OC Press Club honors outstanding journalist achievements

Bud Miller

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Photos by Lana Johnson

(L-R) Charles “Bud” Little received the Sky Dunlap award

The Orange County Press Club has a rich history dating to the 1950s and gathers each year for an annual event to acknowledge their peers.

The 2018 Annual OC Press Club Awards dinner gala took place Thursday, June 14 at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa in Fashion Island.

Reiff and Reisman

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 (L-R) Rick Reiff, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award, with Richard Reisman, publisher and CEO of the Orange County Business Journal

The club honored two men for their outstanding achievements in journalism: Rick Reiff and Charles “Bud” Little.

Reiff, editor at large of the Orange County Business Journal, received the Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a Pulitzer Prize and Gold Mike Award winner, and three-time Emmy nominee. He authors the popular Orange County Business Journal OC Insider column, and hosts and produces “Inside OC with Rick Reiff” on PBS SoCal.

Little, a professor and journalism adviser at Santa Ana College, was bestowed the Sky Dunlap Award for life achievement and community service. The award is named for John William “Sky” Dunlap (1912-1968), who owned and published the Globe, an independent newspaper. Past recipients include Frank Mickadeit, formerly of the OC Register; Gustavo Arellano, former editor of OC Weekly; Steve Churm, former chief executive of Churm Media; and Tom Johnson, publisher, Stu News Newport. The award was presented by Tom Johnson, last year’s award recipient.

The event was hosted by Barbara Venezia, an opinion columnist, and Roger Bloom, OC Press Club treasurer, who also served as the evening’s co-chairs. Gary Sherwin, president and CEO of Newport Beach and Company, delivered a warm welcome to all the guests.

Here is a wrap up of the evening’s award winners. 

Best Blog

First Place: Behind the Badge

Best Sports Broadcast or Video - First place: Rick Reiff, “Inside OC with Rick Reiff” (for “After the Fall” with Todd Marinovich)

Best Feature Broadcast or Video

First: Anthony Porrazzo, Spotlight Video (for story on Father Damien, JSerra High School Chaplain)

Second: Rick Reiff, “Inside OC with Rick Reiff” (for the episode “He Writes the Songs”)

Third: Shawn Price, Halloween Every Night (for coverage of Night of the Living Dead)

Best News Broadcast or Video

First Place: Anthony Porrazzo, Spotlight Video (for coverage of a mock DUI event at Santa Margarita Catholic High School)

Second Place: Rick Reiff, “Inside OC with Rick Reiff” (for the episode “Campus Conflict”)

Best TV News Program

First place: Rick Reiff, “Inside OC with Rick Reiff”

Best Use of Multimedia

First place: OC Speakly podcast (submitted by OC Weekly)

Best Graphic 

First Place: Jeff Goertzen, “Shark Tech” published by Orange County Register

Judges’ comments: All really well-designed graphics like Shark Tech have some common characteristics. Often, the reader is never aware of these traits, and that’s even better.

Best Page Design

First Place: Denise Smaldino Rainey, “Fairy Tale Manor”

Second Place: Dustin Ames, “Away & Home Summer Guide 2017”

Third Place: Denise Smaldino Rainey, “Make a Splash This Summer!” 

Judges’ comments: “This is just a wonderful, active layout. It flows nicely from the activity shots to the more posed ‘reclining on the beach’ shots and then, products.”

Best Illustration

First Place: Leslie Again, “Angels in the outpatient room” published by OC Weekly

Best Political Cartoon

Leslie Again, “Snitch Trap” published by OC Weekly

Best Cover

First Place: Dustin Ames, Sept. 8 cover of OC Weekly

Second Place: John Cheresh, the Story of OCSA

Third place (TIE): Denise Smaldino Rainey, July cover of OC Family

Third Place (TIE): Dustin Ames, OC Weekly Best of 2017

Best Food/Restaurant Story or Review
First Place: Shawn Price, “Chow Time with Anaheim Fire & Rescue: Coq au vin” in Behind the Badge

Best Feature Story

First Place: Liz Goldner, “Sarah Rafael García Captures Santa Ana’s History and Gentrification through Fairy Tales” in KCET Art bound
Second Place: Shawn Price, “Anaheim Fire & Rescue strike teams: ready for the long haul” in Behind the Badge
Third Place: Jessica Peralta, “OCSD’s human remains detection dog, Cinder, is hard at work in training” in Behind the Badge

Best Music or Entertainment Story or Review

First Place: Jessica Peralta, “‘Lavender’ Highlights the Horror of the Mind” in Halloween Every Night

Best News Feature Story

First Place: Greg Hardesty, “OCSD deputies recount terror in Las Vegas: ‘I had never felt that close to death before’” in Behind the Badge

Second Place: Jessica Peralta, “OCSD’s TSA K9s are federally trained dogs at the ready to sniff out explosives” in Behind the Badge

Third Place: Greg Hardesty, “Nearly killed by DUI suspect, Orange police officer is humbled by outpouring of support” in Behind the Badge

Best Arts/Culture Story or Review

First Place: Liz Goldner, “Deconstructing Liberty: A Destiny Manifested” in Art and Cake

Best Feature Photo

First: Steven Georges for photo of a tiny police driver

Second Place: Steven Georges for photo of a fire & rescue team member

Third Place: Christopher Trela for photo of Moulin in Newport Beach Independent

Best Slideshow (online)

First Place: Brian Feinzimer for photos of the Anaheim Hills Blaze on OCWeekly.com

Second Place: Steven Georges for his series of homeless in OC

Best Photo Essay (print)

First Place: Dustin Ames, “With 18 Bajillion Things to Do, See and Eat, No Single Trip to Tokyo Will Leave You Satisfied” in OC Weekly

Best News Photo

First Place: Richard Koehler, Mercedes vs. Semi published in Orange County Register

Second Place: Jeff Antenore, Sheriffs patrolling homeless camp in Voice of OC

Third Place: Brian Feinzimer, photo used for the OC Weekly cover “Fill ‘em up”

Best Public Affairs Story

First Place: Mary Carreon, “Orange County’s First Needle Exchange Tries to Bring Hope to a Wretched Situation” in OC Weekly

Second Place: Jordan Graham, “Orange County homeless deaths hit all-time high” in Orange County Register

Third Place: Jeff Collins, “Eviction decline is no solace for thousands of renters losing their homes” in Orange County Register

Best Feature Story

First Place: Chris Haire, “Is time running out on Holy Jim Canyon? Nature, feds are threatening” in Orange County Register

Second Place: Mary Carreon, “Tree of Life Nursery Is Saving Our Ecosystem One Seed at a Time” in OC Weekly

Third Place: Donia Moore, “San Clemente Island Got Your Goat?” in San Clemente Journal

Best Education Story

First Place: Roxana Kopetman, “Pink slips lead to a special court hearing for hundreds of local teachers facing possible layoffs” in Orange County Register

Second Place: Roxana Kopetman, “Anaheim Union denying hundreds of school transfer requests, sparking tears and appeals” in Orange County Register

Best Series

First place: Teri Sforza, “Twins Divided” for Orange County Register

Second place: Denisse Salazar, “Gang Victims: A Program Aimed at Helping and Healing” for Orange County Register

Third place: Barbara Venezia, Newport Beach and Costa Mesa should do Background Checks on Commission Applicants for Daily Pilot

Best Sports Columnist

David Jerome, Mr. Bucket list in Orange County Register

Best Sports Story

First place: Ryan Kartje, “Inside the unregulated world of recruiting consulting services” in Orange County Register

Second place: Mirin Fader, “California doesn’t regulate athletic trainers. Here’s why that’s bad for high school athletes” in Orange County Register

Third place: Chris Haire, “On Saturday, a rematch will play out in Little Saigon” in Orange County Register

Best Business Story

First Place: Margot Roosevelt, “Is it fair that the amount of bonding time you get with your baby hinges on the size of your employer?” in Orange County Register 

Second Place: Jeff Collins, “Investor demand for SoCal apartments contributes to rising rents” in Orange County Register

Third Place (TIE): Jeff Collins, “Meet YIMBY: Pro-development groups join the battle in California housing wars” in Orange County Register

Third Place (TIE): Gabriel San Román, “Will Buena Park’s New Retail Center the Source Put It on the Map – Or Be Its Biggest Boondoggle?” in OC Weekly

Best Cannabis Coverage

First Place: Brooke Edwards Staggs

Best Religion Story

First Place: Gabriel San Román, “A Gay Pastor Leaves His Santa Ana Flock, Exposing the United Methodist Church’s LGBT Rift” in OC Weekly

Second Place: Deepa Bharath, “A Bible and a gun? How churches, temples, mosques are rethinking security” in Orange County Register

Third Place: Cindy Carcamo, “Like an invisibility cloak, Latina Muslims find the hijab hides their ethnicity – from Latinos” in LA Times

Best Environmental News Story

First Place: Amy DePaul, “To Desalinate or Not to Desalinate: UCI Debate over controversial Huntington Beach Plant” in Voice of OC

Second Place: Mary Carreon, “Activists Protest Plans to Bury Nuclear Waste at San Onofre State Beach” in OC Weekly

Best Arts or Culture Story

First Place: Gabriel San Román, “El Centro Cultural de Mexico finally gets a Home but will Next Generation of Activists Come” in OC Weekly

Second Place: Cynthia Rebolledo, “Frederico Medina Captures Life and Culture in the Golden City” in OC Weekly

Best Arts or Culture Review

First Place: Dave Barton, “William Wray’s Seemingly Straightforward Building Portraits Tell a Deeper Story” in OC Weekly

Second Place: Christopher Trela, “Artscapes: Backhausdance Premieres Quartet of New Works at The Barclay” in Newport Beach Independent

Third Place: Dave Barton, “Laguna Art Museum Celebrates the Legendary Beginnings of the California School of Fine Arts” in OC Weekly

Best Travel Story

First Place: Edwin Goei, “Montreal Has Poutine, Yes, But Go With the Jewish Food First” in OC Weekly

Second Place: Anne Valdespino, “Touring Castle Country in Scotland” in Orange County Register

Third Place: Kedric Francis, “Road trips for a realist” in Orange County Register

David McQuay Award for Best Columnist

First place: Norberto Santana Jr., Voice of OC

Second place: Kedric Francis, Orange County Register

Third place: Joe Vargas, Behind the Badge

Best Profile

First Place: Ryan Kartje, “The Ballfather: Lavar Ball and his three sons intend to change basketball forever” in Orange County Register 

Second Place: Keith Sharon, “Would you kill if ordered? Orange County resident and WWII Navy survivor of Port Chicago disaster faced that question” in Orange County Register

Third Place: Margot Roosevelt, “July 4th fireworks: Meet the Orange County maestro who lights the nation’s skies” in Orange County Register

Best Music or Entertainment Story

First Place: Gabriel San Román, “After Her Mother’s Death, Turntables Brought DJ Lala Out of Depression and Into the Spotlight” in OC Weekly

Second Place: Nate Jackson, “Meet Lorne Conner: The Happy Coachella Guy” in OC Weekly

Third Place (TIE):  Patrice Marsters, “Izabella Alvarez Is Only 13, But Has Already Appeared on Westworld, Shameless – With More to Come” in OC Weekly

Third Place (TIE): Kathleen Luppi, “Pat Boone” in Daily Pilot 

Best Music or Entertainment Review

First Place: Liz Goldner, “The Monster Builder: Amy Freed’s Take on Architecture as a Metaphor for Life” in Artillery

Best Political Columnist

Norberto Santana Jr., Voice of OC

Best Food or Restaurant Story

First Place: Caitlin Yoskiko Kandil, “Little Saigon’s restaurant scene revives as second-generation Vietnamese Americans mix it up” in LA Times

Best Food/Restaurant Review

First Place: Edwin Goei, “Tin Vuong’s LSXO Combines Hip-Hop and the Best Vietnamese Food Outside of Little Saigon” in OC Weekly

Second Place: Edwin Goei, “The New Northgate González Market in Anaheim Is Like a Mexican-Food Disneyland” in OC Weekly

Third Place: Brad A. Johnson, “Pacific Hideaway channels a rebellious surfer vibe” in Orange County Register

Best Round-Up or Best Of

First place: Edwin Goei, “Korean Fried Chicken Is Becoming a Thing in Orange County. Here Are Three New Spots” in OC Weekly

Second place: Brad A. Johnson, “These are Orange County’s 20 Best Mexican Restaurants” in Orange County Register

Best Beat Reporting

First Place: Nick Gerda, Voice of OC

Second Place: Deepa Bharath, Orange County Register

Third Place: Meghann Cuniff, Daily Journal

Best Breaking News Story

First place: Hannah Fry, “Man shot and killed by H.B. officer was homeless Navy veteran, mother says; new video surfaces” in Daily Pilot

Second place: Alma Fausto, Tony Saavedra and Sean Emery, “Serial killings: 5th victim identified in cases of men accused of murdering 4 women” in Orange County Register

Third place: Luke Money, “Costa Mesa council unseats Katrina Foley as mayor and names Sandy Genis to replace her” in Daily Pilot

Best News Feature Story

First Place: Cindy Carcamo, “At Napa vineyards untouched by wildfires, the grapes must still be picked” in LA Times

Second Place: Margot Roosevelt, “Is Social Security cheating the disabled? The wait time to get a hearing is nearly 2 years” in Orange County Register

Third Place: Denisse Salazar, “Here’s one Santa Ana family’s story of generational gang violence. Can the city’s latest efforts break the cycle in Orange County Register

Best News Story

First Place: Roxana Kopetman, “Same visa Trump uses at his hotel helps bring workers to Southern California fairs” in Orange County Register

Second Place: Hannah Fry, “‘It’s been a night from hell’: Homeless pushed out of Santa Ana River face uncertain futures” in Daily Pilot

Third Place: Nick Gerda, “Airport Controversy Heats Up as Supervisors Award Contract to Low-Ranked Firm” in Voice of OC

Best Investigative Story

First Place: Jordan Graham and Tony Saavedra, “Southern California jailers are injuring inmates with abusive ‘chicken winging’ holds” in Orange County Register

Second Place: R. Scott Moxley, “Orange County’s Informant Scandal Yields Evidence of Forensic Science Deception in Murder Trials” in OC Weekly

Third Place: Nick Gerda, “Hundreds of Dollars in ‘Gifts’ From Contractors to Supervisor Nelson Raise Legal Questions” in Voice of OC    

Watchdog Award

First Place: Orange County Register Staff

Marjorie Freeman Award for Best Humorous Story

First place: Kedric Francis, “Women of Influence” in Orange County Register    

Second Place: Anne Valdespino, “These are the worst restaurant and food trends of 2017” in Orange County Register

Third place (TIE): David Jerome, “Scattered Thoughts for Your April Fool’s Day” in Orange County Register

Third place: Luke Money, “Christmas is the most pun-derful time of the year for this Costa Mesa family” in Daily Pilot    

The Real O.C. Award

First place: Deepa Bharath, “Most Influential 2017: Rida Hamida and Benjamin Vazquez bring halal tacos, cultural mingling, to mosques throughout Southern California” in Orange County Register

Second place: Brooke Edwards Staggs, “senior’s board ‘cannabis’ for trip to medical marijuana dispensary” in the Cannifornian

Third place: Caitlin Yoshiko Kandil, “Latino Muslims find home at mosque led by Cambodian refugees” for NBC News

Congratulations to all the winners!