Music in the Mountains presents Happy Holidays

Saturday, December 9, Doors 6:30pm, Show 7:30pm, & Sunday, December 10, Doors 1:00pm, Show 2:00pm

Special for the Kids! MIM will once again present a free shortened version of Happy Holidays (45-minutes) special for children and families, Saturday, December 9 at 11am.

This December, the Music in the Mountains Orchestra and Chorus kicks off “the most wonderful time of year” with Happy Holidays, a festive, family-friendly concert that features traditional holiday classics, favorite sing-a-long carols, special guest soloists, and the region’s premier of Ottorino Respighi’s Laud to the Nativity.

Regarded as one of the region’s premier holiday concerts, Music in the Mountains transforms the Amaral Center at the Nevada County Fairgrounds into a gorgeous vision of holiday splendor while the twenty-five piece professional orchestra and eighty member Chorus entertains and inspires listeners with such beloved songs as “Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, “First Noel”, “Hark the Herald”, “Carol of the Bells” “O Holy Night” and “Chalom Chaverim”.

“It’s a beautiful way to celebrate the magic of the season through the songs that we all know and love,” explains Dr. Mieko Hatano, Executive Director of Music in the Mountains. “Music in general, but especially holiday music, has the ability to transcend everything and bring us together.”

This year’s concert is once again led by Music in the Mountains Resident Conductor and Choral Director, Maestro Ryan Murray. It is Murray’s tenth holiday concert and he promises audiences will enjoy their traditional favorites along with several new pieces, performances and performers.

“I am fairly certain the little known, but exquisite Christmas cantata “Laud to the Nativity” by Ottorino Respighi, will be an area premier,” says Murray.  “It will be sung in English and Italian.”

“Laud to the Nativity” (Lauda per la Natività del Signore) is the only sacred choral piece composed by famed Italian violinist, composer and musicologist Ottorino Respighi. In this song of praise to the miracle of Christmas, majestic sounding choral passages alternate with the soloistic roles of Maria, the Angel and the shepherd, accompanied by the sound of pastoral instruments. The music is varied, containing stylistic elements ranging from the late romantic to neo baroque, as well as echoes of Gregorian chant. And towering above all is Respighi’s trademark: the art of orchestration.

This year’s concert also features a lineup of world-class soloists including soprano Kathleen Magee Querec, mezzo-soprano Danielle Bond, and tenor Jonathan Hansen.

Kathleen Magee Querec’s voice “brings to mind rivers in the Rockies, with clarity and crispness underlying her instinctive tender performance style” (Contra Costa Times). She made her Lincoln Center debut with New York City Opera singing Yvette in Puccini’s La Rondine in 2003.

Ms. Magee Querec most recently sang the role of Berta in The Barber of Seville with Townsend Opera at The Gallo Center in Modesto, after working with Maestro Ryan Murray in Music in the Mountains Choral and Orchestra Spring Concert as the soprano soloist in Haydn’s Little Organ Mass and Dan Forrest’s Requiem for the Living. Having a love of new music, she has performed many new compositions for Music In The Mountains Young Composers Project. Over the past three seasons, she made multiple appearances with Music in the Mountains and the Nevada County Composers Cooperative singing settings of Shakespeare’s Sonnets 64 and 65 for voice and harp by Jozi Gullickson. Kathleen sang an encore performance of Kia Montana Smith’s Mewlips at the Music In The Mountains Summerfest, mainstage concert in June, 2016. 

Mezzo-soprano Danielle Marcelle Bond’s rich, expansive voice is beautifully matched with her engaging acting abilities and musical intelligence. She was part of the Grammy Award winning cast for 2017’s Best Opera Recording as Witness 3 in LA Opera’s Ghosts of Versailles and sang on the Grammy award event in 2017.

​She has been hailed by the LA Times with a “Brava!” for her performance in Long Beach Opera’s production of John Adams’ “Death of Klinghoffer”.  She has charmed audiences in roles such as Carmen, for which Singerpreneur praised her “luscious voice that filled the theater, her intense middle voice ringing with the freedom of her technique.”  Her solo concert work includes Verdi’s Requiem, JS Bach’s Mass in B Minor, the Magnificats of JS & CPE Bach, Handel’s Messiah and Dvorak’s Stabat Mater. 

Tenor Jonathan Hansen performs frequently in the area as both a soloist and chorister. He has performed principal roles for the Sacramento Philharmonic Opera and Village Opera. He has been active in the opera program of California State University, Sacramento as well. An actor before he was a singer, Mr. Hansen also appears occasionally in non-musical productions, including the role of Cletis in Resurrection Theater’s production of Lonestar, Joseph Conrad in Big Idea Theatre’s production of Don Nigro’s The Ogre, Lieutenant Lustig in California Stage’s radio broadcast of Ray Bradbury’s Mars is Heaven, and the Voice of the Book in Lightning Rod Radio’s production of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: the Complete Radio Scripts. In addition to this, Mr. Hansel also co-hosts the weekly improv-comedy podcast Wasting ALL the Time.

There are two opportunities to see Happy Holidays, with an evening concert Saturday, December 9 at 7:30pm and a matinee on Sunday, December 10 at 2:00pm.

On Saturday, December 9 at 11am, MIM will also present a free shortened version of Happy Holidays (45-minutes) special for children and families. Each performance welcomes the entire family to celebrate in the magic of the holiday season through the beauty of its music.


WHO: Music in the Mountains presents Happy Holidays

WHEN: Saturday, December 9, Doors 6:30pm, Show 7:30pm, & Sunday, December 10, Doors 1:00pm, Show 2:00pm

Special for the Kids! MIM will once again present a free shortened version of Happy Holidays (45-minutes) special for children and families, Saturday, December 9 at 11am.

WHERE: Amaral Center, Nevada County Fairgrounds, Gate 1

TICKETS: $25-$55, Tickets are available online at, by phone (530) 265-6073, or in person at Music in the Mountains, 530 Searls Ave, Nevada City.  Ticketing fees may apply.

Holiday Craft Fair at the Rood Center

Friday, December 8, 9 am – 2 pm

Rood Center lobby Gov’t. Bldg, Hwy 49 Nevada City

 Crafts by employees & employee families! Come on down & see their handiwork of great gifts & stocking stuffers.

For more information call Connie Alexander, 530/478-5744




Heartland Holiday at Off Broadstreet

A Musical Comedy Revue By John Driscoll & Jan Kopp

Friday & Saturday 8:15 PM November 17th through December 23rd (Also Sunday, Nov 19th & 26th at 2:00 PM)

Operators of Radio Station KEEN in Keene, CA (pop. 431) hope that their annual Christmas Eve broadcast will carry a message of unity that will grow from their tiny foothill community near Bakersfield, “The Heartland of California,” and spread good will across the nation. Through their unique broadcast, they celebrate not just Christmas, but also Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Chinese New Year, The Hindu Festival of Lights, St. Lucia’s Day and other Winter Solstice observances that can trace their roots back to our primitive ancestors. Their message is simple: People are the same the world over.

Jed Dixon, Micah Cone, Heather Dixon, Tina Marie Kelley and Kim Wellman bring their vocal and comedic talents to this hilarious and heartwarming event. Scenes re- enacted during the broadcast recall such holiday traditions as “Christmas Dinner,” “Last Minute Gift Shopping” and the creation of that special low-budget holiday treat, “The Christmas Surprise Loaf.” Exciting songs made famous by ABBA, Alabama, Billy Joel, Bing Crosby, Chuck Berry, The Dixie Chicks, Eartha Kitt, Elvis, The Blues Brothers and many more, along with Tina Marie Kelley’s imaginative choreography, make this a memorable way to celebrate the holiday season. You may just want to see it more than once!

Pre-show entertainment is provided by Chris Crockett beginning one hour before show time for all performances. For further information or for show reservations, please call OFF BROADSTREET at (530) 265-8686 or (530) 478-1213 or visit the OFF BROADSTREET website at

Pascale Fusshoeller Receives Nevada City’s Prestigious Elza Kilroy Award

Editor & co-founder of YubaNet, Pascale Fusshoeller, has been named recipient of the 2017 Elza Kilroy Award for outstanding community service. The Nevada City Chamber of Commerce presents the prestigious Kilroy award, established in 1969, annually to a citizen whose efforts help make Nevada City a better community.

The Chamber’s Board of Directors selected Fusshoeller for the award to honor her dedication to Nevada City by providing news to the community and real-time coverage of wildfire incidents in Nevada County. “The Board appreciates everything Pascale does to keep Nevada City residents apprised of happenings in the community” said Chamber Executive Director Cathy Whittlesey. The Kilroy Award is one of the several annual awards presented by the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce.

Other 2017 recipients are:

Barbara Tanner, Nevada City event coordinator, is being honored with the Dr. Leland and Sally Lewis Visual Arts Award.

Sierra Stages is the recipient of the 2017 Dr. Leland and Sally Lewis Performing Arts Award.

Rebecca Coffman, was recognized with the Annual Stan Halls Architectural Award.

The Music In the Mountains Young Composers Program is the recipient of the Chamber’s 2017 Live Music Award.

Dan Reinhart Masonry was chosen as the recipient of the W. Lon Cooper New Construction Award.

The award winners were nominated and selected by the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. The awards will be presented at the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce 116th annual Installation and Awards Dinner on Saturday, February 3rd at the Miners foundry.

Holiday Mini Pop-Up Mall!

Helping Hands Caregiver Resource Center
Presents Holiday Mini Pop-Up Mall!
December 10th, 2017 – 1:00-6:00pm

Join Us for a Holiday Shopping Experience!
Come and enjoy a mini mall complete with lots of Vendors a
Gift Wrapping Station, Family Photo Booth with a fun Winter
Theme, Frozen Holiday Cookies, Bake Sale and more!

17645 Penn Valley Drive , Penn Valley CA
*****Across from the post office*****

All proceeds from this fundraiser will provide respite care for dependent adults in
our community who live at home with a primary caregiver

A Public Stakeholder Meeting – Shaping the Future of Grass Valley-Nevada City Cultural District.

Nevada County Arts Council, together with the Cities of Grass Valley and Nevada City and both Chambers of Commerce, will facilitate a convening on Thursday, January 25 at 5-7pm at the Rood Center. The topic is: “Shaping the future of Grass Valley-Nevada City Cultural District.”

City Staff and Councilmembers, our Chambers of Commerce and Nevada County Arts Council will welcome members of the public for a presentation on the California Cultural Districts Program, and progress towards priorities established since becoming designated as one of only fourteen Cultural Districts in July this year.

Howard Levine, Mayor of Grass Valley says: “Since late summer we’ve been meeting with stakeholders around what our priorities should be during the first two years of our five-year designation. A clear emerging priority is defining a Community Arts Plan for our district, together with making sure that the story of our twin city cultural district is shared far and wide.”

Last week representatives from both Grass Valley-Nevada City Cultural District and Truckee Cultural District attended the first Northern California Cultural District Summit. At the invitation of Shasta Arts Council, with funding from the McConnell Foundation, representatives from Redding, Eureka and Downtown San Rafael Cultural Districts compared notes and discussed opportunities for their unique designations together with Grass Valley, Nevada City and Truckee.

Eliza Tudor, Executive Director at Nevada County Arts Council, says: “We look forward to following last week’s Summit in Redding with one sponsored by California Arts Council to which all Californian Cultural District representatives will be invited to continue the conversation around the progression of district priorities together with vital benchmarking.

“Meanwhile, we have been advised by California Arts Council that one of its five yearly public meetings will be held here in early summer 2018 and we are thinking of arranging our follow-up Summit to follow this important public meeting. For sure, our stakeholder meeting in January will be excellent preparation for this.”

Tudor continues: “Meanwhile, we are making headway in important areas. Local artist Rich Good is working on a branding concept for Grass Valley-Nevada City Cultural District, and we are gathering a key marketing team together including Jesse Locks and Catherine Bramkamp. By January we will be able to share the outcome of this but for now, we can report that we have secured funding for an economic impact study for our entire county. All three cities and the Nevada County Economic Resource Council recognize the value of this data – providing as it will the meat on the bones for future arts planning.”

Jon Blinder, Board President at Nevada County Arts Council, says: “Ultimately, we’ll be able to create a countywide Cultural Plan but for now the key thing is for our districts to be able to draw upon their own specific data. Data from each of our cities will lend a compelling case for support for the arts which prospective funders will find hard to ignore and which all our arts organizations will have access to.”

For Grass Valley-Nevada City Cultural District’s public stakeholder meeting on January 25 Grass Valley-Nevada City Cultural District partners welcome interested community members from all sectors. Duane Strawser, Mayor of Nevada City, says: “Stakeholders from our business, health, and education communities – as well as our County Supervisors and Departments – all have a role to play and will all enjoy the results over time. We need everyone to pitch in – and we’ll be ready with information and the beginnings of a toolkit to share.”

Robin Davis of the Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce says, “Nevada County isn’t just a stunning place to visit – our rich arts scene is almost unparalleled in California and offers a compelling reason why any business would want to move here, and why any family would consider relocating. Let’s all talk about how our California Cultural District designation can work for everyone.”

In November 2015 Nevada County Arts Council facilitated a countywide Town Hall meeting on the State of the Arts in Nevada County at the request of the City of Grass Valley. Howard Levine, speaking then for the City of Grass Valley, said: “We’ve got so much going here. Nevada County is a great place to work and play. So how can we offer up a model for success, a benchmark for achievement – while enjoying our diversity countywide?  We are hoping artists, audiences spanning all performing arts disciplines, and representatives from arts organizations and the businesses that support them, will all join us for this special meeting of hearts and minds.”

Tudor says, “Today, just two years on, all three of our cities are recognized by the State of California as having thriving cultural diversity and unique artistic identities, and we have been selected as part of California Cultural District’s pilot cohort to shape a keystone program for future generations.” Nevada County Arts Council’s Board President, Jon Blinder, adds: “We invite the public to float ideas with us on January 25 – and we’ll have lots to share.”

For additional information contact Eliza Tudor at (530) 718 0727 or by email at

 Know and Go (Save the Date)

 What:             A Public Stakeholder MeetingShaping the Future of Grass Valley-Nevada City Cultural District

When:             Thursday, January 25 at 5-7pm

Where:            Board of Supervisors Chambers, Rood Center, 950 Maidu Avenue, Nevada City, CA 95959

Who:                Nevada County Arts Council, the Cities of Grass Valley and Nevada City, the Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce and Nevada City Chamber of Commerce

Admission:     Free

Information:  Contact Eliza Tudor at (530) 718-0727 or


Cinderella Project: Holiday Little Black Dress Sale

The non-profit Cinderella Project has a simple mission: Building self-esteem while making prom dreams come true. We do this by providing special occasion dresses and accessories free of charge to High School juniors and seniors so they may attend their Senior Ball or Prom. Students are referred to Cinderella Project by an adult who knows their circumstances would prevent them from attending the Prom.

Join us for our Holiday Little Black Dress Sale!!

Forest Charter PACE Program’s 4th Annual Silly Sweater Run!

Saturday, December 2nd,  8 – 11am

Community 5K Run/Walk fundraiser supporting the PACE 6-8th Grade Program at Forest Charter School.
470 Searls Ave., Nevada City, CA

Registration opens at 8am, run/walk begins at 9am – $10 for 13 and under – $20 for 14 and over
Awards to the first 3 placers in each age group will be awarded with a medal!

You may register ahead of time by emailing race director Michelle Litton Ogaidi at You will be emailed a copy of the registration to mail in. You can also register the day of. Bring your friends and family! This is a family and stroller friendly event.

If you want to participate, but don’t care to walk or run, we do need volunteers for very easy course monitor positions. Contact race director to volunteer. We will also happily accept donations! Checks made out to Forest Charter Educational Foundation can be mailed to Michelle Ogaidi, PO Box 642, Nevada City, CA 95959.

All proceeds benefit the PACE 68 field trip fund. Please leave pups at home.

Contact race director Michelle Litton Ogaidi with any questions, or 530-263-0186 – View more at

Holidays at LeeAnn Brook Fine Art

Join in the festivities that will be all about art this holiday season, by visiting Nevada City’s unique gallery-combined studio of LeeAnn Brook Fine Art. Celebrating its third holiday season in Nevada City at the corner of Spring and South Pine streets, the gallery will come alive with unique art for gift giving, artist demos and live music starting Thanksgiving weekend.

As the annual Wish Tree in the gallery courtyard lights up, activities begin Thanksgiving weekend through Christmas. The popular Wish Tree is donated each year by gallery artist Mike Snegg, and is adorned with pieces of fabric where visitors can write their yearly wish. Brook and Snegg conceived the idea three years ago when the gallery first opened, and is filled with over 100 wishes each year.  

Holiday Open House at LeeAnn Brook Fine Art, Friday, Dec. 1, 5-7 pm

A community celebration of holiday cheer in the gallery featuring:

“Wings of Peace” bird sculptures by LeeAnn Brook

Signed, limited edition handcrafted collage birds in flight suspended in the gallery

Featuring new hand blown glass by artist Rob Tribble, featuring his large contemporary vessels. With studies at Pilchuck School of Glass, Corning Glass and in Murano, Italy, Tribble has exhibited his glass work from San Francisco to Carmel.

“One Gift” Wish List–make gift giving easier by registering for the one art piece that you’d love to receive (and want others to know).

New Small Works Wall with paintings by LeeAnn Brook featuring affordable, original art.

Art throughout the gallery includes:

Original paintings by LeeAnn Brook

Sculpted wood vessels by Mike Snegg including new Cook Pine platters and bowls

Handmade furniture by Judith Lancaster

Ceramics by Lynn Wood and Sam Tubiolo

Handmade baskets from native plants by Starlit

Hand blown glass by Rob Tribble and Nicholson Blown Glass

Saggar-fired porcelain bowls and vases by Dana Bilello-Barrow

Handcrafted wood lamps with handmade paper shades by Mark Dyal

Japanese antiques





The gallery, located at 300 Spring St. In downtown Nevada City, is also open during Victorian Christmas, on Sundays, Dec. 3, 10 & 17 from 10 – 6 p.m. and Wednesdays, Dec. 13 & 20 from 5 – 8:00 p.m. For more information visit or call 530-265-6817.

Elevation 2477’ Application Approved for Cannabis Dispensary

Dear Community Members:

The team of Elevation 2477’ is deeply grateful for the opportunity given to us Wednesday night, when the Nevada City Council selected our project to run its first medical cannabis dispensary. The Mayor and council members had an extremely difficult job. All three applicants presented formidable proposals.

We are pleased that our dispensary will provide patients with knowledgeable service and educational programs that can help them achieve their chosen path to wellness. We are excited to create a community-centric facility that embodies the values of Nevada City, including hands-on community involvement and support for local organizations.

Nevada City officials effectively pioneered a path forward for local cannabis businesses to enter the regulated marketplace — businesses that could create jobs, pay local taxes and create community engagement programs for local organizations. As the first licensed medical cannabis business in the city, we feel a deep sense of responsibility to prove the city right in its desire to see a model dispensary.

Our team believes the most important winner in all of this is the patient.

Our hope is that moving forward, we can all work together for the patients in this county who deserve superior care. We encourage everyone who supported any of the applicants to continue to show up in support of a fully integrated cannabis industry in Nevada County — one that upholds the values of organic agriculture, sustainability and a deep sense of responsibility for how we treat our environment.

It has been a pleasure to have been involved during the ordinance writing process to create a safe and strategic plan for the future of cannabis in Nevada City and the county. Our team embodies the spirit and values that the city set forth for its first medical cannabis dispensary.

This is an historic moment for Nevada City and Nevada County. City officials were brave and innovative and trusted us to establish a winning business model in a highly regulated and highly volatile industry. We are proud of the dispensary we are offering the community. Collectively, we can craft a vision for what is possible for our county. And we remain grateful for the opportunity to help bring that vision to life.


The Elevation 2477’ Team
Daniel Batchelor, Christina Rosmarin, and Jonathan Hogander

Nevada City Chamber Board of Elections Results

The votes have been counted and the following people were elected to serve on the Chamber’s Board of Directors for a two year term.

Election Results – Congratulations!

Matthew H. Haas – Friend of the Chamber

Barbara Tanner – Friend of the Chamber

Carissa Stroh – Friar Tuck’s Restaurant

Hilary Hodge – Sierra Commons

Homer Nottingham – Vital Energy Arts

Tom Coleman – National Hotel

Barbara Johnson – The Madison House

Teresa Berliner-Mann – JJ Jackson’s

Linda Hansen – Nevada City Chocolate Shoppe

Gretchen Bond – The Miners Foundry

Directors who will continue for one more year are:

Peggy Peterson – Asylum Down & Yabobo

Paul Emery – KVMR

Steve Moberg – Friend of the Chamber

Kim Coughlan – Novak’s Menswear & Lady Pendleton

Robin Danos – Tri Counties Bank

Mike Byrne – The Willo

Matthew Margulies – Matteo’s Public

Country Christmas Faire November 24, 25 & 26

The 33rd annual Country Christmas Faire is returning to the beautiful Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley on November 24, 25 and 26.

Four large exhibit buildings will be filled with handcrafted items and gifts, giving shoppers a chance to start their holiday shopping and purchase quality handmade holiday items, ornaments, jewelry, wooden crafts, soaps and lotions, stained glass, candles, beadwork, fiber arts, and hundreds of other unique gifts created by talented artisans.

Visitors to the Faire can also enjoy strolling musical entertainment, a gingerbread house exhibit, and a community bonfire. Coloring contest entries will be on display alongside the gingerbread houses in Ponderosa Hall, wagon rides around the Fairgrounds will be offered, and the RiverBells and the Sierra Symphony quartet will perform during the event. There will also be delicious food and beverages, including cinnamon rolls, coffee, hot chocolate, pulled pork nachos, fine chocolates, Philly cheesesteak, quesadillas, hand dipped doughnuts, and kettle corn. New this year, the Fairgrounds Foundation will be serving holiday spirits.

Santa will be available from 11 am – 4 pm on Friday and Saturday and from 11 am – 3 pm on Sunday. Bring your camera to capture that special photo. Free babysitting will be offered by Girl Scouts of the Northern Mines Service Unit, so parents can drop off their children while they enjoy holiday shopping. Errand Elves from Clear Creek School will be at Main Street Center and available to assist shoppers throughout the event.

On Sunday of the Faire, the Nevada County Fairgrounds will partner with Grass Valley Elks for a canned food drive. Bring a can of food on Sunday, November 26 from 10 am to 4 pm, and receive $1 off Sunday’s admission price (one coupon per person). All food collected by the Elks will be distributed in their Christmas baskets in December.

The Country Christmas Faire begins Friday, November 24, and runs through Sunday, November 26. Admission is $5 for adults, and children 12 and under are free. Parking is free. The hours are 10 am – 5 pm on Friday and Saturday, and 10 am – 4 pm on Sunday.

The Nevada County Fairgrounds is located at 11228 McCourtney Road in Grass Valley. For more information, visit or call (530) 273-6217.


Welcome Toh-Atin to Mana Beads in Historic Nevada City!

Upcoming Black Friday weekend, Friday & Saturday November 24th & 25th, we will have a Trunk Show with Toh-Atin Gallery, Durango Colorado. They will be here with American and Mexican Turquoise, Native American Jewelry, beads, stones, wool rugs and baskets. Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to buy authentic, quality, Native American goods at reasonable prices. Take a few minutes to check out their website Please note, they have a wide range of price points, so don’t let the vintage pricing scare you away. Many items are very affordabl


Popcorn Bar at Culture Shock Yogurt

Culture Shock Yogurt is moving into the cooler months with a bang . . . Actually with a POP!! . . . corn that is. We offer the first and only Popcorn Bar in Nevada County. We pop organic white popcorn (containing healthy fiber and protein), and we are currently offering 18 flavors of popcorn. Many of them are Vegan and non-GMO. If you haven’t been in to taste these 18 flavors come on in. For the holidays we will sell ribbon decorated gift buckets of whatever flavor you choose. We ask for a couple hours advance notice so we can custom prepare these buckets for you. See the attachments with all our flavors and pictures of some of our buckets.

Bear Yuba Land Trust Launches Save Land Campaign to Protect 20,000 acres by 2020

In 2017, important landscapes in the Bear River and Yuba River watersheds weathered an onslaught of natural disasters such as flooding, heat waves, bark beetle infestations and wildfire.

In an effort to support the natural resources that have always sustained the people, plants and animals who live within and downstream of these watersheds, Bear Yuba Land Trust (BYLT) is launching a community campaign with a timely message and call to action: “Keep It Wild. Protect Open Space. Donate to BYLT’s Save Land campaign.

“The lands on the Western slope of the Sierra Nevada, where the Bear and Yuba Rivers and their many tributaries flow, is a hotspot for plant and animal biodiversity. From the mountain meadows and lakes in the East to the vernal pools and perennial wetlands in the West, we live in an area greatly enhanced by our water and land resources,” said Director of Land Stewardship Erin Tarr.

Founded 27 years ago, BYLT is a community-supported not-for-profit organization that to date has preserved over 12,000 acres with an ambitious new goal of conserving 20,000 acres by 2020. This season, an anonymous local donor has stepped forward with a generous gift, to support the land conservation work of BYLT and match dollar for dollar every donation gifted to BYLT’s year-end Land Appeal, up to $40,000.

“Thanks to the generosity of a caring individual, everyone who donates to the lands appeal before the end of the year can double their money and their impact.” said BYLT’s Executive Director Marty Coleman-Hunt.

Annually, BYLT’s end-of-the-year fundraising and outreach campaign generates critical funding for protection of important landscapes and enables restoration work necessary to better protect wildlife habitat and water quality.

“Now more than ever, the land needs our help,” said Coleman-Hunt.  “Nature is capable of coming back, if we help it along, and we don’t get in the way with poor land use and management. Our survival depends on this.”

Bear Yuba Land Trust (BYLT) is committed to preserve and protect the long-term health of forests, oak woodlands, ranches, urban nature preserves and upper watershed lands. Conserving these lands provides a place for plants and animals to thrive as they adapt to a changing climate; enhances world-class outdoor recreation; and ensures the cultural and biological heritage of forests, farms and ranches is sustained into the future.

“A rural quality of life is something we all cherish at BYLT. Keeping ranchers and small farmers on land that is healthy and economically viable for their operations is very important to us. We believe that there can and should be a balance between continuing to manage our working landscapes through sustainable forestry and grazing practices as well as protecting critical habitats for wildlife to adapt and evolve to our changing environment,” said Erin Tarr.

In November and December, BYLT will release a series of stories from the land. These include:

  • The announcement of a new 857-acre conservation easement in the Sierra Nevada protecting important wolverine and Northern goshawk habitat from development in the Grouse Ridge  roadless area of Lindsey Lakes
  • Restoration work along the middle Bear River on BYLT’s 650-acre Garden Bar Preserve where native perennial grasses are being planted and water sources are being installed as part of a long-term Holistic Rangeland Management Plan
  • A ribbon cutting and unveiling of the new Higgins Pond Preserve near Lake of the Pines
  • Updates on Urban Community Conservation Projects at Adam Ryan Preserve, Burton Homestead and Woodpecker Wildlife Preserve
  • Creation of a pollinator meadow on a private ranch on Indian Springs Road
  • Annual Monitoring Visits to conserved lands and Stewardship Volunteer Workdays to enhance habitat and resiliency on conserved lands

Encounter Nature instead of the mall

On November 24, BYLT is teaming up with REI and the 52 Hike Challenge to get people outdoors the day after Thanksgiving. The first 50 people who register for a guided hike on the Independence Trail will get the opportunity to ditch the traditional mall-frenzy of Black Friday and be part of a nationwide event known as #OptOutside.

Learn more at:

There Are Only 3 Ways to Grow a Business

Jacob Griscom, Copywriter and Marketing Consultant – That’s right, there are only 3 ways to grow a business:

  1. Increase the number of customers
  2. Increase the average transaction value per customer
  3. Increase the number of transactions per customer

I’ve learned to call this “Customer Value Optimization,” and I use it to build a checklist of areas to grow a business, often for free, but always at a profit.

 These are the 7 leverage points that make an enormous impact on your bottom line:

Step 1 – Determine Product/Market Fit

How well do you really know what your customers want?

If you haven’t specifically asked them about their needs and challenges, or haven’t asked recently, I can guarantee there are golden opportunities to grow here.

Step 2 – Offer a Lead Magnet

With a fresh perspective on your customer’s needs, you can offer potential customers something irresistible to generate a steady stream of new leads.

Step 3 – Offer a Tripwire

What’s a low-dollar high-value offer that new leads will be hungry to say “Yes!” to? THAT is a “tripwire” offer designed to turn more leads into customers as quickly as possible.

Step 4 – Offer a Core Product

These are your “bread and butter” products or services at the core of your business…they are always ripe areas for continual improvement and conversion. (Hint: See Step 1)

Step 5 – Offer a Profit Maximizer

These won’t be for every customer, but they make your core offer better, faster, stronger, safer, easier, etc. These are the “Would you like fries with that?” offers for your business.

Step 6 – Choose a Traffic Source

NOW is the time to focus on advertising, search engine optimization, networking, radio, newspaper, or any other way people will find your business.

If you’ve done the first 5 steps, every dollar, minute, and bit of energy you spend on promotion will give you a higher return on your investment.

Step 7 – Create the Return Paths

At each step in this customer journey, people may forget, get distracted, have other priorities, or “get around to it later.” Return paths plug the leaks and bring people back in wherever they left off.

One of the best things a business owner can do is take the time to get fresh outside eyes and new perspective on how to grow and better serve their customers.

That’s why I’m available to sit down with you for a FREE personalized walkthrough of the 7-step Customer Value Optimization checklist for your business.

 Let’s see what we come up, and if you’d like help implementing any of this, I’m available for that too.

 You can contact me right here:, or give me a call 530.210.6247.

“Fur Trader Nevada City Slippers”

The Fur Traders, found on Broad Street for the past 38 years in Historical Downtown Nevada City, are now fully stocked in Real, Natural Sheepskin Slippers and Boots, for the whole family from Babies to Big Foot! With fall upon us, and winter on the way, treat yourself, and your feet, to our cozy “Fur Trader Nevada City Slippers”. Barry and Marjie Costello established the design for the slippers using our valued Customer’s ideas, suggestions, and requests. They are made with Grade 1 Sheepskins and tanned to our highest standards. These slippers have a durable rubber sole with extra padding in the ball and heel of the foot, top quality threads, a removable foot bed, and can be worn outside making these Slippers the most sought-after “Fur Traders” brand style! The Sheepskin forms around any foot making every pair a custom fit, and Sheepskin is a Breathable Natural Insulator, so your tootsies will never get cold or too warm. Come and see for Yourself and browse the fifty plus slipper styles we have to offer! Plus, the largest UGG selection in Northern California! Get your Christmas shopping done early, and spoil the whole family with the Softest and most Luxurious Slippers that everyone will LOVE!

The Fur Traders, 303 Broad Street Nevada City (530) 265-2000

Open seven days a week 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Holidays at Empire Mine Offers a History of Good Cheer

Santa and Mrs. Claus, in their turn-of-the-century attire, will be asking, “What would you like for Christmas?” More important, they’ll be listening carefully to the answers that may range from the latest technical products to ponies and puppies. Surrounded by lavish, traditional decorations, the Clubhouse will be glowing with good cheer.

Outside, local vendors will have a selection of light food and drinks for sale, including Brew Bakers’ exclusive “24-Karrat Cakes.” There will also be entertainment to delight the parents and children in line. On Friday, world-renowned story-telling juggler, Izzi Tooinsky will perform his “Toymaker’s Journey through the Gold Rush” show, and on Saturday, crowds will enjoy Celtic Joy. Dressed in traditional costumes, they will fill the air with festive music and good cheer.

Empire Cottage will be all decked out as well – with Living History docents portraying the characters who shaped our gold-mine history. Singer/guitarist Heather MacAdam will play seasonal music on Friday, and harpist Kurtis Bershaw will perform on Saturday.

In the Mineyard, one-man band, Gary Hinze will add more festive flair – with chestnuts being roasted nearby. Visits to the Blacksmith Shop and the Gift Shop are also highly recommended.

Held on Friday, November 24th and Saturday, November 25th, this event is ideal for local residents and out-of-town Thanksgiving guests. Hosted by Empire Mine Park Association (EMPA), last year around 2,000 children and families of all ages attended. Special activities are scheduled from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. both days. With free admission for children under six and free parking, it’s a magical event – and everyone’s invited. Call the Visitor Center for further details, (530) 273-8522 or visit


Photo by Michael McCartea:  Yuletide music from times past will be performed by Celtic Joy on the old Clubhouse porch. (Celtic Joy members are also docents at Empire Mine State Historic Park)

Photo by Richard Bannister:  Holiday cookies are served with history and live music in Empire Cottage

Photo by Courtney Ferguson: Izzi Tooinsky will perform “A Toymaker’s Journey Through the Gold Rush” on Friday near the Clubhouse – an engaging show that combines juggling, toys and history.

Know and Go 

Event:  Holidays at Empire Mine

When:  Friday, November 24th & Saturday, November 25th

Where:  Empire Mine State Historic Park  10791 E. Empire St. Grass Valley, CA 95945

Times:  Special activities from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day

Cost:  $7 for adults 17 & over; $3 ages 6-16; FREE admission for children under 6 +  FREE parking

Details:  Phone the Visitor Center (530) 273-8522 or visit