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Recipe Swap, Food Tasting Set for Library

The Alameda Free Library is hosting a special event tonight (Tuesday, June 11) from 6 to 7:45 p.m. to kick-off its summer reading program for adults: Reading is So Delicious.

Those attending the event as asked to bring 10 or more copies of their favorite recipe and some samples to share with others.

(There is also a family story-time event at 7 p.m. on June 11 at the Bay Farm branch library.)

The adult summer-reading program will feature more special events each Tuesday evening and book discussions over lunch (12:30-1:30 p.m.) each Wednesday through July 31 in the outdoor garden of Dewey’s Café at the Main Library.

Adults who read and review books get tickets for the summer’s big raffle prize, which will be awarded on August 1.

At 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 18, the library will show the film “Chocolat,” which will be followed by a chocolate truffle-making event at 6:30 p.m. on June 25.

Families are invited to attend special events like sing-alongs, set for 2-3 p.m. on June 20 at the West End branch and 2-3 p.m. on June 27 at the Bay Farm branch; Lego time at the library will take place at 3:30 p.m. on June 20 at Bay Farm and 3:30 p.m. on June 23 at the West End branch. Kids 10-14 are invited to drop by the game room at the Main Branch from 1-3 p.m. on Tuesdays and Friday through July 30 for special activities.

A crochet class for tweens, teens and parents will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. on June 22 at Main branch; call 510-747-7713 to register. The Main branch library will show the film “Percy Jackson & the Olympians-The Lightening Thief” at 2:30 p.m. on June 28 as part of a celebration running from 1 to 4:30 p.m. that Friday, which will include cake decorating, games and other activities.

Library patrons also are invited to participate in the Food for Fines program. Through July 8, residents can bring canned food and other non-perishable items to any library branch to have their late fines waived. Donations will be given to the Alameda Food Bank.

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Composting Workshop Slated

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Alameda Backyard Growers is hosting a workshop on composting from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. tonight (Tuesday, June 11) at Rhythmix Cultural Works, 2513 Blanding Ave.

The event will be led by Bob Branstorm, master composter and Alameda County Master Gardener. Branstorm is also the author of the Urban Agroecology blog.

According to organizers, the gardening expert will explain how composting and vermi-composting works and why composting is important.

Guests are asked to bring a magnifying glass to examine various samples that will be on display.

ABG meetings take place on the second Tuesday of each month. The free gatherings are open to all residents of Alameda and the surrounding area, and gardeners of all experience levels are welcome.

Also, guests may bring fruit and vegetable donations for the Alameda Food Bank.

(Photo courtesy of Urban Agroecology)

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Kite Surfer Rescued off Crown Beach

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A kite surfer who had drifted off Crown Memorial Beach out toward Bay Farm Island was picked up by firefighters in a boat late Saturday, June 8.

Nearly 20 Alameda firefighters, as well as several police officers, gathered in the 1800 block of Shoreline Drive at 7:15 p.m. to launch a boat and rescue the man, who was described as middle aged.

No one was injured in the rescue.

Firefighters say the kite surfer had become tangled in his rig and was continuing to drift out into the Bay, prompting their concern and emergency efforts.

(Photo courtesy of Boardsports School and Shop)

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Ballena Bay Hosts Pirate Party

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The Ballena Bay Yacht Club is celebrating the retirement of its “Captain,” Bill O’Sullivan this Saturday, June 8.

The big event is being themed as a “Pirate Party” with musical entertainment provided by Skip Henderson and the Starboard Watch starting at 5 p.m.

For $15, guests can also enjoy a meal with Cap’n Bill’s grilled tri-tip, baked potatoes, salad, Tucker’s Ice Cream and more.

The event also will include a pirate-themed costume contest and … “plenty o’ grog.”

Skip Henderson’s group performs regularly in Alameda, at places like the Speisekammer Restaurant on Lincoln Avenue.

(Photo courtesy of Ballena Bay Yacht Club.)

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Artemis to Pass on Opening Cup Races

Artemis Racing, 3 November 2012, Alameda, USA

Artemis Racing, Sweden’s entry in the 34th America’s Cup, will not be ready for the opening races of the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger series that start on July 7 due to boat repair and other issues.

On May 9, the Alameda Point-based racing team was practicing on its 72-foot catamaran when the boat capsized. Andrew “Bart” Simpson of Britain died, apparently after he became trapped under the wreckage.

Team Artemis says its AC72 should be ready to race in late July. “When the sailing team is satisfied that the boat can be pushed hard in race conditions, it will join the competition,” the group said in a statement.

“We are working around-the-clock to get our new boat ready, in the water and to prepare our team to race” explained Paul Cayard, CEO of Artemis Racing. “We still have a mountain to climb, but our plan is to launch our new boat in early July and get ourselves in a position where we can race by the end of the month.”

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Thief of Stolen Yacht Sentenced

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Christopher Maffei of South San Francisco will serve up to three years in jail for abducting his two young children and taking them away on a yacht stolen out of Ballena Bay in Alameda.

Maffei was sentenced Friday, June 7, in San Mateo County Superior Court. With good behavior, Maffei could spend about nine more months behind bars because of jail time he has served since his arrest, San Mateo County prosecutors said. He was also ordered to do 16 months of supervision and stay away from his kids until his sentence is served.

That father of two took the his 2-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter from their South San Francisco home in early-September 2012. He then drove them to Alameda and stole a yacht owned by Club Nautique at Ballena Bay. He and the children spent three days on the water before the vessel ran out of gas off Monterey County.

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Filipino Freedom Being Celebrated

The Philippine Independence Day Organizing Committee is hosting a special event starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 8, at City Hall.

The first celebration of its kind on the island, the event will commemorate the day the Philippine Declaration of Independence from Spain was enacted on June 12, 1898, and the first republic in Asia was established.

Speakers at the event include Philippine Consul General Marciano A. Paynor, Jr., Assembly-member Rob Bonta, City Councilmembers Steward Chen and Tony Daysog, and other community leaders.

Organizers say the celebration will showcase Philippine history, culture and education on various issues faced by Filipinos and Filipino Americans today. There will also be dances, poetry, song and food – free for all.

There now are some 1.5 million people of Filipino-American descent residing in California, about 83,000 of whom live in Alameda County. Alameda is home to 5,419 Filipino-Americans, and 8% of Alameda Unified School District students are Filipino.

Many members of the Island’s Filipino community worked for the Naval Air Station.

The event is being sponsored by the City of Alameda in cooperation with the Alameda Committee to Celebrate FILAM History; Filipino Advocates for Justice; Alameda Multicultural Community Center; Knights of Columbus of Alameda; SF Filipino American Jazz Festival; East Bay Emergent; Independence Plaza Residents Council; Sampaguita Fil-Am Cuisine; and Bayanihan Youth Group at Encinal High School.

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St. Joe’s Kidd Retires from NBA

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Jason Kidd, the former start of Alameda’s St. Joseph Notre Dame High, Cal, the U.S. Olympic Team, Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns and finally the New York Knicks retired on Monday, June 3.

“You just knew it then how special a player he was going to be,” Jon Barry, who played at rival De La Salle High, said on ESPN. “As a ninth-grader, he was chiseled, he was a man among boys already.”

The 40-year-old played 19 seasons and is considered the most accomplished basketball player to come out of the Bay Area since Bill Russell (in the 1950s) and one of the best point guards in NBA history, experts say.

“Amazing career,” tweeted Dirk Nowitzki, with whom Kidd won an NBA championship on the Dallas Mavericks in 2011. “He always put the team and winning first.”

Among Kidd’s achievements:
• 10-time All-Star, a five-time first-team All-NBA selection and a nine-time first- or second-team all-defensive selection.
• Finished his NBA career No. 2 in assists (12,091) and steals (2,684), and No. 3 in 3-point field goals (1,988) and minutes played (50,111).
• All-time leading rebounder among NBA guards (8,725).
• 107 career triple-doubles
• Two Olympic gold medals

While at St. Joe’s, Kidd led the team to back-to-back state titles; he stood 6-foot-4 and weighed 200 pounds as a high schooler. His skills made the Alameda so popular that some of its games were played at Cal State Hayward and the Coliseum Arena.

Kidd also helped the Bears win back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances. With Cal’s upset of Duke in 1993, the former St. Joe’s star appeared on the cover of “Sports Illustrated.”

“My time in professional basketball has been an incredible journey, but one that must come to an end after 19 years,” Kidd said in a statement. “As I reflect on my time with the four teams I represented in the NBA, I look back fondly at every season and thank … every one of my teammates and coaches that joined me on the court.”

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Sand Castle Fest Set for June 1

The City of Alameda, Bayview Women’s Club, East Bay Regional Park District, Alameda Youth Committee and the Alameda Recreation and Park Department are hosting the 47th-annual sand castle and sculpture contest today at Robert Crown Memorial State Beach.

Participants can register before 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 1. Judging begins at 12 p.m., and an awards ceremony is set for 1 p.m.

“Start your creative juices flowing and get ready to bring your shovel and buckets to the beach to create a unique piece of art at our Sand Castle and Sand Sculpture Contest,” organizers say. “This free event is a fabulous family-fun activity to either participate in or just come down to watch all of the action.”

With the warm weather, plenty of guests are expected, so parking near Crown Beach could be difficult.

Also, crowds have left lots of trash in the area over the past week or so of nice weather, so bring a garbage bag and help keep Crown Beach clean! Your community will appreciate the effort.

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Church Hosts Hollywood Music Night

The music department of First Congregational Church presents “Saturday Night at the Movies” beginning at 6 p.m. tonight, Saturday, June, 1.

Classic Hollywood music spanning eight decades will be shared by the chancel choir, bell choir and soloists, who aim to “bring the magic, the memories, the romance and the adventure of your favorite movies to life,” organizers say.

An Italian dinner and silent auction will follow the concert at 7:15 p.m.

Adult tickets for the concert are $20 and include five raffle tickets; kids (6-12) tickets are $15. For the dinner and concert, tickets are $30 for adults and $20 for children.

Free child care will be available for children 5 and under beginning at 5:30 p.m.

All proceeds from the concert, dinner and silent auction benefit the church’s outreach activities and ministries.

The church is located at 1912 Central Ave., at Chestnut Street.