Phoenix magazine names Nick Martin best blogger in Valley

By Nick R. Martin | August 20th, 2010 | 12:30 am | 12 Comments »

Best of the ValleyI was pleasantly surprised Thursday to see a message on Twitter from Phoenix PR pro Charlotte Shaff, telling me some good news: “Congrats, Nick on your recognition by Phoenix Magazine!”

Turns out the editors over at Phoenix magazine named me the best blogger in the Valley for my work here on Heat City. Here’s what they wrote in their annual Best of the Valley issue:

Favoritism, shmavoritism – the Valley’s best blogger is PHOENIX magazine contributor Nick R. Martin, whose independently-produced Heat City news blog ( is a true marvel of D-I-Y journalism. Competing against entire newsrooms at The Arizona Republic and other newspapers, Martin took first place in breaking news at the most recent Arizona Press Club Awards for getting the scoop on a series of arrests related to the 2004 bombing of the Scottsdale diversity office. And he essentially performed this service for free, since Heat City is funded by public donations.

I was surprised and honored. The issue landed in subscriber mailboxes this week, making perfect timing for my transition back to freelancing and writing on Heat City. Hopefully the work here will continue to live up to the title.

You can see a handful of Phoenix‘s other picks on its website. But the whole September issue is worth buying on newsstands when it comes out. It features enough to do in the Phoenix area to keep you entertained for months.

Oh, and for full disclosure: I have contributed a number of stories to Phoenix magazine in the past two years. However, I wasn’t part of the editorial process for this issue. And I am not being paid to write this post.

  • judy4arizona

    I don't like McCain and I voted for him in the Presidential election. He wrote the cap and trade bill, supports amnesty, and has been apart of the big spending that Washington is involved with.

    Thus I would have to look closely at the character of the candidate rather than going by his endorsement.

  • Get this guy on Posterous or WordPress now!

  • Bill Richardson

    According to the Arizona Republic, my Blog was dropped following a letter they received from the Tempe Police Chief Tom Ryff and his assistant Charles Cobbs. I don't know where Sgt. Carbajal is getting his information?

    Who isn't telling the truth?

    And what about the letters attacking me the NAACP sent to the Arizona Republic at the behest of members of the Tempe PD?

    The 1st Amendment is dying on the vine in the City of Tempe.

  • Bruce Reynolds-

    My name is Bruce Reynolds- I am a former colleague of Bill Richardson. I recently sent the folliwng letter to the AZ Republic after reading the column that offended the Tempe PD.

    “Tell me Bill, why do you even care?”

    This statement was made by a Tempe police official when Bill Richardson, a columnist and retired Master Police Officer asked about violent crime in their city. Having worked for 16 years in law enforcement (including 14 in an Easy Valley police department) I was appalled at the comment. It is an insensitive and inappropriate comment for any public safety official to make to anyone.

    I am currently working overseas and have been for the past 19 years. This is the type of comment that you would expect from a government official in China, Burma, India or some other developing nation where life is cheap and corruption is the norm. For an management level official of a USA law enforcement agency to have the attitude reflected in this comment is disgusting.

    The Tempe Police official that made this statement should apologize to the victims of every violent crime in Tempe, Arizona and the USA. Then they should go and tender their resignation. Failing that, the Chief of Police should demand it.

    What are we becoming when those we appoint to protect us have no heart or soul?

  • Bob Satnan

    I'd like to say complaints about Bill's work is something new, but he has long been a needed thorn in the side to Valley law enforcement. Bill understands the issues and has worked hard to champion regional cooperation to better serve residents and keep them safe. When he wrote for the EVTrib while I was editorial page editor there, MCSO was constantly calling or e-mailing to complain about his columns; the difference is we stood up to the complainers and continued to give Bill a platform to write about meaningful local issues.

  • Eleanor

    What if is the Chief who uttered those lame words?

  • Eleanor

    Thanks for writing about this Mr. Martin. The lies that have come out of the Police Department only seem to get more and more ridiculous. Mr. Richardson has been working hard to write about things that need to be addressed in Tempe. Our City is a mess and our leadership is even worse. The idea that the Editors at the Republic caved to the intimidation is apalling. There have been many people who have been caving into the intimidation tactics used by the leadership in Tempe. Unfortunately this only allows them to believe they can get away with such behavior.

  • Richard Murphey

    Hello Bruce! This is Dick Murphey also a former colleague of both you and Bill. I've been on Bill's mailing list for several years and found him driving in his effort to get east Valley Police to work better together. The old statewide criminal information organization folded and that's it, I guess. We need information diggers for every department……

  • Dave

    What stinks is Richardson's attempt to be a reporter. Bill Richardson talks out of both ends. He bashes cops on a regular basis. There is no fowl play here – Richardson is a grouchy old man who does not check his facts.

    What goes around comes around, Bill. BTW, giving yourself made-up titles like “master” officer or reporter doesn't shun you from public backlash.

  • Phxcolumbo

    I have read Bill’s blogs on a regular basis. I haven’t always agreed with all he has said but the articles about Tempe P.D. are accurate. Violent Crime has risen greatly and the two current high profile cases are going Cold as here are no leads, per all the articles I read. Now those article came from the AZ Republic Newspaper. I can only see that as always stated the AZ Republic is a liberal inaccurate outlet where they don’t report the news but state their often wrong opinion. What ever happen to reporters like Bill Richardson who state facts? Now isn’t the time to give in to political pressure but to stand tall and state the truth. Bill keep on reporting on your own blog and keep the pressure on both the Tempe Police Department and the failing AZ Republic Newspaper. Bill state writing for the New Times, as they seem now to be the only real news outlet here.

  • Bill Richardson

    Who is telling the truth? The Tempe Police Department or the Arizona Republic?

    This information came from

    Tempe police spokesman also denied that the agency had anything to do with the Republic’s decision, saying no one there had even voiced concerns about Richardson’s blog.“To answer your question, no,” Sgt. Steve Carbajal said. “Nobody from the department, including the chief, has made a complaint to the Republic.”

    This information came from the Arizona Republic.

    We did receive a complaint regarding Mr. Richardson’s blog and our investigation found no wrong-doing on his part. Unfortunately, he then sent a letter that we felt was an act of intimidation. We have a strict policy that investigates any complaints against the paper without prejudice so that we insure we’re not leveraging our position in an unfair way. The public must be able to voice concerns without fear of retribution.

    Randy Lovely

    I was told by the paper they received a complaint from Tempe Chief Tom Ryff and his assistant Charles Cobbs.

    Below is the email I sent to Tempe officials after I was told the NAACP sent two letters to the Arizona Republic. A Tempe police employee made this complaint. The NAACP has refused to release the complaint, the two letters it wrote or its secret investigation of me.

    August 13, 2010

    Chief Ryff and Mr. Cobbs:

    Did either of you have anything to do with the NAACP writing multiple letters to the newspapers I write for complaining about my purported involvement in the operating the website along with concerns about my having a racial bias?

    If so, please tell me what you based your representations about me on?

    Also, if you were involved, did any of your efforts take place on city time and involve city equipment or any other city personnel besides the two of you?

    I look forward to an immediate and honest response.

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