Shaka Smart was voted second Best Candidate for Mayor
Most Anticipated Project
Baseball stadium (regardless of location)
At this rate, the proposal for a new baseball stadium may be the most anticipated project of 2024. The Squirrels fans in this survey have spoken: Build the damn thing! Somewhere. Anywhere. Just build it.
2. VCU Institute for Contemporary Art
Richmond’s Proudest Moment of the Past Year
Redskins Training Camp opening
For two and a half weeks last summer, more than 165,000 Redskins fans flocked to the inaugural training camp at the Bon Secours facility on West Leigh Street. We have a feeling that half of the people showing up this year are still in search of that elusive autograph from Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III.
2. Collegiate cycling championships
3. Making Frommer’s top destinations list
Most Anticipated Upcoming Event
Richmond 2015/UCI Road World Championships
The UCI Road World Championships are barely a year away from storming the region, but preparations have long been in the works, says Lee Kallman, director of marketing and communications for Richmond 2015. More than 400,000 people are expected to travel to the region for the nine-day event. If you’re not a fan of cycling (or street closures), plan your annual vacation accordingly.
2. Folk Festival
3. Dominion Riverrock
Best Local Fashion Blog
Nearly two years have passed since founder Brian McDaniel stopped updating Dirty Richmond on a regular basis, so we’ll chalk this vote up to nostalgia. “I thought when I stopped doing it, it would just get lost in time,” the Virginia Commonwealth University graduate says. “But people still asked me about it. It humbles me.”
2. Tie: Chic Stripes; Need Supply Co.
3. Cobblestone Couture
Richmond’s Proudest Sports Moment
VCU Basketball prowess
Year two in the Atlantic 10 saw a young VCU Rams team in close contention for the conference title. A quick exit from the NCAA tournament notwithstanding, there’s no reason to expect anything other than a strong 2014-15 season from Head Coach Shaka Smart’s squad.
2. Redskins Training Camp opening
3. Russell Wilson’s Super Bowl appearance
Most Effective Politician of 2013-14
Former Richmond mayor and state governor Tim Kaine has stayed busy since moving to the U.S. Senate in 2013. He has fought to reform the country’s immigration policy, address issues with the Veteran’s Administration, and increase pay and benefits for members of the armed services. All in a day’s work.
2. Tie: Eric Cantor; Dwight Jones; Terry McAuliffe
3. John Baliles
Richmond’s Most Celebrated Athlete of the Moment
Former Collegiate football standout Russell Wilson ascended to the pinnacle of his sport in 2013-14. The Super Bowl-winning Seattle Seahawks quarterback enters his third season in the NFL this fall with the potential for a big payday in the form of a new contract. In the meantime, you can watch him in that awkward Windows tablet ad that plays way too often.
2. Justin Verlander
3. Troy Daniels
Best Local Podcast
History Replay Today
“History is a rabbit hole. The deeper you dig, the harder it is to find what you’re looking for,” says Jeff Majer. The partner at River City Segs launched History Replay Today in 2013. The bimonthly podcast yields about 2,000 downloads per episode, Majer says.
2. Tie: Hope Church; Radio Rubber Room
Best Richmond Celebrity Pet
Chilly the Dog
He was once the groom in a six-figure pet wedding, the most expensive in history. His legend grew with TV spots on Good Morning America and Cake Boss. You can catch Chilly “It’s cold out” Pasternak, a pinkish-purple-headed poodle, trotting around Carytown, spreading the word about Helping Hands veterinary clinic — but don’t expect him to chat long. “He’s a dog of few words,” owner Jake Pasternak jokes.
2. Won Ton from Chop Suey Books
3. Nutzy the Flying Squirrel
Best New Job for Broadcasters Bill Bevins and Shelly Perkins
Their Old Jobs at Lite 98
Faithful listeners can’t come to terms with the end of broadcasters Bill Bevins and Shelly Perkins’ 13-year-stint on Lite 98. The duo delivered its final morning show on the last day of 2013. Morning traffic jams on I-95 will never be the same.
3. TV hosts
Best Candidate for Mayor
Wanted: Mayoral candidate for city of Richmond. Requirements: pulse; functioning ears; experience collaborating; dedication to transparency; willingness to do things people actually want done. Leadership skills and prior governing experience preferred. Twitter account a bonus. Start date: January 2017. Serious inquiries only.
2. Shaka Smart
3. Bill Bevins
Best Local TV Personality to Start the Day With
Early risers find a familiar face on weekdays in NBC 12 meteorologist Andrew Freiden. The forecaster with 19 years of broadcasting experience also earned the reader vote for Most Overzealous Meteorologist, but he laughs it off. When tasked with making predictions on potentially hazardous conditions, Freiden says, “You’d much rather be overzealous than under-zealous.”
2. Tie: Gray Hall; Heather Sullivan
3. Rob Cardwell
Biggest Rabble Rouser
Tie: Paul Goldman; Mo Karnage
For a dyed-in-the-wool rabble-rouser, headlines are the thing — local politico Paul Goldman and activist Mo Karn (aka Karnage) have made plenty of them. Goldman is the law partner of the (embattled) runner-up below and was the man behind a previous winner in this category, L. Douglas Wilder. The colorful and just-as-ubiquitous Karn has argued for social-justice causes against the city administration, the police department and slumlords, among others. Having these two on the same soapbox? Whoa. Anyone remember that science-class trick with water and pure sodium?
2. Joe Morrissey
3. Mayor Dwight C. Jones
Best Reason to Move Baseball to Shockoe Bottom
Mayor Dwight Jones pitched his field-of-dreams idea in November 2013, and like a Looney Tunes baseball, it’s still miraculously dancing and loop-de-looping its way to the plate. Jones can take heart in your top response here: Apparently, he’s not the only one who thinks baseball is the Bottom’s best chance for a home run.
2. No Good Reason
3. Revitalize the Area
Best Reason for Keeping Stadium on the Boulevard
In September 2013, the Richmond Times-Dispatch sponsored a survey of Richmond region residents that found 67 percent of respondents wanted the Flying Squirrels’ stadium to stay exactly where it is. It would seem the respondents in this category at least have the numbers on their side.
Most Shameless Self-Promoter in the Region
Mayor Dwight C. Jones
In all fairness, it is a politician’s job to “sell his brand,” especially when he’s trying to communicate the merits of his vision. Given the survey results reported in the previous category, Jones should at least earn respect (or maybe befuddlement) for sticking to his stadium proposal in the face of some pretty heated opposition.
2. Joel Bieber
3. Paul Goldman
Best Richmonder to Retweet on Your Twitter Account
Be careful what you wish for, Richmond readers. Yes, former TV anchor Gene Cox delivers a steady stream of wise thoughts and wisecracks, but he’ll also throw a little pepper at you, for your own good. Do you really want to draw the scrutiny of a retired newsman with nearly 9,000 followers and a lot of time on his hands?
2. Karri Peifer
3. Jack Lauterback
Best TV Anchor
Sabrina Squire, WWBT12
Perhaps the most fortunate post-college career twist for Sabrina Squire was when she was fired from her first job. Her boss at the time “told me that the insurance industry was not for me. He then implored me to ‘find your passion and pursue it with all your heart.’ ”After 33 years at WWBT, most of it as an anchor, here she is atop this list of local TV luminaries.
2. Juan Conde, WRIC8
3. Curt Autry, WWBT12
TV Anchor Who Does the Most for the Community
Sabrina Squire, WWBT12
Around town, Sabrina Squire embraces the role of a service-minded TV journalist, supporting all sorts of events and efforts, but she has a few pet causes. “I am especially moved by children and families in crisis, especially single moms struggling to keep it altogether,” she notes. “These are my ‘sheroes.’ ”
2. Juan Conde, WRIC8
3. Tie: Andrew Freiden, WWBT12; Diane Walker, WWBT12
Best Local Instagram Account
Young House Love
John and Sherry Petersik can’t give the secret driving the popularity of their Instagram account. “Beats us!” John replies by email. “Even though we run a DIY/home blog, our Instagram feed is full of photos of our daughter, Clara, our newborn son, Teddy, and our chihuahua Burger. Maybe it's the ol' ‘People like kids and dogs’ thing? Although one of our Instagram videos that has gone viral happens to be of synchronized swimming Barbies (seriously), which sounds pretty weird now that I'm typing this.”
3. Need Supply Co.
Most Dogged TV News Reporter
Mark Holmberg, WTVR6
Holmberg responds with characteristic humor, “Most dogged TV reporter … or most doglike? I catch a little grief for my shaggy, unkempt look, but I learned long ago that looking like myself and not like some buttoned-down reporter is the best way for people to feel relaxed around me. … I am forever surprised that anyone likes my reporting. It’s simply a reflection of my own hungers, loves, hopes, fears and total fascination with all the vagaries of the human condition.”
2. Curt Autry, WWBT12
3. Rachel DePompa, WWBT12
Most Outrageous Richmonder
A participant for almost 20 years in the charity “Ham-A-Ganza” event (“Bringing hams to the hamless”), the cross-dressing provocateur today gets around on a Hoveround. He’s ours and, like Tigger, he’s the only one.
2. Happy the Artist
3. Pamela Reynolds
Best Radio Personality/DJ on the Air
Melissa Chase is with Jack Lauterback the morning team at WURV “Play” 103.7 FM. The Midlothian native needs to get up at the crack of dawn, although she doesn’t do many early nights; she’s also a mom with two girls, ages 6 and 2. “I’ve always been a night and morning person — I’m just not a sleep person.”
2. Jimmy Barrett, WRVA
3. Jackson Scott, Q94
Best New Radio Personality
Krissi Cecil, HOT 100.9
Hot1061.com, Facebook: HotKrissi
She’s live and local. The Mechanicsville-raised Hanover High graduate took courses in the music industry at James Madison University and graduated in marketing from Virginia Commonwealth University. Cecil, who’s 22, credits the mentorship of colleague Melissa Chase for getting her on the air. By day, a radio host, by night, she’s part of Connecting RVA, which chronicles the youthful club-going around town.
2. Jeff Katz, WRVA
3. Matt Silverwood, 103.7 PLAY
Best Locally Produced Music Show
Tie: Morning show with Melissa & Jack on 103.7 PLAY; Radio Rubber Room; Sam & Mason in the Morning 96.5
1037Play.com; radiorubberoom.podbeam.com; classicrock965.com
Blogger and Style Weekly drinks columnist Jack Lauterback finds himself in the middle of a three-way, a three-way tie, that is. He commends the professionalism of his on-air colleague Melissa Chase, compared to his tenderfoot status three years ago. “She's still a consummate pro, and I have risen to the level of mediocre, which is apparently enough for us to win awards like this.” Sam Giles, of long Virginia lineage, and transferred Portlander (via Oregon) Mike Mason credit their listenership to the fact that they are right here and not beamed in. “We’re in the same weather and know how that traffic is,” Giles says. Mason adds, “We’re their buddies making jokes in the backseat.” Radio Rubber Room, formerly on WHAN 102.9, is now a podcast. Chanelle Vigue, booker, co-host and whip cracker, hosts with Sean Austin and Derrick Vara. Vigue analyzes the secret sauce thusly: “Comedy, music and a live band, and we’ve been hosting live events.”
2. Tie: 93.1 The Wolf; 98.9 Liberty; Ashland Coffee & Tea; K95; World Music Hour
Best Local Sportscaster
Tie: Greg Burton; Lane Casadonte
Sorry, folks, we’re busting this tie. In this corner, Casadonte, sports director at WTVR-6. Opposite corner, Burton, drive-time sports talk pro for ESPN 950. It’s Rock Paper Scissors, best of three! Go! Lane: Rock. Greg: Paper. Lane: Paper. Greg: Scissors. Lane: Rock. Greg: Paper. Burton goes three-for-three for the bragging rights! Are you kidding me? Lane, you owe Greg a beer.
2. Wes McElroy, Sports Radio 910 AM
3. Marc Davis, WWBT-12
Most Engaging Locally Produced Sports Radio Talk Show
Wes McElroy, Sports Radio 910
How appropriate that, on the day we staged a tiebreaker (above), this guy was on air talking about how to keep soccer games from ending in a draw. At the end of the game, McElroy says, fans shouldn’t have to search for closure. “Somebody goes home happy. Somebody goes home sad, and that’s sports.” If you want to hear his show’s most engaging material, at least tune in for the third hour of his 3 to 6 p.m. weekday slot on 910 AM.
2. Hardly Workin’ With Greg Burton, ESPN 950
3. SportsPhone With Big Al, ESPN 950
Best Reason to Attend Redskins Training Camp
To see/meet the players
Even lukewarm fans of D.C.’s NFL franchise may have a player or two they’d like to see up close and in action — or maybe an autograph to snag. But this year, it’s a new staff on the deck of S.S. Snyder. Why not go get a peek at them, too, while the honeymoon’s still on and everyone’s on their best behavior?
3. Tie: It’s fun; there is no good reason