If this edition of Boise Weekly feels a little heavier in your hands, it's the weight of experience... or knowledge, or--at least--lots of work. Sandwiched in the paper this week you'll find the more than 100 glossy pages of goodness we call Annual Manual. After months of compiling, photographing, calling, writing and editing, our yearly guide to all things Treasure Valley is finally ready. This time around, we decided to focus more on the people of the Boise area, so you'll find profiles of just a few of your neighbors who are making their communities more interesting--if not better--places to live. Of course, there are also loads of bar, restaurant and shopping profiles, as well as listings and events calendars good for the whole year.

And speaking of people who make the Treasure Valley more interesting, consider Jessica Holmes, who was crowned Boise's Funniest Person by a panel of judges (and a cheering crowd) at Liquid on July 27. Best known to many as the force behind the Story Story Night public storytelling series, Holmes was joined by Alisha Donahue, Ben Pierce, Brandon Baxter and Ryan Black in the final five--winnowed from 20 original contestants over a monthlong series of stand-up faceoffs.

Holmes' singularly awkward blend of nervous laughter and strangely endearing poop-talk (plus grim tales of the newly single adult acne sufferer) won her $1,000, the adulation of a standing-room-only bar crowd and the right to claim that she's the funniest person in any given room in Boise--no matter what or where. If she doesn't get business cards emblazoned with "Boise's Funniest Person," she's squandering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Finally, while we're talking about accolades, Boise Weekly's own Sally Freeman, publisher/lead social organizer/font of wisdom/person with whom the buck stops, has picked up a new title: president of the Association of Alternative Newsmedia Board of Directors. She previously served the AAN Board as secretary, but was up-voted by her colleagues at the association's meeting in Miami. BW also earned a couple of other distinctions. Former graphic designer Adam Rosenlund won second place in the illustration category for his work on the "Mind Over the Apocalypse" feature package, and little old me took home third place for election coverage with my story "Grand Old Punch-Up."

Not nearly as cool as being named "Boise's Funniest Person," but I'll take what I can get.

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