Alameda Point Collaborative

Dating back to the last two centuries, Alameda’s history has included farmers who worked the land. At Ploughshares Nursery, that history has come full circle.

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Broad Brush, our 60-second news review. Here are your Alameda headlines for the week.

Alameda police have arrested two men in connection with a string of apparent arson fires that took place within a seven-block radius on and around Park Street Sunday morning. But friends of one of the suspects in a string of early-morning fires Sunday are expressing disbelief he was involved in starting them.

As I was winding up an unproductive drive around Alameda Point looking for birds last Saturday, I came upon the gate to the Alameda Point Collaborative farm. It was wide open and work was happening. I decided to check it out.

The Alameda Recreation and Park Department has named winners for its 32nd annual “Eggstravaganza” Coloring Contest.

The Alameda Police Department is offering free child safety seat inspections from 10 a.m. to noon this Saturday, April 26 in the parking lot at police headquarters, 1555 Oak Street.

The Alameda Point Collaborative still has spaces available in its Farm2Market community supported agriculture spring subscription program.

The Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir will perform in a Seedlings concert to raise money to send fifth graders at Ruby Bridges Elementary School to science camp. The concert is at 7 p.m. January 25 at Kofman Auditorium; tickets are $15 each, and are available in the Ruby Bridges school office; by contacting teacher Heather Figueroa at; or at the door. The OIGC Youth Choir, African Drum and Dance and the school’s fifth graders will also perform.

From left to right: Alameda Point Collaborative Director of Social Enterprise Andrea Schorr; Division of Apprenticeship Standards Director Diane Ravnik; San Leandro Adult School principal Bradley Frazier; landscape apprentices Deja Roofener and Lance Martin; landscaping and horticulture technology trainer Deborah Lindsay; landscape apprentice Daryl McCray. Contributed photo.

It’s lunchtime at Encinal High School, and Mary Clarke-Miller is working to keep the noise level in her classroom low enough for her to talk about the high school’s newish MAD Academy, a small “school within a school” that offers the 47 youths enrolled in it a more intimate learning experience – along with basic job skills and multimedia training.

The Alameda Association of Realtors selects a local cause to support each year and for 2012, they’ve chosen the Alameda Point Collaborative. Its major effort will be the construction of a new teen center in a former Collaborative office space on Orion Street.

“It’s just really a community project. It’s kind of exciting,” said Justine Francis, the association’s community outreach chair and the organizer of the project.