It's stripey! It's spiky! Her locks show as much spunk as Amy Stephens has as the House Majority Leader. The El Paso Republican may tout her conservative values, but there's nothing conservative about this 'do.

Best Hair on a TV Personality — Female

Nina Sparano

Nina Sparano, the technology reporter for Fox 31 and KWGN, has clearly figured out the mechanics of a perfect hairdo. Those brunette locks are downright luxurious, girl. 

Readers' Choice: Adele Arakawa

Best Hair on a TV Personality — Male

Ron Zappolo

Ron Zappolo may have his own People on his Sunday-night talk show, but the Fox 31 anchor's mustache belongs to all of us. From beneath that lip sweater comes the most important news of the day, and that 'stache/silver tousle combo gives big stories the appropriate level of gravity. Zappolo has been a fixture on local TV for decades, delivering the news with hair that demands your attention. And respect.

Readers' Choice: Ron Zappolo

Noel Cunningham had the biggest heart in Denver...a heart so big that he didn't just worry about people in need here in town — where he hosted an annual Mother's Day brunch and numerous fundraisers at Strings, the restaurant he'd founded more than two decades ago — but people around the world. Many of Cunningham's good works were based in Ethiopia, which he and his wife, Tammy, had made the heart of their charitable efforts for close to a decade. But for all the help Cunningham gave to others, he could not ask his friends for help. That was the sad reality that former governor Bill Ritter, fresh from emergency surgery himself, shared in the heartfelt eulogy he delivered for Cunningham after the restaurateur committed suicide last fall. Cunningham may be gone, but his do-good spirit lives on.

Readers' Choice: Tim Tebow

From its start 25 years ago in the Evergreen garage of James Jackson, a real-estate developer turned philanthropist, Project C.U.R.E. has grown into the world's largest distributor of donated medical supplies and equipment, distributing roughly $50 million of relief every year. Today the organization is run by Douglas Jackson and operates out of a 60,000-square-foot warehouse in Centennial. But C.U.R.E. doesn't just send supplies around the globe; it also sends volunteers, who quickly recognize that the cure for many of the world's ills starts right here in Colorado.

Readers' Choice: New Era Colorado

Denver Zoo

These two polar bears are bonkers for each other. Before Lee came to the Denver Zoo last year, Cranbeary was a ten-year-old widow whose romance with Frosty was short-lived, since the bear had succumbed to liver cancer a month after Cranbeary arrived in Denver. But Lee, a handsome twelve-year-old from Detroit, seems to have filled that gap nicely. The two bears spend their days frolicking in the habitat's pool, Dirty Dancing style, and then shamelessly spooning in public.

PlatteForum

Only twelve 2011 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards were given out last year, each with a $10,000 grant, and Denver's PlatteForum won one of them. Feted for its artist-student mentoring work, the gallery/workshop on Platte Street was handed its award by Michelle Obama in November. "I always saw the world as gray until PlatteForum opened up my vision," said student participant Salvador Flores-Martinez, who joined PlatteForum director Judy Anderson and education director Meagan Terry on the trip to Washington, D.C., to pick up the honor. We're all seeing more clearly, thanks to PlatteForum.

Though it won't officially open until late April 2012, it's not too early to rate the urbane History Colorado Center a rousing architectural success. The 200,000-square-foot building was designed to house all the functions of the Colorado Historical Society — including offices, event facilities and a replacement for the thirty-year-old museum, whose former spot a block away is now part of the still-under-construction state justice center. The price tag on this stunner was over $110 million, but it got a jump start in 2010 with the issuance of Build America Bonds, part of the federal stimulus program to fund "shovel-ready" public projects. The sleek neo-modernist building, with its canted volumes and dramatic cantilevered cornice, is clad in dull limestone and detailed with shiny aluminum and even a touch of rusted steel. It's the crowning achievement of its designer, Tryba Architects (headed by David Tryba) — and, along with the nearby Wellington Webb building, the firm's second great contribution to the greater Civic Center.

PACE Center

Parker was once a small, rural town — but after the last few building booms, it's been completely subsumed by suburban sprawl that's spread developer housing, strip malls and gas stations across the area. But there's still a remnant of an old downtown on Main Street, and on a nearby ridge that rises above Sulphur Gulch, the town council, using a little over $20 million in existing funds, decided to build the Parker Arts, Culture and Events center, known as PACE. The facility, which opened last fall, includes a theater, an auditorium, a media lab, an art gallery and a dance studio. Done by Denver's Semple Brown Design, the smart-looking structure is made up of interlocking horizontal forms in concrete and brick that have been beautifully detailed. The pierced-metal wall is out of this world — and definitely outside the bland box that holds most of the rest of Parker's architecture.

As the mother of three and a practicing physician at Denver Health's Westside Family Health Center for two decades, Irene Aguilar had her hands full. Still, she found the time to run for Senate District 32 in the Colorado Legislature, and, since winning that election in 2010, has kept a dizzying pace both in the Capitol and out among her constituents. She's a whiz on health-care issues and has held numerous town meetings on that issue, among other topics. And every Monday, she invites a crew of University of Denver law students to her office to study the pros and cons of a potential piece of legislation. If people are tired of politics as usual, Aguilar could be just the tonic.

Readers' Choice: Michael Hancock

Best Of Denver®

Best Of