Alamedans Help Open Boating Season


Alameda boaters and lots of other Bay Area sailing enthusiasts are expected to head out on the water tomorrow, Sunday, May 1, for Opening Day 2011 on San Francisco Bay.

The 94th-annual festivities run from 12 to 3 p.m. and are sponsored by the Pacific Inter-Club Yacht Association.

Special activities include a decorated boat parade. This year’s theme is Giants of the Bay, celebrating the many people and things that have made San Francisco so unique.

The parade is expected to feature over 120 historic workboats, fireboats, towboats, wood boats, as well as other classic and contemporary craft decorated to the theme. Both power and sail boats are competing for best-decoration honors.

There are six trophies up for grabs, and prize bags for the participants.

Viewing of the parade is best along the San Francisco waterfront from Crissy Field, west of the Marina Green, to Pier 39. There will also be a special Hornblower cruise leaving from Alameda (near Marina Village and Pasta Pelican) for the event.


Alameda Newsstand to Be Rededicated


Several groups of Alamedans and their supporters will be rededicating Paul’s Newsstand, at the northwest corner of Park Street and Santa Clara Avenue, at 4 p.m. today, Saturday, April 30.

The Alameda Museum, Alameda Architectural Preservation Society and several other organizations invite the community to join them for music and a plaque unveiling, which will be followed by light refreshments at the Alameda Museum, 2324 Alameda Ave.

The events are free.

Additional sponsors of these activities include newsstand families, the San Francisco Chronicle and the City of Alameda.

Donations can be made to the museum to help cover the cost of restoration and maintenance to the newsstand.


Alameda Schools Benefit Set for Friday

The Alameda Education Foundation’s 28th annual Salute to Education takes place this evening from 6 to 9 p.m. at Rock Wall Wine Company, 2301 Monarch St.

The event aims to celebrate innovation in Alameda’s public schools and recognize teachers, staff, volunteers and local businesses that make a positive impact on students.

Tickets are $40 and can be bought at the door or at alamedaeducation.org.

According to AEF President Bill Sonneman, the event is “a chance for the entire community to come together and get to know each other a little better, learn about innovative programs in our schools, and honor the people who work so hard for our students.”

“We’ll be celebrating at Rock Wall Wine Company on Alameda Point, and the evening will include gourmet hors d’oeuvres, local wines, and the beautiful backdrop of the San Francisco skyline,” Sonneman said.

Music will be provided by the award-winning Alameda High School jazz band.

Some of the innovative school programs to be showcased this year include a Creative Arts Institute program that helps students integrate visual and performing arts into Language Arts curriculum; “Fire Fighters in our Classroom;” a tutoring program developed by high school students that provides academic support for peers and younger students; and “The Wall Breakers,” a middle school classroom project attempting to change the perspectives of young people in order to end bullying.

(Photo courtesy of AEF and Lifetouch.)


Alamedans Prepare for Cancer Relay for Life


At 10 a.m. this Sunday, May 1, Alamedans will be “painting the town purple” to draw attention to the fight against cancer and the upcoming American Cancer Society Relay for Life, which will take place on June 25 and 26 at Encinal High School.

This weekend, organizers of the Relay for Life will be canvasing Alameda — decorating businesses, schools and homes — with purple balloons, posters and other decorations.

Alamedans are asked to wear purple-colored shirts or Relay for Life apparel and meet at 10 a.m. at City Hall. The group will move from City Hall down to Park Street this Sunday morning.

For more information about the Alameda Show Us Your HOPE, Relay for Life event, contact Jen Ulloa at passionate.4.a.cure@gmail.com or (510) 390-4200.


Alameda Police Train Near Marina Village


On Tuesday, April 12, about a dozen members of the Alameda Police Department’s patrol units participated in a special training exercise on and around the Wind River campus.

According to Lt. Bill Scott, members of the APD engage in such training exercises each month. The most recent training, he said, focused on building searches.

In March, members of APD conducted a training exercise focused on safe schools. “We would hate to have anything like this happen in Alameda. But we do have to keep ahead of the curve,” Lt. Scott said.

The training exercises in the Marina Village area, he explained, were conducted — like other training work — without loaded weapons. Still, Lt. Scott added, it’s best for residents to keep a distance when such activities take place.

“We are lucky that Wind River allowed us to train in their facilities and took advantage of this arrangement,” he explained.


Alameda Library Hosts Social Networking, Other Events This Week


The Alameda Free Library has a variety of activities scheduled for this week, April 18-22.

Today and through the end of April, the 10th annual Wood Middle School “Museum of History” exhibit is open to the public on the second floor of the library.

The show features student-made replicas of the world’s monuments and other historical artifacts. Recycled or recyclable materials have been skillfully put together by students to make the models.

There’s also a savenger-hunt worksheet for students to complete, if desired.

On Tuesday, April 19 (and also on April 26), the library is hosting a class on using Facebook from 6 to 8 p.m. Those who wish to register should call 747-7777 or send email to afltrains@ci.alameda.ca.us.

And from 6:30 to 8 p.m. this Wednesday, April 20, the library and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art present a talk on “Frida and Diego: Mexican Originals.” The program will focus on Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, including their time and contributions to San Francisco.


Sailboat Show Comes to Alameda-Oakland Estuary


Strictly Sail Pacific, West Coast’s all-sailboat exhibit, is going on at Jack London Square through Sunday.

Lots of boats, yacht brokers and sailing enthusiasts from Alameda are crossing the estuary for the event, which is held annually in Oakland.

This year, the America’s Cup trophy made a guest appearance, along with several organizers and representatives of various committees and groups working on the America’s Cup.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, there will seminars on nautical topics like navigation, meteorology, racing and cruising. There are also trips on the water for kids and adults, along with other hands-on demonstrations.

Parking can be tough during the event. So consider taking the bus, or getting there by bike, kayak or other means.


Community Mourns Death of Otaez’ Owner; Police Seek Information


Alamedans, residents of Oakland’s Fruitvale district and other East Bay community members (some shown above during a rally) continue to mourn the loss of Jesus Chuy Campos, who died on Friday, April 8.

Campos led the Otaez restaurants on Webster Street in Alameda, in the nearby Fruitvale neighborhood and at the Oakland International Airport.

According to Oakland police, Campus, who walked to work every day at 5 a.m., was killed by two men in what is being described as a botched robbery near his Fruitvale restaurant.

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan says that merchants in the area have come together and recently announced a $30,000 award for information leading to the arrest of anyone associated with Campus’ killing. The merchants themselves are putting up $20,000 in reward money.

Police in Oakland and Crime Stoppers of Oakland are also offering up to $10,000.

Anyone with information may call police at 510-238-3821 or Crime Stoppers at 777-8572 or 777-3211, Quan office says.


Alameda Group to Host Forum on Middle East Political Developments

The Alameda Public Affairs Forum will host a presentation on the current wave of political upheaval in the Middle East from 7 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, April 9, at the Alameda Free Library.

The discussion is entitled, “Upheaval in the Middle East: End of the Washington Consensus and the Fight for Democratic Self-Governance,” and the speakers are Joel Beinin, a professor of history at Stanford University, and Carl Finamore, a staff member and writer for Trade Winds and past president of the Air Transport Employees Local 1781.

The forum will focus on questions, such as:
-What does the upheaval in the Middle East mean for American foreign policy?
– Will democracy emerge in the Middle East?
– What about workers’ rights, and will unions be independently organized?

Finamore has just returned from Egypt and a YouTube video outlines his thoughts on the recent revolution there. Professor Beinin is a well-known expert on Middle Eastern affairs and an author of several E-books on the region.

A reception is planned from 6 to 7 p.m., so guests are asked to bring food or drink to share.

To enter the library and find parking, go to the rear of the Alameda Free Library, at Oak Street and Lincoln Avenue.


Fruitvale Bridge Site of Alamedan’s Suicide

An Alameda man decided to end his life on the Miller-Sweeney Bridge early Thursday morning by hanging himself from a section of the span railing, according to country transit courses.

A bridge tender (or mechanic) found the 50-year-old man’s body right before 7 a.m. on April 7.

Authorities say the individual had tied a rope to the railing in the middle of the bridge and then placed the other end of rope, tied in a noose, around his neck before jumping off the structure.

Traffic was backed up yesterday from about 7 a.m. to 8:15 a.m., peak commuting time.

On Tuesday, traffic on Alameda’s three bridges was delayed due to a brief power outage between 7:30 and 7:45 a.m.

In other estuary news, there is talk — but no official word yet — on the houseboat fire that took place in Fortman Marina on March 30. Some observers have speculated that it was caused by the spontaneous combustion of some paint, rags or other materials being used for an improvement project on the vessel.