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Letters to the Editor 

Letters from February 21, 2001

Fallen Warriors

Bad to the bone: It may be a legitimate story to explore the psychological trials of those hapless hoopsters, the Warriors ("Daydream Believers," Feb. 14), but to spend so much space pointing out just how horrible this team is is really a poor editorial judgment. What value does this story provide? Everyone in the Bay Area who remotely cares is already painfully aware of how hopelessly bad this organization is. The target is way too easy. Your readers are better served by the in-depth investigative, contrarian pieces that you more often than not manage to provide.

Rob Mowry
Richmond District

Fathers and Summons

Disappearing daddies: As a single mother who has been attempting to collect child support from my daughter's father for eight years, I found your article on "Full Court Fathers" (Feb. 7) both uplifting and irritating. I do agree, child support bureaucracies do not always operate fairly. In fact, it is estimated that collections from "deadbeat" parents are successful about 5 percent of the time. The other 95 percent of the time the system does not work and children remain hungry. It is inspiring that there are fathers out there, like the ones in your article, that really do care about their children, want to spend time with them, and even want custody of them. It is disturbing to hear the battles they have faced with the system as well as with the mothers of their children.

I think it is fair to say that they are the exceptions to the rule, and they should certainly be commended. But to purport that child support services tend to be oriented toward mothers and children, as [Midnight Basketball League Director Barbara] Edmiston does, is asinine. There is no objective evidence that this is the case, and if there were, why are there billions of dollars owed in back support to single mothers and their children? I have come to the conclusion that the system is not based on anything except unpredictability, injustice, and unaccountability. There is no rhyme or reason to any particular case outcome, and if you're looking for a really good article, you've got one right there.

Name Withheld

TV Journalism: News You Can Lose

We have a smart-ass comeback, but first we need to check with Phoenix: Gee, thanks for your objective analysis of what constitutes good journalism around here ("KRONic Complaints," Matt Smith, Feb. 7, on ownership changes at TV station KRON). Since you are a corporate for-hire whore for those asses in Phoenix, I know your views are unreliable. SF Weekly has never been alternative, at least since the white-trash crowd in Phoenix took over, and to call anything appearing in New Times "journalism" is a stretch.

Michael P. Hardesty

We thought everybody knew: Matt Smith reaches new heights of shamelessness in his pro-media-chain screed by simultaneously kissing his boss' butt and patting himself on the back. He casually mentions that "among the alternative weeklies, the best journalism is done by the New Times chain." Funny, he forgot to add that this fine journalistic organization happens to own SF Weekly. I guess writing for the best darn weekly newspaper chain in the Bay Area means you can plug your parent company without revealing that they write your paycheck.

Dave Gilson

Such flattery. We're getting all misty.: I'm not really into news or information, so when I get your paper I usually just read Dog Bites and Savage Love and, depending on how much free time I have that week, Red Meat or Red Meat and Puni. But this week I read Matt Smith's column, the one about TV or something, and, hey, good job, Matt.

If this has not already been made clear by the tone of this letter, I am a very busy man. So Matt, if I am to take the time to read another one of your columns, I need some assurance: Was that just a strange, extra-good column, or are you always that good?

Blake Scott

Good Company

Thanks a lot. Now Wellman keeps asking for another performance review: I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading "Abroad in the Hoochie Nation" (Dog Bites, Feb. 7, by Laurel Wellman). Haven't read some good "gonzo" style material in a long while. Laurel, I really dig your stuff. Reminds me of Didion, Wolfe, and Hunter S. Thompson (ooh, scary). I look forward to reading much more of your work.

J. Arnstein


The photo credit in last week's Bay View, "The Battle for Walpert Ridge," was incorrect. The photographer was Sarah Hughes.


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  • Nevada City and the South Yuba River: A gold country getaway

    Nestled in the green pine-covered hills of the Northern Sierra Nevada is the Gold Rush town of Nevada City. Beautiful Victorian houses line the streets, keeping the old-time charm alive, and a vibrant downtown is home to world-class art, theater and music. The nearby South Yuba River State Park is known for its emerald swimming holes during the summer and radiant leaf colors during autumn. These days the gold panning is more for tourists than prospectors, but the gold miner spirit is still in the air.

    South Yuba River State Park and Swimming Holes:
    The park runs along and below 20 miles of the South Yuba River, offering hiking, mountain biking, gold panning and swimming. The Highway 49 bridge swimming hole is seven-miles northwest of Nevada City where Highway 49 crosses the South Yuba River. Parking is readily available and it is a short, steep hike to a stunning swimming hole beneath a footbridge. For the more intrepid, trails extend along the river with access to secluded swim spots. The Bridgeport swimming hole has calm waters and a sandy beach -- good for families and cookouts -- and is located 14 miles northwest of Nevada City. Be sure to write down directions before heading out, GPS may not be available. Most swimming holes on the South Yuba River are best from July to September, while winter and spring can bring dangerous rapids. Always know the current before jumping in!

    Downtown Nevada City
    The welcoming, walkable downtown of Nevada City is laid back, yet full of life. Start your day at the cozy South Pine Cafe (110 S Pine St.) with a lobster benedict or a spicy Jamaican tofu scramble. Then stroll the streets and stop into the shop Kitkitdizzi (423 Broad St.) for handcrafted goods unique to the region, vintage wears and local art “all with California gold rush swagger,” as stated by owners Carrie Hawthorne and Kira Westly. Surrounded by Gold Rush history, modern gold jewelry is made from locally found nuggets and is found at Utopian Stone Custom Jewelers (301 Broad St.). For a coffee shop with Victorian charm try The Curly Wolf (217 Broad St.), an espresso house and music venue with German pastries and light fare. A perfect way to cool down during the hot summer months can be found at Treats (110 York St.) , an artisan ice cream shop with flavors like pear ginger sorbet or vegan chai coconut. Nightlife is aplenty with music halls, alehouses or dive bars like the Mine Shaft Saloon (222 Broad St.).

    The Willo Steakhouse (16898 State Hwy 49, Nevada City)
    Along Highway 49, just west of Nevada City, is The Willo, a classic roadhouse and bar where you’re welcomed by the smell of steak and a dining room full of locals. In 1947 a Quonset hut (a semi-cylindrical building) was purchased from the US Army and transported to its current location, and opened as a bar, which became popular with lumberjacks and miners. The bar was passed down through the decades and a covered structure was added to enlarge the bar and create a dining area. The original Quonset beams are still visible in the bar and current owners Mike Byrne and Nancy Wilson keep the roadhouse tradition going with carefully aged New York steaks and house made ingredients. Pair your steak or fish with a local wine, such as the Rough and Ready Red, or bring your own for a small corkage fee. Check the website for specials, such as rib-eye on Fridays.

    Outside Inn (575 E Broad St.)
    A 16-room motel a short walk from downtown, each room features a unique décor, such as the Paddlers’ Suite or the Wildflower Room. A friendly staff and an office full of information about local trails, swimming and biking gets you started on your outdoor exploration. Amenities include an outdoor shower, a summer swimming pool and picnic tables and barbeques. Don’t miss the free vegetable cart just outside the motel in the mornings.

    Written and photographed by Beth LaBerge for the SF Weekly.

  • Arcade Fire at Shoreline
    Arcade Fire opened their US tour at Shoreline Amphitheater to a full house who was there in support of their album "Reflector," which was released last fall. Dan Deacon opened the show to a happily surprised early audience and got the crowd actively dancing and warmed up. DEVO was originally on the bill to support Arcade Fire but a kayak accident last week had sidelined lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh and the duration of the west coast leg of the tour. Win Butler did a homage to DEVO by performing Uncontrollable Urge.

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