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Best of the Valley Feature



sniffing out the TRUTH

They say a dog can smell a lie a mile away, and while no one is suggesting 1,729 voters are wrong, in the interest of fairness we put this year's survey to the test. The sniff test, if you will, of our own office newshound Maggie Barriatua.

Only a bloodhound has a more sensitive nose than a beagle, and our beagle can't be bought—unless there is chicken involved. Hey, everyone has their Achilles' heel.

Fortunately, Maggie found a lot of fish in her examination of winners who garnered multiple awards. And Maggie's a professional—she holds no bias. She just wants to make sure that no one goes down the wrong trail. So, when you read the list at the back of this book, you will know, with absolute confidence, that it's passed the ultimate smell test, and, very likely, a taste test or two.

We gave Maggie the list to explore shortly after the ink dried on the hundreds of awards that were handed out to winners selected by the public as the best in show, ahem, the valley. Beagles, by nature, are curious and prone to following their noses, despite any direction they may have been given by a human. So, wherever her nose took her, we could trust it was going to be good.

You don't have to take Maggie's lead, but look in those eyes—would they lie? Now, sit! Or, lie down. And give Maggie's report a lick, I mean, look. It's an "as told to" piece, vetted for spelling by her dogged editor.


The Nose Knows
by Maggie "the beagle" Barriatua
as conveyed to Jennifer Liebrum

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