Gardeners to Host Workshop on Soil

A gardening workshop organized by Alameda Backyard Growers (ABG) will take place from 6:15 to 7:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12, at the Alameda Main Library, 1550 Oak St.

The subject of the free event, which will be led by Alameda County master gardener and soil scientist Marion Adams Yoxall is the Dirt on Dirt: Soil Science and Soil Fertility Basics for the Home Gardener.

This lecture will include a discussion of:
– Where soil comes from, what it is made of and how it is formed;
– How to find information about soil on the Web;
– How to determine soil texture and how texture affects plants;
– Soil biology basics and how “the bugs” affect fertility and tilth; and
– Strategies to improve fertility and tilth with tillage, amendments and fertilizers.

ABG meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month. They are free and open to the community.

The gardening group will celebrate its third anniversary with a fund-raiser, wet for 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 17, at the Main Library.


Rhythmix Gearing Up for ‘Localize It’ Fest

At Rhythmix Cultural Works, staff and supporters are getting ready to host Localize It, a night of food, fun and entertainment for the entire family on Thursday, Jan. 31.

On Friday, Feb 1, the Blanding Avenue facility will present the Island Arts Festival, while highlights Polynesian music and dance.

One week later (on Friday, Feb. 8), the Albany Film Fest comes to Rhythmix.

The cultural venue also will host Sweetheart Bingo on Valentine’s Day (Thursday, Feb. 14). The event includes dance, improve, comedy and cash prizes, including a $200 grand prize sponsored by the Little House Café, which is located down the street from Rhythmix.


Frank Bette Deadlines, Openings Approaching

Organizers at the Frank Bette Center for the Arts on Paru Street are getting ready to accept applications for several key events.

The annual Alameda on Camera program is looking for participants to complete the sign-up process by Sunday, Feb. 3, while the Plein Aire Paintout program would like local artists to submit their applications by Monday, April 1.

Frank Bette wrapped up the Déjà Vu silent arts-and-crafts auction and fund-raiser on Saturday, Jan. 26.

The center will have two new shows opening on Feb. 1: Let Them Eat Cake and Ken McGhee’s In Stereotype, which will have its gala event from 7-9 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 8.


Art Reception, Discussion Set for Today at Library

The Alameda Free Library is hosting a new exhibition on its second floor, entitled the Illuminated Page/

The show started Sunday, Jan. 27, and will be up through Saturday, March 2.

A reception for the artists and community members, as well as a discussion, will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 30, in the Regina K. Stafford meeting room at the Main Library on Oak Street.

The new show includes the work of students from the Center for Arts, Religion and Education at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.

According to the library, the exhibit focuses on the creation of personal prayers formatted as medieval illuminated text and contemporary work. As part of their course work, the participants learned how to use medieval quills, ink and calf-skin vellum.


New Twist on Local Beauty Shop

A Wall Street Journal writer has found quite the place to get her curly locks taken care of and has let readers across the United States know about it: 1906 Encinal Ave.

In a “Cranky Consumer” article that appeared in the national business newspaper earlier this month, Elizabeth Garone writes, “Getting a haircut can be a nail-biting experience for anyone, but for women with curly hair, it can be especially nerve-racking. Many stylists treat wavy locks just like straight hair, with lousy results.

Garone decided to head to Twist Salon in Alameda for a “Deva” haircut. This involves cutting the hair when it is dry, then washing and conditioning it — a reversal of the normal process.

She had her hair cut by Tami Quan, the salon owner, who trained with Lorraine Massey of the original Devachan Salon in New York and author of “Curly Girl: the Handbook.”

“We really liked the results. Two months later, after following her instructions, the dreaded pyramid has yet to return,” shares Garone.

Quan has been a stylist since 1988 and spent 12 years working at a hair salon on Union Street in San Francisco. Her fellow stylist on the Island, DJ Delokwanitkun, trained and worked previously in Los Angeles.


Councilman Daysog Meeting Residents Tonight; U.S. Rep Lee in Town on Monday

Alameda community members are invited to come chat with City Councilman Tony Daysog at the Blue Danube Coffee Shop from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 24.

The coffee shop is located at 1333 Park Street.

Daysog is interested in hearing what residents have on their minds and what their priorities are for the City of Alameda and its City Council.

To reach Daysog at other times, call 510-864-7593 or send e-mail to tdaysog@alamedaca.gov.

From 1 to 2 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 28, U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee will visit the main branch of the Alameda Free Library, 1550 Oak St., where she plans to share details about her new Alameda office hours with the community.

The free event will include light refreshments.


Body Found at Crab Cove Early Wednesday

The Alameda Journal reported earlier today (Wednesday, Jan. 23) that a man’s body was found floating in the water near the Crab Cove Visitor Center at Robert Crown Memorial State Beach.

The body was seen at 10 a.m. and has now been identified as that of an Asian man, perhaps 20-30 years of age.

Anyone with information about this case, should call the Alameda Police at 510-337-8340.


Two-Alarm House Fire Across the Estuary

Fire crews battled a two-alarm fire at a vacant house in downtown Oakland, according to the Oakland Tribune, which started at about 5:20 p.m. on Wednesday, January 23, and took three hours to get under control.

Black smoke was visible in downtown Oakland, Jack London Square and over the Alameda-Oakland Estuary from about 5:20 p.m. until at least 6:30 p.m. It drifted toward Alameda initially, and then a shift in the wind pushed the smoke away from the Island.

The fire caused extensive damage to a three-story home dating from 1896 in the 600 block of Harrison Street, on the Oakland side of the Estuary.

The Oakland Fire Department says that one civilian was injured in the blaze and that three people have been detained for questioning about the blaze, which required a crew of 50 to put it out.

They suspect the fire was started in the home apparently when squatters cooked food over an open flame.


Employee Hurt, Suspect at Large in Robbery

The Alameda Journal reported earlier today that an employee of Papa Murphy’s had his cheek broken and his ear torn when he was hit with a pistol at about 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 22. The employee could not unlock the business safe, Alameda police said, which prompted the robber to injure him and another employee before fleeing with some cash on foot.

The robber had a semi-automatic handgun. He stole money from the register and from one employee. He also stole wallets from two other workers.

The employee who was hurt received treatment at Alameda Hospital and then released.

The suspect was last seen running away from the pizza shop, southbound on Broadway. He is described as a black male of 27-33 years of age, who was wearing all dark clothing, gloves, a hoodie and either a ski mask or a scarf. The man has a deep voice and is tall — between 6 feet and 6 feet 4 inches tall. He weighs between 180 and 250 pounds.

Anyone with information on the robbery is asked to call the police at 510-337-8340.


Armed Robbery at Papa Murphy’s

There was an armed robbery at Papa Murphy’s at Broadway and Blanding Avenue between 7 and 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 22.

One individual was shot and injured during the robbery but is not in critical condition, according to the Alameda Police Department.

Several police officers and firefighters were on the scene after the incident, but it did not appear that any alleged criminals had been arrested.

The store managers were not in the pizza parlor during the robbery; they came by to speak with police after the incident.

We will post more details once they are available from APD.