Publisher's Note: Best of Hippo
By Jody Reese
This will be our ninth year holding Best of Hippo readers’ poll. It’s your chance to share your favorite diner, yoga instructor, politician or radio personality. This year we have more categories than ever.
However, unlike previous years, we will not be publishing a ballot in the paper. We’re doing this for two reasons.
The first is that as the number of people voting has increased, it’s become too time-consuming to count paper ballots.
The second reason is that the number of categories has always been hemmed in by how many we could fit in a page. Now that it’s moving online, we’re not limited.
You can vote online at hippopress.com.
We realize that this will inconvenience some, so we will mail out a few hundred ballots to people’s homes. Details can be found in the Best of Hippo ad on page 41.
We expect 3,000 people to vote online this year.
The Best of Hippo Readers’ Poll is held each year by the “news side” of the operation. That means those of us — and that includes me — on the business or advertising side have no role in it.
Why do we do this? At Hippo we want our readers to know that they get our opinions, stories and Best-Of results without any influence from politicians or businesses. Our reporters do the best job they can to put together interesting stories and information that people will want to read. This policy has made Hippo one of the state’s most read publications. Advertisers never have and never will get special treatment in our Best Of poll or our articles.
New Hampshire has been considering allowing slot machines and other gambling for years, but it’s never quite had enough support. As the budget shortfall grows, the issue has been coming up again. The business community has also been torn on the issue.
Adding slot machines to the race tracks or to some of the grand hotels up north would be good for retail and those in hospitality. But there is little evidence it would help home builders or large employers, such as Timberland or Goss International.
In fact, legalized gambling is likely to make it a bit harder for New Hampshire to attract those kinds of companies. More than anything else, companies looking to locate to New Hampshire are counting on a good quality of life to attract skilled workers. Gambling isn’t likely to add to the quality of life.
This is one of those issues that widens the rift between New Hampshire’s retail roots of low booze and cigarette prices and the image of itself as a bucolic vacation land and home to small towns. In a nutshell, it’s Salem vs. Peterborough.