Alameda’s Nutcracker: Auditions in September

For the last three years, under the direction of Abra Rudisill, the Alameda Civic Ballet has put on a marvelous performance of the classic holiday show, The Nutcracker. As a young member of the dance school, my daughter has very much enjoyed the opportunity to dance and perform with a full range of dancers, from preschool to professional. “It feels so magical just to be there,” says my daughter. “It’s amazing because there’s so many rehearsals and so much work, and then you’re on stage. It’s so fun!” For those wishing to be a part of this year’s show—or to have their daughters and sons be a part—auditions will be on September 20th and 21st in the company’s Park Street studio. This year’s performances will be on Saturday, December 20, and Sunday, December 21. [The dancers pictured above are Cameron Beene, Peyton Hill and Zaria Zinn. Photo thanks to Austin Forboard, Rapt Productions.]


Looking to November: Alameda council candidates

Over at Alamedans you can read up on the four candidates for Alameda’s City Council—Tracy Jensen, Justin Harrison, Marie Gilmore and Doug deHaan. Tracy Jensen and Justin Harrison have their own campaign web sites, while the two incumbents, Doug deHaan and Marie Gilmore don’t seem to (if I’ve somehow missed their sites, please let me know). Alameda’s League of Women Voters is sponsoring two forums where you can meet the council candidates. The first will be on Thursday, October 9, at 6:45 p.m. at Cardinal Point and the second on Thursday, October 30 at the Mastick Senior Center. And I would, of course, urge each and every one of you to attend one of those forums and put a face and voice and person to the name. All the better to make a solid choice in the voting booth.


Alameda librarian Eva Volin at Comic Con

Alameda’s Head Children’s Librarian Eva Volin is featured in this National Public Radio report. She was interviewed at Comic Con, a national comic book convention. Comics (or graphic novels), are all the rage, especially Japanese Manga—which are popular with both girls and boys. Volin is working hard to keep Alameda’s library shelves stacked with good reads.


Del Monte Building development

Saturday I was driving my son down to a birthday party at the Bladium and he asked, as we passed that long brick structure on Buena Vista across the street from Littlejohn Park, “What’s that building for, Mom?” I hemmed and hawed, not really knowing. “I think it used to be where they packed fruit. It might be vacant now.” But today Alameda’s own Lauren Do has a post about some developments at the old Del Monte building, which one city document indicates was built in 1927 by the Alaska Packing Corporation. For fruit? For fish? I still don’t know. But it sounds like soon it’ll be an Asian-themed marketplace-type-establishment. Lauren has lots of details.


Photos from Alameda’s Fourth of July Parade

My photo tech just finally downloaded the pictures she took at Alameda’s Fourth of July Parade.
the singing blue stars of the uss hornet

small dogs fourth of july float She, like me, almost always cries at parades. She likes observing the celebration of all different kinds of passions and hobbies, joys and commitments. And if it’s not a general sense of being overwhelmed by the variety and richness of the human experience that moves her, there’s always a disabled American veterans float, stop the war fourth of julyand thinking about lives changed by war, that really makes her eyes moisten. There were more than 150 and floats at the parade this month. Here’s shots of three.


Dr. Robert Butts, well-loved Alameda pediatrician

Pediatrician Dr. Robert Butts died last Friday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was not my children’s doctor, but over the years I’ve heard many, many people speak of him with great fondness. A Caring Bridge page set up in his honor lets you learn more about him and his life. You can also leave a message for his family there. Michele Ellson over at The Island also has more details about Dr. Butts, and there will be a memorial service in his honor at Alameda’s Immanuel Lutheran Church on Friday, July 25, 2008 at 1:00 pm.


Alameda sailors race in Pacific Cup

Four Alameda sailors—Michael Andrews, Ted Floyd, Rodney Pimentel and
John Hemiup—set sail for Hawaii on July 14. Their boat, Azure, is one of 61 participating in the 2008 Pacific Cup. They started on Monday from San Francisco’s Saint Francis Yacht Club, and will race across 2,070 miles of Pacific Ocean to Kaneohe Bay, Oahu. They expect the crossing to take 12 to 14 days. You can check their ongoing progress on the log of their journey. And you can also track their race standing (they’re in Division A) here.

Here’s an excerpt from yesterday’s travelogue:

Day 2 Update: We had a very rough night. We went north in the light air thinking the wind would strengthen, but unfortunately it did not pay off. We are reaching at 5 knots SW looking for wind now. Hopefully we will be putting our spinnaker up soon. Curry chicken with saffron rice in on the menu tonight.


S-S-Summer camp in Alameda at Rhythmix Cultural Works

Like a good percentage of Alameda parents with school age kids, I send my kids to summer day camp. These are usually week-long sessions (though some are longer) and they come in all types, from zoo camp to gymnastic camp, art camp to science. Last week, my kids went to camp over at Rhythmix Cultural Works, on Blanding near the new Nob Hill. RCW has been open for quite a while, and I’m embarrassed to admit I’d never been there before last Monday when I dropped the kids off, lunch and water bottles in their backpacks. It turned out to be possibly the Best Camp Ever. In the mornings, they practiced Taiko (Japanese drumming) and Capoeira (a Brazilian dance/martial art), and in the afternoon they crafted elaborate bugs and their habitats. The vibe was good, the kids were happy, and they blossomed with all the music and art (even performing skits that the campers had crafted in their unstructured time at the showcase for parents on Friday afternoon). There’s still two sessions left this summer…and I’d highly recommend the experience.


Jeep driver on path reportedly deliberately killed pedestrian

It’s depressing and sad, but the Alameda Journal‘s Peter Hegarty is reporting that the driver who ran over 78-year-old George Marceline on the path that goes along the Bay near Shoreline Drive early Saturday morning did so on purpose. The driver, Dionisio Roxas Molina, 36, first claimed he had no memory of the incident and was admitted to the hospital for examination. Later, he said he did it on purpose and that he also tried to hit another pedestrian on his drive along the path as well.