Alameda Poets Focus on Mental-Health Issues During Event at Frank Bette

Writers that contributed to the anthology “The Human Face of Love” are hosting an event at the Frank Bette Center for the Arts to promote public awareness of mental-health issues.

The writers will introduce their book at the event, which is scheduled to take place at the arts center (1601 Paru Street at Lincoln Avenue) from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, February 27.

Most of the 14 writers in this anthology came together through readings of the Alameda Island Poets Chapter of the California Federation of Chaparral Poets, Inc., which took place at the Alameda Multicultural Community Center.

Other books by some of the poets will also be available at the event on Sunday, including works by Eileen Malone, Taloned Claws, Amy Estrada, Mary Rudge, Claire Baker and Elizabeth Norris.


Alameda Library Shares ‘Magic Flute’


The Alameda Main Library will host a lively event starting at 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 26, with the theme “Pamina, Tamino and the Magic Flute.”

Children in grades 2 through 5 and their parents are encouraged to attend.

The program will include an interactive telling of the Mozart opera and is being jointly sponsored by Alameda Live@ the Library, the San Francisco Opera Guild and Wells Fargo.

Space is limited.


Alameda’s School of Enterprise Hosts Open House

The Bay Area School of Enterprise, located at 1900 Third Street, is hosting an information night and open house from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. tonight, Thursday, February 24.

BASE is managed by Alternatives in Action of Alameda and offers students tuition-free training and leadership development.

The Alameda high school recently had its charter renewed by the school district.

The campus in the city’s West End is the first student-launched charter high school in the nation, and about 115 students are now enrolled at BASE, which combines college-prepatory classes with community projects.

Its program aims to motivate young people who many not thrive in a traditional classroom setting.

For more information about the school, or to set up a student interview, call 510-748-4314, extension 301.


Boat Fest Comes to Alameda’s Marina Village

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The Northern California Boat Fest is taking place this Thursday through Sunday at Marina Village.

On Thursday and Friday, Feb. 24 -25, Boat Fest events will take place from 12 to 5 p.m., while on Saturday and Sunday, activites are scheduled from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A variety of sailing vessels and power boats will be on display. There will also be food, entertainment and talks on boating.

At 3 p.m. on Saturday, for instance, Rob Grant of Latitude 38 magazine will discuss the America’s Cup and how it will impact the sailing community of San Francisco Bay.

Also, many sailing schools and yacht groups will have exhibits and representatives on hand to talk about their programs.

The event is free and includes a variety of vendors.


Alameda Library Shares Balinese Culture


Tonight, Alameda Free Library is presenting several highlights from the show “Bali: Art, Ritual, Performance,” which is opening at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco on Saturday, February 25.

From 6:30-8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 23, Balinese visual and performing artists will introduce Alamedans to the history, religion, daily rituals and other aspects of life on this Indonesian island.

The venue is the Alameda Main Library Branch at 1550 Oak Street. Visitors should go to the back of the library, where the Regina Stafford Room is located.


Lunar New Year Comes to Alameda


The Alameda Free Library, 1550 Oak Street, is celebrating the Lunar New Year from 2 to 3:30 p.m. today, Saturday, February 19.

During the afternoon celebration, Pauline Tsui — a Chinese brush artist and docent of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco — will demonstrate calligraphy and brush painting.

There also be hands-on calligraphy activities and presentations of Chinese New Year’s customs.

Today’s event takes place in the back of the library in the Regina K. Stafford Community Room, where refreshments will be served.

A special event focusing on the arts of Bali, Indonesia, is also planned at the library on Wednesday, February 23.



Alameda Politics in Media Focus

The East Bay Express has a feature on the Island’s political scene this week, “An Alameda Power Play?”

It sums up much of the mess that’s occurred on the Island over the past year or so, but doesn’t offer too much new, unfortunately. And it takes a very narrow look at Alameda’s wide array of issues.

What’s worth reading, though, is the comments section online.

Readers ask if the Express piece isn’t way too supportive of ex-City Manager Anne Marie Gallant.

They point out that while it can be argued that there is a Marie Gilmore-Lena Tam-Rob Bonta voting block, the same could also be true of the previous council trio of Beverly Johnson-Frank Materesse-Doug DeHaan.

One commentator writes that Bonta, an attorney, was probably smart to vote on putting Gallant on unpaid leave rather than firing her, since she may be needed as a witness in the city’s legal dispute with SunCal.

Finally, while some island residents may be concerned about the way three council members are voting/behaving (which the story implies), there may be even more Alamedas who are very troubled by the overall lack of focus on filling important city positions and the city’s need for managerial, fiscal, civic and educational soundness.

It’s also worth pointing out that the story quotes former Vice Mayor A.J. “Lil” Arnerich, current councilmembers, one Alameda businessman and an Island journalist.

Too bad more Alamedans didn’t get to share their thoughts on the city government with the Express writer and with East Bay residents. Guess they can do so now online.


Alameda Borders Bookstore to Close

Alameda Town Centre, aka South Shore, is losing one of its biggest tenants, and Alamedans are losing a book-friendly place to hang out.

Borders announced Wednesday that it entered bankruptcy proceedings, which entail the closing of about 200 of its 642 stores nationwide by April 30, 2011. This will lead to about 6,000 of the company’s 19,500 employees losing their jobs, according to various news reports.

Borders will be closing a long list of stores in California, including 12 in the Bay Area.

For Alamedans, this could mean longer check-out lines at the Alameda Free Library, though it should bring more foot traffic and hopefully rising sales to local book stores, like Books Inc. And for those looking for parking space near Borders at Alameda Town Centre, this situation could get a bit easier until a new tenant is found.

But for the new owners of Alameda Town Centre, of course, the Borders’ closure means a big drop in rent. (Jamestown Properties of Atlanta recently bought the shopping center for $181 million from Harsch Investment Properties.)

While some Alamedans have commented online that they will miss the Island’s Borders, many Bay Area residents say that they buy much of their reading material online today — and that they hope “mom and pop” shops will benefit from this development.

The closest store to Alameda that will be open after April 30 is in Emeryville.


Alameda Group Hosts Spring-Gardening ‘How To’ Event

Alameda Backyard Growers is meeting tonight to share details on how local residents can start work on their spring vegetable garden.

The event will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, February 10, at High Street Station, 1303 High Street, on the corner of Encinal Avenue.

The presenters include Nancy Sylvestri-Elzig, a “master gardener” and Alameda Backyard Growers member, who has generously offered to donate seeds from her employer, Renee’s Garden, to those who pledge to “grow a row” for the Alameda Food Bank.

For those who cannot attend tonight’s gathering but would like to participate, send e-mail to amedabackyardgrowers@gmail.com.

ABG meetings are held monthly on the second Thursday of the month and are open to the entire community.


Alameda Photographer Showcases Music, Photos from Bali Trip


Local photographer Gene Kosoy is hosting a special event at his Alameda studio this evening.

Kosoy spent the month of January on tour with the band Alma Desnuda,visiting parts of Bali, Indonesia, and Western Australia.

From 6:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, February 9, Kosoy will transform his Alameda studio into a story-telling experience through photos, video and live music, featuring the group Alma Desnuda.

Refreshments and Balinese food will be provided at the event, which takes place at 2516 Blanding Avenue.