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SF Weekly Letters 


Protecting Criminals
Discovering the dark side of the S.F. Police Department: This is a good, solid piece of investigative reporting ["Cover of Darkness," Ali Winston, feature, 5/8]. It's also just the tip of the rotten iceberg.


Will Play for Money
Their numbers don't add up: Great article ["Almost Famous," Katy St. Clair, Music, 5/8]. As a person who makes a living recording bands, I have one quibble: The cost of making a record is typically much less than $100,000, but still a lot more than just owning a Mac.


Tongue Tied
Court interpreters know what they're saying: Good journalism is unbiased. To infer that court interpreters can make or break the case is irresponsible and unfounded, as witnessed in this article ["Open to Interpretation." Albert Samaha, News, 5/1]. Selectively quoting testimonies in a several weeks' long trial, when the author apparently does not understand the language being translated, nor does he have the grasp of protocol of a court interpreter's job, runs the risk of tarnishing the reputation of the court interpreter industry as a whole. The author also fails by making the assumption that the defendants are educated and understand courtroom legalese.


Blog Comments of the Week
These YouTube covers deserve a second listen: I have to say, not only are a lot of these videos NOT "cringey" "Get Lucky" covers, but a good amount of them include some amazing talent that obviously goes unnoticed by the author of this list ["The 10 Worst Covers of Daft Punk's 'Get Lucky' on YouTube," Cory Sklar, All Shook Down, 5/8]. I suggest when making a list of "worst videos," try finding something that incorporates something along the lines of a "bad American Idol audition" rather than people who have created professions around their careers and have clearly demonstrated a widespread amiability based strictly off of their musical talent and interpretation.


Just a bunch of old dudes: These old dudes have been around as long as I have, and they are just old men who like to pretend that they're still young ["The Rolling Stones Overcharge For Imperfection at Oracle Arena, 5/5/13," Ian S. Port, All Shook Down, 5/6]. They are feeding their egos and fattening their wallets at your expense not mine.


Over-regulating the race doesn't help in the long run: This is really stupid ["Here Are the New Security Measures for Bay to Breakers," Erin Sherbert, the Snitch, 4/30]. Life isn't safe. Every time we make sacrifices in the name of more "security," we lose, and the terrorists win.



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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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