Piedmont Avenue library to open Nov. 27

The new Piedmont Avenue library branch will open its doors on Nov. 27 at its new site at 80 Echo Ave. on the grounds of Piedmont Avenue Elementary School in Oakland.

The old branch on 41st Avenue in Oakland will close its doors Saturday to give officials time to implement the move.

A grand opening celebration will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 1. On Oct. 27, the library held a "book passing" to the new location in conjunction with a Halloween parade and festivities.

The branch had to move after the new owner at its old location raised the library's rent in 2009 from $1 per year to $4,250 per month.

The Oakland Library then began a three-year search for a new, affordable location, which they obtained from the Oakland school district.For more information and updates, visit www.oaklandlibrary.org.

-- Linda Davis

Center for the Arts sets November events

Piedmont Center for the Arts has music, art and vocal performance planned for November at 801 Magnolia Ave., Piedmont.

Baritone Jay Krohnengold will perform English and Irish songs spanning several centuries plus some rarely-heard tunes from British and American musical theater.

Admission is free for the 3 p.m. Sunday performance. Miles Graber will accompany on piano. Music includes works by John Ireland, Stephen Sondhein, Cy Coleman and others.

At 7:30 p.m. Nov. 17 come hear Piedmont Community Church's Lodestar band, providing an evening of dancing and music fundraiser.

Tickets at $20 each will help fund a handicap lift at the center.

The Divertimento Ensemble performs at 8 p.m. Nov. 30, with tickets at $15 general, and $10 senior or student. The professional group has performed worldwide in symphonies and orchestras in Israel, Mexico, Germany and at the San Francisco Symphony.

The students of Julie Cohn will exhibit their works through Nov. 25 at the gallery.

Gallery is open from noon to 3 p.m. today and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 16-18; noon to 3 p.m. Nov. 23-25; closed Nov. 11.

For details, visit www.piedmontcenterforthearts.org.

-- Linda Davis

BevMo reconsiders store application

OAKLAND -- Just days before the city's Planning Commission was scheduled to take a final vote regarding BevMo's application to set up shop at 3868 Piedmont Ave. the retail chain asked that the issue be taken off the commission's agenda.

In a preliminary vote on Sept. 19, the commission voted 4-0 to deny the application on grounds of zoning and traffic-related issues, but since staff had drafted documents recommending approval, a second vote had been scheduled for Nov. 7, during which all seven commission members would be present.

"At this time we are still evaluating this location and the approach for the next hearing," said Greg Endom, vice president of real estate and construction for BevMo, in an email. "We have no comment at this time."

Valerie Winemiller, an organizer for the Piedmont Avenue Neighborhood Improvement League, which has opposed that proposal from the beginning, hopes BevMo will consider a proposal brought forth by the Laurel District Association to consider other sites in Oakland.

Winemiller said several neighbors filed a protest to the state's Alcoholic Beverage Control Department, which ruled it as valid but has not yet denied BevMo's alcohol permit application.

According to city case planner Aubrey Rose, the commission would hear the case no sooner than January. If the proposal is denied again, BevMo can appeal to the Oakland City Council.

-- Oksana Yurovsky