Photo by Jason Greene
Local Color - Staff Picks
Published: July 13, 2011
Best way back into the closet
Orlando Sentinel reporter Scott Powers’ moment in storage
A political reporter’s life is not a glamorous one. Typically, the best a scribe can expect from an interview is a scowl and a script with few refreshments in between. But when Orlando Sentinel reporter Scott Powers arrived at a Bill Nelson fundraiser hosted by Vice President Joe Biden in March – an event into which even we were refused entry – he could hardly have expected that he’d be banished to a storage closet. But that’s exactly what happened. When he arrived, he was instructed not to talk to any party attendees and to wait in a small storage room until Biden and Nelson arrived. Naturally, the whole incident was blown up, in full FReeper fashion, as proof of the secrecy of Democrats and their private parties, but following an apology from the Biden staff for not finding a better “holding room” for the Tweeting reporter, the whole incident was washed back into the realm of the reasonable.
Best matronly scolder
Former Orange County Mayor Linda Chapin is not one to be tussled with. Following a late-December Happytown™ wrap-up of the questionable circumstances surrounding the troubled Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in which we satirically broadstroked DPAC head Kathy Ramsberger’s “bottle-blond” hair, DPAC board member Chapin stormed the Orlando Weekly offices, printout in hand, to put us in our places. Oh, there were cries of “sexism” and whatnot, but even those were effectively muted by the fact that this paper’s editor is a woman and the offending journalist is a bleached gay. Chapin, though, was unfazed and asked (somewhat rhetorically) “What do you expect us to do? Just drop the project altogether?” Well, yes. But we also realized that caricature is an oiled tightrope, and we issued an apology in print shortly thereafter. It’s what our mother would have wanted us to do. Linda Chapin, it should be noted, is awesome.
Best quizzical calico beard
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer
Hirsute enthusiasts must have felt their jawlines itch when the news broke: In honor of the Orlando Magic’s placement in the NBA finals – which they shortly thereafter tumbled out of again – Mayor Buddy Dyer decided to let his freak flag fly and grew out some bristle in support of the team’s “Fear the Beard” campaign. Dyer’s follicular fantasy resembled, at least in its early weeks, something you’d see on someone who went on a weeks-long, hell-bent whiskey bender. It featured myriad colors and had no clear lines. A few weeks later, though, the beard apparently proved to be a boon for the mayor. It not only effectively disguised his excess neck weight, it also – to hear him tell it – pleased his wife, Karen. Itchy!
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