Best Of 2003

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Best of Local Folk: Just Folks: 

click to enlarge KATHY CONARRO
  • Kathy Conarro

Best Arts Advocate Readers Poll Winner Tie: Mary Mashburn and Rodney Wood
When it comes to advocating for the arts, Mary Mashburn really looks after the kids, while Rodney Wood really looks after the bigger kids. Director of the Kennedy Center Imagination Celebration, Mashburn was instrumental in this year's opening of Celebration Place at the Citadel Mall (located on the upper level near Mervyn's), a place where kids of all ages can explore their creativity. Wood, former director of the Business of Art Center, lives in Pueblo where he makes art, consults with arts groups and businesses, runs the gallery at CSU-Pueblo, and just about everything else you can think of. NB

Best Comeback for an Injured NFL Player Bob Sapp, aka The Beast
Anyone who follows local high-school sports has heard of Mitchell High School's Sapp family. Twenty-eight-year-old Bob Sapp, a strappin' 6-foot-7, 390-pound fighter who now calls himself The Beast, has made it big. After brief stints in several jobs, he was discovered by K-1, (a professional fighting circuit in Japan) and has become a cult hero in Japan and Europe. They not only love his 27-inch biceps and signature roar, they think his smile is cute. So do we. GTS

Best Hats Eve Tilley
The ever-fashionable Eve Tilley -- actress, director and chair of the Pikes Peak Arts Council -- has been collecting wonderful lady's chapeaux for years now. Like a proper Southern Grande Dame, she never ventures out without a suitably stunning vintage hat, usually fashionably tilted to one side. And as for the rest of you -- don't even think about it! Fashion sense at Eve's level is like a pitcher with a 100-mph fastball -- if you don't have it, don't mess with it. JH

click to enlarge They came in nose to nose: Best Arts Advocates Mary Mashburn and Rodney Wood.
  • They came in nose to nose: Best Arts Advocates Mary Mashburn and Rodney Wood.

Best Chef Readers Poll Winner Brent Beavers, Sencha
331 S. Nevada Ave., 632-8287

Brent Beavers is defined by his unlimited imagination, enthusiasm about food, and eagerness to explore. Most recently back from Mexico, Beavers is incorporating south-of-the-border flavors into his current menu. Expect the unexpected from him. In 2002, Beavers took the People's Choice Award at the local Chefs' Gala for his buffalo tenderloin with Gorgonzola and portobello bread pudding served with a Tuaca and thyme glac and vegetable bundles. Dedicated to using locally and naturally grown products, Beavers turns the region's finest ingredients into fanciful but substantial flights of the imagination, skillfully prepared and lovingly served. KCE

Best Wiseass Theater Manager Joe Joiner
Kimball's Twin Peak Theater,

115 E. Pikes Peak Ave., 447-1945

Want service with a smile? Go somewhere else. Want smart-alecky quips fit for a yukster like Fozzie Bear? Try Joe Joiner, manager of Kimball's Twin Peak.

click to enlarge Colorado Springs native Bob Sapp, aka The Beast, is a cult hero in Japan and Europe.
  • Colorado Springs native Bob Sapp, aka The Beast, is a cult hero in Japan and Europe.

Ask him how he's doing and he'll quickly respond with, "devastatingly handsome" or "flavored with 11 different herbs and spices."

Fortunately, Joiner has the courtesy to shut up during the movie. JD

Best Champion of Free Home Entertainment Tammy Jenks
Selection Librarian, Pikes Peak Library District

If you're struggling to live on the cheap, be grateful for folks like Tammy Jenks.

click to enlarge Chef Brent Beavers of Sencha and his award-winning  staff. - MATT STEVENS
  • Matt Stevens
  • Chef Brent Beavers of Sencha and his award-winning staff.

Since last April, Jenks has procured an astonishingly smart collection of more than 800 DVD titles for the Pikes Peak Library District. From award-winning HBO series like The Sopranos and Sex and the City to American classics like The Searchers, Jenks has wrangled them all. Reserve 'em online, keep 'em for a week -- a film education for the price of a library card. Which is, uh, free.

Good things happen when someone with good taste gets the right job. JD

Best Champion Of All-Ages Music Shows Marc Peralta
Marc Peralta, longtime promoter for punk and indie rock shows, believes that being young and enjoying live music are not mutually exclusive. After a long stint of successful all-ages shows at the downtown pizzeria HW Briggs, the restaurant changed ownership. When the new management insisted the shows should only be open to fans over the age of 21 (read: more alcohol sales), Peralta took his shows elsewhere. Instead of depriving local teen-agers of the opportunity to see their favorite bands, he moved the rest of the summer schedule to all-ages-friendly venues like Jack Quinn's and 32 Bleu. BLS

Best Double-Crossing Politician Mayor Lionel Rivera
After cozying up to the religious right prior to the election, Rivera promptly signed the Gay Pride Day proclamation that he had, according to a defeated rival, promised his preacher pals he'd never sign. Knowing whom to double-cross is the surest sign (no pun intended) of a politician on the way up. Time will tell if Lionel chose the right folks to step on. JH

click to enlarge Jelvis Weissley
  • Jelvis Weissley

Person Who Was Most Likely Elvis in a Previous Life Readers Poll Winner John Weiss
Publisher of The Colorado Springs Independent

Quite frankly, we were baffled by this one. The Independent's leader and the King of Rock seem to have as much in common as Condoleezza Rice and Angela Davis. The King was tall and born in Mississippi. Our boss is short and was raised in New England.

While Mr. Weiss may have charmed his share of ladies (the informally polled women reported no bathroom graffiti to this effect), Elvis inspired fainting spells.

John Weiss. Elvis. They've never been photographed together. JD

click to enlarge Readers choice for Best Sane Politician, Vice Mayor Richard Skorman. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • Readers choice for Best Sane Politician, Vice Mayor Richard Skorman.

Best Perennial Candidate Mayoral Candidate Sallie Clark
West Side bed-and-breakfast inn owner Sallie Clark can barely contain her impatience to be mayor. After losing her bid for the office in 1999, she won a city council seat two years later. She gave that up after just two years to run for mayor again -- and lost. But don't worry: We have no doubt that Sallie will rally. In fact, we're a little surprised she didn't turn up in this fall's California governor's recall race. As Arnold would say: She'll be back. CD

Best TV Reporter/Best Hairdo on a TV Anchor Readers Poll Winner Eric Singer
KKTV 11 News, www.kktv.com

Only in Colorado Springs could people actually love Eric Singer's hairdo, a sort of comb-over thing that we suppose many follicle-challenged men only wish they could pull off. And technically, Singer isn't actually a reporter; he's an anchor. But he is forever the trusted and earnest deliverer of the news; the calm in the storm; the journalist who saved our city from the terror of the Texas Seven. CD

click to enlarge Off on new adventures, beloved Chinook Bookshop retiree Phyllis Zell. - SUNNIE SACKS
  • Sunnie Sacks
  • Off on new adventures, beloved Chinook Bookshop retiree Phyllis Zell.

Best Print Journalist Readers Poll Winner Rich Tosches
The Gazette, www.gazette.com

At a forum for women in broadcasting this year, columnist Rich Tosches said he figures he gets about five bullets a year to shoot at the city's rich and powerful. Tosches invariably aims one of them at The Broadmoor, one at Focus on the Family and two at himself. That leaves one bullet for a wildcard rant over the state of our city's affairs. It's not even a six-shooter, but Tosches' mighty pistol proved too deadly for his bosses, who canceled his column and moved Tosches to the languid pastures of the Lifestyle section to cover seniors and local authors. Hint to readers: Here at the Indy we've got a bunker full of munitions and aren't afraid to use 'em. CD

Best Quotable Priest The Rev. Donald Armstrong
Representing Colorado Springs in the fracas over the Episcopal Church's confirmation of its first openly gay bishop was Grace Episcopal Church's rector Don Armstrong. "The church is trying to bless and normalize something that is a disorder," Armstrong said and was quoted in the New York Times and the Washington Post. Back home in the Springs, Armstrong didn't hesitate to clarify his position. "If someone follows along that path [of homosexuality], their life becomes more and more chaotic -- more and more secretive, closeted, [with a] high incidence of alcoholism, of promiscuous sex. A number of my gay friends talk about homosexuality as almost an obsessive sexual disorder," Armstrong told the Indy. KCE

Best Public Fool Readers Poll Winner Douglas Bruce
Poor Douglas Bruce. A decade ago the author of the so-called Taxpayer Bill of Rights was, according to our city's daily newspaper, king of the land. He had business cards made up that read "Douglas Bruce: Terrorist." He hurled insults at anyone who didn't like his ideas. He tried to convince everyone how much he hates the government by running for office, unsuccessfully, twice. His many efforts to further decimate government have failed. Leaders across Colorado are currently trying to figure out ways to fix the devastation hurricane TABOR has wrought. They wish Bruce, who is also a slumlord, would just shut up and fix his tenants' toilets. CD

Most Embarrassing Politician Readers Poll Winner Charles Wingate
We can't imagine why this former city councilman could possibly be considered our most embarrassing leader. So he took a few tax-paid junket receipts and pocketed the petty cash; isn't that what we've come to expect from our politicians? So he was accused of surfing for porn; um, post-Clinton, isn't this what we've come to expect from our politicians? So he lost his job and almost lost his house and might have pawned a few city-owned items; who among us hasn't faced financial dire straights? OK, so Wingate buddied up to Douglas Bruce. Now that's embarrassing. CD

Best Beloved Retiree Most Likely Not To Retire Chinook's Phyllis Zell
When she's not repairing her pickup truck or hauling a load of alfalfa hay, Phyllis might be found in the kitchen, whipping up some baked delight for one of the many groups she frequents. When we heard she was retiring this year, after 37 years of employment at the Chinook Bookshop, we laughed. For Phyl, retirement's just an excuse to do all the things she's been meaning to get around to, like becoming a master gardener or learning Chinese. We nominate her as our role model -- the retiree we want to be when we grow golden. KCE

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