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Earth Day Cleaning, Festival Set for Saturday

By Janet Levaux
Friday, April 18th, 2014 at 2:43 pm in Uncategorized

Scout 1

Earth Day activities begin at about 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 19, in Alameda at Crab Cove, 1252 McKay Ave. Volunteers are needed to clean up the beach area in the park and along Crown Memorial Beach for about 90 minutes.

“It’s important for everyone to care for the Earth, and this is one way people can help the park district do so on Earth Day and every day,” explained East Bay Regional Park District spokesperson Emily Hopkins. “We invite everyone to come to the educational programs that day and at other times, too.”

Starting at 10 a.m., Alameda’s 15-annual Earth Day Festival kicks off at Washington Park, 740 Central Avenue. The festival ends at 3 p.m.

The theme of this year’s event is Feel Your Power. “It’s like a one-stop shop, so you can get lots of information regarding steps for change that are Earth friendly,” said Patrick Russi, recreation supervisor for the Alameda Recreation and Park Department.

Free activities include fun games and exhibits led by the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of Alameda; Cotton Candy Express will dance, sing and share games with children at the event.

“For the kids, there also will be several jump houses,” Russi explained, “and Rocket the Bike,” which is a bicycle that powers a paint-filled spinner inside a drum and creates colorful patterns on paper.

“Alameda Municipal Power will give away super-hero capes that kids can get stickers for at the different booths,” he added. “The city’s Youth Activities Committee will set up booths, too, to sell food like pizza and hot dogs.”

Some vendors from the Alameda Farmers’ Market will sell treats at the event, as well. The traditional farmers’ market will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., a few blocks away at Webster Street and Haight Avenue.

The Earth Day event is sponsored by Alameda Municipal Power, Alameda County Industries, City of Alameda Public Works Department, Alameda Recreation and Park Department, and East Bay Regional Park District.

“It’s put together through the collaboration of many city departments and other organizations,” said Russi. “Plus, some vendors come out to promote Earth-friendly activities, including Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter.”

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Teen, Community Literary Events on Tap

By Janet Levaux
Thursday, April 17th, 2014 at 5:19 pm in Uncategorized

Teens and young adults are invited to the Alameda Free Library for an open-microphone night starting at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 18.

April is National Poetry Month, and community residents are asked to share poetry, music and spoken-word talent at the gathering.

Call 747-7780 or e-mail to register in advance; enter through the backdoors.

This Saturday, April 19, at 7 p.m., Books Inc. welcomes members of the Alameda High School Inkwell Society, including Ben Freck and Andrew Nguyen. The students will share their collected works of poetry, prose, and art at 1344 Park St.

Teens are invited to come to the Main Library and discuss Cory Doctorow’s book “Little Brother,” about a 17-year-old with tech talents who gets into trouble with the law, at 3:30 on Thursday, April 24.

Residents of all ages can attend a blogging workshop at 6 p.m. on April 28. Sign up at the library or email

According to staff members of Books Inc., the Main Library’s event with best-selling author Laini Taylor on Tuesday, April 15, was a big hit. Books Inc. sold copies of the third book in Taylor’s popular trilogy at the gathering.

Close to 100 people packed the library, and many bought her latest work, “Dreams of Gods and Monsters.”

Taylor’s “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” series tells the story of Karou, a teen art student in Prague raised by creatures called chimaera that require her to do bizarre tasks, while she avoids the wrath of a man with fiery eyes and wings.

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Rosenblum Cellars to Leave Alameda

By Janet Levaux
Thursday, April 17th, 2014 at 4:50 pm in Uncategorized


Rosenblum Cellars said earlier this week that it was going to vacate its location near the Alameda Ferry and open up a new wine-tasting venue across the Estuary in Jack London Square.

“Rosenblum is proud of and committed to its roots in the urban East Bay, Alameda and Oakland area. More than half of Rosenblum’s loyal wine club members live locally and visit regularly to sample and buy wines, so finding a new location in the East Bay was a top priority,” said Brigid Harris, general manager of direct-to-consumer operations for Diageo Chateau and Estate Wines, which bought Rosenblum in 2008.

In 2010, Rosenblum wine production ended in Alameda after 13 years and was moved by Diageo to Napa Valley.

“We listen to our club members and visitors to our locations in the East Bay and Healdsburg. We know they love Rosenblum Cellars for great quality wines and for the warm atmosphere of our wine experience. We also know they enjoy food and wine pairings, as well as good food in general. For all of these reasons, we are excited about the new Rosenblum space and all the Oakland location will offer,” Harris added in a press release.

Rosenblum will let its Alameda lease expire in June. It plans a grand opening events in Oakland in July. The group’s wine-tasting lounge in Healdsburg opened in October 2013.

Kent Rosenblum founded the winemaker in Oakland in 1978 and moved it to Alameda in 1987; it specializes in Zinfandel and Rhône varietals.

Rosenblum and his daughter Shauna Rosenblum run the operations of Rockwall Wine Co., which is based at Alameda Point.

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Best-Selling Teen Author at Library Tonight

By Janet Levaux
Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 at 12:35 pm in Uncategorized


Laini Taylor, who has written the “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” trilogy of young-adult fantasy books, will be at the Main Library from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, April 15.

The third book in the series, “Dreams of Gods and Monsters,” will be on sale at the event via Books Inc. Refreshments will be served, and there will be a raffle.

The trilogy tells the story of Karou, a teen art student in Prague raised by creatures called chimaera that require her to do bizarre tasks, while she avoids the wrath of a man with fiery eyes and wings.

The books have received awards, and a movie adaptation of “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” is being produced by Universal Pictures and Joe Roth.

Taylor, a native of Chico, Calif., studied at UC Berkeley. She now lives in Portland, Ore.

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AAPS Hosts Discussion on Painting Historic Homes

By Janet Levaux
Sunday, April 13th, 2014 at 1:41 pm in Uncategorized


The Alameda Architectural Preservation Society presents a talk on “the mysteries of paint protection” at 7 p.m. this Sunday, April 13.

Speakers from Pacific Northwest Painters and Construction, which is based in Alameda, will share tips and information. The venue is Immanuel Lutheran Church at 1420 Lafayette St.

Cornelia and Eric Grunseth will discuss issues such as how to remove old paint and what new paint to use, as well as the right color schemes for historic homes.

The talk is free for members of AAPS and $5 for others.

The organization will host its annual Preservation Awards gala on May 18 at Auctions by the Bay Theatre.

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Talk on ‘Waterwise Gardening’ Set for Monday

By Janet Levaux
Sunday, April 13th, 2014 at 9:56 am in Uncategorized

Alameda Backyard Growers will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, April 14, for a presentation on water-wise irrigation with Chad Martens of Irrigation Equipment. The venue is Rhythmix Cultural Works at 2513 Blanding Avenue.

Despite the recent rains, the State of California is still in a drought. Gardeners need to figure out how to continue to grow food, while using a minimum amount of water of water.

Martens will discuss how to deal with water restrictions and how to make the most of the water you have. The water expert has been involved in designing, constructing and repairing irrigation systems throughout his career.

The gardening group is gearing up for its participation in Amelia Earhart Green Festival, which will take place from 2 to 6 p.m. on April 16 at the Bay Farm school and the Alameda Earth Day Festival, scheduled for Saturday, April 26, at Washington Park.

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Last Day for Strictly Sail Pacific

By Janet Levaux
Sunday, April 13th, 2014 at 9:42 am in Uncategorized


Sailors and non-sailors alike should head across the Alameda-Oakland Estuary for the last day of Strictly Sail Pacific, the 19th annual sailboat-only show at Jack London Square in Oakland. The show is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 13.

Many Alameda yacht clubs, sailing schools and boat brokers are on hand, along with their counterparts from all over the United States.

Lots of new yachts can be toured, including plenty of models brought up from Southern California.

In addition, there are bargains on sailing equipment, attire and gifts to be found, as well as sailing demonstrations and lectures on topics like anchoring, sail trim, communications equipment, gear failure, cruising the California coast, sailing to Mexico and more.

The Farmers’ Market at Jack London square will be open until 2 p.m. on Sunday, so plenty of edible treats are on hand, as well.

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West End Library Needs Helping Hands

By Janet Levaux
Friday, April 11th, 2014 at 9:55 pm in Uncategorized

west end

Friends, supporters and users of the West End Library are hosting a Spring Spruce Up from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 12.

The library, located at 788 Santa Clara Avenue, will provide refreshments to those community members who come do weeding and clipping.

Children are invited, with parental supervision.

All volunteers are asked to bring their favorite pair of work or gardening gloves.

The City of Alameda spent about $2 million upgrading to accessibility, electrical and data systems, furniture, lighting fixtures, and finishes at the library several years ago. It also ensured that the building had needed structural and seismic improvements, which were completed in June 2011, by Noll & Tam Architects of Berkeley.

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Economic Crisis in Focus at Forum

By Janet Levaux
Monday, April 7th, 2014 at 1:11 pm in Uncategorized

Alameda Public Affairs Forum invites community members to a talk on the U.S. economy in the third phase of the global economic crisis at 7 p.m. this Saturday, April 12, at the Main Library.

The speaker is Jack Rasmus, who will share his analysis of the current state of the U.S. economy, in the midst of today’s slowing global economy. Rasmus will explain why the global economic crisis is entering its third phase since the 2008 crash. He teaches economics and politics at St. Mary’s College in Moraga.

According to Rasmus, there are growing indications of financial instability and slower growth in China; Europe is mired in a slow drift toward deflation and stagnation; the emerging markets (Brazil, India, Turkey, Indonesia, etc.) have growing financial and economic volatility; and Japan is unable to stimulate its long-stagnant economy.

These themes will be discussed by Rasmus, along with the following questions: With fiscal policy having failed, or worsened, and while economic recovery and central banks monetary policies of “quantitative easing” and zero interest rates are globally generating counterproductive results, what is next for the U.S. and global economy?

Community members are asked to come by at 6:30 p.m. for a potluck of refreshments and snacks to share with friends and neighbors. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.

Park and enter through the back area of the library.

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Egg Scramble a Week Away

By Janet Levaux
Sunday, April 6th, 2014 at 9:40 am in Uncategorized

twins & friend

The annual Egg Scramble at the Crab Cove Picnic Area on McKay Avenue, which attracts hundreds of kids each year, is just a few days away.

The April 12 activities start at 10 a.m., but the real event begins at 11:40 a.m., when kids are separated into different age groups from beginning walkers to 12 year olds.

A rainout day has been scheduled for the following Saturday, April 19.

The City of Alameda says that pre-scramble activities include beach exploration, lawn games, arts and crafts, as well as photo-taking with the Easter Bunny ($3). Snacks will be available for purchase, courtesy of the Alameda Youth Committee (AYC).

The Alameda Recreation & Parks Department will have staff on hand to share information about summer programs.

In addition to the department, other sponsors are Alameda Rotary, the East Bay Regional Park District and the Alameda Youth Committee.

Each year, families return for the popular Easter-themed activities. Shown above are Alamedans Cooper Brotze and twins Graciella and Nathaniel Basco at the 2010 event.

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