Alameda Preservation Group Presents Awards Tonight

The Alameda Architecture Preservation Society hosts its annual awards ceremony from 6:30-9 p.m. tonight, May 19, at Auctions by the Bay, 2700 Saratoga St.

This is a gala event, the group says, and members work to make it nice, fun and educational for the community. The event is free. For more details, call 510-479-6489 or go online.

“In general, we started doing the awards 14 years ago to thank those who take the time and resources to do projects and to do them right — and to encourage others to do the same,” said Nancy Hird, president of AAPS. “This really shows what can happen. You can take an ugly duckling and make a swan out of it.”

The emcee for the popular event is Felicity Hesed, who has been a host of Bay Area shows, such as “Clown Cabaret,” “The Pickle Family Circus” and “Cabaret Lunatique” with Teatro ZinZanni. Providing music before and during the awards is the popular Franz-Nichols band.

The awards ceremony will include several honorable mentions and a slide show that focuses on the award winners. This year’s winners include structures on Clinton Avenue, Lincoln Avenue, Webster Street and Santa Clara Avenue, as well as local organizations that have played a critical role in the preservation of important city buildings.


Alamedan Honored by Peralta District PTA

The Alameda PTA Council participated in the Peralta District PTA’s Founders Day Ceremony on Monday, May 16, and during the event, Sarah Olaes — an active supporter of Otis Elementary School — received the Founders Day & Perlata District PTA Very Special Person Award.

According to Christene Strena, president of the Alameda PTA Council, when Olaes’ oldest son was in kindergarten, she managed the Alameda Education Foundation’s after-school enrichment program. Olaes then expanded the program into “a broad, wide-ranging selection that lives up to its purpose and that it to enrich the children who take the classes,” Strena said.

The AEF recently hired Olaes to coordinates enrichment programs across the Island.

The group says that Olaes is best known for her role as campaign volunteer coordinator for both Measure E and Measure A, two parcel tax campaigns that aimed to expand local funding to support Alameda’s public school.

“Her efforts as volunteer coordinator mobilized several hundred volunteers through two campaigns. Volunteers for every PTA in Alameda worked with Sarah to secure funding for our schools. While Measure E failed last year, I am happy to share that Sarah immediately rejoined the next campaign effort and Measure A passed, bringing approximately $12 million in to Alameda Schools each year for the next seven years,” Strena explained.

“Without the incredible dedication of Sarah, and the entire Measure A Campaign staff, our community would not be able to pause during this ongoing state of fiscal emergency for California’s education budget. Alameda is certainly facing ongoing budget cuts along with the rest of California’s schools, but because of the Herculean efforts of Sarah, And the entire Measure A Campaign committee, the choices we would be facing in Alameda would be a lot more difficult,” the head of the PTA group shared.

AEF recently celebrated its annual Salute to Education event and a video of the festivities is posted on the group’s website.


Alamedans Mourn Death of Teen

According to the Alameda Journal/Bay Area News Group, the 13-year-old boy who died yesterday after a collision between his bike and an SUV was Lincoln Middle School student Brandon Sorensen.

The accident that took his life took place at Santa Clara Avenue and Everett Street.

“He was just a wonderful kid,” said Babs Freitas, assistant principal at the school, told the Alameda Journal. “He had a light that would light up a room.”

It was not immediately available whether Sorensen was wearing a helmet, and Alameda police are asking anyone who witnessed the accident or has other information to call 510-337-8424.

A guestbook for Sorenson can be viewed and signed online.


Alameda Teen Bike Rider Dies After Collision


A teenager died after being struck by a car near the intersection of Santa Clara Avenue and Everett Street this afternoon, Monday, May 16.

A police officer at the scene said that it was not clear — during the rainy afternoon — what had caused the accident.

The boy, however, was supposedly not wearing a helmet.

“It is horrible. We hope that bike riders always wear their helmets and look both ways before crossing an intersection,” said the member of the Alameda Police Department, who wished to go unnamed.

Members of the community discussed the incident in the early evening at the nearby Kamakura Restaurant — many expressing disbelief as they read the story on the Alameda Patch website through their mobile phones about the loss of the 13-year-old.

The area around the intersection was closed to traffic for roughly two hours, neighbors said, but reopened before 7 p.m.


Alameda Group Presents Two-Part Budget Forum with ‘The Kevins’

Alameda Citizens’ Task Force presents a forum, De-Mystifying the Budget: An Explanation of the Alameda City Budget – Where We Are Now and What We Need to Do to Gain and Protect Financial Sustainability.

The first session of the two-part forum will take place from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, at the Alameda Hospital Community Meeting Room. The second session will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24, at the Alameda Main Library, 1550 Oak St.

City Treasurer Kevin Kennedy and City Auditor Kevin Kearney will attend to discuss the budget and recommendations for the improving the city’s financial sustainability. Refreshments will be served.


Alameda Point Collaborative Stages Special Garden Party

Alameda Point Collaborative is hosting its first Not Your Mother’s Garden Party from 6 to 8:30 p.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, at Ploughshares Nursery, 2701 Main St.

“The event supports Alameda Point Collaborative and will help us fulfill APC’s mission of overcoming homelessness through housing, support services, children and youth programs and subsidiary projects, like Ploughshares,” which is a community garden, said Theresa Howe, director of fund development and community relations. Many Alameda-based donors have stepped up to share food and drink for the fund-raiser.

Tickets for the event are $75 and can be bought via Brown Paper Tickets online or by calling 510-898-7802. Guests can also buy tickets at the garden on Tuesday evening. “We are hoping for 100 guests, and many people have told us they are coming,” said Biggs.

“Our friends at St. George Spirits are creating three signature cocktails especially for this event, using plants from our nursery and its spirits,” Howe explained. These drinks can be paired with snacks and other treats from Angkor Grill, Barceluna, Dragon Rouge, Feel Good Bakery, Fruits and Chocolate, Julie’s Coffee and Tea Garden, Semifreddi’s, Speisekammer Restaurant, Tucker’s Ice Cream and West Café.

In addition to the food and drink, the event will focus on showcasing resources available at Alameda Point Collaborative and Alameda Point in general, says Doug Biggs, executive director of APC. “It’s really a great partnership between Ploughshares and St. George Spirits,” he added.

All My Pretty Ones, an East Bay rock and folk band, will entertain the crowd, according to Biggs. “We encourage guests to dress casual and warm, as the event will take place outdoors in the garden,” he said.


St. Joe’s Presents Annual Alameda Garden Tour

St Joseph Home 1

After hosting its first garden cocktail party on Friday evening, St. Joseph’s is presenting its annual garden tour and fund-raiser today starting at 11 a.m. The event continues until 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 15.

Tickets are still available for the tour ($25). Just visit the church at 1011 Chestnut St. The garden tour is being catered by Blue Dot Catering, and box lunches are available for $10. The church boutique, which sells handcrafted items, will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“All the gardens are beautiful,” said the club’s publicity chair Kitty Long. “They are unique, relaxing and enjoyable to visit, as well as interesting.”

The club has been hosting the garden tour for the 17 years to benefit Catholic education (via scholarships) at St. Joseph Notre Dame High School and St. Joseph Elementary School. Special parish projects also are supported by the tour, along with community causes like Ploughshares Nursery on Alameda Point.

“Each year we donate to a variety of groups,” said Long. “Some organizations that have benefited from the garden tour over the years are Meals on Wheels, along with Family Aid to Catholic Education, which helps with tuition and books, and other outreach efforts.”

Those participating in the six-garden tour will see lots of fresh succulents, plants that are able to survive drought by storing water in their leaves, stems and roots, at two homes. They will also be treated to some whimsical gardens, featuring charming and comical decorations and miniature ornaments.

The six homes that can be visited as part of the self-guided tour include residences on the Gold Coast, East End and other nearby areas of town. Some gardens have wisteria, Iceberg Roses, Japanese maples, orange trees, cherry trees, sage palms, lavender and other interesting plants and shrubs. Visitors will also see plants from around the world, including some from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.


Clement Avenue Hosts BBQ, Art Fest


Merchants near the intersection of Clement Avenue and Broadway are celebrating the vibrancy of the neighborhood today and tomorrow.

From about 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Urban Island Furnishings at 1901 Broadway (at Clement) will host the activities — both Saturday, May 14, and Sunday, May 15.

Zee Zeleski and Steve Ferguson, shown in the photo above, helped set up gardens at the shop and organized work on a growing number of colorful mosaics in the area over the past year or so. They took their cues from Chuck DiGuida, who runs the nearby Bridgehead Studios on Blanding Avenue.

“I’d like to get this area, on the south side of Park Street, full of mosaics,” said DiGuida, in an interview in April.

“We’ve had a great response from the neighborhood,” said Steve Ferguson, who is head of the consignment shop. “The neighbors say the area is really looking attractive.”

Students and instructors from the Institute of Mosaic Art in the Jingletown district of Oakland (just across the Park Street Bridge) are responsible for the colorful mosaics going up in the area. “I started reaching out to certain individuals about this a few years ago,” said DiGuida. “I told them it’s a great space and would be great exposure for them.”

“I’m so happy with the murals’ colors,” Ferguson said last month. “We’re getting more people and more awareness of the artistic bent of this section of Alameda.”

“Like the gardens we’ve planted, I’d say the area itself has only just begun,” said Zeleski. “It’s a lot of fun to be here and work on building its creative atmosphere.”

DiGuida, who hopes to get more murals in place around the neighborhood, concurs. “It’s great to give the area some color and art, which let people know that this is a creative section of town full of artists, studios and businesses,” he said.


Alameda Yacht Group Gets Top Honors


On May 1, the Pacific Inter-Club Yacht Association gave the honor of the Best Decorated Sailboat to Jabberwock, owned by David Hand, rear commodore of Alameda’s Island Yacht Club — for “Humphrey Returns.”

“Our club works really hard every year on our parade boat, and this year was no exception!” said IYC Commodore Dave Block. “We’re pleased and proud to have won first place in our division this year.”

The crew that designed and worked on the boat included project manager Thom Mantooth, designer/builder Glen Krawiec, Nancy Hird, Speranza Avram and Commodore Bloch.

“A huge thanks go out to all who worked on building (and dismantling) Humphrey,” said members of the Island Yacht Club. “Besides the folks above, major kudos and thanks to Sandra Paz, our artist-in-residence who painted the whale on the large carpet remnants provided by Glen. David Shea was on hand much of Saturday helping to hoist the pieces of Humphrey aboard the boat, John New unexpectedly returned from the Vallejo trip and put his back into the task as well.”

(The mounting of this huge “whale sail” was made much more difficult by the 15-plus knot winds blowing broadside across Jabberwock as Glen went up the ladder and IYC members hoisted and held the pieces, and the ladder, in place.)

In 1985, Humphrey, a humpback whale traveled up the Sacramento River and swam into a slough in Rio Vista. He went back to sea after 25 days.

In the fall of 1990, Humphrey turned up again inside the Bay near the Bayshore Freeway. He beached himself on mud flats near Double Rock, near the Candlestick parking lot — where he remained stuck for 25 hours. Volunteers and members of the Coast Guard boat were able to set him free.


Alameda College to Host Fashion Show


The College of Alameda is home to a very special program that allows students to study clothing design and merchandising. According to program director O.J. Roundtree this affordable program — known as the Apparel Design and Merchandising Program (or ADAM) — is unique in the Bay Area.

This year, graduating students and others will be presenting their latest designs and creations at a fashion show set for 1 to 3 p.m. this Saturday, May 14. The event is free and will take place in Building F, 555 Atlantic Ave.

The fashion school hosted off-campus shows for years, but let the tradition go due to budgetary and other issues in 2006. This year marks the College of Alameda’s 40th anniversary, so Roundtree and other decided to bring the event.

The fashion show will feature completed designs by 15 graduating students, designs in progress by other students, and light refreshments, according to Roundtree.