Best of Boise 2005

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The Best of Boise issue, for going on 11 years now, has been looked forward to annually by our readers and businesses across the Treasure Valley.

This year's issue is the biggest it's ever been, with a page count spanning into triple digits. We've done hundreds of write-ups over the last few weeks, and our staff and freelancers worked into the wee hours to get it all done on time. Now, we get to sit back and let you enjoy it from cover to cover.

The numbers of online voters increased dramatically this year, by almost 50 percent over last year. Conversely, since we only circulated the print ballot for one week in August, the numbers of printed ballots that qualified (you had to follow the rules) were dramatically less. Overall, we saw an increase in the numbers of votes weighing in on their favorites for Reader's Choices. In fact, because there were so few printed ballots, and in no instance did those votes change the online winners, we are considering making next year online-voting only. It's much easier to count ballots that way.

This year, our online balloting was easier on you, too. We allowed voters, once signed in, to come back later and finish up the ballot. But many of you did not finish the ballot. Answers were needed in every category, and within each of those at least 50 percent of the questions had to be answered.

Our BW online robots sent out reminder e-mails, but many did not heed the call to finish and over 500 online registered voters' ballots did not count in the final vote. But even without them, we broke records for the numbers of valid ballots.

If you didn't fill out a ballot or didn't finish, we'd still like to invite you to our Best of Boise party at the Balcony Club in downtown Boise on Saturday, October 1 starting at 5 p.m. We'll have food, beverages, prizes and "Best of Party" awards to give out. See you there.

--Bingo Barnes

BOB SCRIBES

Amy Atkins, Bingo Barnes, Sara Beitia, Nicholas Collias, Rachael Daigle, Jen Laraway, Ryan Peck, Leila Ramella, Erin Ryan, Chris Schnoor.