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Tickets on Sale for Saturday’s Chili Cook-Off

By Janet Levaux
Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014 at 10:02 pm in Uncategorized

Kiwanis Event

More than 10 teams will go head-to-head in the 15th-annual Kiwanis Club of Alameda’s Chili Cook-Off, set to take place at the O’ Club this Saturday, Jan. 25, at 5:30 p.m.

Teams include Alameda firefighters, members of the Alameda Business Network (shown above) and the Alameda Education Foundation, as well as staff and owners from the 1400 Bar & Grill on Webster Street.

Back Forty Texas BBQ Roadhouse & Saloon in Pleasant Hill is supplying the self-service dinner menu, while La Penca Azul on Park Street is handling the no-host bar. Music for line dancing and more will be provided by A Sound Explosion of Alameda.

“We want to raise $20,000 this year,” said event chair Scott MacAskill, “and have between 270 and 300 guests. We also hope the silent auction and raffle will bring in some additional financial resources for charity.”

In past years, proceeds have helped support organizations like the Alameda Boys and Girls Club, Alameda Family Services-Head Start, Alameda Food Bank, Alameda Point Collaborative, Girls Inc. of the Island City, Alameda Education Foundation and Alameda Homeless Network.

Two iPads will be given out via raffle, and more than 90 items will be sold through a silent auction. Some of the goods and services included in the auction are a private dinner party for eight, a sailing boat trip for four to Angel Island, a week of summer camp at the Bladium, membership for several months at the Mariner Square Athletic Club and a beauty basket from Ulta.

There’s still time for community members to form a team and sign up for the chili contest or to sponsor a table at the event. Some of the cook-off’s major sponsors are Alameda Business Network, Harbor Bay Realty, H&R Block, Sterling Mortgage Specialists and Jan Nichols-Franz Piano Studio.

Tickets can be purchased online for $25-$50.

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Teen Book Group to Meet; Poet Rudge to Be Missed

By Janet Levaux
Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014 at 3:23 pm in Uncategorized

The Alameda Free Library is hosting a get-together for teens from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. in the Stafford Meeting Room at the Main Library this Thursday, Jan. 23.

The group invites teens to come by and sign up. Members will get a copy of “The Maze Runner” by James Dashner, which the teen organization is reading.

Those with questions or who care to RSVP can reach out to Matt Concieatori at or call 510-747-7780.

In other literary news, Alameda poet laureate Mary Rudge has died. Her family says she passed on Monday. Rudge was born in Los Angeles but grew up in Texas and Oklahoma. She became the City of Alameda’s poet in 2002.

“Alameda has lost not only a wonderful poet, but a great inspiration,” Mayor Marie Gilmore told The Alamedan. “She was an Alameda treasure will be missed.”

The Artists Embassy International event set for Saturday, Jan. 25, at the Alameda Museum will be dedicated to Rudge and her memory.

Rudge taught students of all ages throughout the Bay Area to appreciate the arts, especially poetry, including this blogger.

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Gardening Day at Sweeney Open Space

By Janet Levaux
Saturday, January 18th, 2014 at 9:04 am in Uncategorized


Members of the Alameda community are asked to come volunteer with gardening and cleaning duties at the Jean Sweeney Open Space Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today, Saturday, Jan. 18. Lunch will be provided.

The 22-acre park is located at the corner of Constitution Way and Atlantic Avenue.

According to the City of Alameda, volunteers are needed to work on weeding, mulching, building planter boxes and compost bins, painting and signage. The project also aims to complete a community garden.

Residents of all ages are welcome. Children should be accompanied by an adult.

Tools will be provided, but volunteers are asked to bring their own work gloves.

To get to the Sweeney Open Space, park at the Wind River lot on Atlantic Avenue. There will be a shuttle service/escort assistance. If you bike, please bring a bike lock, so you can park your bike at the work site.

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Watch 49ers at Alameda Theatre

By Janet Levaux
Thursday, January 16th, 2014 at 1:40 pm in Uncategorized


The Alameda Theatre & Cineplex invites community members to come by soon and pick up two free tickets to watch the San Francisco 49ers play the Seattle Seahawks this Sunday, Jan. 19, at 3:30 p.m. on the main screen.

This NFL championship game should be very popular, so tickets to the TV simulcast are being passed out on a first-come, first-serve basis. The movie theater had a similar arrangement during the America’s Cup.

The theater also will offer guests special discounts on snacks. No outside food or drinks are permitted.

The doors will open at 3:05 p.m. for seating at 2317 Central Ave.

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Hangar One to Expand at Alameda Point

By Janet Levaux
Sunday, January 12th, 2014 at 8:42 am in Uncategorized

The Alameda City Council will discuss the expansion of Hangar One Vodka production at Alameda Point on Jan. 21.

Hangar One Vodka is now owned by Proximo Distillers, who bought the brand from Alameda-based St. George Spirits in 2010 and has been making it for the new owner for the past four years.

Now, Proximo would like to produce the vodka on its own in Building 22, 2505 Monarch St., and is negotiating a 10-year lease with the city, with the option to extend the lease for a second decade.

According to city documents, Proximo is a privately owned, premium spirits importer based in Jersey City, N.J. Some of its other brands include 1800 Tequila, Azul Tequila, El Zarco Tequila, Gran Centenario Tequila, Jose Cuervo, Maestro Dobel Tequila, Three Olives Vodka, Kraken Black Spiced Rum, Matusalem Rum, Agavero Liqueur, Boodles Gin, and Stranahan’s Whiskey.

Proximo says it would like to keep the brand in Alameda and create a brand/tourism center.

In addition to its proposed distillery in Alameda, Proximo also operates a whiskey distillery in Colorado and one of the largest distilled spirits bottling plant in North America, which is located in Indiana.

Proximo plans to triple Hangar One Vodka production over the next five years and “a world-class brand and consumer experience in Alameda.”

In addition to retail and tasting room staff, Proximo will need to hire a full production staff for distilling and bottling.

The base rent is roughly $8,200 per month–after discounts for building improvements. It increases to $11,000 per month over the next 10 years.

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Filming In Town; ‘American Idol’ Surprise

By Janet Levaux
Sunday, January 12th, 2014 at 8:21 am in Uncategorized

According to Realtors David Gunderman and Andrew Raskopf, of East Bay Luxury Real Estate, an independent film starring Kristen Wiig and Alexander Skarsgard will be filming at one of their listings in Alameda.

“We have helped arrange a film shoot at one of our Alameda listings sometime in the coming weeks (not allowed to say when). Alameda native/filmmaker Mari Heller is filming her first major feature in town,” the two wrote on Facebook. “Exciting!”

The film, as reported by “Variety,” is the coming-of-age drama “The Diary of a Teenage Girl.”

In other celebrity news, Rachel Rolleri, 17, a student at Monte Vista High and the daughter of Alameda Police Chief Paul Rolleri, will play the acoustic guitar while singing “Stay” by Sugar Land on “American Idol.”

The Danville Patch reports that Rolleri will sing during the second part of a two-night premiere that begins Wednesday, Jan. 15, from 8-10 p.m. on FOX.

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Art Opening Event Taking Place at South Shore

By Janet Levaux
Saturday, January 11th, 2014 at 7:45 am in Uncategorized


Sylvia Chesson, Alameda resident and fused-glass artist, celebrates the opening of her show at South Shore Center with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. this evening, Saturday, Jan. 11.

Cheeson, who is a member of the Alameda Art Association, says that her show is a “teaching exhibit.” It is located in a gallery near See’s Candies.

She invites community members to come find out about some of her artistic secrets, while enjoying refreshments.

Chesson’s last show in town, “Reflections on Water and Nature”, was held at the Main Library from late June through September 2013.

The artist says she is enticed by the beauty of richly colored glass. She strives to use this medium to translate personal experiences into one-of-a-kind fused-glass art works.

In addition, she hopes her work showcases the unique transparent and reflective qualities of select glasses.

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Talk on Pet Health Set for Jan. 18

By Janet Levaux
Saturday, January 11th, 2014 at 7:37 am in Uncategorized

doggie santa

A free presentation on pet health and nutrition is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18., at Alameda See Spot Run, 2510 Santa Clara Ave. The speaker will be Cheryl Schwartz, a doctor of veterinary medicine, who specializes in holistic practices.

“2014 will see us usher in our third year in business”, said Cynthia Schorle, owner of See Spot Run.

Schorle says store staff and owners plan to “reward their growing customer base with educational programs aimed at adult pet owners and young people who relish caring for their own animals.”

Several local veterinarians will speak on topics that aim to promote owner awareness and improved pet health.

Dr. Schwartz, for instance, will focus on taking a holistic approach to pet care. She is the author of several books: “Four Paws Five Directions,” “A Guide to Chinese Medicine for Cats and Dogs” and “Natural Healing for Cats and Dogs, A-Z.”

Alameda See Spot Run’s first free program for kids this year will take place at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25. This is a hands-on program for children of all ages, to learn about pets and animals.

Every child will be given a fact sheet and a drawing to color. The focus at this event will be on hedgehogs.

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Nelson’s Boat Auction Pushed Back to February

By Janet Levaux
Wednesday, January 8th, 2014 at 10:06 pm in Uncategorized

Photo courtesy of L'Hydroptere (Copyright).

Sailboats and sailing equipment previously stored at Nelson’s Marine and not yet claimed by owners will now be sold via auction starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 8, not this Saturday, Jan. 11, as originally planned.

The City of Alameda closed Nelson’s Marine, located at 1500 Ferry Point near the USS Hornet, about eight months ago. It evicted Nelson’s from Alameda Point due to building code violations and unpaid storm-water utility fees of $37,000.

According to Michaan’s Auctions, which is running the event, community members can get a preview of the 50 vessels still at Nelson’s from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 6, and Friday, Feb. 7.

The auction includes motor yachts ranging in size from 40 to 70 feet, as well as sailboats ranging in size from 20 feet to 45 feet. In addition, some boat equipment and smaller runabouts will be auctioned.

A complete list of 130 vessels that were unclaimed as of this summer is available online.

The record-breaking vessel show above, L’Hydroptere, was removed from Nelson’s in the late spring when the city closed the boat repair and storage facility.

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Library Hosts Talk on Swedish Painter Tonight

By Janet Levaux
Wednesday, January 8th, 2014 at 2:27 pm in Uncategorized

zorn boat

The Alameda Free Library present a talk on Anders Zorn, Sweden’s master painter, at 6:30 p.m. tonight (Wednesday, Jan. 8), in the Regina Stafford Meeting Room of the Main Library, 1550 Oak St.

The speaker is Marsha Holm, a docent with the Fine Art Museums of San Francisco. Her presentation is sponsored by the Friends of the Alameda Free Library.

Zorn’s works are on exhibit at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco through Feb. 2. About 100 rarely seen works from collections throughout the United States and Europe are included in the show.

Zorn did both watercolors, etchings and paintings. He traveled to Spain, Algeria, Paris and other parts of the world, and his art reflects the influence of the Impressionists. He also traveled the America, where he did many portraits. In his home country, his work focused on landscapes.

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