Alameda’s Fireside Lounge Celebrates July 4th Weekend

The West Alameda Business Association says that the Fireside Lounge is hosting a number of grand-opening events this weekend.

The Fireside Lounge, located at 1453 Webster Street (at Santa Clara Avenue), first opened in 1942. It supporters say it was once known for its Johnny Rocket cocktail, garlic noodles and the many servicemen and women who frequented the West Alameda establishment.

Today, the remodeled Fireside is owned and operated by “The Three Sirens:” Sandra Russell, Bitsy Eddy and Keely Rogers-Free.

The lounge features craft beers on tap, including some from the Linden Street Brewery, Ale Industries, Drake’s, Black Diamond and Cherry Voodoo.

This Friday and Saturday, July 1 and 2, the bar’s new owners will celebrate a grand opening from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. In addition to the beers on tap, visitors can enjoy specialty cocktails — including some featuring Alameda’s St. George Distilleries/ Hangar One spirits.

The bar will host a DJ this Friday and Saturday evenings, as well as a taco bar from 5 to 7 p.m. this Friday.
On the day of the annual Alameda Mayor’s Fourth of July Parade, the Fireside Lounge will open at noon, with a taco bar open from 12 to 2 p.m., and live music from 1:30 to 5 p.m.


Community Leader Shares Support for Gay Marriage

Susan Timney, tapped as the Exalted Ruler of the Alameda Elks Lodge #1015 earlier this year, has been openly gay for some time. Timney was recently featured in an online Bay Area News Group piece, just days before the recent annual Gay Pride celebrations in San Francisco,

She married Lynda Kretlow in August 2008 in San Francsico and says “Of course I would love to see Californians be in favor of gay marriage” — like their New York counterparts. (New York affirmed the rights of gays to marry on June 26.)

“I really believe that any two human beings, of legal age,who mutually agree on their love in our country should not be constricted from matrimony because they are the same sex,” Timney explained. “I am very happy for the people in New York.”

“I hope the ceremonies and traditions like the one [Lynda and I] experienced can happen for everyone,” she concluded.

The now active member of the Alameda community — who grew up on the Island — returned to live on the Island (from San Francisco) in 2005, two years after joining the local Elks group.


Alameda Library Shares Art Talk, Exhibits

From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. tonight (Wednesday, June 22), the Alameda Free Library will present a talk on artist Pablo Picasso. The discussion will be led by Marsha Holm, a docent at the de Young Museum of San Francisco.

The program coincides with the San Francisco museum’s exhibit that includes more than 100 works by the master and that were loaned to the institution by the Musee National Picasso in Paris. The exhibit opened June 11 and runs through October 9.

Today’s talk is sponsored by the Friends of the Alameda Free Library.

Currently, the main library has two exhibits on display. One is a series of paintings by local artist Jan Toepfer, a long-time Alameda resident who started painting seriously in 1994.

The Oakland Art Association is also showing works from its juried exhibit in town through June 25.


Encinal’s Summer Sailstice a Big Hit; ‘Washington’ Beats ‘Cleopatra’ in Boat Contest


Encinal Yacht Club hosted its first Summer Sailstice weekend — with most events taking place yesterday, June 18.

Judging from the large crowd — more than 1,000 visitors came to the event — it was quite a success. Organizers were pleased with both the turnout and the enthusiasm of those attending.

Two teams competed for the best-built wooden boat, which entailed day-long building activities and a short boat race in the late afternoon: Berkeley Marine Center vs. The Leaky Tiki-West Marine.

The two teams were close after they passed the one and only race-course mark out in the Alameda-Oakland Estuary.


However, after rounding the mark, the Berkeley group rowed briskly to build up a sizable lead over the West Marine team’s catamaran. And the rowboat team soon won the race.

A 12-year-old sailor watching the race referred to as a case of “Washington defeating Cleopatra;” the rowboat proudly flew the Stars and Stripes, and the catamaran resembled the Egyptian craft used by its ancient female ruler to meet Marc Antony in Turkey.



Alameda Policeman in Critical Condition

There was talk in town Friday about an Alameda policeman being involved in an off-duty accident.

Turns out, Glen Anderson, a motorcycle training officer for the Alameda Police Department, was critically injured in an accident early on June 17.

A nurse reportedly found Anderson, 40, on Ygnacio Valley Road — two miles from his house in Concord.

He was taken to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, where he was in critical but stable condition as of Saturday afternoon.

Alameda Councilwoman Lena Tam told the Bay Area News Group that Anderson suffered severe head injuries, but had few other details. “We are keeping him in our prayers,” she said.

Certainly, plenty of Alamedans and others will do the same for the father of two this Father’s Day — and until he recovers.


Alameda Father’s Day Events at USS Hornet, Other Venues


On Sunday, June 19, the USS Hornet will celebrate Fathers’ Day Living Ship “Stories of Glory,” which will include more than 35 surviving World War II veterans from all branches of the United States Armed Forces.

The special event is set to go from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., though the USS Hornet is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (A half-price coupon is available online.)

Keynote speakers include Sgt. Francis “Jeep” Sanza of Napa, personal jeep driver to General Patton in Europe, and Lt. Cmdr. Ted Robinson of Sacramento, one of President John F. Kennedy’s rescuers after his PT-109 boat was sunk in 1943. Robinson is also the noted author of “Water in my Veins: The Pauper Who Helped Save a President.”

According to the USS Hornet foundation, other veterans will also be available for a special “meet and greet” throughout the day including four Tuskegee Airmen, a survivor of the USS Indianapolis sinking, and the first Ace from the famed Flying Tigers squadron.

On Living Ship days — usually scheduled for the third Saturday of each month — visitors can experience an aircraft carrier in action by witnessing simulated flight operations as aircraft are lifted to the flight deck and placed into launch position, participating in mission briefings, meeting former crew members, and sitting in the cockpit of a fighter jet.

Another Father’s Day event is happening across town.

Alameda Public Affairs Forum will host a get-together from 1 to 5 p.m. on June 19. Alameda residents and friends are asked to bring an entree, salad, beverage, snack, dessert or items to grill.

There will be an open area for children to play in during the event, which is set to take place at 2242 San Antonio Ave. Call 510-814-9592 for more details.


Encinal Yacht Club’s Summer Sailstice is a weekend affair. It includes brunch on Father’s Day at the Oakland Yacht Club (just down the street from Encinal).

Today, Saturday, June 18, there is live music at both yacht clubs until 10 p.m., along with information booths, demonstrations, a kids’ zone and food earlier in the day.


Tam to Get Reimbursed; Animal Shelter May Be Saved, Managed by Alameda Group

After the Island’s weekly papers came out Friday, two news stories surfaced late June 17 on matters that have generated much interest and controversy in town.

First, there’s news that City Councilwoman Lena Tam is to be fully compensated for the $44,000 she spent defending herself against charges that she leaked confidential information to former Alameda Point developer SunCal, the local firefighters union and local bloggers and a reporter.

The City Council agreed to take this step on May 19. But the city said it would pay for Tam’s legal bills only yesterday in a news release, which came a week after Tam signed a release absolving the city of any further liability, the Bay Area News Group/Alameda Journal reported.

In another matter, the Alameda Animal Shelter may be saved, at least temporarily, after an eleventh-hour deal between the city and two animal advocate groups was reached yesterday, according to a separate Bay Area New Group/Alameda Journal report.

The city, Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter and the Humane Society of Alameda reportedly signed a contract yesterday afternoon that could lead to the development of a non-profit organization run by Friends and the Humane Society to operate the shelter and keep its services in Alameda.

The City Council is expected to discuss shelter-related options on Tuesday, June 21. The shelter has five full-time staffers and also pays for the partial salaries of two police department supervisors, according to yesterday’s news report.


Special Dinners Continue at Alameda Yacht Clubs

The team at High Street Station is preparing unique dinners to benefit community causes and encourage Island residents to get out and about this summer.

On Tuesdays, Susan, Annie, Jason, Doug and Katy are making meals to be served at the Aeolian Yacht Club, 980 Fernside. Part of the proceeds from the events in June will go to Children’s Hospital-Oakland.

Meals — including dessert — are $10-$14 for adults and half price for kids under 10. Reservations are appreciated and can be made calling 510-995-8049.

On June 21, the main dish will be meatloaf, and on June 28, it will be pan-seared salmon.

This Thursday, June 16, the community is invited to visit Ballena Yacht Club at Ballena Marina, where the chefs from High Street Station will serve tilapia fish tacos with fresh mango-and-avocado salsa (for $11).

The bar at the yacht club will be open by 5 p.m., and dinner will be served from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Again, reservations are appreciated – at 510-995-8049.


Alamedan Shares 44-Star Flag


Alameda resident Jerry Wagner celebrated Flag Day this year in style: “We hung out a large 44-star flag to honor the country and Alameda’s many Victorian homes,” he said.

Wagner lives on Central Avenue in a Julia Morgan-designed house that dates back to 1910. The flag now flying outside his residence, though, dates back to the 1890s.

The United States included 42 states through 1889. The following year, both Idaho and Wyoming joined the country. And there were 44 stars on the U.S. flag until Utah joined in 1896.

Wagner, who is president of Ibis Software Company, said that each of the 44 stars on the flag is handstiched. The flag is about 8 feet wide and 14 feet long.

It is one of 25 U.S. and California flags that were up in the attic when he bought the home about a year ago.

Most of the flags in the collection appear to be U.S. Capitol flags that were flown in Washington, D.C., and then passed onto constituents by members of the U.S. Congress, says Wagner.

He flies his historic flags outside on a flag pole that once was part of the E.F. Hutton building in San Francisco. “That building was torn down in the 1970s, I believe, so the pole has probably been part of the home in Alameda since then,” the home owner and associate member of the Alameda Elks Lodge said.

The residence also contained some interesting items from the historic Fox Theater in Oakland, including a large tapestry and several decorative columns, which Wagner placed in his hallway and downstairs “movie theater.”

As for his own collecting, Wagner plans to fill the attic with Lionel Standard Gauge Trains from the late 1920s and early 1930s. “These are about two times the traditional size,” he said. Like the large flags that frequently fly outside his Alameda home, Wagner enjoys “living large” on the Island.



Congrats to Ex-St. Joe’s Basketball Star Jason Kidd

With the Dallas Mavericks victory tonight over the Miami Heat, a former-Alameda high school basketball star now has his first NBA Championship ring and title: Jason Kidd.

Kidd, who led the St. Joseph Notre Dame High School basketball team to back-to-back championships, played with the Mavericks from 1994-1996 and returned to the team in 2008. He went on to play in two championship series for the New Jersey Nets in 2002 and 2003.

In 1995, he was chosen as the NBA’s Co-Rookie of the Year.

Kidd, 38 (shown in one photo online holding the championship trophy), is reportedly the oldest guard to start a game during the NBA Finals.

Thanks for making St. Joe’s and the rest of the Island — and the Bay Area — proud.