There are serious and more lighthearted events taking place around the Island over the next few weeks, as spring takes over (along with some America's Cup fever).

The Alameda Public Affairs Forum will present a discussion on the revolution in Egypt during the evening of Saturday at the Main Library. Bay Area trade union leader Carl Finamore, who just returned from his third visit to Egypt, will be the guest speaker.

While in Egypt, Finamore met with some leaders of the opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood regime of President Muhammed Morsi. A new Egypt, he said, can arise if young Egyptians, workers and others come together to challenge the power of the elites and others.

Finamore traveled to Cairo only two hours after Hosni Mubarak was forced out of office in early 2011. He returned to Egypt just this past January for the second anniversary of the revolution. He will speak at 7 p.m. Saturday after a potluck dinner and refreshments

At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Alameda history will come into focus at the Main Library. Local historians Eric Kos and Dennis Evanosky will speak about the period between 1852 and 1872, when the Island "blossomed from a backwater oak forest to a thriving city with its own transportation system," event organizers said.

Some of the notable figures from this era include Alameda founders Gideon Aughinbaugh and William Worthington Chipman, as well as Charles Hibbard and Sheriff Jack Hays. The two speakers will also discuss how A.A Cohen founded the town of Woodstock and created a seamless transportation link from Alameda to San Francisco and will share how A. K. Krauth pushed to unite the towns of Alameda, Encinal and Woodstock.

Around the corner at Dog Bone Alley, 1342 Park St., Northern California author Karen Bane will sign copies of her book "Raising Tippy" from 1 to 3 p.m. on March 16. The book is about a family's adventures caring for a pet lamb and starting a sheep farm.

Other activities happening at the pet shop are a dog training question-and-answer event from 1 to 3 p.m. this Saturday with Stacey Brewer, low-cost vaccinations from 9 to 11 a.m. on Sunday and on March 24, a clicker-training workshop at 7:30 p.m. on March 13, and pet adoptions on March 23.

At the nearby Frank Bette Center for the Arts, 1601 Paru St., spring classes are on tap for budding artists. An oil painting class with Lissa Friedman is scheduled for Saturday, while a two-day plein-air (outdoor) painting workshop with Elaine Carpenter is slated for the following weekend, March 16-17.

Other March classes offered by the art center include cartooning workshops with Gary Francis, digital photography studies with Chris Rochette and a special type of visual-arts training called Zentangle with Grace Mendez.

Janet Levaux also writes the Alameda Journal Blog at www.ibabuzz.com/alamedajournal.