6th annual Jim Rogers Memorial Ride is February 15

The 6th Annual Jim Rogers Memorial Ride will be held on Sunday, February 15, starting at 11 a.m. from Tour of Nevada City Bicycle Shop. The ride is held to promote distracted driving awareness in memory of Jim Rogers, a Nevada County Cycling Advocate who was killed in a crash with a distracted driver.

The route includes Old Downieville Road, Newtown Road, Bitney Springs Road, Rough and Ready Highway, and Ridge Road. Motorists using those roads on the 15th are encouraged to drive cautiously and be aware of the presence of cyclist using the road.
For questions about the ride, please contact Karen Wallack-Eisen at 530-478-1599.

—County Executive Officer’s Friday memo

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A need to express all opinions without being singled out

Our beloved Whiskey fetching the morning papers

Our beloved Whiskey fetching the morning papers

Editor’s note: This is the second such letter rebutting some inappropriate remarks made by The Union’s publisher in his weekly column. I had expressed this view from the get-go. A better path would have been for Jim to rethink what he wrote in the first place. A lot of ink was spilled on this unnecessarily when it could have been dedicated to other topics. It is one reason we do not subscribe, though we enjoy the Sacramento Bee and New York Times (see photo). TGIF.

“I found Jim Hemig’s editorial of Jan. 23 to be very disturbing,” writes Janice McGregor in an “other voices” in our community newspaper this morning.

“In my opinion, he assassinated Jim Firth’s character in writing and then named community members in the article that supported his opinion of Mr. Firth. Not only is that extremely tacky but very inappropriate for the publisher of a local newspaper.

“I also believe that Mr. Hemig, as well as those he quoted, completely missed that point. If you volunteer, you will be welcomed with open arms as you are doing valuable work that the organization needs to continue operating. Often this includes working many skilled hours for that group. These are very valuable jobs that would be done by a paid employee, if only the organization had the funds to support said employee. Of course, they welcome your hours and expertise!

“Running for public office is a very different matter. One must be known and one’s views must also be known in order to compete.

“Writing to the paper expressing those views in appropriate. Whether there is a closed political atmosphere here is unknown to me, but not out of the realm of possibility.”

The rest of the article is here.

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A call for economic diversity and to attract the urban Millennials

To be sure, the Nevada County Economic Resource Council is seeking to do the “right thing.” Its annual Summit featured some thoughtful speakers. But it is an uphill battle. Outside people were handing out State of Jefferson literature to attendees, while inside the invited speaker said our community needs to attract urban Millennials. Well, OK then! This photo appeared on The Union Facebook page. One comment: “Nevada Country has the highest median age population of CA…. or it used to.” A lot of work is ahead of us to attract the urban Millennials. Still, the dialogue is a step in the right direction.10429471_10152642631733342_7357367564705278089_n

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Nevada City’s Spring St. Neighborhood: An Emerging Arts District

From the current issue of  Sierra FoodWineArt magazine:

Last year we wrote about an emerging food lovers’ neighborhood on lower Commercial Street in downtown Nevada City, anchored by the farmers market, annual farm-to-table banquet, the Boardwalk and the new Three Forks Bakery & Brewing Co.

In the new year, across town, the Spring Street neighborhood is being revitalized. This includes a new building for KVMR Community Radio next to the 150-year-old Nevada Theatre, a new planned coffeehouse FoxHound Espresso, and the new DANK at Osborn/Woods Gallery at Miners Foundry Cultural Center—where history, arts and culture flourish.

The area also is home to Nevada City Winery, the restored Powell House, Sushi in the Raw, Mountain Pastimes for toys, and a new headquarters for the Wild & Scenic Film Festival.

“Spring Street is a happening place,” says Nancy Nelson, an arts-group volunteer and member of the DANK artists’ collective in Nevada City.

The Miners Foundry was the first manufacturing site of the Pelton wheel in 1879, the precursor to modern hydro-electric power. In the ’70s, San Francisco artists David Osborn and Charles Woods helped transform the Foundry into a full-fledged cultural center—for performing arts, a Victorian museum and radio station KVMR.

In January, the Miners Foundry and DANK, the collective of 10 local artists, launched a new fine art space, DANK at Osborn/Woods Gallery.

“We are excited to be working with DANK to enliven Spring Street with a rotating selection of curated fine art, workshops, soirees and a no-host wine bar,” says Gretchen Bond, executive director of Miners Foundry. “It is a gathering place where the community can relax while enjoying art, talk about their own work, and share their experiences.”

Spring Street also is home to the award-winning Nevada City Winery, the first bonded winery in Nevada County after prohibition. Founded in 1980 in a small garage on the outskirts of town, the winery moved to its present location in 1982, the historic Miners Foundry Garage, on Spring Street.

Nevada City Winery’s Mark Foster is one of the region’s most talented winemakers. “Nevada City is the perfect place to blend experimentation with wonderful viticultural environment,” says Foster.

Other businesses along Spring Street include Sushi in the Raw. “The fish is fresh and pristine, and the environment in a converted Victorian boasts quirky charm,” as the San Francisco Bay Guardian wrote.

A new coffeehouse is opening next door to Sushi in the Raw—FoxHound Espresso & Coffee Broaster. It is owned by Steffen Snell, a Nevada County native who has been making coffee since 1999, when he began as a barista in training at Dean & DeLuca in Washington D.C.

Besides opening FoxHound Espresso, Steffen plans to teach coffee brewing classes. His beans also are used in artisan ice cream. Treats of Nevada City’s “Coffee Broaster” ice cream is made with Steffen’s beans.

Further down the block, at Spring and South Pine streets, the historic Powell House has been renovated to its glorious past. Having fallen in to disrepair, it was rescued by the present owners—Brad Croul and Native American artist Judith Lowry-Croul—and is now a renovated house full of modern conveniences.

The Powell House has hosted art exhibits, wine tastings, weddings and music retails and is offered for rent. Judith’s work has been exhibited at the Wheelright Museum in Santa Fe, NM, Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C., and Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento.

(Photo: Douglas Hooper)

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KVMR & Nevada Theatre: The Bridge Street Project

From the current issue of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine:

KVMR 89.5 Community Radio and the Nevada Theatre Commission, assisted by the community at large, collaborated to build an 8,000 sq.-ft. building behind the historic theater at the corner of Bridge and Spring streets in Nevada City. It creates a new home for the award winning radio station and adds needed backstage space to California’s oldest theater.

“The new radio station creates, with the Nevada Theatre and the Miners Foundry, a Performing Arts District in downtown Nevada City,” says Michael Young, director of the Bridge Street Project capital campaign.

The project is called Bridge Street because the building is located at 120 Bridge Street, joining seven houses that share that short street in downtown Nevada City. The project also “bridges” the radio station and the theater by connecting them at the theater’s back wall and enabling the broadcast of theater programming over KVMR’s airwaves.

The KVMR building includes a community room that doubles as performance studio and is open to area nonprofits for meetings and gatherings. The steel radio tower recently erected over the building serves as a new community cornerstone and will be atop a “community corner,” where people can congregate and view display cases of upcoming events. The tower also has a WiFi antenna to provide Internet service to the historic downtown.

(Photo: Jessica Faulks)

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Live Wire Products to relocate to Penn Valley from Marysville

Live Wire Products is relocating to Penn Valley from Marysville. The fencing company has five employees. Live Wire Products, Inc began in 1976 in Rough and Ready. Following the devastating 49er fire in 1988, business recovery demanded a new location for Live Wire Products. Marysville soon emerged as an affordable town to begin the growing phase of Live Wire. Now the company is relocating to Penn Valley, which is closer to home for owners. The move is expected to be complete on February 9.

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Scoop: Cirino’s building on Broad Street in escrow — a swank cocktail lounge is contemplated

f323c5b7-d840-4598-8efe-3b65896a6b2aThe former Cirino’s restaurant building on Broad Street is in escrow, and it could wind up as a swank cocktail lounge, Sierra Foothills Report has learned.

Real estate agents confirmed the building at 309 Broad Street was in escrow but declined to comment further. The would-be buyer has visited City Hall, however, inquiring about the possibility of turning it into a tastefully appointed cocktail lounge, along with good food, according to city officials.

Specialty cocktails and “mocktails” (cocktails without alcohol) are booming. More details are here.

The would-be buyer is experienced too: already operating similar establishments in Northern California. Each one has its own individual character, however.

The building has been on the market for the first time in more than three decades. Formerly the home of Cirinos Restaurant, this premiere, downtown building has been a Nevada City icon since the 1800s.

“Located directly in the center of Broad Street shopping and night life, with constant walk by traffic and visibility, this property offers the new owner a full bar/restaurant opportunity,” the listing has read. “Double saloon doors with no steps afford handicap access and the entire main dining area is open, with high vaulted ceilings, a Victorian decor, a fabulous, long wood bar that has served many a local patron. Location!”

We hope the deal closes, we support the concept, and we hope it can bring some renewed vibrancy to upper Broad Street.

Lower Commercial Street is becoming more vibrant with Three Forks Bakery & Brewing Co., the proposed Wheyward Girl Cremery (reported here exclusively), along with the Nevada City Farmers Market and Boardwalk “parklet.”

In addition, Spring Street is being revitalized as an Arts District, with the new Bridge Street Project linking KVMR and the Nevada Theatre, along with the DANK at Osborn/Woods Gallery. We also reported exclusively that a coffeehouse called FoxHound Espresso is opening next door to the Nevada City Winery.

Let’s hope upper Broad Street can follow suit.

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