Almanac receives awards in state contest


The Almanac received two second-place awards – for coverage of local government and best writing – in the 2015 Better Newspaper Contest, sponsored by the California Newspaper Publishers Association.

Awards were announced Saturday, April 30, at the association's conference at the Westin St. Francis hotel in San Francisco. The Almanac competed in the category of weekly newspapers with circulation between 11,000 and 25,000.

Staff writer Barbara Wood won a second-place award for coverage of local government for her stories on Atherton Councilman Bill Widmer, who surprised many on Dec. 17, 2014, with the news that he had been named the new city manager in Rancho Palos Verdes, nearly 400 miles south in Los Angeles County. Then he surprised people again when he said he didn't plan to immediately move from Atherton or resign his council seat. By Dec. 22, Rancho Palos Verdes rescinded the offer.

Associate Editor Renee Batti won a second-place award for best writing for her July 29, 2015, cover story, "One small seed," about how an exchange of ideas by three friends led to a worker-owned farming enterprise on the grounds of St. Patrick's Seminary in Menlo Park.

Seven other Almanac's entries were Blue Ribbon finalists, meaning they came in third or fourth. They were for general excellence, online general excellence, feature photo (staff photographer Michelle Le), inside page layout and design (designer Paul Llewellyn), best front page (designer Lili Cao), coverage of business news ("As Facebook grows, it works to make neighbors into friends," by Barbara Wood), and feature writing (Menlo Park poet J. David Cummings recalls atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki through his verse, by Renee Batti).

The Almanac's sister paper, the Mountain View Voice, edited by former Almanac staffer Andrea Gemmet, won for general excellence in print and snagged another dozen first and second-place awards.

Another Almanac sister paper, the Palo Alto Weekly, also won 13 first and second-place awards.

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