Promoting exercise is a worthy cause

The benefits of exercising on a regular basis simply cannot be measured. By setting aside just 30 minutes every day to run, bike, walk or participate in other physical activities, you can improve your health dramatically.

For my Girl Scout Gold Award Project, I focused on the Bay Farm Island Loop Trail, a 5.85-mile trail that encircles Bay Farm Island. It is just a small part of the San Francisco Bay Trail, a network of trails that totals more than 500 miles and offers great views of the Bay. The trail is especially useful for runners because the dirt reduces the constant impact to the knee joint.

With the help of my family, friends and advisers from the City of Alameda, I designed and installed nine street markers and 24 mile markers every quarter-mile along the Island Loop Trail. The mile markers are located along the side of the bike path closest to the Bay.

With the help of Bike Alameda, I also designed and ordered a general trail sign. The sign is located by the Veterans Court, by the Harbor Bay Club tennis courts and the beginning of the trail. There are paper maps there so visitors can have a map of the Island Loop Trail and a chart for people to track their mileage and progress.

I hope my project spreads awareness about the public resources available to everyone, gives people an incentive to exercise and encourages people to lead healthier lifestyles. A little bit of daily exercise can go a long way. It's not too late to start.


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Kelly Hosokawa

Thanks for the help with library book sale

The Friends of the Alameda Free Library would like to thank all those who helped make our recent October Book Sale at the Alameda Point Al DeWitt O'Club highly successful.

The Friends is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising funds for the library. In this time of fiscal constraints, the moneys raised from our semiannual used book sales are critical to funding library programs such as the children's, teen, and adult reading programs.

Our thanks go to:

Those who donated materials for the sale and those who came to the sale and bought it.

The Alameda Recreation & Parks Department for the use of the O'Club — especially Deana Huie and Steve Zecher.

The Monday Crew who over the past six months sorted, priced, boxed and moved more than 1,000 boxes of donated material from the library to our storage site.

Librarian Jane Chisaki for her support throughout the year and contributions to the sale.

Coast Guardsmen Jermond Williamson and Chad Davis and the other Surface Forces Logistics Center volunteers who spent one Thursday moving those boxes from storage to the O'Club. Their able-bodied assistance was critical to the logistics of the sale.

The many Library Friends volunteers who spent Friday morning unpacking and displaying the material on tables and who helped in various capacities during the three days of the sale in keeping tables neat and organized and providing courteous customer assistance.

John Kennedy

Co-Chairperson Book Sale Committee

Kudos for successful Halloween event

Michel Michel Productions and the Alameda Halloween Thriller Dance would like to thank all who attended the Halloween event. A good time was had by all walks of life and ages.

A special thanks to the City of Alameda, Alameda Police Department, DJ Dave Stebbins, West Coast Dance Theater, Dance 10 Performing Arts Center, all of the small businesses downtown who made this possible, Alameda Sun, Speisekammer, Cafe Fudgelato, The Sandwich Board, Pixies & Peony, Subpar Miniature Golf, Alameda Vintner's Club, Janene's Bridal Boutique, Robert Romano (Angela's Bistro Catering), Kabob Central, Alameda Journal, and others behind the scenes.

Please keep in mind that the Alameda Food Bank is gearing up for the holidays and is always accepting donations; you can call them at 510-523-5850.

Pappo's, Kebab Central, Troy, Angela's Bistro & Bar, Cafe Central, Alameda Vintner's Club, Alameda Wine Co., Burger Meister and Viva Mexico all thank you for spending your time with them during the event.

Please email us if you would like to volunteer next year, or have comments: AlamedaHalloweenThrillerDance@yahoo.com

Thank you, Alameda. See you next year for bigger and better fun.

Michel Michel

Plastic bag law is micromanagement

Our daily life creates a wonderful economic harmony. When we buy our groceries, we get a paper or plastic bag, your choice, to carry it home. When you use up your purchase, all the refuse and wrapping goes back to the same bag to be carried to the big brown garbage container outside for the dump.

On Jan. 1, if you missed it, the county's Reusable Bag Ordinance goes into effect and, if you need a grocery bag, you must buy one for 10 cents, though it was free before. You might carry a reusable bag all the time, but you still need a bag to carry the refuse from the kitchen to the garbage box outside. So you must buy one.

The other alternative is that you don't use a bag and collect everything in a solid container. Then you must wash it in valuable water, which must be cleaned before being drained into the Bay.

What we really needed is more petty dictators telling us what light bulb to buy or how to carry garbage.

Nicholas Balas

Oakland

McGovern's legacy: Nutritional advocacy

On Oct. 21, we lost former U.S. Sen. George McGovern. Although many will recall his disastrous 1972 loss to Richard Nixon and his subsequent leadership in getting us out of Vietnam, his truly lasting legacy will be his war on hunger and malnutrition.

In 1977, following extensive public hearings, McGovern's Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs published dietary goals for the United States, a precursor to today's dietary guidelines. It marked the first time that a U.S. government document recommended reduced meat consumption.

The meat industry forced the committee to destroy all copies of the report and to remove the offending recommendation from a new edition. It then abolished the committee, voted McGovern out of office, and warned government bureaucrats never to challenge meat consumption again. ("Food Politics" by Marion Nestle, 2007).

Yet, after 35 years of additional studies linking meat consumption with elevated risks of heart disease, stroke, cancer and other killer diseases, the MyPlate icon, representing the U.S. Agriculture Department's current dietary guidelines for Americans, recommends vegetables, fruits and grains, but never mentions meat, and shunts dairy off to one side (www.choosemyplate.gov).

And it all started with one brave senator from South Dakota.

Milton Connley

Oakland