The East Bay Express won five awards, including three first place awards, in the East Bay Press Club’s annual Excellence in Print Journalism Contest for 2008. Staff writer Nate Seltenrich won first place in the Lifestyle Feature writing category for “Writers, Unblocked” (8/6/2008), a cover story about an Oakland organization that helps artists overcome creative hurdles. Staff writer Robert Gammon won two first place awards. “The Torture Professor” (5/14/2008), a feature-length polemic on why UC Berkeley should fire law school professor John Yoo, won in the Best Opinion writing category, and “Tip of the Iceberg” (12/17/2008), an examination of Oakland lobbyist Carlos Plazola, won for Best Analysis writing. Gammon also earned a second place award in the Best Series category for “The Belgian Connection,” a series of articles about AC Transit’s controversial bus purchases. And he got third place in the In-depth or Investigative Reporting category for “Arrests Are Down, and Crime Is Up” (12/3/2008), a cover story that revealed the Oakland Police Department’s dismal record for solving violent crimes. The contest award winners were announced Friday, May 29 in Oakland. The writing categories were judged by the Los Angeles Press Club, the Cleveland Press Club, and the Milwaukee Press Club.