Gettin' Fatter and Givin' Out Cash 

Man, is it nice to have a 48-page newspaper this week. After weeks of hovering in the leaflet range simply because it's the slowest time of the year in sales in just about every industry out there, we're finally starting to plump up again.

During those weeks when the page count is slim, we have to make tough editorial choices. We hack some column space in half, cut other sections entirely and do our best to squeeze as many listings as possible into what is often an impossibly small space. This week, though, it's nice to give the content some room to breathe. Ted Rall is nice and long; event listings are pages and pages and pages; Noise is sprawled over several pages. Thanks to our Sales Department for giving me something to work with.

Thanks also to those of you who took a minute to respond to last week's Editor's Note. I think I've returned all your emails and I'll say once again that I genuinely appreciate the dialog.

In this week's edition we touch on a few things different cross sections of our readers care about deeply: cycling, fracking and music.

In "Road Wars," Josh Gross asks the question a number of cyclists have posed after near misses on the road: Does 3 Feet to Pass pass muster? And in "Idaho's Gasland Rules Debated," News Editor George Prentice continues to follow the most recent developments in the steps the state is taking to pave the way for the natural-gas industry and fracking. Prentice has been following the story for the last 18 months as companies have come and gone, and as regulations have taken shape from nothing.

In A&E, we have your Oscar preview so you can sound smart about film at an Oscar-watching party even if you're not interested in either film or the Oscars. And in Noise, we had so many good opportunities to interview bands that we just interview them all and put together a Noise section that's on steroids.

And last: The absolute final, final deadline for the Boise Weekly Cover Auction Grants is Friday, Feb. 10. We've extended the deadline for you procrastinators, so don't think you'll be lucky enough to squeeze another week out of us. We're giving away roughly $12,000 this year to individual artists and arts organizations. If you're interested in applying, see or Cobweb for details.

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