AMP manager going to Riverside agency

Girish Balachandran is stepping down as manager of Alameda Municipal Power to become general manager of the City of Riverside's Public Utilities agency. The last day for Balachandran, who has been with AMP since January 2007, will be Jan. 3.

During his time in Alameda, Balachandran helped to establish a five-year rate adjustment plan and stemmed financial losses at the utility through the sale of its troubled telecom system to Comcast, which occurred in 2008, according to city officials.

"When Girish arrived in Alameda in 2007, the utility was in turmoil with a failing telecom business," Public Utility Board President Madeline Deaton said in a statement. "Through a structured and collaborative process which included the City Council, public utilities board, (Alameda power) employees and community, he guided the organization out of crisis and into stability."

Balachandran is also credited with working to sell excess renewable power and reinvesting the proceeds in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Fire damages home on San Jose Avenue

A two-alarm fire heavily damaged a home in the 2000 block of San Jose Avenue on Dec. 7, officials said.

The fire, which was reported just after 4 p.m., caused an estimated $400,000 in damage to the two-story residence and $70,000 to its contents, Alameda fire Capt. Jim Colburn said.

While no one was injured, five people were displaced.

The fire was likely caused by an electrical power cord in a second-floor bedroom, investigators said.

A total of 37 firefighters, including crews from the Oakland Fire Department, battled the blaze, which was under control by 5:25 p.m.

Register for father, daughter 'Hoedown'

Registration has opened for the 13th annual Father and Daughter "Western Hoedown," a dance co-sponsored by Girls Inc and the Alameda Recreation and Park Department, on Feb. 7.

The dance is for girls in kindergarten through fifth grade and their fathers (or other male role model) and will feature dancing, arts and crafts and hor d' oeuvres.

It will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Albert H. DeWitt O'Club, 641 West Redline Ave.

Preregistration is required. Cost is $25 per couple and $15 for each additional daughter.

Registration will remain open through Jan. 24 or until the event sells out.

For information, visit http://alamedaca.gov/ and click on the "father and daughter hoedown" tab on the right side of the page.

New Year's Eve party to happen aboard Hornet

People can ring in 2014 with a New Year's Eve celebration at the USS Hornet Museum.

The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 31 and feature live music, a silent auction, cash bars and food concessions.

Participants can also watch fireworks above San Francisco, weather permitting, from the aircraft carrier's flight desk.

The Swingin' Blue Stars will kick off the celebration with a "A Tribute to the Andrews Sisters" before the 17-piece band 3 O'Clock Jump performs big band, rhumba, cha cha cha and other music.

Jim Truesdale, a former Fred Astaire instructor, will offer free dance lessons.

Tickets range from $45 to $85 each and include free parking. For information and reservations, call 510-521-8448, ext. 282.

The USS Hornet is at 707 W. Hornet Ave., Pier 3, at the former Alameda Naval Air Station.

Bank of Alameda offers grants to nonprofits

People can vote for their favorite local nonprofit to receive a grant from the Bank of Alameda through its "Give Back" program now through Jan. 3.

The promotion will award five nonprofit organizations based in Alameda with grants of $2,000 each.

"As an organization, we are dedicated to supporting the local community and our "Give Back" promotion is just one way we hope to make a valuable difference in Alameda," said Russell A. Colombo, president and chief executive fficer. "We are excited to hear from the Alameda community as to their favorite local organizations that would benefit from our support."

To be eligible, nonprofits must be a 501c(3) organization with a main office located within Alameda. Participants do not need to be a customer. No transaction is necessary.

Votes must be cast at the bank. Branches are located at 2130 Otis Drive and 1416 Park St.