Best Of Mty--best Around Town
Best Prediction for 1999
Thursday, April 15, 1999
Only one thing became very clear after reading hundreds of readers'' predictions: Nobody really knows what''s going to happen (except Junior). We had about as many predict the world would come to an end as those who predicted the world would not come to an end. Lots of people said the Y2K bug would create havoc.and lots of people said it was no big deal. The people who predicted that Clinton would be impeached have already--apparently--been proven wrong, but those who said that Big Bill would have another affair might very well be right. After reading the responses, Junior says he''s going to stick with something more reliable for predicting the future--like reading animal entrails.
Best City Park
Dennis the Menace Park
Pearl Street, in El Estero Park, Monterey
Of course. Anyone who''s driven past Dennis the Menace Park, teeeming with children, on a sunny weekend afternoon knows how popular the park is. And it seems unlikely that there are any parents who haven''t taken their children to the park for an afternoon--and let out a sigh of relief when the young''uns took off to play with others their own age, leaving mom or dad a few precious moments to think or read quietly and maybe soak up a little sun. Lots of interesting playground equipment, an old steam engine and maze make Dennis the Menace Park a winner for all ages.
Runner-up: Jacks Peak, Monterey
Best County Park
Monterey-Salinas Highway, Salinas, 647-7799
With lots of trails for hiking, bike and horseback riding, acres of picnic areas, and sweeping views of the Salinas/Monterey area, Toro Park is a natural winner.
Runner-up: Garland Ranch, Carmel Valley
Best Local Mayor
Dan Albert, Monterey
Dan Albert was actually born in San Francisco, midwived into the world by his Spanish-born grandmother, but he''s lived in Monterey ever since. His mom packed sardines on Cannery Row at the old San Xavier Cannery, and his dad worked as a custodian at Monterey High. A graduate of Monterey High himself, where he taught for 37 years, Albert has been in city politics for more than two decades, 13 of those years at the city''s helm. His personal attachment to the city--and its political life--is fierce. Never afraid to speak his mind, Albert has faced many controversial issues in his time, treating them with his own personal blend of toughness and humor.
Runner-up: Pacific Grove Mayor Sandy Koffman
Best Locally Run Government
OK, if Dan Albert''s your favorite mayor, stands to reason you''d pick Monterey as the best-run local city. Junior would certainly pick Monterey''s City Council meetings as the most, er, vocal local council meetings. Kudos for this award have to go to longtime City Manager Fred Meurer, who toils ceaselessly behind the scenes to make sure everything goes as it should in front of the velvet curtain. Monterey''s got a lot on its plate for the coming year, from initiatives to limit coastal development to continued cries for greater crime control. Let''s see how they handle it all.
Runner-up: Pacific Grove
Best Local Supervisor
It''s not just what you do, but what you say you''ll do that is the mark of a good elected official. In the case of District 5 Supervisor Dave Potter, his insistence that development projects in Monterey County should only be approved if they can be built within the limits of local infrastructure has been his guiding principle since first elected to office. With his votes against the Hatton Canyon Freeway and in favor of restricting the transfer of water credits, Potter has also demonstrated his committment to the needs of all county residents beyond his constituents on the Peninsula.
Runner-up: Judy Pennycook
Best Place For Teenagers to Hang Out
All Over the Place
Like, dudes, make up your minds. Seriously, though, Junior thinks it''s just fine that many of you picked "home" as the best place for the future leaders of this country to spend their free time. But he fears it''s just your hopeful parents filling out those ballots. Hanging out at the mall can only lead to trouble, not to mention what it''ll do to your (mom''s) credit card balance. Recreation centers are definitely the preferred alternative. Get your ya-yas out by lifting weights and playing ball--much better than the evil weed. Healthy minds in healthy bodies...who was it said that?
Best Radio Station
Although some credit the work of program director Lance Tidwell for keeping KTOM''s presentation fresh and popular at a time when country music nationwide is shrinking in popularity, Tidwell himself credits the station''s teamwork and camaraderie. "We have fun and that shows on the radio," says Tidwell. "Despite how corporate radio has become, we have worked hard to not let that take the fun out of radio. We all like each other. It''s because of team effort that we stay on top." Tidwell also says that the station''s regular promotions and presence at community events creates a bond with their listenership.
Runner-up: CD93 (KCDU, 93.5FM)
Best Reason To Live In Monterey County
As if you couldn''t guess! Although the struggle between development and preservation continues with unabated fury, Weekly readers realize that compared to much of the rest of the state, our home turf remains a veritable paradise. From the heights of Pico Blanco to the most secluded coastal getaways, the beauty and natural heritage of the Central Coast remain largely intact for all residents to enjoy.
Best TV Anchor
KSBW, TV8, NBC
No vapid pretty boy here. Since October ''95, KSBW anchorman Dan Green has delivered the news with a straight-shooting demeanor that viewers have come to trust. "I guess the only thing I can point to is basically being yourself," says Green, commenting on his success. "There are way too many artifical people on television. I think it''s an insult to people and they see through it. They want to see real people."
Runner-up: Karina Rusk, KION TV
Best TV News
KSBW, TV8, NBC
You selected Dan Green as the best TV news anchor, so it makes sense you would also select KSBW as for the best in TV news. Green''s efforts are abetted by co-anchor Erin Clark, with Jim Vanderzwaan doing the weather and Dennis Lehnen the sports. Green, in fact, attributes much of the newscast''s success to Vanderzwaan (who has been with the station for 15 years) and Lehnen (who''s been there for 16 years). "Jim and Dennis are the anchors on which everything is built," says Green.
Most Promising Politician/ Most Influential Person in Monterey County
There are two things to be learned from Leon Panetta''s win in this category. The first is, "Once a politician, always a politician." Leon hasn''t held elective office in years but is still considered a politician. The second lesson to be learned is people must not think too highly of our current crop of elected officials, or they wouldn''t have picked a "non-politician" in this category. It''s also obvious why people still view Leon Panetta as the county''s most influential person. As a result of his efforts on behalf of CSUMB and the Institute for Public Policy, Leon, along with his wife Sylvia, have been key players in promoting education as a logical and worthwhile addition to the county''s ag and tourism industries. Come back Leon! The people miss you.
Runner-up Influential: Clint Eastwood
Runner-up Promising: Sam Farr