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Alameda life: what’s cooking?

This week’s print column, “What’s cooking in the hot weather?” is up online. I wrote it on that hot-hot-hot day—last Wednesday. Perhaps it will take you back? You can also find all the Alameda Journal stories from the print edition of the paper here.

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Life on the Island

May 12, 2008: “When a man needs a cave
May 5, 2008: Enjoying that small-town feel
April 28, 2008: Support of tax teaches lesson
April 21, 2008: New garage can be a good habit
April 14, 2008: When the earth shakes, duck
April 7, 2008: Snails, ants, lice and light brown apple moths

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Sunday success! Alameda Kiwanis 58th annual pancake breakfast

nora aef kiwanis
I was up early Sunday—despite the late night visiting friends in San Francisco—to lend a hand at the 58th annual Alameda Kiwanis Club pancake breakfast. To the right, Alameda Education Foundation office manager Nora Toy-Desmond scoops up pancake batter in the kitchen of the Elks Lodge, where the event was held.

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This year, in response to state budget cuts to education, the Alameda Kiwanis are donating all proceeds from the breakfast to the Alameda Education Foundation. Like many other AEF board members, I was there to lend a hand—though I had light duty, taking pictures and distributing flyers.
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annede richard kimRichard Kim, a local realtor and the Kiwanis Club president, taught me the Kiwanis motto: Changing the world one child and one community at a time.

He said AEF’s mission dovetails with Kiwanis’, and his club is glad to help support public schools in Alameda. Kim is pictured left with AEF board president Anne DeBardeleben, also a realtor.
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Georgia Petrie Lynn Styne

Lynne Styne of A Season to Taste (front) and Kiwanis club member Georgia Petrie were flipping flap jacks. “We fired up grill at about five in the morning,” said Styne, who guessed they’d need to cook about 3,000 pancakes. They were not counting.
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Octavio Guzman of La PiƱata donated the food and supplies, Peet’s Coffee and Tea donated coffee and, local dentist Bruce Bothwell donated many flats of strawberries.

-dawna dowdell and kristy perkins

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By breakfast’s end, Alameda Kiwanis Club Secretary Kristy Perkins (in the foreground, pictured with Kiwanis president-elect Dawna Dowdell), told me they’d served 525 people and raised roughly $6,000 dollars.

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Alamedan appointed to head NAACP

Ben Jealous—a Rhodes scholar, newspaper editor and political activist—was appointed Saturday to head up the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, one of the oldest civil rights groups in the nation. From the AP article about him, it sounds like he’ll be leaving Alameda for Baltimore, where the NAACP is headquartered.

[Ed. note: Angela Woodall's Oakland Tribune article about Jealous is here.]

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Housekeeping: Alameda, Alameda, our Alameda

Morning, Alameda.

It has come to my attention that many of you don’t know that you can find Alameda Journal articles online here. They usually post live some time the day before the print paper comes out. So, if you’ve written a letter to the editor and want to know if it’s going to run or you want to browse the latest headlines, check there.

Today’s Journal includes a very nicely-reasoned, pro-Measure H (which, as many of you know, I support) “My Word” piece by Michael Schmitz: “Voting for Measure H can protect our assets.” As well as an editorial, “Local schools can’t wait for Sacramento,” which puts in very plain language the state of school financing.

Keep Alameda Schools Excellent, the group formed to support Measure H, also has some good info about the “May revise” of the state budget. Which, as best a I can discern (though no one seems to have a handle just yet on what exactly the budget will mean) shifts how the money is going to be cut, but still cuts a significant chuck from schools. Instead of suspending Prop. 98, it cuts the cost of living adjustments. Instead of cutting special education, it reduces monies for rising utility costs. “The revised budget is a shell game,” School Trustee Bill Schaff told the Journal yesterday, “leaving our schools the biggest loser…we still must anticipate a $4 million hit to Alameda schools.”

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Alameda Borders now open at South Shore/Towne Centre

Borders Store Media Tour


It was pretty much me, an Alameda Journal photographer, and Julia P. Tracey and another Sun reporter this morning at the ‘sneak peek’ tour of the new Borders. The store officially opened for business today at 1 pm.

I found the horde (four? five?) of PR folks very endearing, especially Tim Anderson (pictured above with puppets in the children’s section), who gave the tour.

It’s a nice store. It’s clean and bright and spacious. And, despite all their hyped-up focus on technological bells and whistles, it’s much like all the newer mega bookstores, with a cafe, easy-to-find book sections, appealingly-displayed wares and lots of cozy places to sit and relax.

And, yes, while I suspect our youth will make full use of the digital downloading, photo-album-making, book publishing stations, I’m most fond, I think, of the balcony on the east of the building, where you might just be able to sip a latte in peace. Main drawback I see? No free wireless (you gotta pay to play through T-Mobile). Though, Anderson says, some time in the future free wifi might just be ours.

You can find a list of the May 30 – June 1 grand opening weekend events (there’s about 20 of them, including visits from the likes of Strawberry Shortcake and former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, Jr.) online here.

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Man caves?! In Alameda?

I want to thank you all for your feedback and reflections on this week’s column—it seems that many of you, as do I, enjoy saying the phrase ‘man cave.’ And maybe even giggling about it. For those of you who missed it in print, the column is here.

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Life on the Island
May 5, 2008: Enjoying that small-town feel
April 28, 2008: Support of tax teaches lesson
April 21, 2008: New garage can be a good habit
April 14, 2008: When the earth shakes, duck
April 7, 2008: Snails, ants, lice and light brown apple moths

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Next Wednesday’s Alameda theatre grand opening SOLD OUT

I heard it first on the playground dropping the kids off at school—you learn so much on the school yard!—but I confirmed it just now with a call to Sue Russell in the city’s development services department: tickets are all gone to next week’s gala theatre opening. So, if you, like me, have been hemming and hawing about springing for the $100 tickets (that’s $200, plus babysitting), haw and hem no longer. The choice has already been made.

“It’s going to be an unbelievable night,” said Russell, who says there’ll be close to 700 guests at the black tie event. “It’s going to be a grand, grand thing. A lot of people have worked really hard on this.”

For the rest of us, there will be a free community opening on Saturday, May 24 from 10 am to 1 pm, with balloon animals, face painting, clowns, jugglers and more! And, as best as I can figure from the web site, there will also be screenings of movies.

I, for one, am pleased to welcome on-island movies to the new restored theatre.

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Saturday night bluegrass fundraiser for Alameda family

pixton familyAlameda’s Pixton family has battled cancer—with three of six family members facing diagnoses in the last four years. (Alan Lopez’s story about the family is here.)

The community has joined together to support them with a benefit concert this Saturday, May 17, at Michaan’s Auctions by the Bay on the old Alameda Navy base.

The doors open at 5 p.m. and the music starts at 6 p.m. The concert features the music of bluegrass bands Dark Hollow, The Backyard Party Boys, The Kentucky Twisters and The Bay Island Ramblers. You can get tickets at the door ($15 for adults, $10 for youths, and children under five are free) or through Brown Paper Tickets. It should be a good time—here’s a map.