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Napa Considered

Preservation forums seek to goose some intellectual life into the valley

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02.17.10


Any time something happens in Napa beyond merely putting stuff in your mouth, we at the Bohemian get all happy and girlish. And indeed, the formerly vacant valley is increasingly showing signs of cultural life, making us preternaturally happy and girlish—well, at least some of the time.

And so it is with the four-part Preservation Napa Valley forums that begin on Thursday, Feb. 18, and stretch through next November. Inviting community members to gather to discuss the past and future of the Napa Valley, Preservation Napa begins with a night devoted to monocropping, that tourist-positive earth-anomaly that begins and ends with hundreds of acres of self-pollinating vineyards and doesn't leave much room for actual food production, let alone bees, owls, birds and other former valley denizens. Drawing together vintners, ranchers, a state parks representative and Napa County Agriculture Commissioner Dave Whitmer, this initial meeting is scheduled for the comfy confines of the Silverado Brewing Co. (which, no fear, will provide stuff to put in your mouth).

The May 6 forum looks at the city of Napa as it transforms from a sleepy blue-collar village to a world-class dining destination with the revamping of the riverfront area. July 15 wonders whither Pope Valley, seeing it as "blank canvas" for smart development, and the final Nov. 4 forum looks at the county's agricultural heritage through the prism of its current transformation. Heady stuff, all, and entirely worthy of putting into one's happy and sometimes girlish brain.

Preservation Napa kicks off on Thursday, Feb. 18, at the Silverado Brewing Co., 3020 St. Helena Hwy., St. Helena. 6pm. Free. 707.258.9286 or www.preservationnapavalley.org.






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