2005 Public Eye Reader's Choices

Readers' Picks

BEST BOISE CITY DEPARTMENT

Public Library

Librarians have the stereotype of not being too controversial. They're so committed to peace and quiet, they even "shush" people for talking too loudly about books! Perhaps that's one reason there is no animosity towards this city department. Or maybe it's the city agency that gives the most value back to the community members who need to the most--the children, the bored and those who have voracious intellectual appetites but hardly a penny to their name. And you can't help but smile when you shout "Library!" as you drive into the downtown branch's parking lot.

Second Place: Parks & Rec Department

Third Place: Fire Department

BEST PLACE TO TAKE A NON-IDAHOAN

Downtown Boise

It keeps getting better and better. More shops, more bars, more things to do on practically every night of the week. Now, with BODO almost finished, there'll be even more. And perhaps the best thing about downtown? You can find a Boise Weekly on just about every block to let you know what is going on and where. (How's that for shameless self-promotion?)

Second Place: McCall

Third Place: Hyde Park

BEST LOCAL RADIO STATION PERSONALITY

Big Jay - 100.3 The X

While this may come as a surprise to the radio community, Big Jay is no shocker to us. The X (100.3) has been climbing the popularity charts for years, and a lot of the credit can go straight to Big Jay. He works the system, baby, doing his best to promote local music and make listening to mainstream radio fun again.

Second Place: Tim Johnstone - 94.9 The River

Third Place: Kate McGwire - Mix 106

Best AM Radio Station

670 KBOI

Talk radio--especially AM talk radio--is king across of the West. KBOI 670 wins the honor for providing Hannity, O'Reilly, Savage and the other right-wing ranters who make Republicans feel invincible and inspire Democrats to take a stand. That, and waking up to Paul J. Schneider's booming baritone voice in the morning makes us feel all tingly.

Second Place: 730 KBSU

Third Place: 1350 KTIK

Best Reason to live in Boise

There were many nominations, but the one that won out was "Everything listed here." Here they are:

Access to wilderness, Amy Atkins, arts community, big fish-small pond, Boise State, clean air, close to camping, Craigslist, downtown, drinking on the Boise River, easy winter, everything but liberals, everything but Republicans, foothills trail system, friends and family, funny lawyers, golf, great community, great place to raise your kids, great weather, Greenbelt, hot springs, I live here, it's a big city with little city feel, it's clean and safe, it's not California, it's the ideal American City, lots of water and nature that the public can enjoy, low humidity, more anal than California, music scene, nightlife, no humidity, no snow tires, North End, not a single thing, opportunity, outdoors, people, potatoes, quality of life, rivers, scenery, size, skiing, snowboarding, state parks, strong roots, 10 years ago no one else thought to live here, the bicycle scene, the Loft, the men, the quality of life, the seasons, the weather, the women, trail riding, trees, vegetarian food, white water rafting, you can be a full-time musician and eat, you can make a difference if you get involved and--sing along now--"You wanna go where everybody knows your name."

BEST ARCHITECTURAL TREASURE

Egyptian Theater

The Egyptian Theatre opened for business with a screening of Don Juan on April 19, 1927. The theater was known as The Fox during the 1930s, the Ada Theater in the 1940s and returned to the Egyptian in the 1970s. During the '70s, however, it was almost demolished along with most of downtown Boise's historical buildings, as the Boise Redevelopment Agency proceeded with a policy of "urban renewal." Renovated to as much of the original design as possible, the Egyptian Theatre is a true architectural treasure.

700 W. Main St., 387-1273

Second Place: Boise Train Depot

Third Place: State Capitol Building

BEST FM RADIO STATION

91.5 KBSU NPR News 91

This one's a given among Boise Weekly readers. All day long and into the night, our readers like to stay informed by listening to (let's be honest) the only fair and balanced talk radio out there. The truth hurts, and just because a few neo-con legislators don't agree with it doesn't make NPR commie radio. Our readers know this.

Second Place: 100.3 The X

Third Place: 94.9 The River

BEST IDAHO LEGISLATOR

Nicole LeFavour

Idaho's first lesbian legislator had an uphill battle to not only win the seat, but to be accepted as part of the political establishment. This BW alum, local activist, writer, educator and all-around groovy person represents the slightly leftist neighborhoods in Boise. And she's doing a mighty fine job.

Second Place: Margaret Henbest

Third Place: Elliot Werk

BEST LOCAL ACTIVIST/POLITICAL ORGANIZATION

Idaho Democratic Party

In a state dominated by the conservative branch of politics, an organization such as the Idaho Democratic Party must resort to guerilla tactics. So what are they waiting for? Come on donkeys, start kickin'!

Second Place: Planned Parenthood of Idaho

Third Place: Idaho Peace Coalition

BEST LOCAL TV PERSONALITY

Maggie O'Mara - Ch 7

In what may be the biggest upset this year, KTVB morning anchor Maggie O'Mara takes the top spot away from late-afternoon queen bee Dee Sarton. What happened, Dee? Is the change just because our readers are such bright-eyed, motivated morning people (yeah, right), or are you slipping a little? Is Maggie gunning for your spot?

Second Place: Dee Sarton - Ch 7

Third Place: Larry Gebert - Ch 7

BEST LOCAL WEB SITE

www.boiseweekly.com

We've been working on it relentlessly since relaunching a revamped version in February. Thankfully, you've noticed. We try to keep it simple: offer archives of old stories, make it easy to peruse the comics, the bar guides, the band roster with downloadable MP3s, write your own blog or read others, peruse classifieds and find out where to go and what to do in our online events database. It will get even better in the months to come now that our manpower isn't consumed with managing the online voting for Best of Boise.

Second Place: www.adasheriff.org

Third Place: www.neurolux.com

BEST LOCALLY MANAGED TV STATION

Channel 7

Still the biggest and, the readers say, the best. It's hard for anyone else to compete when they're up against KTVB, the 500-pound broadcasting gorilla with the biggest budget, the styling-est anchors and backing from one of the biggest news companies in the world (Belo Corp.).

Second Place: Channel 4

Third Place: Channel 12

BEST NEWS SOURCE

NPR News 91

Whether at work or during the commute, the soothing voices of NPR tell us the days events. They were "fair and balanced" long before another organization trademarked the slogan and made it a joke.

Second Place: Channel 7 KTVB

Third Place: TIE - Daily show w/ John Stewart & the Internet

BEST NON-POLITICIAN WHO SHOULD RUN FOR PUBLIC OFFICE

Jim Tibbs

After an unsuccessful bid for the Police Chief, rumors of ex-police chief pro-tem Jim Tibbs throwing his name in the hat for some upcoming election or another are swirling. Margaret Lawrence over at Hollywood Market has already endorsed him, and she made the list herself.

Second Place: Bingo Barnes

Third Place: Margaret at Hollywood Market

BEST PATIO FOR HANGING OUT

Lucky 13

Lucky 13's patio has replaced the proverbial town square, church steps and the fire ring of a tribal village. Instead of beating drums, praying or putting each other in the stocks, they bring their dogs and bikes while enjoying a pitcher of beer.

Second Place: Reef

Third Place: Neurolux

BEST PLACE OF WORSHIP OR SPIRITUAL REVERENCE

Boise Foothills

We offered this poll question thinking people would identify their favorite church. But instead our readers prefer to spend their time in the outdoors. Their spirituality is an individual thing, a communal discussion with mother nature ... or a barstool.

Second Place: Neurolux

Third Place: TIE - Redfish Lake, St. John's Cathederal

BEST PLACE TO SEE AND BE SEEN

13th on 13th at Hyde Park

The most recent addition the local events calendar has taken the city by storm. With bands, treats and every shop owner throwing open their doors, you never know what's going to happen. It could be a rip-roaring Friday night beer-fest or a Monday night, chill-out. We think the idea is grand and our readers obviously do too.

Second Place: Lucky 13

Third Place: Neurolux

BEST POLITICIAN

Dave Bieter

Squeaking through the last election by a hair's breadth, Mayor Bieter has continued to be a near-perfect local politician. He supports everything, smiles and makes people happy by staying out of trouble. His "unpopular" decisions aren't that unpopular, and he even speaks up every now and then for that silent majority of Boiseans who are sick and tired of the radical fringe dictating what's going on. OK, he did drop the ball once: no booze on the Boise River.

Second Place: No such thing as a best politician

Third Place: Nicole LeFavour

BEST LOCAL NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION

Idaho Humane Society

Nobody likes to see puppies and kitty cats roaming the street without a proverbial litter box to squat in. The Idaho Humane Society not only helps keep the community free of roaming, rampaging packs of beasts, they can help even the most desperate, unlikeable folks find a fantastic pet to love them unconditionally.

Second Place: Planned Parenthood

Third Place: Idaho Shakespeare Festival