Best Of 2017

Best Camera Work

OPD Cameraman Who Filmed the Arrest of Markeith Loyd

Orlando Weekly caught a lot of shit from you people after publishing a blog titled "We need to talk about Markeith Loyd's face" (Jan. 18). Loyd – accused murderer of his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon, and OPD Lt. Deborah Clayton, and also implicated in the death of Orange County Deputy Norman Lewis – was arrested on Jan. 17 and was brought in for booking with serious injuries, including being blinded in one eye. When we questioned the account of Loyd's purported resisting of arrest, since one officer claimed he gave up "like a little girl," many of our readers expressed outrage, apparently incapable of understanding that calling out cops for using excessive force is not the same thing as defending the actions of a murderer. But then OPD released aerial footage of Loyd's arrest, showing him throwing down his weapons and literally crawling across a lawn at the direction of police. The OPD employee operating the camera, however, panned away from the arrest just as officers started punting Loyd in the head. It was a bold cinematographic choice, to be sure, but one that reeks of rank amateurism when it comes to covering up unsavory behavior by law enforcement.

Local Color: The best in local media, radio shows, Instagram feeds, activists and more

Local Color

The best in local media, radio shows, Instagram feeds, activists and more.

Best, Biggest, Blondest Hole in Our Hearts
Photo by Rob Bartlett

Billy Manes

May 22, 1972–July 21, 2017

The loss of Orlando Weekly's longest-term writer and foundational voice is devastating not just to his friends and family, not just to his colleagues, but to all of Orlando. Our bereavement is nothing compared to the loss of potential that his departure from this mortal plane represents – but we take some comfort in knowing that his husband, Tony Mauss, has launched the Billy Manes Foundation, which will work to fund various literary and advocacy issues. And, per Billy's request, Mauss will also finish the memoir Billy started but didn't have time to finish. Rest in power, Citizen Manes.

Best Kept Secret

1. Wekiva Island, wekivaisland.com

2. Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour, scenicboattours.com

3. Sanford

Best Local Activist Group

1. One Orlando Alliance, oneorlandoalliance.org

2. Zebra Coalition, zebrayouth.org

3. Food Not Bombs, facebook.com/orlandofoodnotbombs

1. John Morgan

2. Mayor Buddy Dyer

3. Johnny Magic

Best Local Charitable Group

1. Second Harvest Food Bank, feedhopenow.org

2. Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando, petallianceorlando.org

3. Give Kids the World, gktw.org

Best Local Instagram Feed
Best Local Podcast

1. "A Mediocre Time With Tom & Dan," tomanddan.com

2. "Scotch and Good Conversation," scotchandgoodconversation.com

3. "BYOCB," byocbshow.com

Best Local Politician

1. Mayor Buddy Dyer

2. Commissioner Patty Sheehan

3. U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy

Best Local Print Columnist

1. Scott Maxwell
Note: Scott Maxwell sent us a dedication request this morning: "Jessica, I’m honored by the voters' support. But this is Billy Manes’ award this year. So I’d like to very respectfully decline – and thank Billy for all he did to make us laugh and cry and think." He's a class act, that Maxwell.

No. 1 in our hearts: Billy Manes

3. Mike Bianchi