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Judi’s in Nevada City hosts jeans fundraiser for Breast Cancer Awareness

On Oct. 24, Judi’s of Nevada City will be hosting a Denim Fit Clinic event with FDJ French Dressing Jeans.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and this event will help to raise awareness and money for the cause. The five FDJ French Dressing fits — Peggy, Suzanne, Dusty, Olivia and Kylie — are named for celebrity breast cancer survivors and a portion of every jean sold is donated to national, regional and local Breast Cancer organizations throughout North America. 

“We are excited to partner with FDJ French Dressing Jeans for this event,” said Judi Weiner, owner of Judi’s of Nevada City. “Not only do they have a great product, but they are dedicated to raising awareness and helping women in the fight against breast cancer and we are very pleased to be a part of that.”

FDJ will be bringing all of their jean styles in every size, and their fit specialist will help guests to find the perfect fitting pair of jeans for their body type while providing tips and advice on how to dress and look your best. Along with professional fitting, there will be refreshments and give-aways throughout the day. The event begins at 10 a.m. and continues until 5 p.m.

Judi’s is located at 246 Commercial St. in Nevada City.

Call Weiner at 530-265-6710 or email her at judi@judisofnevadacity.com for more information.

Taking my leave, with gratitude for a great run

My desk turned in to an excavation site this week. As I clean out piles and piles of paper, folders, photos, CDs and more in preparation of my final day here, I uncovered a paper trail of the last four years.

Long buried press passes for festivals, CDs and thank you notes reminded me what a long strange trip this has been. When I started this job and began writing my weekly column, I said that I had the best job at The Union because I got to promote all that was great about our community. I maintain that assertion to this day.

Through roughly 200 editions of Prospector I have interviewed international artists and musicians, coordinated coverage of thousands of musical acts, art receptions, theatrical and dance productions and book signings and edited far too many calendar listings to count (I don’t honestly want to know the actual number, in preservation of my sanity). Interviewing actor/comedian Paul Reiser during a power outage at The Union was definitely memorable. So was my call with Graham Nash, which felt more like a conversation than an interview — he really is that nice.

But what stands out the most to me in my time here is the incredible talent we have locally. The arts, theater and music scene here is second to none. While on vacation recently, I made my husband pull over in the middle of Guerneville, Calif. in Sonoma County because there, on the little river town’s theater marquee was a notice that Achilles Wheel would be coming soon. It’s no surprise they are playing across the state — they’ve had gigs at the famed Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley and performed at top music festivals. But it never gets old to see that my hometown band is in fact a Northern California group of note in the musical scene.

My only regret is not getting to all the great local stories that still need to be told. Thankfully, I’m handing Prospector over to good hands. Keri Brenner will be stepping in as the new features editor.

When I took this job, my goal was to balance out coverage of all the arts in our community such that Prospector was a strong representation of what was happening each week. It was a honor to pull this publication together week after week. Thank you for the great run!

To contact Keri, email kbrenner@theunion.com or continue to use the entertainment@theunion.com email.

Features Editor Brett Bentley can be reached at bbentley@theunion.com through Thursday.

Next up: Free birthday party and open house

With its California Worldfest broadcast in the rear view mirror, KVMR 89.5 FM is driving toward its 37th birthday celebration this Saturday in Pioneer Park and a Community Open House at its new building Wednesday.

To KVMR volunteer broadcaster Kim Rogers, the birthday bash was a no brainer.

“We had so much fun last year that we had to have another one,” she said with a smile.

So Rogers and a bevy of volunteers are putting on a free “Birthday Potluck BBQ & Acoustic Jam & Singalong” from 1 to 7 p.m. Saturday at Pioneer Park’s picnic grounds alongside Deer Creek.

According to Rogers, KVMR will provide some hamburgers and hot dogs and will have a barbecue available for other meat and food, with the eclectic, nonprofit Nevada City community radio station selling beer, wine, water and soft drinks.

There will be musical jam circles, with local musicians guiding things along.

“You can bring a potluck dish to share, but don’t let it hang you up,” Rogers added. “We encourage you bring your own cups, plates and utensils.”

“Oh, and bring something to sit on if you want to sit, your musical instruments if you’re a player, your voice if you like to sing, your good spirits and lovely faces, and the whole family.”

Whew, that about covers it.

Except for the raffle.

A tower of more than 30 items is the grand prize, with Celtic Festival tickets, gift certificates, books, recordings, KVMR “swag” among the winnings. A second and third prize will also be awarded.

Raffle tickets are available at the KVMR office, station outreach events and at the picnic.


KVMR is holding its third Community Open House since the radio station staff and broadcasters moved into their new facility back in February.

It’ll be part of the final downtown Nevada City Summer Nights event as the station — 120 Bridge St. at Spring Street just in back of the Nevada Theatre — invites the public to visit its new headquarters next Wednesday, between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m.

“Over a thousand folks have already been through our wonderful new home,” noted KVMR General Manage Julie Chiarelli. “But we want to open our doors to even more of our friends, neighbors and people who may not even be aware of us.”

Volunteer broadcasters will conduct guided tours of the station’s three floors.

Meanwhile, just across the street, KVMR and the Miner’s Foundry will be celebrating the arts organizations’ “Bridge Street Connection” at a special musical stage in the Foundry parking lot.

Sgt. Funky — a local band that plays music of the ‘60s and ‘70s — will be performing “the hits you forgot you loved” between 6 and 9 p.m.

A weekly wrap-up of news and oddities about community radio station KVMR (89.5 FM, kvmr.org streaming), a noncommercial station offering diverse musical programming, independent news and provocative public affairs from about 180 volunteer “citizen-broadcasters.” Information about the station’s new building is available at <bridgestreetproject.org> Complete program listings are available at kvmr.org

Intrigue on stage with The Ingenious Judge Dee

Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra (CATS) and the Miners Foundry Cultural Center will present The Ingenious Judge Dee Thursday evening. Set in Tang dynasty China, this dramatic play reading is part murder mystery, part detective novel, and will have audiences guessing till the very end. Written by author Hock G. Tjoa, The Ingenious Judge Dee features an all-star cast of local readers including Ben Hedenland, Drue Mathies, Lisa Moon, Dinah Smith, Lois Ewing, Rene Spratling, Eric Tomb and Brett Torgrimson.

Tickets are $10 and available online at www.minersfoundry.org, by phone at 530-265-5040 or in person at the Miners Foundry, or in person at BriarPatch Co-op. Ticketing fees may apply.

The show starts at 6:30 p.m.

For more information, go to www.minersfoundry.org

with Worldfest live broadcasts

So far, KVMR 89.5 FM is batting 1.000 when it comes to California Worldfest (see separate story, page 8).

18 Worldfests, 18 live broadcasts.

And the non-commercial radio station is looking to extend its streak to 19 this Thursday at 5 p.m. when KVMR Live Remote Broadcast Producer Wesley Robertson interviews new Worldfest producer Julie Baker from the Center for the Arts and broadcaster Michael Ben Ortiz covers the native American opening ceremony to kick off this year’s festivities.

“KVMR has grown alongside this festival,” says Program Director Steve Baker. “Worldfest fits comfortably alongside our musical format, and it’ll be fun to see the energy Julie and the Center bring to this important part of our summer festival schedule.”

One other thing that’s changing is that another community radio station is picking up the KVMR broadcast.

New station KXNV — known as Radio Free Nevada — will air much of the festival to its listeners in northern Nevada and Reno.

And KVMR Chief Engineer Dave “Buzz” Barnett has a few technical tricks up his proverbial sleeve as well.

“We’ll be trying out some microwave technology that will allow us to broadcast from some places we’ve never been able to broadcast from before at Worldfest,” he noted. “It’ll give us another stage from a long ways away without having to run wire all the way out to it.”

Broadcast times on KVMR 89.5 FM (kvmr.org streaming) will be Thursday 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

“Now remember, that’s Pacific Daylight Time,” quipped Baker. “With the growing online audience for both our Strawberry and High Sierra festival webcasts, we think social media is encouraging more and more people to listen to us, wherever they may be.”

“And we encourage that behavior,” he smiled.

For Robertson, the likely highlight will be Sunday night.

“What a triple punch to end the festivities,” he predicted. “You’ve got the legend himself, Mr. Richard Thompson, followed by our local faves Achilles Wheel and, then, the heart and soul of sweet Lucinda (Williams).”

“It doesn’t often get better than that, at least to my ears,” Robertson added.


Operation Unite and KVMR’s series of 9 a.m. programs on water issues continues through Sunday with shows on how water and ground water might not always be available (Friday), what type of water intensive activity has a lot of risk and benefit (Saturday) and how water is both shared and respected in other places (Sunday).

A weekly wrap-up of news and oddities about community radio station KVMR (89.5 FM, kvmr.org streaming), a noncommercial station offering diverse musical programming, independent news and provocative public affairs from about 180 volunteer “citizen-broadcasters.” Information about the station’s new building is available at <bridgestreetproject.org> Complete program listings are available at kvmr.org

‘School House Rock Live’ is a fun, educational outing for kids/adults

Make a date to take your kids and or grandkids to the charming, educational musical production of “School House Rock Live!” presented by Quest Theaterworks.

If the kids are older than five or six, they will greatly enjoy the catchy tunes, the vibrant dance moves, the quirky and clever visuals and props, and even learn something new. Or if you are a forty- or fifty-something person, you might fondly remember the Saturday morning cartoons of your youth, featuring the lively “Schoolhouse Rock!,” which was a series of children’s animated musical and educational short films that aired on the ABC network.

The series’ original run lasted from 1973 to 1985; it was later revived with both old and new episodes, airing from 1993 to 1999. Topics sung and talked about by the animated characters included grammar, science, economics, history, mathematics and government.

The musical theater adaptation of the show, titled Schoolhouse Rock Live!, premiered in 1996. It incorporates a number of the most loved musical and educational songs from the TV shorts, such as “Conjunctional Junction” (grammar), “I’m Just a Bill” (legislative process) and “My Hero, Zero” (mathematics).

The current production is adroitly and fluidly directed by Trish Adair, herself a “School House Rock!” fan. The colorful but simple set by Scott Ewing is arranged under shade trees on the lawn of the North Star House in Grass Valley. Sitting outside in the warm, early evening air and watching the talented young actors sing, dance and prance across the stage is a pleasurable experience for both kids and adults.

Tina Kelley, Hannah Muzio and Patrick Shannon are particularly engaging. It is obvious they are having a great time singing the familiar songs (several adults who remembered the songs from their youth sang along), dancing around the set and harmonizing with the recorded music.

Olivia Wildman’s choreography is simple yet clever and Toon Vandevorst’s musical direction keeps the actors in sync and in tune. The amusing props add to the visual quality, so necessary to hold the attention of the kids in the audience–who mostly sat rapt during the entire performance.

For a fun, family-friendly, educational outdoor activity, do your kids, grandkids and yourself a favor and take a chair and food and drink, then settle down on the grass at the North Star house for an enjoyable, tuneful learning experience with your young’uns. Playing through July 26th; see www.QuestTheaterworks.com for information.

Hindi Greenberg hadn’t known of “School House Rock” before attending this play. She found herself softly humming along with the catchy tunes and listening approvingly to the clever lyrics that painlessly taught educational concepts.

Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra brings The Ingenious Judge Dee to Nevada City’s Miners Foundry

Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra (CATS) and Miners Foundry present a dramatic play reading, The Ingenious Judge Dee, written and directed by Hock G. Tjoa, at the Miners Foundry on Thursday, July 23.

Judge Dee is about criminal investigations in seventh century China, adapted and inspired from The Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee, by Robert van Gulik. Judge Dee is about a double homicide, a “reluctant” corpse, a bride poisoned on her wedding night, all taking place in a small county, (one of fifteen hundred) in Tang dynasty, China, and all demanding investigation and judicial resolution within a month. Judge Dee diligently works on these cases with his usual investigators and with his customary aplomb, even though he himself is under investigation by an Imperial Censor.

Dramatic play reading is at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 23; doors open at 6 p.m. Suggested donation of $10. See MinersFoundry.org for tickets. The cast includes Hock G. Tjoa himself, Dru Mathies, Rene Sprattling, Lois Ewing, Lisa Moon, Eric Tomb, Ben Hedenland, Dinah Smith, and Brett Torgrimson.

Hock is active in local community theater and writing groups. He was recently seen in CATS’ Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet as “Mr. Lee.” As a writer, he is author of Agamemnon Must Die, The Battle of Chibi (Red Cliff), and The Chinese Spymaster.

‘Ghostbusters’ to screen outside Saturday

Saturday, the Nevada City Film Festival, City of Nevada City and The Union will present Movies in the Park, a cinematic experience for the entire family with the 1984 classic “Ghostbusters” at Pioneer Park in Nevada City.

The Nevada City Film Festival brings in state of the art projection and sound to create an outdoor movie theatre on the grass in front of the band shell at the park.

Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson star as a quartet of Manhattan-based “paranormal investigators.” When their government grants run out, the former three go into business as The Ghostbusters, later hiring Hudson on. Armed with electronic paraphernalia, the team is spectacularly successful, ridding The Big Apple of dozens of ghoulies, ghosties and long-legged beasties.

Before the movie there will be special performance by the Nevada County Band and local ghost stories with Nevada City native Mark Lyon.

Lyon is best known for conducting “ghostly”walking tours for more than 10 years in Nevada City and Grass Valley in which he relates the true tales behind wraiths said to haunt the towns’ historic buildings and byways.

Costumes are strongly encouraged. Beer, wine, popcorn, and soft drinks will be available for purchase. Outside food and drink allowed. Blankets, low back chairs, and flashlights are suggested.

Movies in the Park continues with the Pixar film “UP” Aug. 22nd. Same time, same place.

Gates open at 7 p.m. and the film begins at sunset. Tickets are $7 for general admission, $5 or children 12 and under at the gate. For more information, go to www.nevadacityfilmfestival.com.

Buffy Sainte Marie talks creative power on KVMR

It came out of nowhere, almost, just over a month ago.

Suddenly, KVMR-FM had a shot at an exclusive interview with folk legend Buffy Sainte Marie, who will be headlining the night of July 16th at the 19th annual California Worldfest, which the eclectic Nevada City radio station will be broadcasting in its entirety at 89.5 FM and streaming at kvmr.org.

Some technical issues were quickly resolved, like Hawaii being considered international call rates at the station. Duh. It’s like a U.S. state, last we heard.

But KVMR engineer Dave “Buzz” Barnett made sure two of the native American show Dreamwalk hosts, Jennifer Robin and Skip Alan Smith, were able to talk with Sainte Marie, one of the ‘60s classic folk music pioneers with such searing folk songs as “Now That The Buffalo’s Gone,” “It’s My Way,” and “Universal Soldier” at her home in the Hawaiian Islands.

“I’ve got a herd of goats, a horse, a kitty, more chickens than I count and wild pigs that show up in the middle of nowhere at a farm near the Pacific Ocean,” explained a chuckling Sainte-Marie.

The results were an unabashed, provocative, evocative, often laugh-filled and always enlightened half-hour interview with Buffy, which will air at 11 a.m. Thursday (KVMR 89.5 FM,kvmr.org streaming).

“This was so much fun for us,” said co-host Robin, who challenged Sainte-Marie when she asked her how she could be so outspoken as she was.

“People have always been more aware of me in the rest of the world than here,” she replied. “But in the U.S., a lot of me ended up being blacklisted.”

She likened her activist songwriting process to dreams she might have, some trivial, some heartfelt, more importantly, some about world or social issues.

“Those are not just an easy going love song, it’s a song you want to work on. As a songwriter who is good at writing a 3 1/2 minute song that could change somebody’s life, well, that’s a pretty good feeling, more like journalism…”

And Sainte-Marie says it’s exactly what she’s not done throughout a 50 year career.

“They say you make it rhyme through moon, June and swoon and make sure you can dance to it.”

Nope, that’s not Buffy.

But you’ll hear the real Sainte-Marie this Thursday at 11 a.m. and rebroadcast during KVMR’s extensive coverage of California Worldfest a week from now.

Oh, what does she want on her gravestone?

“Carry it on,” she replied, the title of another of her classic songs.

“I want to encourage people to keep pickin’, keep playin’, to keep creating music. Do not give up…”


The station’s month-long 9 a.m. “Water is a Better Splendored Thing” series of special reports continues with a Friday report on how drought can effect the protein in beef, a Saturday story about how a Fresno family farmer has to make water decisions about what he can grow, and a Sunday feature on so-called water rights.

A weekly wrap-up of news and oddities about community radio station KVMR (89.5 FM, kvmr.org streaming), a noncommercial station offering diverse musical programming, independent news and provocative public affairs from about 180 volunteer “citizen-broadcasters.” A video and other information about the station’s new building is available at <bridgestreetproject.org> Complete program listings are available at kvmr.org

‘Theatre of the Mind’ on stage at Miners Foundry

This Sunday, enjoy a curated program of talented local actors reading heartbreakingly beautiful short stories by award-winning writers, when Readers Theatre, returns to the Miners Foundry Cultural Center.

Readers Theatre has been called many things including “Theatre of the Mind” and “Interpreters Theatre,” by past patrons.

Director Tim O’Connor hand selects each short story and its reader. For the stories he looks for pieces that have the ability to take the reader and the audience on a journey of emotions and ideas, while still marveling at the complexity and beauty of language and the written word. Sunday’s production features short stories by Susan Straight, Mona Simpson, Kevin Brockmeier, Emily Raboteau and Tobias Wolff, read by David Iorns, Bruce Kelly, Renee Sprattling, Reinette Senum, and Sharon Winegar.

Tickets to the 4 p.m. show are $10 and available online at www.minersfoundry.org, by phone 530-265-5040 or in person at Miners Foundry, and in person at BriarPatch Co-op. The performance will be at the Foundry, 325 Spring St. in Nevada City. For more information, go to www.minersfoundry.org