Every year the publisher of the Mercury awards one deserving employee with the highly coveted title of "Mercury Employee of the Year": a praiseworthy person recognized for going above and beyond in their efforts to make our paper and website the best it can be. And what do they receive along with this already gracious honor? They get their name engraved (and always spelled incorrectly) on our "Employee of the Year" plaque which they can hang in their cubicle; they obtain a temporary one-year ownership of one of the crisper drawers in the staff refrigerator; AND they get their own parking place at NE 21st and Hoyt—which admittedly was much more valuable when our offices were at NE 21st and Hoyt.

Anyway, this year's Mercury "Employee of the Year" is no other than our own arts editor/web sheriff Alison Hallett who has just done a bang-up job this year editing the best, and most accessible arts section in town as well as deftly managing our website/social media—which is a goddamn can of snapping worms, if you ask me. Also, Alison's one of the smartest writers I know, has a real passion for reporting and supporting Portland's art and culture scene, and has almost endless patience with the nearly daily parade of spoiled, entitled crybabies. (Something, as you can tell, I need to work on.) Thanks for doing such a great job this year, Alison. And I'm being sincere when I say this: You're a goddamn champ.