Hollywood Western to Be Shown at Library

The Alameda Free Library, 1550 Oak Street, is presenting a free public film screening of Gregory Peck’s 1950 film, “The Gunfighter” at 5:30 p.m., Monday, Dec. 17, for residents 18 and up.

The film is considered one of the best Hollywood Westerns ever made, according to library film curator Jeff M. Giordano, who will be introducing the movie and moderating a discussion.

Peck plays the part of reformed gunfighter Jimmy Ringo, who goes to a sleepy town to find his estranged sweetheart. Three vengeful cowboys are “hot on his trail.”

The film lasts 85 minutes.

The Main Library is open until 8 p.m. tonight. At 3:30 p.m. today it is hosting a meeting of the beginning book club, and at 3:45 the Paws to Read group meets.

On Tuesday, Dec. 18, at 3:45 p.m., there will be a family storytime at the Bay Farm branch, while at 7 p.m. at the Main Library, a community sing-along is slated.

Other story-reading times are set for 10:15 a.m. at the West End branch on Wednesday, Dec. 19, and 10:30 and 3:30 at the Main Library.

Check the library’s website for future events and the holiday schedule.


‘Nutcracker’ on Stage This Weekend

What: Alameda Civic Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”
Where: Kofman Auditorium, 2200 Central Ave.
When: 2 p.m. Dec. 15 and 16
Tickets: $18 for youth and $28 to $35 for adults and can be purchased by calling 800-838-3006 or by going online at www.alamedanutcracker.com.

Alameda Civic Ballet will perform its eighth-annual production of “The Nutcracker” on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 15 and 16, at the Kofman Auditorium.

According to artistic director and choreographer Abra Rudisill, about 170 dancers–ages 5 and up–will bring the magic of this holiday classic to life.

A festive Sugar Plum Party follows each performance where audience members can meet the cast and enjoy a special flavor of Tucker’s Ice Cream created just for the show.

One of this year’s stars is Lincoln Middle School eighth-grader Yingru Huang, who plays Clara. She has studied ballet at Alameda Ballet Academy for eight years.

Alameda High School junior Justin Modeliste, who recently moved to the Island from New Orleans, plays the Nutcracker Prince.

Returning as the Snow Queen and Snow King are Nikki and Ethan White, who are professional dancers.


Sale at Redux; Art at Frank Bette

Artisans, galleries and stores based in Alameda are having special sales and offering plenty of holiday treats to encourage Alamedans to shop locally for locally made items.

At the Redux Gallery Studio & Gallery, part of the St. Vincent de Paul shop (near Lincoln Avenue and Oak Street), shoppers can find unique gift boxes made from old record sleeves, as well as handmade gift tags and wrapping paper.

There’s also plenty of jewelry, like pendant necklaces made from dominoes, soy-based candles, wallets crafted from the remnants of vinyl signs and banners, knitted items, stationary and other gifts, such as vintage posters.

“We have original screen prints made by Manuel Valensuela, and miniature mixed-media collages made by Maureen Shields,” said Chris Rummell, creative reuse and recycling manager of the gallery. “And there’s a series of origami-inspired vases, pet sweaters made from reclaimed yarn, pillow shams crafted from upholstery samples and lots of other fun gifts.”

Redux is having a 25-percent-off sale this weekend and is hosting a workshop for residents who want to learn to make their own gift wrap from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday. The event requires pre-registration and will be led by Alameda artist Emily Bonnes. (The store is open from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.)

Other merchants and galleries around the Island, of course, like Bead Inspirations on Park Street and the Sewing Room & Style Lounge on Webb Avenue, feature handcrafted gifts, as well. In addition, many offer classes for Alamedans who want to get ready for the next holiday season by learning how to make their own presents.

In addition, the Frank Bette Center for the Arts (on Paru Street at Lincoln Avenue) is hosting its eighth-annual holiday boutique through Dec. 24. More than 20 artists are selling handcrafted items, and proceeds benefit the art center.

For instance, Helen Calhoun has made a series of colorful aprons, tote bags, hot pads tea cozies, covered hangars and toaster covers. “I love sewing and have done it for years,” Calhoun said.”

The seamstress says that she likes to make durable, washable gifts out of cotton fabrics. “I’m constantly adding ideas to my sewing,” said
Calhoun, who was taught to sew (along with her four sisters) by her mother in Detroit.

Painter Tatiana Secu, who takes classes and volunteers at Frank Bette, has made some small reindeer from paper-mache objects. They can go under the tree or on a coffee table, for instance.

Other handmade items for sale at Frank Bette include jewelry, cards, bookmarks, bowls, plates, coasters, clocks, paperweights, quilts, lotion, jewelry boxes, fridge magnets, computer cases and cat toys. Frank Bette is also selling its 2013 calendar, which features images for its Plein Air Paint out, for $15.

“This really helps us fund our operations, said Nan Gray, director of resources. “We are an all-volunteer-run organization.” (The center is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.)


Gardening Group to Meet This Week

Alameda Backyard Growers is meeting from 6:30-7:30 p.m. this Tuesday, Dec. 10, at Rhythmix Cultural Works on Blanding Avenue.

Community members are invited to attend and meet several of the group’s community partners and their represenatatives, including:
-Alameda Food Bank (Hank Leeper, Executive Director)
-Alameda County Master Gardeners (Birgitt Evans)
-Alameda Backyard Beekeepers (Ann Naffziger)
-Alameda Backyard Chickens (Ann Naffziger)
-Project LEAF (Melanie Wartenberg & Kristoffer Koster)
-Ploughshares Nursery and Farm2Market, formerly the Growing Youth Project, (Jeff Bridge, Ploughshares Nursery General Manager) and
-Alameda Free Library, Seed Library & Lending Tool Library (Joel Butler, Librarian, Green Thumbs, Green Minds Program).

Those who attend can find out about other how these organizations are working for a greener, better-fed, healthier Alameda. Holiday refreshments will be served.

Monthly meetings are also a great time to drop off fruit and vegetable donations from gardens for the Alameda Food Bank, the group says.

ABG now includes more than 400 e-mail contacts, and over 50 people attend meetings and events regularly.


Veteran’s Art Show Ends Today With Reception

Pearl Harbor is being remembered today with a free veteran exhibit open from 6 to 9 p.m. at Bridgehead Studios, 2516 Blanding (at Broadway between Park and Fruitvale).

The exhibit includes art made by U.S. military veterans from World War II to the Gulf War in Iraq. It features photos, pixels, paint, pottery, sculpture and more, from more than 20 veterans who live in the Bay Area and other places.

This is the third veteran’s art show curated by Ed Holmes, a long-time member of the San Francisco Mime Troupe and the instigator of the annual St. Stupid’s Day Parade.

The exhibit is being held in part as a benefit for the Wounded Warrior Project.

One piece, entitled, “Dayside or Nightside,” is a steel menorah representing the many Word War II pieces influenced by Jewish veterans. A striking fallen warrior piece, “You Choose,” commemorates the iconic helmet resting on a fallen soldier’s rifle.

The featured artists include Rolf Kriken, Toby Lurie, Al Honig, Bonnie Bonner, Gale Wagner, Ed Holmes, Combat Paper, Emil (Izzy) Sher, who created a welded steel menorah, and others.

During the closing reception, Alamedans and other will get to chat with the artists and share some wine and other refreshments.


AFS Family Boutique, Tour Set for Dec. 8

What: Alameda Holiday Home Tour
When: 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Dec. 8
Where: Alameda Elks Lodge, 2255 Santa Clara Ave.
Cost: Entry to the gift boutique and gourmet shop is free; tickets for the home tour and dessert tea range from $35-$40 and benefit Alameda Family Services.

For those Islanders in eed of a break from decorating, baking and other activities, the Alameda Family Services League hopes you’ll join its 42nd annual Alameda Holiday Home Tour on Dec. 8.

The event benefits Alameda Family Services and includes a gift boutique and gourmet shop, as well as entry to five well-decorated Island residences.

“We are spanning everything from the Victorian era to Mid-Century, including a beach house,” said Winkie Campbell-Notar, a volunteer and public relations coordinator for the Alameda Family Services League. “There’s almost a century’s worth of different architecture in the tour, with lots of different styles and features. People should really enjoy them.”

The theme of this year’s tour is “42 Years of Holiday Magic.” Tickets for the Dec. 8 event range from $35 to $40, and guests can visit all five homes on the tour, four of which are within walking distance of each other, according to Campbell-Notar. They can all enjoy tea, cookies and music at the First Presbyterian Church from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The gift boutique, which will be based at the Alameda Elks Lodge, is open to the public without charge. Baked goods, candies and specialty food items also will be sold at the lodge in the event’s gourmet shop.

“It’s an eclectic group of homes,” Campbell-Notar said. “One home has been completely remodeled to take advantage of its Bay View and deck. It’s fantastic!”

Members of the Alameda Family Services League encourage community members to stop by the holiday boutique and gourmet shop. They also hope that — as in past years — 500 Alamedans or more will join the home tour, which includes a shuttle-bus service.

“The boutique will have gift certificates from all over town featuring premium wine, dog-grooming services and a whole lot more,” Campbell-Notar said. “We’ll also have a silent auction and gourmet shop at the Elks Lodge, which are open to the public.”

The mission of Alameda Family Services is “to improve the emotional, psychological and physical health of children, youth and families” at its central Alameda and new facility at Island/BASE High School. Its programs serve several hundred families each year and include Head Start and Early Head Start.

AFS also provides child development and family support services, free medical and mental health services, youth development and health education at school-based health centers, an emergency shelter and support center for runaway, exploited and homeless youth, drug and alcohol treatment for adolescents and adults, and individual, group and family low- or no-fee counseling.