Talk Back: Smoking age
Do you think the legal smoking age should be raised to 21?

(Tell us why or why not?)
Two East Bay schools singled out for environmental excellence

State public schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson recognized Bay Farm School in Alameda and Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland on Friday, nominating both as federal Green Ribbon Schools. 
Charter, traditional schools not enemiesMy son and his classmates, who represent the rich diversity of Alameda families, are thriving at Academy of Alameda Elementary, our community's newest public charter school.  
Should you decide to indulge yourself in a performance of Island City Opera's "La Boheme," be sure to bring along a supply of tissues -- you'll need them. Giacomo Puccini's romantic story of poor students living in 1830 Paris is beautifully rendered here.  
After attending beauty school in Oakland, Myra Strehlow operated the Marigold Beauty Salon on Encinal Avenue near Washington Park in the 1940s until her sons Ronnie and Bruce were born. Strehlow loved being a housewife and remembers a rich life of serving as PTA president at Porter School, Bridge club luncheons, running a polling station in the garage of her home on Yorkshire Road and working at See's Candies during the holidays, where, she recalled, "I could walk to work and eat all I wanted and I did."  
The shop first opened its doors in 1991 on Encinal Avenue near Oak Street, close to the weightlifting gym Iron Island. After two years, Oyen moved Lauren's Closet to its current location in the 1400 block of Park Street.  
Canine halitosis is rarely a problem that solves itself. You can't slip your dog a Tic Tac like a co-worker who had garlic for lunch, or shame him into brushing more. It's something you have to manage for him like any other aspect of his health. It has been estimated that without intervention, 80 percent of dogs have gingivitis by age 5.  
Nathaniel Basco, a sixth-grader at Lincoln Middle School, and his family are gearing up to cycle in the Napa Valley Tour de Cure to Stop Diabetes on May 1. Nathaniel has Type 1 diabetes and hopes to raise funds for the American Diabetes Association, which supports 26 million Americans with the chronic condition. To support him, go to  
Email your item to or mail to Alameda Journal, 1516 Oak St., suite 105, Alameda CA 94501. Please submit your item two weeks before event date.  
The USS Hornet Museum is partnering with the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Office of the United States Naval Academy to host the Second Annual Stem-to-Sea-and-Sky program from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday.  
An Alameda police officer arrested a man on suspicion of vehicle theft after an automated license plate reader fitted to a patrol car signaled that the vehicle the man was using was reported stolen in San Jose, police said.  
( T. Charles Erickson )
Review: 'Satchmo' goes behind Louis Armstrong's happy facade

The solo show 'Satchmo' by Terry Teachout depicts jazz legend Louis Armstrong reflecting on his bittersweet life and music; it plays at American Conservatory Theater through Feb. 7