No, You're The Best

Welcome to the 2007 Best of Boise. Now say goodbye to BOB as you know him.

Friends, the Best of Boise you hold in your hands is a different animal than in years gone by. I'll explain that in a bit. And as soon as you've digested that, prepare yourself to say goodbye to the Best of Boise (we call him "BOB" around the office, with equal parts adoration and fear) as you've known it to date. More on that, too, of course.

First, a word about BOB's entry into the digital age.

Last year, we told readers we were done with the paper ballot. Like so many other major electoral districts, we were ready to go all-digital, forestall the threat of the hanging chad and require our constituents to get with the program. Paper ballots are just so analog. Plus, we got tired of counting the damn things. And we're weary of rooting through piles of votes to distinguish the real from the fake, the earnest love of a BOB candidate from the ballot-stuffing antics of a partner in crime.

So we went all online. We spread the word, and bless your little hearts, you leapt to the task. I'm pleased to note that we had more than 1,700 votes for this year's Readers Choice ballots. You helped us do a more democratic job of finding out just what people, places and things in this fair city are the best. Sometimes, truth hurts: You guys voted for "No Such Thing" in the "Best Local Politicians" category, for example. You also upended some longtime winners in other areas. I'll let you find them for yourself.

For that, I thank you. Elections—even ones like the Best of Boise, which resemble a popularity contest more than anything else—aren't about satisfying the status quo. They're about plumbing the depths of our community and hunting for the truffles among the toadstools.

Now, on to the change we're initiating for next year. Every time we gather around our conference table to discuss the content of BW, we grapple with the notion of the imported versus the locally generated. As fierce defenders of all things local, we've begun to discuss what it might be like to have a Best of Boise issue that really was focused on the best that this town, and no other, had to offer. Which means that those businesses that aren't locally owned or created won't even make it onto the ballot of a true Best of Boise issue. The point is to celebrate what is good about Boise, and nothing more.

We'll start the discussion now, in the hopes that you'll help us form a new view of what is truly best about Boise. I welcome feedback and thoughts as we move forward.

Like every issue of BW, the Best of Boise issue rides into existence on the backs of its amazing staff and regular contributors: Amy Atkins, Nicholas Collias, Rachael Daigle, Deanna Darr and Elaine Lacaillade all contributed huge amounts of their time and hides to this process. Thanks to Leila Ramella and Chris Williams for making it look so spiffy.

Lastly, you didn't think we'd let the whole sordid Larry Craig saga escape the BOB lens, did you? Turn to page 79 to find a whole special section of "The Best of Larry Craig." Which, I admit, is a tongue-in-cheek title. You know, a he-said, he-said sort of thing. Enough already. Read on.

—Shea Andersen

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Introductions to the year's Best of Boise

Best of Boise Weekly

Best of Your Brain

BOB Public Eye

BOB Arts & Entertainment

BOB Goods & Services

BOB Sports & Recreation

BOB Bars & Nightlife

BOB Food and Dining