While some other local papers are busy celebrating Pulitzers (been there) and birthdays (we're actually old enough to drink), here at WW we're celebrating something much, much more important—ourselves.

While you gorged on elephant ears, Ferris wheels and other Rose Festival inanities last Saturday, the Oregon Society of Professional Journalists handed out a boatload of awards for work done in 2006 to everybody's favorite alt-weekly. Yes, that's us.

The bestest surprise for our pleasurement gloating came when WW's Beth Slovic won Rookie of the Year in Oregon.

She also won best feature about minorities last year among alternative newsweeklies in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska with "Illegal Scholar" (Nov. 15, 2006). The story—about a smart undocumented immigrant applying for college—also won best education story among all non-daily Oregon newspapers. And Beth won best personalities feature among Northwest alt-weeklies with "Tales from the Crip" (Dec. 27, 2006).

Other WW winners include Nigel Jaquiss—best news feature in non-daily Oregon newspapers with circulation 8,000 and larger for "Hoop Schemes" (Nov. 8, 2006) and best business feature in the same field for "The Talented Mr. Berkman" (Jan. 25, 2006)—and WW alum/awesome freelancer Chris Lydgate in the general feature category for "River Rats" (July 19, 2006).

Also, Laura Bridges, an ex-staffer for ex-Multnomah County Chair Diane Linn, won SPJ's First Freedom award for telling WW ("Lying for Linn," April 26, 2006) that Linn had told her to falsify her public calendar.

And, last but so far from least, WW's Byron Beck took two first-place finishes for Northwest alt-weeklies: best column and best special section for WW's "Restaurant Guide" (Oct. 18, 2006).

Awards list:

Non-daily Oregon newspapers 8,000 and larger

Spot News
3. Staff, "What a Week!"

News Feature
1. Nigel Jaquiss, "Hoop Schemes"

General Feature
1. Chris Lydgate, "River Rats"

Personality Profiles
2. Brittany Schaeffer, "Starving to Live"

Business Feature
1. Nigel Jaquiss, "The Talented Mr. Berkman"

General Excellence
2. Staff, Jan. 25; Aug. 9; Nov. 29

Non-daily newspapers, all sizes

Investigative Reporting
2. Nigel Jaquiss, "The Producer"

Environmental Reporting
2. Ian Demsky, "Hydro Hogs"

1. Beth Slovic, "Illegal Scholar"

Food, Consumer Issues
3. Zach Dundas, "Scarf Face"

Alternative Newsweeklies in Region 10

2. Staff, "Body Politic"

Consumer/Environmental Affairs
3. Ian Demsky, "Hydro Hogs"

Science and Health
3. Angela Valdez, "A Taste for His Own Medicine"

Social Issues
2. Angela Valdez, "Meth Madness"
3. Angela Valdez, "Unforgiven"

1. Beth Slovic, "Illegal Scholar"

2. Zach Dundas, "Bean Town"
3. Zach Dundas, "Scarf Face"

Honorable Mention, Casey Jarman, "Keep Ya Ones Up!"

1. Byron Beck

Special Section
1. Byron Beck, "Restaurant Guide"

1. Beth Slovic, "Tales from the Crip"
3. Ian Demsky, "'Hi, My Name Is Randy and I'm Addicted to Oil"