From the Desk of the Executive Director


I am closing out 2018 with an optimistic assumption, with the efforts of the West Alameda Business Association (WABA) board of directors and our merchants, we will have an amazing 2019. Thank you to everyone in advance for our continued success!

WABA’s inaugural 2018 Chinese Lunar New Year was such a great success, that we needed the help from the city for pedestrian and traffic management because of the overwhelming attendance. As always, the city came through and helped out! This year the event will be held on Saturday, Feb. 16, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The Toi Shan Family Association Chinese dancers and traditional drummers will return to perform a Lion Dance again this year. The event will be held on Haight Avenue leaving ample room for our guests. And I’m happy to report that WABA received a grant from the City’s Arts Commission to make the 2019 Year of the Boar event even better. 

New on the West End
New on Webster Street is J Gallery, 1517 Webster St., a fine furniture and art consignment retail. This is a sister store of J Couture created by husband-and-wife team Joann Guitarte and Bobeck Parandian. There will be a grand opening on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 5:30 to 7 p.m. Alameda’s newly elected officials Vice Mayor John Knox White, along with Councilmembers Tony Daysog and Jim Oddie will be there for the celebration. Joann and Bobeck will be opening Donut Petite at 711 Santa Clara Ave. in February (date to follow) and we’ll have another opportunity to celebrate their success on the West End. 

The long-time proprietor of East Ocean, Millie Low, will be turning the operations over to David Chan in March. David is also a long-time restaurant proprietor from Colorado. Millie and David are working closely together for the transition and East Ocean will continue to be not only a West-End favorite, but a favorite go-to Dim Sum destination for the entire East Bay. Millie will remain a West Ender and will be a great advisor to myself and our Board of Directors.

Alameda Restaurant Week
2019 Alameda Restaurant Week is scheduled for Jan. 17 through 27. Participating West End restaurants are Shirasoni, 1400 Bar & Grill, Café Jolie, Cookie Bar, Extreme Pizza, Famous Dave’s BBQ, Koja Kitchen, Neptune’s and Phnom Penh House. For an inclusive list of participants go to: 

The Taste of West Alameda is scheduled for Friday, April 12, 6 to 9 p.m. Please save the date. More information to follow.

Finally, Newspaper Racks!
We have been working on the removal of Webster Street’s mostly empty newspaper racks through 2018. The city has been a great partner and I guarantee you that they will be removed in 2019! 
As always, it is a great pleasure to represent and advocate for West Alameda, a neighborhood I call home. I can be reached at linda@westalameda or 523-5955. The best to you and our community in 2019. 

Island Poets support Paradise Poets

Sun Staff Reports
Poets of Paradise, Calif., were featured in a book launch yesterday at the West End’s Frank Bette Center for the Arts. The Alameda Island Poets dedicated a fundraiser to the poets of Paradise. The reading launched The Art of Awe 2; The Power of Your Creative Spirit, compiled by Natica and Richard Angilly. Poets and authors from Alameda and around the world share poems, essays and poetic dance techniques on the topic of awe.

Prior to the recent devastating fires, members of the all-women Writing in Paradise salon led by Paradise poet Maria Rosales, had submitted works to the Angillys’ book. Rosales lost everything in the fires, including her home and business. The works of these poets of Paradise plus Rosales’ photography and articles are published in The Art of Awe. Also included are award-winning works by Alameda’s poet laureate Cathy Dana, Nanette Deetz, Ken Peterson and other Alameda Island Poets.

The Angillys chose the topic of awe based on Albert Einstein’s quote: “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead — his eyes are closed.” The Art of Awe 2, a celebration of creativity, includes works by international poets and artists encountered on world poetry tours. It was compiled by the Angillys as members of Artists Embassy International, the organization founded in 1951 in order to further understanding and good will through the universal language of the arts. 

The Angillys’ pioneering efforts to unite poetry with dance celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Bay Area annual Dancing Poetry Festivals. The festivals encourage this unified art form and present original poetry. Poetic Dance Theater Company recently returned from performances in Thailand for the World Congress of Poets and to honor the birthday of the King of Thailand. 

Rosales was born in London, and lived in Europe, North Africa, Canada and Hawaii before settling in California. Her poems have appeared in Meridian Anthology, Byline, Poetry Depth Quarterly, Poetalk and many other publications. Her book Time to Fly was published with Small Poetry Press.
She has received many Awards from the Ina Coolbrith Circle, Artists Embassy International and contests sponsored by the Benicia Historical Museum, the City of Pleasanton and Livermore Arts. Rosales hosted the PrimoPoets series for several years and has served on the Board of Directors for the Ina Coolbrith Circle since 2007. Until recently, she hosted the Writing in Paradise salon in her home in Paradise.

Richard Angilly serves as president of the Ina Coolbrith Circle (one of the oldest poetry groups in America) and also serves as Ambassador to the Arts for Artists Embassy International. His books of poetry include: Organic Music, Poems of Illumination and Chants. 

Richard and Natica’s collaborative books include: Pulse Source, Dancing Dynamism, Moving Fusion, and The Art of Awe I, II and III. Books by Natica Angilly include: Dance Passions, Dancing Poetry, Love Your Audience and Under the Influence of Poetry and Dance.   

For more information on the Alameda Island Poets, contact Alameda Poet Laureate Cathy Dana at or 205-2375.

Linda Asbury is the executive director of the West Alameda Business Association.