March 8, 2007

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Manchester Publisher's Note: Biggest Best Of
By†Jody Reese

This yearís Hippo Best Of Everything is our biggest Best Of yet. More than 2,200 people voted from all over metro southern New Hampshire.

By far, our readers voted for food. I guess that shouldnít be a surprise. Everybodyís got to eat. We got votes for pizza places in almost every town in the area, including a few gas stations that serve pizza. Almost everyone had a different favorite place for Asian food. Who knew there were that many Chinese restaurants?

As with official elections, we strove to have a fair voting process. This year almost 80% of votes were cast online, making the counting a lot easier. This year counting took a little less than 40 hours, far fewer hours than in past years. Like any voting process, we had some people who voted more than once. We did our best to remove those. Given the large number of votes we felt that even though we were sure that we didnít catch everyone who voted twice, the voting process was as fair as it could be given its open nature (no one had to register).

For the record, all results are based on votes cast and not the desires of the Hippo staff, me or any advertiser. The staff and I feel very strongly that this is a poll of our readersí favorite things about this area and it would be unethical to report anything else.

The large number of people that took the time to vote online or send in a ballot ó at a cost of a stamp ó shows just how much people here care about the community around them. And yes, that includes local theater, public art, places to take your kids and even a favorite pub.

In other areas, some in much more populated, best of polls get far fewer votes. Even when the voting doesnít choose the next President of the United States, we still vote in higher numbers than other areas. I think thatís a testament to how involved we are. Studies have shown that New Hampshire residents give less to charity than people in some other states, but we also volunteer more. While I wouldnít go as far to say thatís the New Hampshire way, I do think it illustrates that people here are just more involved in their community, from voting in presidential primaries to voting in the Best Of Hippo.

* * *

Love to ski, want to help out
The Childrenís Hospital at Dartmouth is holding its ski and ride challenge at Cannan Mountain on March 24. Tickets can be purchased through the CHAD website at www.chadchallenge.kitera.org. A portion of the ticket price purchased through the CHAD website will go to Kristenís Gift, the CHAD charity. Your help is needed. Kristenís Gift provides toys, supplies and activities while kids are being treated at CHAD.