Each year the Idaho Press Club solicits entries for awards from media throughout the state. In the general excellence category for weekly newspapers, the press club randomly selects a handful of issue dates and asks that, should we choose to compete, we submit those issues.
Lately there have been a few issues I would gladly submit for judging, and this week's issue is one of them--if only for the eclectic collection of stories you'd never see sharing column inches anywhere else.
Things kick off with "The Mean Streets," a piece about homelessness in the heat. Though the community really takes notice of the city's homeless population on a night when the mercury drops below freezing, sweltering summer afternoons can be just as hazardous to the people living in the elements. In Citizen this week, a pair of mega-load supporters explain their position with a bid to rename the loads "oversized" rather than "mega." (I recently saw a tweet snickering over the pornographic connotation of the term mega-loads, so they just might have a point ...)
The main feature, "Rare Find," is where you should be ready to really dig into this issue. Reporter Zach Hagadone explains how China's decrease in the export of rare earth elements could significantly affect Idaho. Why should you care? Because those rare earth elements are in just about everything you own with a power button, and they could be the Gem State's next mining boom.
And in A&E, we hear from former editor-in-chief Bingo Barnes on a book out about Burning Man from a fellow alt weekly-ite and burner. Next to Barnes' piece, the main Screen piece this week might be the most alternative thing in this issue. Sex, fried chicken and kidnapped Mormon missionaries make for an undoubtedly juicy read and, according to reviewer George Prentice, a wacky big-screen watch. Skipping through the final pages, we have a piece about a retiree who forced a change in public land fees by refusing to pay a fine, and finally, in Food, reporter Tara Morgan goes on the hunt for free fruits and veggies in the wilds of the city jungle.