Ferry Shuttles, Extra Service Set Up for BART Strike

The City of Alameda and Metropolitan Transportation Commission has set up a shuttle service to take Alameda commuters to ferry terminals on both islands, should a BART strike take place on Monday, July 1, or over the following days.

On Bay Farm, a free shuttle will circulate every 15 minutes from 6-10 a.m. and 4-8 p.m. The route on Bay Farm goes from the Harbor Bay Ferry Terminal down Mecartney Road, along Island Drive, down Robert Davey Jr. Drive and then along Aughinbaugh Way en route to the ferry terminal.

On Alameda’s Main Island, a free shuttle will circulate every 20 minutes at the same times. The route is concentrated on the West End. It will go from the Ferry Terminal on Main Street to Webster and then back to the terminal via Atlantic Avenue.

Extra ferries will be available from Alameda’s Main Ferry Terminal to San Francisco and from the Main Terminal to South San Francisco.


Library to Show Film on Muir

John Muir (1838-1914) is the focus of a documentary that will be shown at 6:30 p.m. tonight (Wednesday, June 26) at the Alameda Free Library, 1550 Oak Street. The film is “a first” for Alameda resident Anthony Garvin, who works as an environmental lawyer and has admired Muir’s life and work as a nature enthusiast, park pioneer and Sierra Club founder for many years.

Garvin says he was glad to make the effort. “I’ve been an environmental lawyer for 40 years and a bit of a one-trick pony throughout my life,” he explained. A Seattle native, he grew up hiking, mountain climbing, skiing and “always being interested in the environment. This led him to begin reading Muir’s books, of course.

“I started [the film project] about one and a-half years ago as part of a film class I was taking through Cal Extension,” said Garvin. “I turned it in, expanded it, broadened it and made it into a full-length feature of nearly an hour.”

The film he made includes footage of Muir’s birthplace in Scotland, Yosemite National Park, the Sierras, Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. It aims to highlight significant events in Muir’s career as a naturalist and tell the story of his life.

“Making the film took me to Scotland, the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and many areas that he explored in California. Muir took eight trips to Alaska and was the first person of European descent to discover Glacier Bay,” said Garvin.

One of the biggest lessons of Muir’s life that Garvin aims to stress in the film “is how much a single individual can accomplish,” he said. “It’s pointed out through the interviews that I did … Muir was largely self-taught and made amazing contributions in scientific areas and in conservation, preservation and environmental ethics. He’s a real inspiration!”


Rally to Fight AUSD Set for Today

A parents coalition will hold a protest rally at 5:30 p.m. today at City Hall, before the Alameda School Board Meeting tonight (Tuesday, June 25).

The coalition of families is upset about a recent Alameda Unified School District Board of Trustees decision to move the ACLC charter school to the Wood School campus, co-locating the two schools on one site, for the school year beginning this fall.

Parents with children at both schools say that co-location is bad for the students, and bad for Mike McMahon and Margie Sherratt, the two AUSD board members up for re-election next year. Organizers note that there is already a campaign running “Mike McMahon must go…” advertisements on different issues.

A Wood School parent, said, “It’s despicable how the AUSD administration ran a divide-and-conquer campaign on this issue that pitted ACLC families against Wood families, when the true culprit in this fiasco is the school district itself. This rally will show how we haven’t allowed the district set Alameda families upon each other to achieve district agendas, and that, instead, the district’s machinations have united us.”

Organizers say that parents recognize legal obligations that require the district to provide the ACLC charter school with space, but say there are other alternatives that the district refused to consider. They want the district to halt efforts underway to effect the relocation of ACLC by the fall, and reverse the decision.


Florist to Close Store Today


Today — after 34 years at Santa Clara Avenue and Broadway, Pam Earl is closing Olympic Florist — so she can slow down for a while. “But if you want to be busy, just close up shop!” she said with a smile and a bit of nostalgia.

Pam and husband Gary opened Olympic Florist on Santa Clara Avenue (at Broadway) in 1979 in the former location of Brenda’s Flower Basket. They got started in the business when they bought Olympic Florist in the Pill Hill area of Oakland in 1975, a store they closed in the early ‘80s.

Pam, a military kid, lived in Alameda since 1968 and graduated from Alameda High School. Gary, who died of cancer in late 2011, came to the Bay Area from Utah. “He was a florist all his life,” said Pam.

The weak economy of the early-2000s was especially difficult, along with growing competition from grocery stores and discount retailers like Costco. “All flower shops were affected by it,” said the businesswoman. “The whole industry’s changed. I remember when we had nine employees at one point,” she explained. “But that’s when people didn’t just stop by the grocery store to pick up flowers.”

Still, Olympic Florist has had a loyal following of customer over the years. “We did everything for some families, from weddings to anniversaries to funerals. People thought that I was just going keep doing this and be buried here!” joked Pam.

“I’ll really miss the flowers, customers and friends,” she explained. “I won’t disappear, since I still have family in town. I just won’t be selling flowers here anymore.”


Cleanup, Sailing Event Come to Estuary

Basic CMYK

This Saturday, June 22, the Encinal Yacht Club presents its Summer Sailstice celebration for the community on the Estuary and at the club’s facilities, 1251 Pacific Marina.

In conjunction with this outdoor event and the upcoming America’s Cup Healthy Ocean Project, the Sea Scavenger Conservancy has organized a clean-up event, set for 10 a.m. to noon on June 22. Meet at the West End of the Alameda Ferry Terminal Parking Lot, 2990 Main Street.

The Summer Sailstice takes place every year from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Encincal Yacht Club. It includes live music, several boating contest–including a boat-making competition, educational seminars and more.

The American Youth Sailing Force will be on hand to offer guests sailboat rides on their SL33 catamaran, as well.


‘Lorax’ on Screen at Alameda Point

The City of Alameda’s Starlight Movies in the Park is back.

On Friday, June 21, “The Lorax” will be shown at about 8:15 p.m. (after sunset) at the Multipurpose Field, 1101 West Redline Avenue, by the Alameda Point gymnasium.

Family-focused festivities starts at 6:30 p.m., including games and crafts for kids.

Snacks and food are available for purchase, according to the event organizers, which include the Recreation & Parks Department, Public Works Department and Friends of the Parks-Alameda. Proceeds from the sale of snacks support the city’s Teen Program.

Guests are asked to bring their own chairs and blankets to enjoy viewing the film under the stars.

The next movie, “Wreck It Ralph,” will be shown on the evening of Friday, July 26, at the same location.

On Friday, September 13, “The Avengers” will be presented at dusk at Leydecker Field and Park, Mecartney Road, on Bay Farm.


Special Book Discussion at Library

Alameda Free Library

Two writers — who developed a strong online correspondence and relationship over almost 10 years — are presenting their e-mail memoir “You Are Loved” from 10 a.m. to noon today (Saturday, June 15) at the Alameda Free Library.

Lisa Lucca lived in Chicago and Mark Fiore was in the Bay Area when their untraditional love story developed, though the first met decades ago in 1982.

They describe their book as portraying “a deeply personal true story of the intersecting lives of a man and a woman finding love, grace and meaning in a cynical world.”

For those who would like to read a preview of the book, go online to the authors’ website.


USCG Cutter Transferred to Bangaldesh Navy

cguard bangladesh

If you are relaxing in the area near Grand Marina and the Grand Street boat ramp, you may notice that one of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter’s across the Estuary is flying a non-U.S. flag.

That’s because on May 23, the 378-feet-long High Endurance Cutter Jarvis was decommissioned to be replaced by a National Security Cutters and transferred to Navy of Bangladesh as the BNS Somudra Joy.

Leading the transition are 90 members of the Bangladesh navy who arrived in the area over the past three months. Their prospective commanding officer is Capt. Mohammad Nazmul Karim Kislu, arrived in Alameda in March to begin preparations to receive the Jarvis.

The BNS Somudra Joy is set to leave California later this year, when 26 former-Jarvis crew members will serve as advisors and assist the Bangladesh crew.

(The flag of Bangladesh, dark green with a red circle–symbolizing the sun, was adopted by the country after the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971.)

U.S. Coast Guard Vice Adm. Paul F. Zukunft, Pacific Area commander, and Vice Adm. Muhammad Farid Habib, chief of naval staff for the Bangladesh Navy, signed the official paperwork to transfer the Coast Guard Cutter Jarvis to the Bangladesh Navy on May 23.

The National Security Cutters, compared to 378-foot cutters, are designed to provide better sea-keeping and higher sustained transit speeds, greater endurance and range, and the ability to launch and recover small boats from astern, as well as aviation support facilities and a flight deck for helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles.

(U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Pamela J. Boehland)


Kidd Tapped as NBA Coach


Former St. Joseph Notre Dame High School — and NBA — star Jason Kidd, 40, is now set to coach the Brooklyn Nets.

Kidd retired from the NBA less than two weeks ago after one season with the New York Knicks. He is second on the NBA’s career list in assists and steals, won an NBA title with Dallas and has two Olympic gold medals. ]

After playing for St. Joe’s in Alameda, Kidd went on to join the Cal basketball team.

The Bay Area native told the press this week that he was also contacted by the Dallas Mavericks.


Concerts at the Cove Return Tonight!

crab cove

Now in its 14th year, the series of Concerts at the Cove has returned — with the first concert set for tonight (Friday, June 14) at 5:30 p.m. Other free concerts will take place on Friday, July 12, and Friday, August 9.

During the shows (from 5:30-7:30 p.m.), the Crab Cove Visitor Center will stay open for kids of all ages.

The Rotary Club of Alameda, East Bay Regional Park District and the Regional Parks Foundation work together to host the popular events.

Tonight’s band is Fleetwood Mask — a Fleetwood Mac tribute band. The Bob Claire Orchestra will perform on July 7, followed by the Battle of the Bands between Bear Lincoln, Rudolph and Soulstice on the second Friday in August.

There can be as many as 2,000 people at the concerts, so organizers suggest that Alamedans ride their bikes to the even.

Visitors can bring their own food but no alcoholic beverages. Also, there will be food, snacks and drinks for sale, starting at 4:30 p.m.