Time for Arts Fund-Raiser for Kids

A group of women artists in town is wrapping up its 19th annual show with a silent auction to support budding student artists. The event will take place from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 1, at the Alameda Museum and is being hosted by Alameda Women Artists.

The group started in the mid-1990s and includes 18 women who do traditional painting, sculpture, clay monotypes, photography, collage, mixed media and encaustic painting, which is done in wax with a damar varnish and oil paint for color. “We really want to raise funds to support student artists and expand this educational program in Alameda,” said Teddy Goldsworthy-hanner, a member of Alameda Women Artists and exhibitor at the Alameda Museum, 2324 Alameda Ave.

The proceeds, she adds, will be given to students in the form of gift certificates for art supplies. One past winner of the group’s student award later participated in a show at the Redux Gallery on Lincoln Avenue, for instance.

Alameda Women Artists, along with other local groups like the Island Arts Alliance, also plans to host workshops for budding artists in town in the future. “We want to expand the vision for the arts in Alameda,” explained Goldsworthy-hanner.

Beginning artists – young and old alike – have to become familiar with to the jury process used to pick artwork for shows and galleries, she adds. “We have talented kids in the community that need exposure. They also need the right materials and guidance to get started and get their work out there,” said Goldsworthy-hanner, who studied at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and now teaches there.

For the auction, 18 artists in Alameda Women Artists each made a work of art that is about 13 inches by 13 inches in size. At the Alameda Museum, the pieces are displayed together on one wall “like a quilt,” which is a “beautiful metaphor for the concept of what we are working on with our art as women,” she explained.

Guests at the silent auction are encouraged to start the bids for these works at $40. The artists will also sell other items at the event. “They’ve made such a great effort,” said Goldsworthy-hanner. “Everyone in the show has gone out of their way to share something very special for the auction that has a unique story behind it.”

The 18 artists in the show, who mainly live in Alameda but include several residents of Oakland, are: Mi’Chelle Fredrick, Wendy Gudzuk, Mirian Infinger, Karen McCloud, Teddy Goldsworthy-hanner, Lily Abraham, Thelma Richard, Colene Leong, Glenna Mills, Briana Learnihan, Patricia Edith, Joan Tharp, Bonnie Randall Boller, Nicole Wakeman, Gretchen Blais, Kate Anderson, Jeanie Moran and Deborah Griffin.


‘Ready Kids, Smart Cities’ Slated

First 5 Alameda County is hosting a short presentation and moderated discussion facilitated by Catherine Atkin, President of Preschool California. The discussion will take place on Oct. 2 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., in downtown Oakland.

Atkin plans to lead a discussion with project teams from five cities (Alameda, Berkeley, Hayward, Oakland, and Union City) about how family-centered school readiness programs at libraries and recreation centers have successfully reached previously underserved families and supported children’s Kindergarten readiness in low-income multilingual neighborhoods.

The discussion will include plans for sustaining services after funding and consultation through the First 5 Alameda County Neighborhood Partnership project end in June 2013.

Patrick Russi, Recreation Supervisor, Alameda Recreation and Park Department has been invited to attend, along with Eva Volin, Supervising Children’s Librarian, Alameda Free Library.


Gardening Group Presents ‘Buzz About Bees’

Alameda Backyard Gardeners will host a discussion entitled “The Buzz About Bees” on Tuesday, Sept. 11, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Rhythmix Cultural Works, 2513 Blanding Ave.

According to the group, urban beekeeping is booming worldwide. In New York, the number of registered hives grew from three in 2010, when beekeeping was legalized there, to 161 this year.

Alan Pryor and Gabrielle Dolphin from Alameda Backyard Beekeepers will share the beekeeping basics. They will also explain how all the pieces fit together and how to start your own hive this spring.

The presenters will bring an observation hive. Also, community members are asked to bring some honey from their hives for a group honey tasting.

Alameda Backyard Growers says its meetings are free and open to all residents of Alameda and the surrounding area.

Monthly meetings are also a great time for community members to drop off fruit and vegetable donations for the Alameda Food Bank.


R&B Cellars Celebrating Awards & Tastings

R&B Cellars of Alameda plans to celebrate some of latest awards with the community. Winemakers Kevin & Barbara will be at Alameda Vintners Club at Angela’s Bistro on Central Avenue this Sunday from 3:30-6 p.m.

According to R&B, its wines won the following awards in the Tasters Guild Consumer Wine Competition:
The Improviser – Double Gold Medal
2009 Zydeco Zin – Double Gold Medal
2009 Pizzicato Petite Sirah – Gold Medal
2010 Swingsville Zinfandal – Gold Medal
2007 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – Gold Medal

A month ago, R&B opened Alameda Vintners Club, a new wine bar/tasting room at Angela’s Bistro, which has turned the back third of the restaurant into “an inviting wine mecca with the wines of a few selected local East Bay wineries,” organizers say.

Chef Saboor is offering a menu of special food-pairing appetizers to go with the wine tastings or flights.

R&B is participating in the upcoming Family Winemakers of California event, set for Sept. 9 and 10 at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. The event is open to the public from 3-6 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 9, and there will be many delicious California wines available.


Artemis AC Team Upbeat on Recent Series

Artemis Racing, the Alameda-based team competing in the recent 45-foot America’s Cup World Series in San Francisco, issued its take on the latest competition.

Artemis Racing is the official Challenger of Record for the 34th America’s Cup. It represents the Royal Swedish Yacht Club (KSSS) and now calls a hangar near the Bladium Sports Club on Alameda Point its Bay Area home.

In the fleet race of Aug. 26, Skipper Terry Hutchinson “had a brilliant start and led the fleet for the first three legs before catching an anchor rode on the downwind near Fort Mason, which cost Artemis Racing–White valuable places. Luna Rossa–Piranha moved into the lead and stretched to win, with ORACLE Team USA–Spithill just a split second behind. Artemis Racing–White wrapped up the event 3rd overall in the Match Racing and 6th in the Fleet Racing, while Artemis Racing–Red was 9th in the fleet racing,” according to the team’s website.

“Some highlights followed by some low lights, unfortunately. So, we have to continue to trust in ourselves and trust that we have the right process in place. We put a lot of effort into getting off the start line leading up to this event, but all in all a bit disappointed having the start we had today. There’s a lot of work to do and I can’t say enough about the effort on board. We have some more technique development to work on,” said Hutchinson after the fleet race.

The sailing team returned to the Island after the Aug. 26 races, and now design and shore teams are putting the finishing touches on the AC72, the 72-foot catamarans.

AC45 action will return to Marina Green from Oct. 2-6 for the next Ameria’s Cup World Series event, which takes place during Fleet Week.

During the recent series, plenty of boats left their berths in Alameda’s many marinas to head across San Francisco Bay and enjoy the races. On Aug. 25, some local sailors at Marina Village complained about fog. But the fog cleared on Aug. 26, which prompted many Island-based yachts to leave the docks in search of good viewing spots to watch Sunday’s competition.


More on Mastick, Minor & Bungalows

For those who couldn’t get to Woody Minor’s Aug. 26 walk around Mastic (due to the fine weather, the America’s Cup, etc.), here are some highlights of Minor’s history, which he contributed to a recent edition of the Alameda Architectural Preservation Society newsletter.

The Alameda subdivision “was laid out in 1907 on the site of a grand 19th-Century estate.” The tract’s nine blocks extended north from Pacific Avenue east of Constitution Way, in the vicinity of Eighth and Ninth Streets. “No other neighborhood in Alameda reveals the bungalow’s birth so clearly,” writes Minor.

The neighborhood got its name from the Mastick family, who owned a 22-acre estate on the Island. The family came to Alameda in 1864, the year trains began running on the San Francisco & Alameda Railroad. Mastick sat on the board of directors of the railroad, was a lawyer and had his home build on a train stop — Mastick Station, on Railroad (Lincoln) Avenue, between Eighth and Ninth streets.

He also served multiple terms on the Board of City Trustees—a forerunner of the City Council. He helped improve the infrastructure of the Victorian city, including a sanitary sewer system and a municipal power system. These and other achievements endeared him to the community, which would later name Mastick School — now Mastick Senior Center — in his honor.

One of his heirs, George H. Mastick — an attorney and member of the library board—helped oversee the development of the family property after the
1906 earthquake. “The influx of residents to the Island City in the aftermath of the earthquake assured brisk sales, and the tract was largely built by World War I,” explains Minor.

This period was also the heyday of the bungalow, or Craftsman cottage — a small, gable-roofed house with a rustic appearance conveyed by
natural materials and a low-to-the-ground profile.

George H. Mastick’s 1889 Queen Anne mansion still stands and is being refurbished by its latest new owners.

According to “San Francisco Call” of February 18, 1901:
– Edwin Baird Mastick died this day after a long illness and was survived by eight children.
– He was born in Geauga County, Ohio, on March 22, 1824, and hence died at 76.
– He married in 1848 after becoming a lawyer.
– He came to California in 1851 via Panama.
– He served on the city’s Board of Trustees for 15 years — and 10 as president.


Walk Around Mastick Park on Sunday

At 1 p.m. on Sunday, August 26, Alameda residents are invited to take a stroll through Mastick Park with local historian Woody Minor.

Walkers are asked to meet at the West Marine Parking Lot, which is located at the corner of Buena Vista Avenue and Constitution Way. If possible, participants are asked to park on adjacent neighborhood streets rather than in the West Marine lot.

Mastick is Alameda’s oldest 20th-Century subdivision — and one of its least-known historic neighborhoods. It is also known as the area that gave “birth to the bungalow” in the Bay Area.

The event is organized by the members of the Alameda Architectural Preservation Society. It is free for AAPS members; and $5 for non-members.


Mini Golf Comes to the Island

Subpar Miniature Golf opens tomorrow in Alameda at 1511 Park Street. It will be open from 10 a.m. to midnight on Saturday, August 25, for the grand opening — when visitors can play 18 holes for a special price of $5.

Owner and manager Michael Taft says the business has been open for a few days. Also, the miniature golf course has been built almost entirely by hand by local artists.

The 18-hole course costs $7-$9 for the first round on regular days, with discounts for second rounds and for all rounds on Mondays and Wednesdays. The course includes Bay Area landmarks.

Guests can also play on a chipping net to improve their swing. The location also features an arcade with pinball machines, skeeball, an air hockey table, and a wide selection of video games.

Visitors can also relax and have a soda on site or have food delivered from Linguini’s across the street.


Facebook Celebrates at the USS Hornet

It’s not clear what or why Facebook is celebrating this late summer, but it’s hosting quite a party tonight at the USS Hornet in Alameda.

Earlier today, its shares closed at $19.44, that’s down nearly 50% since its initial trading several months ago. The Silicon Valley firm began trading publicly in mid-May at around $38.

Investors have since become concerned about its ability to keep making money, and there are allegations that the investment banks behind its shares had “conflicting opinions” on its true value in the long term.

Maybe the company’s employees are celebrating the fact that the shares are still above the $19 mark.

At any rate, judging from the traffic that went into the USS Hornet staging area, it should be quite a party. There was a Bud Light truck and a Corona truck, as well as several trucks full of party supplies for corporate events — including some specifically for games.

Let the games begin then on the USS Hornet — just as they did this week across San Francisco Bay with the start of the America’s Cup.


Island Fondly Remembers Diller

There are plenty of Islanders and others, worldwide, who will miss Phyllis Diller, the housewife turned humorist who died Monday in Los Angeles at 95. The Ohio native moved to Alameda in 1945, when her husband Sherwood Diller was transferred to the Naval Air Station.

Over the next 10 years, Sherwood (also known as “Fang”) held many different jobs, and Phyllis raised their five children. She also worked as the women’s editor at a small newspaper and an advertising copywriter for an Oakland department store before moving onto an Oakland radio station and then KSFO in San Francisco.

Phyllis auditioned at the Purple Onion across the Bay and began her opening act there on March 7, 1955. She then began working at other nightclubs and on television, until her retirement in 2002.

Living in the Bay Area was “just about the fondest period of my life,” she told a local paper in 1999. “I lived for a long time in Alameda, but I also lived in Kentfield, three different places in the Marina in San Francisco, and I lived on Hyde Street, on Nob Hill and on Telegraph Hill. I just loved every minute of it.”

The comedian appeared on Groucho Marx’s TV quiz show “You Bet Your Life” and “The Tonight Show” with Jack Paar. She performed at Carnegie Hall in 1962 and starred in “Hello, Dolly!” during its original 1964-1970 run on Broadway.

Diller is survived by her son, Perry; her daughters, Sally Diller and Suzanne Mills; four grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.

For those looking to catch some comedy in town, Rhythmix Cultural Works and the Alameda Chamber of Commerce will present “Elect to Laugh!” with Will Durst at 8 p.m. on Oct. 6 at the Blanding Avenue cultural center. The show “chases down the presidential election like a Force Five tornado sniffing out a trailer court,” organizers say.

Rhythmix and other venues on the Island offer plenty of opportunities for budding performers and enthusiasts to enjoy the arts. We’ll try and keep you updated on the offerings around town for laughs and different forms of entertainment.