Broom with a View 

It's not hockey, it's broomball

FRI 7/11

Brooms -- they're not just for cleaning anymore. They've shown up in colder climates, gripped tightly by sturdy Nordic women known as curlers. Recently they registered in imaginations around the world, flying high in the sky while Harry Potter soared and bobbed for the Snitch in the game of Quidditch on his Nimbus 2000 (2001, 2002, 2003...). Now the broom is testing its abilities as a makeshift hockey stick in the quasi-sport of broomball, a team game played on ice, where street shoes with little traction pose a slippery challenge (get ready to stuff your trousers with Charmin). The object is to coax the ball into the opposing goal by any means possible -- much like soccer or hockey, except that there are no rules. Sounds risky, huh? No more risky than attempting to run an independent nonprofit media organization in today's flailing economy. That's just what the National Radio Project is doing by producing a weekly syndicated program called Making Contact, which reports on relevant global topics such as food, labor, and environment for those of us bored with the same-old, same-old network versions. They're not looking for your sympathy, they want your support by attending a broomball fund-raiser at the Oakland Ice Center downtown this Friday at 10 p.m. $15 to play, $5 to watch, refreshments included. Contact the NRP at 510-251-1332 x 106. Space is limited. -- Justine Nicole

SAT 7/12

Kayak-istan

Hit the water

What do skiers do when the snow melts and the weather turns toasty? They head for the water, dude. Bay Area Ski Bus/Recreation Connection has two trips planned this weekend. Adventurers from twelve years to adult can go sea kayaking on Monterey Bay ($108 adults, $98 twelve-to-seventeen-year-olds). Or seafarers ten and older can join a whale watch , also on Monterey Bay ($98 adults, $88 ten-to-seventeen-year-olds). Both events happen Saturday. Later this summer, there will be river rafting, sailing, and even, ahem, a Hummer Limo Wine Tasting tour. Sign up for the trips at BayAreaSkiBus.com -- Kelly Vance

7/10-7/12

Iron Woman, Iron Horse

Terri Schneider is one tough woman. The multi-sport endurance athlete has competed in expeditions and triathlons from Teaneck to Tibet (above), including 22 Iron Man events and the Raid Gauloises in Nepal, and Thursday (7 p.m.) she's visiting REI Berkeley (1338 San Pablo) to relate her experiences and show videos in the adventure/challenge vein. Schneider's show is free. Check out SVchallenge.com or Bigblueadventure.com to learn more. Then on Saturday (8:30-2), REI is co-hosting a service project to clean up Iron Horse Trail in Concord -- it's being invaded by the nonnative puncture vine weed, the kind that wrecks bike tires. Preregister at 510-527-4140. Volunteers get free lunch plus a T-shirt. -- Kelly Vance

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