civil discourse,
Grumbling Geezer, Dream Wedding
Judges’ Comments: Indeed he grumbles. But Irv Erdos’ columns about his
version of civil discourse, the age of golfer Fred Couples and his own royal
wedding are winners that manage to touch both nerves and hearts.

News or Feature Series.

Honorable Mention: Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine, FEMA refund
demand sparks firestorm of controversy

2nd Place: Brian Hiro, North County Times, Baseball cards special report

1st Place: Morgan Lee & Janine Zuniga, U-T San Diego, The Cartels’ Grip: A
boy, his family, two nations
Judges’ Comments: A gripping story that keeps readers’ attention to the very
end. It’s a sad, tragic tale, but the efforts put out by both reporters are to be
commended as they use the story about a 14-year-old boy to detail the deadly,
but far-reaching, impacts of the Mexican drug cartels.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s