Alameda Library Offers Computer Classes on Sundays

The Alameda Free Library invites residents and students to drop-in computer class from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays. The free courses are offered through September 25 at the library, 1550 Oak Street.

The drop-in classes are focused on training in Microsoft Word 2003.

No registration is required, and seats are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Residents can start the class between 1 and 5 p.m.

It is suggested that students have some basic computer knowledge before attending.

See the library’s website for more details.


Shelter Fund-Raiser, Beer Bash Scheduled

What: “Dis-Go-Boom” Fundraiser for Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter and AIDS Lifecycle
When: 3-8 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 28
Where: 1901 Broadway
Cost: $10 (includes beer)
Info: www.dis-go-boom.com

Employees at Urban Island Home Furnishings are staging a disco-themed party at the Broadway shop, with most of the proceeds going to Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter (FAAS) and AIDS Lifecycle.

FAAS aims to raise some $300,000 this year. It recently held a garage sale on Bay Farm Island that raised about $2,000, according to Bianchi. Plus, starting on September 1, it will sell beverages at Urban Island as part of a first-Thursdays-of-the-month celebration. The group also has a fund-raising event scheduled for October 24 at Angela’s Bistro & Bar and a large fund-raiser set for October 27 at Rock Wall Winery.

Staff members from Urban Island Home Furnishings say guests should come by Sunday afternoon in casual dress. “But if they are more inspired and want to dress up in ‘70s disco clothes, that’s great, too,” said Alo Ativalu. “We will be playing more than disco, including funk and some new music.”

The shop will be closed for business, and all art and furniture on sale at the store will be put away for the dance party and beer bash. “This is a great way to end the summer and have some fun,” said Charles Ballard, who hopes that at least 300 individuals will attend. “If we can get more people to come by and raise more funds for FAAS and AIDS Lifecycle, that’s even better.”

“We spoke with store owner Steve Ferguson about the idea of putting a stage, dance floor and disco ball inside the space as a way to help out some non-profits,” said Ballard, an Alameda resident who works at the consignment shop. “He agreed, so then we went out and found DJs Papa Tony and Mikey Nut.”

For the event, Ballard has been working with his colleague Ativalu, an Oakland resident. “It’s time to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Urban Island,” Ativalu shared. “And I thought it would be great fun for everyone. This space is awesome.”

Ferguson, who lives in Alameda, opened Urban Island Home Furnishings last August. “We didn’t stage a grand opening then,” he said, “and I have wanted to do something special. We staged an art fair and fund-raiser for the animal shelter in May, but this is going to be bigger and should be lots of fun. Charles and Alo were willing to do the work, so I thought we should run with it.”

Both Ferguson and Charles have owned pets adopted from the shelter.

“We expect this event to go well,” said Nancy Bianchi, president of FAAS. “We are glad to be one of the beneficiaries and are very appreciative to receive Urban Island’s support.”


School-Supplies Drive Continues

Alameda Education Foundation says its school-supplies drive for needy students continues through Saturday, August 27. (The first day of school for the Alameda Unified School District in Monday, August 29.)

Residents can help ensure that all students start the year off right by helping to fill 880 backpacks with essential school supplies.

The school supplies that are most needed for the Island’s students are backpacks, pencils, erasers, markers, scissors, pencil cases, spiral notebooks, binder notebooks, binder paper, pocket folders, tab dividers, pens, glue sticks, crayons, protractors, compasses, colored pencils, post-it notes, calculators (for algebra and higher math) and AA batteries for the calculators.

Drop-off locations include: Tucker’s Ice Cream, Bank of Alameda, Alameda Bicycles, Color Me Mine at South Shore Center, and other locations listed here.

Cash donations are also requested, according to AEF. It only takes $4 to purchase a backpack for a needy student, and $15 provides a year’s worth of supplies. (Donations made by check can be sent to AEF “School Supply Drive,” P.O. Box 1363, Alameda, 94501.)

AEF is also accepting musical instruments, which will be collected at South Shore Center during a Songwriters Workshop & Jam Session from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., this Saturday, August 27.


Special Gardening, Crafts Event at Alameda Point on Aug. 20

Alameda Backyard Growers and local blacksmith and garden-tool designer Grant Marcoux are co-hosting the first annual Pilgrim Soul Forge Craft Fair from 12 to 6 p.m. today (Saturday, August 20), at Alameda Point.

Marcoux will put on a blacksmithing demonstrations. He will also sharpen tools, so residents can bring knives and garden tools to the event.

There will be live music by Grupo Zunzun of Alameda, which plays Latin jazz.

Other artists coming to the show include ceramicist Hue Yang, felting expert Sue Laing, jewelry maker by Susan Tuttle, hand-crafted soap and skin-care products maker Birgitt Evans, hand-sewn bag maker Karri, fused-glass artist Terri Henderson and kayak-builder Wolf Brinck.

Members of Alameda Backyard Growers will also be on hand to share information about the Alameda Fruit Gleaning Initiative and urban farming on the Island.

The venue is 101 West Tower Avenue. (To get there from Atlantic Avenue, turn right onto Orion. Proceed about two blocks down to West Tower Avenue and then make a right.)


Alameda Group Meets to Discuss Golf Course

The Alameda Citizens Task Force will gather from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, August 17, to discuss issues surrounding the Mif Albright Golf Course on Bay Farm Island, which may be swapped by the city for 12.5 acres of property owned by developers on North Loop Road.

The venue for the meeting is the community room at Alameda Hospital, 2070 Clinton Ave.

(In April, Harbor Bay CEO Ron Cowan offered up to $9 million for Chuck Corica Golf Complex improvements and sports fields on the North Loop Road property in exchange for the right to build 112 homes on the Mif site, Continue Reading


South Shore to Stage Music, Poetry Events

Alameda’s South Shore Center will host a Summer Beats concert from 3:30 to 7 p.m. today, Saturday, Augsut 13, in Center Court.

The bands include SeanBO & KrystleAZUL/Damage Kontrol and Bob City Pacific.

There will also be a body-jam demo by the Bladium Sports & Fitness Club.

Starting at 1 p.m., Sunday, August 14, Alameda’s poet laureate Mary Rudge will announced the names of nine “muses,” those who most inspire art on the Island, at South Shore.

The event will also feature poetry, music and dance, including a performance by Natica Angilly’s Poetic Dance Theatre Company and a Jim Morrison look-alike contest, honoring the poet and musician who attended Alameda High School.

Community members can also vote for their favorite poem on Alameda Towne Centre’s Facebook page.

Poets will be chosen to read their poems during intermission at the Summer Beats Concert series every Saturday from July 9-August 13 with a performance of Dance to Poetry on Sunday, August 14.


Encinal Class of ’81 Reunion Update

Organizer Ed Song says the first day of the Encinal High School Class of 1981 30th reunion (being held August 12 and 13) surpassed his expectations.

“Have you ever been in a situation where you met someone that you haven’t seen in 30 years? Now times that by close to 100 people! It was so amazing to see everyone!” Song wrote. “You could just feel the electricity in the air.”

Song says he would like to “throw a special shout out to Tim at McGee’s who was so kind to let us have our ‘meet and greet’ event there.”

“We also had members from the Encinal Alumni Association join us, and I’m happy to report that a lot of our classmate are now part of this worthy cause,” he added.

Members of the Class of 1981 are set to meet at Encinal High for the class tour at 11 a.m. today to walk down memory lane.

Tonight, the class celebrates a dinner/dance on board a Hornblower Bay cruise. Sounds like it will be another fun time for everyone.


Encinal High Class of ’81 Set for 30-Year Reunion

The Class of 1981 is celebrating its 30th reunion this Friday and Saturday, August 12 and 13.

The festivities kick off with a gathering on Friday night at McGee’s Bar and Grill on Park Street.

On Saturday night, there is a dinner cruise on San Francisco Bay starting at 6 p.m. on Hornblower’s Cabernet Sauvignon yacht.

According to organizer Ed Song, members of the class have invited nine former teachers to the reunion, and many plan to attend — including the head “detention guy” Mr. Robinson. Another teacher who should be at the events is 94; she retired in 1981.

The class has a Facebook page and several online videos that can be viewed on YouTube.

To reserve a space on the Bay cruise, call 714-348-7501 or send e-mail to moneillafoa@gmail.com


Gardeners Group Gathers Tonight

Alameda Backyard Growers will have its monthly meeting tonight from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, August 11, focusing on community gardening. The venue is
High Street Station, 1303 High Street at Encinal Avenue.

The City of Alameda recently held two community workshops to plan for the future of the city’s parks and green spaces, and the workshops gave residents an opportunity to offer input and ideas on community gardens and urban agriculture in Alameda, according to the group.

Currently, there are two community gardens in Alameda: the Bay-Eagle Community Garden, which has a multi-year waiting list, and the Alameda Point Collaborative Community Garden Co-Op, which is primarily for APC residents.

Speakers at tonight’s meeting include Gladys Schwalm and Birgitt Evans, who met at the very first ABG meeting in March 2010 and worked out a co-gardening arrangement that is still going strong.

Pamela Cowart, co-chair of Christ Church’s Outreach Commission, will discuss the Christ Church garden at Ploughshares Nursery at Alameda Point. The church’s garden provides produce for the 100-plus individuals who attend their food pantry at 9 a.m. every Tuesday.

Also, Ang Hadwin with Public Health Law & Policy’s Planning for Healthy Places Program will give an update on Alameda’s Urban Farm & Garden Plan as part of the larger Urban Greening Plan initiative.

Those coming to the meeting on Thursday are encouraged to bring garden produce for the Alameda Food Bank.