Alameda school chief to step down

Rob Siltanen over at School 94501/94502 is reporting that Ardella Dailey, Alameda Unified’s superintendent, is leaving. Siltanen says to expect an official announcement soon. The news comes on the heels of the recent resignation of district CFO Luz Cázares, who’ll be taking a job in Pleasanton. [Ed. note at 6:30 pm: The Alameda Journal has more details on the story. And you can read the press release announcing her departure at School Board Trustee Mike McMahon’s site.]


Thursday morning: when will Alameda’s Measure H vote be final?

If you’re a compulsive checker, you can keep looking at the Measure H vote totals at the Alameda county registrar’s site. As of 9 a.m. Thursday morning there are 9010 ‘yes’ and 4676 ‘no’ votes: that’s 65.83 percent ‘yes’…just shy, of course, of the required two-thirds. (While the registrar’s site says that 100 percent of the votes have been reported, that’s actually not the case: there are still some number of outstanding votes.) The official word last night from the Yes on H campaign, via Andy Currid, was this:

We’ve confirmed with the registrar of voters that more ballots remain to be counted. These are absentee (vote-by-mail) ballots that were turned in at polling places yesterday, and provisional ballots that were cast at the polls yesterday. As of this evening, the county hasn’t yet reported how many uncounted ballots there are, but we hope to know by the end of this week…So there is still optimism Measure H could pass. It will all depend on how many votes remain to be counted, and how heavily those votes skew toward Yes on H.


In Alameda: Measure H headquarters all abuzz

andyandchantalatkaseI was over at Measure H headquarters this morning making phone calls and learning about my volunteer assignment as a poll watcher.

Today, my husband and I will be helping out our precinct captain, Anne Cevallos. We’ll be noting ‘yes’ voters who’ve already cast their ballots and giving reminders to those who haven’t gone over to the polls yet.

And, please remember, on the Democratic ballot Measure H is all alone on the back! Tricky, no? Also, it’s only regular voters who the campaign was able to contact who make the poll watching list volunteers are working with. So, if you’re not a regular voter and/or the campaign somehow didn’t reach you, let this serve as your reminder: go vote.

Pictured above are Andy and Chantal Currid. I don’t actually know what Andy’s official title for the Measure H campaign is—does he have one?—but he’s done buckets and buckets of work over the past months for Measure H. And, if you’ve been involved at all, you know that he’s very often up into the wee hours sending emails about what’s been done and what needs to be done. Chantal is no slouch either, helping out in all sorts of ways, including recruiting for phone banking and providing behind-the-scenes technical support.

kaseprecinctchart Also pictured is part of the chart which volunteers will be updating throughout the day as precinct workers call in, reporting vote totals in their areas. Happy election day! And happy democracy! Be a part of it.


Saturday is family fun day at the Alameda Free Library

I have it on the authority of the Alameda Free Library children’s librarian that Saturday is a great day to visit the library’s main branch for family fun. The day’s activities are focused on developing young children’s literacy skills. Children’s Librarian Eva Volin:

Literacy is so much more than just learning to read. It includes making reading a part of each family’s every day life, like brushing your teeth. Parents need to show their kids that reading is important by reading themselves, out in the open, where kids can see them do it. Family Fun Day is one way to help make that happen.

The event starts at 11 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m. There’ll be bookmaking crafts, a parenting workshop on raising media savvy kids, and the library will also be giving away free books. At 1 p.m. there’ll be a puppet show by the Puppet Art Theater.

Alameda Reads director Jordona Elderts:

Family fun day is a culmination of our Early Learning with Families (ELF) grant to promote library use for young families. Learning starts earlier than some realize and we want the library to be a resource for parents to gather, where they can get information and materials. The ELF Storytime program visits 19 sites using trained volunteers to read, sing, and play with preschool children each month.


Alameda theatre open! Indiana Jones played at midnight

Though, in the end, I did get a press pass, family obligations kept me from the gala theatre opening last night. And it’s too early at the moment—it being 6:35 a.m.—to call others and find out what they thought. But ABC news was there, the East Bay Express is running a theatre story on their cover this week, and your very own home-town Alameda Journal sent a correspondent to check out the building last week. Feel free to let me know how it went.

[Updated: It turns out John Knox White went. You can read his detailed and amusing description of the events here.]


Sunday success! Alameda Kiwanis 58th annual pancake breakfast

nora aef kiwanis
I was up early Sunday—despite the late night visiting friends in San Francisco—to lend a hand at the 58th annual Alameda Kiwanis Club pancake breakfast. To the right, Alameda Education Foundation office manager Nora Toy-Desmond scoops up pancake batter in the kitchen of the Elks Lodge, where the event was held.

This year, in response to state budget cuts to education, the Alameda Kiwanis are donating all proceeds from the breakfast to the Alameda Education Foundation. Like many other AEF board members, I was there to lend a hand—though I had light duty, taking pictures and distributing flyers.

annede richard kimRichard Kim, a local realtor and the Kiwanis Club president, taught me the Kiwanis motto: Changing the world one child and one community at a time.

He said AEF’s mission dovetails with Kiwanis’, and his club is glad to help support public schools in Alameda. Kim is pictured left with AEF board president Anne DeBardeleben, also a realtor.

Georgia Petrie Lynn Styne

Lynne Styne of A Season to Taste (front) and Kiwanis club member Georgia Petrie were flipping flap jacks. “We fired up grill at about five in the morning,” said Styne, who guessed they’d need to cook about 3,000 pancakes. They were not counting.

Octavio Guzman of La Piñata donated the food and supplies, Peet’s Coffee and Tea donated coffee and, local dentist Bruce Bothwell donated many flats of strawberries.

dawna dowdell and kristy perkins

By breakfast’s end, Alameda Kiwanis Club Secretary Kristy Perkins (in the foreground, pictured with Kiwanis president-elect Dawna Dowdell), told me they’d served 525 people and raised roughly $6,000 dollars.


Alameda Borders now open at South Shore/Towne Centre

Borders Store Media Tour

It was pretty much me, an Alameda Journal photographer, and Julia P. Tracey and another Sun reporter this morning at the ‘sneak peek’ tour of the new Borders. The store officially opened for business today at 1 pm.

I found the horde (four? five?) of PR folks very endearing, especially Tim Anderson (pictured above with puppets in the children’s section), who gave the tour.

It’s a nice store. It’s clean and bright and spacious. And, despite all their hyped-up focus on technological bells and whistles, it’s much like all the newer mega bookstores, with a cafe, easy-to-find book sections, appealingly-displayed wares and lots of cozy places to sit and relax.

And, yes, while I suspect our youth will make full use of the digital downloading, photo-album-making, book publishing stations, I’m most fond, I think, of the balcony on the east of the building, where you might just be able to sip a latte in peace. Main drawback I see? No free wireless (you gotta pay to play through T-Mobile). Though, Anderson says, some time in the future free wifi might just be ours.

You can find a list of the May 30 – June 1 grand opening weekend events (there’s about 20 of them, including visits from the likes of Strawberry Shortcake and former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, Jr.) online here.