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Best of WNY 2011: It's the people II

Photo by kc kratt

Best special-interest blogger
David Torke
When David Torke posted a year or so back that he might abandon his blog Fix Buffalo, which he has been writing since 2004, his small but dedicated band of followers protested. Fix Buffalo focuses—mainly—on Buffalo’s built environment, especially in the neighborhoods of the East Side. Torke is also an accomplished photographer—find and friend him on Flickr. fixbuffalo.blogspot.com


Best Tweeter
Buffalo Gal
PR professional (and former Spree intern) Nicole Schuman tweets on just about everything—if she’s in your feed, count on seeing the Buffalo Gal handle every 5 to 10 tweets or so. Schuman’s also an enthusiastic representative and promoter of WNY’s social media scene. Here’s what we like about Buffalo Gal—even when she’s complaining, she comes across as sweet, good-natured, and a fervent supporter of all things Buff. twitter.com/buffalogal


Best Radio Voice
Loraine O’Donnell
If by “voice” you’re only listening for the deep, dulcet tones of a typical announcer, then WNY has plenty of solid, obvious contenders. But we’re thinking, too, of “voice” in the sense of someone with something provocative to say and a distinctive way to say it. And in that case, this veteran of the WNY theater and broadcasting scene is one of a kind. As we headed to press, her tenure at WECK had come to a close. But we trust it won’t be long before she's landed somewhere new, because we sorely need such an outspoken advocate for the arts, women, the LGBT community, and the many other folks whose own voices are seldom represented on the AM dial in the era of Rush and his ilk.


Best columnist
Rod Watson
In a recent column, Rod Watson opened with the question, “Who gets to speak truth when it pertains to African Americans?” We don’t begin to know the answer to that one, but when it comes to speaking candidly about economic inequity and those who have been forgotten or ignored for too long, Watson’s voice rings loud and clear.


Most missed TV news personality
Commander Tom
When you think about it, who are we really going to miss from the annals of local newscasts? The folks that reported about our city’s woes, or a lovable, sorta dashing weatherman who hosted a children’s program with a bevy of tripped-out puppets? From 1965–1991, Tom Jolls gave kids in WNY something they could call their own. Nothing against Yo Gabba Gabba, but when youngsters got obsessed with Commander Tom, they were loving something that was purely Buffalo.
Photo courtesy of WKBW-TV

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