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Library & Redux Host Art, Film Events

By Janet Levaux
Saturday, March 8th, 2014 at 8:20 am in Uncategorized


Alameda Free Library will show the original “Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” a film made in 1947 on 5:30 p.m. on Monday (March 10). Danny Kaye stars as a mild-mannered man who imagines that he is several dare-devil heroes in the film, which is based on a shorty story by James Thurber.

The art of Georgia O’Keeffe will be in focus at the library at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday (March 12), when docent Marsha Holm of the de Young Museum in San Francisco will speak about the painter’s time at Lake George. While there from 1918 to 1934, O’Keefe created over 200 paintings on canvas and paper, along with sketches and pastels.

On the second floor of the library, Wood Middle School students are showcasing their 13th-annual Museum of History exhibit. With help from Alameda County Service-Learning Waste Reduction project coordinator Nate Ivy, the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students put together a fashion show of historic outfits made from trash; hence, they are calling the March show “A History of Trashion.”

Nearby, Redux Studios & Gallery on Lincoln Avenue is showing artwork made by San Quentin inmates on death row through April 6. The exhibit features nearly 100 works made by a group of prisoners.

The aim of the show is not to debate capital punishment but “to highlight the humanity we all share and in doing so offer some beauty from an unexpected source,” organizers say. It was put together in cooperation with the St. John Bosco Prison Ministry at Holy Spirit Church in Fremont.

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Spring Festival, Sailing Open House Set for Weekend

By Janet Levaux
Saturday, March 8th, 2014 at 8:16 am in Uncategorized


The Harbor Bay Intercultural Committee is hosting the 16th annual Spring Festival at Harbor Bay Landing, 3195 Mecartney Road, today (Saturday, March 8) from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The event is free.

At noon, the Lincoln Middle School Marching Band will perform, along with other groups showcasing their talents using Chinese musical instruments. Performers also will highlight multi-cultural dances, martial arts and the lion dance.

There will be booths with snacks for sale, as well as demonstrations of Tai Chi, hand-pulled noodles, fruit carving, Chinese calligraphy, brush painting, and arts and crafts.

Organizers suggest that community members bring along folding chairs to enjoy the performances and fun.

On Sunday, March 8, the Encinal Yacht Club is hosting a free Junior Sailing Open House from 1 to 4 p.m. at 1251 Pacific Marina.

Families are encouraged to attend and meet junior sailors and instructors. They can also take a tour of the club, relax by the pool and check out the boats used in the program.

There will be free sailing rides, refreshments and T-shirts (limited to one per family).

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Benefit for Music Programs, Free Family Film on Tap

By Janet Levaux
Friday, March 7th, 2014 at 4:45 pm in Uncategorized

Rhythmix Cultural Works is hosting a benefit for after-school music programs on the Island tonight (March 7) starting at 7 p.m. The theme, Serenade at the Arcade, is a CD-release part for the String Arcade Quartet.

There will also be music from Minecraft, Plants vs. Zombies, Legend of Zelda, Portal, Galaga and more, as well as games brought in from High Scores Arcade and Oakland’s Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment. Tickets are $5-$25.

Those looking for free family entertainment should head over to the Alameda Free Library on Oak Street, where “The Black Stallion” will be shown at 7 p.m. this evening.

The film tells the story of a boy at the end of World War II, who is traveling on a ship off the north coast of Africa. Later, a storm and fire sink the ship, leaving them as survivors.

The two are soon marooned on a remote island and then are returned to U.S., where the boy meets a horse trainer and works on becoming a competitive racer.

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Mastick Art Show in Full Swing

By Janet Levaux
Friday, February 28th, 2014 at 7:39 pm in Uncategorized


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).

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Trashion Show Opens March 4

By Janet Levaux
Friday, February 28th, 2014 at 7:28 pm in Uncategorized

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 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.

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Still Time to Support Boys & Girls Club

By Janet Levaux
Friday, February 28th, 2014 at 7:12 pm in Uncategorized

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.

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Spring Garden Workshop Slated

By Janet Levaux
Friday, February 28th, 2014 at 6:27 pm in Uncategorized


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).

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Capone’s Speakeasy Comin’ to Park

By Janet Levaux
Friday, February 28th, 2014 at 6:19 pm in Uncategorized

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.

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Beached Yacht Gone; Later Sunsets Back

By Janet Levaux
Friday, February 21st, 2014 at 12:42 pm in Uncategorized


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.


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Meet Photographer at Main Library

By Janet Levaux
Tuesday, February 4th, 2014 at 4:34 pm in Uncategorized


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.

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