Rally (and BBQ) Aim to Bring Lab to Alameda

Alameda’s efforts to bring Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s second campus to Alameda Point culminate tonight, July 13, at 6 p.m.

A community barbecue is being hosted by the City of Alameda on the mall area across from the Auctions by the Bay Theater, 2700 Saratoga St., on Alameda Point.

At 7 p.m., immediately following the barbecue, there will be a public meeting with representatives from LBNL at Auctions by the Bay Theater.

City officials are urging residents to attend the meeting and add their voice to community support for the project.

For more information, see a website set up to help bring LBNL’s second campus to Alameda Point.


Alameda’s CompoClay Expands to Web, San Francisco


Alameda-based CompoClay opened an online business on Monday, July 11, after recently inaugurating a showroom for its gardening and home-decor products in San Francisco and hosting a green mixer for interior designers to promote the use of eco-friendly products.

The new showroom at 60 Post Street (in the Crocker Galleria) in San Francisco is meant to complement the company’s “green resource center” at 2536 Santa Clara Avenue in town (shown above).

The Post Street space is being shared with other green businesses.

The company says its updated website has information about its products and can be used for ordering items online.


Another Successful 4th of July Parade


Thousands of Alamedans, other Bay Area residents, friends and family came together to enjoy the 36th-annual Mayor’s Fourth of July Parade today, which was followed by the Jumpin’ & Jivin’ Jubilee.

The parade finished at noon, with the jubilee at Rittler Park going on until 4 p.m. today.

Parade organizers said that in the past few years, the crowds have been close to 50,000.

Before Alameda Mayor Marie Gilmore, who led the parade, a color guard from the U.S. Coast Guard (below) and the Lincoln Middle School Band (above) entertained the crowd. They were followed by the grand marshal, deputy-grand marshals and City Council.

parade 1b

Along with the Lincoln Middle School band (which includes about 150 members), the Cougar Cadets drill team, a San Francisco dance troupe, Alameda’s jazz bands – from Alameda High School, Encinal High School, and Saint Joseph Notre Dame, and the Arroyo High School marching band from San Lorenzo performed along the three-mile parade route.

Alameda’s Fourth of July event is a certified equestrian parade, according to parade volunteer Barbara Price: “This means that riders get points for their competitions by participating,” explained Price. “We generally get about 10 equestrian entries.”

This year’s grand marshal was former Alameda County Supervisor Alice Lai-Bitker, a long-time Alameda resident.

This year’s deputy grand marshals were Dylan Moore, a senior at the Alameda Community Learning Center (ACLC) and active Boy Scout, who helped resuscitate a resident earlier this year, and Bhaani Singh, who just graduated from Encinal High School and is headed to the University of California-Berkeley after being a member of the city’s Youth Advisory Commission.



Alameda’s Fireside Lounge Celebrates July 4th Weekend

The West Alameda Business Association says that the Fireside Lounge is hosting a number of grand-opening events this weekend.

The Fireside Lounge, located at 1453 Webster Street (at Santa Clara Avenue), first opened in 1942. It supporters say it was once known for its Johnny Rocket cocktail, garlic noodles and the many servicemen and women who frequented the West Alameda establishment.

Today, the remodeled Fireside is owned and operated by “The Three Sirens:” Sandra Russell, Bitsy Eddy and Keely Rogers-Free.

The lounge features craft beers on tap, including some from the Linden Street Brewery, Ale Industries, Drake’s, Black Diamond and Cherry Voodoo.

This Friday and Saturday, July 1 and 2, the bar’s new owners will celebrate a grand opening from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. In addition to the beers on tap, visitors can enjoy specialty cocktails — including some featuring Alameda’s St. George Distilleries/ Hangar One spirits.

The bar will host a DJ this Friday and Saturday evenings, as well as a taco bar from 5 to 7 p.m. this Friday.
On the day of the annual Alameda Mayor’s Fourth of July Parade, the Fireside Lounge will open at noon, with a taco bar open from 12 to 2 p.m., and live music from 1:30 to 5 p.m.


Special Dinners Continue at Alameda Yacht Clubs

The team at High Street Station is preparing unique dinners to benefit community causes and encourage Island residents to get out and about this summer.

On Tuesdays, Susan, Annie, Jason, Doug and Katy are making meals to be served at the Aeolian Yacht Club, 980 Fernside. Part of the proceeds from the events in June will go to Children’s Hospital-Oakland.

Meals — including dessert — are $10-$14 for adults and half price for kids under 10. Reservations are appreciated and can be made calling 510-995-8049.

On June 21, the main dish will be meatloaf, and on June 28, it will be pan-seared salmon.

This Thursday, June 16, the community is invited to visit Ballena Yacht Club at Ballena Marina, where the chefs from High Street Station will serve tilapia fish tacos with fresh mango-and-avocado salsa (for $11).

The bar at the yacht club will be open by 5 p.m., and dinner will be served from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Again, reservations are appreciated – at 510-995-8049.


Alamedan Shares 44-Star Flag


Alameda resident Jerry Wagner celebrated Flag Day this year in style: “We hung out a large 44-star flag to honor the country and Alameda’s many Victorian homes,” he said.

Wagner lives on Central Avenue in a Julia Morgan-designed house that dates back to 1910. The flag now flying outside his residence, though, dates back to the 1890s.

The United States included 42 states through 1889. The following year, both Idaho and Wyoming joined the country. And there were 44 stars on the U.S. flag until Utah joined in 1896.

Wagner, who is president of Ibis Software Company, said that each of the 44 stars on the flag is handstiched. The flag is about 8 feet wide and 14 feet long.

It is one of 25 U.S. and California flags that were up in the attic when he bought the home about a year ago.

Most of the flags in the collection appear to be U.S. Capitol flags that were flown in Washington, D.C., and then passed onto constituents by members of the U.S. Congress, says Wagner.

He flies his historic flags outside on a flag pole that once was part of the E.F. Hutton building in San Francisco. “That building was torn down in the 1970s, I believe, so the pole has probably been part of the home in Alameda since then,” the home owner and associate member of the Alameda Elks Lodge said.

The residence also contained some interesting items from the historic Fox Theater in Oakland, including a large tapestry and several decorative columns, which Wagner placed in his hallway and downstairs “movie theater.”

As for his own collecting, Wagner plans to fill the attic with Lionel Standard Gauge Trains from the late 1920s and early 1930s. “These are about two times the traditional size,” he said. Like the large flags that frequently fly outside his Alameda home, Wagner enjoys “living large” on the Island.



Congrats to Ex-St. Joe’s Basketball Star Jason Kidd

With the Dallas Mavericks victory tonight over the Miami Heat, a former-Alameda high school basketball star now has his first NBA Championship ring and title: Jason Kidd.

Kidd, who led the St. Joseph Notre Dame High School basketball team to back-to-back championships, played with the Mavericks from 1994-1996 and returned to the team in 2008. He went on to play in two championship series for the New Jersey Nets in 2002 and 2003.

In 1995, he was chosen as the NBA’s Co-Rookie of the Year.

Kidd, 38 (shown in one photo online holding the championship trophy), is reportedly the oldest guard to start a game during the NBA Finals.

Thanks for making St. Joe’s and the rest of the Island — and the Bay Area — proud.


Concert at Crab Cove – Tonight

Concerts at the Cove in West Alameda kicks off the summer 2011 season with a show tonight: From 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, June 10, Johnny Vegas and the High Rollers will be performing at Crab Cove, McKay and Central avenues.

The event is free and is sponsored by the West Alameda Business Association and the East Bay Regional Parks District.

“We expect a really fun, family crowd of between 2,700 and 3,000 people per show, so get there early,” said Judi Friedman, director of operations for WABA.

Johnny Vegas and the High Rollers is a Bay Area group that plays “high-energy ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s tunes,” Friedman says. (The July 8 concert showcases Oakland-based Foreverland, “the outrageously popular Michael Jackson cover band that packed the cove last year,” she explains.)

“Both groups have a way of interacting with the crowd for a wonderful and enjoyable experience,” shared Friedman. “This will be a dancing summer for all!”

In addition, there will be a variety of drinks, food and snacks for sale. In the wine and beer garden, Rock Wall Winery, R&B Cellars and Drakes Brewery will offer an assortment of libations.

Hula Hawaiian will serve shaved ice, while Miggy’s Island Kettlekorn will dish out its crowd favorite. Other vendors slated to be at the event are Croll’s Pizza, Calafia Tacqueria, Vesta Flatbread, Paul’s Paella, Wes Café, and Frog & Fiddle.

Other sponsoring organizations are Bay Ship & Yacht, Catellus Development, Alameda County Industries, Alameda Theatre & Cineplex, Back to Health Chiropractic, Bill DeMar Office of Edward Jones, Bladium Sports Club, Perforce Software, Trans Pacific Bank, along with Rock Wall Winery, R&B Cellars and Drakes Brewery.


Alameda’s Annual Sand-Castle Contest Set for June 4


This weekend, come rain or shine, Alamedans and friends can participate in the 45th annual Sand Castle and Sand Sculpture Contest. The event begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 4, and ends at 1:30 p.m.

Participants and observers should go to Robert Crown Memorial State Beach (on Shoreline) for the festivities. They should also bring shovels, buckets and plenty of imagination, organizers say.

This event is co-sponsored by the Bay View Women’s Club, East Bay Regional Park District and the Alameda Recreation & Park Department. Registration is free.

Viewing and judging will begin at 12:00 p.m. (noon) with awards presented at 1:00 p.m. Categories include: Sand Castle and Sand Sculpture, ages 12 and under, 13 and over and family.


Truck Plows into McGee’s on Park Street


A driver of a Toyoto four-door pick-up truck slammed into the entryway of McGee’s Bar & Grill at 1645 Park Street at around 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 31.

Several firetrucks responded after the accident knocked out water and electricity at the bar, and smoke from the tires (caused by the driver attempting to move the vehicle) initially sparked concerns of a fire at the popular watering hole.

According to firefighters at the scene, the driver walked away from the accident and refused medical attention. No injuries were reported as of 9 p.m., though extensive damage to the front of McGee’s was caused by the accident.

Two blocks of Park Street (between Lincoln and Buena Vista avenues) had to be closed while the truck was towed away.