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Letters to the Editor 

Week of January 23, 2002

Trains, Boats, and Automobiles

Reviving Aquatic Park: I thought your article about Aquatic Park hit the bull's-eye ("Balkans by the Bay," Matt Smith, Jan. 16). A key benefit of the Fort Mason [trolley] extension is bringing Aquatic Park into the mainstream of San Francisco, to improve its accessibility to and use by residents. We envision kids and parents from Vis Valley and Bayview coming up on the Third Street light rail and transferring to the E line for a day of fishing at the pier. We see school groups using the E line to access the Hyde Street Pier and its ship collection, seniors using it to reach the senior center, and so on.

The attractiveness of the streetcars and the physical presence of the steel rails can really serve to bind the elements of the park -- which is actually quite linear if you look at it. Again, good story. Hope it makes an impact.

Rick Laubscher
Market Street Railway

Complimentary words: 50. Patronizing words we could have done without: 1.: Thanks for an inspiring article about Aquatic Park. It hadn't even occurred to me that that place could be more than it is. I had always just written it off as a part of the tourist complex of Fisherman's Wharf.

I hope the powers that be read your fine little paper.

Michael Zonta
Civic Center

No ifs, ands, oar boats: As a longtime member of the South End Rowing Club and a member of its board of directors, I do not recall ever hearing of, endorsing, or promoting the removal of any part or parcel of Aquatic Park for parking spaces for its members. This is not the policy of the South End. Also, we are not a private club. We are open to the public.

John Steven Calder
Via Internet

Good Kitty

Bad Puni: I am a big fan of Hello Kitty, and I think it was messed up that you had her doing oral sex on the Muni in your Puni cartoon (Jan. 16). Hello Kitty is not like that.

P.S. I like your cartoons anyway.

Charlie Wheeler
Richmond District

What Can We Say? Mercury's in Retrograde.

Astrology apology: I love Rob Brezsny's Free Will Astrology, as do many of my friends. We look forward to his entertaining and insightful weekly words of wisdom. In fact, Rob's positive and inspirational column is sometimes the only thing worth reading in your frequently pessimistic publication.

So imagine my disappointment when you neglect to run Free Will Astrology (as you have on more than one occasion) or repeat [one] week's column (as you did [last] week) without explanation or apology. To add insult to injury, you recently shrunk the column down to a microscopic typeface even smaller than the personals.

Is this any way to treat the best feature of your paper?

Mark Pasley

Editor's note: Due to a production error, SF Weekly did accidentally repeat last week's Free Will Astrology column from the week before. The correct column for last week can be found on our Web site, We apologize for the mistake.

Stage Notes

Give us a minute. We're still thinking.: Which is more outdated, Lily Tomlin's The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe or your review of Lily Tomlin's The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe ("Rewind," Stage, Jan. 9)? Just curious.

Tim Sullivan
Inner Sunset


In "Can Prayer Heal the Sick" (Jan. 9), Phillip Scott was incorrectly identified as a Native American healer. Scott is a practitioner of "native indigenous medicine," and is not of American Indian descent. SF Weekly regrets the error.


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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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