Friday, March 29, 2013

Day 12: Oland Export vs Granite Best Bitter and Potato Skins vs Mussels

Two north end-brewed beers battle it out while snacks have a greasefest.

Posted on Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 7:04 PM

Is this getting exciting or what? Beer. Bar snacks. For a dozen days in row. There's plenty of gut-patting going on in The Coast office, and we're betting in living rooms all over town. Yum. Haven't a clue what we're talking about? Read this for the full story, if need be, or like Buddy over at the dive bar, just order 14 more beers and jump into the conversation willy-nilly. They'll love ya, promise.

Before getting into today's serious business, let's review last night's drunken hilarity. Over in the beer category, folks were bellying up to the bar all night long, matching pint for pint, pint for pint, pint for pint. There were many elbows bended, and a few thrown in foul. It was a horrifically ugly night, and by closing time, the contest was decided by one measly percentage point, with Keith's just edging out Corona, 50.5 percent to 49.5 percent. This will be a game remembered for all of history. Or would've been, if people hadn't gotten so sloppily drunk. On the grub side, it wasn't even close: Chicken Wings slaughtered Onion Rings, giving the slimy vegetable a taste of its own tear-inducing misery.

Now for today's bouts. The beer contest pits two local favourites against each other: Oland Export, coming off a beer label-thin victory of Japan's Sappora, will face Granite Best Bitter, which last week convincingly walloped O'Doul's. These two beers are brewed within blocks of each other in Halifax's north end—Oland at the gigantic Agricola Street brewery, Granite just across Robie Street on Stairs Street. We predict drunken hooliganism throughout the contest, possibly within camera-shot of the ATV studio. Will Cindy Day take the beer bong challenge? Will Steve Murphy make a cameo, down a few dozen cold ones and condemn one of the contestants for having a french accent? Only time will tell.

On the snack side, we've got an old-fashioned grease vs grease snack attack. Neither side can even pretend to nutrition. I mean come on, Potato Skins ain't even the good part of the potato, just the dirty rind leftover from the indignations of a thousand field hands. Mussels, yea well, sure, find some actual seafood in there somewhere, and call the people who catalog the discovery of new planets circling Star Beta 4,000, because the meat-to-grease ratio in so-called "Mussels" is astronomically small. But hey, have at it:

The polls will be open until Monday morning. And don't miss a thing, get your daily reminders here.

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Day 11: Keith's vs Corona and Chicken wings vs Onion rings

The highly underestimated Corona tries for another upset and wings hit rings in a rhyming battle of flavour.

Posted on Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 11:55 AM

There's been upsets aplenty in the last couple days and possibly only more to come, are you on the edge of your seat yet? Read back if you need a little context from this post but really, you're a little late to the game aren't you?

First things first, we gotta talk about yesterday and how ol' Farmboy (seeded 10, may I remind you) that new, but not faking it, wish I could get some, too popular for its own good, Bridge Farmhouse Ale, busted out on the field, pitchforks at the ready and handily defeated other local hero, Garrison Nut Brown (seeded 2, we really thought they were going all the way) in an epic battle of glass shards and plaid shirts. Meanwhile, it was nachos vs sliders on plate, and do we even need to talk about it? How could miniature almost-burgers ever dream of competing against the melted layers of chips and cheese? They couldn't. Nachos busted their buns like it wasn't even the last day of Burger Week.

Today it's all about the surprise upset Corona (seeded way back in 12) battling out yet another Canadian brew, Keith's (seeded 4). Will Corona go gentle into that good night, or will they bring out the sun worshipers for another surprise win? Only time will tell.

And, when it comes to tummy grumblings, it's an epic match up, the great O takes on saucey dead bird arms—both contenders who easily defeated their last battle are now getting serious. Will it be deep fried with ketchup or wet-napped and sticky that takes home the win?

The polls will be open until tomorrow morning. And don't miss a thing, get your daily reminders here.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Day 10: Bridge Farmhouse vs Garrison Nut Brown and Nachos vs Sliders

This is where it gets interesting.

Posted By on Wed, Mar 27, 2013 at 11:11 AM

We've done it. We've passed the half-way mark in the tournament and, surprisingly, without too many tears. But now that we've cracked the second round of face-offs, anything could happen. If you're wondering what in the world I'm rambling about it's about time you get your head in the game, so please consult this previous post.

Before I get into what may be one of the most exciting match-ups thus far, let me reflect on yesterday's battles. On the booze court, the hometown team Propeller IPA pulled out all the stops and handily defeated the brawny-but-lead-footed Guinness, 69 to 30 percent. And greasy fingers picked poutine over sweet potato fries with a 61 to 38 percent split, proving that apparently a tiny cup of curry mayo just isn't enough.

Today, you may—like myself—find yourself divided on which jersey to pull out for the beer battle. Old reliable Garrison Nut Brown, a second place seed, is geared up to take on the newbie north ender Bridge Farmhouse Ale. Will the seasoned vet win over the energetic, young blood? Home team versus home team? We'll be watching this one through our fingers.

And, on the solids side the number one nachos (with extra jalapeños, please) takes on the eighth-ranked dwarf burgers—er—sliders. This as a no brainer and I would bet my side of fries on it. Come on. Think of the cheese. Think of the guac! But you know this city and its beef, anything could happen.

The polls will be open until tomorrow morning, so after you listen to this bad boy, get clicking. And if for some reason you're only falling in love with this bracket now, get your daily reminders here.

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

South Park Catering goes north

Breakfast, lunch and din-din to go!

Posted By on Tue, Mar 26, 2013 at 2:49 PM

New digs!
  • New digs!

Things are looking good for South Park Catering (453-8161) and its new home and renovated kitchen at 3619 Novalea Drive. The veteran in the catering biz seems to be getting better with age. With the new digs came an expansion, that includes fresh, homestyle to-go meals (sandwiches, soups, salads and entrees), espresso and meat and veggie gluten-free options. Serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday, South Park is a welcome addition to the north end’s food scene, and hear this: delivery to seniors in the north end of town is free.

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Passage to the Caribbean a thing of the past?

I'm still hoping for a re-birth

Posted By on Tue, Mar 26, 2013 at 2:39 PM

  • Memories...
A favourite for quality cheap eats in our ‘hood has vanished before our very eyes. Passage of the Caribbean (5467 Cornwallis Street) has, seemingly, gutted its north end location and closed. While a disconnected phone doesn’t bode well for feeding lunchtime cravings, we’re hopeful this isn’t necessarily the end of dreamy jerk chicken. And because of that, we’ll follow our noses and update if we hear/smell anything.
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Day 9: Propeller IPA vs Guinness, poutine vs sweet potato fries

That deep fryer is going cray, y'all.

Posted By on Tue, Mar 26, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Halfway through March Madness I can't help but get the feeling the people are hungry (and thirsty) for an upset. If this is all very strange and foreign to you, read up here for a bit of background. In short, we've chosen 16 beer varieties and 16 popular bar snacks and they are duking it out like the tasty little inanimate objects they are. See the complete bracket below:


Let's recap yesterday. Oland Export barely eked out a win against the Japanese powerhouse, Sapporo. 50 percent to 49 percent. How do those numbers even work? Don't ask me. すいません/Sumimasen, Sapporo. It was a valiant fight.

The snack match-up was less of a nail-biter, with mussels snapping up the win 68 percent to olives' 31 percent. But did you guys forget about those olives that are stuffed with almonds? What about the ones stuffed with GARLIC? What's that you say? Garlic butter? Ah, as you were.

Today is a real heavyweight match, India versus Ireland, with Propeller IPA facing off against Guinness. Choose your poison, city.

The snack side has turned out remarkably same-y. Fries against fries. I could opine on the differences, but when sweet potato poutine is as common these days as bottled water, I won't waste your time. This comes down to salty versus sweet, plain and simple. I am a salt fan, all the way but what say ye?

Voting closes tomorrow (Wednesday), good luck to the contenders and if you have a hankering for daily updates, click here and have at 'er.

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Reno time at Venus Pizza/Mezza Kitchen

Direct your shawarma-vision elsewhere for now

Posted By on Mon, Mar 25, 2013 at 2:46 PM


The corner of Blowers and Barrington is going to be making a racket for the next couple of weeks, but not in the same late-night, shawarma-eating, table-dancing ways you're used to. Beloved Venus Pizza (1558 Barrington Street) is finally making its transition to become Mezza Lebanese Kitchen and there's currently a crazy gut-job on the go (check out the progress on Twitter). This means precious pizza, donairs, falafel and (one more time) shawarma (!!!) will be on hold until April 8, when the resto will re-open in its new glory. While there will be a new menu at the new Mezza, your favourites will be staying put, friends, so please restrain from any panicking. And rest at ease, while in preparation for the new space you can still don your I ♥ Venus shirt and dine at the Halifax Shopping Centre location, or Mezza at 6386 Quinpool or in Burnside (16 Garland Avenue), they'll welcome you with open arms and feed you good. But I'd say you should probably hold off on the table dancing, that's just a gut feeling.

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Day 8: Oland Export vs Sapporo and Mussels vs Olives

Will the local no-nonsense beer and seafood prevail, or have Haligonians gotten a taste for the foreign?

Posted on Mon, Mar 25, 2013 at 10:21 AM

It's Day 8 and we're really hitting the comfort zone of beer and snack Nirvana. Just enough beer to be at social ease, but not so much for future embarrassment; just enough snacks to satisfy, not so much as to have awkward, er, emissions. What are we talking about? Here's a backgrounder, but the short of it is that, Inspired by the NCAA, and Jezebel we're going full March Madness with a duel between 16 beers and 16 bar snacks. But unlike that other March Madness, you, readers, get to play.

Before we get to today's contest, let's review yesterday's results. Despite the best cheerleading effort of two Coast staffers, ahem, readers went easily with home town favourite Keith's over Colt 45. Still, let's give Colt a pat on the back for giving it the old college try, and for keeping it close through the first half, anyway. On the food side, those slobs in the Coast production office were grossing people out with their egg roll slurping, but once again, readers went the more conventional route, giving Onion Rings a blow-out victory, with 75 percent of the vote to Egg Roll's 24 percent. Where's the other one percent? Seems one reader has already been ejected from the contest for, well, let's just say he's had a hard time handling his beer and snacks, and leave it at that.

Now, on to today's pairings. Again, we have Maritime favourites going up against foreign interlopers. One the beer side, is north end Hali homeboy Oland Export versus Japan's Sapporo. We don't think this one's even going to be close. Dudes walk into dive bars all over the peninsula asking for Vitamin O, and hug those little brown bottles with the red labels like they're the girlfriend they'll never have. But who knows? Maybe north end gentrification is bringing in a more respectable drinker, and you gotta admit, that suave Japanese beer sure goes down smooth. There's always room for an upset. That's why they play the game.

On the bar food side, sure, Mussles ain't exactly fished around here, and they ain't exactly fish either, but they're kinda like fish, and just slimy enough to be considered seafood. So, not a hometown thing, but we can relate, ya know? Is the connection fond enough for Haligonians, or will they go with hoity-toity Olives?

Let's see, a little greasy Maritime-like seafood-y grub washed down with some cheap Vitamin O, or do I have to go pick up some dry cleaning, comb my hair and drain the ATM in order to be seen by all the beautiful people while I'm delicately popping olives and sipping, pinky finger sticking out, from a glass? Hmmm.

Not that we're picking sides.

Voting closes first thing tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. If you'd like to be kept in the loop of our March Madness madness, click here for daily reminders.

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Day 7: Keith’s vs Colt 45 and Onion rings vs Donair egg rolls

The hometown brew tries to make you black out the perfect nostalgia in a bottle and a classic steps in the ring with something new

Posted on Fri, Mar 22, 2013 at 10:56 AM

It's Day 7 and things are really starting to get heated, read up here if you're just coming out of hibernation. Inspired by the NCAA, and Jezebel we're going full march madness with a duel between 16 beers and 16 bar snacks. What will come out on top? Only time will tell.

Before we talk about what's on the docket for today, let's have a look at yesterday's results. Early on in the day it almost seemed like the non-alcoholic I Can't Believe it's Not Beer (Wait, Yes I Can) had a chance, eeking out a 50-50 split before noon, but then you dirty boozehounds came cruising in with your "Wait a minute, what tools are voting for O'Doul's" lunch-time hankerings and let loose the Granite fans kicking it up to an 81-18 split that lasted till this morning. The poor wannabe-beer never stood a chance, leaving O'Doul's fans with nothing to drown their sorrows in besides their own tears. On the quick, get this in my mouth front, loaded up pertaters happily stomped through that little town of fried pepperoni, burning as it went. No amount of honey mustard is going to revive them. I want to say I'm surprised but I'm not.

Today, it's all about loyalty, folks. Seed number four, Keith's, is coming out of the downtown gates strong looking for cheers all the way up to the nose-bleed section but can our seed number 13, Colt 45, draw on a deep-seated nostalgia and army of bros to take home a surprise win? It's up to you.

And on the tasty side of things, we've got the ultimate classic (seed number six), goes good with everything, why aren't I eating it right now? O of deliciousness. Obviously I'm talking about onion rings. One of the only vegetables that managed to beat its healthy roots and take up on the clogged arteries side of town. From beer-battered to greasy paper bag and into your stomach—there's really no stopping it. The mouth-watering giant goes up against new on the scene (at least to me) donair eggrolls. I don't know why they had to mess with a good thing but there's always someone who wants to take the best of both worlds, put 'em together and ruin it for everyone. I don't know, maybe they're not quite as disgusting as they sound, you tell me.

Voting closes on Monday, and if you'd like to be kept in the loop of our March Madness madness, click here for daily reminders.

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Day 6: Granite Best Bitter vs O’Doul’s and Potato skins vs Fried pepperoni

The non-alcoholic underdog attempts a surprise takedown while loaded potatoes go head-to-head with pepperoni done right.

Posted on Thu, Mar 21, 2013 at 11:19 AM

It's Day 6 and it feels like we're just getting started, with nary a surprise so far it really starts to feel like this sunny day is a good omen of upsets to come, read here if this is all gibberish to you. Taking inspiration from the intensity of the NCAA, and the creativity of Jezebel our march madness has 16 beers and 16 bar snacks battling it out for top spot. Can't wait to see what wins? Hurry up and vote, fools.

Before we get into today's pairings, let's have a look at yesterday's results. In an outcome that surprised no one (except me) the nut that tastes good both chunky and smooth fell victim to the disgusting mess that is sauced-up chicken wings. Way to go guys, have fun investing in wet naps, I'll just be over here consoling Mr. Peanut—a true gentleman. Though with exactly 20 percent of the vote we can at least rest easy that we weren't alone. Peanut props, ya'll! Meanwhile, Moosehead (seeded five) went up against Corona (way back in 12 position), and must have been a little too cocky in the jaunt of its antlers because the beloved summertime thirst quencher came out on top. I'm not going to say that the stupid snowstorm we got had anything to do with it, but Haligonians are ready for some sun, dammit.

Today, we've got the ultimate matchup! Seed number three, Granite Best Bitter—its arrogance proudly displayed in its name—plans to easily squash the beer pregnant ladies and non-drinkers call a poor substitution and everyone else calls pointless. But don't let that stop you from voting for the little guy, and maybe get a little buzz off responsible choices?

Plus, we've got loaded up potatoes (seed numero cinq), the perfect blend of crispy crunch, bits of bacon and melty gooeyness facing off against the only way to eat pepperoni (seeded way back in place 12, what were we thinking?)—straight out of the frying pan and into your mouth. May the odds be ever in your favour.

Voting closes tomorrow, and if you'd like to be kept in the loop of our March Madness madness, click here for daily reminders.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Fine wining

Two chances to taste some great wines this week

Posted By on Wed, Mar 20, 2013 at 1:18 PM

More, please
  • More, please

It’s a good week to be a wino. After last weeks beer-heavy festivities, this week was made for wine lovers, offering up two events geared at pleasuring those finely tuned taste buds of yours. Bishop’s Cellar (1477 Lower Water Street, 490-2675) is still reeling from February’s Rare & Fine Wine show, and was inspired to uncork some more bottles that fit that description. Inviting you to taste some the best wine’s the shop’s ever ordered (along with some snacks) Rare & Fine Revisited takes place Friday, March 22 (5 until 7pm, $30). Bishops will also be popping bottles at Laing House fundraiser Splash of Spring next Wednesday, March 27 (6:30pm at FRED. food beauty art, 2606 Agricola Street). And those sips of new wines that you’ll be savouring will help support local youth living with mental illness. Get tickets at Cheers!

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Day 5: Moosehead vs Corona and Chicken Wings vs Peanuts

A North American beer battle spills over to the carnivore-vegan contest.

Posted By on Wed, Mar 20, 2013 at 11:23 AM

It's Day 5 of March Madness, and Halifax is covered in a blanket of yuck. What better way to avoid the mess than to lose ourselves in beer and bar food, eh? If you have no idea what this is about, read here. Taking inspiration from the intensity of the NCAA, and the creativity of Jezebel we've created a tournament that has 16 beers and 16 bar snacks battling it out until, finally, the top brew will face-off against the most succulent snack. It's brilliant, right?

Before we get into today's pairings, let's have a look at yesterday's results. Hometown favourite tenth-seeded Bridge Farmhouse Ale clobbered seventh-seeded Stella Artois, with a whopping 87 percent of the vote. We're making no predictions, but it looks like Bridge might be a contender for the top spot! On the grub side, sliders comfortably defeated jalapeno poppers. We're thinking Hali just doesn't have the taste for the spicy.

Today, we've got a North American beer battle brewing, with Canada's Moosehead going pint-to-pint against Mexico's Corona. Will the local favourite once again prevail, or is this winter weather having people think about all things Mexico?

And how 'bout a little pollo with your cerveza? Or is that too meaty of a subject for you? On the bar grub side of things, we have a carnivore-vegan battle, with the favoured third-seeded Chicken Wings taking on fourteenth-seeded Peanuts.

Voting closes tomorrow, and if you'd like to be kept in the loop of our March Madness madness, click here for daily reminders.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Day 4: Stella Artois vs Bridge Farmhouse Ale and Sliders vs Jalapeño Poppers

Your morning dose of hops and grease

Posted By on Tue, Mar 19, 2013 at 10:04 AM

We're four days into our tasty take on bracketology, and is anyone else craving an upset? If you're new to the game, educate yourself here. Taking inspiration from the intensity of the NCAA, and the creativity of Jezebel we've created a tournament that has 16 beers and 16 bar snacks battling it out until, finally, the top brew will face-off against the most succulent snack. It's brilliant, right?

Before we get to what feats Day 4 has in store, let's talk about yesterday. Day 3 actually made for slightly fiercer competition that the first two days of blow outs. The eighth-seeded queen of darkness Guinness edged out the stone cold ninth seed, Coors Light, 68 percent to 31 percent. And in snackville, one of the toughest match-ups so far—seventh ranked poutine against tenth place (and completely under-estimated in my opinion) deep-fried pickles—saw pickles drowned out by gravy, baby. Poutine was the victor.

Today we've got a battle of the Belg on our hands. The seventh seeded Stella, straight out of Leuven, Belgium, challenges new kid on the block, tenth ranked Bridge Farmhouse Ale. Will the locally-brewed, rich and delicious Belgian-style ale and its ceramic growler have the gusto to knock out Europe's leading lady and her fancy stemmed glass? We have a feeling Stella may walk away from Day 4 feeling old, tired and overdressed.

And get your tummies growling early this morning on the snack side, where the eighth place sliders (AKA burgers that are small) battle with ninth place flavour explosion, the small but mighty jalapeño poppers. It's a pretty fair match-up, pitting bite-size against bite-size, but will the melty, spicy, deep-fried version of Gushers be able to shut out a team of tiny hamburgers and their gourmet aiolis?

Voting closes tomorrow, and if you'd like to be kept in the loop of our March Madness madness, click here for daily reminders.

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Day 3: Guinness vs Coors Light and poutine vs deep-fried pickles

Suds and snacks vie for your love

Posted By on Mon, Mar 18, 2013 at 10:21 AM

While I've no doubt that most of you have been biting your nails all weekend in anticipation of Monday's match-ups, if you aren't sure what you're looking at right now, here's a little background. We're pitting snacks against snacks and beer against beer with the ultimate goal of snack versus beer, oh dear god the humanity.

Please, check out our original bracket below:


First, let's discuss the weekend champs. In an outcome that surprised no one, nachos kicked vending machine chips' little asses, 90 percent to 10 percent. Duh. One is crispy, loaded with toppings and perfect for messy group snacking and the other you have to get up and get yourself.

The beer category had Garrison Nut Brown facing off against Bud Light Lime, and, especially considering the wintery weekend weather, this was another no-brainer. Garrison took the crown 85 percent to Bud's 15. Bud Light Lime narrows its tangy eyes at Garrison, shaking his tiny green fist, "You've won this time, Nut Brown. Meet me on the beach in a few months for a rematch."

Today's faceoffs are as follows: light vs dark with Guinness going head to head with Coors Light. Now, Guinness is basically a meal, as well as being suitable for breastfeeding mothers (disclaimer: I'm not a doctor), but for sheer cold refreshment, might Coors Light, with their fascinating colour-changing blue mountains, win out? Vote below:

Bar snacks aren't heading far from the fryer today with poutine battling it out against deep fried pickles. Curds vs brine: it's a toughie, and the salt of it all! Don't even. It's worth bearing in mind that we're not talking about limp cukes and disco fries here. Can crisp dills compare to squeaky curds? You tell us:

Voting closes tomorrow, check back for winners and click HERE for daily reminders to vote.

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Day 2: Garrison Nut Brown vs Bud Light Lime and Nachos vs Vending machine chips

PLUS the winners from yesterday's match-ups

Posted By on Fri, Mar 15, 2013 at 9:06 AM

OK, if you're new to the game here's a refresher on the most tasty of all March Madness brackets. In a nutshell, we've created the ultimate tournament where two of our faves —beer and bar snacks—will battle it out for the crown over the next few weeks. Can an underdog greasy snack upset one of our posh, craft beer selections? Only time will tell. Make your predictions by checking out the whole shebang below:

Before getting into today's tough battles, let us fill you in one what happend on Day 1. As predicted a near blow-out lead our dear Propeller IPA to stomp Faxe 10%, 87 percent to 12 percent. And salty snack lovers crowned sweet potato fries the winner with 82 percent of the votes, defeating celery and blue cheese dressing which, to our surprise, managed to somehow get 17 percent of the votes. Really?

Now, onto Day 2. On the beer court we've got a face-off between fierce competitor, and second place seeded, Garrison Nut Brown and the I Can't Believe It's Not Water, 15th seed Bud Light Lime. (I'm just kidding, these things just go down like water.) These are pretty much the oil and water of the beer world, this could be interesting.

And on the snack side of things our first place pick, the presumably cheese-smothered nachos, will takes on the dead-last-yet-close-to-our-hearts, chips. Not just any chips, chips that you scrounged up your change for, bought from a vending machine, tore open and tossed on the bar table to share with your friends. Will the corn chips piled-high with ooey, gooey goodness trounce the potentially fake nacho-flavoured potato chips? Ask your tummy.

Voting closes tomorrow, check back for winners and click HERE for daily reminders to vote.

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In Print This Week

Vol 27, No 17
September 19, 2019

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