Best of Boise, Avalanches, A Castle, a Neighborhood Jewel and Two Lincolns 

click to enlarge SANTIAGO RODRIGUEZ
  • Santiago Rodriguez
Folks, we can't stress this enough: Best of Boise ballots are now open, and it's time to start casting votes for your favorites. Just click on the Best of Boise banner above. Ballots close Monday, April 30.

In other news, in this issue we put an unexpected spin on a well-known fact: that Idahoans are outdoorsy people, skiing is one of their most beloved pursuits, and plenty of adventurers take their passion for powder to the backcountry. As it turns out, those daredevils have been flirting with mortal danger. Idaho is undergoing a warming trend that increases the risk of avalanches, and only a handful of backcountry enthusiasts receive avalanche safety training. In this issue, freelance writer Drew Dodson profiles Santiago "Chago" Rodriguez, a snow scientist who teaches backcountry safety. It's a lively story (pages 6-8) and a sobering report on how a snowy day can turn deadly.

We also give you a sneak peak of The James Castle House, which has been lovingly restored by a team from the Boise City Department of Arts & History. Ahead of the Saturday, April 28, public opening and ribbon cutting ceremony, Staff Writer Lex Nelson and I toured the house to tell an unusual story about a city honoring a local artist and turning his former home into a cultural site. Read more on page 22.

News Editor George Prentice has done double duty in the Citizen section this week. Chelsea Gaona-Lincoln and her step-father, David Lincoln, are both running for seats in the Idaho House—but one is a left-leaning Democrat, and the other a right-leaning Republican. On page 26, read about what Thanksgivings are like at the Lincoln house and why sometimes there are better things to talk about than politics.

Finally, Petite 4, the new French bistro-inspired eatery on the Bench, opened its doors for the first time last week. The brainchild of the folks behind Bleubird, it's already a pilgrimage site for Boise foodies. Check out our review on page 24.

—Harrison Berry, Senior Staff Writer

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