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Craig Smith

Craig Smith is the executive director of the Downtown Napa Association.

Mark your calendars now for the City Council candidates debate, Tuesday, Sept. 11, from 6 to 8 p.m.

It will be the chance to hear candidates discuss and debate the future of the city from their perspectives. Hosted by Barry Martin, the event will take place at Silo’s. As many questions from the audience as possible will be posed to the candidates. Beer, wine, and other beverages will be available. This is Napa, after all.

Something new…

Napa Bookmine, at 964 Pearl St., is hosting author Peter Eichstaedt on Tuesday, July 17 at 7 p.m.

Eichstaedt will be reading from and discussing his new novel “Napa Noir,” a Napa-based mystery. The new twist for the event is that he will be in conversation with another author of a Napa-based mystery – yours truly, author of “Lies That Bind – How Do You Arrest Somebody Who Doesn’t Exist?”

Eichstaedt and I will discuss the real-life stories we’ve fictionalized, as well as the writing process. And if you think there is a particular way authors approach a book, we’ll dispel that myth.

It will be a fun evening. Both books are good summer reads, if I do say so myself. And I guess I just did…

Buckles, Boots & Barbeque…

Cowboys on the River is an event designed to support continued funding for law enforcement, fire and EMS chaplaincy of Napa County and Senior Chaplain Lee Shaw, and it will be fun.

On the River Inn terrace behind Silo’s, it features live music by Rhythm Method 4. Look for mounds of pulled pork, BBQ chicken, BBQ beans, salad and sweet tea.

Put on your western garb and mosey on over. This is a country hoedown. Tickets are $30 per person. Visit, email, or call 241-3173 to secure your place.

Make tonight a foreign film night…

“Let the Sunshine In” is a foreign film and 2017 Winner at Cannes. Juliette Binoche delivers “a luminous performance in the deliciously witty, sensuously romantic new film” from acclaimed director Claire Denis (White Material).

Isabelle (Binoche) is a divorced Parisian painter searching for another shot at love, but refusing to settle for the parade of all-too-flawed men who drift in and out of her life.

There’s a caddish banker (Xavier Beauvois) who, like many of her lovers, happens to be married; a handsome actor (Nicolas Duvauchelle) who’s working through his own hang-ups; and a sensitive fellow artist (Alex Descas) who’s skittish about commitment.

What reads like a standard romantic comedy premise is transformed, in the hands of master filmmaker Denis, into something altogether deeper, more poignant, and perceptive about the profound mysteries of love.

This afternoon at 4 p.m. and tonight at 7 p.m. at Jarvis Conservatory. Visit for ticket information. French dialogue with English subtitles.

See you downtown!

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Craig Smith is the executive director of the Downtown Napa Association and also the author of “Lies That Bind – How Do You Arrest Somebody Who Doesn’t Exist?” Reach him at 257-0322 or