Jingletown Art Walk Set for Dec. 1-2

Across the Park Street Bridge in Oakland, the Jingletown Arts & Business Community is hosting the 7th-annual Winter Art Walk, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 1–2.

(An opening reception will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30, 4:20 Gallery, 420 Peterson Street, between Ford and Glascock streets.)

These events are free and open to the public. The annual winter open studio event will highlight the work of more than 35 artists who live and/or work in the area known as Jingletown, which is situated between the Park and Fruitvale Street bridges bordered by the estuary separating Oakland from the island of Alameda.

Among its many artistic enterprises, the area is the location of the Gray Loft Gallery, the Institute of Mosaic Art, Apples & Oranges Gallery and Float Gallery, as well as studios.

For a complete listing of Jingletown artists, businesses and upcoming events in the area, go to the group’s website.

Some of the participating galleries are: 4:20 Gallery at 420 Peterson St., Gray Loft Gallery at 2889 Ford St., Counterpoint Studio at 2899 Ford St., the Institute of Mosaic Art, 3001 Chapman St., the Ford Street Studios, 2934 Ford St., and Apples and Oranges Gallery at 2934 Ford St.

According to the artists’ organization, Jingletown got its name from Portuguese cannery workers whose earnings would “jingle” in their pockets at the end of the day as they walked home from the factories in the area. Though the neighborhood went into disuse for a time, some artists realized its potential in the early-1980s and converted many of the neglected warehouses into functioning live/work spaces.


St. George Spirits Celebrates 30 Years

St. George Spirits at Alameda Point is having a big party to celebrate its 30th anniversary from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, in conjunction with the Commonwealth Club of California. (Tickets are limited.)

The night will include a behind-the-scenes tours and a panel discussion with St. George founder Jörg Rupf, master distiller Lance Winters and distiller Dave Smith about how the craft distillation landscape has evolved since the company was founded in 1982.

The group will serve cocktails representing its three decades of craft distillery and innovation and offering a sneak peak of its 30th-anniversary whiskey release.

St. George, which makes Hangar One Vodka says it will stage this release of a special single malt in a few weeks, with only 715 bottles set to be shared nationwide.

The company also recently bottled a new batch of St. George Absinthe Verte—its first without wine corks. Also, it’s set to release a new batch of pear liqueur.

Earlier in November, it supported the New York chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild with a program supporting local bars and bartenders affected by Hurricane Sandy.


Sign Up Now for Saturday Ice Rink

The City of Alameda’s synthetic ice rink is set to be open from 12 to 5 p.m. this Saturday as part of the annual holiday celebration and tree-lighting events.

To reserve a slot on the ice, residents need to sign up by 3 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 29, according to the Recreation & Park Department.

Go online soon to the city’s website to request a 20-minute slot.

There may be some last-minute slots available, the city says.

In addition, if the rain or wind is severe on Dec. 1, there is a small chance the rink may be closed.

Alamedans have another option, luckily. The Little Ice Rink is open at the South Shore shopping mall through late January.


Saturday Full of Holiday Events On & Around The Island

Santa Clause is expected to arrive a few weeks early this year – by fire truck – for the annual Hometown Holiday Celebration and Mayor’s Tree Lighting, set for this Saturday at City Hall. The activities include ice skating, picture-taking with Santa and plenty of games, craft-making and other activities – most of which should take place even if it rains.

“This is definitely a community event,” said Mayor Marie Gilmore. “It’s a tradition, which we host to bring some fun to everyone at this special time of year.”

The synthetic ice rink should be open from 12 to 5 p.m., and groups of 35 skaters will be allowed on the ice for 20 minutes. Games and craft activities will take place all afternoon, too.

Mayor Gilmore will light the tree at 5:30 p.m. “From holiday music to other activities that the Recreation and Parks Department has organized, it should be a feel-good day for the community to come out and enjoy,” she explained. “We’re going to have fun regardless of whatever the weather decides to do.”

Music for the tree-lighting ceremony includes tunes played by Alameda’s Community Band and the Mistle Tones. The Dancing Christmas Trees also will provide entertainment, and Santa will share candy canes.

“There will be a big stage set up in front of City Hall,” said Amy Wooldridge, direction of the Recreation and Parks Department. “We expect several thousand people and encourage everyone to get there early.”

In conjunction with these activities at City Hall, the Park Street Business District is hosting a Hometown Holiday on Dec. 1. Area merchants will be sharing edible treats and shopping discounts and hosting special in-store events. Kids can visit Santa at Tucker’s Ice Cream from 1 to 3 p.m.

The 36th-annual Lighted Yacht Parade, hosted by the Encinal Yacht Club, Oakland Yacht Club and Marina Village Yacht Harbor, also is scheduled for this Saturday. The yacht parade starts at about 5:30 p.m. along the Oakland-Alameda Estuary. This year’s decorating theme is Lights, Camera, Action!

San Francisco Bay Ferry is offering a special Lighted Yacht Parade ferry service that departs at 5:15 p.m. from the Alameda Main Street ferry terminal, 2990 Main St. Passengers who bring donations for the Toys for Tots program may ride for free.


Movie Screen at Library Today

The Alameda Free Library is showing “Prometheus” at 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 26.

The film runs through 7:45 p.m. and will be shows in Meeting Room A at the Main Library, 1550 Oak Street.

“Prometheus” was release in 2012. The science-fiction thriller focuses on a team of explorers who discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe.

The movie stars Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron and Noomi Repace and is directed by Ridley Scott.


Art Center Opens Boutique, Hires Facilities Director

The Frank Bette Center for the Arts is hosting its holiday boutique starting at 11 a.m. and running through 7 p.m. today, Black Friday, Nov. 23. The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Paru Street.

The holiday boutique offers Alamedans the opportunity to buy gifts locally from Island artists.

Handcrafted gifts created by some of Northern California’s finest artisans include jewelry, ceramics, glass, fiber arts, wood, mixed media and paper arts.

The Frank Bette center also has announced that is has a new director of facilities: Xiomara Cisneros. Cisneros was born in San Francisco and grew up in Fairfield. She has worked as a project management for a commercial real estate trade organization.

She also has completed internship work at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Limited Brands Inc., Universal Lending & Realty and TMG Partners. Cisneros has an MBA from Mills College and a BA from UCLA.

The Frank Bette show Reflections is available for viewing at the center through Dec. 22.

Also, the center is accepting donations for its Déjà Vu silent auction of pre-owned arts & crafts, which takes place from Jan. 18 to Jan. 26, 2013.


‘The Nutcracker’ Comes to the Library, Kofman Theater

Members of the Diablo Ballet Company will visit with young readers and take photos at the Alameda Free Library at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1.

The audience will also be treated to part of a retelling of “The Nutcracker.”

Space is limited, so interested parents and kids should plan to be there at 2:45 p.m., according to members of the Alameda Free Library Foundation and Live at the Library, which organized the event.

For questions, call 510-464-1099 or e-mail info@libraryfoundation.org.

For those hoping to see a complete showing of “The Nutcracker” without leaving the Island, the Alameda Civic Ballet will perform its annual production at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 15-16, at the Kofman Theater, 2200 Central Ave.

Tickets are available online, and start at $18.

The story of “The Nutcracker” transports audience members on a magical journey with Clara and the Nutcracker Prince, according to the Alameda Civic Ballet. The journey includes a heroic battle against the Mouse King, travel through the Land of the Snowflakes and a visit to the Kingdom of the Sweets, home of the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Land of Enchantment.

The Alameda Civic Ballet’s eighth-annual production is choreographed by artistic director Abra Rudisill and is performed with the classic Tchaikovsky musical score.


Talk on Jade, Asia Tonight at Library

Laura Beth Nelson, a docent with the Asian Art Museum, will be speaking at 6:30 p.m. tonight, Wednesday, Nov. 14, about the historical and contemporary significance of jade in Asian and other cultures.

The talk — Jade: Stones of Heaven — takes place in the Regina K. Stafford meeting room at Alameda’s Main Library, 1550 Oak St.

Friends of the Alameda Free Library aims to bring one lecture per month to the community, usually with an artistic focus.

The group will host its final Live at the Library benefit concert this Saturday, Nov. 17, at 8 p.m. The show features jazz singer Paula West.

It will be featuring a talk by Chinese author Ji-Li Jiang at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 18.

Go to the library’s website for a full list of events, children’s activities and more information.


Garden Club Celebrates Fall

Alameda Backyard Gardeners is hosting its Autumn Garden Check-In and Potluck.

The event will take place fom 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at Rhythmix Cultural Works, 2513 Blanding Ave. The gathering is free and open to the community

Guests are asked to bring a potluck item or beverage to share during the informal evening of garden talk. They are also invited to take home some garlic bulbs and onion sets for their gardens.

The group aims for its meetings to be zero waste events and asked that everyone bring a reuseable cup, plate, utensils and napkin.

Group members and guests are invited to bring fruit and vegetable donations from their gardens for the Alameda Food Bank.

ABG will join other community groups to celebrate the opening of Alameda Family Services’ new center from 2 to 5 p.m. on Nov. 30. Local gardeners are asked to bring apples, pears, persimmons or other produce grown in Alameda for the event.


Welcome Back USCG Cutter Bertholf

A replenishment drill held on Sept. 14 in the Artic Ocean which included air crew from Los Angeles.

The Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf (WMSL-750) returned home to Alameda on Veteran’s Day (Sunday, Nov. 11) at 10 a.m., as planned. The vessel and crew had been out at sea for 144 days passed through the Alameda-Oakland Estuary at around 9 a.m. in calm conditions.

The nation’s first National Security Cutter left Hawaii on June 20 to participate in the world’s largest naval exercise, Rim of the Pacific 2012. According to the USCG, “RIMPAC’s mission is to increase interoperability between Pacific Rim armed forces to promote stability and prosperity around the world.” There were 22 countries involved in the naval exercises, which included maritime interdiction and vessel boarding evolutions.

As the primary cutter in support of Operation Arctic Shield, Bertholf staff conducted community outreach and increased maritime safety and security in the Arctic Circle. In the Bering Sea, they engaged in living marine resource enforcement and conducted 12 boardings of red king crab fishing vessels.

“We pressed the multi-mission capabilities of the National Security Cutter in the world’s largest maritime exercise, in the harshest of maritime environments in the Arctic, and in the Bering Sea ensuring regulation and safety of the Deadliest Catch Crab fleet,” said Capt. Thomas Crabbs, commanding officer Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf, in a statement. “The ship and crew performed in superb fashion over an extended and challenging period.”