Mastick Art Show in Full Swing


A multimedia show now on display at Mastick Senior Center features over 50 drawings, paintings, ceramic objects, quilts, creative-writing projects, computer-graphic works and stained glass made by Alamedans over 50. (It will be up for viewing through mid-June.)

In addition to projects done by 25 students, the art show includes work by ceramics instructor Bonnie Randall Boller, drawings and paintings by teacher Mi’Chelle Frederick, and quilts by Kathleen Fennelly, who leads a class in this craft.

Student George Humphreys (above) has worked on watercolors and is one of the participants in the exhibit, which runs until June 11.

“Taking a class at Mastick is such an enriching experience because of the camaraderie that develops,” said volunteer Diane Alabaster. “You learn so much from the instructors and from other students, who inspire you, and you learn that you have talents you didn’t even know you had!”

The senior center draws both experienced artists and newbies to its classes, she says, including retired engineers and counselors. “It’s kind of amazing. Some of the artists are self-taught, while others have been formally trained. It’s an interesting mix.”

Mastick began hosting multimedia shows in 2012. The exhibits now take place in the spring and fall. “We’ve had a great turnout of participants, and this time, there’s even more diversity and more artists,” Alabaster shared. “Plus, we’ve had to add a second drawing and painting class at the center, as our first class was full. It’s great to have such participation, as we always want more!”

Along with their instructors, these Mastick students contributed to the exhibit: Karen M. Allen, Nancy DeMaranville, George B. Humphreys, Barbara Kruse, Lucile Smiell and Rosalind Harper (drawings and paintings); Gwen George, June Yamagata, Martha Bertelsen, Helene Young and Kathy Szumiloski (quilts); Anto Aghapekian, Barbara Buhrz, Robby Dickinson, Lynn R. Faris, Marilyn Gee-Cartwright, Chikako McNamara, Anne Williams and Dotti Reisbord (ceramics), Dee Clutts, Rebecca Chidlaw Cone, Ed McComb and Philip Tribuzio (creative writing); Lee Bertstand (computer graphics); and Alex Reisbord (stained glass).


Trashion Show Opens March 4

Wood Middle School students present their 13th-annual Museum of History show at the Alameda Free Library starting this Tuesday, March 4.

This year, in conjunction with Alameda County Service-Learning Waste Reduction Project Coordinator Nate Ivy, the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students have put together a fashion show of historic outfits made from trash. They are calling the show “A History of Trashion.”

Originally conceived as a classroom display, the student’s “museum” was exhibited for five years in the foyer of the Kofman Auditorium. Since the spring of 2007, it has been shown at the library.

The projects give the students a chance to reflect on their understanding of human history from the earliest times to the American experience, according to Wood Middle School. Students work in various media to recreate such models as Roman aqueducts, Muslim mosques, Renaissance treasures and Civil War weaponry.

In addition to historical issues, the exhibit allows students the chance to addresses the more modern problem of waste reduction by encouraging students to use recycled and reused materials from school and home in their museum projects.

Wood Middle School is now in its seventh year of collaboration with Alameda County’s Service-Learning Waste Reduction Project, which is funded by stopwaste.org. The school also has receiving a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Ocean Guardian grant, with a focus on marine debris, for the fourth year.

The Wood Museum of History will be accessible to the public on the second floor of the Main Library through March 29.


Still Time to Support Boys & Girls Club

The 29th-annual auction and gala fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Alameda takes place on tomorrow night (March) at the Hilton Oakland Airport.
The event’s theme is Mardi Gras, and the 350-plus guests are asked to wear Carnival-themed attire. They will be treated to New Orleans-style cocktails, appetizers, main courses, music and more.

The auction’s chief sponsor is One Toyota of Oakland, while Event Magic (based in Oakland’s Jingletown district) has donated decorations and other supplies, according to auction co-chair Sabrina Baltutis. South Shore Italian restaurant Trabocco Kitchen & Cocktails hosted a pre-gala event in support of the auction on Jan. 21.

Last year, the gala raised more than $120,000 for the Alameda Boys & Girls Club.

The gala will start with a silent auction, which includes a selection of fine wines and wine tastings, special jewelry, golf packages, pool parties and spa events, as well as vacations in and around Graegle, San Diego and Tahoe, as well as getaways to Aruba, Hawaii and Park City, Utah.

The event’s live auction, which takes place after dinner, features a Love Boat cocktail cruise for 20 couples with food catered by Saboor Zafar, gourmet dinners prepared by other local chefs, vacation packages and premier suites for an Oakland A’s and San Francisco Giants’ game. The top prize is pair of tickets to the 2015 Super Bowl and a six-night stay in Phoenix.

Later in the evening, the Stand Up for Kids donation drive takes place. That’s when a specific donation amount is announced, and guests stand up to contribute.

Lots of community members have stood up in past year to support the club’s activities, such as on-site technology, homework tutoring, sports, marine biology, cooking and gardening programs that serve over 1,200 children. In fact, this part of the auction raised about $28,000 in 2013.

Community members are asked to support the club’s programs by donating online in support of the gala through midnight on March 1.


Spring Garden Workshop Slated


Alameda Backyard Growers invites the community to a spring-garden planning workshop with Alison Limoges (aove, right), Alameda County Master Gardener, and Marla Koss (above, left).

The discussion is set to take place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, March 10, at Rhythmix Cultural Works, 2513 Blanding Ave.

Koss and Limoges will share their experience and expertise in garden planning and planting.

Koss has successfully produced fruits and vegetables in Alameda dirt for over 30 years. She also has been taking on practices of companion planting (clustering plants that work well together and separating those that don’t), which has improved her garden’s health.

Limonges is an Alameda County Master Gardener and supervises the garden program at Mastick Senior Center in town.

Future group meetings include: water-wise irrigation with Chad Martens of Irrigation Equipment Co. (April 14), and planning and planting a summer garden with Ann Naffziger, Alameda County Master Gardener (May 12).


Capone’s Speakeasy Comin’ to Park

Capone’s Speakeasy is set to open at Park Street and Central in early April, developers say.

The aim is to give Bay Area residents “an intriguing new nightlife option. Executive Chef Nicholas Koliopoulos plans to prepare Modern American cuisine small-plate foods. Brunch will also be served on Sunday.

Complementing this cuisine will be a “robust selection of contemporary, classic and signature cocktails, a California-centric wine list, a dozen mostly small producer beers, live music (jazz and light rock on Saturdays), DJ entertainment (Thursdays and Fridays), a dance floor, and staff adorned in period dress (think flappers and men in vests). This sets the stage for a vibrant night out in a locale evocative of a 1920s speakeasy,” organizers say.

Chef Koliopoulos, most recently at the Ranch at Little Hills in San Ramon and Auburn James Tasting Room in Danville, grew up in the Bay Area and graduated from Laney College with a Culinary Arts degree. Working with him will be General Manager Julie Ferrantino, who is known for her work at Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont and Paradise Grill in Castro Valley.

Highlights of the 85-seat dining room, being designed by architect Kevin Gregory and interior designer Naomie Wert, will include 72-foot long wood-topped bar. Capone’s will also have a private dining venue inside a bank vault that can accommodate 24 seated guests, plus a second floor balcony VIP room.

One of the friends of a principal investor in the restaurant coincidentally is the owner of Al Capone’s 1932 V-12 Packard automobile and Capone’s 133-foot yacht. The vessel, docked in Alameda, will be used to host parties and Bay excursions in conjunction with restaurant related special events.


Beached Yacht Gone; Later Sunsets Back


A sailboat that had run aground in the San Leandro Channel (shown above), just west of bridge that connects Alameda’s two islands, was removed earlier this week.

A security guard on Bay Farm Island said Tuesday that it had been reported to Alameda police and other authorities last weekend.

Boats frequently go up on the sand on the channel’s north side, which is particularly shallow when the tide is low.

In other news, the sun is setting at about 6 p.m. these days, and the sunsets are now splashed in pastel colors.

These vistas and many more will attract the attention of local photographers this weekend, during the Frank Bette Center for the Arts ninth-annual Alameda on Camera event–which brings 48 photographers (including this blogger) to 48 different sections of the Island for 48 hours of shooting.



Meet Photographer at Main Library


The Alameda Public Library presents works by photographer Richard Lee, who has organized an exhibit of images taken in Taishan, a city in the Pearl River Delta area of Southern China that is the native region of many overseas Chinese.

Lee’s exhibit, located on the second floor, will be shown through until March 1. A reception for the artists and the community will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 5, in the Stafford Meeting Room.

At the reception, Lee will discuss the Chinese diaspora and Taishan’s importance to many immigrants, who speak Cantonese (rather than Mandarin).

Local photographer Mary Elena Goodan is exhibiting her photographs of Alameda in the Regina K. Stafford Meeting Room through March.

Alameda Public Affairs Forum will discuss the importance of a free press and civil liberties, led by John Diaz, head of the editorial and opinion page of the “San Francisco Chronicle” from 7 to 9 p.m. this Saturday, Feb. 8, at the Main Library.

Come early to share refreshments.


Google Tries Out Ferry at Bay Farm

harbor bay

Google is offering its East Bay employees access to a private ferry service between the Harbor Bay terminal and Redwood City.

The service, being operated by the group that runs the San Francisco Bay Ferry, is running this week on a trial basis.

Google, which has drawn the ire of some San Francisco residents and protestors over its private bus service, staged a similar pilot ferry program from San Francisco recently.

According to the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA), Google is paying $275 per landing. In addition, its employees are asked not to park in public parking areas and are being offered a shuttle service from the ferry to the Google campus.

In other news, Google has been asked by the State of California to move a “mystery barge” from a construction site on Treasure Island in the middle of San Francisco Bay because the permits are not in order, a state official said Monday.

According to several news sources, this notice came after the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission investigated complaints about construction of the floating, four-story building.

Apparently, neither the Treasure Island Development Authority nor the city of San Francisco have the appropriate permits for work to be done at the sit.

Google currently leases the dock space for $79,000 per month, and the lease is good through August.


Art, Music Activities Set for Super Bowl Sunday


For those who are looking for some non-football-focused fun for Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 2, head over to Redux Studios & Gallery on Lincoln Avenue (off Park Street).

As part of Redux’ ongoing series of hands-on artistic workshops, visitors can stop by today from 4 to 6 p.m. to pick out old art prints that can be turned into more contemporary art pieces by painting, drawing or collage work.

Down the road at the Frank Bette Center for the Arts on Paru Street (at Lincoln), community members can submit applications by 5 p.m. the Alameda on Camera event, slated for Feb. 21-23.

Virago Theatre Company presents Giuseppe Verdi’s “Il Trovatore,” a tale of rivalry and passion, at the Alameda Elk’s Lodge on Santa Clara Avenue. The production is directed by Ellen St. Thomas and conducted by Robert Ashens.

Shows take place at at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 2 and 9, as well as at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb 7.

The opera, which will be sung in Italian with English subtitles, tells the story of the vengeful gypsy Azucena, and her son Manrico’s romance with the noblewoman Leonora, as well as his rivalry with the Count di Luna. The cast features Eileen Meredith as Leonora, Alex Boyer as Manrico, Jo Vincent Parks as Count di Luna and Elizabeth Baker as Azucena.


Come Enjoy Sun Kings Benefit Show

sun kings

Alameda’s popular Sun Kings band, which plays Beatles tunes and so much more, will be in full swing tonight at Eagles Hall, 2305 Alameda Ave.

Doors open for the show at 6 p.m., with music set to start at 7 p.m. A suggested donation of $15 will benefit the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

Dinner is set for 5-7 p.m. tonight; tickets are $15.

Also on tap, organizers say, is a raffle with $2,600 worth of items, including:
– 1 month membership to the Harbor Bay Isle Club with a training session, tennis evaluation and one spa service
– 4 rounds of golf at Sub Par Miniature Golf on Park Street
– A haircut with Andrea Guyette at Compliments Hair Design
– A facial party for 10 at SumBody & SumTime Spa on Park Street