Blood Drive Set for Nob Hill; Turkey Collection Organized by Food Bank


The American Red Cross is hosting a blood drive at Nob Hill Foods, 2531 Blanding Ave. (near the Fruitvale Bridge) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 26.

Donors with type 0 blood are especially needed.

To set up an appointment in advance, go to the Red Cross website and enter nobhill as the sponsor code. Donors can also call 1-800-733-2767.

Also, the Alameda Food Bank is accepting donations of frozen turkeys at its warehouse location, 650 West Ranger, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 26, during its turkey giveaway. The food bank says it will gladly accept turkeys, hams and more throughout the November and December holidays at both its warehouse and office facility; see its website for more details.


Big Plans for South Shore on Black Friday

Ice Rink 2

The owner of Alameda South Shore Center, Jamestown, has planned a full day of holiday fun (and shopping) for the community on Friday, Nov. 29, the day after Thanksgiving.

The mall’s Santa House will open at 11 a.m. and the Little Ice Rink at noon.

After that, in Neptune Court, the gourmet BBQ food truck Rib Whip will sells its best snacks from 11 a.m. to 2 pm. Christmas Carolers will perform from 2-4 p.m., and there will be a live jazz concert from 4-7 p.m.

Rib Whip also will give out free cookies and milk to those who get their photo taken with Santa.

Radio Alice 97.3 is sending a team to the the Little Ice Rink from 12-2 p.m. The radio suggests that guests sign up for a chance to win tickets to the sold-out Alice in Winterland concert, featuring Michael Franti, Gavin DeGraw and Delta Rae.

At 6 p.m., Santa will don skates and take to the ice, just before the evening skate session begins.

Ongoing Festivities

Santa will be onsite until Christmas Eve (Dec. 24). On weekdays, he’ll be at South Shore from 3-7 p.m., on Saturdays from 11 a.m.-7 p.m., and on Sundays from 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. From Dec. 20-23, he will visit from 11 a.m.-7 p.m., and on Christmas Eve, he’ll meet with kids from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Time to Name the ‘Nutcracker’ Flavor at Tucker’s


Tucker’s Super Creamed Ice Cream invites community members to drop by the shop from 6 to 8 p.m. tonight (Thursday, Nov. 21) and help name a new flavor created just for this season’s performance of “The Nutcracker,” which will be presented at 2 p.m. Dec. 21-22 at the Kofman Theater by the Alameda Civic Ballet.

Those taste-testing the new ice cream flavor at the ice cream parlor — 1349 Park Street — are asked to come up with a “Nutcracker”-themed name for it.

The person with the best name will receive tickets to the holiday production.


Pinball Museum Set for New Alameda Home


The Pacific Pinball Museum says it signed a letter of intent with the City of Alameda to restore the vacant Carnegie Library and turn it into its new home.

According to the organization, 1902 building–located at the corner of Santa Clara Avenue at Oak Street–has been empty since 1998.

Since 2001, the pinball group has collected nearly 1,000 pinball games but has only been able to display about 100 at its 1510 Webster Street location. Many of the collection dates to the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.

“It is extremely important to our mission that we occupy a building of historical significance,” said Larry Zartarian, chairman of the board’s chairman, in a statement. “The 1902 Carnegie Library is a testament to American education and an ideal location for the PPM to educate visitors about art, science and history as related to pinball and its uniquely American heritage.”

City Manager John Russo told the the group it could lease the space for 30 years if it agrees to finish restoration and bringing the Carnegie up to current day building code requirements. This means work on electrical, plumbing and sewer utilities, ADA accessibility, a needed HVAC system and fire sprinklers.

The City of Alameda has already spent over $4 million on the building’s retrofit.

“The PPM has been bringing people to Alameda for over 10 years and has established itself as a stable and imaginative non-profit,” said Alameda City Manager John Russo., in a press release “The prospect of having a pinball museum at the Carnegie is exciting and the City of Alameda looks forward to taking the next steps with PPM to make our common vision a reality.”

The museum will need to raise some $3.5 million in the next two years in order to make this plan a reality.

Contact the group at info@pacificpinball.org.


Trabocco Is a Real Treat

Trabocco Kitchen & Cocktails hosted a fun and tasty benefit for the Alameda Civic Ballet on Friday, three days before it officially opens at South Shore Center on Monday, Nov.18.

giuseppe headshot

Co-owner Christine Naish Naccarelli, a longtime dancer and board member of the ballet, staged the event along with fellow owner, husband and chef Giuseppe Naccarelli (above).

“We are so excited to bring something unique to Alameda,” she said. “The restaurant is exquisitely beautiful and we are amazed at how this vision has come together.”

(Restaurants have “soft openings” to get the service and kitchen staff used to working with customers, preparing meals and delivering them to clients in a timely fashion. The Naccarellis had a VIP event at their new restaurant on Saturday, Nov. 16.)

“From the beginning, we wanted a soft opening that would involve the Alameda Civic Ballet,” the co-owner said.

The Naccarellis began work on the restaurant about 18 months ago, when they heard that the previous Italian restaurant at the same location, Zeytini, had closed. “That piqued our curiosity,” Naish Naccarelli said.

Giuseppe Naccarelli had been with Il Fornaio for nearly 20 years and was vice president of kitchen operations for the company’s 22 restaurants.

“We were not looking to open a restaurant, but we saw this opportunity,” Naish Naccarelli said. “We live here and love the town. It became worth it to us for him to leave the great job he had with Il Fornaio. We decided to be brave and go out on our own.”

On Friday night, guests enjoyed wine from the Abruzzo region of Italy (where the chef is from), along with tasty salads, appetizers, pizza, fish stew and other dishes. The terramisu is served in large slices and is extremely delicious. The bar is also very good at making specialty cocktails with liquor from St. George Spirits.

With Trabocco’s opening at the mall, Alamedans are likely to make lots of trips to South Shore for more than groceries or gift shopping.


Live@The Library Wraps Up Another Great Season


Library supporters and music lovers enjoyed the last of three concerts in the 2013 Live@The Library series at the Main Library on Saturday, Nov. 16.

The guest performer, cabaret singer Paula West, was introduced by Oakland East Bay Symphony conductor Michael Morgan.

“When you listen to a good singer, at the end of a song, you can say you know how the song goes,” Morgan said. “At the end of a song performed by Paula West, you can say you know what the song means.”

Indeed. West’s interpretation of Bob Dylan’s “Rolling Stone” was impressive–full of respect for the original and yet fresh and contemporary. And she sang more traditional jazz tunes, like “Get Along Lil’ Doggie,” like the jazz great that she is.

(Earlier in the evening, the petite singer had introduced her two bull dogs to some members of the Alameda community.)

Alameda Free Library Foundation organizers were pleased with the show and the fact that the group’s fund-raising effort has hit $35,000 out of its $50,000 goal.


Otaez Supporting Local Sailing Group

Otaez Mexican Restaurant is helping to support the Alameda Community Sailing Center starting at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 13.

The restaurant, located at 1619 Webster St., will share 10% of proceeds from evening meals bought by guests who bring in a special ACSC flyer.

ACSC ran a summer youth program at Ballena Isle Marina several months ago for 75 young students, ages 8 to 13. The group hopes to start adult and racing programs and appreciates the community’s support.

To reach the sailing group, call 510-629-9282 or write to info@sailalameda.org.



Ballerinas, Elks Serving Breakfast


The Alameda Elks are teaming up with the Alameda Civic Ballet from 8:30 a.m. to 11:20 a.m. today and hosting a breakfast that will benefit the ballet’s upcoming production of “The Nutcracker.”

Community members are invited to come by the Elks Lodge at 2255 Santa Clara Ave., and enjoy a hearty breakfast while supporting this great Island-based holiday activity.

Student performers will be serving meals. Tickets are $12 for those 12 and up, and $6 for kids ages 4 to 11; children under 3 get in for free.

This is the ninth year that the Alameda Civic Ballet will be putting on “The Nutcracker.”

Shows are set for 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 21, and Sunday, Dec. 22, at the Kofman Theater, 2200 Central Ave.


Middle East Expert to Speak at Forum


University of San Francisco professor Stephen Zunes will speak on Middle Eastern affairs at the Alameda Free Library tonight (Saturday, Nov. 9).

His talk, which will focus on Syria, Iran and the United States, is sponsored by Alameda Public Affairs Forum.

The discussion is set to start at 7:15 p.m. Community members are invited to join group members for refreshments and conversation at 6:30 p.m. (The front doors to the library may be locked, so enter through the back garden entrance.)

Zunes is recognized as one the country’s leading scholars of U.S. Middle East policy and of strategic non-violent action. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University, his M.A. from Temple University and his B.A. from Oberlin College.

He recently wrote the following view on the ongoing civil war in Syria and the involvement on U.S. and other troops: “Foreign military intervention would prolong the war and increase the carnage still further. But this does not mean that the U.S. in conjunction with others, including Syrian civil society, cannot do anything to help the situation.”


Kids on Stage in Two Separate Shows


Alameda Children’s Musical Theatre is putting on a production of “The 25th-Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” a musical comedy, this weekend and next at Maya Lin School, 825 Taylor Ave.

Shows will be staged at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 8-9 and Nov. 15-16. On Sunday, Nov. 10 and 17, shows will take place at 2 p.m. Tickets are $7-$13.

Tomorrow Youth Rep presents “Phantom Toll Booth,” put on by students at several schools on the Island.

Be sure to catch a show at 6:30 p.m. Friday (Nov. 15), as well as at 12, 3:30 and 7 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 16) and at 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. on Sunday (Nov. 17) at Michaan’s Theater, 2700 Saratoga. Admission is free, but donations will be gladly accepted. More shows are set for next weekend at the same time.

The show will be shared with the public at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 15, and at 12 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 16., at Michaan’s Theater, 2751 Todd St., out at Alameda Point.

Admission is free, but donations will be gladly accepted, group members say.