Your review of the Naked Pig Cafe ("Swine Times," June 25) stresses its "unlikely location." That remark ignores Santa Rosa's gastronomic center right across the street: Dierk's Parkside Cafe.
Mark Dierkhising is the finest chef in Sonoma County, in my opinion. He has mastered the four elements of fine cuisine: he creates outstanding recipes with his own personal flair; he has unerring technique; he chooses the best ingredients; and he trains his kitchen staff well. It did not take long for Santa Rosa foodies to discover him.
The Naked Pig's owners couldn't have picked a better location. Their target clientele—people who appreciate creative cooking with the freshest local ingredients—was sitting right across the street, eating at Parkside.
That's how I discovered the Naked Pig. I have already enjoyed two meals there, including a delicious cheesy polenta with eggs and a classic croque-madame.
Procrastination pays—again! Wait a week, and Norman Solomon counter-spanks his own slanderer, and in typically excellent form. This frees me to focus on the factual error fobbed off in Hogan's hit-piece, missed by the Bohemian: ". . . and helped Ralph Nader challenge Gore in 2000 (and elect Bush in the process)." It's 2014 now, and the results of the 2000 presidential election are actually final: Mr. Gore won the election! He, Mr. Gore, won the most votes! Yes, both! Check it. Both. No, really.
Perhaps Hogan or some other corporate Democrat can explain how my vote for Ralph Nader kept Mr. Gore from serving his presidency. Bit of a stretch, don'tcha think? Logic plays not well here, if at all.
We urge President Obama to take steps to permanently protect the Berryessa Snow Mountain Region by declaring the area a National Monument.
Thanks to a recent designation by President Obama, another piece of our country's outdoor legacy will be preserved as the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in New Mexico. The designation will preserve irreplaceable archaeological, prehistoric and cultural sites, while safeguarding outdoor recreation opportunities that are so important for the state. The designation, under the Antiquities Act, is the second by President Obama in New Mexico, following the creation of Rio Grande del Norte National Monument last year.
President Obama has recognized areas in California too, adding Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands to the California Coastal National Monument earlier this year. This action provides a boost to the rural coastal economy and the everyday lives of those who know and love the North Coast. Across the state, protected public lands, like national monuments, help provide outdoor recreation opportunities that generate more than $6 billion for the California economy each year, according to the Outdoor Industry Association.
Time after time, we've seen communities flourish and local economies grow when nearby public lands are permanently protected. The Rio Grande del Norte National Monument drew 50,000 new visitors in 2013, overall a 40 percent increase in visitation over 2012. Closer to home, the counties around Giant Sequoia National Monument saw jobs grow by 11 percent and real personal income rise by 24 percent after the area was protected. That same potential is offered by the Berryessa Snow Mountain region.
Just a short drive from the Bay Area and Sacramento, the area between Lake Berryessa and Snow Mountain provides easily accessible opportunities to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. Whether it's hiking to the 80-foot-high Zim Zim waterfall, fly-fishing in Putah Creek or viewing wildflowers and wildlife, the Berryessa Snow Mountain region offers something for everyone. Visitors can take a relaxing horseback ride, spend quality time with family or experience the adrenaline rush of a white water rafting trip through Cache Creek.
The Berryessa Snow Mountain region is one of the last remaining areas of undisturbed public lands in California, making it an ideal space for people to get outside. It's also important for a host of wildlife that calls the area home, from bald eagles to endangered Pacific fishers and rare plants.
We're quite proud of this amazing place and our communities that have grown around it. It's an area that deserves to be recognized and permanently protected. The benefits of such protection will extend far beyond the land itself to the surrounding areas, bringing new visitors to our towns as they take advantage of new recreation opportunities.
Permanently protecting Berryessa Snow Mountain is of course good for the local communities, but we think it will also benefit anyone who is able to come sample our piece of the outdoor wonder California is known for. The door, after all, is always open.
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