BW took a shit tour. Then wrote about it. 

After last week's issue hit stands, something strange happened. I started getting calls from readers I don't know. People I had never met, never corresponded with, never "liked" on Facebook or retweeted. And they all had one message: "Great job on Annual Manual." Not usually do readers pick up the phone in response to something we've published. Letters to the editor often arrive via e-mail but most commentary happens at When readers are moved to call me up, I can assure you that the insults far outnumber the attaboys. If you were among those who took a minute to pick up the phone or send myself or a BW staffer an e-mail about Annual Manual, thanks for taking the time.

On to this week's issue ...

A few weeks back, I wrote in this space that things were about to get serious with a series of hard-hitting features about the state of feminism, the history of redevelopment in Boise, violent crime in group homes and finally, "a trek through some of the shittiest—and I mean that literally—parts of the state." This is the week we're going to get serious about shit. Animal shit, specifically. Millions of pounds of it, pooling, mounding, smelling and blowing around in the air. Animal shit that could be leeching nitrates into the groundwater that 200,000 Southern Idaho residents—likely including you and I—drink, bathe in and brush our teeth with every day. Anyone thirsty yet?

Warning: The word shit is used 11 times in Scott Weaver's story and 10 times in this Note. Sure, there are more politically correct nicey-nice ways to refer to shit--excrement, poop, manure, feces, dung--but come on, who are we kidding? There's nothing nice about shit piled 10 feet high for as far as the eye can see. There's nothing politically correct about shit dust likely contributing to a child's fatal asthma attack. Read it, get grossed out by it.

Final note: On Monday, Aug. 30, we launched a quickie video competition. We're looking for your best Napoleon Dynamite impression and you only have until Friday to submit. The prize: a swag bag and tickets to see a one-night-only showing of Napoleon Dynamite at the Flicks. Details at

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