It’s World Book Night at Main Library

library book nite

The Main Library will celebrate World Book Night 2014 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. this evening, Tuesday (April 22). Local author and storyteller Walter Mays will read from the children’s book “Bridge to Terabithia” by Katherine Paterson, which tells the story of two lonely children who create a magical forest kingdom.

Mayor Marie Gilmore and Vice Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft also will be at the event, which includes games and trivia.

This free event is sponsored by Friends of the Alameda Free Library.
Alameda is one of just 23 sites chosen from across the county to kick off this year’s World Book Night, a national campaign that aims to share thousands of free paperbacks with community members to boost reading.

The library is showing Oakland artist David Burke’s ink drawings, which focus on our relationship to the environment, through April 26 on the second floor. A reception and talk by Burke will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday (April 23).

Teens are invited to come to the Main Library and discuss Cory Doctorow’s book “Little Brother,” about a 17-year-old with tech talents who gets into trouble with the law, at 3:30 on Thursday (April 24). Residents of all ages can attend a blogging workshop at 6 p.m. on April 28. Sign up at the library or email afltrains@alamedaca.gov.


Whaleboaters Getting Ready to Race


If you have time to check out the scene on the Alameda-Oakland Estuary these days, you might catch a glimpse of the whaleboat rowing teams getting ready for their next race.

The Coast Guard Challeng–in which the whaleboats are raced around Coast Guard Island–drew a lot of teams to the area on April 12. That course is roughly 1.5 miles long.

This week, teams are getting ready for the Mini Bridge to Bridge contest between Alameda’s High Street and Fruitvale bridges, set for this Saturday, April 26.

Next weekend on May 3, the Oakland Cup will take place on the Estuary.

The bigger Bridge to Bridge race (between the Golden Gate and Bay bridges) will be held on May 31. That involves a 5-mile course.

According to the Bay Area Whaleboat Rowing Association, these types of boats were first raced on San Francisco Bay in the mid-1800s.

The modern competitions took off in the mid-1960s and involved Coast Guard Monomoy Surfboats (or whaleboats) built in the 1930s and ’40s. (Monomoys get their name from Monomoy Island off Cape Cod, Mass., where merchants used them to smuggle cargo.)

BAWRA was formed in 1982 to provide standards for safety and competition. The group’s members built new whaleboats in the mid-1980s.


New Restaurants, Real Estate Group Coming to South Shore


Alameda South Shore Center says there are lots of new businesses set to open their doors at the retail center.

For instance, Bagel Street Café should begin its operations there, in an area next to Old Navy, this summer.

Also opening later this year is the Best Lil’ Porkhouse, which will do business on the mall’s Neptune Court.

In addition, Trabocco Kitchen and Cocktails, an Italian restaurant owned by Alameda residents Giuseppe and Christine Naccarelli that opened last year, is now serving lunch at its South Shore location.

Alain Pinel Realtors, a Bay Area-based real-estate group, will join Trabocco and other merchants when it opens its Alameda office there later this spring, according to Jamestown, which owns Alameda South Shore Center.

Jamestown says that Alain Pinel has signed a five-year lease for a new 1,943-square-foot office at the shopping district, which is across from Daiso, a discount Japanese retailer.

“With many of our associates already living and working in the City of Alameda, it seemed the obvious next step, to bring our technology and marketing expertise to a top quality location in Alameda, one of the most desirable communities in the East Bay,” said Phil Weingrow, vice president office manager at Alain Pinel Realtors, in a press release.

Alain Pinel Realtors says it is the fifth-largest residential real estate firm in the United States based on sales. It has about 1,400 agents in its 32 offices throughout the Bay Area and other regions.

The company was founded in 1990 by CEO and President Paul L. Hulme, and is based in Saratoga, Calif.

“Alameda’s close proximity to San Francisco and reputation for quality schools, is generating activity in the residential real estate market here,” explained Julie Taylor, senior vice president at Cornish & Carey Commercial Newmark Knight Frank, who handled the lease transaction for Jamestown, in a statement.


Earth Day Cleaning, Festival Set for Saturday

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Earth Day activities begin at about 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 26, in Alameda at Crab Cove, 1252 McKay Ave. Volunteers are needed to clean up the beach area in the park and along Crown Memorial Beach for about 90 minutes.

“It’s important for everyone to care for the Earth, and this is one way people can help the park district do so on Earth Day and every day,” explained East Bay Regional Park District spokesperson Emily Hopkins. “We invite everyone to come to the educational programs that day and at other times, too.”

Starting at 10 a.m., Alameda’s 15-annual Earth Day Festival kicks off at Washington Park, 740 Central Avenue. The festival ends at 3 p.m.

The theme of this year’s event is Feel Your Power. “It’s like a one-stop shop, so you can get lots of information regarding steps for change that are Earth friendly,” said Patrick Russi, recreation supervisor for the Alameda Recreation and Park Department.

Free activities include fun games and exhibits led by the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of Alameda; Cotton Candy Express will dance, sing and share games with children at the event.

“For the kids, there also will be several jump houses,” Russi explained, “and Rocket the Bike,” which is a bicycle that powers a paint-filled spinner inside a drum and creates colorful patterns on paper.

“Alameda Municipal Power will give away super-hero capes that kids can get stickers for at the different booths,” he added. “The city’s Youth Activities Committee will set up booths, too, to sell food like pizza and hot dogs.”

Some vendors from the Alameda Farmers’ Market will sell treats at the event, as well. The traditional farmers’ market will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., a few blocks away at Webster Street and Haight Avenue.

The Earth Day event is sponsored by Alameda Municipal Power, Alameda County Industries, City of Alameda Public Works Department, Alameda Recreation and Park Department, and East Bay Regional Park District.

“It’s put together through the collaboration of many city departments and other organizations,” said Russi. “Plus, some vendors come out to promote Earth-friendly activities, including Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter.”


Teen, Community Literary Events on Tap

Teens and young adults are invited to the Alameda Free Library for an open-microphone night starting at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 18.

April is National Poetry Month, and community residents are asked to share poetry, music and spoken-word talent at the gathering.

Call 747-7780 or e-mail mconciatori@alamedaca.gov to register in advance; enter through the backdoors.

This Saturday, April 19, at 7 p.m., Books Inc. welcomes members of the Alameda High School Inkwell Society, including Ben Freck and Andrew Nguyen. The students will share their collected works of poetry, prose, and art at 1344 Park St.

Teens are invited to come to the Main Library and discuss Cory Doctorow’s book “Little Brother,” about a 17-year-old with tech talents who gets into trouble with the law, at 3:30 on Thursday, April 24.

Residents of all ages can attend a blogging workshop at 6 p.m. on April 28. Sign up at the library or email afltrains@alamedaca.gov.

According to staff members of Books Inc., the Main Library’s event with best-selling author Laini Taylor on Tuesday, April 15, was a big hit. Books Inc. sold copies of the third book in Taylor’s popular trilogy at the gathering.

Close to 100 people packed the library, and many bought her latest work, “Dreams of Gods and Monsters.”

Taylor’s “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” series tells the story of Karou, a teen art student in Prague raised by creatures called chimaera that require her to do bizarre tasks, while she avoids the wrath of a man with fiery eyes and wings.


Rosenblum Cellars to Leave Alameda


Rosenblum Cellars said earlier this week that it was going to vacate its location near the Alameda Ferry and open up a new wine-tasting venue across the Estuary in Jack London Square.

“Rosenblum is proud of and committed to its roots in the urban East Bay, Alameda and Oakland area. More than half of Rosenblum’s loyal wine club members live locally and visit regularly to sample and buy wines, so finding a new location in the East Bay was a top priority,” said Brigid Harris, general manager of direct-to-consumer operations for Diageo Chateau and Estate Wines, which bought Rosenblum in 2008.

In 2010, Rosenblum wine production ended in Alameda after 13 years and was moved by Diageo to Napa Valley.

“We listen to our club members and visitors to our locations in the East Bay and Healdsburg. We know they love Rosenblum Cellars for great quality wines and for the warm atmosphere of our wine experience. We also know they enjoy food and wine pairings, as well as good food in general. For all of these reasons, we are excited about the new Rosenblum space and all the Oakland location will offer,” Harris added in a press release.

Rosenblum will let its Alameda lease expire in June. It plans a grand opening events in Oakland in July. The group’s wine-tasting lounge in Healdsburg opened in October 2013.

Kent Rosenblum founded the winemaker in Oakland in 1978 and moved it to Alameda in 1987; it specializes in Zinfandel and Rhône varietals.

Rosenblum and his daughter Shauna Rosenblum run the operations of Rockwall Wine Co., which is based at Alameda Point.


Best-Selling Teen Author at Library Tonight


Laini Taylor, who has written the “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” trilogy of young-adult fantasy books, will be at the Main Library from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, April 15.

The third book in the series, “Dreams of Gods and Monsters,” will be on sale at the event via Books Inc. Refreshments will be served, and there will be a raffle.

The trilogy tells the story of Karou, a teen art student in Prague raised by creatures called chimaera that require her to do bizarre tasks, while she avoids the wrath of a man with fiery eyes and wings.

The books have received awards, and a movie adaptation of “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” is being produced by Universal Pictures and Joe Roth.

Taylor, a native of Chico, Calif., studied at UC Berkeley. She now lives in Portland, Ore.


AAPS Hosts Discussion on Painting Historic Homes


The Alameda Architectural Preservation Society presents a talk on “the mysteries of paint protection” at 7 p.m. this Sunday, April 13.

Speakers from Pacific Northwest Painters and Construction, which is based in Alameda, will share tips and information. The venue is Immanuel Lutheran Church at 1420 Lafayette St.

Cornelia and Eric Grunseth will discuss issues such as how to remove old paint and what new paint to use, as well as the right color schemes for historic homes.

The talk is free for members of AAPS and $5 for others.

The organization will host its annual Preservation Awards gala on May 18 at Auctions by the Bay Theatre.


Talk on ‘Waterwise Gardening’ Set for Monday

Alameda Backyard Growers will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, April 14, for a presentation on water-wise irrigation with Chad Martens of Irrigation Equipment. The venue is Rhythmix Cultural Works at 2513 Blanding Avenue.

Despite the recent rains, the State of California is still in a drought. Gardeners need to figure out how to continue to grow food, while using a minimum amount of water of water.

Martens will discuss how to deal with water restrictions and how to make the most of the water you have. The water expert has been involved in designing, constructing and repairing irrigation systems throughout his career.

The gardening group is gearing up for its participation in Amelia Earhart Green Festival, which will take place from 2 to 6 p.m. on April 16 at the Bay Farm school and the Alameda Earth Day Festival, scheduled for Saturday, April 26, at Washington Park.


Last Day for Strictly Sail Pacific


Sailors and non-sailors alike should head across the Alameda-Oakland Estuary for the last day of Strictly Sail Pacific, the 19th annual sailboat-only show at Jack London Square in Oakland. The show is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 13.

Many Alameda yacht clubs, sailing schools and boat brokers are on hand, along with their counterparts from all over the United States.

Lots of new yachts can be toured, including plenty of models brought up from Southern California.

In addition, there are bargains on sailing equipment, attire and gifts to be found, as well as sailing demonstrations and lectures on topics like anchoring, sail trim, communications equipment, gear failure, cruising the California coast, sailing to Mexico and more.

The Farmers’ Market at Jack London square will be open until 2 p.m. on Sunday, so plenty of edible treats are on hand, as well.