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Letters to the Editor 

Week of May 1, 2002

Immigrant IDs

If you'd ever sat next to Smith at the movies you wouldn't be so appreciative: I found your article terrific ("Intended Consequences," Matt Smith, April 24, on San Francisco becoming the first U.S. city to recognize ID cards issued by a Mexican consulate, which could help pioneer a positive change in national immigration policy)! I'm biased because I'm Mexican, but I want to say thanks on behalf of those who are in the process of getting a voice. We appreciate people like you who say what others would rather keep quiet.

Nancy Palate
El Cerrito

The Copia Question

Happenin' Napa: What is Copia? In addition to being a delightful backdrop in which to become better educated and more fully appreciate and enjoy every aspect of wine, food, and the arts (including a wide variety of music and film), it represents true community spirit and effort ("What the Hell Is Copia?," April 10, on Robert Mondavi's new $55 million foodie mecca in Napa). Blue collar, white collar, artists, craftsmen, rich, and famous joined together to dedicate time, planning, dollars, and hard work toward creating this international one-of-a-kind gathering place.

The writer's emphasis on [the negative] is a pathetic excuse for journalism.

Additionally, it is obvious your writer did not actually visit historic downtown Napa (on the Napa River, as is Copia), which is undergoing major restoration and rebuilding, post 2000 earthquake. With its many gracious and charming B&Bs, great new restaurants, soon-to-be-completed Opera House restoration, Riverfront Hotel, shops, Coppola's newly restored theater, art galleries, bookshops, and coffee roasters, Napa's Old Town has become an interesting, energetic, and delightful destination for dining, shopping, and strolling.

Name Withheld

Group Think

A music story missing a few notes: I enjoyed seeing coverage on local old-time group the Crooked Jades ("Walk a Crooked Mile," Music, April 24), but I have one suggestion for SF Weekly writers: When you're writing about a band, be accurate and include all members of the group. You minimized the contributions of "nucleus" Lisa Berman and totally neglected to mention the very talented fiddle (and banjo) player Stephanie Prausnitz. The core of this old-time band is half women. While [Jeff] Kazor primarily maps the course for the journey of the Crooked Jades, the group's sound is the result of the talents contributed by all of its members (and several honorary crew [members] they pick up along the way). It's not only noteworthy, but part of the synergy and passion this group brings to the music.

Karen Hellyer
Noe Valley

Any Review Is a Good Review

But a good review is special: Thanks for your review ("Mr. Williams Pays a Call," Stage capsule, April 17). Although our production values cannot equal an ACT or Berkeley Rep, we like to think that we do challenging material that offers theatergoers an interesting alternative.

Our thanks to whoever is responsible. Since we are primarily a group of actors, any mention of our craft is welcome, but a positive review is helpful, since we are trying to build an audience. Yours is the first [review], so it is special.

Hal Savage
Class Act Theatre
Noe Valley

We're Honored

The Western Publications Association has named SF Weekly the winner of two Maggie Awards, both honoring staff writer Lisa Davis' series "Fallout," a yearlong investigation into the use and misuse of nuclear material by military researchers at the former Hunters Point Shipyard in San Francisco. Competing against consumer publications printed or distributed west of the Mississippi River, "Fallout" won Maggies in the series and public service categories. In its Maggie Award ceremonies, held last week, the WPA honored Business 2.0 as the best consumer magazine in the western U.S. This year's list of other Bay Area Maggie winners includes PC World, San Francisco magazine, California Lawyer, Mother Jones, CNET, and Diablo magazine.


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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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