Library, Gardeners Hosts Island History Talks

Alameda’s agricultural history will be the focus of a public forum set for 6:30 to 8 p.m. this Wednesday, Nov. 19, at the Main Library in the Regina K. Stafford meeting room on first floor.


The free talk will feature information about Alameda’s “earthy past,” organizers say.

The main speakers are Dennis Evanosky and Eric Kos, and the two “Alameda Sun” co-publishers will share the Island City’s agricultural heritage — including everything from runaway cows to squatters’ strawberries, as well as our ethnic gardens and victory gardens.


For those Islanders who can’t make the Nov. 19 event at the library, the program will be presented again at the next meeting of Alameda Backyard Growers.

The group will gather at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 8, at Rhythmix Cultural Works, 2513 Blanding Ave.


Jazz Singer at Library on Sept. 20


Tickets are still available for the kick-off concert of this year’s Live at the Library series of music shows.

The Saturday, Sept. 20 event, which starts at 8 p.m., features jazz vocalist Jamie Davis. Davis, a native of Ohio, has a bass-baritone voice.

He’s sung with the Count Basie Orchestra, the BBC Orchestra and Big Band, and other groups; he’s performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival, Blue Note in New York, Milan and Tokyo, and Ronnie Scott’s in London.

“He has a gorgeous voice,” said co-organizer Eileen Savel, “and a long history of performing. Plus, his pianist is a real treat to hear.”

Appearing with Davis will be pianist Glen Pearson, drummer Leon Joyce, bassist John Shifflett and Roger Glenn on saxophone and vibraphone.

“All three of the Live at the Library shows should be very special,” co-organizer Ruth Belikove explained. “And they sell out quickly, so we ask community members to get their tickets soon at the Main Library or Books Inc.”

Tickets ($35) can also be bought online at Brown Paper Tickets or in person at the Main Library on the night of Saturday, Sept. 20.

Guests should enter through the back parking lot. The front doors will be locked.


Get Ready for the Big Island Parade!


Alameda Mayor’s Fourth of July Parade will kick-off at 10 a.m. on Friday.

The 3.3 mile route begins at Park Street and Lincoln Avenue and ends at Webster Street and Lincoln. Those wishing to check out the horses and parade floats before the event can come down to Park Street and Everett Street starting at 8 a.m.

There’s also a five-kilometer race and walk that starts at 9:45 a.m. at the corner of Park and Santa Clara Ave. It ends at Webster and Haight Avenue, in front of the judge’s stand.

“The Wells Fargo stagecoach is back this year, which is pretty exciting,” said event chair Barbara Price. “There’s a large horse population in the parade, too.”

The annual event is expected to include over 180 entries and as many as 55,000 spectators. Some 3,000 individuals and animals are participating.

Bay Area native Michael Finney, a longtime consumer reporter with ABC7 News and also KGO-AM 810, will be the grand marshal. Finney, a former Alameda resident, says he has close ties to the Island.

“I have been to the Mayor’s Fourth of July Parade may times with my brother and his family. I think the world of Alameda and was honored that Mayor Marie Gilmore asked me to take on this role,” Finney said.

Participants include a wide range of community and cultural groups, business organizations and more. There also will be plenty of VIPs and others in classic cars, along with groups on bikes, tricycles, stilts and other forms of transportation.

Marching bands and equestrian groups are always a highlight, organizers say. Last year, the Mayor’s Trophy went to the Otaez-El Agavero Charro Association of horseback and trick riders.

Alameda Backyard Growers invites community members to join it and march on the big day.

The gardening group is entry #117 this year. Its members will line up on Lincoln between Park Street and Grand Avenue by 9 a.m.

Marchers are encouraged to bring water, wear comfortable shoes and have sunglasses; sunscreen is highly recommended.



Fanciful Exhibits Set for Rhythmix, PopUp


A new show — Fitz, Fish & Phil — featuring the work of Andrew Fitzpatrick, Mark P. Fisher and Philip Hargrave will open with a reception at Rhythmix Cultural Works’ K Gallery from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, July 11.

The show will run until Sept. 5, and a second reception is planned for the same time on Friday, Aug. 8, at the gallery, 2513 Blanding Ave.

“Working with humor and pith, these three artists reveal themselves each to be a funny man with a sensitive side,” exhibit organizers said.

Hargrave says he uses art to question how we fit with nature, the universe and everything else, while Fisher sees his paintings as experiments in “painting as pratfall” or “painting as a kind of interior groaning.”

The gallery, which opened its doors on the Island in 2007, is accessible to the community from 6 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday.

PopUp Gallery, nearby at 1517 Park St., invites the community to celebrate its second anniversity in town on July 11.

It is hosting a exhibition of words and pictures by 11 Bay Area artists “whose imagery is infused with stories,” according to gallery staff members.

The new show, In Other Words, shares stories about personal journeys and cherished memories through private musings, poetry and prose and fragments of familiar novels. “This is visual storytelling at its very best,” show organizers say. “Our show will inspire you, surprise you and entertain you.”

Poet Éclat, also named Mark Lynch, engages and writes about people in real time, producing a personal, poetic metaphor of his subject’s essence in real time, according to the gallery, and guests who speak with him will receive a special poem to keep.

A reception for the PopUp artists is planned for 6 to 9 p.m. on July 11 during the monthly Estuary Art Walk.


High Street Station Hosts Special Meals for FAAS


High Street Station Cafe, which supports local charities, says that its Tuesday Night Dinners in July will benefit Friends of Alameda Animal Shelter (or FAAS).

As part of the July meal plan, patrons are invited to bring their dogs along to enjoy outdoor seating and treats at the restaurant, which is located at 1303 High St.

The meals(and their main dishes) are priced at $14 and will be served on:
* July 1 – cheese cannelloni with a choice of sauce
* July 8 – salmon with fruit salsa
* July 15 – pork tenderloin
* July 22 – grilled chicken
* July 29 – barbecue ribs

Reservations are requested; call 510-995-8049 and speak to Susan Timney or Lynda Kretlow.

In June, High Street Station Cafe raised nearly $1,000 for scholarships organized by the Alameda Association of University Women.


Kids, Teen Reading, Summer Programs in Full Swing

The Alameda Free Library’s Summer Reading Program runs from June 14 to Aug. 9. Drop by the library soon for full details; students receive prizes for their efforts!


Summer events for tweens (kids entering 4th-8th grades) are taking place at the Main Library at 1 p.m. on Tuesday and Friday afternoons in July, when there will be drop-in activities for tweens with Wii games, Legos, board games and snacks.

Special tween programs include origami and crafts at 1 p.m. on Friday, July 18, and the movie “Flipped” at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, July 29.

For teens, several special events are scheduled throughout July:
– 1 to 5 p.m., Friday, July 3, for Makerspace Madness, when teens can practice hands-on, fun chemistry, like making glow-in-the-dark gel;
– 3 to 5 p.m., Thursday, July 10, and Friday, July 11, for making paper projects, such as origami, book-binding, pop-up paper creations;
– 6 to 8 p.m., Monday, July 14, for building musical instruments out of everyday objects;
– 1 to 5 p.m., Thursday, July 17, for a challenging scavenger hunt complete with prizes; and
– 1 to 5 p.m., Thursday, July 24, for a teen book swap and smoothie making.

For more information about ongoing kids’ programs, go to the library’s website.


South Shore Shares Summer Concerts

South Shore

As in past years, South Shore Center says it will be presenting a Summer Beats Concert Series, a free, live music event starting next month and ending in late August.

The first concert is set for 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 19, with Mike Amaral’s California Beach Boys, a tribute rock band playing the Beach Boys’ classic hits. All performances take place in the Center Court.

Along with music, the concert series features family activities like face painting, henna tattoos, raffles and more. R&B Wine Cellars will sells some of its top wines at the event, as well.

Community members are asked to support the Alameda Unified School District’s Equipped 4 Success school-supply drive by donating basic items to fill backpacks for low-income students. All wine sales from the concert benefit the drive.

South will present these other shows this summer, from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday:
– Aug. 2, Tito Garcia Y Su Orquesta Internacional (Latin/salsa)
– Aug. 16, Sun Kings (Beatles tribute band)
– Aug. 30., Pure Ecstasy (MoTown)

Recently, South Shore announced that Studio Grow, an indoor play center that provides drop-in programs for children ages 0 to 6 years old plans to open at the retail center in mid-June.

“Studio Grow, which was founded in Berkeley in 2006, chose South Shore Center for its newest Bay Area location because it is Alameda’s premier lifestyle destination, particularly for young families,” said Julie Taylor, senior vice president of Cornish & Carey Commercial Newmark Knight Frank, in a press release.


Dog Bone Alley to Close

Dog Bone Alley

Dog Bone Alley, a popular shop for pooches and their owners at 1342 Park Street, will close its doors soon.

“We’re having a closing sale, with no firm date on when we will close our doors. It’ll be when the inventory is sold,” said owner Elizabeth Pinkerton.

Pinkerton adds that she closed her sister store in Danville a few years ago. She’s been in business in town for 10 years and is looking “to move in another direction.”

“It’s been a joy to serve pets and pet parents of Alameda, and I appreciate how supportive Alamedans have been through the years,” Pinkerton explained. “The business and Park Street have been great.”

The store was founded in 2004 and has specialized in pet supplies, including holistic pet foods made by Orijen, Fromm’s, Primal and SmallBatch.

The shop is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.


Watch World Cup at Alameda Theatre

World Cup

The Alameda Theatre and Cineplex is hosting free live high-definition screenings of matches at the World Cup 2014 in Brazil.

The theater staged a similar free screening in Hi-Def during the America’s Cup last summer.

Some of the upcoming matches that will be shown include:
– Colombia vs. Uruguay at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 28;
– Costa Rica vs. Greece at 1 p.m. Sunday, June 29;
– Germany vs. Algeria at 1 p.m. on Monday, June 30; and
– U.S. vs. Belgium at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, July 1.

The Speisekammer Restaurant on Lincoln Avenue is hosting all the matches, as well, as is El Agavero on Park Street. These spots are especially popular with the German and Mexican fans, respectively.


School Board Meets Tonight

The Alameda Unified School District Board is set to discuss several important issues at a meeting that begins at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 24, in the Alameda High School Cafeteria at the corner of Central Avenue and Walnut Street. The meeting will end no later than 10:30 p.m.

This is the first board meeting since Superintendent Kirsten Vital announced she is departing to pursue a job with the San Juan Capitrano School District in Southern California.

The meeting is closed to the public starting at 5:30 p.m., according to one board member, but should open to the public at 6:30 p.m.

Topics on the agenda include Vital’s departure, as well a proposal to put a $179.5-million bond measure, payable for the next 25 years with no exemptions, on the November ballot and related issues.

Another topic to be in focus is the public request to remove cell phone towers on Maya Lin Elementary, Wood Middle School and Alameda High School, as well as a request to allocate Measure A parcel tax funds to new “innovative” programs at Franklin and Haight elementary schools.

The full agenda and associated documents are available online.