Services League grateful for support
The Alameda Family Services League would like to thank the community for supporting our 42nd Annual Alameda Holiday Home Tour. Hundreds of tour-goers enjoyed viewing five of Alameda's finest homes, a holiday dessert tea, gift boutique and gourmet shop with all proceeds benefiting Alameda Family Services.
The 2012 Holiday Home Tour was a success thanks to many Alameda families, community members and business owners who contributed their time, energy or other means to guarantee a fun and festive fundraiser.
First and foremost, thank you to the generous homeowners who opened up their houses and shared with tour-goers their beautiful homes wonderfully decorated for the season. We also thank the home docents, tea volunteers and musicians who greeted guests, as well as those who donated goodies and time to make the Gourmet Shop and Holiday Gift Boutique wonderful shopping experiences.
A special thank you goes to the Alameda Police Department Volunteers, Girls Inc. of the Island City and Alameda Family Services board of directors and staff for their time and effort in making the tour a success. Gratitude also goes out to the Bay Area businesses that donated raffle prizes and sponsored the Holiday Home Tour. We would like to especially recognize our major Home Tour sponsors: Harbor Bay Realty, Gallagher & Lindsey Inc. Realtors, Farmers Insurance Group, Catellus, Realtors
Finally, to the Alameda community: Thank you for your continued attendance and support of the Annual Alameda Holiday Home Tour; your dedication to ensuring that local children, individuals and families continue to receive the invaluable services that Alameda Family Services offers is invaluable.
President Alameda Family Services League
Help make Sweeney open space beautiful
Ten years ago, in 2002, the people of Alameda voted to designate approximately 23 acres of Beltline Railroad Switching Yard property as open space. In 2009, in a lawsuit between the railroad and the city of Alameda, the California Courts upheld the city's contractual right to buy back the railroad property.
The 23 acres of open space land lie between Constitution Way at the Food Bank and Sherman Street just west of the Del Monte Warehouse, where Sherman becomes Atlantic Avenue.
Back in 1998, Jean Sweeney had a vision for a park on this land. She did many months of research and wrote the initiative that set this land aside for a park for our city. Jean's research uncovered the contract between the city and the railroad that permitted the city to buy back the Beltline Railroad property at 1924 prices.
The city now has title to the open space land, and our recreation and parks department has started planning how to create a park on the 23 acres. ARPD needs our help to plan the park and has scheduled two community meetings for us to give our input.
The meeting dates are 10 a.m. to noon Feb. 9 at the O'Club, 641 W. Red Line Road at Alameda Point; and 7 to 9 p.m. Feb. 13 in City Council Chambers, City Hall. The Wednesday meeting will be televised.
The City Council voted to name the open space park to be created as the Jean Sweeney Open Space Preserve in honor of Jean's years of community service to Alameda and her efforts to get this land set aside for open space.
We have the opportunity to help create a wonderful open space park for our city by attending the community meetings and helping plan the park. And we have an opportunity to honor Jean's efforts for us by designing a beautiful park for her.
The Alameda Citizens Task Force will hold an information meeting on the history of the Beltline Railroad and Jean Sweeney's efforts to preserve the land for the city at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Alameda Hospital conference room.
The Jean Sweeney Open Space Park Committee has a Facebook page. Go to facebook.com and search for Jean Sweeney Open Space Park, Alameda, CA.
County's plastic bag rule is a good thing
Thanks to our legislators for making the rule that retailers can't have plastic bags. I think that they made the world a better place.
Our violent culture should be reformed
Regarding the story headlined "Island families grieve for Newtown" on Jan. 4: we know it could so easily have been Alameda, as the flower bed is planted in Lincoln Park in victims' memory.
The work of Laira Pippin and MaryEllen Proctor was really appreciated by the whole community -- but -- I do wonder what we will do about the greater problem of violence in our nation as a whole. The weeks since the killing at Newtown have brought these thoughts into focus for us all.
The press and media have been full of ideas. But what are we going to do? A recent piece was about how violence is reviewed by those who review what we see. Violence is tolerated, and we are inured.
The Financial Times has wondered how we "ennoble horrific violence." The latter caught my eye because I went to our lovely Alameda movie house recently and there was the movie "Django Unchained" offered for us to see. "What is really meant to entertain us in 'Django' is violence," "broadening the circumstances in which one can kill with joy and impunity," suggests the Financial Times.
In our town we are offering such movies in which violence is ennobled at the same time we plant tulips due to horrific violence. Let us think about it.
Homeless Network appreciates donors
Here is the Adopt-a-Bed update for Dec. 1 to Dec. 31:
Theresa & Jeff Rude, Maurice Maia, Dale Wright, DPM, East Bay Heritage Quilters/Childrens Quilts, Erin Kreitz Shirey, Donna Elaine Wyatt, Jennifer Serr, CC Kreitz, Rene & Gemma Lim, Shivaun McDonald, Jennifer Raven-Harris, Katherine Dieden & Joan Alexander -- honoring Ellen Newman, Virginia Krutilek, Lance & Sandra Russum in Memory of Harry Bissett, Leonora Telesforo, Wood Hathaway, Bernard Roberts, DDS, Roseann French, Herbert Gannon, Lucie Vip, Fern Robinson, Sil Simi, and Carlos Jiminez, JR; Joseph & Gail VanWinkle, Women's Life Insurance Society Review #59, Alameda Association of Realtors: Allison Sullivan, Dede Cunningham, Justine Francis, Kate McCaffrey, Maureen Sandobil, Nina Lim, Rich Krinks, and Sharon Alva; Barbara Anderson, Betty Sanderson, John Gardner, Anonymous I, Isle City Institute #51 YLI, Richard Chapman & Barbara Newell, Lynda & Kenneth Hild, First Congregational Church (United Church of Christ), Lois Pryor, Keith Nealy, Barbara Gibson, Diane Coler-Dark, Carole & Arthur Glaser, Malyon Booth, Emily & Joseph Shea, Juanita Blair, Mary Lou Kurtz, Mary Butler, Kathryn Szumiloski, Suzanne Martin, Janine Boehm, Jerry & Marjorie Lanzit, Camilla Whyte, Roger & Patricia Baer, Fist Christian Church, Law Offices of Susan Jeffries, Beverly Church, Kathleen & Glenn Henderson, Carol A. Gerdes, MD, Ron Dunn/Pacific Coast Real Estate, Eleanor Stallman, Dorothy Wismar, Edward Atkinson, Jennifer Moss, Anita Wong, Juelle Ann Boyer, Kiwanis Club of Alameda, Teens of Girls Inc. of the Island City, Families of Otis Elementary School and Child Unique/Encinal Campus, Paul Canavese, Karen Eikeland, Beth Strachan, Harlan Richter, Bernie Fitzgerald, Vickie Maloney in honor of Carolyn Moore, Donalada Murphy in the name of: Dawn Adams, Judy Moore, Jeannie Graham, Siobhan Williams, & Cilla DeVries, Craig Valentine, Scott Fenton, Glenna Sanford, Rosemary Reilly, Howard & Mary Brownson, Dianne Richmond, Patricia Gannon, Anna & Laurence Dougherty, Cathy & Daniel Getman, Beulah Circle twin towers United Methodist Church, Ken Kofman, Willem & Pam VandeKamp, Louise & Carl Champion, George E. McDonald, Lou & Jan Toepfer, Sarah Neuhoff, Fred & Audrey Lovell, St. Joseph Basilica, Nancy Matthews. Greg Reichert, Barbara & Walter Morris, The Wellness Center -- Terecita Dean, DDS, Angel Tree, St, Joseph Basilica, John Cashman and Sarah Cruz.
Alameda Homeless Network