Best Of 2017

Best Local Weatherman 
Who Loves Lamp

Brooks Tomlin


We find it extremely difficult to believe that anyone is still "unconvinced" of the reality of climate change ... much less a person who spends his days reporting extreme weather events. But believe it we must: Brooks Tomlin of local Fox affiliate WOFL calls himself a "climate deplorable" in his Twitter bio; in 2015, he posted on Facebook that "Earth's climate will continue to change due to countless variables and processes which our best models cannot capture and some of our leaders, rushing into climate talks and agreements, cannot understand." Yeah ... no. Then we tumbled to it – this has to be a long-running performance art joke, right? The name is the giveaway. Only someone as, um, simple as Steve Carell's "Brick Tamland" character from Anchorman would spout this stuff. We love lamp too, Brick, er, Brooks. LOUD NOISES!

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,

2. Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour,

3. Sanford

Best Local Activist Group

1. One Orlando Alliance,

2. Zebra Coalition,

3. Food Not Bombs,

1. John Morgan

2. Mayor Buddy Dyer

3. Johnny Magic

Best Local Charitable Group

1. Second Harvest Food Bank,

2. Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando,

3. Give Kids the World,

Best Local Instagram Feed
Best Local Podcast

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

2. "Scotch and Good Conversation,"

3. "BYOCB,"

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