Irish Star Comes to Hills

ONE OF IRELAND’S emerging stars is flying into town next week for a benefit concert at the Hills Swim & Tennis Club. And while it may seem odd that a swim club would host an event like this, it’s actually the perfect spot for an intimate performance.

The Hills overlooks a pastoral setting much like Ireland, which should make artist Jack Lukeman — a.k.a. Jack L, feel right at home. Add to that a Hangar One Vodka bar, food and wine from top local restaurants and a live and silent auction, and you’ve got a world-class party. Tickets are $85 and the proceeds go to help the women of Darfur. For more information see the Web site

ANIMAL ELECTION: The hairballs are flying as Montclair prepares for yet another four-legged mayoral race. The fourth annual “Pet” Mayor competition is underway and the voting runs through June 24, when the winner will be announced at the Sunday Farmers Market. You may remember that a dog named Zoe won last year’s election by a nose. (A cold one, at that). I’m going out on a limb to say that a cat would be better suited for office. We need a self-reliant, sure-footed mayor who won’t roll over to special interests. Cat lovers unite — and let’s pull for the tabby. To nominate your pet, call Montclair Veterinary Hospital at 510-339-8600.

DOWNWARD DOG: You don’t have to fly to India to take yoga from a master. Rajashree Choudhury iscoming to Berkeley’s Funky Door Yoga Studio (2567 Shattuck Ave.) at 11 a.m. this Saturday. She’s the five-time winner of the All-India Yoga Championships, and the wife of the man who founded Bikram Yoga. The class costs $45 and the proceeds go to the BOSS Children’s Learning Center.

CURTAIN CALL: What would you do if you suddenly lost your home of 40-plus years? Reader Judy Rosenberg says the East Bay Children’s Theatre is being told to pack up its props and vacate its workshop and storage site in Mosswood Park. Apparently, Oakland Parks and Rec needs the building back, and has told the nonprofit group to get out by June 30. This is a great group of volunteers who bring free musical theater to disadvantaged schools. If you know of a storage space they can use, contact EBCT at

PACKED HOUSE: It was great to see so many old friends at Regan McMahon’s book signing in Montclair last week. Her new book “Revolution in the Bleachers” has triggered a lively debate on the pressures of playing youth sports, and she’s getting plenty of play on radio, TV and in publications across the country. Speaking of pressures, McMahon had to write in the wee hours of the night, after long days at work and hurried family dinners. Something tells me she’s used to this kind of schedule. Her husband, Blair, has six books under his belt.

AUCTION BLOCK: Josh Braff was the hot ticket at the recent live auction for Oakland’s Elizabeth House. The local fiction writer (who also happens to be the brother of Zach Braff from the hit TV show “Scrubs”) auctioned himself off to a group of women for their monthly book club meeting. That, paired with a catered dinner from Rockridge Market Hall means one fun evening for that group of gals. And a cool $30,000 was raised for a great local charity


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