Larry Gebert, channel 7
Hey, we don't have to ask, we know where Larry is: According to our voters, he's on the top of their short list of weatherdudes in the City of Trees. Before Boiseans stick a wetted finger to the wind, they turn to this jovial man-about-town. And we mean it: Is there a Boise event he doesn't attend? Is there a storm front he hasn't predicted? Could anyone else make that mustache work? Nope, not even close. The morning meteorologist on KTVB Channel 7 is the guy we rely on when we're deciding whether to pull on the heavy jacket or dig for the sunglasses (which would make him the whether-man).
Now, if only he could actually change the weather. Larry, can you turn off the heat in July? Stop the flooding? Make it snow? Lots? We ask because we believe.
SECOND PLACE: Scott Dorval, Channel 6
THIRD PLACE: Rick Lantz, channel 7
Best TV Station
KTVB, Channel 7
When our readers aren't lost in our pages, they're watching Channel 7--NBC's national plunge in ratings be damned. The well-groomed news team of Dee Sarton, Carolyn Holly, Mark Johnson, Rick Lantz, David Augusto, Boise fave Maggie O'Mara and the Treasure Valley's own version of Willard Scott, Larry Gebert, to name a few, are the jewels in the crown of our local NBC affiliate. Channel 7 also brings us Deal or No Deal, the Law and Order polyphony, The Biggest Loser, the 50th season of ER and the 100th season of Saturday Night Live. Wow. And yet, they're still our Reader's Choice favorite. It must be Mags and the Gebster.
Second Place: KAID, Channel 4
Third Place: KTRV, Channel 12
Best TV Personality
Maggie O'Mara, Channel 7
If readers' votes were kittens, Maggie O'Mara would surely be in violation of some city ordinance that states a person may not own more than a hundred of the darling little critters within city limits. But there's no law regulating how much love readers can show O'Mara, so she has lawfully and rightfully racked up enough votes to get first place for Best TV Personality for the second year in a row. Whether for her professionalism, her spontaneity or her cool name, O'Mara is a clear winner.
SECOND PLACE: Carolyn Holly, Channel 7
THIRD PLACE: Mark Johnson, Channel 7
Best Place to See and Be Seen
Readers picked Downtown as their top spot to hang and view the masses. Whether you're sitting on the patio at Bittercreek, puffing on a tobacco-filled hookah under a tent at Opa or getting a bird's-eye view from atop Reef, Boise's downtown is the hot spot to be--even though sometimes we still can't believe it ourselves. Seriously: Think back 10 years ago. On second thought, don't.
Second Place: Hyde Park, 13th on 13th
Third Place: Saturday Market
Best Radio Station
Every year, we're impressed with our brainiac readers in this category, although it should be noted, NPR is more than just a radio news format. It's loaded with entertaining diversions such as Calling All Pets, To the Best of Our Knowledge, A Prairie Home Companion, This American Life, Car Talk and our latest guilty pleasure, the fantastic Wait ... Wait ... Don't Tell Me. But obviously, you know all this already, since you've voted NPR Boise's Best four years in a row.
Second Place: 94.9 The River
Third Place: 100.3 The X
Best Morning Show/DJ
Tim Johnstone on The River
Every town has its voice, but Boise's is different than most. It's not a booming, deep, Guy Smiley voice. It's just a little bit scratchy and just a little bit higher than you expect when you meet him. Back during our flannel days, Tim Johnstone spun the grunge on 100.3 that made us look at our shoes in a whole new, extra-profound way. Now, he's jumped genres over to the "world class rock" of 94.9, and wouldn't you know it, it looks like our readers have followed him. We like to think that you also like Tim and Ken Bass' morning show because every Wednesday, our editor-in-chief goes on at 8:15 a.m. to talk about the issue of BW out that morning. But then, we like to think a lot of things.
Second: Big Jay, 100.3 THE X
Third: Mike and Kate, MAGIC 93.1
TIE: Mayor Dave Bieter and Rep. Nicole LeFavour
Never mind political hurdles (and brother, they've both got 'em), these two still come out looking like the sort of politician Boiseans respect. Whether it's Mayor Bieter sticking up for liveability and clean air, or Rep. LeFavour standing up boldly for underdog Democrats and gay rights, these two seem to land on the right side of Boise's progressive issues time and time again. People love to love a mayor that rides a bike to work, or that just plain walks. Bieter has declined a raise and a vehicle allowance ever since he took office. As for LeFavour, if you want to see courage, just sit in at the Legislature where she's one of very few who dare to stand up for causes that might otherwise get rolled over by the Republican-dominated Statehouse. As the only openly gay member of the Legislature, she represents many people who feel like they don't get a fair shake from Idaho's government.
THIRD PLACE: "No Such Thing"
Best Local Nonprofit
Idaho Humane Society
Perhaps it's because of the buckets of compassion these hardy folks bring or their outrageously cute Web site that the Idaho Humane Society won out in this year's bruising competition. IHS cares for more than 15,000 homeless animals every year, and this year's no different. Their heart-melting powers and dedication know no match. Bow before Bootsie!
4775 Dorman St., 342-3508
Second Place: Planned Parenthood of Idaho
Third: Women and Children's Alliance
Best News Source
Against all these so-called professional TV, print and radio outlets, a college radio station comes out on top? (Jeez, who do we have to pay to rig this race?) If it's KBSU, you better believe it. Between expanded NPR coverage, multiple program streams online and more local bang per buck than other stations even think of trying, Radio Bronco aces the test and shames the rest.
Second Place: Internet
Third Place: KTVB Channel 7
Best Architectural Treasure
Duh! Only the oldest theater in Boise, complete with an organist's pit left over from the silent movie era, this grande dame of downtown has had a facelift or two in the last few years. Neo-Egyptian decor, a grand stage and an amphitheater fit for watching gladiators in, make the Egyptian one of the last of its kind anywhere in America. We all dig stadium seating and $4 Cokes, but majesty deserves its due. Show the old girl some respect next time you're downtown.
700 W. Main St., 345-0454
Second Place: Train Depot
Third Place: Capitol Building
Best Place to Take a Non-Idahoan
Bars, great eats, a couple of theaters and a handful of clubs, enough coffee shops to make insomniacs out of a large village, parking garages and the occasional melee. Downtown's got it all. Whenever we've got a couch surfer, it's there we'll take them.
Second Place: The Mountains
Third Place: Boise River