Talk Back: U.S. and Cuba
Do you approve of President Barack Obama's efforts to normalize relations with Cuba?
 Yes
 No

(Tell us why or why not?)
( RAY CHAVEZ )
Alameda: City Council approves project to redevelop Del Monte building

Both Trish Spencer, who edged out incumbent Mayor Marie Gilmore in November's election, and Frank Matarrese, who topped the poll in the council race, asked the council to put off approving the redevelopment of the property on Buena Vista Avenue. 
Greer Mortuary
The 78-year-old Sam Sause died the evening of Dec. 11 after an AC Transit bus struck him as he was crossing the street at Grand Street and Otis Drive.  
 
The City Council proclaimed Dec. 14 as "General Jimmy Doolittle and the Doolittle Raiders Day" in the city of Alameda.  
 
Christine Chilcott, director of program services, will replace Karen Kinney for at least the first six months of next year.  
 
Doug Duran
The Mayor's Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony was held in front of City Hall on Saturday, featuring entertainment, music and merriment -- and controversy -- as about a dozen people gathered as part of the nationwide protests over recent killings of black men by police officers.  
 
Owned and operated by theater proprietors Kyle and Elgina Conner, the restaurant offers comfort food and craft cocktails inspired by Hollywood's Golden Age. The menu includes pizzas, salads, chicken sliders, fish tacos, and bison meatloaf, the restaurant's signature dish. Ingredients come from Dan's Fresh Produce, Tucker's Ice Cream, Hangar One Vodka, Faction Brewery, St. George Spirits and other local vendors.  
 
The surprise attack caused an odd mix in our feelings: we were convinced we'd win the struggle some way, yet, those of us on the West Coast felt vulnerable. If the Japanese Navy could cross the broad Pacific all the way to Hawaii, what could prevent them from hitting us in California?  
 
Alameda Civic Ballet
Marena Pérez, principal dancer for the Balleteatro Nacional de Puerto Rico, will perform as the Sugar Plum Fairy, while Carlos Madera, recently a principal dancer for Ballet Brio of Bayamón, Puerto Rico, has the role of Cavalier.  
 
Just in time for that onslaught of holiday visitors, here are five reader-crafted itineraries to discover the best of the Bay Area, from Golden Gate Park to Devil's Slide.  
 
Ariel Fong, a Girl Scout Juliette and Alameda High School senior, earned her Gold Award by designing a project called "Music Melodies" with the children at Alameda Point Collaborative.